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warweed

3D printed geocaches !

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As an aside, one of the recently archived power trails in Nevada used 3D printed containers. I know nothing about the containers, but did notice a comment that most of the containers had to be replaced. They did not mention if it was because of container failure, or the container went missing.

 

I think the two most common 3D printing materials, PLA and ABS, have issues. PLA is bio-degradable, and probably won't last unprotected outdoors. ABS should be sturdier, but may breakdown in UV light. Making a container waterproof may require adding gaskets. 

 

I've got a 3D printer, and have made a cryptext. If I was going to use 3D printed parts as part of a geocache, I think I would enclose it in some other kind of container, or make sure that is was placed in a location well out of the weather.

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3 minutes ago, Wet Pancake Touring Club said:

 

I think the two most common 3D printing materials, PLA and ABS, have issues. PLA is bio-degradable, and probably won't last unprotected outdoors. ABS should be sturdier, but may breakdown in UV light.

 

 I'm staring into my crystal ball, and seeing some of my local C.O.s ( the ones who rejoice in placing random suburban micros for the FTF/streak/numbers crowd then archiving rather than maintaining them when issues occur and just publishing another ditto ) rejoicing at the thought of conveniently self destructing , time limited micros.

Oh dear,. how depressing.

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23 hours ago, Wet Pancake Touring Club said:

I think the two most common 3D printing materials, PLA and ABS, have issues. PLA is bio-degradable, and probably won't last unprotected outdoors. ABS should be sturdier, but may breakdown in UV light. Making a container waterproof may require adding gaskets. 

Yep.

When the other 2/3rds started playing with one, she found most supply stores carried far more pla than nylon, or variant of.

 - They're called "bioplastics", but most said the main ingredient is corn starch.     

 H.D's many bears in his state would have  snacks.  :D

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Anyone know for sure the durability of these containers ? Heat, cold and impact for example. Most what I've read state sound like guesses.

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2 hours ago, rustynails. said:

Anyone know for sure the durability of these containers ? Heat, cold and impact for example. Most what I've read state sound like guesses.

 

It depends on the quality of the material, which varies greatly.  But the good old-fashioned PLA or ABS additive plastic rod created 3D items tend to be no good for outdoor use.  Colors fade, material gets brittle.  If I tried it, this would not be the container, it would instead be camouflage for a watertight container.  And I'd try some kind of protective coating.  So far, any cache camo I might make in “3D print”, I've been able to make more easily and cheaper, using other crafting methods.  I even made a "nut and bolt" identical to others on a guard rail, using two-part rubber molding material, and epoxy resin.

 

If you can access machines that directly make 3D metal objects, for example, that might work pretty well outdoors.  That's a whole other ballgame.

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I'm all for 3d printing container accessories, decorations, or container containers - but not the containers themselves. Especially at consumer level, they're just not at the point yet of being sufficeintly weather resistant.  But put a container in one, or use one as a field puzzle, something like that, absolutely!

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I've placed a few 3D-printed caches out over the last year or so.  They've all been made with PLA filament.

The only issue I've had, so far, is a bear printed with black PLA.  The head has broken off a couple of times.  I might try a PET-G version, or maybe an ASA  version next time it needs replacement.  I have generated and placed the same model with brown and with natural (pigment-free) PLA, and haven't had issues with those ones yet.

 

I figure that this is how you truly learn about what works or doesn't.  At some point, you really have to go beyond speculations to actually learn something.

 

There's lots of experimentation to be done, with so filament brands, formulas, materials, and pigments on the market, not to mention a vast variety of hiding spots and techniques.

There's quite a bit to play with when considering slicer settings and 3D model design as well, like wall thickness, infill levels and structure, layer height, printing speed, and temperature settings.

 

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I actually wanted to experiment with this. I have an idea to make a Psych tv show cache, and I would absolutely love if it could be in the shape of a pineapple :) I actually have access to free 3D printing available at the local library. Has anyone made a suitable container using a 3D container that has worked as a cache? If not, what is a good way to make something into a pineapple shape?

 

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9 hours ago, psychpineapple said:

I actually wanted to experiment with this. I have an idea to make a Psych tv show cache, and I would absolutely love if it could be in the shape of a pineapple :) I actually have access to free 3D printing available at the local library. Has anyone made a suitable container using a 3D container that has worked as a cache? If not, what is a good way to make something into a pineapple shape?

 

 

The biggest challenge with a 3d printed container would be creating space within it that would make it water resistant.   Do a search on "fake pineapple" and you'll find a few artificial pineapples that might be used.  You'd still have to hollow it out but I'd probably just drill a hole in the bottom and put a bottle pre-form container in it.  This is not a real pineapple:

 

61PxvvfzJ-L._AC_SL1000_.jpg

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Someone put a bunch of these in the "Dead End Fred" series in central Illinois.  They appeared at the ends of dead-end roads.  I thought they were great!

tn_2019-05 (13).jpg

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