He Said You Can’t 3D Print a Band Saw… I Said Hold My Beer

I have no doubt that a band saw can be made with 3d printed parts – all it would take is the correct amount of screening and trial and error to identify how strong the parts need to be.
Of course it could not totally made from 3d printed parts, but then a wooden band saw isn't 100% wood either. You would include metal where you require more focused strength, like screws, shafts, bolts and bearings. But I firmly believe everything else could be printed while you sit back chewing Cheetos and seeing YouTube, while not possibly cutting your fingers off on the table saw you do not understand use safely.
And like I stated in the video, you don't have to discard a complete day plus pricey paint to finish the parts. So I think that printing the parts (or even paying to have them printed from a more powerful plastic) would be fairly economical.
For example, the table I printed used less than a full spindle of filament, or approximately $25. The plywood I utilized to make the original costs MORE than that today! If you can get it, that is. And then you need to maker it and finish it and hope you don't make any errors.
So yeah, this may look like a novelty project, however it is definitely not that.
Keep in mind, guys were stating you CAN'T develop a wooden band saw not that long back. Never state never – you are betting versus human ingenuity.

Watch the initial construct video I produced the band saw here:

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He Said You Can't 3D Print a Band Saw… I Said Hold My Beer

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  1. I have no doubt that a band saw can be made with 3d printed parts – all it would take is the right amount of testing and trial and error to determine how strong the parts need to be.
    Of course it couldn’t entirely made from 3d printed parts, but then a wooden band saw isn’t 100% wood either. You would add metal where you need more concentrated strength, like screws, shafts, bolts and bearings. But I firmly believe everything else could be printed while you kick back munching Cheetos and watching YouTube, while not potentially cutting your fingers off on the table saw you don’t know how to use safely.
    And like I said in the video, you don’t have to throw away a full day plus expensive paint to finish the parts. So I think that printing the parts (or even paying to have them printed from a stronger plastic) would be fairly economical.
    For example, the table I printed used less than a full spool of filament, or roughly $25. The plywood I used to make the original costs MORE than that today! If you can get it, that is. And then you need to machine it and finish it and hope you don’t make any mistakes.
    So yeah, this may seem like a novelty project, but it is definitely not that.
    Remember, guys were saying you CAN’T build a wooden band saw not that long ago. Never say never – you are betting against human ingenuity.

    Watch the original build video I made for the band saw here:

    1. Just curious, the original plywood table top looked adequate. We’re there any problems that you had that caused you to redo it on the 3d printer ?

    2. With carbon fiber filled nylon, you can produce some pretty strong parts.

      PLA is fun but it doesn’t like heat.

      Nylon is awesome but trying to print it and having it not to warp on the bed is a challenge.

    3. @@joelex7966 What i did get from the start of the video was that this was just a challenge or like a proof of concept. 😀

    4. @@pridler85 could be, my feeling is that he was better off with the one piece plywood top provided there were no other problems. Good video though.

    5. For larger pieces that give the bandsaw its upright rigidity, is there some printing material that won’t flex? This would be my primary concern with a 3d printed project like this. The rigidity of plywood, especially half inch ply, would be hard to match when making larger pieces. I would imagine scaling this down to a smaller bandsaw would absolutely be possible. Making a carbon copy of your original build however, i can see why Matthias was skeptical.

  2. Im here wood working, metal working AND 3d printing. They’re all viable tools/methods in the right situation

  3. As a maker, you should certainly go ahead and make the rest as a test from the 3d printer. Just to see if possible.

  4. If you’ve printed your parts out of PLA, then you’re going to see plastic deformation on any part that sees a sustained load. Not just significant loads, but even seemingly trivial ones, like a hand tightened bolt.

    Looks great, just something to keep in mind.

    1. yep. PLA creep makes it unusable for these types of builds. use ASA or PETG instead. it’s really weird to see PLA where it’s flowed around the bolt head from merely being tightened.

    2. ​@@TMS5100 in my opinion ABS shouldn’t exist. If i uhh accidentally pushed it and if it uhh fell into the ocean all of it, I wouldn’t shed a tear.

      I use HIPS as a much less obnoxious substitute.

    3. @@SianaGearz It is a shame that you are so wrong. ABS is the best filament. Other than hyper-specific requirements, ABS meets almost every need, no other filament does.

    4. @@SirSpence99 ABS emits more poisonous uncured styrene than any of its siblings and it has high warpage and shrinkage. It’s a graft built on butadiene flake with long arms of styrene and acrylnitrile and as butadiene unfurls when heated, it starts flailing the rest of the polymer around, this the bad dimensional stability. It’s also not at all abrasion resistant. The layer bonding is not great under the best of circumstances. It’s also not chemically stable a elevated temperature, surviving only a handful minutes, so the mass that is in the melt zone during preheating is generally completely shot and slow printing such as intricate sections with lots of travel and retractions results in weakened polymer.

      Néther HIPS not ASA have any of these issues not to this extent.

  5. I’m here for all of it. I’m more interested in the novel and nuanced approaches taken to solve a “problem” than the medium in which it’s done. Keep the goodness coming but don’t ditch any particular method.

  6. Please John keep showing us all the things you are creating with 3D printing!!!! I just finished watching Marius sander… another amazing build!!! Cheers!!!!

    1. Marius’ epic vid is a masterpiece in many ways. I think the big takeaway I got was to use 3D printing at home to perfect the part’s design but then sub out to a nylon 3D print house for the durable final solution.

      A 3D printed pantorouter though – that would be nice to see….

  7. I think you should build a 3d printed pantorouter to really drive the point home

  8. I have never built a darn thing that you have produced BUT I can’t stop watching you create and work. You could make stuff from play-do and I would watch. You keep being you and I will continue to watch anything you create

  9. You’ve actually tapped into something very exciting here John. There are plenty of people out there doing accessories and custom parts for tools on their 3d printer, but nobody is doing real, substantial tools, except actual printers which are at least 50% hardware.

