I'm thinking of getting a 3d printer. Any recommendation on a good, yet economical one? I'll be using it mainly to make small parts for things around the house, projects, and of course custom quadcopter stuff.
I love my XYZPrint DiVinci 1. Great price for a first 3d printer. Although I don't use it as much as I did when I first got it and still need to downgrade it back so that I can use any filament again, and not have the chip filament counter. They've got a few more out now that are also able to be "fixed" to not require their filament. They're trying to pull a HP with chipped cartridges.
I just paid the final shipping payment on my cobblebot kit from kickstarter. It has a 15" cube build area, but i haven't read anything from users if anyone's gotten theirs from an earlier batch. It's all open with regard to filament choice, but it's also more diy than many of the commercial printers out there.
@garyhgaryh I'd wait until i get mine to see how well it works. As for the price, I've spent around $600 on it so far (KS + upgrades and shipping). It's definitely not the $299 kickstarter price any more, not sure what the regular price is.
They have done a subsequent kickstarter for a few smaller models which has also ended already. I don't know what you can order from their site yet, but if you're wanting one immediately i don't think they're where you want to be. But when i do get mine I'll check in with what i think about it.
I narrowed down my 3d printer to the following: 1. Hobby King Turnigy Fabrikator 2. Wanhao Duplicator I3 Anyone have options of either of the two? They both look great, but the Fabrikator I will have to build it. I will purchase it within a week.
The Cobblebot has a bigger print envelop, but no real reviews yet. There is someone that is trying to get rid of theirs right now (box unopened, but he wants more than what he paid plus shipping).
@garyhgaryh Nice! My Cobblebot came in this week, but so far it is a flat pack box, i haven't opened it up yet. Want to see those pics, I'm curious about those spacers too although i don't think I'm going to run them.
@garyhgaryh That's awesome! You're gonna make me break out my credit card again, aren't you? So how many things have you printed so far? Any challenges? May I ask what your total investment is, delivered to your door?
@ruouttaurmind I've printed six spacers and a demo, I only got it fri nite and calibrated and printing yesterday. When I get home I will print some standoffs. Cost me $400 delivered to my door but the prices went up to $499. Two places have the printer for $429 (on sale). Let me know if your interested and ill fwd u the info. Best decision I've made in a while.
@djslack, @garyhgaryh, I'm curious also. I haven't messed with thermal 3D printers myself, and have only layed hands on a few printed items from thermal printers. It's been a couple of years though and I'm sure the output quality must surely have improved.
@garyhgaryh Ya, I was checking out the hand and noting the lack of obvious layering. The build box on that printer is a max of about 7 inches cubed. I can't really think of much I'd want to print that's much larger than that.
@ruouttaurmind I recommend this sub $500 printer. For the price you really can't go wrong. The DYI kits cost about $350. This is a fully assembled printer with a hotbed and relatively large print area. The DYI kits with these features are in the $400 range. This is not a dyi kit, but you have to screw the bed to the frame. The first batch of these printers shipped with no assembly required but there were complaints about shipping damage so the factory now ship the units flat to reduce shipping damage.
@ruouttaurmind if you want the ZMR250 spacers, let me know and I'll send you some. You made me that cable so at least I can offer you a favor in return. I guess you would only new them if you plan on mounting anything between the plates. I checked last night and the bolt holes line up exactly.
@garyhgaryh RE: spacers, I appreciate the offer. Can I get back to you after I mock up with the Diatone PDB? RE: 3D printing, how is the cost of materials? I mean... do you have a feeling for how much it costs to print your own part versus buying something from China? Obviously there's the matter of convenience to consider. That can be priceless. But I'm just curious about how much matieral it takes to build... say your spacers for example.
@ruouttaurmind Yes, I have designed a few things and modified existing files. I made a battery adapter for my baby monitor so I can use cheap bl-5 batteries for it rather than the expensive lorex batteries ($5 vs $20). This has been one of the best purchases I've made to date. No longer do I run around looking for parts (recently, it's browse the internet for parts). I can now make 'em (it only goes so far, but it'll take care of 50-70% of my needs). You need to get one of these esp since these hobbies require some custom parts.
@garyhgaryh A friend works in the fab shop at a sporting goods accessory manufacturer. He kindly offered to print up some stuff for me. So I had him make this spacer, and XT60 mount I grabbed from Thingverse.
They are awesome! Very well designed and his commercial printer did a fantastic job on them. All the screw holes are even threaded. The thing is... I really want them integrated into a single part. Plus I need to remove a portion of the side skirts on the spacer, and add a couple more support towers for the spacer screws to hold everything in place more securely.
