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PVC pipe construction set, ver.2

by DonaldJ, published

PVC pipe construction set, ver.2 by DonaldJ Jul 20, 2015

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Summary

Parts designed to use multiple lengths of 1/2 inch Schedule 40 PVC pipe for greater strength and rigidity.
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Also may be used with wooden dowels (of appropriate size) if the use of PVC offends your sensibilities.

Instructions

ABS recommended; scale to fit the PVC pipe available in your area.
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Once parts are screwed into the pipes the objects are surprisingly strong. Could be useful for creating machine mock-ups before committing to cut aluminum extrusion.
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Sample images show painted parts to provide better contrast (I used natural ABS which didn't photograph well).
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The black part is from the original PVC pipe construction set.
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Designed with TinkerCad.

UPDATE: 21-Jul-15: A few parts require supports; be very careful...there are many pointy bits and you will bleed.
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A ratchet-style PVC pipe cutter is a good investment if you like clean cuts on the pipe. A chamfer on the ends will allow easier assembly.
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Because of layer orientation, some parts may separate if the fit is too snug. Sandpaper is your friend.
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Updated files with simpler screw locations will be forthcoming.

UPDATE 31-Jul-15: The parts are attached with small sheet metal screws; I drilled 2mm pilot holes for them.
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UPDATE 10-Aug-15: Added part ("T-Bone") to allow simple t-junction.

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This is a FANTASTIC idea

Quick question, if I was to scale this to use 1/2" EMT is it 98%?

Thanks!

I don't think so. According to Wikipedia, the nominal outside diameter of 1/2" EMT is 17.9mm and the part is designed with a 22mm hole.

Measure your EMT, scale the part accordingly, and make some test prints. Depending on your printer settings it make take a few tweaks to get it dialed in for a proper fit. I have no experience with using EMT and you may encounter part failure because the metal is less forgiving than PVC; proceed with caution.

Good luck, and thank you for your interest.

OK I'm new to the 3D world
I can't figure out how to break up the "all parts.stl" into individual items
tried tinkercad, and 123D
Can someone point me in the direction

With Tinkercad, you can create boxes, use the Inspector to make them holes, and overlap and group them for the parts you don't want.,

You can also use Repetier Host which allows you to load the part and split it into individual STLs, which you can then save.

Or you can try NetFabb Basic, but it's a little trickier.

All these processes will require some trial & error, and I apologize for the inconvenience.

Thanks for the reply DonaldJ
No apology required, I'm the one that doesn't have the knowledge
I didn't even think of using Tinkercad hole function
and with Repetier I didn't want to install another program if I could do this with something I already have.

thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

This is SUPER BRILLIANT. If I thought I could get a box to be rigid enough, maybe by adding acrylic walls, I could have an all plastic 3D printer (well mostly plastic) -- not because it is better, or more efficient, or whatever, but because I can. And sometimes that's all that matters. Again, brilliant.

Have you seen this? All plastic printer, except electronics ofc.
http://www.reprap.org/wiki/Snappy

Oh how cool! I even have all the non printed parts right here and can go ahead and make one. Hmmmmm...

Hey excelente trabajo! gracias por su tiempo en el diseño!

Gracias por sus amables palabras. Me alegro de que te guste. ( Traductor Google , mi español no es bueno )

I think the environment doesn't have enough PVC Pipe in it. I mean, natural water tables only stretch so far, its time we aqua-duct them clear into tomorrow with some cheap and easy to access PVC pipe.
I also like your invention. Good job.
I'm gonna print some of these for my aqua-duct.

In all seriousness though, its fun to see someone make things easier for people to use and tinker with. I'm intentionally going to find a use for this somewhere and have a wonderful time doing it. Thank you.

Hi DonaldJ many thankss for this brillant project !

Would it be possible for you to create the same kind of module to accept tubes from 6 ways in order to have a cross?

Also I cannot seem to find the foot module (corner with base). Where could I find this please?

And for finish if the base module was update can you please create a base with T module ? for stronger structure.

