Author Topic: Best New 3D Printer  (Read 4993 times)

Offline sparky961

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Best New 3D Printer
« on: October 31, 2015, 12:28:09 PM »
Ok, the title is entirely tongue-in-cheek.  I hope you get as good a laugh as I did.  It reminds me of my own time spend working on projects and the various things that go horribly wrong.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCy0NEbJf4s" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCy0NEbJf4s</a>

But seriously, when you're done, if you have a particular expertise in this area maybe you can tell me where we're at with 3D printing.  I've been watching from the sidelines for a while now.  I've been less than impressed though with the lack of a good balance between price and performance.  It seems you can get one but not the other.

Time is also a consideration.  Does it take a $2k machine + 2 days to print a $2 part?  Almost all demo videos are shown in time-lapse for good reason.

Offline tom osselton

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2015, 03:57:12 PM »
Yes it can take a while to make some complex parts on the other hand how long would it take by hand? One thing you could do is design it in cad and have shapeway build it apparently in a choice of 50 different materials, I saw a metal piece they made for a member of protospace and it looked like it was cast they do a excellent job!  http://www.shapeways.com/marketplace/gadgets/?li=home 

Offline nrml

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2015, 04:44:41 PM »
They are capable of creating items which would be impossible or very difficult by reductive manufacturing techniques for example internal hollows, variable infills to strike the right balance between weight and strength, variable wall thickness etc. You can manufacture every part in a design for optimum performance without any concessions to the practicalities of the manufacturing process. As tom osselton pointed out, it would take  lot more time and human effort (programming, setting up plus or minus manual machining) to make complex parts than printing them out. Boeing have started using 3d printed parts on some of their commercial aircraft and airbus are looking at doing the same. They are companies that spend an awful lot of effort in optimising their design and manufacturing process.

On a more grassroots level, 3D printing offers people with limited skills and abilities the chance to create whatever they can imagine. I don't have an engineering background, my machining abilities are rudimentary and CAD skills are nonexistent but this doesn't stop me from creating great quality stuff with software created for dummies (like tinkercad and 123design), and printing them out.

Offline sparky961

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2015, 04:59:06 PM »
On a more grassroots level, 3D printing offers people with limited skills and abilities the chance to create whatever they can imagine. I don't have an engineering background, my machining abilities are rudimentary and CAD skills are nonexistent but this doesn't stop me from creating great quality stuff with software created for dummies (like tinkercad and 123design), and printing them out.

To play the role of Devil's Advocate, which I do relish, there's still a huge gap between quality of printed model and price of machine.  At least, that's still my impression.  I'm sure the machines the big boys are using are well into the millions of dollars.  As I mentioned before, the print quality of hobby and self-built machines hasn't impressed me in the least.  Sure, if all you're after is something that moderately resembles the surfaces you designed and gives limited strength and durability, that's fine.  But add in the PITA factor keeping things running and I'm not sold.

Maybe someone will make a machine to turn all those water bottles people needlessly consume into 3D printer plastic extruder stock.  Then we can have a closed loop of "stuff" with questionable necessity.

On the other hand, I do love the idea of printing my own "stuff".  What sane person doesn't love "stuff" and the ability to print as much of it as they desire?

http://www.shapeways.com/marketplace/gadgets/?li=home 

I'll have to look into this one next time I do come across a rather complex part to make through subtractive means.  I might even draw up a few things to test out their automatic pricing algorithms.

Offline tom osselton

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2015, 06:57:07 PM »
I have a Makerbot Replicator 2x that I bought mainly because of the build capacity although pricey I'm happy with it but must say my cad needs improvement!

Offline sparky961

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2015, 07:19:02 PM »
I have a Makerbot Replicator 2x that I bought mainly because of the build capacity although pricey I'm happy with it but must say my cad needs improvement!

Interested in posting some pictures of the best/worst results you've obtained?

Offline Pete49

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2015, 10:36:01 PM »
I have a Da Vinci printer and the only mod has been to use 1kg rolls of filament rather than their propriety product. Other than that I'm happy with the results and found it handy to make patterns for casting and fun stuff. I'm not that flash at 3d but then there are millions of files to look for available via the various sites like yeggi, thingiverse etc. As for making filament well yep even those options are available with machines starting around $700.
Pete
oops..........oh no.........blast now I need to redo it

Offline tom osselton

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2015, 01:05:20 AM »
Makerzine has plans for a filament extruder.

Offline efrench

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2015, 02:43:40 AM »
They make the impossible, possible:
 
The gold colored part is a fan manifold with three legs (one hidden).

Here it is on the machine:


Here's a shot of a prototype ball joint.  It was done in PLA with .07mm layer heights. The ball bearing is 14mm.

Offline nrml

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2015, 06:32:10 PM »


To play the role of Devil's Advocate, which I do relish, there's still a huge gap between quality of printed model and price of machine.  At least, that's still my impression.  I'm sure the machines the big boys are using are well into the millions of dollars.  As I mentioned before, the print quality of hobby and self-built machines hasn't impressed me in the least.  Sure, if all you're after is something that moderately resembles the surfaces you designed and gives limited strength and durability, that's fine.  But add in the PITA factor keeping things running and I'm not sold.

Maybe someone will make a machine to turn all those water bottles people needlessly consume into 3D printer plastic extruder stock.  Then we can have a closed loop of "stuff" with questionable necessity.

