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 Post subject: My 3d Printer
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:19 pm 
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Location: Dallas, Texas
So, it's been a really long time since I've been around here. Mainly because I have had alot of crap go on with my family and life in general. I'm kind of getting back into things because I just found out that I can get solidworks for free through my university.

I also recently found out that my parents bought me the 3d printer I wanted for Christmas.

This is the one I got: http://www.makergear.com/products/m-series-3d-printers

I think it was my best option as far as quality goes for under ~$3000. I've had a decent bit of experience with printers like the rep rap and the older versions of the makerbot. I found them incredibly unstable and unreliable. They were also incapable of printing layers much thinner than ~.3 mm. Hopefully, this one will be more capable. The frame is pretty solid aluminium instead of wood or cheap threaded rod and printed parts. It prints .1mm layers by default and is "theoretically" capable of printing down to .02mm with massive amounts of tweaking.

I created this thread so I can document my progress in receiving and testing the printer to see if it can be used for printing puzzles.

I'm almost entirely sure that it should work allright for anything my limited imagination can design, but what do y'all think?

Even if it doesn't turn out to be too amazing, at the very least I probably can use it to try out designs before I send them to shapeways for actual production. That way I can branch out a little with my creativity instead of just making simple tongue and groove puzzles.

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My Shapeways shop: http://www.shapeways.com/hisdesign?user_id=37279

Mourning my Grandfather


Last edited by drew11 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting a 3d printer in a few weeks would like some opin
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:00 am
Location: Jarrow, England
At the moment I am building this printer so maybe we can compare our experiences.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting a 3d printer in a few weeks would like some opin
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:58 am 
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Gus wrote:
At the moment I am building this printer so maybe we can compare our experiences.
I see "discontinued product"? :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Getting a 3d printer in a few weeks would like some opin
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Location: Dallas, Texas
Konrad wrote:
Gus wrote:
At the moment I am building this printer so maybe we can compare our experiences.
I see "discontinued product"? :roll:


It looks like it's listed here now. http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/3d-printers/7952333/ Not too bad of a price. It'll be interesting to see how it stands up to printing mechanical puzzles.

I have to say I've found it interesting that more people here don't own their own 3d printers. The material is dirt cheap, maybe 5 cents a CC, and you don't have to wait a long time to get it from somewhere like shapeways.

I know that detail and quality have been concerns in the past, but it looks like the home 3d printing industry has been making quite a few leaps and bounds since the original makerbot. I recently saw a thing o matic print a bolt and nut that screwed together flawlessly without any post production work.

It remains to be seen by me, but I think that it's to the point where home 3d printers might be useful for puzzles. At the very least, you could print the puzzle without tolerances and then sand it a tiny bit with some high grain sandpaper to take the roughness off.

However, like I said, I've yet to print a puzzle on one of these things, so we'll have to see.

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My Shapeways shop: http://www.shapeways.com/hisdesign?user_id=37279

Mourning my Grandfather


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 Post subject: Re: Getting a 3d printer in a few weeks would like some opin
PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:48 am 
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Konrad wrote:
Gus wrote:
At the moment I am building this printer so maybe we can compare our experiences.
I see "discontinued product"? :roll:
Yes, that link was to an RS branded product (RS logo, orange plastic), whereas the new one is the standard printer (no logos, green plastic). Other than that there is no difference between them.

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 Post subject: My 3d Printer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:51 pm 
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So, I finally got the printer today! It took alot of calibrating, but the parts look rather nice. I'm printing right now at .25mm layers, but the printer is easily capable of .1mm. I just don't want to wait three hours for a 1x2x3 to print at that resolution.

I'm printing a little tardis model for my brother. I'll post pictures as soon as it's finished.

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My Shapeways shop: http://www.shapeways.com/hisdesign?user_id=37279

Mourning my Grandfather


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 Post subject: Re: My 3d Printer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:21 pm 
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So, two hours later my printer is finished with it's first real print! Not too happy with the build time, but I guess it's kind of understood that FDM printing takes a long time.

Anywho, here's a picture. I'm probably going to try printing a few more random models and then try a few puzzles.

Image

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My Shapeways shop: http://www.shapeways.com/hisdesign?user_id=37279

Mourning my Grandfather


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 Post subject: Re: My 3d Printer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:32 pm 
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What is the size of the Tardis? It looks fairly seamless, but I guess that is relative to the size :)

-d


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 Post subject: Re: My 3d Printer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:43 pm 
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darryl wrote:
What is the size of the Tardis? It looks fairly seamless, but I guess that is relative to the size :)

-d


It's about 2 inches tall. My brother who is a self proclaimed whovian told me to print it for him.

