Additive manufacturing (3D printing)

Vulpes Abnocto

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With the cost of 3D printers coming down, and so many different types of home printers available, I've been wondering if we have any members that are either designing or printing at home.
It's a technology I'm interested in trying out, myself.
 

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I design at school, though I haven't been doing as much as I'd like due to other school work. With the proper program (I use Autodesk Inventor, but I've heard freeware like Google Sketchup is enough to get the job done, too), it's reeeeeeaaaaaally easy to make a small, polished product
 

Vulpes Abnocto

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I design at school, though I haven't been doing as much as I'd like due to other school work. With the proper program (I use Autodesk Inventor, but I've heard freeware like Google Sketchup is enough to get the job done, too), it's reeeeeeaaaaaally easy to make a small, polished product

have you been able to print any of your designs?
 

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Only one (again for lack of time to do stuff for myself); a train toy that we were assigned to create to improve our CAD skills

Edit: However, 2 years ago I helped design a sculpture that was constructed and built outside of my town's Junior High school, if that counts (the design looked better than it turned out, though, it had to be revised slightly for safety reasons that made it look a little derpy)
 
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Vulpes Abnocto

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Were you able to get a decent level of detail for the size? I see a lot of people printing but sometimes it seems that either their printer isn't capable of great resolution, or maybe they kinda suck at designing
 

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Meh... decently so. It all depends on how thick and/or detailed the structure is. For instance, the printer isn't accurate enough to distinguish between something like 0.01 inches, but it does do a decent job at printing intricacies from maybe 0.2 inches and up? (Don't quote me on exact distances, I'm estimating)

Basically, the detail is determined by what/how much material you're using. Our school is using printable plastic that's about the width of a fishing line, so we can get pretty detailed, but it's nothing special (for instance, you're not going to get a gilded key fob, but a representation of the Hylian shield that's the same size should do well)

Edit: also, casual double posts
 

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I'm looking one to print off console/controller shells if that would be possible. Anyone with one able to say?
 

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What do you mean by SNES quality?

As in like the rigid, gritty feeling matte type plastic, rather than the smooth Wii/Wii U type polished plastic (that is, unless you add something to it post-print to buff it)

I said SNES because he was talking about console cases and I didn't want him to think that he could directly print off a high-quality PS3 case or something

Also, keep in mind that to print a small Pez dispenser (classes have actually done this lol) it takes about 6 hours, so don't go thinking you'll have your finished product in 5 minutes

Yet another edit: I just thought of a good way to express accuracy in printing: a teacher printed off a working monkey wrench in one piece (as in not printing separate pieces and assembling them, actually one print session pre-assembled). The threads in the adjuster don't stick at all, and the adjustable part of the wrench moves freely, so it's accurate enough to create mechanical parts if distances are defined correctly
 
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Vulpes Abnocto

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As in like the rigid, gritty feeling matte type plastic, rather than the smooth Wii/Wii U type polished plastic (that is, unless you add something to it post-print to buff it)

I said SNES because he was talking about console cases and I didn't want him to think that he could directly print off a high-quality PS3 case or something

Also, keep in mind that to print a small Pez dispenser (classes have actually done this lol) it takes about 6 hours, so don't go thinking you'll have your finished product in 5 minutes


Good answers.
I'm aware of the time costs involved in this sort of thing. I saw a guy that was nearing the end of an 80 hour print, on Reddit.
What sort of quality can a person get from most home printers at this time? I've seen some really polished and detailed prints but they're usually from Shapeways or similar companies with a number of high end printers.
 

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Good answers.
I'm aware of the time costs involved in this sort of thing. I saw a guy that was nearing the end of an 80 hour print, on Reddit.
What sort of quality can a person get from most home printers at this time? I've seen some really polished and detailed prints but they're usually from Shapeways or similar companies with a number of high end printers.

