Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

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Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby jretal » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:14 pm

Hey all,

So I know a few of you on here have been dabbling in 3D printing and designing.

What printer are you using and what software do you use to design the products you're printing?

Starting to dabble a little bit into the realm of 3D printing and prototyping a few "ideas" I have in my head, and looking for a good (affordable) design program and potentially a printer (more for the cool factor than actual need, truthfully).

Thanks!
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Re: Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby varia » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:18 pm

my friend has one of these: http://www.makerbot.com/
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Re: Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby jretal » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:29 pm

I was looking at those (apparently Home Depot is now stocking them as funny as that seems).

Also found these: http://printrbot.com/

Couple options that don't look quite as sexy as the makerbot units, but functionality seems pretty similar.

Anyone care to weigh in on what to look for in regards to these units?
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Re: Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby alxdgr8 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 5:32 pm

I've got a Maker's Tool Works Fusematic kit that I built last year. I'm still tweaking it to get the best performance. Pretty much all of the printers out there require a lot of patience and tweaking. I don't think any of them print perfect right out of the box, unless they do it really slow. It takes a lot of experimentation to figure out the print speeds with different materials and even just different part designs. I just got a new E3D nozzle, I'm going to try and print some nylon. For now, I generally use ABS.

Granted I haven't been out researching the new stuff in at least 6 months, one of the most promising I see right now is the Solidoodle Press. It's $600 for an 8x8x8 build platform and heated bed (the same build size as mine, but for 50% less and you don't have to build it). It'll work out of the box for ABS or PLA. You'd probably have to upgrade the nozzle to do higher temp stuff like nylon.

There's lots of DIY builds out there that are self-replicating, but with how cheap the pre-built ones are it wouldn't make sense to go that route anymore. Unless you just want the experience and/or need room for expansion in the future. You'd be very hard pressed to build an 8x8x8 printer for less than the $600 you could buy one commercially for.

For software, I use a variety of stuff depending on what I'm doing. My printer runs an Arduino based controller, so I use slic3r and pronterface to convert STL's to print programs and then interface with the printer. For creating a part, use your favorite CAD program and export a .STL file. FreeCAD works pretty well for simple things and is free. It's my favorite freeware CAD, since it's pretty similar to CATIA, which is what I learned on in college. If you're doing any kind of scanning to recreate parts (I have a Cubify Sense 3D scanner I use too), then you'll need some mesh manipulation software. I use MeshLab, InStep, and netfabb depending on what needs done to the mesh.

One of the first things you need to determine is the size and resolution you would need out of the parts you'd be making. That'll be the biggest determination for what options you should look at.
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Re: Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby jretal » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:57 pm

Thanks for the response, Alex!

Yeah, I've been just casually looking around at different printers and am finding all sorts of varieties!

This is another one I came by: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

What I liked about this one is the dual filament so I can use a dissolvable filament of sorts if I want to go really crazy. I honestly don't have a LOT of things in mind at this point, this is more toying around and seeing if I can find something that I can justify dumping the $$ on.

So I'm guessing one of the determinations b/n using a PLA/PVA filament and an ABS is the heat of the tip? I.E. ABS requires a hotter tip than the others?

I don't mind tinkering and building my own (found a kit for ~$350 that has a 4x4x4 table), but also w/ a 9mo old I'm getting enough hairy eyeballs from the wife when I'm tinkering with CAD software on my computer trying to see if I still have my 3D modeling knowledge I learned in college... so a preassembled unit is probably a wise investment :)
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Re: Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby alxdgr8 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:28 pm

Yep, ABS runs hotter. ABS requires a heated bed also, which PLA doesn't. PLA doesn't smell like ABS does when it's printing. PLA does usually require fans blowing on the hotend during printing for the best results, not all printers have this. ABS generally creates a stronger part.
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Re: Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby amd is the best » Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:56 pm

I am using this eBay Makerbot knock off: http://www.ebay.com/itm/3D-printer-dual ... 2a3544dfa9

It works pretty well for the price.

I used Autodesk Fusion 360 for modeling.
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Re: Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby jretal » Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:28 pm

That one also looks pretty interesting.

There's a local "Makers" lab that apparently has "3D printer build sessions" where they source the kit and you can build the printer. I think the next bout of printers they plan on building is the Prusa i3, but they tend to only do the single extruders vs dual. Depending on price, I might jump in to do this, as I like building things and it'd be a good experience to learn how these things operate, etc.

I think I'd want a dual extruder printer - and there are some options on the one you linked, Nick, that might not be an option on the i3 variant they're planning on building. Also, there's another one that seems to have everything you linked to, but cheaper: http://www.ebay.com/itm/3D-printer-dual ... 2585&rt=nc

Lots of cool things to look into. Appreciate the feedback!

Also, I found that w/ my "student" status (i.e. just finished up PhD, so technically still a student) I was able to download copies of AutoCAD, Autodesk Fusion, and Autodesk Inventor for free w/ a 3 year license. This will be more than adequate for my needs at this point! Just need to sit down and start tinkering again!
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Re: Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby alxdgr8 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:21 pm

You can always upgrade to dual extruders (or quad!) after the fact. E3D even makes a 2 filament/1 nozzle hotend.
http://www.filastruder.com/collections/e3d-hotends
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Re: Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby Zerb » Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:37 pm

i have a Solidoodle Press arriving here this week finally. Initial reviews of it are that the Soliprint, Solidoodles own software...sucks, but some people are getting good results while others arent. Repetier Host is another printer software that is usable with that printer if you use Slic3r as well, both of which are free. I have been eyeballing Simplify3D, which is $140, but apparently is the fastest slicer there is out there for hobby use and has a bunch of other nifty features that the above software's dont have.

I use Fusion 360, was turned onto it by Nick actually, and having never taken any sort of schooling for CAD or anything of the sort i find it quite simple to use.

Ill be sure to post my experience with the Press in this thread, just dont bother looking at my 07k build thread because you can see why it hasnt gone anywhere lately, lol.
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Re: Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby audifreakjim » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:10 am

Ok, throw out some things you guys have printed just because you had a 3d printer in the corner. I am trying to convince myself not to buy one.
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Re: Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby Rennkafer » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:25 pm

audifreakjim wrote:Ok, throw out some things you guys have printed just because you had a 3d printer in the corner. I am trying to convince myself not to buy one.


We're in the same boat Jim, I keep looking at the 07K and thinking "You know, the plastic water outlets aren't really right for my project" and then thinking about the amount of machining and welding I'd have to do to make aluminum ones.

Would ABS be strong enough for something like the water neck on the back of an 07K head? Able to stand up to the heat?
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Re: Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby audifreakjim » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:30 pm

No, but you can model what you want then have someone fab it up :)
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Re: Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby audifreakjim » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:36 pm

You would want a thermoset plastic for that, probably fiber re-enforced. The hobby 3D printers are mostly thermoplastic which means they can be re-molded with heat.
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Re: Hobby 3D printers and modeling software

Postby Rennkafer » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:29 pm

audifreakjim wrote:You would want a thermoset plastic for that, probably fiber re-enforced. The hobby 3D printers are mostly thermoplastic which means they can be re-molded with heat.


I can do the fab myself, just thought this might be fun to try. Guess I'll just break out the mill/lathe/welder when the project gets to that point.
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