3D Printed Cue Tip Lathe Design

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
***Disclaimer: If the design ends up working well, and I can turn a worthwhile profit selling it, I may attempt to sell this product and make it into a business.***

I'm working on a design for a cue lathe where the main parts are 3D printed.

I don't know if this will work well, but it will be fun designing it. I thought it would be fun to share the progress as I go.
I have the headstock roughed in below. The small details aren't in yet, just roughed in for now. I'll update as I go.

Goals:
-Target customer is a pro-sumer who does his/her own tips, but wants something motorized and specifically designed for cue tips.
-Cheap
-For tips only, no other work
-Uses utility knife blade method to trim sides and front of tip
-No cross slide. Steady rest only for the blade.
-Utility knife blade holder that works together with features built into the steady rest to guide the blade for both shearing the side of the tip, and shaping the front of the tip.
-Plastic double angle collet to hold the shaft.
-Bed of aluminum T-slot.
-Other parts 3D printed.

Challenges:
-Concentricitiy of workholding using 3D printed parts.
-Strength and longevity of 3D printed parts.
-Build time required of 3D printed parts.
-Safety of utility knife blade method for prosumer level customers.





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justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
You've heard of a pencil sharpner can you do that for pool cues?
I was thinking of using it on common wood pieces to make model replicas for pool cues.
I wanted to practice painting them.
 

galipeau

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I work for a company that sells additive manufacturing services. We also have a machine shop and many other offerings. I think the main issue you will have with printing lathe components is that they will not be as accurate as machined components and the surface finish will not be as good. If you wish to send your designs for review of prototyping, shoot me a message.

Ian
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I work for a company that sells additive manufacturing services. We also have a machine shop and many other offerings. I think the main issue you will have with printing lathe components is that they will not be as accurate as machined components and the surface finish will not be as good. If you wish to send your designs for review of prototyping, shoot me a message.

Ian
Yes, agreed. I have one mitigation plan which would be to assemble the spindle to the headstock, and then grind its taper a small amount to true it up, while spinning on its own bearing. That added labor may defeat the whole purpose of the lathe, however, which is to make a low cost machine.
 

Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
. point ?

taigtools.com

300-00 Complete ER16 headstock for Lathe - TAIG Tools

This is the ER16 spindle headstock for the Lathe. The spindle is heat treated and the angle is ground off the bearings to ensure that the spindle runs within .0002. Includes the collet Nut
taigtools.com
taigtools.com
I have about 4 of those:) I'm looking to design something custom and cheaper.

This is a troll, right? 😳

How are you going to beat $125 all in while grinding OD (for bearings) & ID (for features & concentricittpy)?
Have you priced abec 7 spindle bearings yet? Or at least abec 5?

smt9
 

kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
This is a troll, right? 😳

How are you going to beat $125 all in while grinding OD (for bearings) & ID (for features & concentricittpy)?
Have you priced abec 7 spindle bearings yet? Or at least abec 5?

smt9

I'm not a manufacturing expert, but if this tool is designed just for trimming and shaping cue tips, are abec 5 tolerances even needed? Many of use a freehand razor (or kiridashi) and a table top to trim cue tips.
 

justnum

Principal Investigator of Magic Trick Shots
Silver Member
I'm not a manufacturing expert, but if this tool is designed just for trimming and shaping cue tips, are abec 5 tolerances even needed? Many of use a freehand razor (or kiridashi) and a table top to trim cue tips.
this is legit especially in filipino areas.

bamboo cues are real and so are other improvised billiard cue devices.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This is a troll, right? 😳

How are you going to beat $125 all in while grinding OD (for bearings) & ID (for features & concentricittpy)?
Have you priced abec 7 spindle bearings yet? Or at least abec 5?

smt9
I’m very familiar with this headstock. I have it on two cue lathes, 2 taig CNC mills, and a few spares.
It’s too small for cues unless you make a custom spindle like the cue lathe specific sellers make. It’s also too expensive because it still needs a chuck if you go with off the shelf. So the 125 is not an all in price.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yes I priced 25mm ID bearings they are cheap enough for what I want. 20 mm may also work. But with 3d printing I’m going with a thicker spindle wall for strength so will probably try 25mm first.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Abec1 is fine for what I’m after. If the whole system has a 0.005” TIR it will probably work fine.

