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JohnK

3d Printers

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I know at least one of you has a 3D printer so thought I’d ask here first.

 

I’d like to try 3D printing but don’t know where to start regarding hardware and software.

 

I’m reasonably tech savvy, I do a bit of simple programming and kind of make a living from computer based systems.

 

I’d like to run the software on a Mac but could live with Windows.

 

I’d like to make functional rather than decorative stuff (first attempt may be a rowlock bracket)

 

With all that in mind what should I be looking for or avoiding in terms of brands, materials and software?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I will be watching this one with great interest as its something I am interested in......but after many hours of research and youtube I am now totally confused......:default_biggrin:

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a lot depends upon what you want to do, if you create the design, then you can just go to a company like shapeways and they will print it for you - the advantages there are they can do metals. 

you also have a choice of the type of printer I have that lays down an extrusion of plastic, or one that uses a liquid resin and uses a laser to harden the resin, and builds in layers that way.

you can buy cheap 3d printers, these are build it yourself kits, that you will then need to tweak to get the best results, I went down the ready built route, but that meant twice the cost and reliance on the manufacturers spools of plastic - for me that was good as I didnt want to have to fiddle around and adjust the results, print and go was my style.

Rowlocks might not work, they might be a bit weak along the layer lines. but maybe worth a try nonetheless.

for functional, ABS is probably your starting material, though you can get other new materials- flexible or tough, there are some plastics you will want to avoid as they are water soluble (they are used in dual extruder printers to support overhanging parts, then they can be washed away.)

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Thanks Grendel,

Definitely don’t want to use a third party, want to watch the thing work.
Is plastic extrusion or liquid resin stronger when finished?
I like print and go “it just works” is my favourite tag line.
I was thinking brackets for rowlocks rather than the rowlocks themselves.
This one talks about ABS. What do you think?
Creality CR-10S Aibecy 3D Printer DIY 300 * 300 * 400mm Print Size Supports PLA/ABS/TPU/Copper/Wood/Carbon Fiber Filament UK Plug https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0779DYFLC/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_k7gNAb5P2EWHB

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I don't know a lot so shoot me down those who know better,

3D Printing has been around for years, it was never called that as it wasn't aimed at the consumer market, it was only when the cost of the hardware came down that marketing to the general public appeared.

It was originally (AFAIK) called Stereo Lithography (SLA). You needed some 3D software on the PC to create a model and then send the data to a "printer" to produce your part. The problem was your part was all but useless other than for looking at and handling with kid gloves as it was so brittle. It was however a great use on the path to tooling for multi volume production.

Then along same Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) same process but could work with many more materials and more importantly the parts produced could be handled by grandkids and still remain in one piece. Better for passing around the boardroom or mailing to customers.

That's where my knowledge sinks, what happened between the mid 90's SLS and todays 3D printers, has it been refined for the consumer market or is it the same as it was?

One thing for sure, to create a part on a 3D printer you first need to create a part on the PC, for that you obviously need software.

Good software capable of this is not cheap, nor is it that easy to use without tuition, there may be some basic software out there (in fact I'm sure there is) which will help most people have a play at 3D printing.

So, in summary, to create something useful from the process requires expensive software a lot of knowledge and also the realisation that what you are creating can probably be obtained at a local shop for pennies.

If, however, you are creating/modelling something unique, like Broad Ambitions light covers as Grendel did and are doing it for fun then have a go.

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That looks a reasonable machine, my main worries would be rigidity, and mine is fully enclosed, which promotes better layer adhesion, do be aware that these things are a lot bigger than they look.

that one looks to be a half way house between full kit, and plug and play, some assembly required, actually given the options, carbon fibre looks a good material, there are forums where you might get better reviews of 3d printers, I am on soliforum where there are some people who have been doing 3d since its infancy - though they will try and persuade you to modify your machine in all sorts of ways, new software, new extruders etc. but they do know their stuff.

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sla printers are the resin types, and yes the parts can be brittle, At the moment I cant remember the acronym for the extruded filament printers. I run with ABS, and then brush the surface with acetone to reinforce the layer bonds.

software - that is another thing, plenty of free software out there, but since I am a trained CAD technician, and have full CAD software I use that, that side of things has never been a problem for me. but pick one of the free ones, learn how to get it to do what you want, plenty of youtube tutorials out there.

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That looks a reasonable machine, my main worries would be rigidity, and mine is fully enclosed, which promotes better layer adhesion, do be aware that these things are a lot bigger than they look.
that one looks to be a half way house between full kit, and plug and play, some assembly required, actually given the options, carbon fibre looks a good material, there are forums where you might get better reviews of 3d printers, I am on soliforum where there are some people who have been doing 3d since its infancy - though they will try and persuade you to modify your machine in all sorts of ways, new software, new extruders etc. but they do know their stuff.


