3D Printers

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vimes79
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3D Printers

Postby vimes79 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:31 pm

Hey all.
As I have mentioned in another post here, I am looking to buy my own 3D printer early this year and hopefully a small laser in the 2nd half of the year.
I have been browsing through many pages of info about the printers on the market and have been very interested in the RoBo3D which is 3 days from finishing on Kickstarter with a ticket price of $520+Shipping from US + Import Tax. Its been a run away success and stands at 1000% of their goal which is where I think the fatal flaws lie. They are a team of just 3 people and only have produced 1 prototype working machine so far which is constantly changing with people suggesting additions all the time, they have around 900 printers to assemble, test, calibrate and ship and they are certain that they can do this with the first printers shipping in the 1st week in April and the last in June! Personally I don't think that with all these changes that they will even be starting to ship in June and that this will be delayed for a long time due to all the additions and changes they have made and by letting their production numbers run out of control! They are intent on building all the printers with just their team of 3 and to their plan it will entale them making, testing etc.. 10 printers a day... I think this is going to go down fast! If they had stuck to their initial tested and working design and limited their production numbers somewhat then maybe it would of been do-able but now, with all those untested additions and changes, self production and stupidly low price they will either have massive delays or wont be able to meet the demand for the stupidly low price they are selling for.

So anyway I am not going to go for a RoBo3D and am looking else where... Obviously the choice would be a MakerBot Replicator 2 or the FORM 1 but they are both well above my budget and much more then what I require (A fairly simple printer with half decent results - doesn't need to be perfect print quality but does need to look ok and not warp etc during prints.
And this has drawn me towards the legendary RepRap kits. The Prusa is a lovely printer for £799 inside the UK but I have been looking deeper and just up the road from me here in somerset in Bath is the home of the RepRap design and idea. They stock the Huxley and Mendel kits for £399 and £499 respectively for EVERYTHING you need inc electronics and all parts and even the software and a roll of filament.
They are very similar and the main difference is print area which is about double on the X and Y on the Mendel.
Im seriously considering it, I have emailed them for some specifics that are not listed on their site, but at the end of the day its a decent 3D printer kit designed and MADE by some of the founders of the RepRap open source project and being 10 miles away means spares and replacement parts wont require long waits as most of the bits are printed by one of their own RepRaps!
They are also both PLA and ABS compatible with heated beds for the ABS.

Take a look here and let me know what you think?
Ben, im guessing you have seen alot of 3D printers at maker faires etc.. and I know you are looking for one currently, I would be interested on your thoughts and input.

Links:
RoBo3D - The one on Kickstarter that I think will now fail : http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/168 ... r?ref=live

MENDEL : http://reprappro.com/Mendel
HUXLEY : http://reprappro.com/Huxley
PRUSA : http://www.reprapcentral.com/Mendel/RepRap-Prusa-Mendel-Kit/flypage.tpl.html
REPRAP PRO - Original Team : http://reprappro.com/

Thanks Guys!
Supporter of Official Arduinos - BeagleBone - RasPi + EVE
-PROUD OWNER OF RepRap PRO MENDEL 3D PRINTER-
Current Projects : + Twitter Bug RGB + RoboBrrd UK #004 (Wireless IoT Brrd) + "Imp Print" +


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phenoptix
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby phenoptix » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:15 pm

I think you might be wise to doubt the Robo3D guys, they have promised a hell of a lot. They may pull it off though and if they do they will be legends! Yet to be seen though!
The Repraps are a good choice, of the three I'd go with the Mendel myself - and I may well... I'd like to build my printer really, contributing to the field might be a push but I think I'd enjoy the project. £499 is a great price too and supporting the originators. Superb!

vimes79
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby vimes79 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:10 pm

