Printing a ceiling fan blade holder

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Printing a ceiling fan blade holder

eager
Hi All,

I hope you're all well.

I'm trying to find a ceiling blade fan holder .STL file but found nothing in Thingiverse and Tinkercad.

I have an old ceiling fan which works great except for this one fan blade holder (made of some kind of metal - looks bronze-like) which cracked.

I've visited a plethora of Home Depots, Lowe's, Ace Hardware stores, fan and ceiling light  stores but can't find the correct ceiling fan blade holder (bracket?) to fit the holes distances in the fan motor.

The fan manufacturer no longer makes that model so they have no parts for it.

We got a new dual Tool Head for the Lulzbot TAZ 6 (able to print metal) at the library so we wanted to see if we could print a metal fan blade holder with the 3D printer.

Thank you for your thoughts/suggestions.

Best,

Charles.

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Re: Printing a ceiling fan blade holder

mondo

Hi Charles,

afaik, it will be bronze filled plastic filament, it may look OK when polished, but it will be as mechanically weak as the base pla plastic filament. If the original is bronze (unlikely), then braze up the crack, if cast anodized aluminium, learn 'back yard foundry', and cast your own. I would be worried that a plastic replacement could fail, and the blade could damage something else. Perhaps you have a tame machine-shop nearby, who could mill you a replacement?

Best wishes,

Ray


On 09/11/2020 16:28, charles meyer wrote:
Hi All,

I hope you're all well.

I'm trying to find a ceiling blade fan holder .STL file but found nothing in Thingiverse and Tinkercad.

I have an old ceiling fan which works great except for this one fan blade holder (made of some kind of metal - looks bronze-like) which cracked.

I've visited a plethora of Home Depots, Lowe's, Ace Hardware stores, fan and ceiling light  stores but can't find the correct ceiling fan blade holder (bracket?) to fit the holes distances in the fan motor.

The fan manufacturer no longer makes that model so they have no parts for it.

We got a new dual Tool Head for the Lulzbot TAZ 6 (able to print metal) at the library so we wanted to see if we could print a metal fan blade holder with the 3D printer.

Thank you for your thoughts/suggestions.

Best,

Charles.

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Re: Printing a ceiling fan blade holder

adrianv
Plastic can be quite strong and may be strong enough for the application.  
But I probably wouldn't bet on it myself.  I think bronze filled PLA will
actually be weaker, since the plastic matrix is interrupted by metal
particles.  You would be better off choosing a plastic like nylon or some
other printable plastic that is stronger than PLA.  

Lastly you can prototype your part in PLA and then send it to a service like
Shapeways and have it printed in actual metal (aluminum).  I think that's
their strongest material.  Or maybe the bronze filled stainless steel.  
You'll find this option is rather expensive, though.   (Might cost as much
as a new ceiling fan.)


mondo wrote

> Hi Charles,
>
> afaik, it will be bronze filled plastic filament, it may look OK when
> polished, but it will be as mechanically weak as the base pla plastic
> filament. If the original is bronze (unlikely), then braze up the crack,
> if cast anodized aluminium, learn 'back yard foundry', and cast your
> own. I would be worried that a plastic replacement could fail, and the
> blade could damage something else. Perhaps you have a tame machine-shop
> nearby, who could mill you a replacement?
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Ray
>
>
> On 09/11/2020 16:28, charles meyer wrote:
>> Hi All,
>>
>> I hope you're all well.
>>
>> I'm trying to find a ceiling blade fan holder .STL file but found
>> nothing in Thingiverse and Tinkercad.
>>
>> I have an old ceiling fan which works great except for this one fan
>> blade holder (made of some kind of metal - looks bronze-like)
>> which cracked.
>>
>> I've visited a plethora of Home Depots, Lowe's, Ace Hardware stores,
>> fan and ceiling light  stores but can't find the correct ceiling fan
>> blade holder (bracket?) to fit the holes distances in the fan motor.
>>
>> The fan manufacturer no longer makes that model so they have no parts
>> for it.
>>
>> We got a new dual Tool Head for the Lulzbot TAZ 6 (able to
>> print metal) at the library so we wanted to see if we could print a
>> metal fan blade holder with the 3D printer.
>>
>> Thank you for your thoughts/suggestions.
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Charles.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> OpenSCAD mailing list
>>

