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Thread: Spiral tree design

  1. #1
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    Spiral tree design

    So last year, we redneck engineered a spiral tree out of pvc and pex, it held its shape ok, but this year it was a mess, weíre going to tear it apart and start over.

    I have been tempted to do a structure instead of trying to make it collapsible, as that would allow me to keep the strings in a proper spiral, but at the end of the season, Iíll have to shove it back through a 4íx4í hole, which poses a serious challenge.

    So my wife did in fact get me a 3D printer for Christmas, so I thought maybe there is a way to design a topper that would fold, and hold 8 1Ēx10í pvc sections, or shorter and use connectors to attach a center ring for support. Thatís what Iím working on right now, I figured I would design it using a 2 inch PCV center (maybe 3, i can modify later.) and one could use it for any height, and just add a second center ring or not depending on the material.

    Plan is to use PETG, but considering ABS if I can make it work with my printer. Prototype will be PLA of course, assembled with 1/4 inch screws as pivots for each arm, and Iím probably going to make an attachment for a topper.


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  2. #2
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    That sounds cool, can you post a photo of the design when you get it

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by neonexpresso View Post
    That sounds cool, can you post a photo of the design when you get it
    Oh most certainly. Iím still just starting it but I will post pictures when Iíve got something worth posting.

    Itís worth mentioning that it will take a lot of filament to print this beast. Iím planning on it being somewhere in the ballpark of 50% infill, and 4 layer walls for extra strength. Once itís all up and together it shouldnít need to be all that strong. It will just be guiding where the PVC goes at that point. But putting it up and taking it down with all the lights on it will be the true test.


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  4. #4
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    Quick little update:

    Iíve been busy taking things down from this year and putting together my kids Christmas presents to really have time to work on it, coupled with my 3D printers power supply dying (replaced it with a mean well and added an exhaust fan to the enclosure, so hopefully itíll be good for a while now!) and trying to dial in all the settings for the printer itself. Maybe soon Iíll have time to finish this up.

    Also, a frustrating thing I have found out is that fusion 360 doesnít have NPT threads programmed in, so I may just make a male connector at the top that you could epoxy a female to NPT pvc connector to for the topper.

    Anyway, I also have to modify the design a bit to make it fit a 3 inch PVC instead of 2 inch. I think thatíll make it more sturdy anyway. It should also make it take a lot less filament.

    And finally, Iíve got a lot of parameters on this project, so Iíll probably upload the solid to Thingiverse so people can customize it if they want to use 2Ē pvc instead of 3, or want to use 1/2Ē for the ďlegsĒ instead of 3/4.


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  5. #5
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    Ok, here's a picture of version 1. I'll need to separate the leg piece from the main body, as well as modify the design to allow for a different size main pole PVC.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Once I have a functional prototype printed I'll upload the solid file as well as an STL.

  6. #6
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    Looking good

  7. #7
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    Ok, someone brought up a good point about getting the bolts in, so I redesigned and I'm about 18 hours into the print right now, I'll know what it looks like tomorrow.Click image for larger version. 

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