I have been researching ALOT today and have come to the same conclusion that the Mendel by RepRapPro is the best choice for buying a 3D printer in Kit form...
The Mendel design has been around for a while now and has of course been available as kits and (for more money) complete printers and is also an open source design so alot of people have built their own using various things from old scanners, printers and fax machines to various frames made from threaded bar and extruded Alumilium designed for CNC and Printers and from other rods and frame that isn't but was the best on hand, because of this the Mendel generally has had a massive amount of R&D work and modifications over that time. This particular RepRapPro Mendel version is a design less then a year old, based on the original Mendel with a ton of changes and using a sweet extruder and system that is ready to take 2 more for tri-colour printing or for using multiple plastic types for hybrid builds, it uses an Arduino Mega based control system and once put together and calibrated produces results on a par to printers costing £1000-£1500 (although most of those are pre-built). its a fantastic printer and is also highly mod/hackable to include almost all the fancy stuff that the MakerBot Replicators have including some of the new LCD systems for PC-less control. Obviously the latest RepRap, the Prusa is newer in design but at the end of the day its an extra £300-500 more for a kit but is not very old so hasn't really been put right through its paces and does not have the experience and updated things that the Mendel has had after issues have been identified or improvements found through hacking that are do-able at the build side of things to increase performance and quality. If I had the extra I might of considered a Prusa and looked into it more as there are some cheaper ways to make it and still get a high quality printer. However the Mendel ticks all my boxes and thats good for me!
Also if the guys at RepRapPro are putting their money on the Mendel like they are and have also stated that they have a clear set of expansion objectives for this model starting with the upcoming multi colour/material add ons then thats where I want to be so I can get the sweet addons first and that fit perfectly rather then waiting for modded versions to retrofit onto a lesser design.
The Mendel from RepRapPro is also about to get a 3 colour/plastic type upgrade made available in their store and if you already own a Mendel (or buy one in the next few weeks before its released) from them then you get a considerable discount on the modified part once it goes on sale, this will allow printing in 3 colours or with different plastics or other mediums.

I think that going down the RepRap route is best as I can build the initial printer and then modify it to how I want through the use of parts printed by itself! There are also a ton of other cool mods and custom parts for the Mendel from cogs and gears to full electronics packs. Finally it also has the largest print area out of most of the sub £1200 printers which is nice.

Using RepRapPro is only right I believe. Since they are just up the road from where I live it makes even more sense as collection is possible to save on postage and to get replacement parts quickly if needed. They are of course also the founders of the project so in theory know the most.

Im pretty sure that's the way im going to go and for £500 for the entire kit, I think its a Bargain and with a lead time of 20 days is sweet!!!

I am defiantly withdrawing my pledge from RoBo 3D on kick starter, I think they have lost the plot and are promising things that will never happen. Its $500 ish which is about £300 and they are saying they are going to put top end electronic control systems in them, high end extruders, expensive molded plastic parts and be PLA/ABS compatible... The numbers don't add up, you cant buy those parts for anywhere near £300 and that's before the rest of the expenses that are all going to add up.
Im pretty sure they will either tank the project, not be able to ship the 900+ printers they are saying they will move in just 3 months or they will have to retract all those add ons to make it as cheap as possible to be able to break even but that will leave them with a horrible printer.
They should of left the thing as it was originally designed and limited the amount of pledges. The intial idea and build would of worked well and given a half decent cheap 3D printer which would of been ready for shipping in a few short months providing they stayed with the tried and tested design.
They are 3 young and very stupid young blokes who have let the money effect their judgement and made them promise stuff that's impossible to furfil, there are going to be a lot of very angry people out there for sure!
Im going to stay in as a minimum amount pledge just to watch it fail while im here printing off cool prototypes for my big popular Kickstarter (it might happen...)
Last edited by 2 on vimes79, edited 0 times in total.
Supporter of Official Arduinos - BeagleBone - RasPi + EVE
-PROUD OWNER OF RepRap PRO MENDEL 3D PRINTER-
Current Projects : + Twitter Bug RGB + RoboBrrd UK #004 (Wireless IoT Brrd) + "Imp Print" +


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xanthic
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby xanthic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:26 pm


vimes79
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby vimes79 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:55 pm

Yeah its pretty smart, I saw it earlier while browsing printers. The only issue I can see being a problem is it getting jittery as the rig moves up once its done a good few prints or if not cleaned well.
Its on Kickstarter at the moment for about $1600 and will smash its target even more then the Robo3D as it uses a real smooth plastic material and a very nice hot end/extruder. The cheapest I have seen this type of printer is the $2000-£3000 mark! It will easy hit $700K or more for sure!
Supporter of Official Arduinos - BeagleBone - RasPi + EVE
-PROUD OWNER OF RepRap PRO MENDEL 3D PRINTER-
Current Projects : + Twitter Bug RGB + RoboBrrd UK #004 (Wireless IoT Brrd) + "Imp Print" +