Thanks again Grendel.
I posted here rather than a dedicated 3D printing forum because I was hoping you’d respond. You seem a practical bloke more interested in using it for something useful rather than printing for the sake of printing if you see what I mean.
Just need to identify some Mac software now. I see that printer says it works with OSX so I posted a question what Mac software they’d recommend for it.
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I don't know a lot so shoot me down those who know better,
3D Printing has been around for years, it was never called that as it wasn't aimed at the consumer market, it was only when the cost of the hardware came down that marketing to the general public appeared.
It was originally (AFAIK) called Stereo Lithography (SLA). You needed some 3D software on the PC to create a model and then send the data to a "printer" to produce your part. The problem was your part was all but useless other than for looking at and handling with kid gloves as it was so brittle. It was however a great use on the path to tooling for multi volume production.
Then along same Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) same process but could work with many more materials and more importantly the parts produced could be handled by grandkids and still remain in one piece. Better for passing around the boardroom or mailing to customers.
That's where my knowledge sinks, what happened between the mid 90's SLS and todays 3D printers, has it been refined for the consumer market or is it the same as it was?
One thing for sure, to create a part on a 3D printer you first need to create a part on the PC, for that you obviously need software.
Good software capable of this is not cheap, nor is it that easy to use without tuition, there may be some basic software out there (in fact I'm sure there is) which will help most people have a play at 3D printing.
So, in summary, to create something useful from the process requires expensive software a lot of knowledge and also the realisation that what you are creating can probably be obtained at a local shop for pennies.
If, however, you are creating/modelling something unique, like Broad Ambitions light covers as Grendel did and are doing it for fun then have a go.


Thanks for that.
I’m really looking to learn a bit about them and I learn best hands on through trial and error.
I realise I’m going to making stuff for pounds I could buy for pennies.
Maybe I use it twice and put it in a cupboard .... maybe it ties in with my business and opens up new opportunities. The only thing I know for sure is if I don’t try it will lead to nothing.
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6 minutes ago, grendel said:

software - that is another thing, plenty of free software out there, but since I am a trained CAD technician, and have full CAD software I use that, that side of things has never been a problem for me. but pick one of the free ones, learn how to get it to do what you want, plenty of youtube tutorials out there.

That's the thing Grendel man, when you say " that side of things has never been a problem for me", .....me neither, but It's a big problem when someone expects to pop down Currys and buy a machine to create their dreams.

You make light of your knowledge and skills

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software - that is another thing, plenty of free software out there, but since I am a trained CAD technician, and have full CAD software I use that, that side of things has never been a problem for me. but pick one of the free ones, learn how to get it to do what you want, plenty of youtube tutorials out there.


I’m not too worried about software. I seem to have a brain that starts by assuming all software can do all things then google and trial and error show me how or prove me wrong (about 50/50 )
I’ve done a bit of CAD stuff, can do the basics. I also work with a few people who know CAD much better than me.
Part of this is wanting to improve my CAD skills and I hate training for training’s sake.
When Bailey & Stone measured my boat for a new cover they used a 3D digitiser. I was very impressed with that. Again, maybe it all fits with my business, maybe not.

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6 minutes ago, JohnK said:

 

 


Thanks for that.
I’m really looking to learn a bit about them and I learn best hands on through trial and error.
I realise I’m going to making stuff for pounds I could buy for pennies.
Maybe I use it twice and put it in a cupboard .... maybe it ties in with my business and opens up new opportunities. The only thing I know for sure is if I don’t try it will lead to nothing.

 

That's a good approach.

Don't let me put you off John K, that wasn't my intention.

Like many things in life the tools are there to help us but they cant create us.

You could give me the best artists easel and paints and the best recording studios in the world, I'll never be able to draw or make music. I know that, I've tried.

Have a go at the software first, see how you get on, being able to model stuff in 3D is an art in itself and even if you never buy a printer could be an asset in the future.

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That's a good approach.
Don't let me put you off John K, that wasn't my intention.
Like many things in life the tools are there to help us but they cant create us.
You could give me the best artists easel and paints and the best recording studios in the world, I'll never be able to draw or make music. I know that, I've tried.
Have a go at the software first, see how you get on, being able to model stuff in 3D is an art in itself and even if you never buy a printer could be an asset in the future.


Don’t worry, I appreciated your thoughts.
You’re right about the software, I should do that. Most of my (limited) experience was 2D.
My problem is attention span. Unless I’m trying to achieve a specific thing I lose interest. I have so much stuff in cupboards that I wanted to learn and never did I could create a modern museum!
If I spend let’s say £1k and create a single rowlock bracket that won’t be as good as the one I can buy for £11 I’ll be overjoyed. Mad isn’t it?

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No It's not mad, it's a most satisfying experience.

I've watched my mum (sadly now departed) knit stuff which she could have bought. But she knitted it and so it ( or actually lots of knitted stuff) means a lot to us. IMO you need to  put pure monetary value to one side for a moment, learn the software, create something unique, something personal, a rowlock with your initials on, time investment, lots , money investment, affordable,

emotional investment, off the scale.

Blimey, I never expected a discussion about technology could get so deep.:91_thumbsup:

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I tend to find that when I got my printer - at first I just printed stuff because I could, now its more about printing stuff as and when I need it, one day it might be new feet inserts for a stool, or parts to fix things I bought at the boot fair. it does get used - at least once a week, and always for stuff that is useful. after the initial expenditure, the one off parts are not overly expensive, I can produce small gears for pence. but it is not a tool for a large production run. the last item I printed was an adaptor for my new bandsaw, to adapt the extract duct to the size of my vacuum system in my workshop.

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here is the vacuum adaptor

IMG_9231.JPG

IMG_9232.JPG

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I like that. You’re giving me ideas now, I have a workshop dust extractor and a few things with no fittings too.
Is that ABS? Is it fairly tough?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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