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3D printing


goldbug9999
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Well santa bought me a 3D printer, considering its a sub 200 quid off ebay job its actually pretty decent. Been easy to setup and produces good quality output. Have already designed a couple of simple things useful for one of my other hobbies.

Seems like both printers and the filament composition has come on leaps and bounds in recent years.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cost the thick end of a grand, complete build from some pre-printed parts and built in extrusion, lots of tinkering and fiddling with both firmware and software to get mine working, they are now pretty much a fully commoditised item and a totally different proposition to around 7/8 years ago. What I was really interested in was to make a large scale machine printing other stuff - concrete so getting knowledge of the low level working was pat of what I was looking for, hope to revisit some day.

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Long time lurking
13 hours ago, onlyme said:

Cost the thick end of a grand, complete build from some pre-printed parts and built in extrusion, lots of tinkering and fiddling with both firmware and software to get mine working, they are now pretty much a fully commoditised item and a totally different proposition to around 7/8 years ago. What I was really interested in was to make a large scale machine printing other stuff - concrete so getting knowledge of the low level working was pat of what I was looking for, hope to revisit some day.

I would have thought general CNC machines would have been better for that ,routers /mills as there is a whole nother level need when it comes to the design of machines  and products when it comes to printing 

There are some impressive 3 axis home made machines on Youtube ,but would agree on working it all out on a small scale first ,this is something i want to do when time permits ,for me it`s the software that`s the stumbling block,the mechanical side i could do no problem as in making a machine ,not as confident on the electrical control side but there`s plenty of info/help out there for that

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sleepwello'nights
On 31/12/2019 at 12:26, goldbug9999 said:

Well santa bought me a 3D printer, considering its a sub 200 quid off ebay job its actually pretty decent. Been easy to setup and produces good quality output. Have already designed a couple of simple things useful for one of my other hobbies.

Seems like both printers and the filament composition has come on leaps and bounds in recent years.

@goldbug9999

How are you getting on with the machine? I'm toying with the idea of getting one and I'd be interested to hear your thoughts now you've had it for a few weeks.

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5 minutes ago, sleepwello'nights said:

@goldbug9999

How are you getting on with the machine? I'm toying with the idea of getting one and I'd be interested to hear your thoughts now you've had it for a few weeks.

I have the anycubic mega i3. Cant fault it all, had it working perfectly in about an hour, the fiddly bit being the so called "bed levelling" but there are youtube vids explaining the process. Once thats done it pretty much works flawlessly.

My general observations about 3D printing are ...

The precision and dimensional accuracy of the output is amazing - a part I printed which need to be a specific size 20 mm wide in this case was exactly 20 mm as measured by my digital calipers which resolve down to 1/10th mm.

Its takes fooking ages to print anything and it makes a fair bit of noise while doing so, so ideally youl need a hobby/utility room to put it in.

To get the most out of it you need some modelling or engineering hobby for which you are wanting to design one-off parts, and be prepared to put in some time learning to use a cad program. 

 

 

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On 10/01/2020 at 22:49, goldbug9999 said:

 

To get the most out of it you need some modelling or engineering hobby for which you are wanting to design one-off parts, and be prepared to put in some time learning to use a cad program. 

 

 

Husband is fabulous at turning ideas into 3d designs. Without that skill I'd imagine you'd still have a lot of fun with https://www.thingiverse.com/

 

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On 10/01/2020 at 21:22, Long time lurking said:

I would have thought general CNC machines would have been better for that ,routers /mills as there is a whole nother level need when it comes to the design of machines  and products when it comes to printing 

There are some impressive 3 axis home made machines on Youtube ,but would agree on working it all out on a small scale first ,this is something i want to do when time permits ,for me it`s the software that`s the stumbling block,the mechanical side i could do no problem as in making a machine ,not as confident on the electrical control side but there`s plenty of info/help out there for that

Yes, you are right, different mechanics totally, but had no experience at all before that in running any sort of multi-axis machine and lower cost of entry. Good thing about starting from a 3D printing platform and part of the reason again for going that route is that all the software and firmware for the driver board and controlling programs are available with source and would only involve tweaking to scale up, then you'd be looking to inherit some of the hardware design / power drivers of the more general CNC type machine.

Most interesting guy on the scene at the time (old reprap board) was a guy called Kliment, he was using a tweaked machine  to create reaction chambers and pathways for multi-stage chemical reactions, never gave out too many details, but sounded like a very good idea.

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  • 6 months later...

What are your current suggestions for a beginner's 3D printer? Are Anet and AnyCubic (the two suggested on here) still the brands to go with? I noticed that there are UV curing printers that have a little booth. Are these superior to the thermoplastic type?

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2 minutes ago, Nippy said:

What are your current suggestions for a beginner's 3D printer? Are Anet and AnyCubic (the two suggested on here) still the brands to go with? I noticed that there are UV curing printers that have a little booth. Are these superior to the thermoplastic type?

Unless you want really small / accurate figurines / rings etc stick with the filament type rather than the resin, much cheaper and more flexible for more functional type work.  Gearbest / Aliexpress any of the units with good reviews and similar on youtube should be fine to start off, see what is available. Only thing is that if you need high strength then ABS is one way to go and that needs a heated bed, which some cheaper units do not have - also requires decent ventilation,  PLA  however is fine, smells like sugar.

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2 hours ago, Nippy said:

What are your current suggestions for a beginner's 3D printer? Are Anet and AnyCubic (the two suggested on here) still the brands to go with? I noticed that there are UV curing printers that have a little booth. Are these superior to the thermoplastic type?

