Author Topic: 3D printer - cheap as chips  (Read 3486 times)

Offline gerritv

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #105 on: January 15, 2020, 12:34:40 PM »
As someone "who would never want to own one" and "would find no use for one"; I have been following this thread with unexpected interest. It certainly seems that with a bit of extra work, it is quite possible to make a 70 quid printer do something which could be useful (but I am still unsure what that something useful may be).

I am starting to think that 70  may be a cheep as chips way to find out. Besides it could be an incentive to get on and learn 3D CAD. I have been promising to do that for a couple of years but have still to make the start.

So a few simple questions:

a) Is it clean and smell free for use in the office or is it best in the workshop?
b) Where does the "slicer" software reside? In the printer or in the PC?
c) Does the printer need to be connected to the PC, or is it stand alone?

Mike
I can vouch for the usefulness in the shop. I received my Ender3 Pro as a birthday present this past July. A 1kg roll of filament later, the only 2 frivolous items printed have been 2 whistles and 2 cookie cutters. Everything else has been 'for a purpose'. I will create a thread with photos of my output. Personally the device has released a lot of creativity in that I am moving ahead on things that would have been risky (in time spent) or challenging (due to equipment limitations) otherwise.
Flex hose segments, dust collector for grinder, brackets for lathe shelf, right angle viewer for grinder, reproduction displays for a 1958 Univac II console, USB cable brackets, etc.

Cura or whatever slicer you use runs on a PC, Mac and Linux. Most printers have a SD card slot allowing printer to be used standalone. I ended up using a Raspi loaded with Repetier Host to run the printer, lets me monitor progress from upstairs. Watching these devices is hypnotic, much like watching a shaper. :-)

There is no detectable odour from PLA, I haven't tried PETG yet, that is coming up soon. ABS does smell and apparently needs venting outside. There are a myriad of other filaments as well, some might emit odours when heated.

Gerrit
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Online Jo

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #106 on: January 15, 2020, 12:59:37 PM »
Hi Mike,

So a few simple questions:

a) Is it clean and smell free for use in the office or is it best in the workshop?
b) Where does the "slicer" software reside? In the printer or in the PC?
c) Does the printer need to be connected to the PC, or is it stand alone?


Any aroma from the PLA is very slight, maybe a slightly sweet smell. The sound of the whizzing back and forth of the stepper motors are more likely to be  noticed but you can close the door.

As Gerrit says the slicer software goes on your PC, from which you can copy it to a mini SD card or connect directly to the printer using a standard printer cable. I am using the printer cable. I output my drawings from Alibre as a .stl file for the slicer program.

You are welcome to visit and Surus says he will show you how he prints his footprints all over my print bed   ::)

Jo

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Offline jadge

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #107 on: January 15, 2020, 01:09:34 PM »
So a few simple questions:

a) Is it clean and smell free for use in the office or is it best in the workshop?
b) Where does the "slicer" software reside? In the printer or in the PC?
c) Does the printer need to be connected to the PC, or is it stand alone?

My 3D printer is in the sitting room; not noticed any problems. I definitely wouldn't put it in the workshop. I machine a lot of cast iron so the printer would get covered in a fine dust, which wouldn't be good.

I use Cura as my slicer on a PC. I'm currently using an old version as the newer ones seem to have a fatal crash due to drive allocations. Very poor, you'd have thought that the softies could have avoided the issue.  :(

My older Ultimaker 2 is standalone - I transfer code with a SD card. Newer printers are supposedly on WiFi, but the SD card is fine. Some of my prints have taken 30 hours, so running while I'm asleep. If the printer doesn't download the code in one go one would need the PC on overnight too - waste of electric.

I was up and running very quickly, but I was already proficient in 3D CAD, designing parts and assemblies for high performance power electronics and producing output for manual and CNC machining.

Andrew

Online Vixen

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #108 on: January 15, 2020, 01:58:34 PM »
Gerrit, Jo, Andrew.

Thanks for your replies. Sounds like i will be ordering one like Jo's in the near future, Not sure what I need to print on it, but by all accounts, that is a self solving problem.

Jo, I would like to take up your kind offer to see the printer in action, sometime next week, if you are free

Cheers

Mike
It is the journey that matters, not the destination

Online Jo

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #109 on: January 15, 2020, 02:01:08 PM »
I will be around Tuesday and Thursday next week Mike :)

Jo
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Online Flyboy Jim

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #110 on: January 15, 2020, 02:45:17 PM »
For any Newbies, to 3D printing, like myself, there's a free E-book the "Basics of 3D Printing" that's available over on the Prusa website: https://www.prusa3d.com/ebook-basics-of-3d-printing-with-josef-prusa/ I found it really helpful to learn the basics of this interesting field.

