Do you have a 3d printer?

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Rochey

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Standard question really -- as a "maker" or "builder" have you added a 3d printer to your tool-set?

If so, what model? What's been your experience?
If not, is it just a case of "I don't see the need" or is there something putting you off? (something you can ask for help with?)

I have about 5-6 years of experience with 3d printers now, preferring to buy them almost pre-assembled than in kit form, just to get using them as a tool, rather than having a new hobby.

There's a massive opportunity to do more with them, especially in this community. Whether it's a simple PCB standoff/frame, or Alps switch extenders, all the way to VU Meter Bezels, Knobs, Enclosure etc.

Discuss! :)

 

Rochey

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I'm a big fan of these at the moment!

https://blog.adafruit.com/2020/05/15/tutorial-designing-pcb-mounts-3dprinting-fusion360-layerbylayer/

 

ruffrecords

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I don't have one but I have been toying with the idea for some time. Two things are putting me off:

1. Finding enough things to make with it to make it worth while.
2. Going up the learning curve of 3D CAD. I find their user interfaces horribly counter intuitive

Chweers

ian
 

abbey road d enfer

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Rochey said:
Standard question really -- as a "maker" or "builder" have you added a 3d printer to your tool-set?
I recently (less than a week) bought a Creality Ender 3v2, in kit form because it was a special offer at about $250. Well, actually it was pre-assembled so it took me about an hour to get it running.
I had toyed with the idea for a long time (in fact I had bought a 3D printer when I had my company, about 6 years ago. It doesn't do more than the Ender, but I had to take a credit for it at the time!
My first print came out good, first time, but a couple of dauys later I had the filament stcuk in teh tube, so I cleaned it and took the opportunity to replace the tube with a Capricorn.
Indeed there are many things to do with a 3D printer, but one has to be vigilant of the "when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" syndrome, so I keep my options open as to which tool I use.
I have MIG, arc weld, 3HP CNC, table saw, mitre saw in addition to the usual power toools, waiting for a milling-drilling machine.
Right now, I'm printing a support for a Bitscope Micro that is part of my new test bench.
 

abbey road d enfer

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ruffrecords said:
I don't have one but I have been toying with the idea for some time. Two things are putting me off:

1. Finding enough things to make with it to make it worth while.
This is not an issue. The problem is refraining to print things; it's so tempting. See my previous post.

2. Going up the learning curve of 3D CAD. 
That was my big concern too. I have tried Fusion 360, which is undoubtedly a very professional proposition, but for some reason, it failed me; I couldn't connect to my account. And I don't like the idea of cloud computing.
At the turn of an order placed at RS, I discovered Design Spark Mechanical. You need to watch the 3min42second introductory video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jszgAwlXjN0
And you can start and get help along the way.

I find their user interfaces horribly counter intuitive 
I agree. Having been trained as a professional draftsman and certified Autocad instructor (last century, Autocad 2000), I find it very disturbing to draw a figure and size it later. Also finding that the mirror function is just an option of move is a tad surprizing. But don't let that deter you. It's easy, I assure you.
 

boji

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This is not an issue. The problem is refraining to print things; it's so tempting.

;D ;D

I was given a dual nozzle machine by a friend but been too busy with other things to set it up. Admit it would be nice to think in terms of, "but wait, can't this be printed?"

Might anyone care to recommend design and/or cad software for these beasts?  I'm new to the format. Appreciate it!
 

Rochey

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Careful Abbey! Don't go down the path of the never ending tweaking of your machine, or you'll spend more time on the printer than actually making stuff with it.

I'm on my 5th printer. (CR10-Mini). I've barely touched it, because it just works.... well enough! I can't say that for the farm of monoprice printers I had before it.

Now, I also have a laser engraver out in the garage, it gets used too, but I confess, the "run by itself" nature of a 3d printer makes it easier to work with than the laser. I can design something and let it print overnight without worrying too much.

There are some really great tutorials for Fusion360. At a basic - I tend to do everything in the first sketch and then pull/push/extrude as I go.

Ian, if you have something you'd like me to model up, I'd be very happy to do so and record it, then share on my youtube channel. As long as you put up with my muttering whilst I do it.
 

john12ax7

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I haven't gotten one because I feel like it might end up being exciting at first,  but then collect dust. At least that's what happened when I first got access to a pcb milling machine. I've gravitated more towards paying others to do things outside of my diy circle of competence or enjoyment.
 

Rusan

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About two months ago I bought a QIDI X-Maker, with the intent I could make all kinds of parts for my DIY mics and electronics stuff. It has lots of features for the price, although it's limited by its small 6W" x 6.5L x 6"H" (152mm x 155mm x 152mm) print capability. It's easy to use and does a very nice job with the PLA filaments I've used in it do far, and though I've got a few steel and hard-coated brass nozzles for it I've yet to try PETG or ABS.