Short of imposing on him to recreate the whole thing in SolidWorks, are you aware of an easy way to merge and mod STL files?
@ruouttaurmind Yes, you can use Sketchup (formally google sketchup). That's what I'm using. I merge two stl files using my slicer (cura). I haven't tried merging with sketchup. Basically I modify with sketchup and merge with cura.
@garyhgaryh I've installed Cura, I've opened my spacer and added my XT60 mount into the window. But I am unable to split either object. When I right click on an object, Split is grayed out. Any clue what's going on?
@garyhgaryh I think I've answered my own question. It appears Cura doesn't support splitting (or slicing I guess is the actual term) individual objects. Rather, the split feature can only split objects that are comprised of multiple components. So now I'm wondering how to slice up the existing spacer and join it to the XT60 mount. Hmm. Surely this must be possible?
@ruouttaurmind cura is a slicer, but not in the sense you want it to slice. You want to slice up a model, right? If so, use Sketchup. I think you'll have to explode it and then copy and past the part. Give me the links to these parts and I'll give it a try (if you want).
@garyhgaryh I know you did quite a bit of research on 3D printers before selecting your Wanhao i3. I'm curious if you looked at any of the similar models available on eBay (also calling themselves "i3").
Most of the specs seem to be very similar. Features all seem about the same. They all appear to be essentially the same.
Fully assembled models can be found on eBay starting around $250ish with headed bed plates. I'm wondering if you did any kind of comparison before selecting yours?
@ruouttaurmind With an item like this I think you're better off going with direct from manufacturer instead of knock off. Otherwise you'll spend more time and money in replacing parts either under warranty or not. And down time waiting on replacements really kills your productivity. Especially if you're waiting on parts from China.
To me a 3d printer is like a car. You don't buy a Land Wing when you want a Land Rover.
This isn't a show piece this is something you want to do business with. Don't buy the knock of Rolex when you just need a good/reliable time piece ;)
@ruouttaurmind I narrowed my selection down to two printers. It was either going to be the Di3 or the Hobby King Fabrikator. I looked at the DYI kit and the fully assembled ones. In the end I chose the Di3 because of the steel frame. The two I mention happened to be the hottest and newest printers out. The first batch of Di3 had some issues, but I got the new batch and I must say it's been running like a champ. In fact, it's been printing 3 day straight going on 4. My expectation was to spend a grand on one of these printers, but the Di3 was only $400 - I figure if I don't like it or didn't use it much, I was only out $400 rather than $1000. So I ended up sending $170 on filament. I didn't realize one roll can last a long time so I'm set for a while although I want different colors now.
Give me the link to the fully assembled $250 one. It's probably doesn't have a steel frame and you probably won't get as much support as with the Di3 - there's a good online support group for this printer.
@DJMajickMan Most of the parts on these printers are generic or universal (most not all). These prints are all based on open source - esp the pusa i3 printers. If you buy a 3d printer, you'll have to tinker with it - that was my expectation. Leveling the bed, trying different temperatures, fine tuning the speed of the nozzle and extruding rate, etc.... you'll have to do them with all the 3d printers.
I got my printer shipped directly from the manufacturer which was from Wanhao China. I got it in 1 week (I got lucky because people ordered from wanhao USA and have been waiting a month). I ordered from 3dprintersonlinestore. Browse their site - they have alot of 3d printers.
It's looking like I'm just going to have break down and ask my buddy to recreate this project for me in SolidWorks, or learn how to use a CAD program and do it myself.
I've tried prolly 8 different CAD and modeling programs in an attempt to slice up an STL object and join it back together again in my vision of a Frankenspacer mashup. None of the freeware seems to be able to do that. I had some limited success with NetFaab in that I was able to slice objects across X, Y or Z axis. But once the bits are all sliced up I can't merge or join the pieces back together. So saving as STL from NetFaab gives me one slice of my cut up object per STL file.
But... if I WAS able to do it, here's what I'd have. The notch at the top right is half of the XT60 mount. There's a top plate that screws onto the lower half to secure the XT60 protruding slightly from between two layers of the 250 frame.
@garyhgaryh I appreciate that you're willing to have a look. Don't spend any real time on it though. Maybe have a quick peek and see if you can slice 'n dice, then point me on my way? I really appreciate any wisdom you can share but I also don't wish to be a burden.