Many thanks,

Francis

Sep 5, 2015 - Modified Sep 5, 2015
DonaldJ - in reply to didjoprod

Thanks for the compliment , but I don't think I'll be doing any further work on the project.

A 6-way connector would be problematic, due to the stresses imposed on the layer orientation and the amount of internal supports that would have to be removed.

There is no foot module (corner with base).

Any custom pieces you need can be created with Tinkercad without too much difficulty.

Good luck!

Had a couple thoughts, can you post the STEP, DXF, DWG, etc. versions of the STL files?

As mentioned in a previous comment, Tinkercad doesn't support those file types. Sorry.

Sorry, missed that comment on the first pass. It does say it'll save SVG and that's a similar vector format but I've only ever seen it used for 2D. There's also no native SVG import filter in Rhino, probably for the same reason, so that doesn't sound promising.

No problem, I can recreate the ones I'm interested in from the STL files. I assume you don't mind if I include the recreated STEP files as a remix of the original?

Any remixes (and improvements!) are welcome if you can link to the originals.

I'd like to see how the community improves the parts or adds new ones...

Aug 26, 2015 - Modified Aug 26, 2015

This looks very promising for building a modular structural frame for a winter hydroponics setup or supporting grow lights to start seedlings early spring. What infill percentages are you finding work best against the stock PVC? Full disclosure, I'm an EE, not an ME so please forgive the noob question.

I've been using ABS with a 50% rectilinear infill, which may be too much but I'd rather err on the side of caution. For structural applications, it would be a good idea to test a few parts first and see how much strain they can take before they fail.

Wow! Just started and I found something great! Can I get a 1-3/8" pipe version?

Scale it to the size you need. I have no plans to make other sizes, but thank you for your interest!

Comments deleted.

Update: Added part ("T-Bone") to simplify the creation of T-Junctions.

Comments deleted.

Update 5-Aug-15: Added note in "instructions" indicating the option of using wooden dowels if the use of PVC is offensive.

I would encourage people to consider using aluminum. It is cheaper than you probably realize (just buy it at the right place) and it is 100% recyclable and abundant. Likewise wood.

PVC pipe is really wasteful to be using for construction.

I agree with your assessment of aluminum; in many cases it is the superior material. Please note in the instructions section where I mention using the PVC as a mock-before committing to extruded aluminum. But I don't understand how it can be "really wasteful" if it fulfills your requirements.

The PVC is a fun material for me to work with. I don't have to be fussy about measurements, the cut ends don't have to be square, and in the worst case I can use a heat gun to bend it to my will. Even if aluminum were free, you could spend a small fortune on brackets, gussets, insertion nuts, etc. And if you require some kind of custom part it can be very pricey, whereas I'll just go to Tinkercad and make what I need. A lot of trial and error can be required, but that's all part of the process.

Finally, the PVC is most useful for instances where the use of aluminum is simply overkill, and over-engineered. Plus, it's often available as scrap. Meanwhile, I still have about thirty feet of aluminum extrusion waiting for the right project ;-)

Thanks for your comments!

I mean wasteful for the environment. At least when used for it's intended purpose PVC pipe will serve for many years. Here you are proposing using this product for cheap mock-up.

As for the cost of aluminum, square tube extrusions are very inexpensive, as is flat bar. Rivets are cheap too.

Have you ever been to a plant where they extrude aluminium? I think you need to do a little more research before you lecture people about what is good for the environment. Besides, you are VERY much off topic.

We had this conversation in August... You are just a random snarker.

And when I'm done with my cheap mock-up, I'll take it apart and make another cheap mock-up, and another, and another...

Or I'll make something else out of it. In any case, none of it will end up in the environment, at least by my hand.

As for the intended purpose of PVC, didn't William Gibson say something about "the street finds it's own uses for technology"?

Great and very useful design.
Thank you so much!

Excellent. Thank you Donald for a highly functional, and much needed design. I like the way you think and can't wait for your future works.

You are too generous in your praise. Thank you for the kind thoughts.

