3D Printers. Who's got one?

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by dorkpunch, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

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    More prints.

    Student asked if I could make his dad some parts for his helmet. Apparently, he's been looking for a long time but has been unable to find the right parts. The black are the old, you can see the one on the left is missing a piece. Blue are the new parts, and they are pretty darn close!

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    I had to go back after they printed and cut a little piece out, but it took all of 5 seconds on each part. He took them home for a test fitting, so we'll know tomorrow how accurate my measuring was.

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    Had the speeds turned down quite a bit and the quality looks excellent. Took about 13 minutes to finish both of them.

    Nuther project for the woods teacher. He wanted some rollers to fit on a pipe rail thingy he's building. Much bigger print, took about 43 minutes for each half at high speed.

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    And some spare parts just in case. Speed was cranked up on these too, and they came out pretty nice. Maybe a 2 minute print time.

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  2. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    What are you using for CAD? It appears the polygons are kind of big, which is probably why you are getting all those "steps" around the outside.

    There's almost no downside to lowering the chordal height deviation or polygon side or coefficient or whatever your cad system uses to adjust the tolerance.
  3. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

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    Yeah, I know... I'm using Sketchup. There is a setting to crank up the number of "edges" in a circle, but I forgot to change that and had it printing already. He took it home and tried it on the pipe, said he thinks it will work perfectly the way it is. He needs three more, then he's going to build a rail out of the pipe and a carriage with the wheels to go on the pipe to carry his cutting torch.

    Pic he texted me:

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  4. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

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    Somewhat useless invention of the day. Made these snaps to go on over the extrusions to hold wires down.

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    I was sure someone had to already have thought of this, turns out I was right...

    http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:15812
  5. Shadow10

    Shadow10 Been here awhile

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    Very nice. Can I ask what model printer turned these out?
  6. c.vestal

    c.vestal Rally On

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  7. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

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    So I have been working on making a "Quick Start" guide for a week or two now to hopefully make it easier for those who have never had the opportunity to mess with one to get started. This is by no means a finished product, nor would I consider it comprehensive and all inclusive, but I think this is a pretty good outline of what it takes to go from zero knowledge to 3D prints.

    This is only a backbone for now. A lot of these sections have already been covered in many of my posts / blogs, so I will format and add all of those pieces of information in to this outline and we'll see how it turns out.


    3D Printing Quick Start Guide


    Printer Kit and Parts Selection

    1. What are you going to use your printer for?
    2. How much do you have to spend?
    3. Where do you start?

    Assembling the Kit

    1. Frame
    2. X-axis
    3. Y-axis
    4. Z-axis
    5. Bits and Pieces

    Installing the Electronics

    1. Stepper motors
    2. Power Supply
    3. Control Board
    4. Wire routing
    5. Bits and Pieces
    a. Power switch
    b. USB cable

    Installing Software and setting up printer

    1. Drivers
    2. Firmware
    3. Software
    4. Connecting the printer
    5. Setting stepper driver voltage
    6. Manually controlling the printer

    G-codes

    1. G92
    2. G01
    3. G90
    4. Etc…

    File Preperation

    1. Export file from your CAD software as an .stl.
    2. Open file in Netfabb and repair.
    3. Open repaired file in Slic3r and create gcode.
    4. Open in Printer Controller Software and PRINT!

    Running a Print

    1. Plug printer in to computer and power.
    2. Open Printer Controller Software and click “Connect”.
    3. Prep the print bed.
    4. Preheat the Extruder and Bed
    5. Load your file.
    6. Set the home position.
    7. Click PRINT and watch the show!
    8. Clear the print bed.
    9. Run the next part!

    Troubleshooting

    1. Missed steps
    2. Pinter feezing
    3. Poor print quality
    4. Etc….
  8. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

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    $23k in printing....

    Models start to arrive:

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    Cirque du Soleil venue:

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    Buildings being added to base:

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    Lighting/projection:

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  9. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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  10. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

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    New project to, uh, keep me out of trouble? Yeah, like I don't have enough projects going already... Had this idea kickin around, and have been wantint to test some capabilities. Seems like this is a good way to do it.

    Been learning a TON about Sketchup through this process too- For the most part I've only been using the base free version of it with no special add ons. Downloaded and installed several plugins and am blown away with the capabillities of this free program. Lofts, skins, fredoscale, all sorts of ruby's that can do cool stuff. Here's what I've got done so far.

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    Blades and tail fins were made by using a loft tool and "skinning" a wireframe shape. Super easy.

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    The shell was a little harder. Made it again with a wireframe, then skinned it. The hard part was getting a thickness to the shell- used the freescale tool to push/pull it out to 1mm thick, but I had to do a lot of cleanup to the lower edge to get it to sit "flat" on the printer plate.