@garyhgaryh Looks like a good system for a great price. I paid twice that for my Sony that doesn't have Wifi or BT! Of course it was a couple of years ago. Maybe tomorrow they can offer some decent speakers (WITHOUT A DOCK ATTACHED!!!). :-)
@ruouttaurmind Yeah it took me a while to figure out netfabb but I think there was a way you could join items together it was just a PITA. I ended up going with SILO as I got it as part of a humblebundle and haven't looked back. Still don't know my way around that app completely but it's a rocking CADD application. And apparently on sale right now. http://www.nevercenter.com/silo/
@DJMajickMan Ya, the pro version of Netfabb can do a boolean merge, but I'll be darned if I could figure out a way with Netfabb Basic. I tried AutoCAD, FreeCAD, Blender... I tried a host of trialware, freeware, everything I could get my hands on. I was surprised how much of a challenge this turned out to be. Honestly, I thought I'd just open the file, slice up some parts, and it wouldn't even be a challenge. Not.
@ruouttaurmind Yes, the dimensions are exactly the same. The only ones I'm not sure about is the front two (closest to us - one on the left and one on the right). I also noticed at the bottom the bolt hole doesn't go completely though (just one layer - oversight on my part). Just drill it out or I can redo the file for you. Otherwise you can just print it.
BTW, no problem. I'm happy to help and thank you for making the fpv cable for my AEE S71!
@garyhgaryh I used the measuring tool in Netfabb and it looks like the spliced support towers aren't quite in the right location. But that's definitely not a show stopper. Since he's printing with nylon filament I can just spot heat with a pen torch and move the part to fit the hole location.
@ruouttaurmind If you like, take an image of the object in Netfabb and circle where it goes relative to the current holes and I'll update the stl by moving either the hole or the post that contains the hole.
@garyhgaryh Gary, may I impose upon you to revisit that STL file? I've hacked up a screen cap in Paint to add actual dimensions taken from our frame decks. If it wouldn't be too much of an imposition, would you mind tweaking it for me?
I've sent an email with the file. If it's going to be a PITA, just let me know and I'll work out something else.
@ruouttaurmind Not a problem! I just got home but I need to get up to go to court tomorrow. I'll update it tomorrow and send it to you (if you don't mind tomorrow). I can print it to make sure the hole match my aluminum standoffs (when I'm done I don't need it so I can send it to you if you want - the quality will not be as good as your friend's industrial printer).
@garyhgaryh No, you're on the money. The spacers for the arms are 7mm, the remainder of the structure is 10mm, including the new supports you added. There are cutouts in the side skirts to allow the arms to pass through. And that's why the arm supports are 2mm shorter. That's the thickness of the carbon fiber material the arms are made from.
This image gives you an idea what the final product will do:
A closer view of the arm protruding through the side skirt and why the arm spacer portion is shorter than the side skirts:
Without the arm installed to better illustrate the difference in profile height inside the spacer:
By the way, the top two decks that are sandwiched together with the spacer between are only resting on the lower structure for general illustration purposes. The final product will not have four decks, only three.
@ruouttaurmind Thanks for the pics. Yeah i figured the height difference are for the legs. I'm pretty much going to keep the original structure from thingiverse. The only holes I need to adjust is the two holes on the far right (and I'll join the points you mentioned):
@garyhgaryh the original thingiverse spacer fit is a bit off but I was able to muscle it into place. If I have to, I can always open up the holes a bit with a pin file. As long as it's within a mm or so of the actual ZMR/Diatone board, all is good. Unfortunately I did my measurements with a Imperial inch dial caliper, then converted to mm so my math may have been off on the conversions by a bit.
@ruouttaurmind I guess what I should be asking you is: the mounting holes from the original structure from thingiverse is correct for you before we replaced it with the xt60 part and the two post on the right end?
@garyhgaryh The arm spacer holes were dead on. The two holes up front where the XT60 holder dropped in.... not so much. Those two were just a bit wide, but I was able to squeeze and muscle them into alignment.
@garyhgaryh I'd say it's a safe bet to leave the original dimensions intact & just adjust the location of the new towers to match your real world ZMR or Diatone board? Maybe using the 4 arm mounting holes as a point of reference since those are dead on in the original file?
@ruouttaurmind I'm finished with the stl, but I have a problem printing it (so I'm not really done). sketchup converts these models into hundreds of polygon. If I delete the wrong polygon, I end up with a messed up model. Repairing it is a project in itself so I had a file I can go back to redo anything. For some reason, my left side is one layer higher, but in the stl it appears fine. Anyways, I'll work on this issue tommorrow (later today actually).
@ruouttaurmind Ok, I started from scratch again (it was easier than trying to figure out which polygon I f*'ed up. I have a rev1 version of the stl file that will print correctly. Here's what it looks like:
I did not merge the post because it would make it easier to adjust the holes if they become mismatched. However, if you see the holes do match I'll bridge the two post that you discussed previously. I have one hole that is off my .5mm. You can drill it bigger, but in rev 2 I'll make that adjustment. If you noticed in the pic below, all the screws are in. The holes are all snug so you might want to chase it down with a drill bit. The only bolt hole I could not put in is the one on the lower right. You can see through the hole, but it's off about .5mm.