> Discuss@.openscad

>> http://lists.openscad.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss_lists.openscad.org
>
> _______________________________________________
> OpenSCAD mailing list

> Discuss@.openscad

> http://lists.openscad.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss_lists.openscad.org





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Re: Printing a ceiling fan blade holder

nophead
Printed nylon or polycarbonate might be strong enough.

On Mon, 9 Nov 2020 at 21:35, adrianv <[hidden email]> wrote:
Plastic can be quite strong and may be strong enough for the application. 
But I probably wouldn't bet on it myself.  I think bronze filled PLA will
actually be weaker, since the plastic matrix is interrupted by metal
particles.  You would be better off choosing a plastic like nylon or some
other printable plastic that is stronger than PLA. 

Lastly you can prototype your part in PLA and then send it to a service like
Shapeways and have it printed in actual metal (aluminum).  I think that's
their strongest material.  Or maybe the bronze filled stainless steel. 
You'll find this option is rather expensive, though.   (Might cost as much
as a new ceiling fan.)


mondo wrote
> Hi Charles,
>
> afaik, it will be bronze filled plastic filament, it may look OK when
> polished, but it will be as mechanically weak as the base pla plastic
> filament. If the original is bronze (unlikely), then braze up the crack,
> if cast anodized aluminium, learn 'back yard foundry', and cast your
> own. I would be worried that a plastic replacement could fail, and the
> blade could damage something else. Perhaps you have a tame machine-shop
> nearby, who could mill you a replacement?
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Ray
>
>
> On 09/11/2020 16:28, charles meyer wrote:
>> Hi All,
>>
>> I hope you're all well.
>>
>> I'm trying to find a ceiling blade fan holder .STL file but found
>> nothing in Thingiverse and Tinkercad.
>>
>> I have an old ceiling fan which works great except for this one fan
>> blade holder (made of some kind of metal - looks bronze-like)
>> which cracked.
>>
>> I've visited a plethora of Home Depots, Lowe's, Ace Hardware stores,
>> fan and ceiling light  stores but can't find the correct ceiling fan
>> blade holder (bracket?) to fit the holes distances in the fan motor.
>>
>> The fan manufacturer no longer makes that model so they have no parts
>> for it.
>>
>> We got a new dual Tool Head for the Lulzbot TAZ 6 (able to
>> print metal) at the library so we wanted to see if we could print a
>> metal fan blade holder with the 3D printer.
>>
>> Thank you for your thoughts/suggestions.
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Charles.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> OpenSCAD mailing list
>>

> Discuss@.openscad

>> http://lists.openscad.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss_lists.openscad.org
>
> _______________________________________________
> OpenSCAD mailing list

> Discuss@.openscad

> http://lists.openscad.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss_lists.openscad.org





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Re: Printing a ceiling fan blade holder

MostlyHarmless


On Mon, Nov 9, 2020 at 4:39 PM nop head <[hidden email]> wrote:
Printed nylon or polycarbonate might be strong enough.

Second that. Carbon Fiber reinforced Nylon is probably your best bet. I would replace all of them and maybe give them some spray paint for the looks. Had good results spray painting plastic parts with Rust-Oleum, all the way to the side panels of my BMW C650GT (after laying her down at zero speed in the most clumsy way possible). 

Good luck, Jan


 

On Mon, 9 Nov 2020 at 21:35, adrianv <[hidden email]> wrote:
Plastic can be quite strong and may be strong enough for the application. 
But I probably wouldn't bet on it myself.  I think bronze filled PLA will
actually be weaker, since the plastic matrix is interrupted by metal
particles.  You would be better off choosing a plastic like nylon or some
other printable plastic that is stronger than PLA. 

