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 Post subject: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:55 pm 
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Well I sold a finished Bubbloid112 puzzle not long ago. So I ordered the parts from Shapeways. It came Tuesday this week and tonight I went to go blow the powder out of the parts to prep them for dying this weekend with a few other puzzles.

Actually I should back up a bit. This shipment from Shapeways was shipped over a week after its original estimated ship date. I contacted them last week to see what the delay was. They told me they had a quality issue with one of the puzzles (the Bubbloid112) and were having issues getting the powder out of the parts. They stated they could ship the parts as is or they could let their quality department make some more attempts to clean the parts. I told them I had an air compressor and that I could clean them so I asked them to go ahead and ship them as is. Considering what just happened that was a mistake. LOL!!!

So tonight I turn on the air compressor in the garage. Let it get to full pressure and go to blow the powder out of the Bubbloid112 puzzle. Something I've done several times before. So I blow off the exterior and then go to stick the air gun needle into one of the 8 screw holes I use to blow out the powder. This was a design I had made before I had a habit of putting dozens of powder drain holes in the core. So this particular core just has the 8 screw holes. I poke it in and it turned out the other 7 holes were totally plugged. The core blew up in my hands. I wasn't hurt but I was covered head to toe in white powder. Heck I could even taste the stuff.

Here is what is left of the core.
Attachment:
Grenade.png
Grenade.png [ 1007.14 KiB | Viewed 1488 times ]
So the lessons here are....
(1) ALWAYS ALWAYS do this stuff in your garage or even better yet outside. Had this happened in the house my wife would have killed me. I hope this stuff comes out of my cloths.
(2) If Shapeways tells you they are having a quality issue... let them deal with it.
(3) And PUT plenty of powder drain holes in your models.

Now I'm off to order another core and email a customer to tell them why there will be a delay... I'll probably just point them to this post.

But I wouldn't have though what just happened would have been possible. It was just POP!!! And then everything was white.

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:04 am 
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:lol: I use an air compressor to do this too, but only at a VERY low pressure so stuff like this doesn't happen. I also usually regulate it manually and keep a close eye. One slip, and it could detonate the core. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:42 am 
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:lol: I bet you looked in the mirror and thought you saw a ghost :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:47 am 
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Location: Bay Area, California
I should have mentioned this problem... While trying to blast porcelain spheres out of a Bubbloid112 core I caused it to balloon up and nearly explode. I was worried I'd destroyed it but I was able to pop it back down into shape. It was probably very close to exploding. Instead I had to drill into the part to get the spheres out.

The first time I tried to blast a Bubbloid122 core in my sink powder shot out with such force that my whole kitchen was covered. I went outside with the other cores and one blasted loose from my hand and shot like a little powder rocket about 100 feet away so I had to go ask a neighbor to retrieve it from their porch for me.

On big parts the more powder drain holes the better!

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:13 am 
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Location: Russia
Carl, I was scared for you when started to read.
I want to add.

4. Think twice before start to work on any machine. Don't hurry, explain yourself what you want to get at the end.

5. ALWAYS use a protective mask or goggles when working on machine tools or compressor.

This story is funny, because of happy end, but we don't need of Darwin Awards winner. Sorry if it sounds rude.
They say in Russia - safety regulations written with the blood.


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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:12 am 
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Was it like this?

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Tony Montana springs to mind...

