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Old 04-07-2014, 11:01 PM   #1
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Default 3D printer on kickstarter

A friend just sent me a link to a cool little 3D printer on kickstarter. I figured that some of you guys would be interested. It has a relatively small print area, but the price is right! I'm just trying to see if I can justify it to myself...

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...mer-3d-printer
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:49 AM   #2
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I have a feeling these are going to be dirt cheap in a couple years. I would like one but it seems like every time I look there is a new one coming into the market.
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:00 PM   #3
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there are already small 3D printers in that price range. google "cheap 3D printers".
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:27 PM   #4
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Heck, even Radio Shack has them now. They are on display and in stock at the store on East 42nd st here in Manhattan.


I haven't really kept myself abreast of the recent developments in consumer 3d printing, but I get the impression that they are mostly (all?) using the extrusion process whereby weed-whacker line gets fed into a hot-glue-gun nozzle and then squirted out onto a platform, rather than the more conventional (for large printers) SLA / SLS process. Is this pretty much the case?
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:31 PM   #5
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The extrusion method has become the standard tech when it comes to these inexpensive printers.
Its not the best method, just like ink jet printers are not the best method for printing on paper, but I guess its the cheapest to build. They still make pretty lumpy, imprecise stuff, but Im sure there will be some breakthroughs as it becomes the standard.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:39 PM   #6
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I guess I'm out of date, I didn't realize there were so many options out there. Regardless, I'd love the chance to play around with one.
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I haven't really kept myself abreast of the recent developments in consumer 3d printing, but I get the impression that they are mostly (all?) using the extrusion process whereby weed-whacker line gets fed into a hot-glue-gun nozzle and then squirted out onto a platform, rather than the more conventional (for large printers) SLA / SLS process. Is this pretty much the case?
Yes. The cheaper the printer, the less precise, for the most part. Higher end ones (in the $1k+ range) tend to have much better flow control and tighter nozzles, giving much finer resolution.

I've been looking at them for years, ever since the Makerbot became mainstream. Can't justify spending the money, as I really have no practical use for one.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:21 PM   #8
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The reason there are so many out there and so many coming is that a lot of patents have been expiring in the last few years. Stratasys was the only game in town for a long time and now they are trying to remain relevant by buying up all the hip stuff like Makerbot and two of the largest rapid prototype houses (Quickparts and Solid Concepts).

In the meantime, small shops and tinkerers have been making a LOT of products. If you do any research on 3d printers under $5k, you'll find yourself lost in a huge swarm of machines. Sure they're all FDM (weed whacker + glue gun as Joe says) but who cares? You get parts in no time and you get reasonable tolerances in the +/-.010 or lower range.

Sure the SLA and SLS machines produce nicer parts but you probably can't get the raw resins and powders shipped to you so easily and the machines are more complicated (tanks full of sharks with lasers on their heads).

One of the cooler concepts that one group has done is the idea of a self-replicating 3d printing robot. RepRap Project - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by y8s View Post
In the meantime, small shops and tinkerers have been making a LOT of products. If you do any research on 3d printers under $5k, you'll find yourself lost in a huge swarm of machines. Sure they're all FDM (weed whacker + glue gun as Joe says) but who cares? You get parts in no time and you get reasonable tolerances in the +/-.010 or lower range.
Yeah, I'm finding that to be the case.

Thing that gets me is basically what rleete said, that I'm not sure what I'd do with one.

Previously, my only exposure to 3d printing has been via the big industrial SLA machines back when I was at Harris. We'd often have first-article parts 3D printed before committing to tooling for injection-molding or sand casting, especially if we needed one in a hurry for a trade show.

On the downside, the parts were not at all robust, and it took a alot of hand-sanding to get them nice and smooth. We'd have never shipped an SLA part to a customer. Ever.

So given that these comsumer-grade units suffer from similar (if not worse) finish and material-quality issues, I just don't know what I'd do with one. I mean, yeah, there are a hell of a lot of "nifty" things being done (print your own low-quality 35mm camera for less than $30 and so on), but it's not like I'm going to be printing car parts on one.