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My Shapeways shop: http://www.shapeways.com/hisdesign?user_id=37279

Mourning my Grandfather


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 Post subject: Re: My 3d Printer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:06 pm 
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I'm going to try and print it again at .1mm layer height to see how much of a difference it makes. It's probably going to take forever...

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My Shapeways shop: http://www.shapeways.com/hisdesign?user_id=37279

Mourning my Grandfather


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 Post subject: Re: My 3d Printer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:26 pm 
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drew11 wrote:
I'm going to try and print it again at .1mm layer height to see how much of a difference it makes. It's probably going to take forever...

Is it solid?

Don't feel too bad about multi-hour print times. Shapeways' SLS printers can take ~24 hours for a full print (but they're printing a lot more volume than you).

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 Post subject: Re: My 3d Printer
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:37 pm 
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Brandon Enright wrote:
drew11 wrote:
I'm going to try and print it again at .1mm layer height to see how much of a difference it makes. It's probably going to take forever...

Is it solid?

Don't feel too bad about multi-hour print times. Shapeways' SLS printers can take ~24 hours for a full print (but they're printing a lot more volume than you).


That one has 40% infil. The one I'm printing now with .1mm layers has only 15% infil. I'm kind of testing things just to see what works and what doesn't. It'll take some trial and error before I get everything down.

When it's done, I'll post a comparison picture of the .1 and .25mm tardises. So far, the .1mm one looks much more accurate.

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My Shapeways shop: http://www.shapeways.com/hisdesign?user_id=37279

Mourning my Grandfather


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 Post subject: Re: My 3d Printer
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:24 pm 
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So, I've found through a bunch of testing today that quality definitely equals time and speed equals failed prints. I turned the speed way down on a print I'm trying now, and it looks pretty nice. Not like injection moulded nice, but high quality enough to be used for basic puzzles.

Just for giggles, I tried turning the speed up to 130mm/sec because the printer is capable of all the way up to 200 mm/sec. The print went ok. It was a little sloppy though. However, the speed completely threw off the z endstop calibration, so the next print completely failed. I think it's probably because I have it set on kind of an unstable surface. I'm going to be moving it to my dorm soon, so that shouldn't be an issue.

I'm currently printing a 100 mm high model of the empire state building that is probably going to take most of tonight. I'll post some more pictures of that, my other prints, and the printer itsself tomorrow.

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My Shapeways shop: http://www.shapeways.com/hisdesign?user_id=37279

Mourning my Grandfather


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 Post subject: Re: My 3d Printer
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:41 pm 
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So, after 5 hours here's the print I was working on. It turned out pretty nice imo. It's pretty much exactly 4" tall and was printed with .1mm layers.

Image

Here's the picture of the very top so you can see how detailed the levels are. There are a few skips here and there, but that is apparently because my retraction settings or off (I have no idea what that even is).

Image

And here's a picture of the printer.

Image

All in all, I'm very impressed with what this printer is capable of. And, this is without much calibration of any detailed settings. Today I'm going to try printing a 1x2x3 and see how that works.

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My Shapeways shop: http://www.shapeways.com/hisdesign?user_id=37279

Mourning my Grandfather


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 Post subject: Re: My 3d Printer
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:33 pm 
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So, it looks like my experience with this printer is turning into an adventure. I spoke with a guy working in support at the company that made the printer. He told me that I should really adjust the retraction settings to prevent warping and poor layer quality. According to him, there were many other settings that were off aswell, and helped me to correct them. So, after about two hours of adjusting settings on slic3r, I've achieved much better results.

One of the cubes was printed with the old settings and the other with the correct settings. They measure about 15 mm on a side and were printed with .1mm layers. I need to find one of my old prints in shapeways black detail for comparison. I remember it being better, but not by very much.

Image

Image

So far, at .25mm, the printer is very capable. .1mm is a little trickier, but I'm getting there as you can see from the pictures. I'm going to try actually printing a complete puzzle in a day or two when I get moved back into my dorm and have the printer set up on a more stable surface (It's on an old rickety desk right now, and I'm sure that's affecting print quality in some way).

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My Shapeways shop: http://www.shapeways.com/hisdesign?user_id=37279

Mourning my Grandfather


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