3D Printers

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xanthic
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby xanthic » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:57 pm

I've been playing with Tinkercad. Done most of the tutorials. Looks a really easy tool to make simple to moderate designs, but the pricing is a bit steep. Definitely worth a look though.

vimes79
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby vimes79 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:21 pm

I have just realised, between a few active members of this forum we have (or very soon will have) at least one person with their own or access to one at work:
A Laser Cutter - Ben
An Industrial CNC Mill and other metal work machinary - big al
A PLA/ABS 3D Printer - Myself
And a desktop CNC Mill that Matt is building.
Also im sure someone here said they have access to one of those high power powder compressors for 3D modeling.

Also if all goes to plan this year then Ben will also have a 3D printer at some point and if I can resist spending all my money on other things then during the summer I will have a Desktop (Just) A4 Laser Cutter! There is also the re-flow solder experiments that Ben is playing with along with creating his own range of Phenoptix shields/breakouts and dev boards which could open up a new door with PCB manufacturing Of course Matts desktop CNC will be able to mill fairly basic PCB's from dual sided copper coated board.

If anyone comes up with a complicated build that requires pretty much any specialist machine work or CAD then between us we could pool resourses and be able to make pretty much any design from a large range of materials.

Shame really that we all dont live in the same area or are part of the same Maker/Hack Space as its a hell of a set of tools to have! Its been super helpfull having Ben doing custom cutting with his laser, I have several items here that I would not have if I had to order pre-cut kits and if I hadn't known someone with a Laser then I doupt I would ever have looked into having a 3rd party cut custom parts as I have allways thought lasers to be much bigger and industrial and not the kind of work that I have had done that has some mega intricate cuts and etching. I now hope that once my Printer is up and running that I can pay him back for his time by printing anything he needs for free.
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 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:22 pm


vimes79
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby vimes79 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:26 pm

Yeah thats the printer (Pro Mendel) I have on order from that company (RepRapPro) and I Ordered the multi-colour/material addon set a few days later (I got for heavily discounted price as I was an existing owner of one of their PRO Mendels before the add on was released the next day and the PRO Mendel kit was pre-designed for the 3 extruders and has all the fixings and the right control board with it allready) The printer kit is due soon and the multi extruder set has a 40 working day lead time so 2 months till that is ready.
They are also only 12 miles away in Bath so have arranged to collect both kits when they are ready from them direct to save postage and it means getting it 4 or 5 day earlier as they are packed in Bristol and driven down to Bath for adding the printed parts and free filament etc every time they complete X amount of orders then from Bath they are checked and shipped out.
CANT WAIT!
Supporter of Official Arduinos - BeagleBone - RasPi + EVE
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phenoptix
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby phenoptix » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:15 pm

I'm excited for you! Been looking at openSCAD which is very powerful but requires a bit of time input, would love to be able to print something off. I'm sure it's going to be amazing once yours arrives. I'm going to see if I can free up some cash sooner rather than later for a Pro Mendel too.
Have agreed to sponsor the Bristol Mini Maker in some small way so hopefully I'll see you down there!

vimes79
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby vimes79 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:07 pm

Thats awesome! I see your name on the Big Main Newcastle Make : Maker Faire website too as a sponsor! I am planning on coming to to Newcastle for the weekend for that one. Any advice on where to stay etc? Will also be heading to the Bristol one as its only 20mins away.
Any hints to what your planning on bringing along for show?

I had an email last night saying that my Mendel will be dispatched on Wens, but the person who sent it didn't know I am collecting it so am hoping that it means I will be able to go and collect tomorrow or wens as they send out batches twice a week currently as they get to a certain number of kits packed and of course mine does not need to go through the same process of going into the extra packaging for shipping or need to have address labels etc printed and added. Am waiting on a reply from one of the co-owners.

