pgtruspace's blog

about things that interest me.

A New Old Project

The Genii Whirlwind Airwasher

While blogging in the dark of smoke and power outage of the Camp Fire. I struck up conversation through an Internet Link with my youngest sister about my need for one of my fume scrubbers. The last of the hand made ones died last year. My grandson and I had purchased a small 3D printer last year to begin creating a new model. Something some of us need from time to time to breath and sleep during periods of poor air quality. My sister , a recently retired educator was interested in helping her brother in creating a business to manufacture and market this consumer market Airwasher that I had developed over 25 years ago and had failed to successfully bring to market.

old airwashers

People that used the hand made units really loved them, including myself but the unknown changes in motor quality by the motor manufacture right after I started creating them doomed that effort and often caused premature failure of the devices. An economic down turn at a critical time caused my prospective investors to backout and the effort collapsed.  The Proposed consumer model was abandoned. Oh well, I moved on.

With the Internet and 3D printers we might be able get this going for something less then the $500,000 that I was looking at the last time and if my sister and her adult son take an interest they might be able to create a real business for themselves and I can continue my other projects. Finance and business management are among her talents and her son is an independent craftsman/tradesman type. This might even work out and I won’t have to do everything myself like the last time.     Ok ! lets go for it!

Once again I am digging into Acad and creating files to be printed for test models that can evolve into Beta units that will result in injection molded retail consumer units.

Quality, Swamp cooler water pumps are providing the motors for the new effort and the possibility of designing around the right kind of motors for the job. I need to set up a printer cabinet in my cozy computer Lab.  😉 Lol while doing test work in the kitchen. Getting the water pickup, air flow and effective scrub action while making efficient use of the motor without overloading it will be the next challenge.  Every part must be laid out so it can be created by the printer, no small thing. This requires 3 dimensional visualization and planning. Luckily with Acad, the computer can Show me the proposed part  before I print my mistakes.  Next learn about how to operate a 3D printer to print this 4 part power head that is the motor enclosure, water pickup and scrub blower.

1 airwasher

Wow! that is close to actual size on my monitor, 5 inch blower ring and 6 inch motor mount disk. While I’m resting I will need to figure out the scrubbing scroll and air guides …pg


December 9  I just got the Acad file done on the above, looks good enough to print. All of the internal parts are laid out. Now to set up the printer and figure out how it works. Take these Drawings apart and rasterize the individual parts for the printer to render into plastic. The AirWasher box is 7 inches square, as large as the little 3D printer can make, I would prefer 10 inches for better scrub action. I may attempt a glueup for later testing or we may set up a larger printer later.

Then I can test to see if 25 year old memories are still valid. Only took 2 weeks to get fairly comfortable in Acad again. It certainly renders nice visuals, Almost as good as a real picture….pg

January 2 2019 update……you can see the improvement in my CAD abilities as well as the design improvements in the proposed Airwasher as well as my grasp of 3D printer use.

Airwasher T6 blowup

T6 Genii Whirlwind Airwasher

The white container is an off the shelf, semi-clear poly, 1 gallon food container. The motor is from a quality swamp cooler water pump. The rest of the scrubber parts are all printed on a small 200mm x 200mm deck printer. The real device is not quite as colorful as we only have one color of filament, but HR remarked about how color coding being a real help in CAD work. While peering into a complex 3D CAD file can be very confusing, the contrasting colors are a big help, as is the ability to move from wireform drawings to realistic renderings as needed, this is a wonderful improvement in doing CAD work.

As you can see the power head and scrub sections lift out of the bucket for ease in daily cleaning. No screens, no filters, no added chemicals, just water and 60 watts of power to really clean the air in a large, 300 square foot room. Dust, pollen, chemical vapors, nearly anything that can harm you can be removed with this Industrial fume scrubber. Wow! I have impressed myself this time.

monoprice iiip

Monoprice 3D Printer IIIPv2

About the smallest, most inexpensive, usable printer on the market, $250 on Amazon

This little robot is quite an impressive toy as well.  My small closet sized computer lab is now a manufacturing Empire!   😉  …pg

January 8 2019  I now have a test unit running for 2 days. So nice to have an Airwasher running in my space again. Dust levels inside already are decreasing and smell is freshened. Needs improvements, but at least it works. My Lady, my sister, my daughter, all want a copy of their own. Still having problems mastering the printer to get dependable results. Seems to require some spell or secret knowledge. Maybe a bigger better printer would solve my problems?  Maybe, someday,……

40 responses to “A New Old Project

  1. p.g.sharrow December 5, 2018 at 12:46 am

    @HR something to peruse, I put this post together while destroying 10 gallons of Blackberries to make 5 gallons of my world famous Blackberry Brandy. I have several “sick” friends and family that have asked for more of the Medication… 😉 …pg

  2. H.R. December 5, 2018 at 4:37 am

    @p.g. – This is a great project to try to make a go of it.

    My wife and I recently bought 2 air filters for the house. We have 2 dogs and a cat and live in the ‘burbs where there are enough trees, farmland, and some old overgrown farm plots that all generate particulates that then generate allergy symptoms of varying degrees in most people. Pet owners in particular get hammered by pet dander and pet hair.

    We settled on a couple of fan-driven filters that are “OK” but not 100% effective by any means. Since we’re now on fixed income, our target price was under $500 to solve the problem.

    We found that most are very expensive due to the use of HEPA filters. There’s just no good way to get the costs down on HEPA filters.

    If you can get a good price/effectiveness ratio established, you should have a winner. Oh, and don’t forget “Quiet” and “EZ cleanout.” 👍👍

  3. p.g.sharrow December 5, 2018 at 7:31 am

    As the Airwasher must be cleaned It is designed to be opened up and easily cleaned and it uses tapwater as it’s cleaning agent. Uses less then 100watts, will remove gasses. I once used 5 staged together to scrub the exhaust of a tractor diesel engine. The Horizontal 3 stage Typhoon was tested on a burning tire.
    The operating machine sounds like a rain shower, very restful, As long as the motor is reasonably quiet, the failure of the early Whirlwinds was they developed an annoying buzz from loose bearings.

