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Old 02-07-2018, 02:27 PM   #1
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3D Printed Trailer

Tomorrow a Canadian company will start printing a full size 3D travel trailer. Hope it works out as good as the fibreglass Boler did...produce not that many miles away. Maybe in 50 years we will be going to a celebration of the first printed trailer.

Two news links with a few different tid bits.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4007443/w...per-saskatoon/


On the road: Saskatoon entrepreneurs set to create world's 1st 3D-printed camper - Saskatoon - CBC News
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:28 PM   #2
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And I hope they put the door on the correct side...
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:00 PM   #3
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Tomorrow a Canadian company will start printing a full size 3D travel trailer. Hope it works out as good as the fibreglass Boler did...produce not that many miles away. Maybe in 50 years we will be going to a celebration of the first printed trailer.

Two news links with a few different tid bits.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4007443/w...per-saskatoon/


On the road: Saskatoon entrepreneurs set to create world's 1st 3D-printed camper - Saskatoon - CBC News
Based on their stated weight target it doesn't sound like a very thick shell. Might not be too sturdy....
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:15 PM   #4
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Based on their stated weight target it doesn't sound like a very thick shell. Might not be too sturdy....
Take the cabinets out of ours and?
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:37 PM   #5
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Might be a good start on a plug for a fiberglass trailer?

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Old 02-07-2018, 08:49 PM   #6
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I noticed this idiocy in the similar FiberglassRV discussion. It is just a stupid publicity stunt.

The PETG material (a variant of PET) to be used is unsuitable for a trailer body. If it isn't unreasonably thick it would need fibre reinforcement (with some resin that would need to be compatible with the PETG) on the inside for strength and rigidity; regardless of thickness it would probably need a coating (such as paint) on the outside to protect it from ultraviolet light... and to make it opaque.

Despite the ludicrous claims, impractical production, and structural inadequacy, the most offensive aspect of this thing is the poor design of the shape. 3D printing could enable the production of nearly any desired shape, to implement an advanced aerodynamic design, careful packaging of interior elements, and structural optimization; such a shape would be very different from what can be readily constructed in a manually-built mould, and would not be constrained by what can be pulled out of a one-part or two-part mould. This thing looks like the designer didn't want to spend more than a few minutes with a basic 3D design software, has never been inside a travel trailer, and probably didn't understand anything about aerodynamics. Such a wasted opportunity.

They say you could fill it with water and it would still be around in a hundred years. Yes, it will still be around like all waste of polymers like this, but the 14 tons of water would probably split the thing immediately. I can't imagine the thickness of the walls of a real 14,000 litre water tank being compatible with the stated weight.

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Based on their stated weight target it doesn't sound like a very thick shell. Might not be too sturdy....
The weight is just a bare shell, not a trailer; the amount of polymer used for the printing is stated as 270 to over 300 kg. This sort of stupidity is common among people pushing propaganda, who neither know nor care about facts. This is even worse than the people who claim that 13-foot Boler trailer weighs 800 pounds, although none are that light with the furnishings and equipment inside.

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Might be a good start on a plug for a fiberglass trailer?
That would make sense, although it is not what they are doing. The printed plug could be reinforced internally and then used to make a mould.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:40 PM   #7
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Based on their stated weight target it doesn't sound like a very thick shell. Might not be too sturdy....
I would hope that they don’t just make a shell but would also print attached beds, seats and cabinets for wall support.
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:27 PM   #8
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I noticed this idiocy in the similar FiberglassRV discussion. It is just a stupid publicity stunt.
I think characterizing it as “stupid” is a bit harsh. I didn’t read that this was part of a business plan to build functional practical trailers. It appears to simply be a technology demonstration of what’s becoming possible with large scale 3D printing. It does also seem that they’ve pushed the boundaries a little bit by developing new high flow nozzles to do the print.
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:06 AM   #9
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Someday we will see this technology in real products, large scale. It would have incredible advantages. A trailer for example, could utilize "unibody" construction. Properly engineered, it would have incredible strength. Things like toilets, sinks, benches, etc,...could all be incorporated into the monolithic primary structure. It has great promise, it's just in it's infancy today. Projects like this are very exciting.
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:09 AM   #10
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3D Printing

