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Hello all,

So i was meddling with this idea for a while and couldn't find any resources or anything even similar. I want to make my own radiator, not for any practical reasons but just to see if i could and how it would compare to an off the shelf radiator.

Let me know what you think of this: I want to 3d print a honeycomb pattern out of a wax casting resin. Very small cells, about 3 mm in diameter with 0.5mm wall thickness. So in essence it would be 0.5mm thick wax walls joined together in a hex pattern. I would then paint it with a conductive paint, and electroplate the entire structure with copper. I am hoping to get about a 100um thick layer of copper on this (thats about the thickness of radiator fins). After that is done, sand it down on both ends until i have exposed the wax and then melt it all out leaving behind a void for water to run through. Additional thoughts include leaving it in solution longer to grow little hairs on the surface (like the inside of a heat pipe) and then annealing it for strength so it doesn't just all fall off but i dont want to get ahead of myself.

Some problems i can foresee already is the structural integrity of this may be insufficient to actually pump water through without rupturing, but, there is no way for me to know this until i try.

Anyways what do you all think? If you think this could work (and be comparable to a commercial solution) I can update this thread with the build :)
 

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The Fabricat0r
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It's definitely interesting. I think the honeycomb pattern is going to be extremely restrictive and fragile though. It would be like having a pipe with 100's of 30 degree bends, all that restriction is going to add up. Maybe I'm thinking about that wrong... I guess enough channels in parallel will compensate for that though.

I think you may also have issues getting a decent coat of paint in all the cells, depending on how thick this radiator will be. Still, sounds pretty cool and you just might be on to something.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have also considered other alternatives, one of which being a diamond pattern instead (long ways with the flow like this -> <><><><><> ->flow direction)
And another idea was to get ready made radiator tubes and just plate a rather dense (but very thin) fin array onto them much like a traditional rad. But i can not find any ready made tubes suitable to the task :(
 

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I realy like this idea and leaving the solution to grow the hairs is a great idea, increasing the surface area will only do good things, aswell as honeycomb (depending on its layout) has a great surface area for air to pass trhough.
As for the restriction issue; you should be fine as long as the pressure is both enough to cycle easily but low enough to not rupture anything.
Would be a trial and error process, buy a flow indicator and water pressure meter put on the rad assembly and slowly turn up your pump.
Looking forward to seeing this!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have decided to give it a go. I spent days fiddling with settings on the printer until eventually it produced something i was happy with. This is not wax, this is ASA. It wont melt out and i was really just using this for "practice". So i think the printer is more or less dialed in (although will need more tweaks when i switch materials). This is the test piece that i will try to copper plate for plating practice :) It is 80mm by 40mm by 10mm. Two of these should produce me an 80mm radiator which will be my functional prototype.

Unfortunately my printers build volume is only 100mm by 100mm so i cant print a 120mm rad just yet. need to figure out how to fix this little hiccup (i will probably print an extension for it).

I am quite pleased with the ridges on the walls. Oh do ignore the rough sides, i did not post process this yet.
 

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Looks great, huge surface area and decent "fin" desity, not sure where the water goes but its an early prototype.
Realy looking forward to seeing this thing copper plated.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Small update.

I have had a lot of trouble making paint electrically conductive. Still working on a recepie for that. Its turning out too thick and most importantly.... not conductive :( I did also ruin that honeycomb trying to paint it so i need to print a new one.

As for the printer i have a printrbot play with the optional heated bed (but not the bed extension :( )
 

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Small update.

I have had a lot of trouble making paint electrically conductive. Still working on a recepie for that. Its turning out too thick and most importantly.... not conductive :( I did also ruin that honeycomb trying to paint it so i need to print a new one.

As for the printer i have a printrbot play with the optional heated bed (but not the bed extension :( )
Given the desity of the "fins" i doubt painting will be fun, i have had to dip paint a heatsync before and i hated it; i would suggest using shielding paint, its intentionally conductive paint used for guitars and EMI shielding:

http://www.stewmac.com/Pickups_and_...pgb6pZVeoJ1J6Uy9M5v6aQRd6nHND3NgaAjPLEALw_wcB

hope that helps!
 

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You need to get paint that's really thin to be able to decent coat everywhere and not filling the honeycombs.

Since you're 3D printing, which not try to do 3D shape? This is just something a laser could cut.

If you'd make the honeycombs in a slight S pattern, air would hit the sides and increase the radiator efficiency 10 fold. :)

Also, you talked about not having tubes to make a radiator, you could apply the same principle and print support material rods, coat, plate then melt to have your custom 3D printed tubes ;)
 

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You need to get paint that's really thin to be able to decent coat everywhere and not filling the honeycombs.

Since you're 3D printing, which not try to do 3D shape? This is just something a laser could cut.

If you'd make the honeycombs in a slight S pattern, air would hit the sides and increase the radiator efficiency 10 fold. :)
If you look at the OP's first picture the honey comb is staggered so it is a 3d shape meaning any air passing through the frist "hole" in the comb would then meet with an edge of the next layer beneath.
This creates a staggered layout increasing the fin density tenfold, unlike normal rads where it tsaggered yes but straight lines going edge to edge
 

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If you look at the OP's first picture the honey comb is staggered so it is a 3d shape meaning any air passing through the frist "hole" in the comb would then meet with an edge of the next layer beneath.
This creates a staggered layout increasing the fin density tenfold, unlike normal rads where it tsaggered yes but straight lines going edge to edge
I'm not sure about that, it just looks like a 3D print of lower quality
 

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Duality92 Just zoomed in on the op's pictures and i think youre right.
even moving the layers beneath over by one mm might have the desired affect.
 
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