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 Post subject: 3D printer
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:44 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:41 am
Location: Hungary
Hello everyone,

I would love to print some of my 3D designs, but I don't like shapeways because they lost a lot of piece and they prices are high, so I decided to buy a 3D printer. Nowadays there are a lot of 3D printers for reasonable price but I don't know which is the best. Have you got any? What do you now about them? Which are good for twisty puzzles?

Thanks, and have a nice day.

SzG


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 Post subject: Re: 3D printer
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:11 am 
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Location: Jarrow, England
You will have to say what your budget actually is in order to specify a suitable printer, as they rande in price from a few hundred $ to many thousands.

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 Post subject: Re: 3D printer
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:59 am 
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Despite their flaws(no one's perfect after all), my understanding is that Shapeways is still widely considered the best balance between low cost and high quality for the rapid prototyping of puzzles, twisty or otherwise.

While the price for entry-level 3d printers has come down significantly, my understanding is that most of the lower-end models have print resolutions that severely limit how complex individual parts can be and still be suitable for non-decorative purposes. My understanding is that a printer capable of producing results comparable to Shapeways's WSF material will set you back several thousand USD and take a lot of successful prints to pay for itself compared to using Shapeways.

Of course, my understanding could be outdated, especially since this is an area where technology is moving fast but not much news is filtering through to those who don't actively search for news on the subject.

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 Post subject: Re: 3D printer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:04 pm
Location: Canada
I've decided to buy my own 3d printer too. It hasn't arrived yet. I don't expect to get it until the middle of next month. I'll try and post more then.

I decided to get a Prusa I3 from Mixshop. They were doing an indigogo campaign and I sponsored them.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/repra ... /x/6413595

Unfortunately it's closed now, but they still sell them on their website for a slightly higher price.

I'm not sure if these desktop kit 3d printers are good enough to make puzzle pieces on. I decided I wanted to try anyway. I was thinking that I would use my machine to make crude prototypes on. This way I could decide if I was happy with my designs and test fit pieces together before I sent my stl files to Shapeways. I don't think those horizontal lines from cheaper machines are acceptable in a final product.

I'm not totally happy with Shapeways either. They are quite expensive, especially here, and I think the polishing job on the white and strong material is inconsistent. The last pieces I ordered still needed extensive work after I got them.

I usually cast all of my pieces with smoothcast onyx, but I've been relying on shapeways to make the master copies that I copy with a mold.

In the likely event that my Prusa I3 dosen't perform to my standards of quality, I'll likely use the smoother but more brittle materials that shapeways offers next time. I need the smoother finish more than I need strength in my master copies.


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 Post subject: Re: 3D printer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:44 am
In the UK I saw the 'Cubify' home 3D Printer for sale for £999.99, you can look it up on Costco's web site via Google.

http://www.costco.co.uk/view/product/uk_catalog/cos_11,cos_11.1,cos_11.1.2/160430

I am assuming these are fairly basic but I would be interested to know from someone more knowledgeable than I whether they would be suitable for printing puzzle parts. I am sure there potential limits like dumbed down software or interface/file format compatibility etc.


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 Post subject: Re: 3D printer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:54 pm
Location: Bay Area, California
Jumbo wrote:
I am assuming these are fairly basic but I would be interested to know from someone more knowledgeable than I whether they would be suitable for printing puzzle parts.

This has been asked and discussed many times so you should check out some of those threads.

You can print puzzles with simple mechanisms like Skewbs and 3x3x3s but you can pretty much forget about any sort of shells based mechanism. They're pretty good at printing extensions for shape mods too.

Claus has a really nice 3D printer from HP and he's shown a ton of stuff that he has printed.

I think Claus has done a good job of pushing the limits of what's possible with FDM printing so you should look at his stuff for possibilities.

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 Post subject: Re: 3D printer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:44 am
Thanks, I'm checking it out.


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 Post subject: Re: 3D printer
PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:04 pm
Location: Canada
Jumbo wrote:
In the UK I saw the 'Cubify' home 3D Printer for sale for £999.99, you can look it up on Costco's web site via Google.

http://www.costco.co.uk/view/product/uk_catalog/cos_11,cos_11.1,cos_11.1.2/160430

I am assuming these are fairly basic but I would be interested to know from someone more knowledgeable than I whether they would be suitable for printing puzzle parts. I am sure there potential limits like dumbed down software or interface/file format compatibility etc.


Hmmmm..... Mabey I should be building and selling 3d printers instead of building and selling puzzles. They're the same amount of work to build, but, ten times the price. :lol:

As for the software, on the design end, it would be the same as any printing process. All printers use the same STLs. The software for the printer control has some very good open source options available. If it turns out I don't like any of them, I guess I'll need to learn how to code.


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