3D printed trailer? We will see... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-06-2018, 06:24 PM   #1
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3D printed trailer? We will see...

A Saskatoon company proposes to make trailers by 3D printing:

The world’s first 3D-printed camper will be printed in Saskatoon

I loved my '79 Trillium and I love my '17 Escape, but consider me to be dubious about this. I love the idea of 3D printing for prototyping and maybe making models for molds, but for a whole trailer? Particularly as the print time is 10-14 days per trailer.

S.
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:33 PM   #2
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The aliens did it first!

Bob Lazar said the UFO's he inspected at Area 51 had no seams......
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:51 PM   #3
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Interesting, but its basically just the shell. Windows would have to be installed in openings, appliances added and plumbing and electrical run to them. An axle attached with tires and wheels, brake lights, hitch, jacks, etc. So I see a lot of work to be done after the camper is made. Its intriguing but a lot more goes into making a camper than what a 3D printer can do... unless Im missing something.
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Old 02-06-2018, 07:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by brian m. View Post
Interesting, but its basically just the shell. Windows would have to be installed in openings, appliances added and plumbing and electrical run to them. An axle attached with tires and wheels, brake lights, hitch, jacks, etc. So I see a lot of work to be done after the camper is made. Its intriguing but a lot more goes into making a camper than what a 3D printer can do... unless Im missing something.
Yes, but this is all in it's infancy. With a trailer where the shell is printed instead of molded, there's no mold, just a design drawing and a computer program. No mold means you can change the shape or size or design on the fly. The resulting structure can be strong and light as well, and impervious to moisture. It's an exciting prospect, although it's obviously going to be a while before we know if it's economically viable and practical. What is known is that 3D printing is a revolutionary technology with an amazing number of possible applications.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:29 PM   #5
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Maybe someday. Maybe.

Considering the strength and refinement of the material that now has a UV resistant, glossy gelcoat, over a fiberglass impregnated resin structure of hand laid or woven glass, and some cored construction panels, as well as a rigid floor structure, the new "printed" version would be completely different in design.

Fine. Different is good. But it won't be just another egg clone.

I wonder how many recycled milk jugs it would take to make an entire trailer body? And what happens when it sits in the sun for years?

Sometimes, existing and proven technologies are hard to beat, but if you want the advantages of "printed" over "molded", and assuming there are some advantages, which is a stretch, why not just go with injection molded? Those could be popped out about one every 30 seconds.
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:22 PM   #6
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conventional 3D printing is SLOW, and also not suitable for objects over a few inches in the longest dimension. there are other sorts of 3D printing but they are very expensive. and the 2nd unit takes just as long to make as the first.
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
Maybe someday. Maybe.

Considering the strength and refinement of the material that now has a UV resistant, glossy gelcoat, over a fiberglass impregnated resin structure of hand laid or woven glass, and some cored construction panels, as well as a rigid floor structure, the new "printed" version would be completely different in design. I'd imagine that any commercially viable "printed" trailer would be far different than this first attempt, perhaps with far different media and faster production.

Fine. Different is good. But it won't be just another egg clone.

I wonder how many recycled milk jugs it would take to make an entire trailer body? And what happens when it sits in the sun for years?

Sometimes, existing and proven technologies are hard to beat, but if you want the advantages of "printed" over "molded", and assuming there are some advantages, which is a stretch, why not just go with injection molded? Those could be popped out about one every 30 seconds.
Well, it's a stretch right now. As you said, maybe someday. Even an injection mold requires a mold, and can't be modified almost instantly. You're right about the material as well. The plastic they will use is by no means proven as a suitable material for a real trailer someone would actually buy.

All that said, lots of technologies all start out like this, with lots of things to prove and questions to answer before they can go mainstream. Just 20 years ago the smartphone in our pockets would have been inconceivable.
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:28 PM   #8
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Well, it's a stretch right now. As you said, maybe someday. Even an injection mold requires a mold, and can't be modified almost instantly. You're right about the material as well. The plastic they will use is by no means proven as a suitable material for a real trailer someone would actually buy.

All that said, lots of technologies all start out like this, with lots of things to prove and questions to answer before they can go mainstream. Just 20 years ago the smartphone in our pockets would have been inconceivable.
Of course you're right about not knowing what the future holds and how refinement makes ridiculous things turn out to be very useable. We can all come up with fantastic, futuristic ideas, but they don't gain credibility simply by being fantastic. I love to be amazed by new ideas, and they have more credibility if they carry a promise of being better in ways that matter. Better if you can imagine how it might be done somewhere over the horizon. It would be fun if they could 3D print smart phones or tricorders too, for instance.
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Raspy View Post
It would be fun if they could 3D print smart phones or tricorders too, for instance.
They can print smartphones - well - at least the cases. Tricorders, not so much.

The tricorder reference reminded me of a satire I saw where the Star Trek crew went back in time to the present day. When the people saw their communicators they mocked them for their old fashioned flip phones.
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Old 02-06-2018, 11:12 PM   #10
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The tricorder reference reminded me of a satire I saw where the Star Trek crew went back in time to the present day. When the people saw their communicators they mocked them for their old fashioned flip phones.
That got me laughing!
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:33 AM   #11
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how far it has come.....

Its amazing how far it has already come. If you fly today on a newer model Boeing 737 or an Airbus A320 and it has a General Electric LEAP engine on it (and chances are it does), those engine have fuel nozzles on them that are 3D printed. They are flying today. They are subject to the temperatures of a jet engine combustion chamber. And they do it today!
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:13 AM   #12
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I have worked with a company that printed jet turbine blades on a 3D printer for a lost wax mold process, (no they did not print with wax). The end result was +/- 1000th of an inch. Though it still required some finishing.

The plastic that they are printing this trailer from is just that, plastic. Since there are no glass fibers, I have to believe that the strength is less compared to fibreglass.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:21 AM   #13
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The plastic that they are printing this trailer from is just that, plastic. Since there are no glass fibers, I have to believe that the strength is less compared to fibreglass.
Totally agree, but how long before some new material is used, perhaps a type of fiberglass/resin, or perhaps something completely different, with the strength and material characteristics that are suitable? I see this as an attempt to show how large an object can be printed - an experiment - and that's where it can start.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:51 AM   #14
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Great for prototyping! Until it becomes "Laser printer" Speed....well... right now 3D printing for the most part is a big toy! It has lots of good uses but for the full-sized industry, the "additive" process is basically in the perpetual development stages and we'll see GREAT things come from this in the future.

But I'm not sure we'll be living to see the day they spit out a fiberglass trailer in a tray in about 30 sec!
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