3D Printing an Oil and Gas Model for Accurate Visual Representation

Article by Rob Greer, CSWP updated November 17, 2015

Article

Hello everyone and welcome to part two of 3D Printing a lightweight Rock Bit. In part one I talked about how I prepared the digital files to be printed on Javelin’s Fortus 450mc. Today I am going to show you how I 3D Printed and Assembled the Rock Bit model.

This is what the Rock Bit looked like as an STL file:

Drill Bit STL File

Drill Bit STL File

Now by using the tool path files created with Stratasys Insight software from the STL file of the Rock Bit and a Fortus 450mc production grade 3D Printer I am going to create the physical part.

3D Printing the Physical Part

For printing the bit I had to ensure that the correct colour material was loaded, grey, and that the correct tip was installed, T16 or 0.010” layer height. If the wrong tip was installed then the files would not print because they have been prepared for a certain layer height. Now I can print the bit, just upload the file to the printer, press PRINT and let the machine do all the work. This print took about 24 hours so I printed it over the weekend. Printing the teeth was similar but required that I load in blue material. After an enjoyable weekend I came into the office to find the part waiting for me.

3D Printed Part with Support Material

3D Printed Part with Support Material

This part was put in a CleanStation to dissolve all the support material (white coloured material shown in photo above) for about 5 hours. During this time I changed the colour of the material in the Fortus 450mc and started printing the teeth for the Rock Bit.

The teeth printed in about 2 hours without any support material which speeds up the assembly process because the teeth do not require any post-processing. Here are all the printed teeth:

3D Printed Bit Teeth

3D Printed Bit Teeth

Assembly Process

The assembly process begins with checking the fit of all the teeth. I found two of the pockets for the teeth were a little too tight to accept the teeth as a press fit. I used a Dremel tool to remove a small amount of material to allow the teeth to be pressed in easily.

Drill Bit Post Processing

Drill Bit Post Processing

The remaining teeth could be pressed in easily or glued in place as shown in the figure below

Glue Teeth onto Model

Glue Teeth onto Model

The rest of the assembly process was quick and easy and in the end I was holding a full sized model of a Rock Bit that is used to dig down thousands of feet into the earth, super cool.

Completed Drill Bit Model

Completed Drill Bit Model

The completed model has only been around the office for a week but has received much attention and impresses everyone that comes to Javelin to see what we can do with Stratasys 3D Printers.

3D Printed Drill Bit Completed Model

3D Printed Drill Bit Completed Model

Learn more about Presentation and Finishing

To learn more about making prototypes look real with professional finishes you should visit the applications section of our website. And if you are interested in purchasing a Fortus 450mc 3D printer then check out our 3D Printer Clearance Sale on Now.

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Rob Greer, CSWP