Testing the fit of the xt-60 connector. It occurred to me that you are either going to put the top piece on (from thingiverse - the bottom half is what I merged in) which would make the main structure taller than 10mm or you'll use the CF plate to sandwich the xt-60 connector.
Let me know what other mods you want before I send you the stl.
On my test print I use 0% infill so I can print this out in 35 minutes so it's very compliant. Once I screw the giant spacer in place, it's solid (even with 0% infill).
You might have noticed above that you can't see some of the bolts. I used what I had in the parts bin. The short bolts are there, you just can't see it in the last picture.
@garyhgaryh Wow, it's exactly what I imagined! In retrospect, and seeing it actually sitting on the deck all screwed into place, I'd say those new spacers don't even need to be joined. You make a great point about being easier to screw together if it's NOT joined. It's a great idea and I endorse it. :-)
RE: the XT60 mount, I think it got lost in translation somewhere, but the mount, with it's top bracket in place was supposed to be 10mm total. That is definitely not a show stopper though, I can simply pad the top of the battery lead XT60 with 2x foam tape. That will take up any gap while also securing it firmly in place. I can work with that without a problem.
If you have the ability to nudge the hole (EDIT the hole that's off by .5mm), that'd be great. If it's a PITA to nudge, no worries. A quick shot with a pin file or a drill bit and the problem is solved.
It's fantastic! Thank you so much, Gary. Your effort is very appreciated.
@garyhgaryh My plan is to have it printed, then mirrored and printed again. That'll give me two XT60 mounts, which I don't need, but it's a heck of a lot easier than designing two different parts, and won't be a problem once everything is assembled. It'll just be a... ventilation hole! Ya! A vent hole! LOL! Actually, I'll probably mount one of the LED bars up there, so that hole will be a perfect place to run the wires.
@ruouttaurmind Yes! That's great to hear. I will move the hole tonight! I'm watching the zmr build video (yeah too late). I got everything hooked up and may just hoover in the living room if it's not too loud. I can't wake my wife and daughter up else I'll not hear the end of it.
Now, the xt60 connector is gonna be a pain because it's already merged. If I were to do it again, I'll have to start over again. There must be a better way to cut pieces than with sketchup. Modifying stl's with sketch up is a pain in the butt. I guess I don't know sketchup as well as I think I did :).. lol..
@ruouttaurmind btw, wife just caught me taking a racket at 2am so I gotta get off the computer. I'll send you the stl tomorrow since I wasn't working on it (was working on the zmr250 :). See my other posting.
@ruouttaurmind Version 2 of the STL: http://ppl.ug/TfkcJB1LHiU/ I'm printing it out right now to verify, but this version the right misaligned hole has been moved .5mm to the right (relative to the picture).
Let me know if you need any other mounting points moved. There's an easy way to move the holes instead of rebuilding each component by redrawing the circle for the holes :). Yeah, I'm still learning sketchup.
@ruouttaurmind Here's version 3 of the stl. The hole that you wanted move near the xt60 connector has been moved. Version 2 works fine but it's tight on my CF plate. I moved the left hole .5mm closer ti the xt60 connector.
@garyhgaryh I appreciate that. He'll definitely be able to do it, but he only works M-F, and can only print personal stuff when workload has room in the schedule. What he did last time was fire it up before he left for the night. It was ready the next morning. One of the many advantages of having a $20K fault tolerant piece of machinery I guess. You don't have to babysit it the whole way through the print process. :-)
@garyhgaryh The first one... the one I cut up to mock up my build... he used PLA, but he uses half a dozen different types. Though I think PLA is well suited to this use. The flexibility might permit things to flex a bit and maybe avoid breakage.
@ruouttaurmind I'm using PLA, but ABS is more durable than PLA. PLA is working for me so far. ABS is more difficult to print with. I bought 3 spools of ABS which I will try soon.
I learned Sketchup (back then it was called google sketchup) about five years ago through their tutorial. Lately, I've watched the following (going through my history to retrieve what I watched in the last week):
Not all of these are helpful, but the "solids" and how to work on them were particularly helpful to me.
Did you have anything specific in mind that you were looking for? The issues I was having is that if I combined solids, they would print as two different objects. I had to learn how to merge them. When merged the solids are stronger than if it's the same shape made of two solids because what the printer will do is actually print the two solids that make up, for example, a circle. The outer walls will stick to each other and you will get a circle, but you can tear the objects apart along the outer shell if you wanted to. Merging it will join the object that make up, for example, the circle and the outer wall will be the circle. You won't be able to break it apart by hand this way.
