ABS Mercedes Rims Push The Limits Of 3D Printing

ABS MERCEDES RIMS PUSH THE LIMITS OF 3D PRINTING
Abhishek Gokarn

Head – Marketing at Indian 3D Printing Network. Communications is an integral part of an organisation. It is the image an organisation portrays to the intended target audience. Understanding the immense responsibility this puts on me and deliver accordingly has always been and will continue to be my objective.

While we’re big believers in 3D printing here at Hackaday, there’s no denying that some things just aren’t meant to be printed. For example, most of us would agree that it’s not the first choice for making rims for a passenger car. We imagine that [Jón Schone] from Proper Printing probably feels the same way, but that didn’t stop him from trying to do it anyway.

A couple of months ago [Jón] got a test subject in the form of an older Mercedes with 19-inch rims. The first two challenges are bed size and warping, so he modified a Creality CR10 S5 with a heated chamber capable of reaching 70 °C to reduce warping with the ABS filament he intended to use. Another challenge is the amount of filament required for the print, especially since [Jón] wasn’t keen on babysitting the machine to replace the spool every so often. His attempt at building a filament joiner ultimately didn’t work out, so in the end he simply sourced the filament in bulk size rolls.

Bolts hold the two halves of the rim together.
Bolts hold the two halves of the rim together.

Eventually [Jón] managed to print a complete rim in two halves, bolted together around its circumference. Unfortunately, even with the heated chamber, the parts still warped all around the edges. This left a gap at the seam, but to fit a tubeless tire, the rim had to be airtight. So the entire inside surface was painted to close any small gaps, and the larger gaps were filled with sealant.

In the end it was still unable to hold pressure with a tire mounted, so it was test fitted to the car just to see if it would carry the weight. This test also failed, splitting on the thinnest part of the rim. [Jón] has headed back to the drawing board to try again in 2021. We probably would have moved on by now, but you have to admire his tenacity. We hope to see success in the new year.

Printing large parts brings its own set of challenges, but if you stick to good old PLA it’s not too difficult. [Ivan Miranda] has made a name for himself with massive 3D printed projects like a ride-able tank, and also built a supersized 3D printer for future projects.

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Abhishek Gokarn

Head – Marketing at Indian 3D Printing Network. Communications is an integral part of an organisation. It is the image an organisation portrays to the intended target audience. Understanding the immense responsibility this puts on me and deliver accordingly has always been and will continue to be my objective.