I honestly couldn't tell you, but I know that home printers have been becoming more efficient and reliable for printing recently (there's ready-to-print plans out there for a gun where the only metal piece is the firing pin... yikes...), so I would assume they're pretty quickly catching up with industry standard. The only drawback being tray size is usually smaller, as no one wants a printer that takes an entire kitchen table to sit on

Take a look at this site for more info, it has a good comparison. I'd personally look into the MakiBot if you are actually serious about wanting to use this multiple times, as it looks pretty user friendly to set up and accurate, but as the description states, it's only for small stuff. If you're REALLY serious, I'd suggest the Deezmaker, but don't take my word for it, I don't want to be the reason you spent $700+ on a purchase you aren't happy with.

Anyway, pay close attention to the printing spaces listed, because that's all the bigger object you'll ever be able to print, unless specifically stated the printer can be modded post-build to have a larger print tray

Edit: Completely missed the Phoenix. I'd actually recommend that slightly over the Deezmaker, if only for more print space, supposing you want bigger projects as well
 
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elmoemo

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Wow 6 hours for a small pez dispenser? I wasn't expecting 30 minute jobs but for a controller shell that'd be crazy.

I'd be happy with SNES like shell for my Xbox one controller. I'm sure it'll be a few years before I invest as its still a small market but awesome nonetheless
 
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TotalInsanity4

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Ehh nope I don't.
Reason being is as a high schooler who has no money and no skills in that it would serve me no purpose but it is cool tho.

Makes me feel lucky our school has one of their own XD We do have to pay to use it, though

ALSO! That brings me to another point! Remember that despite being able to print things for cheaper than buying them, you still need to account for energy and materials costs!
 
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RevPokemon

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Makes me feel lucky our school has one of their own XD We do have to pay to use it, though

ALSO! That brings me to another point! Remember that despite being able to print things for cheaper than buying them, you still need to account for energy and materials costs!
How expensive is it for them?
 

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Well, rates may have changed by now, and I know the school wants to make some money in the process, but they charged a little over $2 a cubic inch, if memory serves

Think of it like regular printer ink cartridges. It's easy to use, very convenient, but when you have to run to the store to get a refill... :wacko:

Just gonna leave this here, but this is DEFINITELY a more hard-core designer website, NOT economy (their sponsored printer is running around $1,300, that's more than some MacBooks); that said, it is the most desirable option I've found yet
 

The Real Jdbye

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I'm interested in trying it out as well. I know that sooner or later I'm going to end up buying one, but I'm trying hard to wait until I can justify a purchase, since I don't really have that many uses for one and it would probably end up just sitting around.

The fabtotum looks pretty amazing though: http://www.fabtotum.com/
It packs an impressive amount of features, and it has a rather large printing bed. Preorders ship within a few months.
It also does scanning, and milling. You can even use it to create PCBs :D
 

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We did speak elsewhere but I might as well go here as well

I know you said additive but I would say look at CNC machines if you are after a bit of quality -- most of the things you will want to make/repair/replace are likely made with techniques similar in terms of what they can remove (3d printers can indeed make things that are impossible to make any other way, hasn't stopped people in the last however many thousand years though), the accuracy/tolerances are far higher, the materials available are far more numerous (3d printers have to heat and extrude, a mill just has to be able to cut away whatever material you stick under it) and they are slightly quicker if you do it right.
Before you hit pro level, or you spend a month* restoring an older one, you have three main classes
Chinese 3020, 6040 engravers made good.
http://www.carving-cnc.com/ (they are all over ebay and amazon)


Roland offerings
http://www.rolanddga.com/products/3d/

That is their lowest end offering, prices are comparable to the 6040 stuff but the machining sizes are considerably smaller and the material range for that is also smaller (you might just be able to worry aluminium, a lot of wood and plastic should be fine though), if you have a bit more cash to throw around then you can do better.

Stuff like shopbot as you head into the fancier range
http://www.shopbottools.com/
There are any number of similar priced tools out there, however I do not know the US friendly vendors of a lot of them so I will leave it at that for the time being.

*example restoration


If you had real money to spend on it and still wanted additive methods then laser sintering is a possibility.

On the quality of the finish then depending upon what plastic it is you can play with a bit of acetone, this guy does it for some of the stuff he was doing
 

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