    The original Typhoon was developed to scrub the exhaust from a silicon deposition machine and the little Whirlwind for a nail salon. The very large multi stage Whirlwind was designed to scrub the exhaust of very large Diesel MG sets such as used in Hawaii for Electrical Power supply.

    As to price, the hand made 60cfm Whirlwind sold for $329 and the consumer 50cfm Whirlwind was slated for $129 per unit retail.
    I’m not sure of the flow rate of the new Whirlwind design as I’m using a 3500rpm motor in it rather then 1750 of the earlier models. the higher speed will make the scrub more effective and move more air. It will also greatly reduce any vibration caused by rotating misbalance of the rotor. I will likely need to restrict the outflow to improve the residence time in the scrub chamber as well as reduce the load on the motor. Testing will prove the effectiveness of my SWAG Engineering.. 😉 …pg

  4. Simon Derricutt December 5, 2018 at 8:20 am

    pg – maybe consider using brushless 3-phase motors here, since they can be easily purchased now for drones and the ESC (electronic speed control) for them is also pretty cheap. These tend to run at 12-25V, so you’ll also need a power supply, but that also means you could run on battery if required. The ESC enables you to vary the speed depending upon the amount of scrubbing required, and thus adjust power needs and noise to personal requirements. 3D printing certainly seems a good way of getting the shapes you need without the expense of the mould, but also bear in mind that you could 3D-print the mould and then cast in epoxy or other casting resin, maybe reinforced with chopped fibres. It depends on how much time each method actually takes. Likely the plastic for 3D printing will be relatively expensive and possibly weaker than the fibre-reinforced resin, but may be easier to get better balance for the spinning stuff. Also consider adding an essential oil to the water to provide a bit of extra perfume to the air – some people like that.

    Since the essential part of this is probably the amount of area of water exposed to the air so that the particulates are taken out, maybe also consider a somewhat slower version with multiple vertical disks of mesh that are relatively slowly dipped into water and where the air then blows between those disks. Obviously needs some turbulence in the airflow through the disks in order to make sure the particles come into contact with the water, and it may be useful to add some surfactant to the water to make it wet the particles faster. You may be able to do the job with less power (and less noise) that way, since the disks won’t need much power to run and the airflow is a simple fan with some wavy bits between the wet mesh disks to get the turbulence.

    There are some problems with tapwater (depends on your location) going off if left too long. Here there are likely a lot of phosphates in the mains water, as well as the Chlorine compounds, and after a few days the water gets pretty green. Some people may need to use springwater or bottled water to avoid that. If you sell a lot of these someone is bound to hit that problem.

    Another alternative way would be to use fibres that hold a static charge well, and to use an ioniser to charge them, after which the dust will be attracted out even though the gaps between the fibres wouldn’t actually filter the particles as such. That’s a dry system, but the filters would need washing out every so often. Many ways of skinning this cat….

  5. H.R. December 5, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Wow! Great price points, effectiveness, and choice of sizes.

    Since you are now wiser about motor choice and will no doubt select a much better motor, warranty and returns should be less of a concern.

    That under $200 retail pricing sure hits the consumer sweet spot, based on the shopping we did. You may want to set retail at a higher point so you can run specials and deals at the price you really want.

    I am guessing that the water gets a little nasty as the waste load builds. There might be a goodly amount of auxiliary sales to be had if you can come up with a water deodorizer tablet. Maybe sell a packet of a half-dozen for $10-$12. Of course a couple of tabs will be included with each unit. Like the pusher on the corner, “The first one is free.” 😜 Or maybe a deodorizer would be something liquid that comes in a few different size bottles.

    I don’t know if you already addressed that issue in the first units or if it was even an issue. But if not, there’s extra money to be made. (And if a tablespoon or two of baking soda works, don’t let anyone know, eh? 😜)

  6. H.R. December 5, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Ah! Simon was posting as I was writing. I see someone else is on to the topic of “Bad smell in. Pretty smell out.”

    I suppose using Chanel #5 would price you out of the market, though.

  7. p.g.sharrow December 5, 2018 at 11:15 am

    @Simon & HR; I have never worked with ESC so have no knowledge in that field but every dollar you add to the manufacturing cost results in a 5 dollar increase in the retail price. I did design an Airwasher to be used in at tractor cab air-conditioner, that resulted in a design that would work in zero gravity. It would benefit from an adjustable speed ability. I don’t remember how many wonderful devices I’ve had that prematurely failed due to failure of their electronic control systems, many … many! K.I.S.S. is my policy of invention. Idiot proof as well as can be done. A shaded pole AC motor is fairly fool proof and the scrub function for the general public should be builtin..

    There is a slow rotating mesh disks humidifier on the market, Piss poor air cleaner, failure prone electronic control system and nearly impossible to clean $149. There is a spinner type Humidifier on the market, a fair aircleaner, that with effort can be cleaned, $48. Many wetted pad types, hard to clean.

    CLEAN ! is important, we are talking about a cesspool of disease in the making. All of these companies sell FU-FU scents to be added. As HR points out replacement filters can get Expensive over time. In the case of HEPA filters once started, if you shut them down, they are ruined and will leak dust. None of these are fume scrubbers. They are dust collectors.

