3D Printing Is Electroplating too much metal?

Discussion in '3-D Printing and Related topics' started by ReconRocketman, Aug 15, 2019.

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  1. Aug 15, 2019 #1

    ReconRocketman

    ReconRocketman

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    I know were not supposed to use "any significant metal parts" but i have been experimenting with electroplating nickle to ABS plastic. i was wondering if I were to plate nickle to the payload section for increased durability if this would violate the safety rules? the plated section would house a 4lb payload.
     
  2. Aug 16, 2019 #2

    Steve Shannon

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    I don’t believe anyone would consider that significant. Go for it.
     
  3. Aug 16, 2019 #3

    Funkworks

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    For mid- and high-powered rocketry, plenty of people use aluminum foil tape, lead weights, steel quick-links, electronics (containing all sorts of metallic elements), and perhaps most significantly, motor casings and retainers made of thick, solid, machined, 6061 aluminum alloy.
     
  4. Aug 16, 2019 #4

    Zeus-cat

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    The motor hook on all my Estes rockets has far more metal than anything you will put on a nose cone electroplating it. You are fine.

    We need photos though. Sounds interesting.
     
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  5. Aug 18, 2019 #5

    alexzogh

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    I electroplate 3d prints for custom parts for my Indian Motorcycle. Paint with MG conductive paint, then just brush on with an electrified brush, polish, brush again ad infinitum until you are happy. Comes out looking fantastic, but adds almost no rigidity or strength to the part. You will be disappointed if that's your goal... but it will look pretty!

    Here are some war Bonnett emblems on my gas caps. plated using Caswell "copy chrome" solution, as real chrome plating uses super dangerous chemicals.


    gas cap emblem.JPG

    I'm working on a pair of Indian heads as we speak to replace my mirrors.

    indian 3d print.jpg
    indian 3d print 2.jpg
     
  6. Aug 18, 2019 #6

    BABAR

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    If the plating was done for cosmetic effects, or to prevent charring from nozzle blast or ejection charges I would agree with you.

    Also agree with Alex that plating won’t provide much structural integrity.

    But Recon says his purpose is “durability”. Since the piece is already plastic, we aren’t talking waterproofing. Unless the nickel is for UV resistance, basically sounds like what he wants is to “armor” the payload section. To me, that is using metal for STRUCTURAL support of the body of the rocket. If he DID put enough metal on to provide such strength (is this even possible with electroplating?), THEN I think it would be pushing the regs a bit.

    That said, on long gap stage rockets I put a segment of rolled up aluminum can glued inside the chimney/stuffer tube just forward of the booster engine to prevent charring. So I am not exactly a purist either.
     
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  7. Sep 2, 2019 #7

    Steve Shannon

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    Although using metal for structural support for a high power rocket is specifically allowed, I agree that plating will not add tostrength. It certainly can add surface hardness though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  8. Sep 2, 2019 #8

    BABAR

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    I should have read the post more thoroughly. Given this is for a 4 lb payload section, presumably this is a high power rocket and falls under the HPR rather than LPR safety code.

    I still remember John (der MicroMeister, God bless his soul!) getting bent out of shape with idea of using a soda can aluminum heat shield in a motor mount tube just forward of the motor!
     
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