Author Topic: 3D Printers  (Read 20820 times)

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2014, 04:36:00 AM »
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2014, 05:21:24 AM »
I think I'm getting confused as to how these things work.  I thought they were like a computer run milling machine, but this seems to be something a bit different. 

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2014, 07:15:13 AM »
I think I'm getting confused as to how these things work.  I thought they were like a computer run milling machine, but this seems to be something a bit different.

They're completely different. A 3D milling machine removes material, while 3D printers add.

There are 3D printers that can print directly in metal or other non-plastic materials, but let's focus on the printers within hobbyist reach:

Most of the cheap low end printers (like the Dremel, above) are extrusion printers (FDM - fused deposition modeling) and typically use a thermoplastic material (like ABS) heated in a nozzle. The printer deposits layers of molten plastic to build up the model. The results will usually have noticeable steps that will require effort to remove or conceal.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) fires a laser into an easily melted powder, like nylon. The small particles stick together, layer by layer, until the model is completed. The results have a grainy finish. You cannot sand the model to eliminate the graininess, because it's grainy all the way through. The particles are just stuck together. You can soak it in paint or primer and sand that.

Color printing can be done with a plaster-like powder and special inkjet heads (Powder bed Printing). The result is grainy (like plaster) and fragile, but you can get a nice color representation.

Stereolithography fires a laser (usually UV, but not always) into a vat of photosensitive resin. The model is built up layer by layer. Stereolithography has the advantage of extremely high resolution and many models will require little if any post processing.


Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2014, 02:50:35 AM »
Nice summary Frank. :)

Give it a few more years and I am sure you will see the price of these come down and the resolution etc go up.

As for the industrial level, there is a lot happening, especially with metals such as titanium.  Some of the techniques are SLS.  Others use electron beams and wire fed.  Platforms such as the 787 and F-35 will have these parts.
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2014, 12:22:43 PM »
Nice summary Frank. :)

Give it a few more years and I am sure you will see the price of these come down and the resolution etc go up.

As for the industrial level, there is a lot happening, especially with metals such as titanium.  Some of the techniques are SLS.  Others use electron beams and wire fed.  Platforms such as the 787 and F-35 will have these parts.

Yes its very exciting, I particularly like the suggestion that large industrial 3D printers could be embarked on board the USNs carriers which could then manufacture parts, consumables, even ordinance and complete UCAVs as required.  The materials needed by the printers would take up less volume than the actual spares etc. currently carried.

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2014, 12:40:17 PM »
There is certainly a lot of talk of that - see here for example.
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Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2014, 01:25:44 AM »
One additional benefit of 3D printing is that you no longer need to create a different scale master for each item offered for sale.  A very good example of this was experienced this morning when I discovered a set of six Para-Pack racks for the C-47/Dakota that were only available in 1:72nd scale at Shapeways.  A quick note to the creator asking if they could be made available in 1:48th scale resulted in that actually happening within an hour of posting my query. 

Link to 1:72nd scale Parapacks (set of six) @Shapeways.com

Link to 1:48th scale Parapacks (set of six) @Shapeways.com

So for anyone that has a 1:48th scale Monogram C-47 kit (or the Trumpeter kit) that wishes to add a nice detail feature to the underside of the fuselage this is your chance to do so at a reasonable price. 


***Update:  I just ordered two sets of the 48th scale Para-Pack Racks in frosted ultra-high detail plastic @$30.00/ea.  Hoping to see them on my front door step before the end of the year :)
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 01:52:53 AM by Jeffry Fontaine »
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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2014, 02:25:18 AM »
One additional benefit of 3D printing is that you no longer need to create a different scale master for each item offered for sale. 

In general, yes. If the original design has been made to minimize volume (and cost) rescaling may result in wall thickness (or details) that are either too thin to print or they will be printable but will deform or break with handling. The designer has to check the new design to make sure it's printable and buildable.

Offline Silver Fox

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2014, 10:01:47 AM »
Just found out that my local public library has a 3D Printer available to the general public... assuming you are a library member.

I'm going to have to scope out some of the parts I want and then see if I can get hooked up to print them out.