    My scrubber was invented to scrub fumes, noxious gases with water, even dirty water. The larger units work with clean water in , clean air out. Dirty water out, Dirty air in. The little unit is designed for daily clean out and clean water addition to it via attached water bottles. Generally 2 liters per 8 hours of operation in normal household conditions…pg
    P S Did I tell anyone I designed and built fume scrubbers that made the “clean” electronic industry possible in California!. That is another story to be added some day…pg

  8. Simon Derricutt December 6, 2018 at 2:13 am

    pg – chucking up other ideas is something I do when presented with a design, since when people do it to me I find it useful. If the ideas turn out to have been looked at before and rejected for some reason, that’s OK, but often things change when you’re not looking and a previously-rejected idea might now be valid. As regards electronics failures, my time in Failure Analysis led to a lot of boards that passed through the lab having dramatically-reduced failure rates – see what problems there are and fix them all. Basically, the electronics shouldn’t fail at all. Most failures are design errors, after all. Also, whereas when you designed those scrubbers before you probably had a support system and others to discuss things with, at the moment I think you’re just doing it alone. It may help if you have to justify your design choices to *someone else*. I’ve found that the need to explain the reason for those choices makes me think of things I hadn’t previously considered.

    KISS is important – make it as simple as possible (but no simpler…) so there’s less to go wrong.

  9. p.g.sharrow December 6, 2018 at 7:25 am

    @Simon; “Most failures are design errors, after all. Also, whereas when you designed those scrubbers before you probably had a support system and others to discuss things with, at the moment I think you’re just doing it alone. ”
    Actually It is quite reversed. I was working for a guy that built Fume scrubbers for board and IC makers and after building or rebuilding a number of his scrubbers I started offering improvements including a water level control box. This reverse engineering of scrubbers that worked well as well those that did not was, my education. This is a field that is mostly air handling, a field that is well known and the physics/chemistry, that is fully as much Black Magic as Climate Science. George did point me to one trade secret he and his earlier technician had discovered about fume scrubbing with water. Most of what the Experts in the field know about scrubbing is wrong.
    George Savko was a self taught inventor that created a Fume Scrubber system that allowed Fairchild to operate their Silicon Foundry at Healdsburg. Thus ending EPA and CAB attempts to strangle the birthing solid state industry in California. All of the industry adopted his scrubbers for a time. He created many but then sold out to U.S. Filter and, they deliberately tanked his patent to protect their own interests. He later attempted to recreate his business with new designs which is where I came in as a craftsman. He zealously protected his knowledge or lack thereof but after a time respected my own. Then LAM Research asked him to come up with a new design to be packaged with their New deposition machines. They had attempted several scrubber designs and had failed at the effort. He put the request to me as an outside project as there was no funding, just a request for a small very effective scrubber. I came up with the Horizontal drive shaft Typhoon. But LAM had moved on to a different business model and didn’t need it and my boss died shortly after.
    Later a friend asked me to create a really small Fume Scrubber for his girl friend’s business as a Manicurist. The little vertical axis Whirlwind was the result. Based on these, my effort to create a startup, doing nearly everything by myself was begun. After a time I gave up, too many demands, too many setbacks and too little funds. A wonderful product that I just could not push over the hill.
    Now I fear it begins again BUT! There is the possibility that someone else. Might take up the Financial end that is not really my field.

    “Man has got to know his limitations” Dirty Harry …pg

  10. H.R. December 6, 2018 at 8:02 am

    Don’t forget to incorporate, p.g., and certainly not in CA. Delaware is the place to do that.

    You may not get one large Angel investor, but you might be able to attract several investors by offering shares up to 49%, thereby retaining control.

    California sucks now as a place to start and grow a business. You may want to consider locating your manufacturing facility in a business-friendly state. You’d have to spend some time up front staying at the non-California place and getting it going, but if you can get sales to the point that you can hire a manager, then it would just be a trip to keep an eye on things every month or so.

    I’m tied up today, but I know a bit about the business side of manufacturing to perhaps offer some useful suggestions. I’ll write a bit more over the coming days.

    Oh… yes… you will probably know most, if not all, of what I suggest. What I suspect is that you’ve always been busy on the doing side and have never bothered to put together all your business knowledge together on the planning side.

  11. p.g.sharrow December 6, 2018 at 8:45 am

    @Simon; I greatly appreciate your interest and critique.of my projects, there is always a chance that you might point out something that I have overlooked, even educate me on facts unknown. Human progress is always just outside the realm of accepted science, so someone must push into regions unknown and expand the base of accepted knowledge. Generally it is not the knowledgeable that expand that base but the ignorant that are willing to take the next step. “What If !” and jump off into the unknown. I have little formal education but am well read with 72 years of accumulated knowledge and still have room for more “What If” indeed…pg

  12. p.g.sharrow December 6, 2018 at 9:16 am

    @HR your observations on doing business from California is well know to me. A part of my giving up was California accessing my company income taxes of their projections of it’s future income. A trick that they have used several times to confiscate Small business bank accounts to bolster their current tax receipts. They argue that you can sue them to recover the money they have taken. As the amounts are less then the cost of a successful suit, they win and you lose, If you win you still don’t get your money back. You just get to charge future taxes against it.
    Last year the tax board “Found” $6 billion this way to make the Brown Administration look good and have a big surplus in their current account.. For them an interest free loan that does not count against the the requirement of them having a balanced budget. For small business, Extortion they can ill afford or fight. For us, Nevada is close by and we have interests there. A problem I have considered for the last 30 years. California SUCKS as a place to startup a business that will do business out of state…pg

  13. Simon Derricutt December 7, 2018 at 3:26 am

    pg – I hadn’t realised that it was so bad for small businesses in Kalifornistan. Here in France, it seems that before you start a business you need to fit into one of the accepted pigeonholes and register all the details up-front. Whereas when I first came to France I thought I’d make a few guitars each year to have a bit more income, the system doesn’t allow a business to have multiple types of product where you can’t say beforehand what you’ll make and sell. Probably why there are more French entrepreneurs in Kalifornia than in France.

