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let's talk about rock tumbler


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Posted (edited)

Ok guys, new discussion to take with you guys, i was gifted a rock tumbler with what i think is steel media, i added pictures for better understanding, i also added a test result from a piece that i had laying around, i am not turning at night as it's an old rock tumbler i am not entirely confident and letting it sit overnight, but overall this pictures might have about 20 hours of rocking tumbler

thing is i don't know how to proceed from here, i like the result even if it bleed the color from one side to the other, but i wanted other type of result,

this is my research until now.

almost every forum or discussion they relate to this guys series

but again,as some people commented it was not the ideal, at first he does tumbling for 20 hours, and tumbling is known to take weeks, then he does 1 week with sand ?

thing is i didn't learn much from his experiments, and he is also using a 3d printed tumbler, and while it should work the same it does give us another variable.

the we have this small article without much information

https://www.kramerindustriesonline.com/tumbling-3d-printed-plastic-parts/

but with two great pictures, he says he used Plastic Tumbling Media, then he dry tumbled with Hardwood Media and Polishing Compound. and the results on this one picture is amazing

thing is we don't have a time frame, we don't have the links or information about products he used.

one of the things i tried once and hated is trying to sand my printed parts, i just accept it as they come out of the printed bed, as i don't have patience or ability to do so, however i would love to let a machine to just keep working even if it takes weeks to get it done, while i would prefer it to be sooner rather than later

does anyone have any experience about this method, time frame, products, any way to make it faster, or even good any good information will be gladly appreciated.

i am adding the pictures of the piece and media that i used

edit: i am not sure which filament i used on this piece, i am almost sure it's PLA, but it could have being PeTG, it was a piece that i was using in a vacuum hose until it broke so i used as a test piece.

 

 

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Edited by PorcoMaster
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Posted (edited)

I did not watch very far in the video and read your post rather quickly, so I apologize...

The steel media you showed I have used extensively - as in hundreds of hours use. But not for plastic. It is used with a specialty detergent made for this type of burnishing, and softer metal parts such as copper, brass, bronze, silver, and gold alloys are tumbled at a low speed for a period of time. This smooths and work-hardens the surface of the metal. Typical tumbling time in this application is around 1 hour but could be as much as 4 hours. It isn't magical. Garbage in, shinier garbage out. It can be one stage of a finishing process for some types of metal.

Typically the media is used in one tumbler barrel filled about a third to at most a half, covered with water/detergent, and used with one type of metal to prevent cross-contamination.

I would not expect it to be an ideal media for working with plastic.

Gerald

Edited by G_T
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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, G_T said:

I did not watch very far in the video and read your post rather quickly, so I apologize...

The steel media you showed I have used extensively - as in hundreds of hours use. But not for plastic. It is used with a specialty detergent made for this type of burnishing, and softer metal parts such as copper, brass, bronze, silver, and gold alloys are tumbled at a low speed for a period of time. This smooths and work-hardens the surface of the metal. Typical tumbling time in this application is around 1 hour but could be as much as 4 hours. It isn't magical. Garbage in, shinier garbage out. It can be one stage of a finishing process for some types of metal.

Typically the media is used in one tumbler barrel filled about a third to at most a half, covered with water/detergent, and used with one type of metal to prevent cross-contamination.

I would not expect it to be an ideal media for working with plastic.

Gerald

I thought as much, but at same time, it was the only thing i had in hand, i saw that people used for brass, any advice on the more plastic suitable ones?

Edited by PorcoMaster
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Most anything abrasive is going to produce a whole lot of microscopic dust in a water slurry which then becomes a toxic disposal issue. I'd likely be looking for using a thermal or chemical smoothing method, or doing whatever it takes at the printer to get the quality where you want it to be (if that's possible). That part looks like it's showing a few printer and slicer artifacts so could probably be improved.

Tumbling with different media and a plastic polishing compound may work.

Gerald

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I have a thumbler tumbler and I use the steel media to clean and polish my ammo brass. It does an amazing job on metals especially brass.  When I clean and polish I can take some pretty dirty and nasty brass and run it for three hours with some dawn detergent and lemashine and it does an amazing job. I’d have to experiment with plastic and see what happens. The one possible drawback I could think of is the possibility of enlarging insert holes and such. I’d try on parts that didn’t quite turn out and see what happens. Sorry if this doesn’t help you at all. 

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I will be somewhat of a jackwagon, but here it goes.

As @G_T pointed out, tumbling will produce a lot of microscopic plastic particulate matter. I have a feeling that most people will just dump it down the drain, which will result in more micro and nanoplastics in our water. I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of that.

sorry to rain on the parade but there are better ways to get smoother prints, IMHO.

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16 hours ago, 7milesup said:

I will be somewhat of a jackwagon, but here it goes.

As @G_T pointed out, tumbling will produce a lot of microscopic plastic particulate matter. I have a feeling that most people will just dump it down the drain, which will result in more micro and nanoplastics in our water. I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of that.

sorry to rain on the parade but there are better ways to get smoother prints, IMHO.

While I appreciate your commentary, no garbage should be done to the drain, even traditional rock tumbling have a big warning that you should throw that to normal trash not drains, and that would be more likely if you done this with wet rock tumbling, and most process online and here are about dry tumbling that would create same byproduct as sanding normally not creating more or less garbage,

And if it is creating same byproduct as normally sanding that should be done in 90% of post processing on 3d printing.

Why would i do that by hand, if there is a machine that would that for me, freeing my time and skill to learn something else.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just "offa the toppa ma head"  I'll say that IF a rock tumbler were to be in my future (unlikely) the drum would most likely be an old tire (or tyre if I were 3200 miles east of here).

Perhaps a discarded tire/tyre from a garden tractor "  Them whatever drive mechanism and a drive axle passing through the round rubber thing.

 

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