No Material Waste Spills Here, We Got It Funneled!

by Jeff Parker

Handling Objet Material Waste

Our typical procedure to handle material waste from the Objet printer is to cap off the bag and place it in the sun allowing it to cure and become non-toxic.  I have a problem, though. I’m based out of the GoEngineer office located in the Pacific Northwest and we don’t have the pleasure of receiving an abundance of year-round sunlight.

In order to work around this issue, we turn to an alternative method of placing the waste material in a 50-gallon drum and disposing of it with official waste handling companies.  This may not sound like a hard task, but when you examine the opening in the drum you can see that there is a good chance some of the material could spill out. Time to create a solution!

Problem Solving

With a potential spill in mind, I set out to design a funnel to help pour the waste material from the bag, in a controlled way, to help prevent this from happening.  The first challenge was determining the thread used on the outlet of the bag.  To figure this out I cut one off of an older unused bag.  Next, our in-house technician scanned the cap to get some measurements from it without having any thread gauges.  Here is a screen shot of the output we got from the scanning.

funneledThe next step is to cut the cap in half to verify specific measurements. We do this because the scan data didn’t help us determine the diameter and pitch of the thread.  Using this information, a design was created in SOLIDWORKS.

funneled

From CAD to 3D Printing

Now that we have a design, I printed a couple of test pieces to check the thread and integrated seal on a new bag.  Once the smaller test prints were complete, the next step is to print a prototype. Check them out.

funneled

Final Challenge – Accepted!

Most 3D printed parts are porous.  So, our next challenge was to find a way to seal the part to prevent waste material from leaching and exposing anyone to the waste material.

After trying a couple of options I ended up using an ABS Weld Glue via hand brushing application to seal the interior and exterior of the part.  This was the most effective and practical option.  All testing, after using this method to seal the part, showed no exposure to the material.

Problem solved!

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