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    Main reason I wanted to do this was to test the "overhang" capabilities. I'm impressed. The inside isn't all that pretty but overall I think it came out GREAT. Will probably add one crossbar in the center for additional support and to help attach it to the inner frame I still have to make. The center wouldn't have been so melty if I'd been able to move the extruder when the print finished. Need to change that in the gcode so the heat doesn't soften parts if I cant get the part off right away.

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    I think it's turning out great for just spitting a few things out of Sketchup to practice on. We'll see how the finished product turns out.
  11. c.vestal

    c.vestal Rally On

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  12. wakewop

    wakewop Hucker

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    Nice looking upper.
  13. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

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    I'm not going to post the link, but there's a guy that has 3d cad files for the lower on the interwebs. PM for link if you're interested.
  14. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    There are many: three or four on grabcad alone.

    Building a plastic lower that costs double a machined aluminum part and lasts a few rounds isn't all that appealing to most people.
  15. wakewop

    wakewop Hucker

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    But would make a really cool airsoft gun!!!! If you have the money to burn.
  16. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

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    100+ rounds on auto so far with continuing R$D.

    Buying a CNC that costs 40x a 3d printer isn't appealing either.

    Just options. Like the upper pictured.
  17. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    The "3D printer" the Defcad lower receiver was made on cost at least $100,000 - probably more. It's a 3D Systems sterolithography system and appears to be a large one.

    There's no way a maker-grade machine is making any of the above. The machines we use to make parts like that [non-functional] upper start at $15,000.

    Boston Craigslist has three three-axis CNC mills for sale for $6,500 to $12,000. Manual mils are for sale for $1,200 and up.

    Making plastic parts on 3D printers works great. Replacing metal parts with 3D printed plastic parts is not so easy.

    Just made these "Big Feet" for a camping chair. Cost a few bucks each for materials and I had them in an afternoon. That's the real promise of the current technology in my opinion.
    [​IMG]
  18. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

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    Thought I'd share this neat trick I learned to make prints stick to the table better. I've been experimenting with ABS in my Mendelmax 2.0, for no other reason than that's what I ordered... I'm getting better results with less warpage the more practice I get, but this little trick has been by far the most useful thing for successful prints.


    First you need to make up some of this splooge. Its nasty smelling but cheap and effective. Find a container and fill it about half full with Acetone. Gather up a bunch of your ABS scraps and dump them in there, put the lid on, and shake it up. After a while you are left with a slurry like this:


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    Once you have the slurry, use a cotton ball and spread it around the glass. Do a few even coats, crossing directions. Seems to work a lot better if the bed is SORTA warm- maybe 40-50 degrees.



    Bed before prep:


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    Bed during and after:


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    Run a print, then watch as we peel it off. It can be really hard to get off while the bed is still hot, plus I've noticed that parts seem to warp more if I pull them off before they have had a chance to cool.


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    Print removed:


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    Take a razor blade and clean the skin stuff off. Kind of a pain in the butt because it static-sticks to EVERYTHING.



    Cleaned up print!


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    Great use for old scraps. The stuff stinks to high heaven but has been pretty effective. Next best thing I've found to prevent warpage with ABS is cranking the bed temp WAY up- I start my prints at 90 degrees Celsius so I don't have to wait for hours for it to heat up and start the print. Once the print has started I crank it up to 100, although it really struggles to get that hot. Still get some warpage that way, but hey, I'm impatient.


    Next up- another (yup, another... the first didn't work out, well, at all...) attempt at acetone fuming.
  19. c.vestal

    c.vestal Rally On

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    Nice progress!!!
    I heard of it called ABS Juice. Lulzbot has a specific ratio they recommend. It worked great on the Kapton Tape until I messed up the tape. I peeled off the Kapton tape and applied the ABSjuice. I was getting the same result as you. Every time the coating came up with the part. I had to re-apply every time. frustrating.

    I researched and found some folks having good luck with a sugar solution. This did not work for me.

    I then found people have been using hair spray with good luck. I applied 3 good even coats. Made a print let it cool, part popped off. Hair spray stayed on the glass! I applied a thin coat as a precaution just to freshen up the surface. I likely did not need that last light coat. I have over 30 prints on the same application of hair spray without having to touch it since.

    I also suggest trying painters tape and no heat. This was the only way I got PLA to stick thru the end of the print.
  20. dorkpunch

    dorkpunch Oops...

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    Wait till you see the rest of the helicopter!

    The hairspray is for PLA, right? When I first started I just had a few scraps of PLA. I printed on the bare glass with the bed at 55 degrees- and DANG was it hard to get the prints off! Didn't need any type of sticky stuff.

    The ABS though... I have to put fresh coats of this stuff on every time. If the hairspray is working for ABS, I will definitely give it a go. I don't mind putting fresh coats on every time, but I really don't like cleaning up the mess off the finished prints.