What exactly are you trying to print?  Properties, size, perfection-tolerance?  How much time do you want to spend printing and then fettling the print?

There's a large range of printers out there, at a range of prices and performance.  In general, the cheaper printers will take a bit more effort to get a given level of print.  

Note that whatever you print with, the printed piece will have 'awkward' physical properties -- okay if you're printing little houses for a railway set, but an additional complication if you're printing 

Resin (UV cured) printers give a much better quality more easily, but the resin has its own complications (vats of IPA to clean them up, etc) and is much more expensive per print.

Frankly, in recent times I've used 3d print services for prototyping -- it is definitely more expensive than printing yourself, but they do all the worrying about stupid bed lift problems or layer adherence, and you just get a nice print to work with.  And they're not that much more expensive.

These days I only print myself if there's IP issues, I need something 'to check an idea out' quickly and where I'm not so worried about quality (I usually end up with a bit of delamination somewhere).  I use the resin printer for production of low volume moulds for silicone casting -- it is rather good at that (I put all the supports outside the main mould area so cleanup is easy), and I can swallow the cost very easily.

FWIW, I use DaVinci printers.  They're not brilliant, but they kind of just work and I can't be bothered to go elsewhere (I've borrowed a few others and they've all got about the same performance level re lift and delamination -- in the hands of someone more experienced they all print better than I can get out of them).

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17 minutes ago, dgul said:

What exactly are you trying to print?  Properties, size, perfection-tolerance?  How much time do you want to spend printing and then fettling the print?

Blasted engineer trying to capture my requirements. You'll never get them out of me.

I take your point that it is likely to be cheaper and less painful to use a printing service; I didn't know they existed until today, and  I just noticed that ebay has a lot of them (using quite cheap <£200 printers in some cases). The thing is, without making a few mistakes of my own, I probably can't create printable designs to send off. Delamination, support walls, air bridges, slump, build directions, and filament base material properties etc are something I need to encounter in real life. Plus, I could give the printer to a young family member who has started playing with CAD once I've got what I want from it.

My aim is to print some tiny buttons (steady, XYY) that are commonly missing on some particular electronic devices (they fall off, and can no longer be bought).The whole strip of buttons would only be about 30mm long and 5mm high and clip into place. There would need to be some elasticity and tolerance to repeated flexing.  If I can get it right, I reckon I might even be able to recoup the cost of the printer by printing a batch and flogging the remainder on ebay.

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12 minutes ago, Nippy said:

 

My aim is to print some tiny buttons (steady, XYY) that are commonly missing on some particular electronic devices (they fall off, and can no longer be bought).The whole strip of buttons would only be about 30mm long and 5mm high and clip into place. There would need to be some elasticity and tolerance to repeated flexing.  If I can get it right, I reckon I might even be able to recoup the cost of the printer by printing a batch and flogging the remainder on ebay.

For that size and detail you're talking resin printing.

The resin will have the wrong properties (well, It'll be too stiff and brittle).  

The 'right' approach would be to print a strip using a resin printer, then create a silicone mould of the print and cast your part using an appropriate polyurethane.  But that might require a bit of investment (silicone and polyurethane would benefit from having a vacuum chamber to remove bubbles, and possibly a pressure vessel for casting).

Polyurethanes are amazing -- there's a massive range available and you'll be able to find one with the right properties for you (a stiff rubbery type, I guess).

[oh, and if you're moulding it is relatively easy to do different colours. ]

Edited by dgul
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9 hours ago, dgul said:

For that size and detail you're talking resin printing.

The resin will have the wrong properties (well, It'll be too stiff and brittle).  

The 'right' approach would be to print a strip using a resin printer, then create a silicone mould of the print and cast your part using an appropriate polyurethane.  But that might require a bit of investment (silicone and polyurethane would benefit from having a vacuum chamber to remove bubbles, and possibly a pressure vessel for casting).

Polyurethanes are amazing -- there's a massive range available and you'll be able to find one with the right properties for you (a stiff rubbery type, I guess).

[oh, and if you're moulding it is relatively easy to do different colours. ]

For that particular job, depending on the button shape might be best not to use a printer at all and create a mould out of metal you can do a lot with a pillar drill and vice if you go really slowly.  For a general purpose machine a filament machine still ought to be the go to machine for the price and the initial fiddling, getting used to the design process, CAD Etc.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Is it possible to do 3D scanning  at home without investing much money? I know algorithms have moved on, and I wondered whether mobile phone cameras can do it crudely with an app, or some homemade structured light setup on a lazy susan? Even laser tape measures are cheap, so maybe a scanning version to produce a point cloud shouldn't be expensive?

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1 hour ago, Nippy said:

Is it possible to do 3D scanning  at home without investing much money? I know algorithms have moved on, and I wondered whether mobile phone cameras can do it crudely with an app, or some homemade structured light setup on a lazy susan? Even laser tape measures are cheap, so maybe a scanning version to produce a point cloud shouldn't be expensive?

The secret isn't the scanning itself, but rather the cleaning up of the scan such that you can do something with it.  

  • More expensive scanners need less cleanup.
  • Scanners with experience in cleaning things up can clean things up quickly.

For the average home bod it'll be a steep learning curve...

 

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Happy Renting

The British Army was into 3d printing decades ago.

BRITISH-ARMED-FORCES-3d-1948-59-2nd-series.jpg

To be precise, Thomas De la Rue & Co.

Edited by Happy Renting
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