@ruouttaurmind I didn't have any problems printing it. Does that printer read g-code? cura converts to gcode and my printer prints from that format. If so, try it. if not, let me know and I can play with it tonight. Worst case is that I just print two copies for you overnight and send it in on Tue or Wed.
@ruouttaurmind Tell ya what - just send me your address (or send it to me if he can't extrude the part). It's really easy for me to print this for you - I'm serious. I just let it print and I get lunch or let it go over night. Problem solved! I'm not sure how to fix this open curve issue.
Let me know if you want the gcode. If the commercial printer can process the gcode, you should be good since the gcode tells the printer how to print the model layer by layer vs having to generate instructions from the stl.
@garyhgaryh Imma send him this info right now and see what he can do with it. I'll forward the SKP file. Maybe SolidWorks can import it, or possibly he'll know what's what with the G-code. I guess I'd be surprised if a commercial grade printer can't accept NC input. If not G-code specifically, I'm sure there are interpreters out there to translate among NC data types.
First things first though... I'll send him the SKP file and see if he can open it in SolidWorks.
Also, I was wondering if I import your STL part into netfabb, then save and export a new STL, if netfabb might just rebuild the mesh model based on the original dims. I'll give that a shot also.
I'll keep you posted! I know you've got a TON of work into my silly little spacer and I'm hoping we can make a go of it.
@ruouttaurmind No problems helping out. I'd like to figure out what I've done wrong so if you find out, let me know. Off topic here, but what do you think of the cheerson cx-10? You can reply in the other thread to not clutter this one with non 3d printer related stuff.
@garyhgaryh So... that was SO much easier than we made it out to be. :-)
There is a website that appears to be some sort of collaboration between Microsoft and netfabb. I was able to upload the STL file, and out popped a repaired file.
When I opened your v3 file in netfabb there were file error notifications, and netfabb tags various points in the model by coloring the segments red. After running the file through that website, netfabb reports no errors, and no red tags.
I've sent the repaired file over to him and I'm awaiting his reply, but I'm fairly confident it's going to fly... sort of. When viewing the repaired model in netfabb I can see a hole in the structure at the point where one of the new support towers joins the original spacer. I can't really tell if it'll impact the general structure of the part or not, so the easiest thing to do is have him print it and see what comes out.
All that said... I also tripped across Microsoft 3D Builder. It's free in the Microsoft App Store and if I knew about this app three weeks ago it would have saved you and I dozens of hours of frustration!
In the two minutes I played with it after downloading and installing I was able to slice up the spacer, move the pieces around, rejoin them into a frankenspacer and export an STL file, open that STL in netfabb and run a preflight on it. netfabb says the file is ready to print. All that in two minutes!
If you haven't fussed with it yet, I recommend at least checking it out. I don't yet know if you can build from scratch with it, but for what we've been at over the last couple weeks, it seems to be an ideal solution!
@ruouttaurmind awesome! I'll check it out. Good tools are priceless. Thanks for finding it. I'm about to hit the $1 movies with my daughter, but will be back to check out 3d builder. I assume it supports stl natively ?
@garyhgaryh It reads and writes a variety of file types. I was able to open the STL file directly, without having to do any import/export stuff. I modded the object, regrouped the sliced up pieces and saved as STL. It converted the grouped pieces into a single object again and sent it out to STL. That STL file imported into netfabb without any problems. It works so well it's almost like Apple wrote it, not Microsoft. ;-)
@ruouttaurmind JonT announced it Thursday night on Periscope... He basically said "we're gonna do it but we think you don't really want it". I can see his point when comments go in a tree structure like they do here, but when posts get so many comments they start to crash mobile browsers there's an issue and pagination will help with it.
Try going to the Fuku reveal thread over on Meh now. It's gotten so big i think my phone will crash any second viewing it.
Since I'm waiting on Lili Wan before i can get my quad flying, it looks like my next project is the cobblebot in my garage. I've been reading this morning and the Internets don't give me encouraging feelings on this project. I may not even have the wheels in the kit from what everyone is saying.
After I go to the lake today I'll probably start on the 3d printer build.
@ruouttaurmind What are the dimensions of that quad? They're at least half a dozen or more of these 3d printable quads on thingiverse. I guess if anyone every kills the frame, you can print one and move all the internals over to your printed model. Nice.
@garyhgaryh, I sent the Microsoft repaired copy of Spacer Mashup v3 to Morgan. Being a man of few words, his reply: "Seems to work. 2 copies no mirror right?". Apparently all it took was a sprinkle of Microsoft magic.
