Author Topic: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.  (Read 3124 times)

Offline S. Heslop

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Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« on: September 06, 2018, 02:20:15 AM »
The two go hand in hand.

So i've been planning this for quite a while now but other things kept coming up. I'd like a large 3d printer, about 400x400x500 build volume, but the price they charge for commercial ones is taking the mick and i'm sure I could build one for a fraction of the cost. I've just been very indecisive on how to go about it.

One of the earlier designs I settled on was this.



CoreXY gantry, sheet metal construction. But I was pricing out how to build a box and pan folder before thinking that idea was getting a bit expensive, and I started to dislike the design i'd come up with.

So then I settled on this.



It's a bit of a mess of a design. But I started building it anyways. I couldn't find the nice 50x100 thin walled ESR tubing I had in mind so I went for some 50x100x3mm hot rolled. I think they might've mucked the order up because the walls are more like 4mm. Just the steel for the sides was impossible to lift on my own, so I set out hole sawing bits away. I got two holes put in before deciding it wasn't a great idea. I'm not to keen on the design either. There's some real flaky bits. (This is an older screenshot I just realised. It really started to fall apart when adding the details)

I'm here right now.



Not much to look at, but i'm going for yet another gantry arrangement, copied from a popular commercial machine. Seems it'd be alot easier to build than having to worry about routing miles of belt, and everything fits nicely against the walls of a square box. I've not quite figured out the box part yet though. Seems the routes to take are a welded box section frame with panels bolted/ welded on, big chunky aluminium/ plastic plates that weld or bolt together, or a sheet metal box of some sort.


I've always wanted to do more with sheet metal. If nothing else I think it's cool! So building a big box and pan folder is appealing. Here's the design I was going with previously.



The idea was to rely on cold rolled steel being fairly straight to register the fingers against. There'd be a bolt going through that hole to pull that clamp up.




But I just saw this video. It's a little hard to make out but I think at the start he welds some tiny angles onto a flat to make the T tracks. And I think trying to register on the tops of the fingers is alot more complicated than just registring the bottoms against the table, especially since i'd be making them by hand with most likely a belt sander, so the T track might not need to be that accurate. It'd also be nice to come up with a new design that can make use of all that 100x50xsomething rectangle.


I'm also considering the idea of buying one of the cheaper 3d printers out there to make some parts, and then pillaging it for the steppers. For what was the hot adult nerd toy a couple years ago i'm surprised there's not much of a second hand market for them. Maybe the sales weren't as big as the journalism made them out to be. I've kinda wondered why the Chinese devices look so... prototypal - being assembled from stock parts, laser cut acrylic, and aluminium profiles.

Offline nrml

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2018, 03:34:24 AM »
I would highly recommend MGN12 linear slides over smooth rods. They are cheap and more than accurate for this application.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MGN12-250-550mm-Miniature-Linear-Rail-Slide-Carriage-Kossel-3D-Printer-CNC-Laser/382529570288?hash=item59108a05f0:m:mKynaPd9azC-mDeASbymloA

Why not use aluminium extrusions in the size of your choice? You can have them delivered pre-cut from Motedis accurate to less than a mm

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2018, 03:49:57 AM »
Huh they seem alot cheaper than last time I looked. I think I was looking at £120 a set back then. I got given 4 bearing blocks and i've got the steel bar as well, so I might stick with round rails for the Z axis. But it opens up options for the X/Y gantry.

Extrusions were the first thing I looked at, but I thought all the brackets you'd need to get everything in the right place would be tricky to make. Alot of the designs using those rely on alot of 3d printed parts. But back then I was also trying to avoid using 3d printed parts...


Offline Joules

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2018, 04:17:36 AM »
I am trying to bite my lip commenting here, but those long Z bars....  Think about using a 300mm lever on them pivoting about the leadscrew.  They are going to move even under light pressure from the nozzle.  Supported is the way to go, round or rail.
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 04:44:52 AM »
I am trying to bite my lip commenting here, but those long Z bars....  Think about using a 300mm lever on them pivoting about the leadscrew.  They are going to move even under light pressure from the nozzle.  Supported is the way to go, round or rail.

