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The Versatile Frag Plug Project.

Discussion in 'DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Projects' started by spinycheek, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. spinycheek

    spinycheek Users with zero posts needing moderation to determine if they are spam bots

    This is an idea that started off simple and really kind of snow-balled. I was trying to make a frag plug that was everything I've always wanted a frag plug to be. This is what I created using a 3D printer.

    First item is the main disc/crown. I wanted something that was less ugly, smallish, and could securely snap onto eggcrate so rogue hermit crabs or top heavy corals did not dislodge them.

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    Upside down, still very secure!

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    The underside

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  2. spinycheek

    spinycheek Users with zero posts needing moderation to determine if they are spam bots

    The next problem, fix those horrible posts! I made a post (with inspiration from Shane Graber), that is fully removable, but also can easily reattach. You can switch between a tile and a plug as many times as you want. But I also made the shape of the post better too. This one is optimized for anchoring into rock. It is tapered, flexible and barbed so that it twists and locks into many of the holes in a piece of live rock.

    Additionally, the post itself can also attach to eggcrate. You can elevate the normal disc or use the post as a stand alone micro plug.

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  3. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    What a great idea! I really think you have something here. What are your next steps from here? What are the plugs made of, I've seen mention that 3D printing material will break down in salt water?
     
  4. spinycheek

    spinycheek Users with zero posts needing moderation to determine if they are spam bots

    These are prototypes made of Laser Sintered Nylon. I am currently working with a couple mold makers to have them made from injection molded plastic. I have a small prototyping mold of the disc part I can use to make them out of polypropylene. PLA which is a common plastic used with home 3D printers is technically biodegradable provided certain criteria are met, but these are not made from PLA. Although sunlight would probably break them down over time.
     
  5. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Just curious, but if you have mold makers could you make a mold and use traditional ceramic.... in 2 parts, one base and one stem with screw on head?
     
  6. spinycheek

    spinycheek Users with zero posts needing moderation to determine if they are spam bots

    I'm stuck with thermoplastics. Ceramic molding is a different beast I know little about. One thing is that both of these parts require a tiny bit of flexing to work, I think ceramic would either not flex, or it would crack.
     
  7. spinycheek

    spinycheek Users with zero posts needing moderation to determine if they are spam bots

    I also made this softie smasher. Since soft corals cannot be effectively glued, the smasher holds them on the frag disc until they start to attach to it, in theory...

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    It's also made it so that it will work even if the disc is attached to eggcrate.
     
  8. CRW Reef

    CRW Reef Orca Staff Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Club Member

    Wow these are awesome!!! The softie holder is genius and a very very great idea, you better patent it :)
     
    Miah2bzy likes this.
  9. Dr.DiSilicate

    Dr.DiSilicate Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    The ceramic would not flex like these need to to work. Ceramic also shrinks, 5-7% at the temperature needed to use as frag plugs. It would be possible to increase the size of the printed plugs and then make a plaster mold, which also shrinks (.5% or so) molds of this size are difficult to work with. It would be a fun project, although outside my area of ceramic expertise. A combination of printed and cast ceramic plugs would be very cool. I have a printer but no cad experience. Lol
     
  10. spinycheek

    spinycheek Users with zero posts needing moderation to determine if they are spam bots

    I appreciate the compliments!
     
  11. SkyShark

    SkyShark Barracuda Staff Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Club Member

    Really cool innovative ideas! Keep at it!
     
  12. spinycheek

    spinycheek Users with zero posts needing moderation to determine if they are spam bots

    Thank you. There is more to come. These are set up as a little system with various interchangeable parts so the coral can be mounted anywhere and accommodate most situations.
     
  13. FinsUp

    FinsUp According to my watch, the time is now. M.A.S.C Club Member

    what he said!!
     
  14. blkwell

    blkwell Copepod

    That's awesome!
     
  15. Walter White

    Walter White Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    Really great ideas! I like it.
     
  16. aztecdreams

    aztecdreams Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Nice! I like how versatile they are
     
  17. SkyShark

    SkyShark Barracuda Staff Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Club Member

    How exactly does the soft coral holder work? I'm having trouble visualizing that one.
     
  18. spinycheek

    spinycheek Users with zero posts needing moderation to determine if they are spam bots

    Say you want to attach a mushroom coral to the disc, you place the polyp on the disc, then slide the holder over the disc trapping the coral and holding it against the disc. Once the mushroom coral has attached, you remove the holder.
     
  19. MuralReef

    MuralReef Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Club Member

    Sounds like a great idea. Have you tried it with some softies?
     
  20. SkyShark

    SkyShark Barracuda Staff Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Club Member

    Ah, I see. I was picturing something like Xenia or leathers where some type of spike would hold it down more securely.
     

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