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Building a Heavy F-11D - Build questions

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Glue - ????


What have you guys been using to glue PLA prints together?  The last thing I want is this thing to drop and explode into pieces.  I know there are a few places with screws to hold things together. But where gluing is necessary...

I haven't had any luck with superglues.  I experimented with 1 minute 2 part epoxy on two parts with non-matching rough surfaces and it didn't hold at all.

I have seen in other threads using PlastiWeld and E6000.  Do either of those work well?  I have the same failed epoxy part right now setting with E6000, so we'll see how that goes, but I can't seem to find anything that is a SURE THING, that will permanently bond it together with a STRONG bond.    Super glue seems to hold, but cracks too easily.  I want something stronger.  I'm going through a lot of work to build this and make it look nice, I want it to be sturdy.


The only thing that has really worked so far is friction welding with a piece of filament in a dremel.  That welds a seam together stronger than the PLA itself.  The only drawback is it leaves a very messy weld that needs to be sanded or ground smooth, and there are a lot of nooks and crannys that are hard to get to.  I welded the front barrel pieces together nicely that way and they will never come apart. But, the T Tracks would be a disaster with friction welding.


Has anyone tried a cheap 3D pen?

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I've used Zap-A-Gap for all three of my prints - a standard F-11D, a F-11D Heavy, and an SE-44C. It's thin, quick-setting CA glue. The bond is rock-solid and unlike E6000 it is neither messy (assuming you keep proper control and don't apply too much at a time) nor flexible. The downside is you only get one shot to get it right.



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CA glue = Cyanoacrylate = Superglue

I've experimented with it already. I tried Gorilla Glue's gel version which works well otherwise, but I am still able to snap pieces apart with my hands.  If I were to drop a fully assembled blaster, I would expect it not to hold too well.  

I'm want a better PLA bonding glue. 

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3D prints are by their very nature light and very detailed, but they are also relatively fragile. If you drop a fully-assembled 3D printed PLA F-11D blaster it will likely come apart regardless of what type of adhesive you use, and it may break up in places where there is no glue regardless.


I have no idea what a 3D pen is - I've never heard of it.


If you are worried about something that won't survive an impact with a hard surface while remaining intact or something that can be snapped apart with your hands (and I'm not sure why you even want to try doing that), then a 3D print may not be the best option for you.

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They're fragile, because the are not bonded well.  PLA is strong enough on its own, just not with super-glue bonds.

You can also make them not light by printing denser filling which I've done on some of my pieces.


This is a 3D pen: (it's like a glue gun that spits out PLA filament)


This is how you use it to weld pieces together...


Here is friction welding (which I've tried and it really works well, just leaves a messy weld seam)


But both of those still leave a heavy bead you have to clean up. 


Some guy on the interweb was printing glue-stick size sticks of PLA to put in his hot glue gun as a method to glue pieces together.  That's a bit crude and difficult to get the PLA through it (not hot enough), so I think a 3D pen is a better possibility.

They're $20-$35  for cheapies on Amazon.  It doesn't sound like you guys have tried this.  I may order a pen and try it.  

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I just tried Loctite Ultra Gel Control on a test piece. Wow, I can't believe how different it is compared to the gorilla version. <br>

Maybe that was my whole problem. The Loctite version did not separate from the pieces, it broke the lower layer of PLA instead. I tried the same thing with the gorilla gel and it didn't even hold with a little pressure.


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  • 1 month later...

By the way, I tried the 3D pen and it didn't work at all.  It extrudes too slow and is uselessly cold and hard right away.    I've been sticking to friction welding where I can and Loctite Ultra Gel.

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Progress update...


Here are the mostly unfinished parts:



Here's how I friction welded some of the pieces together:



I contemplated several ways to do all the lights.  I didn't like the results of some of the things I tried and found that a couple of LED boards from the free Harbor Freight flashlights worked pretty dang good:





And even the push button switch is perfect.  The LED boards can run on 3V so I made a double C cell that fits into the rear barrel and wired it all to the one switch and put the LED boards right under the red gel I diffused by gluing a piece of tissue on the back side.  I'll post pictures of all of that later.  

I also wanted to have a simple twist on/off flashlight, so I chose to use a Maglite solitaire for the tip.  (pictures later)

So, here's where I'm at... lights are all figured out, pieces generally fit together.  I have a few to still finish and paint, then final cleanup and assembly:



I want to eventually do sound and barrel lights, but that will have to wait for now.  

Edited by Jonelli
photobucket sucks
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