Twitter Feed : Raw_Gaming

vimes79
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby vimes79 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:55 am

OK So I finally bit the bullet and made up my mind...
I decided to dump RoBo 3D and just stand back as a $3 doner to watch it all fail due to stupidity! As Ben mentioned earlier, if they pull it off by some miricale then they will be legends but TBH I think the chance of them producing the printer they are quoting specs for is about 1% likely and 99% that it will be either a fail or a very very long wait before backers get the standard printer that they started with!
I have been looking back at previous printers on Kickstarter and Indigogo and ALL of them have overshot their ETA by 3-6 months, a couple including a simple RepRap (at a crazy low price) were almost a YEAR late! (The little RepRap jobbie did turn out to be a success tho as a tiny mini 3D printer)
All I can say is Bugger That!!

I have just dropped £500 on a RepRap Mendel March 2012 Edition from the founders of RepRap "RepRapPro" which just happens to be 10 or so miles away so no shipping fee! Its a pretty sweet printer, Supports PLA and ABS with heated bed and a smart extruder system. As specs go its pretty middle of the road but is also 1/4 of the price. Accuracy and Resolution are pretty good and its by no means slow compared to alot of others out there for twice the money, in fact its quite speedy and has pretty good print times. Pictures and video I have seen have allways shown well above average finishes on all types of models.

The latest Mendel model they are knocking out is all set to take a brand new design 3 colour or 3 filament materials multi colour/material extruder system which they currently have in Beta for a March/April release.
All current RepRapPro Mendel owners (including me) will have access to a massively discounted price point. Its an impressive bit of kit and even more so when you think its sitting as standard with 100% supported and free (to owners again) in house designed CAD software for printing objects in 3 Colours or materials/plastics! They didn't tell me a price but judging by the price of the rest of their gear I think it will be a great buy for owners of a Pro Mendel.
Check it out on this video showing it running exactly as it would be set up on one of their test Mendel Printers (remember it is still being designed and has some improvements to come, even so the results are not bad!) : http://vimeo.com/54462325

Am soooo excited!Am going into a brand new world to learn something new and useful, and I cant wait to build it and then start knocking out my own prototypes and work on a couple of unique ideas I have to test, refine and proto before showing a select few and possibly going to crowd funding.

Lead time is 20 working days max but could be ready in 5 days or 19 days. Its ment to be a heck of a printer for such a small investment and contributing to the founders and the whole RepRap community is great.
Once I have it up and working I will send all forum regulars a random printed Thingiverse Thing... :D

Best get my head down and actually learn to use 3D CAD now, and only a few days after first using very basic 2D CAD (Badly)

Now the long wait that feels like forever and not like 3 weeks... Pointless 3D models here we come!!
Supporter of Official Arduinos - BeagleBone - RasPi + EVE
-PROUD OWNER OF RepRap PRO MENDEL 3D PRINTER-
Current Projects : + Twitter Bug RGB + RoboBrrd UK #004 (Wireless IoT Brrd) + "Imp Print" +


Twitter Feed : Raw_Gaming

phenoptix
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby phenoptix » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:59 am

I think you've swayed me too. It will be a little while until we've built up funds again from our annual mugging from hmrc.

Very exciting to think you'll have a 3D printer by the end of feb! I have no clue on 3d cad, interested in what open software is around for it though.

Look forward to seeing your build wip too!

dec0y7
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby dec0y7 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:39 am

Congratulations and nice choose, can't wait till we see some of your work on here and I know you will put it to good use.
tis Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all

I blame spelling errors and my writing skills or lack of...... On fred!!!!!! My blood clot (yes I really did name it lol)

xanthic
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby xanthic » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:05 am

Blender seems to be the 3D object maker of choice for many. Open Source and lots of support.

phenoptix
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby phenoptix » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:30 am

Also a comment on the deltamaker from the Adafruit blog:

"It would have been a lot better if they had credited the Deltabot development group (https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgr ... vvLFaBtChE) or Johann – whose firmware I’m sure they are running, without being prompted. More importantly, as John O of SeeMeCNC pointed out, they have not answered the question of when and where they will be publishing the designs – it is after all built on a LOT of Open Sourced projects."


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