One bonus is they have just (last week) changed the extruder design slightly to make it a) Easier to assemble (the old one required a blow torch for thermal expansion and a bit of that white plumbers PTFE tape to seal a joint in the cooling system that they have had issues with before so worked in a fix but it is no longer required due to better fitting parts! b) It is also a little more accurate and is set out diffidently so its width is lower (extra bulk moved up or on the front and rear of the hot end assembly) to allow the other 2 hot ends to be able to sit nice and close inside the 3 extruder assembly block (supplied with the multi head kit) so the lost area of print created by having an extra 2 extruder and hot-ends is as low as possible (print size is hardly effected due to this its only about 20-30mm lost out of 210mm I believe!) this is also in part thanks of course to the Bowden Tube setup with the filament drives mounted on the top bar and not on the carriage like other different printers have that pretty much rule out expansion to a multi head setup even with heavy mods, this includes some of the really nice and expensive jobs that are set up without any upgrades like that in mind.
It is Absolutely best at this time to buy a printer that is ready for upgrading to a multi colour/material print setup as soon it will be the norm tp have 3 extruders working together on the higher end printer market and then filtering down to cheaper models.

The new kit allows for absolutely seamless printing in 3 colours or materials. Of course its still a Beta mainly the software and may require a couple of extra modified printed parts once kinks are rolled out but current results are not too shabby at all and once they add the colour and material blending function to the software and firmware and get it working with the 3 extruders then its going to be pretty spectacular! Now is absolutely the time to buy a Pro Mendel and also order the upgrade kit as its currently ahead of the tech on the latest makerbot replicator X2 prototype edition, which also has 2 and 3 way options but are not fully functioning yet and the X2 + the extra parts for multi heads its over 3X the price of buying a Pro Mendel and upgrade kit! and although the X2 is a VERY fast printer, the resolution and layering levels are the same so if you get your Mendel configured and calibrate right then it will in theory give similar results on single head and eventually exactly the same results with the triple head setup!

And also being the worlds #1 selling base design for a 3D printer (Mendel) it means that there are a HUGE amount of mods to do and make on the printer to then apply to improve certain bits, there are also a whole hos of stores that sell up-rated gear like bearings, cogs, gears and slides and so on to make the range of Mendel's perform faster and smoother (more aimed at older models but also fit current designs inc the RRP Mendel) The big upgrade is obviously changing the Arduino based control board out for one of these new super flashy jobs BUT the control board used is less then a year old and when you buy the multi print upgrade kit the slave board is designed specifically to work with the board sold with the RRP Mendel. the current main board even has a header on it ready to accept the cable from the slave unit.

I cant tell you how relieved I am over buying a RepRapPro Mendel Kit with Multi Colour/Material upgrade over the cheap and nasty plastic POS RoBo3D that I was planning on buying, in the end it was a no brainier to spend some extra money on a much tried and tested printer kit from a well known supplier rather then take the risk of loosing my money or getting the printer for $520+Shipping+import tax and VAT and it just being shite, it is almost completely untested and unproven with no torture tests and not even a single run over 12 hours long!!! The RoBo3D printer is going to be a nightmare to run due to rushed upgrades and little to no testing and QA and with their predicted times there is no chance that pre-assembled printers (about 90% of those 920 printers ordered) will be pre-calibrated even remotely before shipping and doing so with all that crappy plastic casing in the way is going to be a pain for buyers. They say all 920 printers will be dispatched by the end of June... I am willing to bet there are going to be people still waiting this time next year based on GOOD and Well planned and unchanged and super tested previous 3D printers on KS, with the RoBo they still DON'T have a fully working proto built to the specs they are offering and they are still planning on starting to ship built printers in about 40-50 days - about the same as the lead time on my 3 head upgrade which has been going through R&D and QA for a full year already and is a simple piece of hardware when compared to a full 3D Printer which is a hybrid of the Mendel and Rep1 meshed together with a controller that they have ordered 1000 of but have only printed 2 models with one running their design! The main reason for the delay on the RRP tri colour kits is the Chinese new year which basically shuts down all production in China for around 4 weeks as workers use their leave time to extend their holidays to spend time with their families often 100's even 1000 miles away! Then obviously when production re-starts there is a huge backlog of orders placed before the shutdown and then all the orders that have come in over the holiday period! All the parts RRP are expecting were ordered in good time and have ordered alot of them to ensure once they arrive they can just keep packing and pushing the kits out, RoBo3D ordered their final part list 2 weeks ago for small batches including the molded ABS tacky surrounds, just one in-compatible part or issue will throw them months off course. I really feel sorry for people who have ordered and placed their trust and hard earned money with them, its a damn lottery to tell when your printer will ship and if it will work 100% as quoted or if it will fair epicly... For a $520 printer that boasts some high end parts its a big gamble and I wouldn't be surprised if they reverted to the original design due to them over reaching on high end parts, its difficult to make a Mendel or even a Huxley based printer KIT for $500 how they are planning on fulfilling all those orders keeping the per printer cost under the break even point I think is actually impossible! We will see.