Lastly you can prototype your part in PLA and then send it to a service like
Shapeways and have it printed in actual metal (aluminum).  I think that's
their strongest material.  Or maybe the bronze filled stainless steel. 
You'll find this option is rather expensive, though.   (Might cost as much
as a new ceiling fan.)


mondo wrote
> Hi Charles,
>
> afaik, it will be bronze filled plastic filament, it may look OK when
> polished, but it will be as mechanically weak as the base pla plastic
> filament. If the original is bronze (unlikely), then braze up the crack,
> if cast anodized aluminium, learn 'back yard foundry', and cast your
> own. I would be worried that a plastic replacement could fail, and the
> blade could damage something else. Perhaps you have a tame machine-shop
> nearby, who could mill you a replacement?
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Ray
>
>
> On 09/11/2020 16:28, charles meyer wrote:
>> Hi All,
>>
>> I hope you're all well.
>>
>> I'm trying to find a ceiling blade fan holder .STL file but found
>> nothing in Thingiverse and Tinkercad.
>>
>> I have an old ceiling fan which works great except for this one fan
>> blade holder (made of some kind of metal - looks bronze-like)
>> which cracked.
>>
>> I've visited a plethora of Home Depots, Lowe's, Ace Hardware stores,
>> fan and ceiling light  stores but can't find the correct ceiling fan
>> blade holder (bracket?) to fit the holes distances in the fan motor.
>>
>> The fan manufacturer no longer makes that model so they have no parts
>> for it.
>>
>> We got a new dual Tool Head for the Lulzbot TAZ 6 (able to
>> print metal) at the library so we wanted to see if we could print a
>> metal fan blade holder with the 3D printer.
>>
>> Thank you for your thoughts/suggestions.
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Charles.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> OpenSCAD mailing list
>>

> Discuss@.openscad

>> http://lists.openscad.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss_lists.openscad.org
>
> _______________________________________________
> OpenSCAD mailing list

> Discuss@.openscad

> http://lists.openscad.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss_lists.openscad.org





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Re: Printing a ceiling fan blade holder

JordanBrown
In reply to this post by eager
I don't know anything about metal printing, but unless it prints *really* strong I would be very nervous.  A fan is swinging a heavy thing around pretty fast; if it broke it could get exciting - especially since losing one blade would then make the whole thing unstable.  I wouldn't be shocked if it tore itself off the ceiling.

Net:  I wouldn't do it unless I was *very* confident of the strength of the resulting part.

But:  I'm not a mechanical engineer, haven't done any calculations, don't know how strong anything is, et cetera.
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Re: Printing a ceiling fan blade holder

adrianv
The printed aluminum is melted into the 3d printed shape:

https://www.shapeways.com/materials/aluminum

You can check their material data sheet for the strength specifications.
200 MPa yield strength.  417 MPa tensile.  (Weakest direction).  

Hmmm.  They also have a pure stainless steel now, which looks to be a bit
stronger:

https://www.shapeways.com/materials/stainless-steel


JordanBrown wrote

> I don't know anything about metal printing, but unless it prints
> *really* strong I would be very nervous.  A fan is swinging a heavy
> thing around pretty fast; if it broke it could get exciting - especially
> since losing one blade would then make the whole thing unstable.  I
> wouldn't be shocked if it tore itself off the ceiling.
>
> Net:  I wouldn't do it unless I was *very* confident of the strength of
> the resulting part.
>
> But:  I'm not a mechanical engineer, haven't done any calculations,
> don't know how strong anything is, et cetera.
>
> _______________________________________________
> OpenSCAD mailing list

> Discuss@.openscad

> http://lists.openscad.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss_lists.openscad.org





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Re: Printing a ceiling fan blade holder

RobWLakes
In reply to this post by eager
You could always put a stainless steel wire "harness" line from the blade back to the center, for a more graceful fail?
Cheers, RobW

On 10 November 2020 3:28:04 am AEDT, charles meyer <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi All,

I hope you're all well.

