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3D printers
Old 10-05-2019, 01:51 PM   #1
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3D printers

One of my hobbies is playing with a 3D printer. I find new uses for it all the time. I've used it to fix my shower door, sectional couch, solar panel brackets, window frame stop, etc. I've made razor holders for the shower. Brackets for attaching power strips to the wall. I've even made eye glass holders with magnets to attach to the side of my PC.

My extruding printer is my go-to for most projects, but I also have a resin printer for modeling.

Anyone playing with 3D printing? If so, what kind of fun things have you made with it?
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Old 10-05-2019, 03:19 PM   #2
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I would love to learn more about these fascinating gadgets.

Could you recommend a good site for educating someone who knows nothing about it?
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Old 10-05-2019, 03:23 PM   #3
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I dont have one but very much want a 3D printer. And a hobby cnc. What is the resin printer for? This is why I need to ER!

Would love to hear more about your projects, which printer(s) you chose and how easy/hard they are to use!
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:33 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
Could you recommend a good site for educating someone who knows nothing about it?
One of the absolute best sites for 3D printing, education and ideas:
https://www.thingiverse.com/

It can be overwhelming with all the information contained here.

For some basics in how it all works I found this to be a good description:
https://www.makerbot.com/learn/
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:10 AM   #5
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What is the resin printer for? This is why I need to ER!

Would love to hear more about your projects, which printer(s) you chose and how easy/hard they are to use!
The resin printer (SLA or Stereolithography) has much, much more fidelity than the extrusion printers, but they are more expensive and less convenient to use. The platform size on the SLA printer is also smaller than the extrusion printer, limiting the size of the prints. It really shines for making castings for jewelry and things like that.

I typically use my SLA printer for modeling parts and figures with my nephew.

As I am still on my first printers, I went with entry-level easy to use systems. I chose the XYZ Printing 3-in-1 for my extrusion printer and the XYZ Nobel 1.0a for my resin printer. They were each less than $1000, and even cheaper now. Some extrusion printers require assembly, which is why I went with the XYZ printer. The down side to XYZ is that they like to lock you into their materials (think Keurig).

Both are pretty easy to use and there are a lot of pre-made printer files out there to get started with. Calibration is the most important manual task you have to do with both of them.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:30 AM   #6
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One of the things that pushed me over the edge into the world of 3D printing was the unavailability of parts.

My shower door magnet rusted and disintegrated after about 10 years. I looked for about a year, searching online, at hardware stores, and even bathroom remodel showrooms. No one had anything like what I needed to fit the door.

I finally decided the only thing I could do was to make my own. I looked at 3-D printers, and bought the XYZ 3in1 based on price and reviews. As the software that comes with it is a bit amateurish, I upgraded to a highly recommended commercial grade software for slicing the images. I found a free (for home use) online CAD program. Taught myself how to use it and then produced my first "useful/functional" print.
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File Type: jpg IMG_2359.jpg (389.8 KB, 11 views)
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:36 AM   #7
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Here are a couple of pages with fun print ideas that get me excited about all the possibilities.

I especially like the beer holder.....

https://www.matterhackers.com/articl...-your-bathroom

https://www.matterhackers.com/articl...your-workbench
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:07 AM   #8
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I don't have a 3D printer, but the guy who ran the 3D system where I worked gave me these two sample objects that have moving parts. The wrench's jaw moves like a real wrench, and when you turn one gear in the gear ball, all the other gears turn. I love showing these to people who come over. Most folks cannot imagine how these objects are made with a printer.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:26 AM   #9
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While I think the technology is fascinating, and these 3D printers certainly serve a need for prototyping, I see most of these listed projects as a "solution looking for a problem".

Most of them could be done easier and better with more traditional methods. If you want to go computer controlled, a bench-top CNC/milling machine could do a lot.

Of course, if it's a hobby, no justification/explanation is required - just have fun!

-ERD50
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:45 AM   #10
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I have had one (Many Actually) for years and am currently winding down my once lucrative Drone Parts Website. Like you I make all sorts of parts for home use.