On the other hand, I do love the idea of printing my own "stuff".  What sane person doesn't love "stuff" and the ability to print as much of it as they desire?

http://www.shapeways.com/marketplace/gadgets/?li=home 

I'll have to look into this one next time I do come across a rather complex part to make through subtractive means.  I might even draw up a few things to test out their automatic pricing algorithms.


That would depend on what you are making and what your expectations are. If you are looking at creating metal parts (or plastic parts for critical applications) with tolerances comparable to conventional machining, you are right it takes big bucks. On the other hand, if your needs are to create one off items in plastic cheaply and relatively quickly, you can't beat a 3D printer for convenience and versatility.

Strength and durability are relative to the application. For example, 3D printed herringbone gears used in extruders typically run for thousands of miles before needing replacement. If the tolerances and surface quality of this item was poor, you would have an extruder that would be completely unreliable. You also have the option of choosing from a range of materials with different properties to suit your application.

The quality of homebuilt FDM printers has improved in leaps and bounds in recent years. The better ones are close to approaching injection moulded quality as efrench has beautifully demonstrated with his ball joint (compare the printed plastic with the highly polished bearing). The caveat however is that quality is very dependant on the operator knowing the right settings to choose for the material, machine and finish required. This comes only with experimentation and learning from repeated failures.

Offline Joules

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2015, 08:28:01 AM »
They make the impossible, possible:

Ahhh, how times have changed, we used to cut up old biscuit tins and soft solder shapes similar for things like fuel tanks in control line models and model boats.  Those skills are getting forgotten and the new taken as the only way to do things.  I am not one to turn my nose up at 3D printing, but do mourn the passing of old hand skills.


Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline AdeV

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2015, 11:13:12 AM »
Speaking of 3D printing.... I hadn't really paid it much attention until I saw your thread Joules on your solar shield.... and that led me to this thread... and some pondering and googling led me to here:

https://markforged.com/mark-one/

Has anyone used one of these?

One of the claims is the carbon fibre re-inforced plastic is as strong as 6061 Aluminium (stronger, in fact); does that seem reasonable?

I'm sure I could print some race car bits if it's as good as aluminium... things like engine mounts for example.
Cheers!
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Offline awemawson

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2015, 11:48:55 AM »
It certainly looks very impressive, but they all do on the vendors web sites  :med:

Suffers from the small build volume issues that is very common with 3D printers - very few seem to produce large models
Andrew Mawson
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Offline Joules

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2015, 03:22:38 PM »
Speaking of 3D printing.... I hadn't really paid it much attention until I saw your thread Joules on your solar shield.... and that led me to this thread... and some pondering and googling led me to here:

https://markforged.com/mark-one/

Has anyone used one of these?

One of the claims is the carbon fibre re-inforced plastic is as strong as 6061 Aluminium (stronger, in fact); does that seem reasonable?

I'm sure I could print some race car bits if it's as good as aluminium... things like engine mounts for example.

LOL, I wouldn't trust an engine mount that has been printed on one of our machines.   The carbon stuff sold for printing is (very fine) chopped strand carbon in PLA.  I was looking at it for quadcopter use till I realised on a sunny day that PLA is going to get over 50c and start softening.   Not the ideal situation for a rigid airframe, think the old soft mint commercials.  Could paint it white to reflect the heat though.

The other current big issue with carbon loaded PLA is how abrasive it is.  You will destroy a brass nozzle in just a few hours.  New stainless steel nozzles have been released that work much better, but I spotted the ultimate nozzle recently.  It has a sapphire tip that should last a lifetime.

What is great, make your patterns in normal PLA, then vac bag your pre preg carbon over them unless it also needs cooking.  We have done this with glass fibre tissue.

Ade, just looked at that printer and the glaring problem is that it literally lays a single filament along the print...   Errrrrr, the filament isn't cross linked to the one below so no extra benefit in sheer.  Alot of pennies for a concept I would step widely by.
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline Joules

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2015, 03:45:44 PM »
Ade, this might be more of use in your area of interest.

http://www.xwinder.com

You don't have to wind just tubes and cylinders with it.
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline AdeV

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2015, 04:49:00 PM »

What is great, make your patterns in normal PLA, then vac bag your pre preg carbon over them unless it also needs cooking.  We have done this with glass fibre tissue.


This is certainly something I've considered using 3d printing for; vacuum layup looks to be one of the better ways of making carbon fibre parts. The biggest problem, as always, being size; one way to overcome that would, of course, be to print interlocking parts.

Ade, just looked at that printer and the glaring problem is that it literally lays a single filament along the print...   Errrrrr, the filament isn't cross linked to the one below so no extra benefit in sheer.  Alot of pennies for a concept I would step widely by.

it's not perfect, agreed; and because the fibre's encased in plastic rather than resin, it won't have the same properties as a true CF part... but it's more than just a single fibre around the print; you can (by the looks of it), print an entire layer of filament if one wishes. The maker shows off some of his wares in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiPQpiE4_qY
Cheers!
Ade.
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Offline Joules

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Re: Best New 3D Printer
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2015, 05:00:17 PM »
Another thing to bear in mind Ade, you can combine 3D printed parts with parts made by other methods.  Say for instance long flat surfaces can be wood or metal, then the fillets or complex geometry done as printed parts attached to more basic geometrical parts.  3D printing is a great complimentary process, too many get blinkered and think it ALL has to be 3D printed.
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup: