Author Topic: 3D Printed Solar Shield  (Read 8442 times)

Offline Joules

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3D Printed Solar Shield
« on: October 31, 2015, 04:20:08 PM »
I got an Aldi weather station a few days ago to replace an old one that had gone faulty.  One issue I had with the old station was the outside sensor hung on the workshop wall and got cooked in the sun.  So this time I thought I would have a play at a solution.

I started with a vague idea and drew the sensor in CAD as my starting point.



The above was pretty much at the end of the design process.  In reality I started with the sensor, then the top and the rest of the design grew during the printing of parts.  No real plan from the start and even contemplated the layers printed in two complete halves.




I had printed most of the parts and used three carbon rods to hold everything together, they are a tight push fit into the top.



Next came the sensor mounting plate, pick up the spacers between layers for this plate to attach too.  Hold the sensor in with tie wraps, easy to change the batteries when needed.






Last part to be printed is the base.  This part picks up the three 3mm carbon rods and attaches to the 19mm alloy tube I am using,




Couple more tie wraps to secure to the post, in reality not really need as its a firm fit.



Now installed and working.  The whole project took about 16hrs, designing the next parts during prints of the previous parts.  The material used is PLA printed in 0.2mm layers and this is also a test to see how it holds up to the outdoor environment.   The top plate has a coating of bees wax to see if it helps reduce UV damage and water resistance.

It was a nice quick project making something useful and try out some new ideas.

                    Joules
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline tom osselton

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2015, 06:52:16 PM »
Nice one :beer:

Offline RobWilson

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2015, 01:46:46 PM »
 :thumbup: nicely done ,,,,,,,,,,I may have to invest in a 3D printer .



Rob

Offline SteveT

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2015, 04:20:03 PM »
Nicely done
Steven Tyrer
lives in Cardiff South Wales

Offline krv3000

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2015, 05:45:49 PM »
good job there on at having one of them at work

Offline Pete49

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2015, 09:59:23 PM »
Very nice job you made of it. I have found many uses for my 3D printer since I bought it, way more than I thought I would. Just a bit of info for you re plastics. PLA plastics degrade in the weather /sun. ABS is the better filament to use for that purpose. I have seen how the sun can affect plastics here in Australia especially in our summers.
Pete
oops..........oh no.........blast now I need to redo it

Offline Joules

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2015, 06:53:50 AM »
Thanks Pete,
      we print as part of our business, however we have no definitive information on how the plastic degrades, so this is for our own research.  We have had prints in oil and machine coolant for over a year without them degrading.  There is alot of misinformation regarding current printed plastics, so to help our clients we are running tests with real world prints than just tiles and cubes.   
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline nrml

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2015, 07:39:42 AM »
Very nicely done.  :clap:

Which plastic among the widely available 3D printer filaments would you recommend for parts that will be exposed to grease, oil and cutting fluid?

Offline Joules

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2015, 07:54:41 AM »
If your working temperature is below 50c then without a doubt PLA, it has so far proved for us to be the most unreactive of the printed plastics, in the lower printing temperatures.
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline nrml

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2015, 05:26:51 AM »
Thank you. That is very useful to know. I've been having problems with cutting / tapping fluid eating away certain plastic bottles so I wasn't sure if printed supports for a digital caliper style DRO would work. I now have the confidence to give it a try.

Offline Joules

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2015, 03:51:24 PM »
Well great news   :)    My solar radiation shield outlasted my weather station.  Just returned the faulty unit to Aldi  :(  I have put the old weather station back into business after faffing with it and making a new mount, that took all of an hour.   Ain't 3D printers great....
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline Pete49

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2015, 10:35:36 PM »
Joules the reason I mentioned the difference between PLA & ABS here where I live in Australia our summer sun is very destructive
 to plastics. Keep in mind when the temp is showing 45-8C in the sun its about 55C and I had a normal non mercury thermometer left in the sun pop its tube, and I actually have a picture of my weather station showing the temp reached 50.1C one day last summer, even the a/c had problems keeping us cool. Left in the sun some PLA here breaks down after a summer outside
Pete
oops..........oh no.........blast now I need to redo it

Offline Joules

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2015, 09:30:51 AM »
Other end of the scale here Pete.  Damp, freezing conditions, that will be the test over the next few months.  Then the looong glorious English summer   :lol:
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline Pete49

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2015, 10:38:52 PM »
you have my sympathies for your upcoming winter and condolences on your summer  :ddb:
Pete
oops..........oh no.........blast now I need to redo it

Offline Joules

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2016, 07:13:43 AM »
Pete, I am seeing no effect from the Australian sun on my PLA  :scratch:

Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline Pete49

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2016, 08:04:49 PM »
bloody hell man do you even know what sun is over there? :lol:
Just a bit of info for you notebook on plastics. I occasionally grab some noodle packs, the type in white plastic cups. I left it out in direct sun from December until today (not intentionally, just where I had finished it) next to my workshop and went to move it today and it turned into plastic splinters. So either sun or UV made it return to the earth  :loco:
Pete
oops..........oh no.........blast now I need to redo it

Offline Joules

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2016, 05:25:16 AM »
Here you go Pete, once every hundred years or so we get a few hours of sun.....



Couple more months and this will have done its first year.  No sign of degradation yet, houses a few spiders.  PLA rules   :poke:
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline Pete49

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2016, 12:25:21 AM »
Nice one Joules. Hope you were able to take the time and sit outside. Just another cold sunny day here at 17.4C ....glad winter is nearly over I can't cope with the cold nowdays.
I have printed a couple PLA pieces and will leave them outside and see what happens. Is it the UV that is supposed to degrade it or actual strong sunlight? I found my dashcam buckled pretty badly last summer (no longer operated)
but once I peeled the case off it was fine so considering making a case/finding a case to suit as I hate waste or throwing out good stuff  :loco:
Pete
oops..........oh no.........blast now I need to redo it

Offline efrench

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2016, 03:43:21 AM »
PLA wouldn't be my first choice for something sitting in a car window.  It will get hot enough to deform as you've seen with your dashcam.  ABS would be my first choice and I've had good success with nylon weed trimmer line.  The later requires an all metal hotend.