For any Newbies to CAD, like myself, there's a free program called "Tinker Cad" available from AutoDesk (the makers of Fusion 360): https://www.tinkercad.com There's lots of good tutorials to learn how to use it. One could then move into fusion 360 as the need arose.

Jim

PS: Since I've been following along on Jo's thread, I'm finding myself slowly getting sucked into the abyss of 3D printing.  :shrug:
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Offline ddmckee54

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #111 on: January 15, 2020, 08:36:38 PM »
Jim:

You need to stop and reconsider this, then slowly move away from the key-board, put down the checkbook/cash/bank-card/credit-card, and turn around.  Then RUN, save yourself man, the rest of us are doomed but you can probably still get away and save yourself.

I started with a kit-built Prusa I3 clone several years ago.  Then I got a 2nd printer, a Wanhao D6 clone, last year.  Now I find myself thinking that those SLA printers have REALLY come down in price - and there resins that are SUPPOSED to be low odor...

Save yourself man, run away, RUN AWAY!!!

Don

Online crueby

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #112 on: January 15, 2020, 08:39:51 PM »
Jim, Don is right, follow the sound of your Sherline, it is calling to you!

Online Flyboy Jim

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #113 on: January 15, 2020, 08:53:05 PM »
 :lolb: :lolb: :lolb: :lolb:

It might be too late already!  :facepalm: :facepalm2:   :help:

Jim
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Offline ddmckee54

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #114 on: January 15, 2020, 08:56:07 PM »
You poor, poor man - I tried to warn you.  Welcome to the asylum.

Don

Offline Twizseven

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #115 on: January 15, 2020, 10:43:59 PM »
I definitely think we should have a repository on this site of useful .STL files for stuff for the workshop.  Trouble is at this point in time I could not contribute only steal other ideas as not managed to learn Alibre yet.

Colin

Online zeeprogrammer

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #116 on: January 15, 2020, 11:17:21 PM »
As pointed out earlier...the PLA does put off a smell but it's not bad (sweet-ish as Jo said). I don't know about other material.
The steppers do make noise but it's more interesting than annoying.

My system must be connected to the computer so if you're thinking of jumping into this quagmire of fun, check the features.

Personally, I would think every machinist on this forum would be interested in a 3D printer. It makes parts that YOU design (or you can download STL files).

One thing I don't think was mentioned...there are certain limitations you must be aware of when designing a part.
One is that overhangs can be a problem (wherein some part extends over space...nothing to hold it).
Second is that the adhesion between layers is a weak point. If the part is going to undergo stress (sheer) then be aware of the layout of the part.
(I had made some screwdriver holders and when I 'threw' the screwdriver in, the part broke in two.)

3D printing is not a replacement hobby. It's additive (pun intended).

Go for it Jim. But unless you're interested in fiddling, tuning, experimenting...go for a 'work-out-of-box' system. And enjoy the plethora of choices.
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Offline ddmckee54

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #117 on: January 16, 2020, 03:34:14 PM »
Zee did you just miss-spell addictive, or did you really mean additive?

Both of my printers can either be run from a PC via the USB, or from an SD card.  I always print from the SD card, that way I can be using the PC for other purposes and it's not multi-tasking as much.  Also, printing from the SD card means your PC isn't tied up all the time the printer is doing a 12 hour print.  As you can tell, I'm recommending being able to print from the SD card.

Also be aware that while a 3D printer can crank out some fantastically complex objects it does so ONE LAYER AT A TIME.  Most people print at 0.25mm per layer or less.  So if you have a tall part, it takes a LOT of layers to print that part.  I've always heard that a shaper can make just about anything but money.  You can substitute 3D printer for shaper in that statement, and it's still pretty accurate.

Like Zee said, the layer orientation in the part is very important, and you need to consider that when orienting the part for slicing.  If the part is going to be under a compressive load, I try to orient the part so that the load is perpendicular to the layer.  If it's under a tension load I try to make the load parallel to the layer.  If you are interested in the effects of annealing, part orientation under load, and a lot of other 3D printing topics then Stephan at CNC KITCHEN, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiczXOhGpvoQGhOL16EZiTg has built a test rig where he can do quantitative testing.  Check it out.

Don

Offline gerritv

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #118 on: January 16, 2020, 06:06:24 PM »
Thank you, that is a very useful channel. Added to my list, now making 3 that I view regularly for 3D FDM advise.
As with all thing YT, there is a tremendous amount of noise so finding a quality channel is always refreshing.

Gerrit
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Online Flyboy Jim

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Re: 3D printer - cheap as chips
« Reply #119 on: January 16, 2020, 06:25:07 PM »
Thank you, that is a very useful channel. Added to my list, now making 3 that I view regularly for 3D FDM advise.
As with all thing YT, there is a tremendous amount of noise so finding a quality channel is always refreshing.

Gerrit

Of course that now begs the question: What are the other two channels you watch?  :atcomputer:

Jim
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