I ran the wheels off of it at first, printing stuff from downloaded .stl files.  However, Fusion360 won't run on my old computer (outdated video card, says AutoDesk), and due to my crazy work schedule I haven't had time to acquaint myself with any of the other design/CAD softwares that are frequently used by 3D printer enthusiasts.  I own and am quite experienced in AutoCAD, but none of them appear to work similarly at all.  Sometime, somewhere, I'll just have to make some time to learn how to operate one of them.  Meanwhile, my printer has sat idle and my latest ribbon mic project is gathering dust.  I might just investigate Abbey's suggestion of Design Spark Mechanical when my insane work schedule (hopefully!) slacks off in a month or so.  If I can ever get the design software conundrum lined out, the 3D printer will make a nice addition to my little tinker project shop.  They're definitely very cool machines.


Rusan 
 

Rochey

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john12ax7 said:
I haven't gotten one because I feel like it might end up being exciting at first,  but then collect dust.

I find most of my tools go in cycles. The challenge with that is that you forget the tricks you learn.
I have a bunch of unlisted youtube video's I have from my previous self to remind me of the tricks.
Armed with such data, I started using the tools TOGETHER and it's WOW.

For example - using Fusion360 to generate the enclosure, then exporting the button locations and empty space to Eagle (and old version) as a DXF, then designing the PCB to fit.

And when it all comes together - I can't describe the feeling of POWER!
 

Ricardus

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I don't, but I have two very good friends with them, and another good friend with a laser cutter, and I have not been ashamed to have them print/cut me things.  :D
 

abbey road d enfer

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john12ax7 said:
I haven't gotten one because I feel like it might end up being exciting at first,  but then collect dust. At least that's what happened when I first got access to a pcb milling machine.
I understand that. The milling machine is just one ingredient in making PCB's at home, and it's terribly limited. Even Stephen Hawes, who seems to be THE ultimate DIY'er, cannot make all his PCB's.
I know I couldn't make mine at home, because they are all 2-layer, with 12 thou tracks and 12 thou clearance, and large (typically 16"x10"). Bed flatness becomes a damnable issue.
Don't let that deter you from other tools. 3D printing has becomes so inexpensive and reliable, I believe it will become as familiar in the household as a PC and printer.
How often had I to throw away something because a tiny plastic part had given up? Now I know what to do.
 

totoxraymond

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I have an i3 clone (i3 metal motion from reprap france) since 18 months, but only started really using it recently. Mostly because i didn't have a place to put it before.

It's a great tool, but imho it has to get it's own place in the workshop and be allways 'ready to go' (easier said than done, in my case).

I've been printing different things, from raspberry pi cases to babies toy. Right now i'm building an new chassis for my cnc (previous one was not sturdy enough).

My main problem right now is that i'm really bad at 3d cad. I've been using freecad until now, but i feel it's really limited. I'dlike to switch to fusion 360 but can't find the time to learn it... (and i hate cloud things).

Cheers,

Thomas
 

Rochey

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I started off with inventor (before fusin360) and learned how to make enclosures for demo’s. Simple stuff - make a box, hollow out the center and make a separate see through lid.

You’d be amazed how muxh you can do with extrude and chamfer functions!
 

gyraf

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I'm still waiting for the technology to mature - it's still delivering too low quality results within reasonable economics imo..

Jakob E.
 

ruffrecords

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gyraf said:
I'm still waiting for the technology to mature - it's still delivering too low quality results within reasonable economics imo..

Jakob E.

A lot depends on if the parts you want to make are normally visible. If they are meant to be visible e.g. enclosures, knobs or buttons then I would agree with you. But if you use it to make internal mechanical parts like brackets them maybe it is good enough.

Cheers

Ian
 

abbey road d enfer

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totoxraymond said:
My main problem right now is that i'm really bad at 3d cad. I've been using freecad until now, but i feel it's really limited. I'dlike to switch to fusion 360 but can't find the time to learn it... (and i hate cloud things).
I'm with you 100%. I tried many things, such as Sketchup, Tinkercad, Freecad, Fusion 360. I even had basic Solidworks training, but I ended up using Design Spark. It's not intuitive, you have to watch a few vids and read forums, but I found it really easy. At least for what I do now, like small geometric parts, like the support for BitScope and now PCB holders for Eurorack modules.
If I had unlimited account I would use Solidworks, because it can do everything, as long as you can fork $$$ for each module. I rather liked Fusion 360, but it just ceased to work for anknown reasons, with no possibility to reconnect to my account. That's what is worrying about cloud computing.
 

abbey road d enfer

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ruffrecords said:
A lot depends on if the parts you want to make are normally visible. If they are meant to be visible e.g. enclosures, knobs or buttons then I would agree with you. But if you use it to make internal mechanical parts like brackets them maybe it is good enough.

Cheers

Ian
This week-end has been devoted to making Eurorack PCB holders.
https://fr.farnell.com/schroff/60807-181/support-pcb-sur-panneau/dp/2292872
Look at the price!
This is a version for self-tapping screws. I'll make another with captive nuts.

 

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abbey road d enfer

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I made the front panel out of the laminate that is used for guitar pickguards, with my CNC router.
 

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