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:44 am 
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Location: Missouri
luckyguynt wrote:
Carl, I was scared for you when started to read.
Thanks! I'm fine. I don't think there was enough force envolved to hurt me even if I had been hit by a piece of shrapnel. The pieces that came off were all within 5 or 6 feet of me on the floor. It just made a big mess and I was in the middle of it.
luckyguynt wrote:
4. Think twice before start to work on any machine. Don't hurry, explain yourself what you want to get at the end.
Good advice. I typically work on puzzle stuff over the weekend and rarely in the evening after work. After work I'm pretty mentally drained and usually not good for too much. Still there is alot of stuff that waits till the weekends (not just puzzle stuff) and I often have more stuff that I want to do then I have time for which is why I tried to get a jump on the dying of the parts. In hind sight I should have just held off.
luckyguynt wrote:
5. ALWAYS use a protective mask or goggles when working on machine tools or compressor.
Yes. I should have been wearing a dust mask and safety glasses. I wasn't. I typically sit in a chair next to a fold up table when I do this. The parts that need cleaning are on the table top and I hold the pieces down below the table when I clean then. The dust typically blows away from me and I keep it low so I don't blow the other pieces off the table top. As each is cleaned I collect them in a pot also sitting on the table.
luckyguynt wrote:
This story is funny, because of happy end, but we don't need of Darwin Awards winner. Sorry if it sounds rude.
They say in Russia - safety regulations written with the blood.
Not rude at all. Thanks. A piece of shrapnel in the eye wouldn't have been fun but I didn't feel like I was in any more danger then had a ballon full of flower popped in my hands. In the past when I've done this I think Shapeways had already removed better then 50% of the powder. In this case I believe it was basically still totally full and there was no room inside for the air to expand into. There was no noticable ballooning of the part. I just inserted the needle and the next thing was a big POP. Had I been thinking clearer at the time I would have poked the needed into all 8 holes with the compressor off to verify they were all clear. I should have also tapped it a few times on the table to see how much powder I could get out before using the air compressor.

To be honest, I suspect my biggest danger in this... even when pieces don't explode... is not wearing a dust mask. Invariably I breath in some of this nylon powder and I suspect no one knows the long term effects of that yet. On the weekends I move the table out to the driveway and sit up wind too. But last night it was already dark so I stayed in the garage.
KelvinS wrote:
Was it like this?
It was alot worse then that. He has a little stuff on his face. I was pretty well covered from head to toe. The needle of the air gun was stuck in a hole toward me as I was execting stuff to blow out the other side. I believe it was the side that was toward me which blew out but it all happened so fast I'm not sure of that.

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:20 pm 
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Thinking about this more... I've come close to blowing up parts but I think one of the reasons I haven't is that I use a bicycle needle and the head you screw it into has a small pressure escape hole at the base so even when no air can flow through the needle air still escapes somewhat rapidly through the hole in the base.

I'm sure without that I would have destroyed some stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:39 pm 
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Brandon Enright wrote:
I've come close to blowing up parts but I think one of the reasons I haven't is that I use a bicycle needle and the head you screw it into has a small pressure escape hole at the base so even when no air can flow through the needle air still escapes somewhat rapidly through the hole in the base.
Here is a picture of the air gun I use.
Attachment:
AirGun.png
AirGun.png [ 564.54 KiB | Viewed 1201 times ]

I have a filter in place to catch moisture and rust. I've googled "bicycle needle" and I believe that is what I have. The same sort of needle you'd use to blow up a basketball or soccer ball. It does have holes on the side as well as on the top but the side holes are very near the tip. It sounds like you have a piece with escape holes between the gun and the needle. Could you post a picture of your setup? If you have something in there that makes everything a bit safer... for me and the puzzles... I'd like to look into getting one for myself.

Thanks,
Carl

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:08 pm 
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Location: Bay Area, California
The gun I use is similar:
Attachment:
compressor_head_1.png
compressor_head_1.png [ 1.76 MiB | Viewed 1187 times ]


You can see the pressure release hole near the tip of the gun below the base of the needle. Here it is close up:
Attachment:
compressor_head_2.png
compressor_head_2.png [ 1.78 MiB | Viewed 1187 times ]


I can control how much is lost through this hole by screwing in the needle more. Even fully screwed in though enough pressure escapes that so far I've managed not to blow anything up (but I've come close!).

How well does that moisture filter work? I wouldn't think you'd need that in dry AZ but I think I could really use it for when I'm trying to blast powder and keep powder dry.

Also, my compressor only gets up to 110 PSI and it has a pretty low flow rate and only a 2 gallon tank. I'm probably mostly operating at around 80 - 90 PSI so that could make a difference too.