Anyway stay tuned for updates and WIP when I get my Pro Mendel, and Ben, you can select and have posted to you the first model from Thingiverse once its all calibrated and working as it should on the standard setup!!!
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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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vimes79
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby vimes79 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:07 am

ITS READY!!!!!

Just had (00:26am) the confirmation email from the MD up at RepRapPro that my kit is all picked and bagged and just needs another member of staff to sign off that its all there before it gets packed into the standard box.

All sorted and arranged a convenient time tomorrow/today (Tuesday) to pop over to their main workshop and pick up!!!! WOOOOT!

Hopefully I get a sneaky look at one of their Multi colour/material kits in action (printing something other then a 3 coloured square), they have been working on the multi colour/material kit for 13 months! So it should be pretty awesome! They are using 2 colour as standard on the big cover on the main carriage now to embed the RepRapPro Name and Logo into the white piece in green which looks pretty nice! It shows its ready if they are happy to print production parts using the system (although its only a shallow 0.8mm deep into the white), but still, if it popped out then it would look bad for them and their design so im pretty confident its sound!

Anyway upgrade kit is ordered and also paid for now - a steal at £199 now taking total buy and build cost to just over £740 quid (About $1050-$1100 if comparing against US prices) as I had to buy some cable ties, a cable snake tidier, some 100mm and 15mm Kapton tape, some acetone (to clean print surface) and a couple of spanners and a cheap caliper that I was missing from my tool box.

From what I here the recent hot end upgrade my kit contains and the multi colour/mats upgrade kit are Just for starters in 2013! The Pro Mendel is getting some amazing addons this year including a software/firmware overhaul to include Micro-layering (A kind of cheating way to get even better looking models without any significant addition of time), a 32Bit MCU upgrade that consists of an existing Dev Board being patched into where the current Atmel ATMega MCU would normally sit (Still in Alpha currently) and finally (and Ben will LOVE this) Conductive Plastics!!! and other conductive material that can be fed through the new 3 extruder system and produce conductive plastic parts, threads, pads and so on, it uses some high tech wizardry using carbon and silver (so quite expensive currently) and they are making great headway with it from the looks of things! Should be pretty damn cool and a nice addition to things like the Flora range of wearables from Adafruit and similar...

NOW is the time to buy for sure, 3D printing was bought to the main stream in a big way last year, this year its getting bigger and finally its affordable to us real people who earn a living and cant afford Rep2's, Rep2X's and Form1's and similar $2200+ machines! HOWEVER I think the price is now leveling off and we are going to see many more cheap badly made printers like the dreaded RoBo3D and near un-makable kits based on existing open source hardware designs but skimping on part quality which is a massive no-no in this ultra-accurate world of microns and 0.00x percentages.

I truly believe that the RepRapPro Mendel is by far the best Kit printer out there, and easily the better of the 3 current RepRaps, I have been looking since early December for my perfect printer and when I found this one I knew it was the one! Its bigger, faster and alot more detailed and accurate then the Huxley (although a damn good starter or low cost machine with lots of mod potential) and again it has a bigger print area then the Prusa and is more up-gradable thanks to the Mendel having all its Extruder feed motors and gears on the top support bar unlike the Prusa which as standard (£200 more money) has the entire assembly on the main carriage making adding 1 extra extruder near impossible let alone the 2 extra that the Mendel can take as standard and only loose 30mm of width out of a 210mm wide area! Also the fact that the RRP team are sticking with the main printer design being a Mendel (With a few design improvments people have made with Prusa printers) to stay on developing the much tried and tested Mendel and also adding little tweaks and updates to their little baby Huxley, speaks volumes to me!

