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chiloschista

Which 3d printer?

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chiloschista

Hi ensemble,

just want to start a debate :D ... hopeful interesting and useful.

Seriously I'm considering the buy of guess what: a 3D printer.

But I also have seen around posts saying that modelling with a router is more useful, accurate and lets produce several units quicker. You can have a look at what this guy does.

I know there are around here a couple of you having a 3D printer already. Do you still consider it irreplaceable?

What I'm concerned about milling is the waste of material. A 3D printer should be more efficient, isn't it?

And at the end THE QUESTION: which one? There is plenty of choice, so what to search for?

Heated base? Double extruder? How many printing materials? ...?

I have seen few interesting machines on Aliexpress for real good prices. On another side there is a shop in Switzerland with interesting machines, but prices are, well ... swiss ..., but good mechanics costs. Is that true for 3D printers also?

Thanks for inputs!

Ric

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Rob Thomson

The best advice is get the best you can afford.

3d printing is addictive. It will not take long before you want something better.

I have a Malyan M180 and a turnigy mini fabrikator.

Fabrikator mini is great as it's small and fits on a shelf in the lounge. But downsides are.

Small print area

Only pla

No heated bed.

The Malyan M180 is fantastic value for money. It's a makerbot clone - done right.

Dual extruder. Print pretty much any material. Large print bed. Heated bed. Good aftermarket support (by email)

Best is the stupid cheap price if you buy it from hobbyking.

The biggest downsides to it are the lack of spares from the open market. You pretty much have to go back to malyan direct. Not a big issue as their prices are fair. Postage from China is a bit steep - but it is express 48 hours.

1872768362026b8c2959f1d49b005f69.jpg

I have modified mine slightly from stock. I have added in acrylic covers and a fume fan. This has been done because it's the only sensible way of printing in abs. Abs fumes are bad for you. Solution is contain and extract to outdoors. The acrylic covers can be purchased from Malyan direct.

Now... what to get.

Depends on how techy you are. Reality is every printer works in a similar way. The learning curve will be the same. Just a matter of deciding how much you want to pay, and how big you want to print!

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chiloschista

Thanks a lot Rob, for your detailed answer: very useful.

I've also considered the option of mounting a printing head on my router. I would have then 700x700x500mm printing size, but am not sure about the quality.

Probably better to have separate machines.

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Rob Thomson

I would go for a separate printer.

3d printing is a fickle business. Sometimes very annoying as things don't work as they should.

If you go for a proven setup - it will make your life allot easier!

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chiloschista
11 minutes ago, Rob Thomson said:

If you go for a proven setup - it will make your life allot easier!

Yeah, even if I'm prone to DIY approach, that's a fundamental point. Better devote time in producing end products than machines B)

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mtreble

There are many choices out there Ric. It all depends on what you want to print, your budget and to what accuracy.

FFD printers which extrude plastic filaments are cheap and tend to be accurate to 0.1mm although this is not strictly true in all aspects. They work great for big stuff with doesn't require too intricate detail.

If you want to go for the DIY approach, I would recommend the REPRAP. It wasn't easy for me to get going with it, but it's working well for me now. I would be happy to offer you any advice should you want it. It took me about 1 week (nights) to build... and 3 years to learn how to calibrate it and get good prints reliably!

The big advantage of the REPRAP is that because you have built it yourself - repairing yourself is simple, and all parts are easily available. You can also redesign parts of it to suit your needs.

If you want something of higher quality, you can spend more money and get a stereolithographic printer which prints by catalysing a photopolymer resin with a laser. See http://formlabs.com.

There are also open source DIY solutions for these too: http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-Laser-3D-Printer-Stereolithography-at-Ho/

What ever printer you choose, it does require a certain amount of knowledge and skill to get good results out of it.

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chiloschista

Wow, another great input. Thanks Mark!

Well, starting from bottom, I have seen stereolithographic printers, but that's on a high end budget.

I know very well the time and effort required to set similar machines. I spent one year to understand that the router was loosing steps because of the grease! Obviously the several people contacted told me every fantastic, not useful thing.

And I'm still learning a lot, seen that every piece is a new task in design, cut file creation and operating the machine.

I'm tempted with Reprap and I will for sure take advantage from your kind offer of support.

Budget is not the first problem, as I would like to invest in equipment, as far as this remain in fair range. I need a few other tools also (disc sander, eventually a band saw and a polish machine as first need).

Accuracy, obviously the best I can afford. I guess in the $600-1000.- range, there is a good choice already. Maybe less, but if there is a great printer for a little more that would be ok too.

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chiloschista

Watching around I found a Prusa I3 for what seems a good price, free shipping to Switzerland!

Cost will be 1/2 to 2/3 of prices here (supporting local economy means that local economy should start supporting individual economy also ...).

Options are 0.4 and 0.5mm extruder (0.4) and dual extruder for +$50.-

http://www.reprapmall.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=24&product_id=51

Or a triple extruder one:

http://www.reprapmall.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=24&product_id=52

Or a dual extruder Delta:

http://www.reprapmall.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=77&product_id=129

Those price are really competitive vs. what I planned at first. Could fit inside a 3D scanner too:

http://www.reprapmall.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=133

But am not sure how this would be useful.

Thanks for any input!

Ric

P.s.: just for comparison, Swiss prices:

I3

Scanner

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mtreble

Looks ok, but it is cheap. The swiss prices are much the same as in Britain. 

You might find that some parts are of lower quality. And with it coming from China, you may have to pay import duty on top (don't know if you pay it in Switzerland)?

Not sure if I would bother with the scanner.

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chiloschista

Thanks for pointing that out, Mark.