He's printing them now, and another friend will drop them off after work tonight. I'll post a pic when I get 'em.
Thank you again for all your work! Hope you're having a great time with your daughter.
@ruouttaurmind Today was my daughter's first movie. She was ok right until about the 45 minute mark. She started running around the theater. I'm just glad people just ignored her and didn't make a fuss as she's running down the row of seats and falling on her face. One lady really seem to enjoy her antics. Ok, enough about her :).
I'm glad you were able to fix the stl. I had no idea MS had a 3d editor. I want to try it out later today. Post pics of the part printed on that commercial printer.
@ruouttaurmind Nice.. You can do that with sketch up. I finally downloaded 3D builder, but didn't start it yet.. The download asked me to switch over from my account to the MSN account. Not sure why I had to do this.. I'll play with 3d builder this weekend.
@ruouttaurmind I just took a quick look at 3D Building and it looks great. Not sure what I'm doing :).... Is there a tutorial somewhere? I can also see some of the holes in my original structure with this app.
@garyhgaryh I haven't looked for any tutorials yet. I have just been sort of fussing with it.
I didn't love the human interface implementation at first. I'm not a fan of the tool palette configuration they've devised, or lack of traditional menu. But once you start to figure out what's what, it's less cumbersome. I guess this is what MS would call a "Metro" style interface, moving away from menu bars?
I also don't care for the way many of these 3D modeling apps stick the view to the center of the XY plane. If my part is centered on YX and laying at zero Z, why can't I choose to zoom my view to the section of the part I'm working on? I've struggled with this a bit, but I'm managing to make due.
But... HI aside, the tool itself seems to provide an easier way to do the stuff we've been struggling with on that spacer mashup project. Import multiple STL objects, move them around, cut them, put them on top of each other, group them, then export as a single STL object. It seems to do that quite well.
And the ability to repair a damaged STL object... that alone is worth the price of admission.
If it only had some kind of flexible measuring feature and a bezier drawing tool, a freehand cutting tool, and the ability to import and extrude raster images.
EDIT: AND... the ability to import and emboss raster images. Oh, and the ability to... uh... "reverse" emboss? To have the lettering or raster image result in an indentation, or hole in your object rather than raising it. I have no idea what the technical term for that is.
@ruouttaurmind The glass was so thin that, although I didn't have to modify the leveling screws, I just readjusted the level to accomodate the glass height difference (so yes, I did adjust for the new home height).
@ruouttaurmind Nope I'd been melting some of mine down with acetone and used it for a little while as a base for printing products. I've since, as just mentioned above, switched to hairspray on the glass instead.
@DJMajickMan, @garyhgaryh I've had great luck with ABS on the Kapton film that came pre-installed on the build plate. But I can already see the Kapton is going to have a pretty limited service life. At the rate I'm going I will need to replace it by next weekend. I'll try the hairspray, and also try glue stick. This is the perfect time of year to stock up on glue sticks with all the back to school supplies being on sale. :-)
@garyhgaryh I messed with rafts on a few prints. It sure helps separation from the bed, but getting the bits off the bottom of my object is a challenge. Perhaps a few passes over some sandpaper would clean it up better. I haven't really messed with it enough. I'm still in the honeymoon phase with the idea of actually creating stuff in my own office without even getting up out of my chair. LOL!
Most of my wasted parts result from me building the PERFECT design in the CAD program, sending it out to print, then, for whatever reason, I keep fussing with it in the CAD program and find five or six things I want to change. So I cancel the print and start again... lather, rinse, repeat.
@garyhgaryh Cripes, I've been all over the map. I was using Sketchup and FreeCAD for a minute, then switched to the student (free) version of AutoCAD. Bailed out on that and jumped to Blender. It was too cumbersome for a newbie, so now I've switched to a design program by Autodesk (123D Design).
It's easier to use than AutoCAD and Blender but I'm feeling the loss of some of the design power of Creator and precision tools in AutoCAD.
What I really need is something with the precision of AutoCAD with the shaping capability of Blender, but that's as easy to use as Microsoft 3D Builder and 123D Design. And a rocket car. And a holodeck.
1kg assorted 1.75mm filament for $21 with free shipping. I think I'm going to grab this package. 8 rolls, 30 meters each, assorted materials like wood, HIPS, PA, PVA, etc. I'd like to experiment with the different materials and see what the advantages of each material type is. $21 for a kg of filament is not out of line, with the added advantage of 8 different materials in one package, I think it's a fair price.
