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Thread: 3D Printed HFT/FT Style Butt Pad

  1. #1
    Sharp Shooter
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    Default 3D Printed HFT/FT Style Butt Pad

    I had this idea of printing a adjustable HFT/FT style butt pad on a 3D Printer. While the idea is nothing new I couldn't find any 3D drawings or STL files of such a butt pad anywhere. I had a look around at all the different types of butt pads being sold and drew up a design that is simple and 3D printer friendly. When the design becomes too complex it becomes difficult and more costly to have it printed. I then sat with a friend, gave him a few rand for his troubles, and he converted it into 3D drawings in Inventor and then exported them as STL files. The photos below is the first one that was printed. The example is printed from ABS plastic and I am happy with the result. I plan on having another copy printed in polycarbonate which is a lot stronger and more durable than ABS. The paddle hinge pins are 4mm steel and the bolts that hold it together are standard 5mm bolts, purchased at Builders, and cut to size.

    Both paddles can be adjusted inward and outward and the top paddle is also hight adjustable. The main body fits into a slider base and can be adjusted up and down and turned left and right to a maximum of 20 degrees from centre. In the photos you will see the bottom paddle has square edging but the edging dug into my skin because it was a little bit too wide. On the printed example I sawed the edging off to change the shape of the bottom paddle to a narrower triangle shape and it made all the difference. This can be seen in the last photo. I had this amended on the 3D drawings as well. The rubber grip areas are covered with 1mm (I think) rubber sheeting I have lying around and I still need to trim the rubber edging and clean it up a bit.

    I have no need for a hook so I didn't include it in the initial example. The nice thing is that if I need/want a hook at a later stage the bottom paddle can be re-designed to incorporate that. Then all you have to do is print the new paddle only and bolt it to the rest of the assembly.



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  2. #2
    Sharp Shooter

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    [emoji106] very nice!! Was playing around with a similar idea and was really getting stuck at the 3D design bit...
    Was trying to get to something like this

    If someone could do the design and share for anyone to print[emoji106][emoji106][emoji106]
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  3. #3
    Sharp Shooter
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    Good show there Riaan. Nice to see you guys being so innovative. I am sure that with a little more effort by our South African Gunsmiths, we could be producing for the export market.
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  4. #4
    Protea FT Team '15
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    The design was already done, looking for someone with a 3D printer that can assist, printing shop ask more than to buy the original one from UK.

    Please let me know if you know of someone with an 3D printer that will be able to assist.

    Wyan
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  5. #5
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    Very cool and innovative! It still amazes me what can be done with these machines!
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  6. #6
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    The only guys I know about is Skeg Product development in Cape Town - skeg.com. They have 3d printer and will be able to help - the distance might cause a problem? I wanted to ask - I have found that the plastics used in 3D is very prone to deterioration specifically when exposed to sunlight. Should one look at using the 3D model to create a mould and then cast your components from something more durable? Obviously this adds to the cost but it extends the life and is much cheaper if you want to replicate or make more?
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  7. #7
    Sharp Shooter
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    Wyan, looking at the design that Dooky posted I can understand why it would be expensive to print. The printing material itself, depending on which one you choose, isn't all that expensive. The printing companies however charge you a premium for their time, not only printing time but also the time to get the design and layout ready for 3D Printing. I went through this process and that is why my design is so basic and can be printed without any additional work needed. I wanted recesses for the nuts and bolts to make them flush and the original design had little knobs on the contact surfaces for grip but all of this adds to the complexity and printing time which inflates the cost. To give you an idea, my design took 5 hours to print at medium quality settings, so more than half of a working day. For that time the printer is unavailable to print anything else for any other customers so the printing companies charge a premium for time. All those grooves, interlocking pieces and little extras ad to the complexity which also makes it more difficult to print items accurately. This means that they have to factor in wastage, both material wastage and time wastage to reprint if necessary. The type of printing material you use also determines how accurate you can print since some are more difficult to work with than others. The butt hook that Dooky posted is printed in Nylon. There are very few printing companies here in Cape Town that print using Nylon, in fact I only found 1 so far. Nylon is tricky to work with and also needs additional work to get a decent quality finish. Nylon filament is also expensive compared to ABS and PLA. A lot of these printing companies are small companies and use cheap entry level 3D printers which does not print the best of quality to start off with. The moment you go with a larger company with better printers the price goes up a lot as well.

    My version is basic but that was purposely done to keep the printing costs as low as possible. I had to decide what was absolutely essential to make the butt pad work as intended and then scrapped the extras.

    Wyan, for interest sake how much were you quoted to print the butt hook?
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  8. #8
    Sharp Shooter
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbecker View Post
    The only guys I know about is Skeg Product development in Cape Town - skeg.com. They have 3d printer and will be able to help - the distance might cause a problem? I wanted to ask - I have found that the plastics used in 3D is very prone to deterioration specifically when exposed to sunlight. Should one look at using the 3D model to create a mould and then cast your components from something more durable? Obviously this adds to the cost but it extends the life and is much cheaper if you want to replicate or make more?
    It depends on which material you print with. Something as soft as PLA can start to warp if you leave it in a car in summer. ABS is stronger and is what my prototype was printed from and has a higher heat tollerance, is less flexible and less brittle. The next step up would be Nylon as it will withstand the sun and weather just fine, however Nylon is expensive to buy and expensive to print. Polycarb is a lot stronger and more durable than Nylon so that will also be perfectly fine for outdoor use. I am currently waiting on a test print in Polycarb so that I can do a few tests. As far as I am aware Polycarb is used for those see-through burglar bars and it is also used in bullet-resistant glass so the sun and weather won't be an issue.
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  9. #9
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    I have a friend with a 3D printer, the bed is smallish, but he works at a 3D printing company so he can do bigger jobs, if somebody sends me a drawing I could get a quote from him.
    He is also very good at designing, but unfortunately will charge for time as he is trying to get his own company running and needs the funds.
    Never hurts to get quotes
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  10. #10
    Marksman

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    I have a friend who owns his own machine in pretoria, he prints good quality things and is cheap. His machine can easily do a hook.
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  11. #11
    Sharp Shooter
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    I have been meaning to do this for ages but kept forgetting. I have attached the CAD and 3D Printer files for the butt pad in the original post. Anyone is free to use it as they see fit.
    Attached Files Attached Files
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  12. #12
    Sharp Shooter

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    Thanks Riaan!



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  13. #13
    Sharp Shooter
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    Quote Originally Posted by mace View Post
    Thanks Riaan!



    My pleasure. I recommend adding washers to spread the load as those nuts cut into the ABS pretty easily when you start tightening them.
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  14. #14
    Sharp Shooter

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    Well done Riaan, I am going to try this as well, you design makes sense, it's printer friendly, and has generous sizes to make plastic version strong enough.
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