Designing the PCTPE prototype
When it comes to men there are two universal truths: they love their tools. And they love their toys. In this article, Airwolf 3D’s Advanced Designer Cameron got to put both of his loves to the test with a new material, PCTPE.
Taulman 3D’s Plasticized Copolyamide Thermoplastic Elastomer (a.k.a. PCTPE) was designed to print highly flexible parts with the added durability of nylon polymers. Since Cameron had recently broken the front skid plate of his custom Axial EXO Terra Buggy he thought it was the perfect opportunity to try out the new PCTPE filament in a fabrication of his own.
Cameron was dissatisfied with the original angle of the skid plate so he decided to prototype a design of his own. As you can see here, Cameron added more protection for the front struts and adjusted the angle of the skid plate to be more forgiving on landings.
Testing the PCTPE Prototype
Before performing his first crash test Cameron tested the skid plate’s resilience by forcefully bending the piece with his bare hands. As anticipated the PCTPE skid plate proved to be highly flexible. It was capable of bending all the way back to the strut mount; yet it was resilient enough to spring back to its original shape.
To test his design, we took the Axial EXO Terra Buggy behind the Airwolf 3D corporate headquarters and crashed the vehicle repeatedly into the cement wall of our shipping dock…You know: for “science.”
The first prototype eventually failed but it revealed a subtle, yet important, aspect of the 3d printing process.
As you can see in the photo shown above, the component eventually broke along the bias of the skid plate. A similar thing happens to professional baseball players when they strike a ball against the natural grain of the wood.
To fix the problem Cameron had to reverse the orientation of the 3D print from this:
The original orientation was chosen because it did not entail building a support layer; however, this convenience came at the cost of increased vulnerability to separation. Reversing the print orientation greatly enhanced the durability of the skid plate. Cameron’s final skid plate design demonstrated the usefulness of PCTPE for projects that require a high degree of flexibility and resistance to abrasion and impact.
The following video shows the improved skid plate surviving a frontal collision…unlike his former BMW 325i. Sorry, Cameron. Too soon?
For more information about Taulman PCTPE, please visit: http://www.taulman3d.com/pctpe-features.html
Interested in purchasing some PCTPE? Click here to buy PCTPE Filament now!