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Questions on 3D Printing

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posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 01:37 AM
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I find myself very tired at the moment, too tired to spend my time as I usually do... that being, debating fiercely in the conspiracy forums. Besides, politics is getting old (and frustrating).

So I am switching gears for a short time to the more laid-back forums I have rarely participated in for a sort of undefined sabbatical. And it turns out, I think I have a pretty good initial question for the most intelligent group of people I know:

In my endeavors in my shop, I have come across many things that I need that for now, at least, I have to farm out to companies to make for me. A great many of those are some sort of plastic: cases, switch extensions, gears, shafts, housings, and the like. It would be wonderful, I think, to have the ability to make a prototype part in-house... and pretty cool to have a 3D printer as well. Redneck like cool stuff.

I have a project that is rapidly heading toward a Kick-starter debut, and I think we have a pretty good setup to obtain some serious R&D money. If we make enough, I might be able to put in a decent 3D printer. Now, I do have some experience with 3D graphics... one of my 'hobbies' is 3D animation, and I think I'm getting decent at it. I use PoserPro 2010 (aka Poser 8), Maya (student edition) and I have DAZ 3D and Hexagon, which I am trying to get up to speed on before my Maya license runs out. So I have no real issue creating parts in .obj format. But I do have plenty of questions:
  • How tight does my tolerance need to be, especially if I want to make micro gears and things like that? I don't mind a little sanding/filing, as long as it doesn't take as long as sanding/filing a solid block of plastic. I'm seeing tolerances from 20-100 microns.

  • Which machine should I look at? I am not overly concerned with speed at this point; I have 3D work that I just let run overnight (sometimes for a few days) unattended. That's a side effect of the realism I try to get in my animations; I have some scenes where each frame can take up to 4 hours to render, and there's 30 frames per second of video.

    I am concerned with reliability and the ability to hopefully run unattended for a time on complex tasks. And cost to use, of course.

  • How well do these machines do unattended? Is this something that can sit and do its thing while I am somewhere else, or something that I need to be there to monitor? If so, speed becomes a little more important.

  • How expensive are they to operate?

  • How much space do I need for one? Not just for it, but space for any air flow, accessories, etc.

  • Do I need anything besides the printer? In other words, does it work out of the box, or do I need to get accessories?
I'm pretty sure someone on here has one, probably several people, and I would love to cut down on the trial and error usually associated with a new addition. So can anyone help me out?

TheRedneck




posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 03:32 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Hmm, wonder if it would be more efficient to buy your printing service, make a deal with a company that has a high quality printer, the cost of printing might get better if you order lots.. Just a thought.



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 04:08 AM
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a reply to: solve

Ordering lots is not an option. I do mainly prototyping, not production. If I make 5 of any one item, it's way out of the ordinary.

That's why I was thinking about a 3D printer. I have a good bit of trouble finding companies that want to make 1 or 2 pieces, and more often than not that's all I need. I have no desire to do manufacturing; better to develop the product, sell it for a nice chunk plus royalties, and move on. Manufacturing means dealing with employees... someone else can have those headaches. I'll keep dealing with a few carefully chosen associates.

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 05:11 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

My hobby is 3d printing. I have a filiments and a SLA.

For 20-100 microns you need a good SLA.

You can pick a Chinese SLA for as cheap as £500 but it wont be as good for 20-100 microns, they say it can do 30 but 500 is more realistic.

You will need to fork out a few thousand for a good SLA that does 20 microns.
SLA can be pretty finkly do and need constant maintenance and calibration......but when they do work the results are amazing.
Once you get it going it will run on its own. Its just getting it calibrated to beguin with.

The plastic solution needed is also rather pricey, your looking at $50-100 per 500 ml.

You don't need any special space. But it does need to be dust free and preferably no direct sunlight or it will screw up the plastic solution.

As for accessory's you will need a computer (obviously) good tool box with the right screw drivers to take it apart. Ethanol cleaning fluid for the mirrors and special cloths that will not scratch them.



edit on 18-6-2018 by DieGloke because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-6-2018 by DieGloke because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-6-2018 by DieGloke because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-6-2018 by DieGloke because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 05:25 AM
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a reply to: DieGloke

Thank you!

