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Thread: 3D Printed Pipe Stem, Looking for Feedback

  1. #11


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    Stems are made from ABS. A durable plastic with a glass transition temp of 110C (the temp at which plastic begins to just get soft). From my understanding stems should never get this hot anyways.

    ABS is the same plastic that other pipe makers such as Dr. Grabow uses for their stem. Looking at the material safety data sheets for ABS and Vulcanite seem identical from a hazardous material stand point.

    A lot of the questions being asked about durability ect. Are exactly the reason I'm trying to give these away for FREE.

    I will ship them to you FOR FREE. I understand they are untested and unproven. Thus the FREE part.

    If you are worried about damaging your pipe then I'd even be willing to fit it to a corn cob and send it with a corn cob FOR FREE.

  2. #12
    Moderator Brooklin Bill's Avatar
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    Does the twirly one come in a different colour than white? Not meaning black in particular but other colours.
    "The box with the least amount of matches makes the most noise." MWB

  3. #13


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    They can be 3D printed in any color I can find material for. What color did you have in mind? I currently have in stock black, white, off white, Grey, red, blue, green, yellow, "silver". There are dozens of more colors available.

  4. #14
    Moderator Brooklin Bill's Avatar
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    I guess I was thinking faux amber.
    "The box with the least amount of matches makes the most noise." MWB

  5. #15
    PSU Member RP McMurphy's Avatar
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    If Free I would certainly like to try one out sir.
    PM sent

    Oh! and another question came to mind, what size air hole do they have?
    There are several air hole sizes that pipe makers use, I use a 9/64.
    If it bigger then this I can see that there may be problems in draw affecting how a pipe smokes maybe creating a wet smoke or other problems.
    If they were to be made in the smallest size like most preform stems this would allow the pipe maker or user to enlarge it to there liking to match the air hole to the draft
    hole in the stummel.
    Last edited by RP McMurphy; 07-06-2016 at 21:37.

  6. #16


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    Very cool. Both examples are great and I'd love to be a guinea pig for you I'll even buy new Missouri Meerschaum pipes to fit them to. Just say what they work with and I'll find the pipes.

    Sent from my LG-H811 using Tapatalk

  7. #17
    Super Moderator HCraven's Avatar
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    ABS stems are also standard on Missouri Meerschaum corn cobs, so I should think there wouldn't be much difference. I'd be game to test one or two for you, just the normal size for filtered cobs is fine (something like a 6mm I.D.). I think I would prefer white or something reasonably translucent in order to gauge any tar build up in the airways. PM me and we can discuss it further.
    Herb

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  8. #18


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    Quote Originally Posted by RP McMurphy View Post
    If Free I would certainly like to try one out sir.
    PM sent

    Oh! and another question came to mind, what size air hole do they have?
    There are several air hole sizes that pipe makers use, I use a 9/64.
    If it bigger then this I can see that there may be problems in draw affecting how a pipe smokes maybe creating a wet smoke or other problems.
    If they were to be made in the smallest size like most preform stems this would allow the pipe maker or user to enlarge it to there liking to match the air hole to the draft
    hole in the stummel.
    Awesome this is the kind of info and feed back I'm looking for. I wasnt aware that there were "standard" sizes for air holes. I can easily customize internal air ways to someones preference. Thats the beauty of rapid prototyping and 3D printing. I believe right now the snake is at 4mm I.D. I cannot remember the Double Helix off the top of my head. I'll take a look.

    It completely slipped my mind that there might be an interest in translucent stems... But this would actually make sense since a lot of stems are translucent. Kicking myself. Let me shop around and see if I can find some material that would work. Keep in my the process of 3D printing is not conducive to translucent material (building a part layer by layer can often end up making it cloudy when using see through material). But I think its definitely worth giving a shot!

    I'll be responding to everyones P.M. shortly and we can workout the details of size and fit. Give me a few days to customize the 3D CAD files to everyone's detailed preferences and then print. Then I'll be shipping them out.