10 years ago I was involved in 3D printing, running a 1 man lab and making prototypes for a consumer products company. The 1/4 million dollar machine could make things 15" X 15" X 15", so no trailers from that. It is an amazing and magical process. Machines have gotten bigger, resins have got better, but the gee whiz factor blinds many people. The resins I used were UV light cured, and sunlight exposure made them discolored and brittle. Sure, paint would help some, but the resins are the limiting issue, besides their cost. I've been out of the game for 9 years, I'm sure there are many advancements, but I'm skeptical. Hype sells, reality sucks.

The Chinese are supposedly going to 3D print a house. Aerospace extensively uses the process with metals for shapes that can not be otherwise fabricated. It's voodoo magic to load a program into the machine at 5PM and come back next morning, hit a button, and your complex shaped item rises like the phoenix out of a tub of resin.
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:27 AM   #11
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https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/24/me...-takes-flight/

http://www.prototypetoday.com/spacex...engine-chamber

http://www.spacex.com/news/2014/07/3...chamber-crewed
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Old 02-08-2018, 01:01 PM   #12
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I think characterizing it as “stupid” is a bit harsh. I didn’t read that this was part of a business plan to build functional practical trailers. It appears to simply be a technology demonstration of what’s becoming possible with large scale 3D printing.
To the contrary, the company representative even tossed out a price for the 3D-printed product (of $25,000).

Complete car bodies have been 3D printed, so there's nothing new here in scale. I do believe that it is just a publicity stunt, to bring attention to the large 3D printer now available at this company.
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Old 02-08-2018, 01:07 PM   #13
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Someday we will see this technology in real products, large scale. It would have incredible advantages. A trailer for example, could utilize "unibody" construction. Properly engineered, it would have incredible strength. Things like toilets, sinks, benches, etc,...could all be incorporated into the monolithic primary structure. It has great promise, it's just in it's infancy today. Projects like this are very exciting.
That can be done now, albeit in a few pieces. The difference is that if you don't restrict yourself to building with thermoplastic deposited this way, you can use better materials, including composites of polymer resin and fibres. The trend in trailers has actually gone the other direction, with the fiberglass interior parts which were used by the classic moulded fiberglass travel trailer designs (such as the Boler 1300 and the Trilliums) replaced by wood and plywood in brands such as Escape.

The Nest design had a composite structure, with no full-length frame. When Airstream bought the design and reworked it for production, they reverted to a more functional traditional frame, in part because the higher composite content was too expensive.
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Old 02-08-2018, 01:20 PM   #14
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3D printing metal is very cool (although actually hot ) and very different in practical applications from printing thermoplastics. The most interesting (if not the most useful) 3D metal printing project I've seen is a car chassis:
Divergent 3D: Blade Supercar
The suspension control arms are wild, and (unlike the silly trailer) are something which could not readily be built in exactly the same form by another method, and are of made of an appropriate material.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:12 PM   #15
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There is a live stream, which closely resembles watching paint dry:

Thanks to CindyL in FiberglassRV for the link.

Production
We had discussed whether this was presented as a production method or just a demonstration of 3D printing technology.

On that YouTube page, a commenter asks
Quote:
How much will you sell it to me for when it is finished?
​Just curious what the cost difference is in one that is 3D printed vs Buying a standard camper
... and the response from Create Cafe 3D Printing​ is
Quote:
$25,000 will be the base model price!
This is clearly being presented as the production of the prototype of a commercial product intended to be a functional trailer, offered for sale now.

Chassis
Again from the YouTube stream comments:
Quote:
Are you placing it on a metal chassis?
... and response is
Quote:
Yes it will be placed onto a flat deck type trailer.
but they dodge the questions of whether the chassis is included in the quoted cost, or weight. Also, if it really requires a flat deck (not just a frame), then the body is not self-supporting and is depending on the flat deck trailer floor for support of the camping body. If the floor of the printed body is structurally suitable by itself, the flat deck trailer is much heavier than required of a chassis.