    Formal education is somewhat over-rated these days. In my working life I never got a job I was officially qualified for. What people should learn as students is how to gain knowledge, rather than expect that the knowledge you gain as a student is set in stone and doesn’t need to be added to. Things change when someone realises that what they’ve been taught is wrong, and puts it right (or at least more-right than it was).

    Being part of a large company, there’s the luxury of being able to pass designs on to people who are experts in what they do, or discuss specific details, and not to need to worry about the costs of doing that. I had fun at Xerox…. These days it’s mostly just emails to people who get what I’m talking about. Still, it’s fun discussing designs for things, and maybe it’ll help somewhere. Also part of my learning processes, and considering things I never came across before.

  14. H.R. December 9, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Consider adding variable speed control as an option, p.g.

    From a marketing standpoint, 2-3 models capture both the cost conscious customers and those who always opt for top-of-the line. A higher priced model also makes the lower end model’s price more attractive,

    On the manufacturing side, it’s often nearly as cheap to get a board ready for add-ons that you use in all models. You get the quantity discount for more boards, simplified inventory, and if there ever is a board problem, there’s only one spare part you need to stock.

    Something to throw into the mix.

  15. p.g.sharrow December 20, 2018 at 9:22 am

    I am beginning to get comfortable designing and creating parts in Acad and printing them. Testing the created designs gives me a better handle on what can be done now to get the needed affects of wind and water out of the abilities of the equipment and software.. Now that I have parts to examine and handle in the round, it gets easier to visualize their operation as well as the allow for any short comings in the process, while making them better for their intended purpose. Getting the rotating member right is critical to it’s operation as well as ease in creation now as well as in possible future injection molding.
    Now I will start redesigning the rotating member from the motor out in better detail based on testing of earlier parts both in their creation and their operation. This little 3D printer is quite a toy to play with, It even sings a song while it works, A robot, doing in miniature, plastic welding buildup, something I used to do in plastic fabrication 25 years ago. As I progress with the design It is beginning to look more and more to resemble the original earlier consumer product design. Kind of feels like I am reinventing the wheel. Maybe I am ! This time with better tools, more experience, maybe even more help…pg

  16. Simon Derricutt December 20, 2018 at 11:00 am

    pg – it’s so much easier when you can hold the design in your hand within a few hours rather than waiting weeks for the mould to be made and an injection done before you can test whether it actually looks right. If the first wheel was well-designed, then re-creating it seems a logical thing to do.

  17. H.R. December 24, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, p.g.

    I hope you get a few toys under the tree for yourself.

    Maybe Santa will leave a dilithium crystal in your stocking instead of a lump of coal, eh? 😜

    Oh… I’m getting a hankerin’ to whittle once again. I used to amuse myself whittling chains and balls in cages. I have acquired a few top-notch knives in the past 2-3 years that will make whittling easier and more fun than when I whittled in my youth. Trust me on this; whittling is relaxing and satisfying, but not nearly as much fun as a 3-D printer. Keep that printer going, bro.

    P.S. A shoutout to Simon D. – Merry Christmas, good sir! It’s been a thought provoking pleasure and an education to read your thoughts this year, here, at E.M.’s place, on WUWT, and on Willis’ blog.

    I’ve been well aware of your handle and postings over the past years, but a more concentrated reading your comments at several blogs in the space of a year, plus/minus, have been an eyeopening treat.

    I’m looking forward to more from you in the New year.

    Best regards,

  18. Simon Derricutt December 25, 2018 at 3:30 am

    pg – I also wish you a merry Christmas! From your comments at Chiefio it looks like you’re well-set for a good time and have enough of the blackberry brandy to last.

    H.R. – the bi-metal Japanese knives are superb for whittling, especially if you have the waterstones to achieve that polished razor-edge they will take. A bit of Diamond-paste on a smooth bit of leather also does the job, and maybe easier to get hold of there. The cut is polished, even on end-grain. Downside is they won’t take leverage, since the edge is brittle, so there’s a bit of re-learning to just cut and not lever the chip out.

    I’m hoping to do the impossible in several projects. Some are definitely possible, but the weirdest one (gravity and inertia control) may be a step too far. We don’t know until that’s actually been tested, but it might be truth. The universe is pretty weird when you start digging at the foundations. pg is also trying to do things that are supposed to be impossible, too, and I appreciate both the craftsmanship and the scale of what he’s trying to do. I hope we all get that bit further on in making the impossible possible over the coming years.

  19. p.g.sharrow December 25, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Seasons Greetings my friends, It has been an event filled year year for sure.
    A few years back I got into wood carving and needing small gouges. I grabbed a hand full of old chainsaw files. Forged and shaped them, tempered and ground into the shape needed and added palm handles. Awesome cutters, but brittle as hell. A bit of a trick getting the temper and edge angle right. Those little Diamond impregnated pocket hones work well at dressing small gouges and they now come in various grits. and shapes.
    Failure is a stern teacher when we attempt new things. But Testing the limits is such fun. Just way too many neat things to do and too little money and time to do them all ! Getting comfortable working in CAD and operating a 3D printer is just another method of creation but a real challenge of learning new tricks. Exercise for the Brain 😉 as we test the limits. I am delighted with the Chiefs progress with his computer network. Many years ago I visualized the computer/communication system needed to operate a needed world wide organization for education and operations of a space transportation company. Smith has nearly got it into operation. Those SBCs and their operating system is a key part of that “Beer Can” computer system. Small disposable boards that can do anything and everything needed and with builtin security. Now that the path is blazed it can be expanded by adding others into the system. Simon and I will need to get busy at testing the frontiers of physics to get a handle on Mass/Inertia and create the foundation of an Electrical/Electronic warp drive. The present Roman Candle stuff is just to crude for real space travel.
    The new age beckons, good luck to us all. …pg

