The 3d Printing Thread

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Tyndmyr
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The 3d Printing Thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:12 pm UTC

I've got one, and at least some of ya'll have got to have dabbled in this tech, or at least, be curious about it, so hey, let's chat about em.

My current printer's a Cube(1st gen), but I'm probably grabbing a 3d gen solidoodle soonly. I also kind of want a 2nd gen cube, but money is finite.

Also...there's money to be made in making designs for people to print. Shapeways, etc is one such outlet, but it's expensive...digital downloads of stl's is the way to go, IMO. As 3d printers become more mainstream, there's gonna be more and more people who are strictly consumers, printing stuff others make, not designing their own.

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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby eran_rathan » Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:33 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I've got one, and at least some of ya'll have got to have dabbled in this tech, or at least, be curious about it, so hey, let's chat about em.

My current printer's a Cube(1st gen), but I'm probably grabbing a 3d gen solidoodle soonly. I also kind of want a 2nd gen cube, but money is finite.

Also...there's money to be made in making designs for people to print. Shapeways, etc is one such outlet, but it's expensive...digital downloads of stl's is the way to go, IMO. As 3d printers become more mainstream, there's gonna be more and more people who are strictly consumers, printing stuff others make, not designing their own.


jealous. so very, very jealous.

I want a Cube. :(
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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:19 pm UTC

The 2nd ed version is significantly better...the advertised aspects, like adding PLA, are nice...but there's also some unadvertised aspects. For instance, the 1st gen tends to routinely result in small objects being slightly above designed diameter, and holes being below the designed diameter, enough so that you have to include a significant fudge factor in designing, and usually do a couple of iterations to get interlocking parts to fit just right. The 2nd gen is vastly more accurate in this regard.

For those without a printer, if you design something awesome, send it my way and I'll do a test print.

Edit: There is one important respect in which the 1st ed is superior...it has a heated bed. Now, you can add a heated bed to the 2nd gen, but it's not stock, so you're gonna have to adapt a kit from another printer to the right size and mounting configuration and power it separately. Definitely fiddly.

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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby sparkyb » Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:33 pm UTC

I've had a bunch of experience with a color Z-corp and a little with a Stratasys in grad school (10 years ago). They definitely look to be getting a lot better and cheaper now. But it is one gadget that I've still had no interest in having of my own. I just can't imagine what I'd use one for, at least often enough to be worth owning one myself. Maybe a good thing for a shared hacker (maker) space to have. But still, I can't think of anything I'd need it for and I imagine that I probably would have more use for one than the most of the average population. I feel that I'd rather get a small desktop CNC milling machine or a laser cutter or something.

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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby Wednesday » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:21 pm UTC

sparkyb wrote:I've had a bunch of experience with a color Z-corp and a little with a Stratasys in grad school (10 years ago). They definitely look to be getting a lot better and cheaper now. But it is one gadget that I've still had no interest in having of my own. I just can't imagine what I'd use one for, at least often enough to be worth owning one myself. Maybe a good thing for a shared hacker (maker) space to have. But still, I can't think of anything I'd need it for and I imagine that I probably would have more use for one than the most of the average population. I feel that I'd rather get a small desktop CNC milling machine or a laser cutter or something.

The Asylum in Union has a couple of printers available for members' use.
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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:28 pm UTC

Those tools are both pretty awesome as well, and I have the occasional urge to get both of those...unfortunately time, money and space is limited. My next actual tool will be a mitre saw...I've had cause to borrow one enough that in practical terms, I need it more than any sexy new tech.

I think it's unfortunate that 3d printers have gotten a lot of press out of the making toy yoda heads and similar knick knacks. Now sure, they're very good at that, but there is a limit to the number of knick knacks any one person can reasonably need. Unfortunately, there isn't yet enough model support for all the more practical things. The cube's precise enough to print, for example, standard sized nuts and bolts, complete with functional threading. This is awesome if I happen to need parts I have models for. If I don't yet have the model, it's faster to hit home depot. There's model libraries out there, sure, but right now they still leave a bit to be desired. I figure the usefulness of the 3d printer will improve significantly as the availability of quality, low cost models rises.