I'm trying to find a ceiling blade fan holder .STL file but found nothing in Thingiverse and Tinkercad.

I have an old ceiling fan which works great except for this one fan blade holder (made of some kind of metal - looks bronze-like) which cracked.

I've visited a plethora of Home Depots, Lowe's, Ace Hardware stores, fan and ceiling light  stores but can't find the correct ceiling fan blade holder (bracket?) to fit the holes distances in the fan motor.

The fan manufacturer no longer makes that model so they have no parts for it.

We got a new dual Tool Head for the Lulzbot TAZ 6 (able to print metal) at the library so we wanted to see if we could print a metal fan blade holder with the 3D printer.

Thank you for your thoughts/suggestions.

Best,

Charles.

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Victoria, Australia
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Re: Printing a ceiling fan blade holder

shadowwynd
In reply to this post by eager
While I am in the camp of "need a metal part" (because even the most cheaply
made fans I have seen still have metal brackets) Nylon or Carbon-Fiber would
*probably* be strong enough; the blades are relatively light but moving
fairly fast.  ABS might even be worth trying, but I would stay away from PLA
because it is more brittle.  There is a significant moment force generated
by the weight of the blade, plus a shear from the spin.  I would print at
100% infill.   At least for PLA, there are annealing methods regarding
heating it in an oven that increase layer strength; I assume similar
techniques exist for other plastics.

There are going to be other factors in play.  Is the fan flush-mounted to
the ceiling or on a downpipe?  The fan failures I have seen on youtube tend
to be the one with a downpipe - the extra length creates a much bigger
wobble from being unbalanced (e.g. a blade has suddenly gone missing)
eventually building until the fan rips itself out of the ceiling.  I saw
several videos of flush-mounted fans with a blade missing and nothing bad
happened.

Objects in motion remain in motion... a blade suddenly detached from the fan
is not going to hit with enough force to kill/maim someone or - but has more
than enough oomph to go through the exotic fishtank, a window, or an LCD
screen.  

You have a lovely opportunity here for SCIENCE!



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Re: Printing a ceiling fan blade holder

Gadgetman!
In reply to this post by MostlyHarmless
No, no, NO!

Not spray paint!

Use 'Mirror - the world's mirroriest mirror Chrome paint' from Culture Hustle. 

Trygve


Den 9. november 2020 kl. 23.16.13 +01.00 skrev Jan Wieck <[hidden email]>:


On Mon, Nov 9, 2020 at 4:39 PM nop head <[hidden email]> wrote:
Printed nylon or polycarbonate might be strong enough.

Second that. Carbon Fiber reinforced Nylon is probably your best bet. I would replace all of them and maybe give them some spray paint for the looks. Had good results spray painting plastic parts with Rust-Oleum, all the way to the side panels of my BMW C650GT (after laying her down at zero speed in the most clumsy way possible). 

Good luck, Jan


 

On Mon, 9 Nov 2020 at 21:35, adrianv <[hidden email]> wrote:
Plastic can be quite strong and may be strong enough for the application. 
But I probably wouldn't bet on it myself.  I think bronze filled PLA will
actually be weaker, since the plastic matrix is interrupted by metal
particles.  You would be better off choosing a plastic like nylon or some
other printable plastic that is stronger than PLA. 

