Thursday, July 14, 2016

Waterproofing your prints

I was making a project that involved electronics that need to be placed outside my house. Therefore I needed a waterproof housing. Buying a housing for my electronics is something I do not do anymore. After all I have a 3D printer.

So I needed to be sure that if I designed a housing and printed it myself that it was waterproof.

Last year I made a fence in my garden and I designed and printed caps for the wooden poles. You can find that story here. But electronics are far more delicate as wooden poles. So I really needed to be sure that my prints were waterproof.

And the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

So I designed first a AA battery case and next a box.

The box was printed with a 0.3mm layer hight and width and with 1mm thick walls. The bottom also was just 1 mm thick. As you can calculate for yourself the walls were therefore made of 3 layers.

The batterycase was something else. The walls are 3mm thick as there will be some force on the case. And this was also printed with a 0.3mm layer width and thickness.

I filled them up with water and put them in a large plastic box so no harm could be done if there was a leak.

Well I was pleasantly surprised.
After 3 days not any sign of a leak
That was enough proof for me as the project would never be so long outside.

What does it prove.
Well it proves that MY printer is capable of printing solid boxes that are waterproof as long as I use 0.3mm layer thickness and a box with a minimum of 1mm walls.
So as all my designs have a wall thickness of 3 solid layers I can be assured that my designs will be waterproof for several days.

Your mileage may vary so please do some tests for yourself before you put anything in the open.

Till next time

Luc Volders