Hah don't worry, I appreciate the comment. With the earlier designs I was going in the opposite direction with 20mm round bars. But like I said I gave up on it because it was going to be absurdly heavy - so i'm kinda going in the opposite direction now. My concern was that putting more weight on the table would make the layers fan out over the whole item (combined with it reaching the mid point of the bars where I believe it'd flex more). I'm also hoping that I could find somewhere to have the stepper motor at the top of the leadscrew so that it's hanging and held in tension, which I think would let you get away with a fairly spindly one.

I've read a few arguments on CNC forums over round vs supported and they never seemed to reach a conclusion. The idea being that the cut-out in the bearings makes them considerably weaker than if you just used unsupported rods and enclosed bearings. But the appealing part of round rods for me is that I don't need to worry about their mounting being straight or shimmed along their length. Just need the ends in the right place.

Looking at commercial machines they all look surprisingly under-built to me.

Offline nrml

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2018, 05:25:01 AM »
A 3D printer does not need huge amounts of structural rigidity. Vibration and resonance are more of a problem. It would be far more productive for you to use your time in vibration control rather than building a substantial chassis. Make the gantry as light and vibration free as possible.

Some of the kits on Banggood and Aliexpress are not a bad place to start IMHO. Just keep the bits you need and beef up or change what you don't like .

Offline Joules

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2018, 05:33:56 AM »
Table sag is an issue, especially with larger heavier prints.  As can be seen in some of my tall prints, if the setup isnít rigid you will get banding as the print/machine flex.  I get good results partly due to the small size of my printer and the steel welded chassis.  Scaling it up and keeping the bars same size, as seems to be the norm in the hobby class machines, is not a good recipe for precision.

You also need to think about the nozzle being in the centre position when extruding.  The pressure at the nozzle is easily able to lift/bend a lightly constructed XY mechanism, never mind push down the table.  That leads to mid print bulge and outer edges, corners getting squashed or distorted.  It only takes a few thou movement to go from a good to bad print if you are trying to hold close tolerance on parts and crisp sharp corners.  Heavy design is good, where itís needed, vibration will show in your prints as banding or echo of printed detail.

Have a think about keeping the table fixed and moving the XY mechanism up and down for a large printer.  Those eBay rails look tempting, but I would want to do some serious testing on them first.
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline nrml

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2018, 06:21:16 AM »
The MGN12 rails are very good for the price. I have about 10 of them (all half finished projects). There is very little play between rail and carriage in any direction. They are well made and finished. The grinding (on all mine at least) is flat and parallel. The only discernible flaws on mine are that some of them feel slightly gritty when they run on the rails. It doesn't affect movement much when there is a bit of force applied to the carriages but the difference in friction is evident under just gravity. I tried washing them out with paraffin and re-greasing but it didn't make a huge difference. I think the problem is the finish on the bearing surface of the carriages rather than dust or grit.

There are countless builds on the reprap forum using these rails (some of them very high spec indeed) and hardly anyone has issues with their actual performance in real life. The performance of other mechanical components like stepper motors, timing belts & pulleys and the physics of molten plastic become an issue well before these rails reach their limit.

They are noisier than igus bearings  or delrin wheels.

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2018, 08:16:45 AM »
I never knew about the pressure from the head flexing things. From what i'd read it was people just chasing vibrations. That said I have seen videos where people had really long nozzles that you could see twisting about as the motors changed direction.

Keeping the table fixed and moving the XY up is also one of the first thoughts I had. I forget why I dropped it for the Z axis bed... the only reason I can think of right now is trying to reduce the overall size of the machine. I think I also had a hard time finding examples of such machines to copy.

I've got alot of 12mm bar. It's just cold rolled, I figured that'd be good enough. Or I at least wanted to try see if it's good enough since it's not too expensive and still useful if I switch it out. And 4 12mm linear bearings i'm keen to use. So right now i'm thinking a coreXY deal built on a 2mm steel sheet, since i've still got loads of that stuff, bent up around the edges that haven't got a linear guide on it for stiffness.... and then that's lifted by 2 or maybe 3 leadscrews.

Y'know if I made the vertical guides stiff enough then everything could be supported on the base. I wouldn't even need sides except to keep the breeze out.