Lastly you can prototype your part in PLA and then send it to a service like
Shapeways and have it printed in actual metal (aluminum).  I think that's
their strongest material.  Or maybe the bronze filled stainless steel. 
You'll find this option is rather expensive, though.   (Might cost as much
as a new ceiling fan.)


mondo wrote
> Hi Charles,
>
> afaik, it will be bronze filled plastic filament, it may look OK when
> polished, but it will be as mechanically weak as the base pla plastic
> filament. If the original is bronze (unlikely), then braze up the crack,
> if cast anodized aluminium, learn 'back yard foundry', and cast your
> own. I would be worried that a plastic replacement could fail, and the
> blade could damage something else. Perhaps you have a tame machine-shop
> nearby, who could mill you a replacement?
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Ray
>
>
> On 09/11/2020 16:28, charles meyer wrote:
>> Hi All,
>>
>> I hope you're all well.
>>
>> I'm trying to find a ceiling blade fan holder .STL file but found
>> nothing in Thingiverse and Tinkercad.
>>
>> I have an old ceiling fan which works great except for this one fan
>> blade holder (made of some kind of metal - looks bronze-like)
>> which cracked.
>>
>> I've visited a plethora of Home Depots, Lowe's, Ace Hardware stores,
>> fan and ceiling light  stores but can't find the correct ceiling fan
>> blade holder (bracket?) to fit the holes distances in the fan motor.
>>
>> The fan manufacturer no longer makes that model so they have no parts
>> for it.
>>
>> We got a new dual Tool Head for the Lulzbot TAZ 6 (able to
>> print metal) at the library so we wanted to see if we could print a
>> metal fan blade holder with the 3D printer.
>>
>> Thank you for your thoughts/suggestions.
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Charles.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> OpenSCAD mailing list
>>

> Discuss@.openscad

>
> _______________________________________________
> OpenSCAD mailing list

> Discuss@.openscad






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Re: Printing a ceiling fan blade holder

jon_bondy

I have been printing parts using TPU, specifically NinjaTek's Cheetah, and it it an amazing material.  It is a bit rubbery, but it does not give much when printed in large pieces.  The main point is that it is indestructible.  If you print a sheet that is 2 layers thick, you cannot tear the sheet apart with your hands.  I would trust Cheetah for a job like this.

Jon

On 11/10/2020 8:25 AM, [hidden email] wrote:
No, no, NO!

Not spray paint!

Use 'Mirror - the world's mirroriest mirror Chrome paint' from Culture Hustle. 

Trygve


Den 9. november 2020 kl. 23.16.13 +01.00 skrev Jan Wieck [hidden email]:


On Mon, Nov 9, 2020 at 4:39 PM nop head <[hidden email]> wrote:
Printed nylon or polycarbonate might be strong enough.

Second that. Carbon Fiber reinforced Nylon is probably your best bet. I would replace all of them and maybe give them some spray paint for the looks. Had good results spray painting plastic parts with Rust-Oleum, all the way to the side panels of my BMW C650GT (after laying her down at zero speed in the most clumsy way possible). 

Good luck, Jan


 

On Mon, 9 Nov 2020 at 21:35, adrianv <[hidden email]> wrote:
Plastic can be quite strong and may be strong enough for the application. 
But I probably wouldn't bet on it myself.  I think bronze filled PLA will
actually be weaker, since the plastic matrix is interrupted by metal
particles.  You would be better off choosing a plastic like nylon or some
other printable plastic that is stronger than PLA. 

Lastly you can prototype your part in PLA and then send it to a service like
Shapeways and have it printed in actual metal (aluminum).  I think that's
their strongest material.  Or maybe the bronze filled stainless steel. 
You'll find this option is rather expensive, though.   (Might cost as much
as a new ceiling fan.)