  9. #19
    PSU Member RP McMurphy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mo3dPrinting View Post
    Awesome this is the kind of info and feed back I'm looking for. I wasnt aware that there were "standard" sizes for air holes. I can easily customize internal air ways to someones preference. Thats the beauty of rapid prototyping and 3D printing. I believe right now the snake is at 4mm I.D. I cannot remember the Double Helix off the top of my head. I'll take a look.

    It completely slipped my mind that there might be an interest in translucent stems... But this would actually make sense since a lot of stems are translucent. Kicking myself. Let me shop around and see if I can find some material that would work. Keep in my the process of 3D printing is not conducive to translucent material (building a part layer by layer can often end up making it cloudy when using see through material). But I think its definitely worth giving a shot!

    I'll be responding to everyones P.M. shortly and we can workout the details of size and fit. Give me a few days to customize the 3D CAD files to everyone's detailed preferences and then print. Then I'll be shipping them out.
    4 MM is over 5/32" which might be okay (iffy) for a cob but, for a briar pipe it is way too big. As said before, if you were to make the air way smaller, say 1/8" so it can be drilled out to what ever someone wanted I think it would be much better for you and the user. Also, the airway in a stem is drilled with a tapper bit so it starts at let say 9/64" and ends up near 1/16".
    And I wonder how ABS bends and if it stays bent, all stems preformed or hand cut start out straight and after drilling and shaping is complete they are bent usually using a heat gun or some other device that applies heat to it. I would take a careful look at a preformed stem so you can see exactly how it's made as far as mechanics. The slot in the button is also important and really shouldn't be any wider then 3/32" (that's top to bottom) and that's on the large side for some, 1/16" would be better to start and the user can enlarge it if wanted.
    Last edited by RP McMurphy; 07-07-2016 at 04:03.

  10. #20
    PSU Member Estate Pipe Shop's Avatar
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    Will try & give my honest approach to this without sounding like a killjoy as I can see this is something you are passionate about doing
    Pipe stems have not changed much in over 100 years, yes the thickness of the bit & the button shaping changed to a more flatter & detailed approach around the 1920's from my experience, but for the part, the basic shaping of a stem & physics are the same across 99.9% of all pipe makers
    Now while I think innovation is a wonderful thing, this is going to be a hard thing to convince people to adjust to, especially something that will be placed into a part of the body (the mouth) which is full of senses, it is hard enough getting the die hard vulcanite fans to swap to acrylic for christ sake :)
    Couple of points that I can see in the manufacturing process, I am no expert with a 3D printer but a close friend of mine has one & keeps bringing me various creation's on a regular basis & I have played with his a little
    Firstly as Ron mentioned about the draught hole thickness, this also has to be smooth (think babies bottom), plus tapered internally, narrowing towards the bit is preferable, also & I consider most importantly, if it does not pass a pipe cleaner for cleaning, then forget it, people clean there pipes because they fill with tar & gunk & the stem is very important in the cleaning process, in fact after every smoke & during in some cases
    Secondly the stem to shank, mortise & tenon, while ABS may be fine for a cob I personally would be very dubious about inserting an ABS tenon into a 200+ dunhill without knowing the mechanical / wear properties of ABS & also the finish of the tenon would need to be smooth & not too tight, which leads to the custom fitting of the stem to the bowl, from experience to supply & fit a new stem to a pipe, this has to be done with the bowl in hand to make adjustments to the tenon to get it exact, simply sending a pre-made stem in the post will not work, even if the measurements are sent using vernier gauge's, you will be lucky to get it exact
    My main concern though is the size, to me a stem should be lighter than the bowl of a pipe & should be added to complement the bowl ,it is just as important as the bowl itself when it comes to the overall look to the eye, while I can see the novelty factor of the snake stem, I think that is all it would be & after smoking it once people would possibly go back to there comfortable tried & tested shaped stem (Sorry)

    I feel like I have possibly been harsh with my input, but I have also tried to give an honest approach to this, but it is only my opinion & others may feel completely different, so do not give up as I think things are evolving with the advancements in technology all the time & I can see the future of stem making being looked at in this way, I just think we are not quite there yet with the technology available
    Last edited by Estate Pipe Shop; 07-07-2016 at 18:32.


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