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Author Topic: making kite fittings at home... anyone doing this?  (Read 1547 times)
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sugarbaker
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« on: February 04, 2019, 03:37 PM »

In light of recent shortages of some fittings (I saw Jon's thread in the 'wanted' section) I was wondering if anyone was making parts at home.  My mind leans towards 3d printed molds for casting some variety of rubber/silicone/whatever.  I would be interested in pursuing this if anyone could point me in the right direction of what material to use (keeping in mind that it would need to to have the same durability, fit and pliability as the APA connectors I currently use.  Also, I would need to be able to do this in my garage, so nothing that requires specialty items like industrial ovens.  Putting down money for a 3d printer might be optional, as I have a friend that may be willing to print the molds for me. 

Starting from scratch and looking for input.  Thanks!

Stephen
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thief
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2019, 03:57 PM »

I know that it has been mentioned here before. I think that Phil from FlyMarket was interested in it?
Kite Builder Ferrel family used to machine what ever you wanted before...
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KaoS
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2019, 04:09 PM »

I've been making and buying sport kites for over 20 years now  Huh 

I've used leading edge fittings from various manufacturers and none have come close to the APAs for quality of finish and durability.  The ones on my 1999 Prism Elixir are still as good as the day I bought the kite.

I suspect it would be extremely difficult to get a plastic or rubber compound that you could mold at home with the same quality or durability, unless you pay a lot of money and/or buy much more than you need.

My understanding is that the current shortage is temporary, while the logistics of a new run are being sorted out.

Fingers crossed!
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Kevin Sanders

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sugarbaker
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 04:20 PM »

I agree that it would be difficult, but thought I'd ask around given the constantly changing marketplace for DIY projects. 

Other than the shortage of parts (which I also hope is just temporary), I do like the idea of being able to build parts on demand for a project, rather than storing all of my spares. Anyway, if I learn anything new I'll pass it on to the forum.  Thanks for the input!
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midibot
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 07:35 PM »

Will Sturdy has posted an article on 3d printing kite components; while I'm not sure about the status of the project, I believe he may have parts and possibly consulting available according to his website (trust it is okay to provide this link here):

https://www.sturdy-designs.com/3d-printing-part-1-the-what-and-why/

.
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sugarbaker
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 08:47 PM »

Will is making and selling 3D printed parts, but they are all hard plastic... dihedral fittings, end nocks etc.  I was thinking that I would 3D print the molds for the rubber/flexible parts such as leading edge, standoff and other parts that require some level of give for friction fit.
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midibot
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2019, 05:14 AM »

Will is making and selling 3D printed parts, but they are all hard plastic... dihedral fittings, end nocks etc.  I was thinking that I would 3D print the molds for the rubber/flexible parts such as leading edge, standoff and other parts that require some level of give for friction fit.

Ahhh. I see the distinction.

Following this with interest...

.
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DD
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2019, 09:36 AM »

following this as well.
to print something and then have mold made of metal to cast rubber?
I have not followed enough the materials available to 3d print. Makes we wonder what the temps are for the rubber if a plastic model could survive?
or the cost involved to 3d print in metal or something that would survive.
I have long looked at 3d printers but question what to print and for what cost
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Ca Ike
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2019, 11:49 AM »

I'm already looking into cold moldable rubber compounds that solvent cure rater than heat cure but havn't found anything yet that will work. Most of the off the shelf compounds don't have the durability.
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sugarbaker
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2019, 11:57 AM »

Anthony,
I'm finding what you are finding... what I have seen that are curable at room temp all result in a part that would be too soft (either too much play, or failure).
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DD
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2019, 02:17 PM »

i want to think i saw something about a rubber flex material that got printed.
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Fly Market
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2019, 04:09 PM »

Wondering how a hard 3D printed fitting would work if you added liquid vinyl (or something similar. For instance, right now the shortage is in APA standoff connectors. They'd be easy to print, but they wouldn't be "grippy" on the spar. If you printed one, put a coating of liquid vinyl in the hole that the spar passes through, let it dry, and then put it on the spar, would that work? Might have to do some testing this weekend on a few Will Sturdy prototypes, just to see how it goes.
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Ca Ike
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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2019, 07:11 PM »

i want to think i saw something about a rubber flex material that got printed.
It's not a very good material for much other than soft parts that don't take any stress.  I've played with it and it kinda sucks.
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Lee S
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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2019, 10:10 PM »

Let's all go back to using rubber and plastic tubing Cheesy Cheesy
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inewham
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2019, 08:15 AM »

Let's all go back to using rubber and plastic tubing Cheesy Cheesy

There's many a true word said in jest - there can't be much demand for high performance materials like APAs or PC31 these days. Heaven forbid we go back to nylon and bits of tubing  Huh
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