mondo wrote
> Hi Charles,
>
> afaik, it will be bronze filled plastic filament, it may look OK when
> polished, but it will be as mechanically weak as the base pla plastic
> filament. If the original is bronze (unlikely), then braze up the crack,
> if cast anodized aluminium, learn 'back yard foundry', and cast your
> own. I would be worried that a plastic replacement could fail, and the
> blade could damage something else. Perhaps you have a tame machine-shop
> nearby, who could mill you a replacement?
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Ray
>
>
> On 09/11/2020 16:28, charles meyer wrote:
>> Hi All,
>>
>> I hope you're all well.
>>
>> I'm trying to find a ceiling blade fan holder .STL file but found
>> nothing in Thingiverse and Tinkercad.
>>
>> I have an old ceiling fan which works great except for this one fan
>> blade holder (made of some kind of metal - looks bronze-like)
>> which cracked.
>>
>> I've visited a plethora of Home Depots, Lowe's, Ace Hardware stores,
>> fan and ceiling light  stores but can't find the correct ceiling fan
>> blade holder (bracket?) to fit the holes distances in the fan motor.
>>
>> The fan manufacturer no longer makes that model so they have no parts
>> for it.
>>
>> We got a new dual Tool Head for the Lulzbot TAZ 6 (able to
>> print metal) at the library so we wanted to see if we could print a
>> metal fan blade holder with the 3D printer.
>>
>> Thank you for your thoughts/suggestions.
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Charles.
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> OpenSCAD mailing list
>>


>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Printing a ceiling fan blade holder

OpenSCAD mailing list-2
In reply to this post by shadowwynd
The reference to annealing brought forth in my alleged mind the "latest craze" for 3D printing strength, salt-re-melting of PETG. Summary: one creates salt flour by grinding ordinary sodium chloride (table salt) in a coffee grinder until it is the finest powder. One then packs it firmly in a heat resistant container and adds the 100% infill part. Less than 100% infill means heat-expansion voids that will destroy the part. The part is completely enclosed and encapsulated by the compacted salt and heated to re-melting temperatures. I've seen quite a bit of variation in the final temperature, but the people who have followed a consistent and gradual heat/pause/heat/pause/cool/pause/cool/pause program create parts with erased layer lines and nearly 100% strength increase. PETG is pretty strong as-is, but to see the near-doubling in the test pieces is impressive.

Tons of work, but for some things, quite worth the effort.

On Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 7:33:48 AM EST, shadowwynd <[hidden email]> wrote:


While I am in the camp of "need a metal part" (because even the most cheaply
made fans I have seen still have metal brackets) Nylon or Carbon-Fiber would
*probably* be strong enough; the blades are relatively light but moving
fairly fast.  ABS might even be worth trying, but I would stay away from PLA
because it is more brittle.  There is a significant moment force generated
by the weight of the blade, plus a shear from the spin.  I would print at
100% infill.  At least for PLA, there are annealing methods regarding
heating it in an oven that increase layer strength; I assume similar
techniques exist for other plastics.

There are going to be other factors in play.  Is the fan flush-mounted to
the ceiling or on a downpipe?  The fan failures I have seen on youtube tend
to be the one with a downpipe - the extra length creates a much bigger
wobble from being unbalanced (e.g. a blade has suddenly gone missing)
eventually building until the fan rips itself out of the ceiling.  I saw
several videos of flush-mounted fans with a blade missing and nothing bad
happened.

Objects in motion remain in motion... a blade suddenly detached from the fan
is not going to hit with enough force to kill/maim someone or - but has more
than enough oomph to go through the exotic fishtank, a window, or an LCD
screen. 

You have a lovely opportunity here for SCIENCE!



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Re: Printing a ceiling fan blade holder

lar3ry
In reply to this post by adrianv
Better and cheaper would be to have the part cast in aluminum, using a lost
wax technique (actually lost PLA in this case).

On 9 Nov 2020 at 14:34, adrianv wrote:

> Plastic can be quite strong and may be strong enough for the application.  
> But I probably wouldn't bet on it myself.  I think bronze filled PLA will
> actually be weaker, since the plastic matrix is interrupted by metal
> particles.  You would be better off choosing a plastic like nylon or some
> other printable plastic that is stronger than PLA.  
>
> Lastly you can prototype your part in PLA and then send it to a service like
> Shapeways and have it printed in actual metal (aluminum).  I think that's
> their strongest material.  Or maybe the bronze filled stainless steel.  
> You'll find this option is rather expensive, though.   (Might cost as much
> as a new ceiling fan.)


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