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Old 01-08-2013, 05:32 PM   #1
dorkpunch OP
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3D Printers. Who's got one?

Just curious if any of you have experience with the kit built printers. I'm getting ready to buy one for my classroom but am hoping to hear reviews from y'all! Pics, parts made, etc would be awesome too.

I'm pretty settled on the Mendelmax 1.5 I was hoping to get in on the beta testing of the 2.0, but my school budget just won't cut it. As it is, I'm going to have to buy the frame kit now and then wait until the next school year for my new budget to buy all of the electronics.

One of my main questions is how hard, if at all possible, is it to export a model from Sketchup to the printer? What specific software is required?



All right. Lets see your printers!
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:40 PM   #2
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:10 PM   #3
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I donno about your Sketch-up question. My experience with exporting drawings across to CAM software and tools has been... frustration. Hopefully what ever controller software you get will have at least a import/conversion wizard, maybe even a rudimentary CAD editor.

I'm for anyone who has gone down the DIY printing and associated headaches road to come out of the woodwork and dispense their wisdom.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:33 PM   #4
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:08 PM   #5
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I don't know much about the subject except that I use sketchup a fair bit; I'd be surprised if you find any straightforward way to export skp files to something you can print. I think you'd have to start with something like solidworks or vcarve or autocad.
Good luck, I want to see what sort of projects (preassembled air engine?) your class prints out. And I'd be interested if sketchup does play well with 3d printers.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:55 PM   #6
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SketchUp supports plugins for import / export. You'll need too find what format the 3d printer you're interested in expects, but there are sketchup plugin as for common formats such as stl.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:19 AM   #7
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Two weeks ago, I bought SolidWorks Premium. My next step is either a CNC router or a rapid prototyping machine.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorkpunch View Post
One of my main questions is how hard, if at all possible, is it to export a model from Sketchup to the printer? What specific software is required?
I am coordinating the 3D printing of a large project that is ultimately for a world entertainment company. It's hard to believe they are doing their architectural 3D modeling sketchup. All of their files have to be sent out to be redrawn in Solidworks so they'll print accurately. (at a large expense....)

My impression is that it's possible to convert SKP files to a format that is accepted by 3D printers, but you're asking for problems. You'd be better off with getting your students to learn an industry standard piece of software such as Solidworks, especially since you can get it for so cheap as an educator.




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Old 01-12-2013, 03:37 PM   #9
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Been doing a ton of research... Here's what I figured out so far.

Working with a guy on ebay who has a kit with everything but the electronics. Decent price, open to offers, and willing to give educators a discount!

Mendelmax 1.5 kit- $550 / offers, free shipping: http://www.ebay.com/itm/221169267158...84.m1423.l2649



Other required parts:

NEMA 17 Motors- $48.32 plus $27.95 S&H. So $76.27 total.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/5pcs-...554160664.html



Hot-End
- $54.99 plus $3.75 S&H. So $58.74 total.

https://www.hotends.com/index.php?ro...&product_id=88



RAMPS Electronics
-
$185 plus $5.78 S&H. So $190.78 total.
http://ultimachine.com/ramps-pre-assembled-kit-complete



30A 12V Power Supply- $29.96 with free S&H.

http://bit.ly/TvVyBY




As far as software goes, it appears there are several different ways to go about exporting from Sketchup, but it is definitely a multi-step process and who knows how the print quality would come out. I'm definitely willing to give it a try! The ebay seller with the Mendelmax kit recommends this:

Quote:
As far as the sketchup, I use it all the time. Sketchup is great for people getting started in 3D printing. I know many people that design in it. You just download a free STL exporter. So the tool chain goes like this. You design your object with sketchup. Export it as an STL. Open the STL in "Netfabb studio" and hit repair. Netfabb makes the file printable. Then export the fixed STL file. Open your slicing program (I use Slic3r) and slice the STL. Now the file is a GCODE file. Now just open the GCODE in "Pronterface" and hit Print.
I've got Netfabb and Slic3r installed, working on finding an STL exporter for Sketchup and still a little confused about the "Pronterface"- lots of information there...

Also have a request in to get a trial version of Solidworks. I would LOVE to have an "industry standard" CAD program, but even at $150 a seat (can't find an actual price anywhere?) that would cost waayyy to much. Maybe if I bought a couple of seats a year I could make it work, but in the meantime I'm sorta stuck with Sketchup.

I'm also a little concerned about print price, but I think it will be okay. Did some rough calculations and to print a Hot Wheels size model car should theoretically cost between $1 and $3.00 depending on a few different things.

Also, here seems to be an excellent resource for finding sources for filament, troubleshooting code, or just information in general! http://reprap.org/wiki/Main_Page
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dorkpunch screwed with this post 01-12-2013 at 03:47 PM
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:49 PM   #10
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All of this in hopes we can turn something like this:




Into an actual printed car.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:25 PM   #11
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So in theory, it works... I downloaded and installed a ruby script for exporting Sketchup models as .stl's from Github here: https://github.com/SketchUp/sketchup-stl

Took about 2 seconds to download and install. Made up a quick widget:



Exported it as an STL, then opened in Netfabb and clicked "repair"



Saved it, then opened it in Slic3r, and hit export gcode.



VIOLA!!!! GCODE!!!



Now if only I had a printer to test it out on...
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:34 PM   #12
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Whups, one last step.

Finally figured out what "Pronterface" is- downloadable here: https://github.com/kliment/Printrun#readme

It also appears to have the Slic3r included with the zip file. Anyways, after the gcode is made, you open Pronterface, load the gcode, and, assuming you have a printer plugged in, hit print. I'm betting the options are all shaded out because I don't have a printer plugged in.



Looks like it gives you all kinds of useful info- temps of nozzle and bed, estimated amount of filament used, etc..
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorkpunch View Post
Finally figured out what "Pronterface" is- downloadable here: https://github.com/kliment/Printrun#readme

It also appears to have the Slic3r included with the zip file. Anyways, after the gcode is made, you open Pronterface, load the gcode, and, assuming you have a printer plugged in, hit print. I'm betting the options are all shaded out because I don't have a printer plugged in.
I've been running a Lulzbot AO-101 for a couple of weeks. I've found that the Slic3r which is included with Pronterface is kinda old and shitty compared to the latest & greatest. Mine was 0.7.1 versus the 0.9.9 I downloaded.

The 0.7.1 was not very good at overhangs and bridges, not very good at all. I use the 0.9.9 to create gcode now.
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:12 PM   #14
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Before I lose this link.

A pretty cool parts finisher: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...intsexpresscom

And also, filament extruder contest winner. I believe several companies, including Aleph Objects is going to be selling a pellet to filament extruder kit based on this design. Will save lots of money.

http://www.wired.com/design/2013/03/...rusion-winner/
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by potatoho View Post
Before I lose this link.

A pretty cool parts finisher: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...intsexpresscom-winner/[/url]
I ordered one to try out. I don't think most Maker level system users are interested in our $25,000 parts finisher.


You guys that are working with heated acetone are insane.
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