Using Additives For Better Performing Epoxy

Epoxy resins are an important material in many fields. Used on their own as an adhesive, used as a coating, or used in concert with fiber materials to make composites, their high strength and light weight makes them useful in many applications. [Tech Ingredients] decided to explore how combining basic epoxy resin with various additives can make it perform better in different roles.

The video primarily concerns itself with explaining different common additives to epoxy resin mixtures, and how they impact its performance. Adding wood flour is a great way to thicken epoxy, allowing it to form a bead when joining two surfaces. Microbeads are great to add if you’re looking to create a sandable filler. Other additive like metal powders lend the mixture resistance to degradation from UV light, while adding dendritic copper creates a final product with high thermal conductivity.

The video does a great job of not only explaining the additives and their applications, but also shares a few handy tips on best workshop practices. Things like triple-gloving and observing proper mixing order can make a big difference to your workflow and lead to better results.

We’ve seen practical applications of epoxy mixes before – with epoxy granite being a particularly popular material. Video after the break.

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On-Demand Manufacturing Hack Chat

Join us on Wednesday, March 4 at noon Pacific for the On-Demand Manufacturing Hack Chat with Dan Emery!

The classical recipe for starting a manufacturing enterprise is pretty straightforward: get an idea, attract investors, hire works, buy machines, put it all in a factory, and profit. Things have been this way since the earliest days of the Industrial Revolution, and it’s a recipe that has largely given us the world we have today, for better and for worse.

One of the downsides of this model is the need for initial capital to buy the machines and build the factory. Not every idea will attract the kind of money needed to get off the ground, which means that a lot of good ideas never see the light of day. Luckily, though, we live in an age where manufacturing is no longer a monolithic process. You can literally design a product and have it tested, manufactured, and sold without ever taking one shipment of raw materials or buying a single machine other than the computer that makes this magic possible.

As co-founder of Ponoko, Dan Emery is in the thick of this manufacturing revolution. His company capitalizes on the need for laser cutting, whether it be for parts used in rapid prototyping or complete production runs of cut and engraved pieces. Their service is part of a wider ecosystem that covers almost every additive and subtractive manufacturing process, including 3D-printing, CNC machining, PCB manufacturing, and even final assembly and testing, providing new entrepreneur access to tools and processes that would have once required buckets of cash to acquire and put under one roof.

Join us as we sit down with Derek and discuss the current state of on-demand manufacturing and what the future holds for it. We’ll talk about Ponoko’s specific place in this ecosystem, and what role outsourced laser cutting could play in getting your widget to market. We’ll also take a look at how Ponoko got started and how it got where it is today, as well as anything else that comes up.

join-hack-chatOur Hack Chats are live community events in the Hackaday.io Hack Chat group messaging. This week we’ll be sitting down on Wednesday, March 4 at 12:00 PM Pacific time. If time zones have got you down, we have a handy time zone converter.

Click that speech bubble to the right, and you’ll be taken directly to the Hack Chat group on Hackaday.io. You don’t have to wait until Wednesday; join whenever you want and you can see what the community is talking about.

Additive + Subtractive = One Powerful Machine

It says it right on the title of the video below: it was bound to happen eventually. It’s only natural that somebody would stick a 3D printer extruder on the business end of a CNC machine. The long-awaited convergence of additive and subtractive manufacturing is here.

OK, that may be overstating things a bit, but we think [Chris DePrisco] is on to something here. Given the considerable investment he’s made in his DIY CNC machine, an enormous vertical machining center that looks a little like a homebrew Bridgeport, it was a no-brainer to take advantage of the huge XYZ stage. Mounting the Titan Aero extruder to the quill required some custom parts; fair warning that the video below is heavy on machining, but it’s not the seven hours of video he streamed when he milled the heated aluminum bed. Skip ahead to about the six-minute mark if you want to see the first prints and how he optimized the setup.

As we watched [Chris]’ video, we were struck by the potential for adding 3D printing to CNC milling machines. What we’d like to see is a setup where the spindle and the extruder work together to build more complex parts. Or maybe a tool-changing CNC that can pick up a spindle, an extruder, and maybe even a laser or plasma cutter head. Now that would be a powerful machine!

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A Grenade Launcher Named RAMBO

Always one to push the envelope, U.S. Army researchers from the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) have been successfully experimenting with 3D printing for one of their latest technologies. The result? RAMBO — Rapid Additively Manufactured Ballistic Ordinance — a 40mm grenade launcher. Fitting name, no?

Virtually the entire gun was produced using additive manufacturing while some components — ie: the barrel and receiver — were produced via direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). So, 3D printed rounds fired from a 3D printed launcher with the only conventionally manufactured components being springs and fasteners, all within a six month development time.

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