  20. Simon Derricutt December 26, 2018 at 6:00 am

    H.R – Sorry I missed including you (and a lot of other people too…) in the best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. Having been through the retirement process myself, I expect you’ll soon be wondering how you managed to fit earning money into the day, when there are so many other things that need doing as well. Being free of the 9-5 mentality (or in my case 8-6 because I was engineering rather than management) makes an amazing difference. As regards my comments, I only write here, Chiefio, Willis’ blog, CFC, Pointman’s, and R-G (since I’m a moderator there), and not on WUWT although I lurk there and at Vortex. There are enough people with far better qualifications on climate science (the real science, that is) to discuss predictions, and better to keep my mouth shut there and to be thought a fool than to open it and prove it. They don’t all agree, either. Still, there is a general agreement that more CO2 is a positive thing, and it’s pretty obvious that a slightly warmer world would also be beneficial. The things to worry about are a colder world and not enough CO2 in the air. Either way it goes, we’ll need to cope and adapt, and cheap energy will be very beneficial whatever happens.

    Achieving the freedom of cheap space travel could be the most valuable thing, even then. There’s that ever-hanging Sword of Damocles of a large asteroid strike that at the moment we can’t detect more than a few hours in advance, and can’t do anything about to stop it. We’re overdue a big hit, based on historical frequency. Though the theories pg and myself are looking at are just a bit outrageous and go against current thinking, they may just be reality (or near enough to work, anyway) and thus could help avert such a disaster if we do get something working. As a gamble, the payback could be massive, and we’ll still need to live through our time whether or not we do something useful with it. Of course, it’s also fun trying to solve these problems. Maybe the publishing of the ideas may prompt other people to either do some work themselves or to point out errors – both are useful. I’m pretty certain that future technology will make things happen that we currently think is impossible to do. I can’t even get my head around quantum computing. The universe is weird…. We may be pretty close to Vernor Vinge’s “singularity’, where the rate of technological advance is way beyond what we now expect and *something else* happens to humanity, and we gain capabilities we haven’t even dreamed of so far. Interesting times.

  21. p.g.sharrow December 29, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    A month into this project and I nearly have an operable unit. I can now create models in the Computer and then render them in plastic. They nearly look “Factory” made! Boy! this is Slow……………6 to 8 hours to print a part. It will print much faster but at the expense of quality. Of course this little 200mm Monoprice V2 is about the minimum 3Dprinter available that actually works $330 on Amazon. I have occasionally worked in Acad from time to time for 30 years. Started with an 8088 IBMpc with coprocessor. No instructions, just hack at it. and that was real slow. Often it would crash and then lose everything that hadn’t been saved to disk. Talk about a love / hate relationship. Now with a much more capable program and computer it is not bad except for my lack of ability in using these tools.
    Using a 3D printer is another steep learning curve to get good results. A lot of capabilities in there with little instruction. Thank you for the InterNet of information from other users….pg

  22. H.R. December 30, 2018 at 5:38 am

    p.g., is there any value in printing some of the components or sub-assemblies in a different color of plastic?

    I have never had the use of a 3-D printer, but depending on what I was making, I would use different colors in the drawing for different components. It’s a common practice in making drawings. I picked up the practice from others and I’d guess you are doing that, too.

    Anyhow, (this is just idle curiosity) now that I know someone who is printing out their 3-D drawings, I was wondering if using different colors was as useful for the printed parts as it is for the drawings.

    It sounds to me like you’re having some fun; like a roller coaster maybe? Cool results alternating with “dang-nab-it-gotta-redo-all-that” moments?

  23. p.g.sharrow December 30, 2018 at 7:39 am

    @HR “dang-nab-it-gotta-redo-all-that” ! ! !
    That is for sure. 6 hours of printing a 8 hours part and a printer glitch……. have to clear the deck and start over. or find a hidden error in the cad file after the part is printed, more junk, more plastic into the scrap barrel, And then, A perfect part ! Wow, this is cool. Even complex tiny designs. Like in all computer things, It does exactly what you tell it to do, EXACTLY, sometimes with strange results. The printer is another piece of machinery with It’s own foibles, including temperature sensitivity. Keep it warm!, no cold drafts. And watch the adjustments, both mechanical and software.
    I am in awe of the ability to render into reality parts that I envision and render in Acad then create into reality with 3D printing. It is kind of like having a miniature machine shop at my disposal. All of my years of fabing things in the shop can now be done on the desk top. Modern CAD lets me create models just like machine work of cutting and milling, welding and gluing real parts, unlike the old ways of drawing and interpretation of Blueprints, flat line drawings.
    Color coding and layering is very handy in the drafting of parts. Complex creations can get very confusing on the computer screen. Printing in colors is the next step but that really increases inventory costs and complexities. And quality control of ageing plastic filament is an issue. New filament sticks together much better then ageing stuff does. And What do I do with all this accumulating scrap? At least right now it is all the same color and type of plastic.
    Like all such things, When you start at the bottom end, you always wish you had a bigger, better machine to work with. This little 200mm deck is almost too small for what I need and the printer too slow for our real needs but next to nothing, not bad. A good place to learn on the cheap before we commit to real money. I’m glad my grandson convinced me to invest into this little system of printer and software over a year ago. It was supposed to be his toy, but presently he has no use for it and this project really requires it. Just his acquired knowledge and experience now has to be duplicated in my brain here, 40 miles away. Steep learning curve over the last 30 days….pg

  24. H.R. December 30, 2018 at 10:39 am

    p.g.: “Printing in colors is the next step but that really increases inventory costs and complexities. […]”

    Thanks for answering my question. I wasn’t considering the cost just yet. I was just curious if you thought printing parts in different colors would be as useful as CAD drawings with different colors for different parts. I really wasn’t sure, but thought it might be useful.
    There’s a comment on Chiefio’s blog that seems to be a scam bot to tout ‘penny stocks.’ It’s in the January Tips and Notices thread and posted by ‘chiff.’