My price range is around $2500-$3000 maximum (assuming we get the results i expect form the Kick-starter), so I have a few models to choose from. I'm more concerned with the cost of the plastic. I have seen some rolls that were as low as $20-$25 a spool (I think it was one liter?). I also read some reviews on one unit (don't remember which one; I don't want it) that had an RFID in the spools which were required to operate... in other words, once you ran out of filament, buying more from another supplier wasn'r an option, because the RFID would stop transmitting and the machine would quit until it detected a fresh RFID. I thought that was a pretty crappy way to force filament sales.

Forgive my ignorance, but I'm learning. What do you mean by SLA?

If I were to make a micro gear, would it likely work if I used 100 micron? Or do I need 20 or 25 micron?

What all is involved with the calibration, and how long does one typically run before needing to be calibrated again?

Would you tell me what make and model you use?

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 05:37 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Ok first if you talking about spools that is a filament printer. It feeds the plastic in and melts it then drops the plastic i layers.
They are the cheapest to buy and operate and they also also the less maintenance heavy.

I have a davinci filiment printer. Its pretty good, been reliable and has good warranty service. BUT it does have a RFID. However its very easy to hack. I brought a hacked chip for £60 and fitted it and now it takes any spool


It will only do 0.2 mm (200 microns) though really the results are more 400 microns.

A good filament is around $1000

Next is SLA

SLA used a liquid plastic solution that hardens when exposed to light. You have a tank of liquid solution and laser then fix the plastic onto a platform in layers.

You can get down to 20 microns with these. But they are slower and more expensive to run.

I have a riverside. Its a cheap Chinese knockoff of the forma labs 2. Being a knock off I have had problems with mine but you get what you pay for. The forma labs 2 is apparently excellent and has good warranty BUT its going to be $3000-$4000.

You also have SLS that uses powder and works like a SLA. these can do metals but they cost $10000+ and need very special safety gear.

Calibration for both is simple making sure the build platform is completely level. Calibration normally needs to be done after each run as any movement can disrupt the platform, even lifting the model off.


Unfortunately I can not help with gears , I do models with mine so I have no experience with that.


edit on 18-6-2018 by DieGloke because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-6-2018 by DieGloke because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-6-2018 by DieGloke because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 05:59 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck


Ummm...I'm currently using a Monoprice 111P...I originally purchased it for prototyping...

I do all my modeling in fusion 360 and use Cura to slice...

The fusion 360 maintains tool paths for CNC as well which allows you to use the same modeling from the prototype to production...

I recently moved to an all metal head and achieving great results...

I've been checking out the Monoprice SLA which is advertised at 20 microns for $499.00 on Amazon...although for my prototyping I really don't need that high a resolution...There's also a Monoprice maker ultimate on Amazon that prints at 20 microns according to the advert for $699.00...Does not auto level...I might step up to that one rather than make the jump to an SLA...

Obvious learning curves...primarily software...

I think I might go with an auto leveling unit next however...












YouSir
edit on 18-6-2018 by YouSir because: I needed to add somethin...



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 06:37 AM
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a reply to: DieGloke

Ah, thank you again. I thought all the printers in my price range would be the filament style. The SLA sounds more 'sturdy' from a design standpoint. An SLS would be awesome... but that's going to probably be beyond my means for now.

I've been wondering about the dust-free requirement... my shop is small and does tend to get dusty. I also use it for wood- and plastic-working, and have a Smithy Midas in there for light machining. Not to mention, I'm somewhat of a slob, lol. So I did some checking and it would be pretty simple for me to hook up a HiV ionizer to clean the air. Another option would be to locate the printer in my house and either communicate with it via WiFi (like I do my laser printer) or barring that, I have a smaller machine I could probably use just to run it and transfer files via TeamViewer.

25 micron is just under a thousandth of an inch (Yeah, I still use old units where possible), so that might be sufficient for gears. Even if I have to do a little cleaning with a file, it's still preferable to ordering and waiting. I think I can live with that. 100 microns would be about 3.5 thou, though, and I don't think that would work well for me. I tend to work on tiny stuff.

Will the SLA machines accept different types of plastic? I know when I was looking at filaments, they came in several types, including fiber-reinforced. That choice of material would be a good thing.

I like the daVinci Super... should be plenty big enough to handle anything I want to make, it's in my price range, takes a variety of materials, and it has WiFi connectivity... but I'm seeing a max resolution of 50 microns. I might try and get a smaller unit to start with that has 50-100 micron resolution so I can check it out... When I was looking up the daVinci, I found another model from Raise3D that went down to 10 micron, but at a cost a little over $5000.

