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Pabry

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Reply with quote  #1 
EDIT - Images didn’t attach properly on this post. They’re included a couple posts down.

There’s been a couple threads about 3d printed cams. I recently embarked on an adventure to print some so sharing my experience for those interested in doing something similar.

My Singer 226 takes the flat cams to make sewing patterns.   The machine only came with 6 flat cams.  I found the singer flat cams files already scanned and converted for 3D printing by someone else here.  https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3648452  

I don’t have a 3D printer, so I had to find a resource for 3D printing.  There are printing centers where you send files and they will print and mail to you for a fee.  I went to my local library instead.  They’ll print for me free if the file is small and prints within 2hr.  Each cam took about 2hr to print.  I printed mine in silver (one of three color choices.  Others being green and pink).

Here are the printed cam #1 and #7, on the printed backing and peeled off the backing.  

[image]

 [image]

Stacked atop each other, the printed ZZ cam and original are a very close match, in size and thickness.  One printed side could be sanded down to get a more even looks but it’s not an issue.  The printed cam’s plastic seems very sturdy.  I’m not worry about it breaking or cracking.

[image]

To get it on the SM cam reader, I had to clean up some of the floating fibers near the center hole.  The center hole has a tight fit so I sanded the rim a bit so I could more easily place and remove the cam.  The cam reader (finger) follows the outside edge of the cam, moves the needles left or right, thereby forming the stitch pattern.  In the picture below, the screw that holds down the cam isn't on there yet.  

 [image]

I set the width to the widest, then MANUALLY turned the handwheel.  If the placement hole is off center when printed, it’s possible the cam can push the needle too far such that the needle strikes the plate.  Manually turning the flywheel, this cam was not a problem.   

So, how does it stitch?  

The ZZ stitch cam works very well.  If I didn’t label the stitch, would you able to tell the difference?  I think it’s a darn good match to the original ZZ cam. 

 [image]

The edge stitch (cam #7) didn’t form as nice of a stitch pattern.  One rotation of the cam creates two U shapes.  The bottom of the U are not level with each other.  That’s because center hole on the cam is not exactly centered.  It’s a flaw in the scanned file.  The cam can be easily fixed if I sanded down one half of the rim to match the distance from the center of the opposite edge.  

 

 [image]

These were the only two cams I had time to print at the library. This is a fun/interesting project.  If I owned a 3d printer, I would certainly print them all and try every stitch pattern in the file.  The not-so-even edge stitch cam reminds me though, you can create your own cam patterns.  I downloaded Tinkercad, a free program for creating/manipulating 3d objects for printing.  Changing the cam is straightforward.  You can add to or remove sections from the cam’s rim (thereby how much the needle zig n zag).  Getting a nice interesting stitch pattern is a different story, and would require much more commitment than I can currently give.  

 

 

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OurWorkbench

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Reply with quote  #2 
I'm not seeing any images.

Janey

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WI Lori

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Reply with quote  #3 
Pabry, that's great news about the 3d print options, and the files, as well. I know some 319 owners that will be tickled.
What type of material is the printed option made of?

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Chaly

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Reply with quote  #4 
I'm not seeing any images either.  How nice that your library has a 3D printer for your use.  Looks like a fun project which could lead into all kinds of creativity.
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Pabry

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Reply with quote  #5 
Not sure why the images didn’t attach properly. Adding them here. Hopefully that works. Sorry they’re disjointed from the post above.

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Pabry

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WI Lori
What type of material is the printed option made of?


Lori, there are different polymers/plastic tubing available. May depend on the type of 3d printers too. The tube gets melted at a fine tip and laid down into a pattern specified by the file. On one side of the cam, you get a glimpse of what that looks like.
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Soapstonequilts

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Reply with quote  #7 
This is really cool!
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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #8 
There's been someone selling 3D printed Singer cams on eEbay recently. I've seen some posts about it on FB, most people aren't happy with them.

Cari

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Pabry

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks Cari. Good to know the breadth of experience out there. I’m not on FB. Could you share the general reason for dissatisfaction people had?

Since I don’t have my own 3d printer, it was an effort for me to book time with a printer, drop off the file, then pick up the cam. Did this twice, once for each cam I wanted to print. But it was worthwhile to figure out and try 3d printing for myself. Certainly satiated a curiosity.

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Cecilia

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Reply with quote  #10 
From what I understand, 3-D printing material is flimsy and doesn't stand up to the test of any sort of repeated use.

However, apparently CNC milling machines will take the same specs/pattern, and make the cams out of very durable material. I think CNC might be the way to go.

In my very rudimentary understanding (and I could be COMPLETELY wrong!) I think a 3-D printer directs a malleable material into a shape. I imagine it to be sort of like spinning plastic cotton candy into a desired shape, and then it sets. A CNC machine, on the other hand, starts with a solid hunk of material, and mills away until the desired shape is revealed; so the material is solid.

Please someone correct me if I am wrong. I am grateful for the pattern for the discs though, and if anyone finds a CNC person to make them, please be in touch, because most of the cost is in the person-hours of setting up the machine. Pressing the button to make one copy or ten copies, basically the same price.

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pgf

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Reply with quote  #11 
Your comparison is essentially right, but I think it gives 3D printing short shrift.  3D printers can use many different grades of material, and I suspect it's possible to 3D print something like a cam successfully.  But it might take a higher end machine, or better material, than most hobbyists have.  (By the same token, I have a small home-built CNC machine which in principle could make a cam, but it can't really cut any material but wood, successfully.  Not strong enough for metal, not fast enough for plastic.)

paul

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Cari-in-Oly

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Reply with quote  #12 
The complaints I've seen were about the stitch quality being sub par. The seller has refunded anyone who had a complaint though.

Cari

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