Grinding is a last resort. But if needed, I think only the taper of the spindle would need grinding, as long as it’s ground on its own bearings assembled with a light press fit. And the grinding process could be a simple fixture with a dremel or put in the mill at an angle on a fixture and use an end mill. Only need to remove a few thou of plastic.

The bigger challenge would be the double angle collet if it needed secondary machining after printing.

Anyway, only one way to find out:)
 

Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
OK, i do get designing your own for a larger spindle & collet system.

However at that point everything goes up a notch in cost. For instance ISTR er40 straight shank holders might be available at just under your cost point. But still require adaptation, bearings, housing, motor, & drive.

i must be missing something about your design.
when you mentioned 3D printing & spindles in the same paragraph i did assume metal.
How much do you actually envision as plastic?

Someone was printing er40 collets a while back. Can,t remember if it was here or Practical Machinist though.
I’d be interested in accurate plastic collets in er40 or preferably/even better in the size & taper to fit Jacobs rubberflex chucks.

smt
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
OK, i do get designing your own for a larger spindle & collet system.

However at that point everything goes up a notch in cost. For instance ISTR er40 straight shank holders might be available at just under your cost point. But still require adaptation, bearings, housing, motor, & drive.

i must be missing something about your design.
when you mentioned 3D printing & spindles in the same paragraph i did assume metal.
How much do you actually envision as plastic?

Someone was printing er40 collets a while back. Can,t remember if it was here or Practical Machinist though.
I’d be interested in accurate plastic collets in er40 or preferably/even better in the size & taper to fit Jacobs rubberflex chucks.

smt
Almost everything would be 3D printed. Including the spindle, double angle collet, collet nut, headstock, spindle pulley, steady rest, utility knife blade holder, steady rest for the fat end of the shaft, etc. The picture in the first post everything there is plastic except the two ball bearings.

Metal would be the bed t-slot aluminum, maybe some cross members of t-slot aluminum for the feet.

Purchased parts would be the two headstock ball bearings, the ball bearing for the steady rest, the motor, speed control, pulley, probably some other things I'm forgetting.

I want to sell the whole thing for $300 range, which means my cost would have to be less than 100 or so to make it worthwhile.

With that type of target price point, traditional metalworking tooling would be way too expensive. There could also be an advantage to a double angle collet system made of plastic. It would adjust to the shaft size without marring the shaft. Even if a metal ER series collet was in the budget, they take so much force to squeeze down in diameter, that you lose the "feel" and would probably dent a shaft, even if using split plastic collar around the shaft. I actually did that 15 years ago maybe, I adapted an ER collet (I think 40 series, I forget) to the Hightower midsize cue lathe. It didn't work too well, and I went back to the 3 jaw scroll chuck.
 

Ssonerai

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Well best of luck.
Materials & times change.
It might be possible.

BTW, i was merely suggesting a sourced er collet chuck as being (relatively) cheap/easy basic component; to be used with printed plastic collets.

Tech seems challenging to me (old fartism, basically) but on the long list of cue related projects includes getting back down to the local library & learning how to print some 5c, er40, &/or jacobs rubberflex style for the larger collet chucks here. They only charge for weight of filament used & even that might be slightly subsidized. I donate other materials & provide access to my own shop to help support them for the kids, though.

good luck,
smt
 

peteypooldude

I see Edges
Silver Member
Almost everything would be 3D printed. Including the spindle, double angle collet, collet nut, headstock, spindle pulley, steady rest, utility knife blade holder, steady rest for the fat end of the shaft, etc. The picture in the first post everything there is plastic except the two ball bearings.

Metal would be the bed t-slot aluminum, maybe some cross members of t-slot aluminum for the feet.

Purchased parts would be the two headstock ball bearings, the ball bearing for the steady rest, the motor, speed control, pulley, probably some other things I'm forgetting.

I want to sell the whole thing for $300 range, which means my cost would have to be less than 100 or so to make it worthwhile.

With that type of target price point, traditional metalworking tooling would be way too expensive. There could also be an advantage to a double angle collet system made of plastic. It would adjust to the shaft size without marring the shaft. Even if a metal ER series collet was in the budget, they take so much force to squeeze down in diameter, that you lose the "feel" and would probably dent a shaft, even if using split plastic collar around the shaft. I actually did that 15 years ago maybe, I adapted an ER collet (I think 40 series, I forget) to the Hightower midsize cue lathe. It didn't work too well, and I went back to the 3 jaw scroll chuck.
Let me know if it happens... I’d be interested
 
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