Offline PK

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2018, 08:47:12 AM »
A 3D printer does not need huge amounts of structural rigidity.
My lip hurts.....
A 3d printer needs LOTS of structural rigidity in X and Y because it runs at high accelerations which generate large forces even with lightweight heads.
A 3d printer needs LOTS of mass because it moves repetitively  in almost every direction so your only hope is to have the resonant frequency of the structure below every conceivable excitation frequency and the best way to do that is make it massive.

The reason this sounds wrong is because you never see commercial 3d printers built this way and *that* is because a). it's such a price competitive market, and b). they have to be shipped.
Instead you spend you time and money on 32bit controllers trying to tune 3rd order jerk parameters to get the thing to stay still.


There... I feel better now!

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2018, 12:44:45 PM »
I guess the deal is that FDM style 3d printing isn't so useful unless it's cheap and available. You could build an insane machine in the style of a pick and place gantry but then you'd still be squirting out globs of plastic into a wobbly shape. I was looking at 5 axis CNC carving machines before I admitted 3d printing would be alot simpler and cheaper.

Earlier today I bumbled into one of those metal 3d printing company's websites and noticed they'd STOLEN MY IDEA. The idea being to 3d print parts from whatever metal filled plastic they use in metal injection moulding then process it in the same manner. It's an idea thats so obvious i'm sure alot of people considered it, but I dropped it myself when I realised that by the time you've gone and built a hydrogen furnace and figured out the whole solvent processing step you might as well have bought a nice milling machine and all the attachments.

Those SLA machines seem interesting, as do the inkjet type, for producing highly detailed (and even coloured) models for more artistic purposes. For actual sculpting of one-offs it'd probably still be easier to go with clay and molds than do it in software. But they did make an interesting use of those machines in a couple of stop motion films. But again it was kinda self defeating since they more or less just made a CG film with all the animated faces, then exported them out into models to photograph. They didn't have the uh... hideous charm of regular stop motion and just looked like low framerate CG films.



Also I gotta say that laptop kayzed1 sent has been a godsend. In the middle of a Windows reinstall and all kinds of things are going wrong. Mostly that driver providers seem to be dropping support for windows 7, or at least windows 7 freshly installed. Hoping installing all the updates stops the nvidea graphics card driver refusing to install otherwise i'm going to be digging for older versions.

Offline Joules

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2018, 01:27:12 PM »
LOL, I will jerk about with a 32bit controller on my rebuild. 

Donít get too disheartened, you have seen the print quality I can produce on a cheap printer (or maybe that HAS put you off).  Just donít have your hopes up for high precision, especially with a large volume machine.  All the engineering prototype stuff I have done has fitted in a 150x150x200mm volume.  The newer model boat stuff isnít as critical on dimensions and the prints have some flex to work with.

Consider a cheap off the shelf machine for learning, a lot more to printing than just the mechanism of squirting plastic in XYZ
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2018, 02:51:01 PM »
LOL, I will jerk about with a 32bit controller on my rebuild. 

Donít get too disheartened, you have seen the print quality I can produce on a cheap printer (or maybe that HAS put you off).  Just donít have your hopes up for high precision, especially with a large volume machine.  All the engineering prototype stuff I have done has fitted in a 150x150x200mm volume.  The newer model boat stuff isnít as critical on dimensions and the prints have some flex to work with.

Consider a cheap off the shelf machine for learning, a lot more to printing than just the mechanism of squirting plastic in XYZ

Hah I originally typed up something much nastier in regards FDM print quality. Like I've seen a few proudly posted before and after shots of heavily stepped holes where i'm straining to see the difference.

I think you're right though about getting a ready to assemble machine. If nothing else I could rip the head and steppers out of it when I start finding I need the bigger one. I could also see how far I can get gluing together larger objects from sections. Bit of a dull conclusion to this thread though!


Also hey i'm back on the desktop. I was able to import my old firefox data, plugins cookies logins and all. It seems to be exactly as it was. And the windows update process also installed the graphics card and audio drivers for me. It's weird! I was cursing it when it started. Now I just gotta reinstall all the programs I actively use. I might try avoid sketchup this time and go with fusion 360. I'd tried it in the past but found it horrible. If nothing else the way autodesk wants to hold your working files hostage on their ~cloud~ is offputting.

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2018, 03:08:35 PM »
Bahaha. Spoke too soon. Turns out I installed a 32 bit copy of windows. Guess I need to find the 64 bit iso and try again.