In terms of a killer-app that justifies spending several hundred dollars or more, well, I'll leave it to the aertistic types. I have all of the giant plastic cat phalluses that I need for now.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:22 AM   #10
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I think they're useful for fit and function (if not "performance") testing. Prove out the concept before you commit to cast urethane or rapid molded parts (gourd bless Protomold there!)

I guess the point of having one here at our office would be to whip up something like you'd draw a sketch, only you'd have a 3 dimensional sketch. Does it look and feel like you're on the right path?

I actually made a drill fixture with FDM material. Simply provide mounting and locating features and then slip in a few drill guides and you've got a fairly workable fixture. I bet it lets me drill holes within a few thou of where I was hoping to... and since material is cheap, I can make it beefy.

The other benefit is one of scale. If you're making more than 6 inches across, the surface finish becomes less of an issue.

Oh and materials! Real ABS parts!
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:58 AM   #11
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Stratasys printed car parts currently on my toys:

subaru gauge pod
subaru shift **** to shift boot adapter piece thing
seadoo finger throttle trim piece

lots of weld fixtures too

At work our machine runs almost constantly. We need another, trying to figure out which to buy. I know some race teams print out intake manifolds to try before whittling one out of aluminum, that type of machine would be fun.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:49 PM   #12
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I 3d print turbokitty logos.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:08 PM   #13
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haha, that's awesome.

I forgot, I also recently printed the chain drive cover for my oil primer pump.


But metal laser sintering is where it's at.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboTim View Post
I forgot, I also recently printed the chain drive cover for my oil primer pump.
Those Stratasys machines look pretty cool. What material are you using for all of these parts?
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:06 PM   #15
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The material is ABS. Easy to work with; melts easy, glues back together with superglue, etc. Strong enough to tap and screw stuff to it. We supposedly have one of the few break-off support machines (as opposed to water dis-solvable) which means you can get a part pretty quickly after it finishes printing at the expense of bloody fingers.

But Stratasys is discontinuing the ABS material at the end of May and it will cost $6k to convert our machine to their stronger ABS+ material. I'm not sure why we haven't switched yet but that's above my pay grade.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:43 AM   #16
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I have a MakerGear M2 that I have been tinkering with for the last year or so. Even if you are skilled at making 3d models there is definitely a learning curve to using the printer and getting quality nice looking parts.

The parts on an FDM machine like mine will always have the “stacked spaghetti” look (as my friend calls it). Unless you do some form of post processing either chemically (acetone for ABS), or mechianically by sanding. I am going to start experimenting with Acetone washes this weekend. Some parts can be quiet strong based on the material used and the infill percentage.

A lot of my 3d models come from www.thingiverse.com. Check it out and you can get a sampling of the stuff people are making. All the models are free to download and print which is awesome.

Here is a link to the “automotive” section(There is some Miata stuff in there. ):
newest - Thingiverse

Here is a sampling of some of the stuff I have made.

I have made a lot of the "useless" toys:






Some neat gifts for friends/family:






Some useful things:



Spanner wrench:


Tablet/Phone stands:




Finally the two most useful things I have printed thus far:
GOPRO Clip that my brother needed that day for a shoot.




3d printed prosthetic hand which is not finished yet for a young boy in need locally:



I am doing this with the help of the e-Nable group who’s goal is to connect people/children in need to people with 3d printers and fabrication skills.
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Last edited by ahaidet; 04-11-2014 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:21 PM   #17
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Props to you for helping with the prosthetic hand.
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:10 PM   #18
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Thanks. I saw an article a month or so ago about a group who was facilitating connecting those in need of prosthesis and those with printers. They have several designs that have been tested and include instructions and tech support for those making the hands.

E-nabling The Future | Re-designing. Re-thinking. Re-gifting.



I signed up figuring I could us my printer for something better than toys and vases. I figured it might be awhile until anyone contacted me. In less than a week I had an email from a local family.
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