Offline Joules

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2016, 05:58:26 AM »
I did a dashcam mount in PLA, my first total part failure, but not unexpected due to the heat at the top of the windscreen.  It did prove the design though as I have a bit of PLA knocking around.

My mate printed the final part in E3D's Edge PET filament.  It has survived all the recent sun and gone on to be my second favourite filament.

Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline Pete49

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2016, 11:41:25 PM »
My dash cam was a commercial ABS (?) camera and the case died fairly quickly, didn't last the summer. I just warped around the internals so that the controls wouldn't work. The new one I remove as soon as I park up for any longer than 10mins. At least they be cheap enough to replace for now  :doh:
Pete
oops..........oh no.........blast now I need to redo it

Offline Joules

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2016, 02:19:24 AM »
I don't think black is the ideal colour for a dash cam.  You might notice the mount I designed was to get the camera under the roof lining to offer it some protection from direct sun.  Ours is a cheap Aldi camera and works surprising well, once I cracked it open and refocused the lens.
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline Pete49

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2016, 11:51:13 PM »
 I agree black is not the best colour but all the manufacturers seem to think so. Interesting fix Joules and I will see if I can get away with that idea. Ideally a case in white or a reflective colour would be the best option I think. I had to remove the camera even though its winter as I noticed the case starting to curl  :Doh:
Pete
oops..........oh no.........blast now I need to redo it

Offline Joules

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2016, 06:34:17 AM »
Hasn't time flown, the battery in the sensor packed up so needed a replacement.  It's almost a year to the day that this went up, it's dealt with the UK weather, some discolouration on top, no delamination of the print.  It's now back on its post for another year of operation, pretty conclusive evidence that PLA is suitable for outdoor use in the UK at least.



Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline Noitoen

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2016, 06:38:45 AM »
You could print a clip on replacement cover.

Offline Joules

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2016, 06:43:33 AM »
If you look back through the thread each component is an individual part so the top cover would only need re printing.  As it is, I want to see how long before the parts start to break up, we'll see next year.
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline awemawson

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2016, 07:13:34 AM »
.... ah but can you print a new battery ......  :lol:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Joules

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Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline awemawson

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2016, 11:30:17 AM »
No, not THEY but YOU  :thumbup:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Joules

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2017, 07:48:24 AM »
Another year of PLA print out in the elements.  I think this, at least for the UK proves PLA is suitable for outdoor applications if it doesn't overheat.  Still no sign of breaking up or even being brittle, though today is warm.



Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline Pete49

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2017, 12:07:20 AM »
Good news Joules. Just proves how mild your sunlight is as I found my PLA sample lasted 8 weeks in our summer sun before it became brittle. ABS just buckles LOL
Pete
oops..........oh no.........blast now I need to redo it

Offline Joules

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2017, 02:05:51 AM »
Interesting thought Pete, is it arid where you are, coastal or inland.  I wonder if here in the UK the higher moisture content helps the PLA retain its properties.   This is also now an old batch of PLA and not all PLA’s are equal.

Till next year...
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline JHovel

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2017, 07:56:49 AM »
Interesting thread.
Australia has a North-South spread equal to Norway to Egypt.
So the question of "coastal to inland" is not really all that important. The longevity of PLA out-doors is more related to the average number of hours of direct sunlight and ambient temperature. That varies in AUS between 5 hours day at 18 degrees C and 12 hours a day at 33 deg.
There are also places with temperatures in the high 40s for several weeks a year with 12 hours of direct sunlight for months on end and places with 4 hrs a day sunshine and low temperatures of -10 deg C.
I suspect that NO plastic is likely to survive much longer than a couple of years in AUS in all places - at least I haven;t found one yet.
Where I live (nice mild climate with 4 seasons) temperatures range from 0 deg at night (rare) in winter to 45 deg (rare) in Summer and no paint of plastic or anything other than a few metals survives outside more than a few years, depending on the colour. Black anything starts visibly deteriorating in weeks (if it doesn't melt) and white in a few months. Anything you want to last outside has to be stainless, aluminium or yellow metals (copper, brass, bronze) and electrolytically isolated to last decades. The same goes for paints. Red cars look like they are painted with red chalk after 3 years, silver or white cars may last 10 years before they look like they have chalked on paint.
So the exact outdoor material has to be chosen for each specific location - just like Europe and North Africa. Finnish Paint will look like crap soon in Cairo and Egyptian paint will fall off in small bits at the first sub-minus 20degree night in Norway...
By the way, in our tropics, 32 degrees constant temperature and humidity ranging from 0 to 100% - and the resultant fungal, algae and lychen growth is another completely unrelated issue of longevity of materials we are battling with.....
Just to give some more perspective to the problem.....
Cheers,
Joe
Cheers,
Joe

Offline Pete49

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Re: 3D Printed Solar Shield
« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2017, 10:45:47 PM »
Joe pretty much nailed it Joules. I'm at the 33 degree south mark and get 12 hrs sun during Oct through to much pretty much and semi arid with temps in the 40C+ during summer. winter averages 17C with occasional night time temps dropping to 0C to -3C but usually in mid July to early August. But for the winter cold its mostly heaven here especially for bike riders as we can virtually ride all year round.  :beer:
Pete
oops..........oh no.........blast now I need to redo it