My main products were camera mounts for a variety of cameras on a variety of drone platforms.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:48 AM   #11
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If any of you have kids or grandkids who really like the sciences, there are tons of free models here: https://3dprint.nih.gov/

(I mean, you could print for yourself, too, but I figured that went without saying!)
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:58 AM   #12
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Our local public library has a 3D printer - Iíve downloaded a few designs from thingverse.com and had them print it - it costs around $2 each - for small mounting brackets.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:29 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
I have had one (Many Actually) for years and am currently winding down my once lucrative Drone Parts Website. Like you I make all sorts of parts for home use.

My main products were camera mounts for a variety of cameras on a variety of drone platforms.
Very nice!
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:30 AM   #14
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Our local public library has a 3D printer - I’ve downloaded a few designs from thingverse.com and had them print it - it costs around $2 each - for small mounting brackets.
My library has a maker space with a 3D printer also. I think it is a great idea for getting kids (and adults) interested in science and engineering.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:39 AM   #15
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3D Printers are very forgiving from a tolerance pespective, even though I am an Engineer and was quite proficient with various professional 3D Design Programs like AutoCAD 3D, AutoCAD Inventor and SolidWorks, I do not use them anymore.

I have since lapsed my proficiency with such programs, and design now purely in Google Sketchup Pro. It is accurate enough for most of todays Consumer and Prosumer printers. So much that I do not have AutoCAD or Solidworks installed on my design computer anymore.

So it is quite easy for those who want to get started with a not so complex design package. You can download Sketchup FREE to play with, but I find Sketchup pro to be that much better.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
While I think the technology is fascinating, and these 3D printers certainly serve a need for prototyping, I see most of these listed projects as a "solution looking for a problem".

Most of them could be done easier and better with more traditional methods. If you want to go computer controlled, a bench-top CNC/milling machine could do a lot.

Of course, if it's a hobby, no justification/explanation is required - just have fun!

-ERD50
I somewhat agree but they're still in the early adopter phase so who knows what advances are coming in the future. Maybe one day everyone will have one in their home and instead of Amazon Prime it'll be 3D ten minute builds.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:23 PM   #17
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ERD, you raise a good point with the cnc. At this point, the cnc is higher on my wish list, but I like the detail you can get with the printer and it seems like there’s more flexibility with plastic.

I’ve been watching craigslist for both for the last year for both the 3D printer and the cnc, but have only seen one come up that just wasn’t a great deal. If I have to buy new, I’m biased to the diy kits, mainly because I feel like I’ll have a better handle on how it all works.

Need to get the workshop set up in the new house before I can take the plunge yet.

Eta that the resin printers look quite cool and have come down w lot in cost since I last looked!
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:19 PM   #18
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My view of 3D printing is that they are in the dot-matrix phase. In a few years, we will start seeing the "near letter quality" and eventually the "letter quality" printers, not to mention the lazer and color printers.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:27 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by O2Bfree View Post
I don't have a 3D printer, but the guy who ran the 3D system where I worked gave me these two sample objects that have moving parts. The wrench's jaw moves like a real wrench, and when you turn one gear in the gear ball, all the other gears turn. I love showing these to people who come over. Most folks cannot imagine how these objects are made with a printer.
I don't know much about 3D printing, so wonder how they print the moving parts without them sticking together.

A quick look provides the answer: they use dual material printing, with PVA as support material (polyvinyl alcohol) which dissolves in water.

See: .
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:11 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Dalmore View Post
One of the things that pushed me over the edge into the world of 3D printing was the unavailability of parts.

My shower door magnet rusted and disintegrated after about 10 years. I looked for about a year, searching online, at hardware stores, and even bathroom remodel showrooms. No one had anything like what I needed to fit the door.

I finally decided the only thing I could do was to make my own. I looked at 3-D printers, and bought the XYZ 3in1 based on price and reviews. As the software that comes with it is a bit amateurish, I upgraded to a highly recommended commercial grade software for slicing the images. I found a free (for home use) online CAD program. Taught myself how to use it and then produced my first "useful/functional" print.
That's really cool. If you can't find what you need on sale, make your own.

I don't have a 3-D printer but bought gear made by a 3-D printer for a non-working electric pencil sharpener which I bought from ebay. The gear works so well for the repair that I decided to give my other pencil sharpener that was working fine away and just keep the one I repaired.
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