    Just for fun, I replied to ‘chiff’ and put in a plug to invest in your air washer, not that ‘chiff’ is a real person and would consider actually parting with real money.

    I have my doubts that you will be hearing from ‘chiff’ any time soon. 😜

  25. H.R. December 30, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Went fishing at a new spot and when I got back…

    It appears ‘chiff’ is not a pump and dump bot. Maybe chiff has an interest in investing in an air cleaner startup and has some spare cash, eh?

    You did mention a need for capital.
    I have a small amount of capital, but I also have a need for more immediate ROI as I need cash flow in retirement. I was mulling over an offer, but it’s a tough decision.

    I do know a little about the market and need for fume extraction, as in my previous life I bought several Micro Air fume extractors for soldering and brazing applications. Good units and their motors are amazing; continuous duty for years. The problem, as you well know, is the filter replacement cost.

    If your unit can perform as well as one of those without the filter cost, you will be a multi-multi-milliionaire before you hit 78 years-old.

    Here’s a link to what I bought over the years. The units I bought are on page 6, Model SC150, small bench models, white, about the middle of the page

    Would your unit compete against this one? They are bullet-proof, but the filter replacement cost… oy vey!

  26. p.g.sharrow December 31, 2018 at 12:26 am

    @ HR, I used to be in the Industrial Fume Scrubber Business for circuit board and integrated circuit manufacturing. Dust is easy, We scrubbed acid and alkali fumes as well as solvents and reflow smoke. Even NOx. Our equipment had to be fabricated out of Polypropylene because the mix of fumes would eat everything else. The waste water stream went into the plant waste treatment. And there lies the rub! What do you do with the dirty water, if you don’t have a waste water treatment plant? and you need to scrub hazardous materials ? This thing requires Water to work, dirty non-potable water will work, even salt water. No Filters to buy or deal with. The device does need to be washed out as often as the contaminates accumulate, so It is designed to pull the power head and wash out the body.
    As to your inquiry I had a thought today. My son complains about the fumes from his little printer in his apartment. There are a lot of people that need these things and some of them have 3D printers. Maybe if I get the files correct for this Beta Model I could sell E-plans to build your own or for others. Takes about $20 in plastic supplies total, $50 – $70 for the cooler water pump motor and about 40hours of printer time on my mickey mouse $240 printer. That makes for an Industrial grade fume scrubber for less then a $100. as manufactured cost. Not great but not bad. And people with these little printers are often looking for a excuse to justify their use of them. Something to add to the business plan…pg

  27. H.R. December 31, 2018 at 4:16 am

    p.g., If you sell E-plans of your scrubber you are releasing your plans to the wind and setting up your own competition.

    My advice – and it’s worth every penny you paid for it – is keep the scrubber plans, manufacturing, and sales to yourself. Then come up with a few ideas for fun, useful things to print and sell E-plans for those items.

    Maybe garden decorations, small fountains, a better mouse trap, a Christmas table-decoration, a series of cute salt and pepper shaker sets (lots of collectors who might want to make their own just for fun), kitchen doo-dads, fishing and golf gadgets… get on Amazon, ebay, and pininterest and look at ‘stuff’. Aha! Cookie imprinters: a design on a block that is used to press that design into cookies or shortbread.

    That’s a whole ‘nother business; a catalogue of E-plans (actually just ‘Print’ files) of stuff people can make with that 3-D printer they bought, don’t know what to do with it, and don’t have the patience to learn the CAD needed to make useful items.

  28. H.R. December 31, 2018 at 4:35 am

    Here’s one – a capo for a dulcimer. Simon D. can chime in on that. Musicians don’t want to damage the wood on their instruments and plastic capos might just be something that would catch on. You make the plans. Let printer owners make the capos and sell or give them to their musician friends.

    Also, like your scrubber but something other than the scrubber, consider items that are a combination of metal and plastic. Sell the E-plan for the plastic part(s) along with a kit-bag of the metal parts needed to complete the item.

    That ought to keep your son busy while you work on the scrubber 😆

  29. p.g.sharrow December 31, 2018 at 8:47 am

    @HR; My son has a business creating little 3D files that people use to add “things” into their computer games and role playing. He has been doing that for the last 20+ years., since high school, I told him that the best way to make money with his computer was to make “things” that had no value or cost that people would pay for just because they wanted them. He was into computer gaming and thought the games needed enhancements, as a computer artist it was the next step. Today he has obtained a 3Dprinter to turn his computer 3D art into real things. He has gone full circle. As for me, I always make real things and sell them, but then they are gone and I have to make more real things to sell. For him computer files can be remade/duplicated and resold with just a mouse click by the buyer and a few cents dribble into his account. Multiply by hundreds an hour day and night while the fad lasts. But he always envied my actual creation of real things. Computer aided 3Dprinting allows him the ability to create real things that he can hold in his hands. Something he can do in his apartment.
    Oh yes! Cookie press. He designed and we made a rollingpin that made embossed cookies. That was back in the days we had to send files to Germany to get them 3D printed for us.

    You admonition about selling plans for this Beta test model scrubber are well taken and will be added to the considerations. The Idea has both good and bad possibilities for long and short term outcomes. It’s a good way to gauge test market demands, get some feed back from real users and generate some early cash flow. Even a little is more useful then none. There is risk of competition but this is only an early test model and not a real injection molded commercial model. It seems that my knowledge of the total engineering requirements is very rare, as after over 20 years of my patent’s life I see no utilization of it’s principals. In my experience, “the world does not beat a path to the door of the creator of a better mousetrap”, He has to beat them into using it, first. Then it is a marketing problem. After the demand is created by your marketing, then the copy-cats try to jump in and flood that market. What killed me the last time was trusting the wrong people to do the marketing. Startups are a real bitch! specially if you have to bootstrap it. Getting the right TEAM together is key. There is always someone that wants to takeover all the marbles and RUN THINGS, but is not really the KEY man to the operation. This always wastes the resources and dooms the effort for everyone else. I’ve been involved in many failed startups, great ideas that failed due to someones greed and short sighted or selfish interest. Hummm, wonder if I have learned anything yet. I sure have made a lot of mistakes along the way. ;-(

    Still, half of the fun is in trying.