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:23 pm 
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Brandon Enright wrote:
Attachment:
compressor_head_1.png

Attachment:
compressor_head_2.png


So I get what's going on here, but I just need to ask if you took the pictures with the box of shapeways puzzles in back on purpose?

As for the "grenade part", Carl, what was the wall thickness of the part?

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:35 pm 
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Location: Missouri
Here is the info on the filter I use:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0093EC2XC/ref=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_0
It works quite well and yes it catches plenty of moisture even here in AZ. I think the act of compressing the air just pulls out any moisture that is in it even if its not much.

This is my air compressor:
Image
It only has a 1.5 gallon tank and when I'm cleaning parts I usually have the gun blowing all the time so am in the 80 - 90 PSI range (or maybe even lower most of the time). I know when I turn the gun off it takes a good 30 seconds or more to get back up to full pressure.

Is that part with the hole in it actually part of the gun? That lip ahead of the finger guard is in the same location as the end of my gun so it looks like you have an adapter screwed in so that it can accept the needle. Just like the brass adapter that is in mine. Except that my brass adapter doesn't have any holes. Oh and I too have the red sleeve that goes on the thumb trigger but mine keeps falling off so I've stopped putting it back on. So I think we may have the exact same gun. If that adapter of yours isn't a part of your gun may I ask where you got it?

Carl

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Last edited by wwwmwww on Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:42 pm 
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NXTgen wrote:
So I get what's going on here, but I just need to ask if you took the pictures with the box of shapeways puzzles in back on purpose?
Oh I'm sure he did... and I suspect that he didn't mention them on purpose either. Looks like what I'd call an Easter egg.
NXTgen wrote:
As for the "grenade part", Carl, what was the wall thickness of the part?
That was a Bubbloid112 core and all the walls were 0.7mm thick. After this was designed I've changed my design rules. The minimum wall thickness in all my current designs is 0.75mm and any walls that are on the exterior of the puzzle are 1.5mm thick. This makes the puzzle feel much more solid. I also use many more powder drain holes to aid with cleaning. But these changes were NOT driven by this part exploding. I've been using these new rules for a while and this is the first time I've had this type of explosion happen.

Carl

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:58 pm 
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Location: Bay Area, California
wwwmwww wrote:
This is my air compressor:
[...]
It only has a 1.5 gallon tank and when I'm cleaning parts I usually have the gun blowing all the time so am in the 80 - 90 PSI range (or maybe even lower most of the time). I know when I turn the gun off it takes a good 30 seconds or more to get back up to full pressure.
Sounds like yours has a better CFM than mine. It takes mine longer to get up to pressure and I can't run it continuously or the pressure drops below a useful level. Here is mine:
Attachment:
compressor.png
compressor.png [ 1.79 MiB | Viewed 1152 times ]



wwwmwww wrote:
Is that part with the hole in it actually part of the gun? That lip ahead of the finger guard is in the same location as the end of my gun so it looks like you have an adapter screwed in so that it can accept the needle. Just like the brass adapter that is in mine. Except that my brass adapter doesn't have any holes. Oh and I too have the red sleeve that goes on the thumb trigger but mine keeps falling off so I've stopped putting it back on. So I think we may have the exact same gun. If that adapter of yours isn't a part of your gun may I ask where you got it?

I'd forgotten that adapter isn't part of the gun! Here it is removed:
Attachment:
needle_adapter.png
needle_adapter.png [ 1.35 MiB | Viewed 1152 times ]


There are times where I like the hole and there are times where I find it annoying. I mostly use my compressor to help me get porcelain spheres out of parts after the tumbling phase. In that case I'm usually not blasting into large, nearly sealed parts like that core so I don't have to worry about exploding parts. Sometimes I wish I had a lot more pressure and a better CFM so that I could run continuously at a high pressure.

When I'm cleaning powder though I'm glad I have the hole there.

Some time ago I was looking through the air compressor supplies home depot had for an adapter without a hole but they didn't have any. They had 3-4 different brands of adapter + needle but all of the adapters had that hole. Some even advertised it as a safety feature. I've been thinking about getting a second one and filling that hole with solder. I'd probably do the same thing with the side hole on the needle. The more pressure the better I think I'll be able to blast out some stubborn spheres.