So quality of parts can change a lot, mhmm. I have found a site in Holland which declared having improved strengthness and quality of frame, control screws, stepper motors etc. Price was around €450.-, so close to Swiss prices, which are in line with original Prusa.

Import duty are not a main problem. From Europe we usually get less VAT (~20%, depends on country), plus Swiss VAT 8%, plus custom declaration (about 20/30.-SFr).

About the scanner I thought of using it to scan difficult to design or reproduce objects, like small pilot busts. Or scan objects for mounts, like servos etc, not having use time to draw them, just adjusting.

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mtreble

It's the

Quote

 it is not suitable for scanning irregular and complex objects, only scan nearly cylindrical object

Which puts me off the scanner. It might be ok for small pilot busts - not sure about the mounts.

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chiloschista

Ooops, jumping directly to specs I missed that sentence.

I was watching that one also. I have seen some impressive videos.

It's a bit more expensive.

There are similar solutions with gaming sensors.

But anyway that's not a priority.

Today I met a guy who does aerial videos for job, sssshhht, which showed me an Italian 3D printer, with 300x400x200 print volume. Really well done and rigid. Price seems around $1500.-, but I don't know the company name. The accuracy of the printed objects seemed good to me. Price a little bit over the limits, but he offered it to me if I need to print something.

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chiloschista

Can I print that on a 3D printer?

SytgEavUSYpi-ywgRxklsD049R3JSl6mEpH16Pxp

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chiloschista

Which is the minimal horizontal print resolution?

Or, taken that there is no play and repositioning accuracy can achieve values in the 0.01-0.05 values, how thin a layer or a free space can be?

More easier how thin can I make an horizontal square or round hole in an object?

1mm?

0.5mm?

less?

P.s.: I'm not interested in the machine specs, but how the materials behave. Can the extruder stop and go print at very short intervals?

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oipigface
1 hour ago, chiloschista said:

Can I print that on a 3D printer?

SytgEavUSYpi-ywgRxklsD049R3JSl6mEpH16Pxp

You want two of them? Why?

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chiloschista
6 minutes ago, oipigface said:

You want two of them? Why?

To bring me some more oranges?

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oipigface
2 hours ago, chiloschista said:

To bring me some more oranges?

Ric, 

.     It doesn't quite work like that. Oranges don't do it like the birds and the bees.

      

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chiloschista
4 hours ago, oipigface said:

Ric, 

.     It doesn't quite work like that. Oranges don't do it like the birds and the bees.

      

Sure? Do you mean doing in two is better?fdXvSrirEV0_yWCcttGEw_3IDHv5I7gIdgggsWHb

... and at three is top?

i9KdjzpKZ471YA0g7QCgVjWhcfw-Z6bOUrNHcUxw

Naa, better cloning ...

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mtreble
7 hours ago, chiloschista said:

Which is the minimal horizontal print resolution?

Or, taken that there is no play and repositioning accuracy can achieve values in the 0.01-0.05 values, how thin a layer or a free space can be?

More easier how thin can I make an horizontal square or round hole in an object?

1mm?

0.5mm?

less?

P.s.: I'm not interested in the machine specs, but how the materials behave. Can the extruder stop and go print at very short intervals?

You could scan and print your orange, but you would probably need to add support material (printed scaffolding) and remove this afterwards which can leave surface marks and rough areas.

The horizontal accuracy is generally around 0.1mm.

Holes can be made as small as you like. Round ones are best printed slightly smaller, and then cleaned up with a drill.

the smallest column I have printed is 3mm diameter. The difficulty with something as small as this is that it doesn't take long to print, so it will move on to the next layer before the previous layer has cooled. Columns as small as this can be printed only in conjunction with other parts or as part of a bigger piece so that the print head moves away from it for enough time for the plastic to solidify. I have tried customising the code to move the print head away and site for 5 seconds between layers, but this resulted in lots of dribbles!

The smallest layer height I have achieved is 0.1mm - and I think this is close to the limits of the material (PLA) with a 0.5mm nozzle. You may get smaller with a smaller nozzle, but thinner layers amplify the inaccuracies. I find for some prints it is best to increase the layer height to 0.2. It is generally recommended to start at 0.3.

The extruder can stop, but it can also dribble as it moves to the next bit. I had a lot of problems with this initially, but very fine tuning and customising the G-code has helped to reduce this.

 

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chiloschista

That's very well explained and clear Mark, but I mean horizontally.

In other words, when the head moves horizontally, on X or Y axis, how accurate is the material positioning?

Can it e.g. do a 1mm plastic drop, 1mm free space and so on?

How thin can it position material? Does material feed stop suddenly or does it drag some filaments etc. I'm more interested in how thin the free space can be.

Vertically I guess it's related to programmed layer thickness.

Or maybe does it depend on heating parameters?

 

By the way I'm now focusing on those two:

http://www.3d-printerstore.ch/3D-Printer/bq-Witbox-Hephestos-3D-printer/bq-PRUSA-i3-Hephestos-yellow::508.html

http://www.3d-printerstore.ch/3D-Printer/bq-Witbox-Hephestos-3D-printer/bq-Hephestos-2::960.html

Quality seems really different from one brand and another and those are looking good to me.

Obviously watching at those ...

http://www.3d-printerstore.ch/3D-Printer/CraftBot-Plus/CraftBot-Plus-3D-Printer-white-RAL-9016::777.html

http://www.3d-printerstore.ch/3D-Printer/Creatbot-DX-Series-3D-Printer/CreatBot-DX-Plus-Dual-Extruder::938.html

Especially the second one is really tempting: accuracy, mechanics, specs, printing dimensions, but price is prohibitive.

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