I'm just curious about how much it would cost to have a 10in diameter x 4in height cylinder printed in PLA? Not sure how much the inner detail matters or if it's just priced on volume but there are a bunch of radial slots in the wheel with about a 1in hole down the middle.
And yes I know Shapeways can probably give a quote, but I'm not done with the design of the thing yet, plus I absolutely don't need super high quality from professional machines. Desktop would be more than adequate.
Edit to say infill can be low. Like 15%
A few years ago I built my own machine from a kitset (an earlier iteration of this one
) with enough interior volume to print that (in fact it was about 300x300x300).
But it's extremely difficult to actually print something that big, because of shrinkage as the object cools, and subsequent warping, causing the current top surface to no longer be dead flat, and then the print head crashes into it. Which is not good.
My solution was to use a sheet of window glass as the print surface, and spray it with hairspray just before starting printing. The object being printed was then stuck down so well that you could not pry it off at all! I'd pop them off by putting the sheet of glass, with the printed object, in the freezer. 15 or 20 minutes later it would be nicely and cleanly popped off.
This is probably the largest thing I printed: http://hoult.org/bruce/spanner.jpg
It was to undo a large plastic nut on the bottom of a toilet cistern. I could not find any commercially available spanner that would come anywhere near doing the job. This one worked great! Needed only a strip of metal (from an old baked bean can) and a couple of screws to stop the jaws opening once it was in place (slotted over the pipe and then slid into position over the nut).
A friend and I designed and made something with a design a bit similar to what you want, but smaller.http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:10466
You make all these things heavily honey-combed, so they use less material than you'd think, but they're still strong. For the spanner I used a square grid "honeycomb" not hexagonal, to let the print head run in straight lines at high speed. It still took about two hours to print. The Momo boss was more like three hours, I think, though that was on a smaller older machine (original Makerbot).