Also for what it's worth, I've had some spheres come out dangerous speeds and hit me in the face or other exposed skin and sting very badly. I don't think safety glasses are adequate for using the compressor so I always use my full face mask:
Attachment:
safty_mask.png
safty_mask.png [ 1.39 MiB | Viewed 1152 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:32 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA
Wow Brandon, nice gear! Now we'll want to see a selfie with your mask on, of course...

A few years back when making some Inverted 3x3x3s for IPP I was painting them at the TechShop and noticed a bit of dust on one.
As the TechShop has compressed air hoses hanging from the ceiling I thought I would give it a small blast to clean it off. Sigh.

It flew out of my hand, across the room and broke into many pieces.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:30 pm 
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DLitwin wrote:
Wow Brandon, nice gear! Now we'll want to see a selfie with your mask on, of course...
Well since there doesn't seem to be any room for shame in the twisty puzzle community, why not? :lol:

I took this some time ago. When I'm working with tumbler grit I usually wear a full coverall suit but this time, whatever I was doing, I didn't need it:
Attachment:
brandon_mask.png
brandon_mask.png [ 368.26 KiB | Viewed 1107 times ]


It offers great visibility and it's quite easy to breath through.

It's a 3M Full Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6900, Respiratory Protection, Large and I use it with 3M 6001 Organic Vapor Cartridge and 3M 5P71 P95 Particular filter. You need 3M Pre-Filter Adapters to attach the particle filters to the organic vapor cartridges. It looks like the price on all of these has come down rather significantly since when I purchased.

My initial motivation for getting an organic vapor respirator was that the fine grit dust from tumbling was turning my mucus black. It didn't seem like I was inhaling it but the next morning I would end up spitting black gunk out in the shower. The grit must have gotten deep into my respiratory system too because I'd continue to see traces of it for a few days. At first I bought 3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 7503/37083(AAD), Respiratory Protection, Large. It did help a lot but I noticed grit was still getting into my eyes so I had to get the full facemask.

Now I use it all the time both for physical eye safety (Dremel, air compressor, etc.) and respiratory safety (bleach, ammonia, acetone, etc.).

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:05 am 
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Location: Jarrow, England
This is a picture of my air blowing system:
Attachment:
File comment: Lips
lips.jpg
lips.jpg [ 25.3 KiB | Viewed 1065 times ]
I have a variable sized exit hole to control the pressure and the blow direction is automatically controlled by my eye movement, so it is totally hands-free. Note the pressure relief orifice just above the air exit sphincter, which also acts a a secondary air intake valve (and ambient air quality sensor). Note also that this system is completely cordless and totally portable, and can be powered by almost any organic molecules, but works at top efficiency when the fuel source contains some ethanol.

I also have a secondary back-up system which works at much lower pressure and is somewhat unreliable, but I have been banned by my wife from using it.

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:14 am 
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Wow.. we totally have the same brand Gus! Neat!


The secondary one is worthless in my case. Very good nostril caressing, but totally flat pressure wise lol

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:16 am 
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Gus wrote:
I also have a secondary back-up system which works at much lower pressure and is somewhat unreliable, but I have been banned by my wife from using it.

I tend to use the same system as my primary, it's much more reliable with baked beans and cabbage.

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 Post subject: Re: Shapeways Powder Grenade
PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:50 pm 
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KelvinS wrote:
I tend to use the same system as my primary, it's much more reliable with baked beans and cabbage.
Kelvin,

Some advice... If you start making puzzles for Shapeways PLEASE always dye your puzzles black. And remind me that if I buy any to wear gloves while I play with them. Either that or PLEASE attach the filter I pointed out above. The less I know about how you get it attached the better.

Oh and I just came from Walmart. That part you have there Brandon is called a "Safety Adapter". In fact that is now the only kind I can find. I bought my setup a couple years ago but all I remember seeing then were the brass adapters that didn't have the extra holes. Now they are no where to be found... well at least at WalMart.

Do the above two paragraphs really belong in the same post?

Carl

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