3D printed aquariums? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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3D printed aquariums?

Has anything been done in this area? 3D printed acrylic tanks could be made with no silicone needed and made in any shape.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 09:30 PM
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would take a nice sized printer... i also think the way they work would leave lots of air bubbles in the plastic so it would look cloudy iv played with a few 3d printer there cool but the tech is still in its infancy i would lookin into the laser cure resin models not the plastic extruders
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 09:37 PM
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I don't think 3D printing can produce the clarity of an acrylic sheet or glass. 3D printing utilizes very fine strand of some type of plastic and basically draw strand by strand to create a 3D object. The process can create complex objects but they usually come out rough.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 10:02 PM
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To me the aquarium would be difficult to 3d print with a high enough resolution to make clear viewing areas.

But I could see lots of applications related to the aquarium:

-3D print the back panel of the aquarium with little shelves, outcrops, and attachment points for plants & driftwood instead of building the elaborate backgrounds from foam and concrete.

-Make a custom floor insert that looks like a rock bottom stream with impressions in it for substrate and plants.

-Making decorations/hardscape that also function as bio filters. With 3d printing you can make shapes that are impossible to make with a mold. This could be useful for making large amounts of surface area on a special filter or inside an object.

-Combine the previous two ideas and you have an under-gravel filter that could function more like a canistor/HOB filter.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 10:13 PM
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3D printing can do a ton of stuff for us! All those "quick fix" DIY components could be designed and manufactured in your own home. Right now the printers are still a bit expensive but I'm pretty it will go down to the $500 range.

Hey what about custom 3D printed driftwood? LOL You just have to paint it after. eheheh


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PortalMasteryRy View Post
3D printing can do a ton of stuff for us! All those "quick fix" DIY components could be designed and manufactured in your own home. Right now the printers are still a bit expensive but I'm pretty it will go down to the $500 range.

Hey what about custom 3D printed driftwood? LOL You just have to paint it after. eheheh
Thats the big thing. You need a custom overflow or return or some little part for some little thing, just custom 3D print it or download the plans from 3dprintedfish.com
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 02:29 AM
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3d printing can do amazing things, there is a company that specializes in rapid prototyping and plastic molding. .. They can make plastics models with their printers that look like they could be on a store shelf, accurate to the thousandth of inch. They also 3d print tool grade steel (lower grade but like a drill but strength) molds for small lot production. The only thing going against it, is the cost for designs and the cost for the printer


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 02:53 AM
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as someone with a 3d printer... this is a ridiculous idea.

currently speaking, you don't build acrylic tanks with silicone anyway; the sheets are fused together.

Further, it would take an astronomically long time to print out an aquarium of any suitable size. The amount of filament you'd need to produce something that'll hold water, like this, would more than likely go way beyond, in cost, to standard acrylic sheets.

It's really just not feasible, nor is this the sort of project that would be suitable for 3d printing.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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I'm sure as the technology improves it will happen. I'll check again in a year or so.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 05:06 PM
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I was just thinking about this last night. How I'd love to have a 3d printed replica of the black marker from Dead Space to put in my tank haha
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 05:20 PM
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3D printing is a very expensive way to make anything in quantity. It is an excellent way to make one piece. As a production tool I doubt that it will ever work out, but as a hobbyist tool it is already a good choice.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
3D printing is a very expensive way to make anything in quantity. It is an excellent way to make one piece. As a production tool I doubt that it will ever work out, but as a hobbyist tool it is already a good choice.
To be fair, there are many 3d printers being used for final production... However those commercial grade printers are many thousands of dollars... 5-6 digits. Either way, 3d printing an aquarium isn't feasible.


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