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3D Printing Discussion

Discussion of digital modelling techniques: 3D modelling and 3D printing.

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3D Printing Discussion

Postby 01i » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:32 am

This thread was split from a thread in the announcements section, which started as a reply to this comment:
Deadmeat30 wrote:When my business grows ( if it ever does :P) ild love to get a 3d printer and offer this service to people! could print there designs, then cast them!!!

-Mangozac


Deadmeat,

we purchased a DIY 3D printer from makerbot, and discovered that unless you spend serious cash on a top notch printer, it's not actually worth the money. Any 3D printers that use extrusion (e.g plastic melted through from a plastruder at the top) wont do decent enough quality miniatures. You'll need a device that uses something like selective laser sintering instead of plastrusion, or you end up with little lines that are slightly ridged and will show up in the mould.

On the side of offering the service to other people, with shapeways offering seriously cheap prices, multiple printing materials, and having a variety of different printing technologies at thier disposal, it's going to be hard to make the investment money back.

http://www.shapeways.com
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Re: Housekeeping: new 3D modelling subforum

Postby Magnetic Duckling » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:19 am

Shapeways machines are between $400k and $1.5m I believe.
Makerbot's machine is interesting if you want to make VERY rough (and big) pieces to work on but it is more similar to toy than an actual machine to me. It certainly won't do for miniature business.

I think offering a 3D printing service would work, seeing how Shapeways is growing. You just need a significant amount of cash to start.
All Shapeways print shows little lines though, some are less visible than others depending on the material you picked.

01i, would you be so kind and show us an actual print from Makerbot other than the ones they show on their website ? I'd like to see what it looks like "irl" and not on their advertisings. Curious.
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Re: Housekeeping: new 3D modelling subforum

Postby 01i » Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:15 am

I never really got any 'finished' prints out of it, and after splitting the company with my fellow director, I actually gave him the makerbot because I'd got a little sick of trying to get it working right, and had no real belief that it'd ever do what we wanted to get out of it. I bought it at the same time as a david laserscanner which was also a little too cheap. I wish now that I'd not bothered with the makerbot, and put the extra thousand towards a better 3d scanner from nextengine.

Initially we were trying with the heated build platform but after accidentally crashing into the platform a couple of times, damaged the surface, and then damaged the backup surface, decided that we needed to do some of our own modifications. We were having better luck replacing the default build surface with a custom copper plate but started having issues with the heating element which I gave up on trying to replace. We needed a specific £2 thermistor that we could only seem to source from the states at a minimum £15 to 20 delivery.

My overall opinion on the makerbot was that it was VERY noisy, extremely hard to perfect, and easy to damage. The change to a copper plate platform was looking alot better though, until the thermistor issue started. Basically it didn't stop heating up. Apparently Mike had a really good print going, until it started to melt :( We always had one wobble point that alwasy made each print slightly imperfect. Without getting it running, we could never get any of the thingyverse tweaks printed to improve quality.

I'll see if I can get some photos from Mike, but to be perfectly honest, I'd only reccomend going down the DIY route if you have the time and patience to REALLY work at it. Over all it sucked up about £1000 and a couple of weeks to get it built, and god knows how long in failed attempts to print something.

It'll be good for test stuff, or armatures that'll have putty added covering the surface, but there's really no point in using plastrusion for high detail stuff. If you get one, start off on the right foot and buy all the tweak components from thingyverse (eg wobble arresters, tighteners etc) and print from from shapeways.
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Re: Housekeeping: new 3D modelling subforum

Postby 01i » Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:17 am

Oh yeah. The problem with offering your own 3d printing service is that unless you match shapeways prices then what's the point? As shapeways prices are so low, the amount of time, effort and electricity just dont add up.
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Re: Housekeeping: new 3D modelling subforum

Postby Magnetic Duckling » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:15 am

Ok so I sums this up as Makerbot basically sucks. That's what I was afraid of. As you said, it could be fine to do armatures that will be covered (in my case to achieve symmetry more easily) but that is about it right now.
Please look for pictures only if it is not major annoyance. Your review was very helpful by itself, thanks!

And what about david laserscanner, while we are at it? This price makes me suspicious.

I believe some other company is offering cheaper price than Shapeways. I didn't check, just heard, maybe it is one of those 2: http://www.interpromodels.com/services/CAD.html and http://www.gravotech.nl/
I don't know if we can call Shapeways prices low, I have nothing to compare but we spent a fair amount of money making prints (big parts).
Ok maybe offering a 3D print service is not 100% sure to work out but it is not DOOMED, it is worth trying if you got the cash (just my opinion). And if it fails, having a 3D printer at home to print your own stuff is just awesome xD
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Re: Housekeeping: new 3D modelling subforum

Postby blind pig » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:31 am

I believe this is a makerbot model.

Image
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Re: 3D Printing Discussion

Postby Magnetic Duckling » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:19 pm

Any idea what height this is ?
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Re: 3D Printing Discussion

Postby blind pig » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:09 am

I'd assume the same height as the original model, which is about 80mm high.
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Re: Housekeeping: new 3D modelling subforum

Postby 01i » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:01 am

Magnetic Duckling wrote:And what about david laserscanner, while we are at it? This price makes me suspicious.


It's pretty good, most of the money you are spending on the software. The calibration panels, camera and line laser than come with the pack are at the lowest end that works with the software, but the camera records video at something like 1400 resolution (so higher than 1080p).

The problem is that it's designed for hand scanning, which means you need to spend ages doing it, and if you cant hold a steady hand it'll take even longer. However, if you build some sort of mechanism to hold the laser for the scan, it can achieve pretty good results.

From looking around, the microsoft kinect is the best value scanning system out there. It uses UV lasers which are better than the default red laser from david laserscanner, and from what I understand it actually emits a point cloud from thousands of laser dots simultaniously. People were writing 3d scanning software for it when it first came out, so that ought to be pretty advanced by now, especially after it was released for the PC officially.

The scanner I want is the high def scanner from NextEngine. Comes in at about $1500 including a nice turntable to rotate the object. Pics on the site show high detail in scans of corels and rocks, and they claim it's in use by university departments, which based on the gallery seems to be true.
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Re: Housekeeping: new 3D modelling subforum

Postby 01i » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:15 am

blind pig wrote:I believe this is a makerbot model.
Image


Dont get me wrong, I'm pretty sure makerbot 'could' achieve that print, but to get there, you need to really put a lot of love and attention into using it. That print, easily took several days solid to do all the pieces (a small cube takes a couple of hours), and to keep the 2x thermistors at temporature for long enough probably cost a hell of a lot of electricity. Throughout that time it would have been making enough noise for the neighbours a few doors down to get irritated with you lol

I bet the owner of that makerbot has tweaked the hell out of it, and spent 1000 or so hours calibrating the thing. They must have replaced the default wooden shell with something more sturdy, and must have added things like stabalisers and anti-wobble devices, maybe even improved the heated built platform manually like we did.
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Re: 3D Printing Discussion

Postby 01i » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:19 am

Out of interest, why was this thread split from the 3D modelling subforum announcement thread, into the Dr Polymer forum rather than the new 3D modelling subforum? :?
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Re: 3D Printing Discussion

Postby mangozac » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:41 am

Because the 3D modelling subforum is for discussing actual projects, this subforum is for discussion of techniques ;)
Oh yeah I can make that....
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