Another DIY, challenge?

Discussion in 'DIY' started by xcaret, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    Starts with trying to find missing pieces...
    Few years have passed, I cleaned some of the equipment from the day I shut down all the tanks here and there and everywhere; some other items were just bundled in cardboard boxes or milk crates by category; bunch of category 1 here and bunch of category 2 there...
    Years passed and now that I'm dusting off some toys, can't find a darn skimmer pump volute and impeller...
    I do recall tossing in the recycling bin a lot of white pvc and a lot of electrical parts and miscellaneous as well.
    A new RD pump is expensive as well as a new volute and impeller so I posted on RC about the issue, guy from CS of Royal Exclusive makes it sound "impossible" to find a way to replace, recreate or plainly "match" performance of such pumps; I understand some of his points, it's a Red Dragon, I get it; the "fine tuning" and what not of the exclusively manufactured Laguna pump and hand porting of the volute...
    so I took the volute off of another RD and man, it is just pvc, well finished via CNC but I think it can be reproduced via basic tools. Now I think I will try to make my own volute and find an impeller, have enough Enkamat to mod it to be used for a skimmer I have in storage.
    One of the things that ticked me off is that I inquired about using two pumps since the skimmer body has two ports to place the single RD in certain orientation in a sump thus allow flexibility in some sumps due to the footprint of the skimmer. It was stated that using two pumps could create balance issues due to excessive turbulance... well, I have another skimmer that runs on two pumps, euod has the same model, uses two pumps and I don't honestly believe will create an imbalance... I feel like I was tried to show the buy buy buy and the that ain't gonna work work work...
    Now, TAP Plastics to buy PVC sheets?
    Do have a router, sucky router table and some router bits...
    Laguna 1500 pumps are no longer available but seems the 1350? is what some people use as spares...
     
  2. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

  3. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Member

    3d printing?
     
  4. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    I mentioned 3D printing but guy said it would not work plus I have no skills on that, nor a 3D printer and much less the funds to pay someone to print one. I know there's the Tech Shop in SF maybe I'll snoop around that place a little.
    For what I see the volute is made of and the way it's assembled, pvc sheets bonded together, routed, (ported by hand to make it sound "fancy")
    Maybe make the volute out of two halves and when is done, just bond it with clear pvc cement?
    I have a few other unfinished DIY projects so I'll see if this one gets on top of the list.
     
  5. DEATH BY SNU SNU

    DEATH BY SNU SNU Supporting Member

    I'm not worthy!
     
  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    So you are trying to duplicate a volute, correct.
    Some options I can think of:

    1) Mold/Epoxy
    Make a male mold of the good one. Inside is the only part that really matters.
    Build up around the mold with epoxy and high density filler. Remove mold.
    Drill a few screw holes and main outlet hole, and done.

    2) Contract it out.
    Measure carefully, create a CAD drawing, and send out for a CNC machined part.
    Not really that expensive. Good quality.

    3) Stack of acrylic or pvc
    A bit like #2. But do it in slices, laser cut, then glue them together.

    A hand router and a cheap table is very unlikely to work.
     
  7. iani

    iani Guest

    Can the pieces come apart? If it can I could probably scan it in my CBCT and turn it into an STL file. Not sure how accurate it would be but then it could be printed by someone with an SLA 3d printer.
     
    Coral reefer likes this.
  8. Bruce Spiegelman

    Bruce Spiegelman Supporting Member

    There is a guy in Sac that specifically prints reef stuff with his 3d printer. I know he's coming to the swap as well since he posted a response on RC that he's coming and bringing a bunch of printed controller mounts. I can get his contact number if you want it.
     
    Coral reefer likes this.
  9. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Supporting Member

    if you can autocad the part, i can get it printed for free. food grade safe SLA too.
     
  10. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Some sort of mold is my thought on the matter.
     
  11. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    I stopped at TAP plastics today, they do have some mold stuff and flat PVC for $12 sqf in white or $9 sqf in gray for 1/4"
    The only removable part is the nozzle, not sure if that would completely nuke the idea of scanning the volute @iani
    @ashburn2k wish I knew how to use CAD....
    @Bruce Spiegelman I'll be at the event and will bring the volute
    @rygh looking in some of those options

    By looking at the volute, the part to replicare would be the white PVC, the rest, gray and red pieces seem to be plain PVC pipe, it's metric of course and fancied via CNC.
    One of the ports on the intake (gray) is for ozone injection, I wold not mind that particular part at all.

    image.jpg
     
  12. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Ok looking at it more and more, I'd say the white piece could easily be spun on a lathe to make it if you had a solid chunk of PVC. The inside part looks like a simple piece of color PVC (1/2".. or probably metric sized) with absolutely no change in actual inside diameter, so a fitting around the outside, and grind down the inside to have the same slope as it does and you're good to go. That outside piece though that has the air nozzles (2 of them? is one of them their patented "anti-crust" part?) might be the more difficult piece to do.
     
  13. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I guess there are 3 tricky parts.
    1) Getting the inside, where the impeller spins, just the right diameter and length.
    A mold would do that, as would a lathe with very careful measuring.
    2) The exit pipe connection. Yes, just a pipe, but that pipe needs to be at just the right location and angle.
    Hard to drill since it is offset. A mold would work. Or you could make the outside of the volute square,
    then it would be easy to drill.
    3) The Venturi air intake section. Actually multiple parts.
    For this ... two simple option:
    a) buy a cheap used one for a similar sized skimmer pump, and stick them together.
    b) Just attach a pipe to a tube. I am skeptical it really makes much difference anyway.
    Also, look up DIY venturi skimmers. People have built new volutes for other pumps, and you
    might find ideas there.


    The impeller I think you have to just buy from RE.
     
  14. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    Neat. How big of an object can you print?

    Sketchup is pretty simple to use and there are gazillion tutorial videos. I think the trickiest part would be getting super accurate measurement.
     
    ashburn2k likes this.
  15. iani

    iani Guest

    I think I could scan it and get fairly good results. If 3d printed it would have to be calibrated because resin does shrink with post cure.
     
  16. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    That would be great!
    Can I bring it to you Saturday? I have to bring Boun a drip tray for his CaRx
     
  17. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    What's a drip tray for?
     
  18. Bruce Spiegelman

    Bruce Spiegelman Supporting Member

    To catch drips?
     
    xcaret likes this.
  19. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    Purpose to aerate the drop to release co 2?
     
  20. iani

    iani Guest

    Do you want me to scan it on saturday and give it back to you? Or do you want to leave it with Boun and I can scan it on my own time? Either way may work, its just that I have a few things to do on Saturday mid day and evening.
     

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