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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby Tomlidich the second » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:53 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I think it's unfortunate that 3d printers have gotten a lot of press out of the making toy yoda heads and similar knick knacks. Now sure, they're very good at that, but there is a limit to the number of knick knacks any one person can reasonably need. Unfortunately, there isn't yet enough model support for all the more practical things. The cube's precise enough to print, for example, standard sized nuts and bolts, complete with functional threading. This is awesome if I happen to need parts I have models for. If I don't yet have the model, it's faster to hit home depot. There's model libraries out there, sure, but right now they still leave a bit to be desired. I figure the usefulness of the 3d printer will improve significantly as the availability of quality, low cost models rises.



the other neat niche there is in creating parts to repair household items and the like, can't tell you how many times i need some odd shaped piece i can't find anywhere.
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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:10 pm UTC

The biolabs here have a 3d printer for educational purposes, and after I TA last year, the woman in charge let me print off a pyMol file of one of the proteins we work with. It's a really neat tool for accurately representing things in 3d space (duh), and it can be handy for visualizing how things fit together.

I can't wait for the final product to be nearly perfectly recyclable back into the unit. Make a bowl, use it for a while, it chips, so you feed it back into the printer and make another.
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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby Tomlidich the second » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:43 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:The biolabs here have a 3d printer for educational purposes, and after I TA last year, the woman in charge let me print off a pyMol file of one of the proteins we work with. It's a really neat tool for accurately representing things in 3d space (duh), and it can be handy for visualizing how things fit together.

I can't wait for the final product to be nearly perfectly recyclable back into the unit. Make a bowl, use it for a while, it chips, so you feed it back into the printer and make another.



depending on the material, im pretty sure you could do that already.

i have had a lot of luck with remelting ldpe and the like for reuse.
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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:42 am UTC

Tomlidich the second wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:The biolabs here have a 3d printer for educational purposes, and after I TA last year, the woman in charge let me print off a pyMol file of one of the proteins we work with. It's a really neat tool for accurately representing things in 3d space (duh), and it can be handy for visualizing how things fit together.

I can't wait for the final product to be nearly perfectly recyclable back into the unit. Make a bowl, use it for a while, it chips, so you feed it back into the printer and make another.



depending on the material, im pretty sure you could do that already.

i have had a lot of luck with remelting ldpe and the like for reuse.


Well, the cube is 100% recyclable...they refill the cartridges, and melt the plastic you send them for refilling those cartridges....which is a helluva business model. I know there was a kickstarter or the like for something called filabot which was for extruding the filament automatically. I suppose it could be done by hand with a bit of finesse, but there's a definite attraction to having a gadget that does it for you.

ABS, you do need to be careful. It doesn't all have exactly the same properties, depending on where you got it from, and it's not THAT hard to accidentally burn it when you're melting it. My rerig of my cube to use third party plastic filament was not perfect...it kind of works, but it tends to extrude slower, so you end up with a weird, spiderwebby object...but the shape is right. I like the aesthetics of it, but can't think of an entirely practical use for it yet.

Yeah, replacement parts are huge. Every time a reporter asks me for what sort of stuff I've printed, I give a different list, because I literally keep forgetting where all the stuff has ended up in my house. Between that and a fondness of making molds for harder stuff(go jb weld), there are very, very few things that can't be whipped up at home.

Did order one of the DIY printrbot kits, since the idea of getting one that does PLA for $300 was damned tempting. Will letcha know how the building goes.

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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby Ormurinn » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:10 pm UTC

I'm seriously considering trying to build a RepRap along with some of my Geekier friends once my first industrial placement ends - more for the experience with electronic control and coding than the actual final application. I'd love to buy and put together a printrbot but can't really scrape together that kind of cash. Do any of you have experience with this/ know people who have?

I'm fortunate enough to have some very advanced industrial-grade metal-laser-sintering rigs in a tech centre affiliated with my Uni, but I doubt I'll be able to play with them until I've progressed further in my studies. They are, however, the things responsible for making me choose to specialise in the field I have.

Hoping to more directly involve myself with rapid manufacture the next chance I get in industry - particularly with respect to bespoke air-handling applications and turbomachinery.

Has anyone here read The Young Lady's Illustrated Primer? (I think thats's the title) It's about a world revolutionised by widespread 3d printing.
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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby induction » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:01 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:Has anyone here read The Young Lady's Illustrated Primer? (I think thats's the title) It's about a world revolutionised by widespread 3d printing.


Aka The Diamond Age. Excellent book.