    1. Very much this. I’ve been looking around trying to find a 3d printed screw box for making threads in dowels. It doesn’t exist. 3d printing has excellent potential to be a tool for outfitting a woodworking shop on the cheap, but it isn’t being done because it’s not traditional and the non-traditionalists have so much money that they don’t even blink at dropping a grand on a commercial product over what would be a $10 project with a 3d printer. I bet you could even make a nice surface planer with just $50 in cheap surface plates, $30 in planer knives, and $20 in filament; just adjust the gearing ratios so that it takes more passes per mm of feed to compensate for the lower rigidity.

    2. Check out Marius Hornberger, he just dropped a masterpiece video building an oscillating spindle sander, using a lot of printed parts. He printed a cycloidal gear reduction transmission which is just insane. Granted, he used MJF Nylon parts from a high end print shop, but you can definitely print glass filled nylon parts if you have a Bambu.

  10. I subscribed because your approach to problem solving is great and I enjoy your perspective on pretty much anything you do.

  11. I’m not sure if you needed lightening hole cutouts in some of those parts, but they don’t behave like you’d expect. They are actually heavier, use more filament, and significantly impact the overall strength of the part. Large/solid (not talking about in-fill %) are the best 3d printed parts

  12. I always thought 3d printing was a gimmick. Up until I bought my first 3d printer a year ago and now I can’t stop 3d printing

    1. It used to be all you saw was guys 3D printing action figures. Now, there are people who can see the potential for using a 3D printer for other purposes. I use mine for making things to use around the shop. It is an excellent addition to any wood working shop.

    2. @@krisknowlton5935The knickknack printing crowd did irreparable damage to the reputation of 3D printing.

    3. ​@BadPracticeAutomation Gross exaggeration… I’ve only ever seen gadgets, tools, etc. being designed and printed on my YouTube feed over my entire 3d printing lifetime, which is about 8 years now.

    4. @@XxIcedecknightxX I’m talking about the perception of people outside of the hobby. If you talk to someone not in the know, then they default to talking about desk ornaments. I wasn’t talking about whoever you are.

    5. As soon as you print your first gun you realize how useful of a tool a 3D printer is.

  13. I think you should measure where the blade goes in the insert, and add a slot in it in cad so it actually has perimeters there, because otherwise it’s sitting on infill.

    1. probably to be better and easier the just do solid infill in that area then to rely on that slot being correct with zero warping

    2. @@WilliamTythas I would say the whole build should have been solid infill, or at least very close to it. Why make the parts weak? This is a power tool. Spend the little bit of extra time and money to make solid parts. But maybe I’m missing something since I don’t own a 3D printer and I only see infill as a way to save money. But maybe there’s a legitimate reason to have lower than 100% infill.

    3. @@SuperDavidEF I think the returns begin to diminish exponentially the closer you get to 100%. I watched a few videos on strongest infills, and while you do get greater strength the closer to 100 you get, it isn’t a substantial difference. I personally would use a 90% infill, and I would probably increase my wall and top/bottom thicknesses, and would add thick walls near where the blade penetrates the insert. I would also through-bolt every mechanical connection. Threaded inserts seem like they could pull out about as easy as tapped screws. And I would glue everything that didn’t need to come apart. I would also use better joinery than dowels. Perhaps a dovetail or tongue and groove. And PLA is fine, but it won’t hold up to light, chemicals, or time. Although, it may be the strongest of the printable filaments on average. Maybe, considering he is using a Bambu printer, he could incorporate multiple materials. PLA+ for the infill, carbon fiber of vinyl for the skins.

    1. While I agree, its a lot more interesting watching someone create with wood than a printer, printing parts.

  14. John, I love your journey. It reminds me of the journey I went through on my CNC machine using 3d printing.

    A few suggestions I see as someone who does a lot of functional 3d printing parts.

    -Add more walls on structural parts. It might seem overkill, but it REALLY helps with plastic deformation over summers and under tension. I also advise exploring gyroid infill, it seems to have great strength in all directions.

    -for you table. You might consider through-rods with thin 1/4” threaded rod or something to help just keep the table from stressing their joints/joins too much where it counts. Especially since there will be weight on it.

    -for your PETG pins, orientation is everything. Avoid stressing along the layer lines as much as possible for structural prints, even if parts come out less pretty and need some sanding/torch finishing

    -don’t be afraid of adding extra top/bottom layers also. It eats more plastic, but it gets you more life from your plastic IMO.


  15. Great presentation! Please continue with the series. This 3D-printed bandsaw project is a fantastic experiment!

  16. A few tips I can give you are: get a UPS for every computing device you have, TV, computer, 3D printer, what-have-you; melt in threaded metal inserts for 3D prints; to replace something as structurally sound as wood, use 100% infill; and general advice that you probably don’t need but I tell everyone anyway, have at least 3 backups for all of your data.

    1. 100 % infill is good only for small parts
      large parts are structuraly stronger with a lower infill like 15 to20 %
      More important is top and bottom number of layer and even more outline perimeter

    2. UPS went on my 3D printer rather quickly when even the smallest power bump made me lose hours of work.

    3. There’s someone on youtube who has been filling his 3d parts with concrete lately. I would assume fiberglass laced concrete inside of a 3d printed part should be plenty strong.

  17. I’m here for any content you’re wanting to provide. Love the design and iteration process.

  18. As a woodworker and as a hobby 3D printer, I appreciate these videos very much. Nice to see someone with experience in the profession testing the limits of 3d printing. and it gives me a lot of ideas.

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