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2018, 04:01:21 PM »
God damn it gets worse. I figured it was no big deal since Microsoft provides the isos on their website. The memory of doing that came back. But oops, turns out they changed that system and do a CD key check to make sure you're not using a dastardly OEM CD key before downloading.

So there's a bunch of shady crap to download the isos anyways, and I was mostly going on outdated info and tried running a program that now comes with a bitcoin miner. It at least has the decency to tell you as you start it. So I've dug the ol' torrent client from the old hard drive to download this iso from a website that people a year ago were saying is reputable. I'll try find more up to date info as it downloads.

Thing is that torrent client in later updates also added a bitcoin miner, so for a while people were sticking with the older versions. But a friend warned me a bit back that that version is compromised now and a big security risk to run. But what other option is there. I was hoping this'd be a nice clean install but now it feels dirty before i've even installed it!

Edit: Maybe it's time to dust off the old Micro$haft. Around windows 7 time I was starting to think maybe they'd turned it around. Then they abruptly dropped support for a bunch of their products, then they came out with the horrid tablet focussed windows 8, then they started adding telemetry and data collecting in updates. And now this!

Offline Joules

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2018, 04:16:46 PM »
Ahhh Linux

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

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2018, 04:21:50 PM »
Ahhh Linux

 :wack:

I've considered it many times in my life.

A fun fact is that I got this windows 7 CD key when my sister got a virus on her new laptop, and I was down visiting a cousin for a few days. And by the time I got back her idiot boyfriend of the time managed to wipe it and install ubunto on the thing. In the end she complained enough that I put vista on it, and the family's been playing musical chairs with operating systems ever since.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2018, 04:54:46 PM »
I have two legitimate bought copies of WIN7Pro loaded on four PCs which you are allowed to do under the license terms. I recently had to change a motherboard when the video went up the spout on one of them, and went through all the hoops trying to re-authorise it. Neither key would work. Eventually I tried a key from a Dell small form factor that I bought pre-loaded (so don't have the CD) and it worked first time.

I know they need to control pirate copying, but it was stopping me do what I am allowed to do  :bang:
Andrew Mawson
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Offline nrml

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2018, 05:09:54 PM »
A 3D printer does not need huge amounts of structural rigidity.
My lip hurts.....
A 3d printer needs LOTS of structural rigidity in X and Y because it runs at high accelerations which generate large forces even with lightweight heads.
A 3d printer needs LOTS of mass because it moves repetitively  in almost every direction so your only hope is to have the resonant frequency of the structure below every conceivable excitation frequency and the best way to do that is make it massive.

The reason this sounds wrong is because you never see commercial 3d printers built this way and *that* is because a). it's such a price competitive market, and b). they have to be shipped.




Instead you spend you time and money on 32bit controllers trying to tune 3rd order jerk parameters to get the thing to stay still.


There... I feel better now!

You are probably technically correct but we are talking of home built printers for hobby use where time and the need to tweak things every now and then are not a major issue but cost is. If we judge every printer by the yard stick you describe, then reprap type and similar printers should have no right to function at all. Yet, there is enough evidence out there that lot of people are able to get what most hobbyists would regard as very good to even outstanding quality prints from surprisingly modest machines.

I don't want to side track Simon's thread, so I'll refrain from commenting any further on this. I am sure he can make up his own mind on how he wants to build his printer.

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2018, 05:13:26 PM »
I have two legitimate bought copies of WIN7Pro loaded on four PCs which you are allowed to do under the license terms. I recently had to change a motherboard when the video went up the spout on one of them, and went through all the hoops trying to re-authorise it. Neither key would work. Eventually I tried a key from a Dell small form factor that I bought pre-loaded (so don't have the CD) and it worked first time.

I know they need to control pirate copying, but it was stopping me do what I am allowed to do  :bang:

I'm assuming its less piracy and more all those landfills full of trashed laptops and PCs with the little cd key stickers on them being picked up and resold online. And being able to download the iso from Microsoft itself makes it way less shady seeming.

