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spinycheek

3D printed frag plug designs

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spinycheek

Hey all, I haven't been a part of the online aquarium community for quite a while, but I decided it's time to get back in! I am currently unable to keep an aquarium so I've been improvising by playing with some 3D printing. I have never really been satisfied with normal plugs, so I thought I'd play with some other designs that are a bit more versatile.

 

Here are a couple tiles which clip onto eggcrate and a little removable cage for smashing softies onto the tile for attachment.

DSCN6926.jpg

 

The bottom. The middle port is for a removable post, so it doesn't need to be broken off.

 

DSCN6929.jpg

 

Put together, the post can also attach to eggcrate and/or serve as a "micro plug"

 

DSCN6916.jpg

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RK_tek

Do like. Thought on the 'softie smoosher'. If you have 3-4 fingers that did not quite meet in the middle, could it also be used to hold up SPS frags without gluing them to the frag disc? I see potential in this for frag operations where you are making lots of frags that would normally need to be glued. If one could insert the frag into the plug, it would be faster, more efficient than gluing

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spinycheek

That's an interesting thought! Glue-less fragging. I'll have to do some tinkering with that...

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HarryPotter

That's an interesting thought! Glue-less fragging. I'll have to do some tinkering with that...

 

Any way to get one or two to try out? Looks cool!

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jamescstein

neat idea.. wouldn't they float?

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khuzdul

Those seem pretty slick. Are you using nylon for your print material?

 

In terms of market / pricing, some folks don't use egg crate for their frag racks. Your removable center post is totally comparable with them, but there is no "upsell" to those people to make them want to pay more than existing plugs (except for the softie-squisher which is pretty cool).

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VW_TDI_02

I would love to see the "Softie squisher" with some actual zoas and see how well it holds them in place.

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spinycheek

Any way to get one or two to try out? Looks cool!

 

I'd have to make a new design for glue less fragging, but then yeah, no problem.

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HarryPotter

I'd have to make a new design for glue less fragging, but then yeah, no problem.

Sounds cool! I like the softie squisher idea. I'll PM you later today :)

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spinycheek

These ones are nylon and yes, they are slightly buoyant. However, if they're on eggcrate, they actually clip on, so they wouldn't float, they even hang on upside down really securely too. I'm working on a modified design for use on home 3D printers that can be made with sinking PLA plastic.

 

I'm trying to cover all the things that could be better, thanks for the input. I was hoping to make some alternative "posts" for changing how it can attach. Right now it can be a tile or a standard plug (except the post is tapered and barbed to anchor into rock better). But theoretically it could have magnets, sand spikes, different sized posts, whatever can clip on.

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spinycheek

Upside down clipped on

 

DSCN6922.jpg

 

 

Better view of the detachable post

 

DSCN6917.jpg

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schgr.cube

These are awesome. Great job!

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spinycheek

Thanks!

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VW_TDI_02

The only issue I see with clipping them onto the egg crate is getting them off. How much force is needed to remove them from the egg crate? I know my red planet acro has begun to encrust on the frag plug and it's only been on there for about 3 weeks. So far it covers a 3/4" diameter circle. Eventually, I'd imagine, that it will being to encrust over the edges. If the plug is attached, wouldn't you risk damaging the coral depending on how hard it is to remove?

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spinycheek

It's not hard to remove, it just needs to be intentionally pulled off. The post also being able to clip on was a alternative way to lift the disc off the eggcrate to prevent encrusting if that's a concern. The post doesn't clip on so much as grasp/wedge on. So it can attach to eggcrate two different ways, both secure, but not difficult to put on or remove. One is almost flush with eggcrate and attaches on 4 points, the other is elevated above eggcrate and attaches at 1 point.

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Cameron6796

This is brilliant, I think you could honestly patent this, because soon someone else is going to think of this.

 

Anyways, the softie squished is genius, I have always wanted something like this.

 

The detachable column on the disks to make them plugs is really important no more snapping them off and breaking frag plugs.

 

You could make endless combinations of purposes for plug designs. Softie squisher, detachable, clip on, magnetic, glue less, concave, convex.

 

You hit the bullseye on this one.

 

What 3D printer do you have, and what software are you using to render the designs.

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Arce

That clip on ones legit. I hate when i had frags on my rack and snails or crabs would move them or knock them down since the plug is smaller than the eggcrate squares.

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spinycheek

Glad you all like them! I'm on the road for a bit, but will hopefully crank out some new designs in a few days.

 

Cameron, I use autodesk 123D design mostly, and then use Shapeways to print them. I'm not sure what model of printer they use, but it's a laser sintering type, far too pricey to justify owning myself.

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dorky08

sound like an awesome idea esp the glue-less frag

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spinycheek

This just arrived. New concave swirl design. Also testing out black nylon material and some minor size tweaks to make detachable post and softie squisher have tighter fit (so they don't wobble). This one works really well now (mechanically), still have yet to see how corals respond to it.

 

DSCN7057.jpg

 

DSCN7058.jpg

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spinycheek

I am still working on a glueless frag, it's tricky getting something that will hold a variety of stick sizes in a secure, upright position. But, in the meantime, I came up with some different attachments. As with the other posts, these are also fully capable of attaching to eggcrate (including different sized eggcrate!), but also enable you to plunk them into a sand bed! I've frequently had to stuff frag plugs into sand as I ran out of real estate on rocks and racks, so I wanted something that works much better for sand applications.

 

The shorty

 

DSCN7332.jpg

 

 

The proper sand spike.

 

DSCN7331.jpg

 

DSCN7333.jpg

 

 

 

One way to attach to eggcrate:

 

DSCN7335.jpg

 

 

The other way to attach to eggcrate:

 

DSCN7336.jpg

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NanoFever

Cool idea!

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BRN

absolutely sick.

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braaap

This just arrived. New concave swirl design. Also testing out black nylon material and some minor size tweaks to make detachable post and softie squisher have tighter fit (so they don't wobble). This one works really well now (mechanically), still have yet to see how corals respond to it.

 

DSCN7057.jpg

 

DSCN7058.jpg

 

I gotta get my hands on some of the black ones. These are a great idea.

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spinycheek

Thanks for the kind words!

 

Finally got something for glue-less fragging I think will work. I wanted something that is both removable after the coral has attached and will use the main frag disc. Now the long wait for the mail lady...

 

I am considering making these out of PVC or ABS to sell, any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Unfortunately, 3D printing these is far from economical, but injection molding would bring these to reasonable costs.

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