I like this and will have to print out. If it will fit in my M3D? So far to date a bad choice of printer. Maybe some day they will figure out the software glitches, maybe
But I can see allot of different builds with using these

I don't know the build volume of the M3D, but the largest part is about 75mm x 75mm x 55mm. You can use Repetier Host to split the big STL into the individual parts and save them. You should be good to go.

Very interresting kit ;o) And I wish you to success with this big printer !

Btw I have a stupid question... How you fix the bolt when it's inside the pipe ?

I don't think I understand...what bolt?

those who fix the pipe with your pieces

Still don't get it...sorry. Do you mean "fix" as in "repair" or "fix" as in "attach?"

as attach ;)

No nuts/bolts...It looks like they're self threading screws screwed into the PVC pipe.

Thank's to reply,

It's what I deduce but I wasn't sure ;)

Bye

Thank you for pointing out the glaring omission regarding the fasteners. I've updated the instructions with an image and text explaining the attachment method. Is the correct term "Merci?"

Yes you got it Donald, Merci beaucoup à vous ;o)

Your picture is very welcome, with all the pipe details, perfect !
I'll follow your job wih interrest ! Good luck and thanks again.

Bye

Jul 31, 2015 - Modified Jul 31, 2015

This is cool I made a mountain bike rack awhile back to hold 3 mountain bikes in my pickup bed ( with PVC pipe ). Glued together. eventually the glue all fell apart so this is cool I might make another one!..I don't think i will use 4 pipes and your fittings but good idea!

Congrats on the feature!

Aw, shucks!

Nice.

for temporary / removable fixing... look at this http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:692227
"-)

Thomas

Removable PVC coupling fastener for Granddad constructions

That may not be robust enough and would be difficult to reconfigure for a four-pipe layout. But it's a nice part for a single pipe!

How much money are you saving on a pvc frame versus 20/20 extrusion?

No idea. A ten foot section of the PVC pipe I acquired locally was about US$2.50, So, a bundle of four works out to about US$1/ft.

Very nice idea.

Thank you.

Hey there, could you post some STEP files or project files?

Thanks!

Jul 30, 2015 - Modified Jul 30, 2015
DonaldJ - in reply to ProtoBuilds

Tinkercad doesn't allow such files. Maybe this will help: hole for PVC is 22mm, hole for screw is 4mm, boss for screwhole is 10mm, and the wall thickness is 3mm (4mm for the updated corner pieces). Good enough?

Update: Added a new corner piece, with thicker walls and simpler screw layout. Previous version could split during vigorous support removal. Added webs for problem support areas near upper pipe channels; perforated for easy removal.

Update: Added a base plate which can easily be cut down in the Z-axis (Netfabb is good) to make it a suitable height for your project.

Updated the instructions with a few tips & warnings.

I have to ask, what are you building with the pipes?

Update: Developed another project, with additional parts, and made a printer. CoreXY, build volume of 12"x18"x18" . You can find it here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1014884

It's printing very nicely.

The ShapeShifter Project
by DonaldJ

Another printer...

Thats going to be one big printer....

Not that big, maybe 12"(Y)x18"(X)x10"(Z)...

Rigidity is sufficient?

No idea; won't know until it's up and running. I'm still printing parts for it, and I haven't decided on the style...I initially wanted CoreXY, but that would be a little daunting for my first build. Right now I'm thinking of a Prusa/OrdBot variation. Lots of parts to figure out and make: motor mounts, pulley/idler mounts, wiring & power supply...I'm making this all up as I go along. And I'm in no hurry.

Jul 20, 2015 - Modified Jul 20, 2015

Glad you like it! I originally wanted to use 3 pipes, but after zip-tying a few bundles I realized that the geometry for connectors and mounting pieces would be needlessly complex. So I tried it again with 4 pipes and it seemed like a viable solution; much easier to create accessory parts. Only time will tell if this will be any good. Thanks for the comment.

I like. Four pipes looks like the best/easiest method but it makes me wonder it three wouldn't be just as strong with some challenges for connectivity. I'll think about it and see what I come up with.

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