3D printed components - FDM method no good ?
This is the first time I tried to make a 3D-printed component. I use the cheapest method of FDM ( sticking melted filaments of plastic together ) and the material is ABS. The silencer works quite well but after about 20 shots, it just exploded. While this is not unexpected considering the power of the rifle ( Huben K1 ), the way it breaks makes me wonder whether the FDM method can be used to print components requiring good mechanical strength or the 3D-printing service provider has not done the job properly. Around the breaking point, the plastic separates into thin layers like they are not bonded well in the printing process. Can anyone having experience in 3D printing share your thoughts ? Can I expect higher strength if the silencer is printed by other methods such as SLS ( fusing particles by laser ) ?
I have printed quite a few FDM parts successfully, it's a fun and useful tool. Print settings such as temperature, speed, and layer thickness can affect bonding significantly, as well as material. ABS is good, I prefer PET-G but it is even more finicky about settings.
Another factor to consider for strength is the orientation of the part when printing. I try to print such that the maximum stresses on the part, if possible, will be in the direction of the filaments, not across them (separating the layers).
I believe sintered nylon (such as available at shapeways) is a stronger process than FDM, it appears to be used by the "production" quality suppliers such as Maestro3d and Brian Sampson.
Hope that helps,
I think SLS will give you greater strength than FDM. You can try SLS metals but they are really expensive.
PLA is more forgiving. When ABS or Nylon delaminates like that, I'll decrease the diameter setting in Cura to 1.7mm rather than 1.75mm. Or you can bump the flow rate a few percentage points.
Some of the filaments vary in diameter throughout the spool. With ABS, better to overflow the filament instead of underflow.