TheRedneck

edit on 6/18/2018 by TheRedneck because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 07:00 AM
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a reply to: YouSir

I did some looking at the SLA machines as compared to the filament machines... the filament machines seem to be slower, but the media is about 11% as expensive as the SLA. Filaments can get down to 20 microns, too, so it sounds (barring someone telling me a disadvantage I don't know of) like filament might be my best way to go.

I also like the variety of filaments available as opposed to the variety of SLA resin.

I'll look into fusion360... while it sounds good that the CNC tooling data is available for the models, I'm not convinced it is that critical. Production operates so differently form prototyping, a new product will probably undergo some redesign anyway in the transition, just to streamline the manufacturing process for automation. For now, though, I think I'll stick with the tried and true, as long as the printer accepts .obj files. Poser, Maya, Hexagon, AC3D, all handle .obj. It seems to be sort of a standard from my experience.

Thanks!

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 07:08 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Just be careful of all company's claims. Normally the lowest resolution it's what they get under ideal conditions with expert technicians, especially with filaments.

SAL are pretty limited in the material used compared to filament. I have only seen one type of SLA material in the UK. Filaments there are a lot more options. If your machine can safely melt it then it can used.

Dust won't effect a filaments much. It's the SLA that's the pain, at least with mine as dust on the mirrors disrupts the laser.

This is why I have both as there are pros and cons to both.

Both need to be in a place where they won't be exposed to vibration as it will disrupt the layering.
edit on 18-6-2018 by DieGloke because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 07:11 AM
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a reply to: DieGloke

Hey by the way, since we are talking 3d, i have wondered about one thing,


How much detail is lost,(Surface texture for example) when you scan and print an object?




posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 07:14 AM
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originally posted by: solve
a reply to: DieGloke

Hey by the way, since we are talking 3d, i have wondered about one thing,


How much detail is lost,(Surface texture for example) when you scan and print an object?



All comes down to the resolutions .

I printed a starwars C90 correllian corvette that was around 5cm long with a SLA and the gun turrents + docking doors came out.



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 07:45 AM
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a reply to: DieGloke

Any chance we could get a pic to see how good that resolution is?

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 08:18 AM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
a reply to: DieGloke

Any chance we could get a pic to see how good that resolution is?

TheRedneck

Maybe tomorrow?

Busy at work today but I can put up some SLA and filament model's.



posted on Jun, 18 2018 @ 08:44 AM
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a reply to: DieGloke

Oh, heck no! I want it within the next 30 seconds!

LOL, tomorrow is fine... you're doing me a favor. I'm not going to complain.

Thank you again.

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 19 2018 @ 05:00 PM
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thanks for starting the thread and thanks for all the replies.
i have been considering this lately. i as just looking at a da vinci pro.

it is unreal that all you have to do is download a print or even scan it and send it to the printer and boom. done

you guys are talking about high end productive #. way beyond what i am looking at.

i want to be able to print cool # to put on my bookshelf as i think about it



posted on Jun, 19 2018 @ 06:35 PM
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a reply to: TinySickTears

Hey, no prob. 3D printing is something I would love to be able to do. It's the wave of the future.

Actually, your expected use is not that far from mine... the only real difference is that you'll likely have figurines or wild shapes, while I'll have mechanical parts. Both of us are looking at normally one or two items at a time. Of course, considering where I live (40 years in the past, lol), I could probably make some stuff up and print it for sale.

I hope some more folks with 3D experience will post... and I am really looking forward to DieGloke's pics!

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 19 2018 @ 06:36 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

so what size are you thinking?

im looking like 6x6x6

just started looking.

still amazed i can scan with an app and print it off.
# is going to get crazy



posted on Jun, 19 2018 @ 07:53 PM
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a reply to: TinySickTears

Somewhere between 8" cubed and 12" cubed. I can always make stuff smaller than the limit, but not bigger. It's really going to depend on price and how good the machine is.

What program were you going to use to make the models in?

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 19 2018 @ 08:53 PM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck

What program were you going to use to make the models in?

TheRedneck


i have not gotten that far. i just started thinking about this.
have not made it past looking at thingiverse and amazon at a specific couple models.

this will be lots of research



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