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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:58 pm UTC

Ormurinn wrote:I'm seriously considering trying to build a RepRap along with some of my Geekier friends once my first industrial placement ends - more for the experience with electronic control and coding than the actual final application. I'd love to buy and put together a printrbot but can't really scrape together that kind of cash. Do any of you have experience with this/ know people who have?


A little bit...I've found that the gun-printing community is actually among the best communities to get help in, because they're so diverse, but still working for a common goal. Other 3d printing communities are hard to find, often small, and often built around either a specific locale or a specific platform. I do wish a proper, large 3d printing community would form, but honestly, many of the early adopter sorts are very much loners with their own goals, so it'll probably be a bit before it really takes off.

If you like, I'll post pics of my printrbot assembly when it shows up and I get around to building it. I'd dug around with reprap stuff before this, and came to the conclusion that I really couldn't beat $300 for a parts kit, even with the ability to make my own printed parts.

If you want to get into building stuff on the cheap, though, consider starting by making a lathe. It allows you to bootstrap to other tools, and while you're not going to get to the sexy CNC/3d printing stuff right off, it gives you a fair degree of manufacturing ability for the cost. Also, it strikes me that it's probably possible to build a halfway decent CNC from a dremel and other misc parts(possibly stripped from printers or the like). If you have a really solid mount, a drill bit will cut effectively regardless of orientation it approaches the piece from. Don't know if there are nice guides or the like out there for this, but could be a fun area of research.

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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby Ormurinn » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:51 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Ormurinn wrote:I'm seriously considering trying to build a RepRap along with some of my Geekier friends once my first industrial placement ends - more for the experience with electronic control and coding than the actual final application. I'd love to buy and put together a printrbot but can't really scrape together that kind of cash. Do any of you have experience with this/ know people who have?


A little bit...I've found that the gun-printing community is actually among the best communities to get help in, because they're so diverse, but still working for a common goal. Other 3d printing communities are hard to find, often small, and often built around either a specific locale or a specific platform. I do wish a proper, large 3d printing community would form, but honestly, many of the early adopter sorts are very much loners with their own goals, so it'll probably be a bit before it really takes off.

If you like, I'll post pics of my printrbot assembly when it shows up and I get around to building it. I'd dug around with reprap stuff before this, and came to the conclusion that I really couldn't beat $300 for a parts kit, even with the ability to make my own printed parts.

If you want to get into building stuff on the cheap, though, consider starting by making a lathe. It allows you to bootstrap to other tools, and while you're not going to get to the sexy CNC/3d printing stuff right off, it gives you a fair degree of manufacturing ability for the cost. Also, it strikes me that it's probably possible to build a halfway decent CNC from a dremel and other misc parts(possibly stripped from printers or the like). If you have a really solid mount, a drill bit will cut effectively regardless of orientation it approaches the piece from. Don't know if there are nice guides or the like out there for this, but could be a fun area of research.


Alas, no applicable gun printing community in the U.K (for meetups/material help at least) Might be decent to check out though.

The printrbot pics would be great to see.

I hadn't considered building traditional machine tools - I'm in cheapo rented accomodation and wouldn't have anywhere to put something too substantial - that was one of the appealing aspects of a 3d printer. I actually have access to a pretty well appointed machine shop complete with friendly technicians - provided they're not too busy I can often get small bits made.

Your idea about a small CNC mill sounds like an interesting avenue to go down though - I'll have to look into that.
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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby eran_rathan » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:12 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:If you want to get into building stuff on the cheap, though, consider starting by making a lathe. It allows you to bootstrap to other tools, and while you're not going to get to the sexy CNC/3d printing stuff right off, it gives you a fair degree of manufacturing ability for the cost. Also, it strikes me that it's probably possible to build a halfway decent CNC from a dremel and other misc parts(possibly stripped from printers or the like). If you have a really solid mount, a drill bit will cut effectively regardless of orientation it approaches the piece from. Don't know if there are nice guides or the like out there for this, but could be a fun area of research.



Its funny that you mention a lathe, I just started building one about two weeks ago :D

I looked into various set-ups, but what I've got going right now is a bench grinder with foot-pedal control and a bike chain and gearing assembly for speed control.

Will post pictures once that damn thing is finally finished.
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Re: The 3d Printing Thread

Postby Tomlidich the second » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:07 pm UTC

immeadiately thought of this
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