3D Printed Cyclone Dust Separator

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[Nicholas] has been reading Hackaday for a few months now, and after seeing several people’s dust extractor setups, he decided to make his own 3D printed version. And he’s sharing the files with everyone!

He has a small Lobo mill which produces a lot of dust and to clean up he’s been using a small “Shark” brand vacuum cleaner. It’s a powerful little thing, but has little to no capacity which makes it rather frustrating to use. This makes it a perfect candidate for a cyclone upgrade! If you’re not familiar with cyclonic separator it’s a way of removing dust from air using vortex separation — between rotational forces and gravity, this keeps the dust out of your vacuum cleaner and means you never need to change another filter!

Using Autodesk inventor he designed this 4-stage cyclone separator. It’s made for a 1.75″ OD vacuum hose (the Shark standard) but could be easily modified for different vacuums. We’ve seen lots of cyclone separators before, but this 3D printed one certainly makes it easier to fabricate to exacting standards!

17 thoughts on “3D Printed Cyclone Dust Separator

  1. Given that the cheapest cyclone dust separator is $50 (an add on for a 5 gallon bucket at that), this might be a worthwhile thing to do.

  2. Fwiw, I remember a thread where a vacuum repair guy said shark vacuums are junk. So while the cyclone part of this hack is cool, maybe don’t emulate the vacuum choice.

    1. I’ve read a bunch of reviews that said they’re quite good. Is this “a guy” an actual, like, notable person or just some guy on the internet?

  3. One thing that really drastically improves the performance of these systems is using smooth-walled tube. He might get a performance boost just by switching to PVC and as few angles as possible.

      1. Pretty sure reetz was talking about the hose and not the 3d printed parts. Smoothing the 3d printed parts wouldn’t offer much performance increase..

  4. Considering the Shark’s pedigree and tiny bastard filter, if used for one stationary task not a bad hack.
    I say in one place strapped in against falling over. Keep hose short and smooth, for fastest airflow. Faster means more crap going in.

      1. I wonder if it really applies. Cyclonic dust separators are incredibly old, whatever Dyson’s patents on them are, they probably only apply to vacuum cleaners.

    1. IANAL,

      I think (in the UK at least) things you make for yourself or as a gift for others are not subject to patent law. This is amongst the reasons why 3D printing, if it ever becomes cheap and fool-proof, is viewed as a disruptive technology.

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