@DJMajickMan The FlashForge product page tells me I can print just about anything that's in the right size:
"We’ve engineered a dual extruder that has no limits. In stock form, Creator Pro prints ABS, PLA, nylon, dissolvable filament, and even composite materials such as wood and metal. The extruders can be modified to print flexible and other composite materials"
@ruouttaurmind okay I was just going of their product page that only says this "Materials: - Works well with 1.75 mm ABS and PLA" and doesn't mention anything about PVA or any others. Not good advertising on their part if it can do more :(
@garyhgaryh I found that other deal on the ABS and forgot about this assortment. You just reminded me, so I'm going to place my order now. The ABS stuff is supposed to arrive on Friday. Curious to start playing with the glow-in-the-dark green. Just in time for Halloween, maybe I'll print up some little toys for the tricky treaters.
@ruouttaurmind I need to start printing with ABS. My guards deformed in the trunk today. I kept it in the car for 7 hrs and it was about 85F. It must have reached over 100F in the car and two of the prop guards deformed. ABS is the way to go with prop guards.
@garyhgaryh It was 115* here yesterday. I can't imagine what they would have looked like if they were in my trunk! LOL!
OT: Last summer I made a meatloaf on the dash of my car while I was at work. One of my graphics girls didn't believe a solar oven would cook anything besides maybe melting a marshmallow. I had a casserole dish at home with a clear glass lid, so I loaded it up with a meatloaf and kept it in the fridge at work until about noon. I put it on the dash of the car, with the windshield facing the sun. At the end of the day, around 5pm I brought it into the office and we all snacked on a rather tasty meatloaf. Except the graphics girl. She ate crow. ;-)
@garyhgaryh RE: ABS printing... the Aliexpress store still has some purple ABS for $12 with free shipping from USA warehouse. Print them in purple ABS and paint them. Either red and green for front and back, or white to match the rest of the Phantom.
To maintain a consistent temp in your build area, I bet simply covering the machine with a large cardboard box would provide sufficient insulation and protection from A/C drafts, etc. You could even cut a flap into the box so you can monitor the build progress. Lift the flap to check the build, close back up to keep things warm.
If you wanted to spend a little more effort, you could line the box with styrofoam. The Dollar Tree stores in my town have 24x36 sheets of foamboard for a buck. Look for them near you, and could build a nice fitted enclosure with foamboard and duct tape for under $10?
@djslack I think it is a combination of the firmware, plus the GCode generator in the Sailfish enabled version of ReplicatorG. The firmware enables some features that the new software can take advantage of to print more efficiently and take full advantage of the prospective speed of the hardware.
Whatever the reason, I'm surely anxious to try it on a B-I-G project. :-)
Did this to my DaVinci V1 Firmware upgrade So much better for leveling and now no more counter issues and having to use their cartridges. Running a test print now. Next step test increasing the speed and running it again to see how quick I can print.
@DJMajickMan Hope you see as much performance increase as I did with my firmware upgrade!
I've also been experimenting with software the last few days. I am impressed with MakerWare's slicer and raft/support ability. It's got some simple modes for nearly idiot proof printing, but it also offers quite a few advanced settings options. I'll have to take some pics, but I prepared a 1cm 2 color cube in 123D Design and sliced it in both RepG and MakerWare with identical settings in each program. The difference in quality is unbelievable. Printing speed with the RepG file was about 15% faster, but quality of the MakerWare product was 100% better!
@DJMajickMan IIRC, you mentioned hair spray on your print bed? Do you use any kind of tape (kapton, painter's tape)? Glass printing bed?
I read about lots of people having problems getting their build to stick. I sort of have the opposite problem. Mine sticks just fine. It's removing it from the print bed I struggle with. The bed came with kapton tape already installed and I struggle to lift parts with larger footprints without tearing or bubbling the tape. The printer also came with a roll of blue painter's tape. I tried a layer of the painters tape, but the ABS didn't want to stick to that at all. I aborted the print almost immediately.
I talked to the guy that printed my ZMR spacers a couple of weeks ago. He uses a high dollar commercial printer. He said they put a drop of 3in1 oil on the aluminum print bed and wipe it down with a lintless tissue. That's one approach I haven't read about.
@ruouttaurmind Glass print bed. No Kapton tape. Haven't even tried that yet. It came with a stick of glue from the manufacturer so that's what I went with when it ran out only it was cheap stuff from amazon and didn't work to well only built up a layer on the glass. I heard about the hair spray method so tried it and it's worked as long as I remember to spray it :).
This is an example of the difference in quality of printed output between ReplicatorG and MakerBot Desktop (MakerWare).
This is a 1cm cube printed in two colors.
The cube on the left was rendered by MakerWare v3.7, the cube on the right was rendered by Replicator G v0040-33. Settings were identical for each.
