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Old 04-18-2016, 12:55 AM   #1
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3D printed Frag Racks

Hello everyone!

I have been working hard on 3D frag racks that are reef safe. I have been slowly refining the technique and testing them in a quarantine tank.

Details about the frag racks:

• Printed with PLA (polyacetic acid)
• High quality biodegradable and non-toxic filament per manufacturer (seems that certain filaments do contain contaminates, especially cheap ones!)
• Body measures approximately 10cmx10cm with plug holes of 9.5mm (3/8th inch)
• Silver color
• 2 suction cups hold the item in place on the glass

3D print - Album on Imgur

I also have used ABS to print these racks. PLA and ABS are both considered reef safe. There is some concern PLA may break down over time; however, 3 months in the tank has not had any effect on the rack.

If you are interested in watching one being printed, I frequently stream using a webcam that watches the printer.

Any suggestions or requests let me know!

Thanks
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Old 04-18-2016, 08:36 PM   #2
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Hi, looks very interesting and welcome to the forum

Does it take long to cut each one?
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Old 04-19-2016, 12:25 AM   #3
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Hi, looks very interesting and welcome to the forum

Does it take long to cut each one?
Depending on the resolution (ranging from 50 microns to 300 microns) it takes anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours to print. Then I was using reef safe glue to add the suction cups in.

Once I figure out how to link images into the post, I will post the CAD design, Slic3r image, and Pronterface files.
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:33 PM   #4
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nice job with the frag rack, I always used lighting diffusers.
I printed corals in my tank. it's FW so I had no choice, lol....
I've had PLA in my tank for over 4 years, so by the time they break down, i'll be an old man. but that's fresh water. As a rule of thumb, both PLA and ABS are safe for use in aquariums, but PLA will be consumed by bacterias in saltwater, as it is a bio plastic.


this is it before paint






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Old 04-20-2016, 01:41 PM   #5
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nice job with the frag rack, I always used lighting diffusers.
I printed corals in my tank. it's FW so I had no choice, lol....
I've had PLA in my tank for over 4 years, so by the time they break down, i'll be an old man. but that's fresh water. As a rule of thumb, both PLA and ABS are safe for use in aquariums, but PLA will be consumed by bacterias in saltwater, as it is a bio plastic.


this is it before paint






Those look great! Nice work. That is good to hear the PLA has lasted so long in your tank. I assumed it would be a very gradual process. When you get them in your tank post a picture!
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Old 04-20-2016, 02:39 PM   #6
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do you happen to have any of your racks in production?
I wouldn't mind upgrading my lighting diffusers by printing some instead.
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:07 PM   #7
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do you happen to have any of your racks in production?
I wouldn't mind upgrading my lighting diffusers by printing some instead.
I know this isn't technically in the classified section and I don't want to get in trouble by the admins, but I would be willing to print you some racks. All you would need to do is cover the cost of the PLA material, suction cups, and shipping.

If you are familiar with TinkerCad you could design what you wanted. Otherwise you would just have to tell me the size you want, size of the frag stem you are using, and the number of holes. 5.3" x 5.5" x 5.5" Maximum Build size. I only have white in PLA at the moment. I have red and black in ABS. I can post the pictures of the different steps since this is a DIY thread and people could follow
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:57 PM   #8
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no I mean I'm going to design and print my own, I just wanted to see how they look in the tank and how functional they are.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:03 PM   #9
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no I mean I'm going to design and print my own, I just wanted to see how they look in the tank and how functional they are.
Sorry for the misunderstanding! They are not difficult to design. I would recommend using TinkerCad online since they have great tutorials on how to use CADs in general.

From experimenting with multiple sizes I would recommend keeping the rack portion as thin as possible (just a few mm thick). The most important part of the rack is the size of the back where the suction cups/magnets insert as well as the number (to make sure it can support the weight). I would say as a good rule to start is place a suction cup (or magnet if you plan to seal them with silicone) every 4-5 inches.
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