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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wasn't sure where to put this, but why isn't anyone using a 3d printer and just printing out horn bodies?
I have no idea what it would cost,but I'm sure there is a market there. I do understand patents and all, but would that apply to companies that are now out of business (Veritas)?

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Multiple reasons I can come up with.

1. Need to have a 3D drawing of a horn design to be printed. This may be hard to find or somewhat expensive to get created. Plus, to do it right would take a lot of testing, which takes time and money.

2. Large 3D printers for manufacturing are EXPENSIVE. Less expensive models for the consumer market are much smaller or more expensive but still too small to print most horns.

3. Is there really a market for any horns, 3D printed or not? Horns have always been a small niche of a small niche and with the integration on new cars, that will likely to continue. Now if internal combustion engines go the way of the dodo, future cars may have more flexibility in the interior design which could provide a renaissance for auto horns but that would still be an incredibly small niche. Might be hard to make money off of such a small niche requiring the investment in design and a decently sized 3D printer.

I'm actually working on a part for the CNC market that I am working on patenting and will be 3D printed. I had to design my own 3D printer as consumer grade printers weren't robust or big enough and industrial models big enough had an extra zero that I couldn't come close to affording for a new company/product.

David
 

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That could be a cool option for Eric to provide specific horns per vehicle maybe?
When a typical full body or even mini won't work etc
Based on existing design, but just tailored to the need.
I guess it could be easy (maybe not that cheap) to adapt the design to allow minor changes on motor placement/angle etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't know you hear stories all the time about people 3d printing guns and such a horn (mini) is not much bigger or complex then that. There's a guy on eBay who is charging $75 an hour + materials, but I wouldn't have any idea how long it would take?

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Most consumer 3D printers are smaller than 8"x8"x8". The Lulzbot Taz 6 is a popular larger consumer printer (11"X11"x9.8") but starts at $2500. And depending on the size of the nozzle used, they can take a very LLLOOOOONNNNNGGGGG time to print, especially if you want some detail. Even with what you want, even with larger nozzles would likely take quite a while (12+ hours?) since most consumer printers aren't that fast.

I'm building a 3D printer that will be able to print 15"x15"x15" and have 4 printer heads. I plan to use one printer head with main material and a smaller nozzle, main material with a larger nozzle for infill, a contrasting color for text on my part, and the fourth nozzle would be a support material that is water soluble. The water soluble material would be printed to support any overhangs and when the print is done, you just drop it in a bucket of water for the water soluble material to dissolve. Hope to start on my printer next week as I'm only waiting on a couple more parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
After some more research I found there are actually online calculators that can help estimate the cost. I also found some of the UPS store locations have 3d printers as well. I found a local small owned business that specializes in small odd jobs like this so I am going to inquire.

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I designed/printed a set of straight Veritas throat adapters for my horns, cost me $200 for the pair through Shapeways. I could have got the costs down more by removing some material from the model, but I didn't bother.

There are multiple threads over in the HLCD section where a forum member has printed his own horns with varying degrees of success.
 

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I know a couple people doing this but they just aren't part of the forums any longer.


Edit: I realize my post doesn't really contribute much. But I really was just wanting to point out there are indeed people doing this since that's what the OP was asking.
 

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PLA, which is a plant based filament that most consumer printers default to doesn't have the strength or heat resistance you'd need of a commercial product or frankly even a DIYer that wanted it to last more than a few weeks (assuming it didn't break during install). PLA is incredibly forgiving hen it comes to printing though as it usually just works without a ton of tweaking. For consumers ABS or certain fiber included filaments are the way to go for strength and temperature handling. Unfortunately, ABS is a bear to print as it warps as it cools. I'm building an enclosure with an enclosure heater hoping I can tweak the printer I'm building to work well with ABS but it isn't a given. I may have to go with a more expensive fiber filament to print a commercial part I'll be working on.

So yes, there is quite a bit more to it than just buying a printer and starting to print parts. Definitely was a learning curve for me and I'm barely scratching the surface.
 

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The method that SQram mentioned earlier is spot on (send it to Shapeways, pay some bucks and let them print it). Just select the S&F nylon material which is high temperature compatible. When it's thick it's really strong! When it's thin like 1 mm or 0.04 inch it's flexible. It happens to be using the fancy SLS laser sintering process done on a mega-priced commercial printer. It's not like squirting toothpaste from a nozzle with the low-cost home printers. Home printers have their strengths and weaknesses. The Shapeways people also can 3D print in steel and several other material like acrylic. I did one small bracket with 3d steel recently because I needed it to be super-strong. It came out quite ok/nice (pictures coming soon if I can ever finish the stereo/install lol).

They're also beta testing a huge fancy HP 3D printer (not released yet) and I was trying to get in line to use it but it wasn't ready a few weeks ago (it's also is some kind of fancy SLS-type laser method). This one looks very promising too.
 

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Hi dgage, the 3D stainless steel bracket (L-shape but with a large stiffening/reinforcing rib) is 1.175 x 1.717 x 1.375 inch and it was $31 for the black finish. The plain/natural stainless steel finish would have been $27. They said this 420 Stainless Steel is 60% steel and 40% bronze. I think I had a 20% off coupon for it at that time and gave them many different pieces to print.

There was also an aluminum piece that they 3D printed for me but it became out of spec in their manual/handling process (before solidifying). So they refunded it and I went back to my old fashion handmade version (not as fancy/pretty but works the same).
 

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PLA, which is a plant based filament that most consumer printers default to doesn't have the strength or heat resistance you'd need of a commercial product or frankly even a DIYer that wanted it to last more than a few weeks (assuming it didn't break during install). PLA is incredibly forgiving hen it comes to printing though as it usually just works without a ton of tweaking. For consumers ABS or certain fiber included filaments are the way to go for strength and temperature handling. Unfortunately, ABS is a bear to print as it warps as it cools. I'm building an enclosure with an enclosure heater hoping I can tweak the printer I'm building to work well with ABS but it isn't a given. I may have to go with a more expensive fiber filament to print a commercial part I'll be working on.

So yes, there is quite a bit more to it than just buying a printer and starting to print parts. Definitely was a learning curve for me and I'm barely scratching the surface.
Wonder how well a 3D printed mold for making a fiberglass horn would work?

There is water soluble filaments, is there a mold release that would not dissolve the water soluble print and protect it from the fiberglass resin? I would assume that both polyester and epoxy resin would dissolve water soluble filament.
 
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