Finally as I have said before, the Pro Mendel is belting out the same kind of quality models as most printers between $1400-$2000 and is only beaten by a few on speed and quality combined. The Rep2 and 2X are amazing for sure but way too expensive and a 3 color mod pack for the 2X looks like its going to set you back another $800 (£500) or so... The resin printers like the FORM1 are AMAZING and give a real professional finish to models but the width and depth are severely limited despite having a much higher max work hight. It and others like it are way beyond a sensible price and also more expensive for the material.
The best compare I think is the MakerBot Rep1 on size, speed, mods and most importantly quality but with the multi head upgrade the Mendel is set to blow that out of the water too! The MB Rep1 is a little more money and easier on the eye in its nice laser cut shell but rip the wooden panels off and its fancy LCD and stickers and its just another standard printer with its own design of motherboard. Its a little faster but the RRP Mendel has a larger print envelope again and truly open source! You can design your own wooden or acrylic case if you wanted one and throw it round the Mendel and add an LCD and PC Free controller to the standard Mendel Board making it like for like with the Rep being a little quicker and the Mendel taking by far the larger print size.

ANYWAY, Happy Printing Ahead!

Remember all regular posters and tweeters of the Phenoptix forums and/or people who are on both mine and Phenoptix's twitter list who talk or respond to us both will have the opportunity to select one model from Thingiverse and I will print it and post it out to you for free!*
Im not here to make money!!! So get on there have a good look and post back your choices in this thread and I will start printing them once I have it all setup running basic models before running a few requested ones through to start dialing in the more sensitive calibrations.

*Note: These are free keepsakes for any regular poster on the Phenoptix forums + a few ppl from Twitter, they will be printed to help me dial in the final calibrations to get the thing printing as smooth as possible and as so they may not be perfect and may contain some anomalies etc. While I wont send anyone an incomplete or badly damaged or misprinted model, there is a very high chance that most if not all will be anything BUT perfect! Please keep the sizes low as this will also improve the chance of your model being in a well printed state and please don't select anything with more then 2 parts unless it is really small. If you cant think of anything or find anything but still would like a look at the (early on phase) quality of my printer then let me know and I will print you your very own mini Maker-bot Robot!
Link : http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:40212

Image

I am not a pro and I have NEVER printed in 3D plastics before so this is all to mainly help me dial in my printer to get the perfect finish and also for you to check out and see what all the fuss is about.
My prints are NOT a reflection on the quality that the RRP Mendel is capable of, it is simply models being used to setup my printer and to learn some of the settings.
If you decide to buy a printer KIT then I strongly advise the Pro Mendel based on my experience with dealing with them, the fact thay they FOUNDED the RepRap project and based on hundreds of Photos and Videos I have checked out tirelessly to ensure I was picking the winning horse (Printer) before I committed my money and then for 2 solid weeks while I painfully waited for it to be assembled (into a set of parts) There are ALOT of 3D printers out there of varying quality and price so please don't just take my advice, shop around and most importantly ask around existing users and try and get a sample or at least see time lapse videos of the print and detailed photos of the finished piece. Also don't forget, alot of these printers will be churning out models at the MAKE : Newcastle Maker Faire and the smaller local ones around the country, go and see them 1st hand!
WARNING - Models may contain Horse Meat and Nuts! May also contain Nuts
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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 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:16 pm

exciting times!

dec0y7
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby dec0y7 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:39 pm

I really Can't wait until we can see some of your work with the printer, I'm guessing your excited.
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)

vimes79
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Re: 3D Printers

Postby vimes79 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:26 pm

Hey all. This is the build so far.Hoping to make some big progress today and hopefully get all parts fixed ready for connecting up and commisioning tomorrow. Only got white PLA currently which is fine for calibrating but looks horrible on anything other then parts (and even they look bland). Over time (mostly when I come to add the 3 colour/material multi extruder/hot end kit) im going to print replacement parts in a better colour and add them instead.

Should have my 4 new colours of PLA on Monday including Glow in the Dark!!!

Link to photo log : http://www.flickr.com/photos/nialpearce/sets/72157632775741601/
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


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