Although this is a pretty bad pic, I think the difference in quality is pretty clear.
In addition to differences in appearance, I believe the MakerWare part would be significantly stronger. When RepG builds the part, it builds on hard angles. What I mean to say is the first layer is at... let's say 90 degrees. The second layer would be at 180 degrees. The third layer, back to 90 degrees. When MakerWare builds the part, first layer is 90*, second layer 180*, third layer 45*, fourth layer 135* and so on, alternating angles throughout the build. Clearly this would build a stronger part. But also this varying cross-hatch would fight stresses and warping during the curing/cooling process. Better appearance and better fitment is the result.
I started messing with my translucent PLA filament today. This stuff flows like melted butter, innit.
And it's very forgiving, sort of springing back into whatever shape it's supposed to be in and easily absorbing nozzle bogeys that somehow seem to find their way into the print, despite the purge walls I tend to include in most prints.
It also sticks to the print bed SO much easier than ABS on that first layer. I've got a sheet of glass covered in polyimide tape, and if it's not perfectly clean (usually wiped down with acetone) the first layer of ABS often won't stick. Not a problem with PLA. It's sticky as snot when it's hot, then pops right off when it cools. The ABS sticks so well I frequently wind up lifting the tape along with my part.
PLA leaves me a bit flat on the higher resolution prints though. It doesn't seem to like anything thinner than 0.17mm/layer. Maybe if I cool it down a bit. I'm extruding at 210c right now. I've tried everything from 180 to 220 at 0.27mm/layer without much perceptible difference. Perhaps cooling back to 180 or 185 might make it perform at the higher resolutions.
I was hoping to use the translucent PLA to make LED covers and such. But so far I haven't been impressed with the translucence. Not really translucent enough for lower power LED's. It'll probably be ok for that turn signal lens on my Mercury, but it really sucks the light out of a small LED.
@DJMajickMan I'll give it a shot. The feature set and interface somewhat resembles 123D Design, a free tool from AutoDesk (creators of AutoCAD).
123D Design has a more advanced feature set, but remains reasonably easy to use. It's become my go-to tool for 3D design or merge/modification of STL files. All that torture @garyhgaryh went through for me modifying and merging my ZMR spacers... stuff like that is a snap in 123D Design.
If you are still searching for a 3D design and mod tool, consider giving it a shot.
Another awesome tool from the 123D set is 123D Catch. Also free, it uses the camera on your tablet or phone to create a 3D rendering of your desired subject matter which you can then export as a STL file. My very old, very crappy phone isn't up to the task, but the one test image I did was impressive.
@ruouttaurmind I've got and used 123D Catch and wasn't impressed it had a ton of holes in the items I'd tried using it with and crashed the app on my iPhone 5 years ago. I guess I could try revisiting it now to see if it's better.
The nice thing about a site is it's OS agnostic. I use Windows for work and Mac's primarily at home. Only Windows system at home is currently connected to my 3d printer as I didn't want to lose a Mac to it :P. I'd started my build using Gimp to make the basic outline of the model and than using Shapeways to convert that to 3d and then another application to layer my layers together as it's a complicated piece. Here's the current model that I'm still working on.
@DJMajickMan Does GIMP have the ability to outline trace and export in SVG format?
In Illustrator I can just do a live trace, then save as SVG. Import SVG to 123D Design and extrude my vector into a 3d object. But I don't have Illustrator at home and I'm looking for a free/cheap alternative to trace a shape to vector format.
@ruouttaurmind It's the top plate for the Cicada. you're seeing it upside down and those "fins" will eventually have holes in them as they are actually going to be the mounting points for the FPV camera that will sit in that hole.
I too am only looking for free/cheap applications as this is only a hobby. Thus why I used Gimp. I used it because I'd taken all of the measurements for mounting points, and a rough guess for shape of the original top plate that was damaged in a crash, and could design down to the mm where everything would be. Also allowing me to have a 2mm hole at the first plate and 3-4mm hold on the rest of the plates so that I can use the original screws sunk into the completed project.
I haven't messed with SVG files but Gimp supposedly can do that. I'm really a 3D modeling n00b so anything that can take my mental picture and make it reality fastest wins in my book :)
@DJMajickMan When I did this ZMR chassis, I started by scanning the ZMR carbon fiber board. I had a friend use Adobe Illustrator to Live Trace, then save the file as SVG.
I imported the SVG into 123D Design and it was as simple as adjusting the scale to match my original dimenstions, then extruding the shape to the height I needed. I used the Subtract command to erase the bits for the channels and screw holes.
This one experiment really opened my eyes to the potential in an SVG.