    Getting in at the beginning of a successful startup is every investors dream BUT a foolish one. 9 of 10 startups fail. Every startup investor MUST be an active participant in making it go. The second round of funding is the time for investors to take a, look see, to decide if they want to be involved. That is the time for smart/strong money to do their take over and do the build up, to sell to to small investors…pg

  30. Simon Derricutt December 31, 2018 at 10:25 am

    H.R. – plastic capos are already available. The metal ones are however padded so they don’t damage the neck. The tricky thing is to get the spring pressure enough to stop buzzes but not so strong it does damage and to keep the whole thing compact so it doesn’t impede your fretting hand. Most of the ones I’ve seen do the job well-enough, though the first capo I ever bought didn’t. At that time I didn’t know what the pitfalls were (I was 16) and there wasn’t much choice. Buy that one or not. I don’t see a good market in them, though – it’s crowded and there’s not a lot you can do different and still work well.

    pg – The 3D printing sure cuts the time to getting something to test. Even a quick turnaround on injection moulding was at least a couple of weeks back when I was involved in that, and of course the cost of the mould was pretty high. Not something you’d want to change too much. Getting it right first time, or at least near-enough right to live with, was the standard.

    I’ve seen some people use cut-up PET drinks bottles to make their own filament, and it’s possible you could recycle bad print jobs by making an extruder. I’m not sure why the “secondhand” plastic doesn’t adhere to itself as well, but maybe the plasticiser has been evaporated a bit and you may need to run the temperature a bit higher. That may impact accuracy, and you’d need to run tests on that as well as the cohesion of the printed articles.

    I don’t have a valid opinion on the business side. Whether you sell the files to make it (and then risk someone selling them on as if they’d made them) or sell the thing itself, there’s always going to be someone copy the design and make it in China if the air cleaner sells well-enough. Not a lot you can really do about that unless your pockets are very deep. If you try to make it cheaper by going to China for the manufacturing, then they’ll pass the designs around and again you’d lose out. Having a number of 3D printers running (maybe with Pi SBCs as the computers to drive them) might be the cheapest way to get enough stock to test the market and see whether it’s worth the tooling costs of injection moulding. Maybe also consider whether the bits can be vacuum-moulded and trimmed – thicknesses tend to be a bit variable but might do the job. There’s also press-moulding where you can maybe 3D-print the moulds. Just suggestions, in case you get stuck on the idea of injection moulding or 3D printing as being the only ways available. Maybe H.R. has other suggestions for sneaky ways to get the right shapes. Casting with cut fibre reinforcement may give you a stronger material but requires a release-angle to get the things out of the moulds. Still, even if going for injection-moulding for the accuracy and balance, the outer case could maybe be made by a different method.

  31. p.g.sharrow December 31, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Another test part is on the print bed. Takes about 6 hours of CAD work and 2 plus hours to print. Kind of amazing compared to the old ways of paper drawing, then machine the mold for an injector run That could all be scrapped. It is looking to be less then 2 months for concept to become working test models and that includes a steep learning curve as well.

    Selling access to printable files should have little risk as to large scale copiers as this is a fairly crude and expensive way to create fume scrubbers. I have used nearly every kind of parts creation there is except injection molding, far too expensive and complex for me to do on very limited production runs. Printing is one more stop-gap measure to get started with. It is possible to print positives that Injection molds are cast around in composites to create short run injection tools with lives up to 500 parts. FRP casting is a option for the base tank as it is quite a step larger then what is possible on a little printer and could be compatible with the printed parts as presently designed. Vacuum molding of the tank parts is another option for that. Both of these are beyond the abilities of the Desk top hobbyist. More things to think about.

    I will need to design markers into the files to brand them, but I see this file sharing as a sales gambit for promotion as much as for generating funds. and any of these units would not likely to be competitive in the long run. Just far better then the nearly nothing that is available now…pg

  32. p.g.sharrow January 2, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Well guys, what do you think about the T6 Airwasher picture and remarks added to the above post. I’m nearly done with creating and printing it. One more part to print and I can put it to work. As you can see there has been quite a progression of improvements in my comfort with working in CAD design as well as operating a printer, over the last month. I’m nearly ready to launch a new redesign cycle, 😎 I see room for new improvements almost as fast as I complete the last ones. This ability to create complex parts is addictive! …pg

  33. Simon Derricutt January 2, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    pg – great idea to use a bought-in bucket for the outer shell. I’ve found here though that people sell something for a while and then a different design comes in that is not an exact match. It may be worth finding the source of supply for the bucket and getting a supply direct from the factory at some point if you start selling lots. They’ll have their mould and won’t change it unless forced, after all.

    Of course you’re thinking of improvements. Generally people don’t have the luxury of being able to change designs quickly and cheaply, and that’s what the ACAD and printer give you. Mostly things are sold once they are *good enough* and then faults are fixed when they are found. You can actually test each design out without spending too much money on it. I hope you’re keeping a notebook with new ideas as you have them. Don’t forget that you can print something that is *difficult* to cast or make by injection moulding, so you may settle how you need to manufacture during the design process. For a complex part that needs to be complex, you may find printing is cheaper, too. Probably telling Granny how to suck eggs here, but knowing expected sales volumes, costs, and profits needs to be in the design process. It’s not just something that works, you need to make it at a price point that is attractive.