In any case, restricting the design to what works on a flat floor makes me wonder about waste plumbing provisions. I'm not entirely sure that these people understand that modern travel trailers normally have plumbing...

Material and finish
That thing looks quite translucent for a travel trailer to me...

Interior furnishings
To their credit, they do appear to be printing some of the interior furnishings. Unfortunately, the way these material-deposition "printing" methods work, each bit of added material must be supported by previously deposited material. The added material can hang over the side of the existing stuff a little bit, allowing for sloped "walls"; however, there is no way to add a horizontal surface over an empty space. That means that the boxes which are currently (2018 Feb 09 3:48 pm MST) visible will need to have seating surfaces, shelves, counters, and whatever else is needed added... presumably in plywood, or separately printed or moulded material. So, really not a "complete camper". That's understandable and okay, except for claiming something which is not being done.

There are "3D printing" methods which don't have this constraint (such as the various powder bed fusion processes); however, this does not appear to be one of them.
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:44 PM   #16
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I don't diss technology. Thank goodness for someone willing to create the wheel and others that took a leap of faith to fly something that didn't look like it would ever get off the ground. Never mind those that string together 0s and 1s.

I love this stuff and it has to start someplace. Go dreamers! You may first fail, but so did Edison!
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:54 PM   #17
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No wheel wells...but it does look narrow enough to have the wheels on the outside like some do. This small type trailer usually has limited tanks and plumbing. I think I read that one of the guys has 10 years in the trailer business so I am sure he has a workable plan. For 25,000 it better be much better than a plastic garden shed on a trailer.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:19 PM   #18
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No wheel wells...but it does look narrow enough to have the wheels on the outside like some do.
It wouldn't be practical to have wheel wells, because it is intended to be usable on random flatbed trailers which could require any size of wheel well. I agree, it will be placed between the fenders of a trailer.

While I dislike the poor aerodynamics and lack of interior room of the style of trailer which has a narrow body and external fenders, it is somewhat popular in cheap and small travel trailers, and does have the advantage of being easier to see around (in the tow vehicle's mirrors) than a full-width trailer.

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This small type trailer usually has limited tanks and plumbing.
Decades ago, even 13-foot Bolers routinely had a freshwater tank, pump, and sink. In North America, a travel trailer which doesn't also have a greywater waste tank is hard to give away, and the flat floor scheme would force that to discharge through the side wall.

The designer of the Nest disregarded the need for proper plumbing, and was unable to find any buyers (that is, not a single one). He sold out to Airstream, which has added conventional plumbing.

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I think I read that one of the guys has 10 years in the trailer business so I am sure he has a workable plan.
Robert (of Nest) had many years in the trailer business, and put in several features which had poor functionality. Of course, selling the design to a real RV manufacturer might be the end game in this scheme, too.

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For 25,000 it better be much better than a plastic garden shed on a trailer.
It would certainly need to be! These printing people say that it is the only product available of this "drop it on a trailer" format; that is probably true since the Teal Camper (also non-reinforced polymer, but moulded in modular sections) venture crashed and burned a while ago. The Teal was cheaper, but functionally about the same as the moulded plastic garden sheds.
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Old 02-09-2018, 06:21 PM   #19
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Just to be clear, I am not criticising or dismissing 3-D printing technology. It would even be possible to productively use 3-D printing in various aspect of travel trailer construction. This particular camper is just not a good use of the technology.
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Old 02-09-2018, 07:38 PM   #20
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Just to be clear, I am not criticising or dismissing 3-D printing technology. It would even be possible to productively use 3-D printing in various aspect of travel trailer construction. This particular camper is just not a good use of the technology.
Yeah well, remember all this started in North America because someone saw a septic tank and thought THAT would be a great start of an-all-molded travel trailer...
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