$1.00 setup and $0.05 per minute... nice. :)

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2015, 05:57:11 AM »
As expected, these are becoming more and more prevalent (which will hopefully see great increases in usability, resolution as well as price reductions).  Here are just a couple shown at the recent 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas:


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Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #35 on: March 25, 2015, 03:59:04 AM »
A very well done article today at Cracked.com about using 3D printers to help people: 5 Ways to Help the Most People Possible With One 3D Printer


(Image source: Tim Freccia / Not Impossible - Project Daniel)

Image source link provides more information on Not Impossible - Project Daniel if you are interested in learning more about this project.
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #36 on: March 25, 2015, 11:48:44 PM »
Literally just placed my first order at Shapways and I seriously want to buy my own 3D printer but I don't have a clue where to start or how to workout what to get.

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2015, 03:06:02 AM »
Just found out that my local public library has a 3D Printer available to the general public... assuming you are a library member.
That is absolutely brilliant.

For fun I went to a local retailer's website to check if their printer price had come down at all. No, but they now have four or five variations, "filament" cartridges in different colours for each brand, and scanners!! 3D scanners! The first one I saw was a handheld, the second a desktop turntable setup. Truly, the possibilities for modelling are endless! Got a rare kit? Scan it before you build it so you can print more! Perfect for my Aurora Cheyenne.

So. Damned. Cool. Of course I can't afford it but, like I assured Sam, I will wait until affordable models are affordable to me.
With warm regards from Whanganui, New Zealand

Offline arkon

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2015, 11:01:31 AM »
I know most if not all of these printers only print in one material at a time but I'm just wondering if they can print with two different materials, say one plastic and one that conducts electricity, so that you could print your model pre-wired for lights n motors or such.
Just a thought.
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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2015, 11:21:18 AM »
I know most if not all of these printers only print in one material at a time but I'm just wondering if they can print with two different materials, say one plastic and one that conducts electricity, so that you could print your model pre-wired for lights n motors or such.
Just a thought.


They're working on that, but I don't think there are any commercial products.

For modeling purposes, filament printers are going to leave steps that have to be sanded off or buried under thick paint.
Lazy people like me would rather have a resin printer. Just some minor cleanup and you're good to go.
Resin printers are still in the $2K and up range. There are a couple of Kickstaters for small "hobbyist" resin printers.

Here's a "cheap" one for $3300: http://formlabs.com/products/form-1-plus/

If you don't mind a tiny print area, here's one for $300: http://www.iboxprinters.com/


Offline arkon

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2015, 11:33:12 AM »
I'm not looking to buy one , was just wondering. I saw a picture of a car from this years Sema show where they had a car that was said to be completely 3d printed by a company called Local Motors I believe and was just wonder if that included circuits , so no more wire harness for the car which lead me to think in model applications.
Did not read the whole article on the printed car so I may be jumping to conclusions
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Offline Goonie

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #42 on: June 12, 2015, 03:34:24 AM »
My friend send me link to this interesting video: "What if 3D printing was 100x faster?"

http://www.ted.com/talks/joe_desimone_what_if_3d_printing_was_25x_faster#t-626886
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #43 on: June 12, 2015, 12:01:06 PM »
There's a weekly magazine with bits to build your own 3d printer out now.

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #44 on: June 13, 2015, 03:38:27 AM »
There's a weekly magazine with bits to build your own 3d printer out now.

That would be this one
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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #45 on: June 13, 2015, 07:17:18 AM »
A filament printer like that would be about as useful for modeling as tits on a fish.

Here's a "$60" resin printer that can produce excellent prints with minimal post-processing: http://hackaday.com/2015/06/10/astoundingly-great-60-3d-printer-called-chimera-bests-your-printer/

Offline Volkodav

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #46 on: June 13, 2015, 01:47:32 PM »
There's a weekly magazine with bits to build your own 3d printer out now.

That would be this one

That's the one

Offline Volkodav

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #47 on: June 21, 2015, 07:22:33 PM »
I pulled out the items I received Shapeways (in two separate deliveries) and noticed most of them are now covered in a waxy white powder that appears to have excreted from the parts themselves.  I have scraped it away from some of them and they appear ok underneath and items already painted seam unaffected but I am a little concerned of what will happen if this does form under the paint, i.e. will it flake off.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this?  I intend to chase it up through Shapeways as well but thought I'd ask here first.

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #48 on: June 21, 2015, 11:37:32 PM »
The Shapeways parts always have some support material left over. It's only on the surface. It can be removed with a quick wipe of alcohol or rinsing and brushing in water.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: 3D Printers
« Reply #49 on: June 21, 2015, 11:42:35 PM »
Ok I don't think this is it as it wasn't present when I received the items and only appeared about a month later, almost like a white mould or similar.