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Old 11-30-2015, 11:03 AM
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Default 3D Printing

The technology has me interested, and I was thinking a 3D printer might be a good Christmas present for the kids (and me). I can certainly see my youngest (14) being fascinated with the technology and getting hooked on what can be done. I can also see a number of possibilities of my own for fixing broken items or improving poorly designed parts - but don't tell the kids that.

Has anyone had any experience with them, and any recommendations as to what to look for, what to avoid etc.? I know there are numerous maker-bot forums with all kinds of info, but I have great respect for the collective knowledge of this forum and input from members here is likely to align with my needs.

I'm a complete noob on the subject - all inputs are welcome.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:39 PM
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I hardly know baked beans from applesauce about 3d printers. I will say this though. You can spend whatever you want on a printer, there is still a learning curve.

There are printers as low as 400$ USD. They still makes OK prints ( buddy has one).

All take some tweaking wrt filament temps, etc to get good prints. My buddy has done very well, but he has a tech diploma in electronics, 2 decades in robotics hobby, and 3 decades in It systems as a background....

Pick one with low input cost and a good online support group...

My 0.02 TL. (You asked....)


I will see if I can get the latest 3d printer review from Make for you if you PM me an email addy.
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Old 11-30-2015, 04:44 PM
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I don't know anything about them, I also have some questions.

Do you need programming software like with a CNC mill.
Scanned pictures may not be that precision.
Is a 3D scanner extra?, say you want to scan a 3D object and make a copy /part.

Check and see what different plastics the one you are buying can accommodate.
ABS, PVC what other types ?

Assuming you want to make a gear for a blender will grease melt the what plastic ?

what about plastic diameter size and spool size / cost.
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:10 PM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTD475HxQlA
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:37 AM
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Make Magazine's annual 3d printer round up was in issue 42. by rights, vol 48 should be the next annual round up. Vol 48 should be released any day now.

Individual issues can be had from Maker Shed or Amazon online, or as hard copy from Barnes and Noble/Chapters.

Here`s a summary of what I`ve gleaned from talking to people who sell filament and 3d printers as well a from the guy I know who has one.

3d printers all use a more or less standard filament. As far as I know, there are 3 basic filament plastics PLA( corn starch based), ABS, and a FLEX plastic. The filament is approximately 2 m in diameter. There are a wide variety of qualities and colors, but all I`ve seen fall into those broad categories. A 4 kg roll of filament is about 36$.

The extruders rely on keeping the filament solid for the first half as a plunger. The hot section and cold section combined are only about 2.5 inches long. IIRC, the extruder nozzle is .5 mm ID.

3d printing is based on printing layers, so the object to be printed must be `sliced`. The slicer can be either a software program for drawings, or a hardware scanner to scan an object for duplication.

Some printers can run untethered off an SD card or USB stick. Not all can.

There is a driver to download for each printer , but I am not sure of the capability of the drivers.

3D printed objects are often hollow to save on print time and material. Some printer software allows tweaking the `fill`/ hollow parts.

Printers are prone to all kinds of bugs from resonance to poor rendering of overhung parts and stringy bits hung over gaps. resolving those bugs is what provided the challenge of 3d printing.

There is a huge library of ready to print files of stuff to print on the internet including a library called Thingiverse.` A quick Google search should lead you directly to the Thingiverse library.


Good luck!
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:55 AM
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One of many sites that rate the desktop printers. http://makezine.com/comparison/3dprinters/
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shade Tree Welder View Post
3-d printing in metal! I think I will take two! Want to finance them for me Shade? Or maybe take up a SFT collection.

Brian
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:18 PM
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It is a technology that is taking off like a rocket.
Like a computer, anything you buy will obsolete before you unwrap it.
Most take a CAD file as input, so you need to know how to produce one of those.
They started out printing plastic but they now can do metal.
They now have multiple print heads so they can do layers different materials.
(Think printed circuit boards, reinforcement metal points in plastic parts, etc.)
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:39 PM
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I've spent MANY hours since my first query reading / researching and watching. I know a lot more now than I did 2 days ago, and I also know I haven't even scratched the surface.

This is a fascinating subject! And if one had pockets way deeper than mine, they still wouldn't be deep enough.

I think I'm hooked enough to take the plunge - but I have a ways to go yet before I decide where to dive in.

Keep the inputs coming.
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Old 12-02-2015, 02:52 AM
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Update.... As with all tech, there is evolution and advance.....

The filaments available for desktop printers now include a range of PLA with assorted metallic and organic (wood fibre) fillers, and a new nylon filament that addresses temperature issues with more conventional concoctions.

Flexible filaments are continually being developed as well. Flex filament is thermoplastic elastomer.

The typical desktop 3d printer is essentially a CNC controlled gluegun according to one industry expert.

Knowing what little I do and if I were interested in 3d printing, I'd look into attending a MakerFaire http://makerfaire.com/ MakerFaires are a worldwide phenomenon. No one on earth is more than a few hours away from a MakerFaire. There are at least 3 MakerFaires in Ontario alone (Kitchener, Toronto, and Ottawa). Whether the schedule of the annual events matches yours is another matter. My family has been to makerfaires on 3 continents in the last 3 years.

Speaking of the Maker movement, another great source of 3d printer info and possibly even access to a 3d printer without the investment would be a membership to the local MakerSpace.

Say what you want about the Maker movement, (a lot have here and elsewhere), they do have much to offer in the way of info and support for the tinkerer and hobbyist.
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Last edited by camdigger; 12-02-2015 at 03:57 AM.
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