    Great job so far, and you’ll have clean air at the end of it.

  34. p.g.sharrow January 2, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    @Simon; Clean air for me was the object when I began these effort. Now I have acquired a working understanding of this process, a whole new field of creation is available to me. 😎 With some limitations, I can build anything in plastic that I can create in Acad.
    The possibility of a new business being created from an earlier inventive effort is a plus of opportunity and a minus if it intrudes too much on my time. Building a spreadsheet of costs and incomes is not unknown to me. I used to be a farmer and learned that chore when I was quite young, long before computers and their software were available to me. Time and material, overhead and depreciation, Taxes and services, Been a long time since I needed to create Database and Spreadsheets, may take me a week to get back into it. I’m about 25 years rusty in that field.
    Nice thing about this creation method is, I can modify the files to meet changing conditions as needed. the retooling cost is minimal. The container is being used as a stop gap because my printer is too small for the base that I really want. This scrubber will drop into the required base upgrade later…pg

  35. H.R. January 2, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    p.g., I’m just going to remind you of something you already know. The expected number of unit sales is going to determine the process and tooling you select for making the components.

    If you are expecting to sell 5,000 units per week or even per month, $50,000 – $100,000 dollars of tooling works out to be pennies per part. If the volumes are low, then there’s no difference between a handmade part costing $150 to make or an injection molded part that is a few bucks per each, but is carrying its share of the $100,000 tooling cost and so… they both cost $150 bucks, but one requires $100,000 up front and the other costs only $150 each for as many as you care to make.

    This beta process is going well for you with 3-D CAD and a 3-D printer. It’s light-years ahead of what it used to take to prototype a product. You’ve been there, done that, and got the T-shirt, so you know what I’m saying.

    What somebody needs to start looking at is the size of the target market for the Genii Air Scrubber, competing units, and your current and future potential market share.

    Again, I’m telling you what you already know, but I’m guessing that I’m best being helpful by focusing your attention on a detail that will affect your fundamental production decisions. How many units you sell will determine what production equipment or processes you need to use.

    A personal example to remind you of what you know:

    I retired from a company that makes high pressure hydraulic lines for heavy equipment; primarily excavators. Our main customer had production capacity for 6,000 excavators per year. In general, there was no sense in us buying a piece of equipment that would allow us to make 50,000 something-or-others per year. Our customer was only going to buy 6,000 max. Even if they stole some market share from a competitor, they could only make 6,000 of their units until they did something to expand their production capacity.

    My company’s real constraint then was the number of customers. I worked on, and then they finally landed about a year after I retired, another company that made excavators. They make about 3,000 excavators per year.

    Now my old company could afford to automate a few processes that didn’t make economic sense at the lower production levels. And some of the production processes were scaled up for the new business just by adding another machine to do more of the same.

    My reminder to you, because I’m positive you already know this, is that the production tooling and methods you need are dependent on your expected production volume, and that depends on what you can reasonably expect to sell along with a realistic sales growth curve.

    So before you start specifying tooling and equipment, remember that production quantities are going to guide your choices, and I’d advise you to use your personal experience in the biz and call on any old contacts you may have still in the biz to get the best estimate possible of your share of the market.
    Then you can work on creating a monopoly, eh? 😜…😆… 🤣🤣

    P.S. You are writing well and it’s easy to pick up on the fun you are having. Good!

  36. p.g.sharrow January 7, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    @HR; Thank you for your critique of things that I need to be reminded of. Many of the things you and Simon bring up are things that I need to point out to my sister and nephew as we launch this. I will insist they read this blog thread.

    25 years ago we did market research on the possible demand as well as likely penetration and later probably replacement demands. The numbers got to be scary for a while during ramp-up.

    I am getting close to having the needed files done to my satisfaction. We now have an operating Airwasher in operation in my “lab” under the kitchen table. 😉 It is nice to have really clean air in my face as I work at the computer. The daily dust level accumulation is noticeably reduced on our Black kitchen table. This from the first test model in operation. The redesigned unit is being created on the printer bed next to me as I type. Due to the varying hum of the stepper motors, the printer sings a song of creation as it works. Every operation causes different notes to be sung. Fascinating to watch and listen to it working.

    Getting a 3D printer to work is another field to be conquered. They often don’t work well right out of the box, so a bit of magic is required for acceptable results and every batch of filament requires a bit of tuning of the printer to get good results. Even a change of temperature or a cool breeze effects the outcome. Lots of scrap to deal with.

    This is a wonderful way to do R&D and prototyping but sucks as a way to do production…pg

  37. Simon Derricutt January 8, 2019 at 7:03 am

    pg – it may be an idea to have a hood over the printer to stop draughts and reduce the temperature-changes. That may reduce the scrap. Just polythene on a wooden frame should be adequate, provided you can lift it off for setup. Otherwise, make something with a door.

    Nice to know it’s making a visible difference to the air quality.

  38. p.g.sharrow January 8, 2019 at 8:41 am

    The printer is in a “Box” like area in my lab, just needs a window/door front. Right now the cabinet is open front with a towel draped on the front.

    It would seem that ABS shrinks quite a lot and needs a stable, hot, 90-100F environment during printing of large items to reduce warpage and premature lifting from the print bed. The new ABS alloy that I ordered is supposed to have a lower shrink rate. Not all ABS plastic is the same. The last time I was into working in plastics there were 600 different formulations and the best material to weld it with was a slice from the same batch. Add to that, differences in quality that creep in during manufacture. Half of this adventure is getting all of the variables to meet in an acceptable product on a dependable basis and good enough for R&D is not good enough for production except for Beta testing. Meanwhile I get to play at “fixing” things, something that seems to be in my nature. …pg

  39. Pingback: The New old project continues. | pgtruspace's blog

  40. Pingback: The Completed, Old New Project | pgtruspace's blog

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