When I was still at school and building my first PC, I asked the IT guy there for advise. And he went and got me a handful of Windows XP professional CDs. But it confused the hell out of me because he didn't also say to copy a key from one of the units, and I was too embarrased to tell him I couldn't make it work. They'd installed Windows NT or something on them all so over a whole school they mustve had at least 200 legit copies of Windows just up for grabs. If only I knew more about computers then. In the end an older kid got me a pirated copy of XP pro and even printed a custom label. That kid collected Psion netbooks which blew me away as a little glimpse into how cool the future of computing could be. And well you know how I feel about the future of computing now that i'm living in it...

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2018, 05:18:52 PM »
I don't want to side track Simon's thread, so I'll refrain from commenting any further on this. I am sure he can make up his own mind on how he wants to build his printer.

It's already well sidetracked, don't worry about it. I'm hearing stuff that i've never heard when reading all the official 3d printer forums.

Offline Joules

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2018, 06:34:00 PM »
The argument over 8bit and 32bit controllers is a little more complex than just jerk.

https://madmodder.net/index.php/topic,11247.msg132361.html#msg132361

Going back a couple of years, here is an example of print quality side by side., and controllers have come on a bit since then.
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline S. Heslop

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2018, 06:53:39 PM »
That is a very noticeable difference. What printer model do you currently run anyways, Joules? I've read your threads and I don't remember you saying what it specifically was.



Also update on computer stuff. I found the Last DVD-R and burned the .iso to that and it seems to be working. 55% extracted. I don't have alot of faith in burnable disks and this one is quite old. And hopefully it accepts the CD key!

I should... or maybe shouldn't add that i've also been feeling pretty terrible today with uh... regular trips to the toilet. I'd say that's bad but really it's kept me busy during load times! I've also been up for way too long but there's no way I could get to sleep with this hanging over me.

Oh just Expanded and installed. I'll probably set it to download updates overnight and try get to sleep if it's worked.

Offline PK

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2018, 07:00:24 PM »
The argument over 8bit and 32bit controllers is a little more complex than just jerk.

Agreed.

I do see a lot of "how to remove ringing" and "the top 10 tips for fixing banding in your prints" articles though.

Half decent linear motion bits are cheaper than they've ever been.  There was a time when I had a rule of thumb of $500 per axis for a DIY CNC machine. You can do a reasonable job for half that now.

The real problem is that 8mm ground rod and slightly wonky acme leadscrews can be had for less than postage... Oh, and don't get me started on moving axii with rubber bands! :-)

As I mentioned elsewhere, I got as far as some 20mm hot rolled steel plate, rough cut and a deal with the CNC shop over the road to put some precision surfaces on it. IIRC the metal was around $100. Total budget for the machine was <$1k.

My problem is that the plastic snotters just don't suit what I/we do. Heck, maybe one day I'll just make one to win the argument...

I do enthusiastically acknowledge the merit of a DIY machine build at any level though. If valuing my opinion results in something not getting built then that's a MUCH worse outcome than having a go and enjoying the process.

Offline Joules

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Re: Sheet Metal Brake and 3d Printer.
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2018, 07:07:05 PM »
I have 3 older Createbot Miniís.  The touch screen versions are not an improvement...  They really went to town getting the cost/quality down 8-(   Maybe they raised their game again, but looking at the review ratings I think not.  A couple of Mini Kossel printers, but they still out fox me with the complex setup every time you change the firmware, I will get the better of them. A now defunct Printrbot Metal Plus is the last on the list and being rebuilt with a newer 32bit Duet board and E3D hot end.  Some of the old printing posts mention the Mini printer.   Prior to all that I started out with a loaned Rostock Max 8bit delta.  If you wanted an excersie in frustration that was the printer to have, but I learnt a lot from that machine.

PK, I have just been lucky, right place, right time.  The people who have prints off me use them for presentation, brain storming or just to get an idea of what an injection moulded part will look and feel like in its application.  Only one client uses direct printed parts from me as end user parts, the setup cost for the intended mould was £10k plus and he can just call a print off as and when with modifications only needing CAD tweaks before the print.  We did test the end user acceptance to printed parts first and they had no problem, but itís a very bespoke product in lime green.

The banding in prints tends to be in extreme parts than my normal smaller items.  Not to forget banding is a handy visual indication to FTFP
« Last Edit: September 06, 2018, 07:45:52 PM by Joules »
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup: