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  #1  
Old 11-26-2022, 7:27 AM
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iMigraine iMigraine is online now
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Default 3D Printers....

Been curious about them, what they can do and how much must one spend to get a decent one. Are there any places on the web that you would recommend to checkout.

One of the problems I see is that most people seem to make trinkets or War Hammer characters with their 3D printers. Would like too see some interesting parts made that are actually useful if your NOT interested in the above.

Is the tech still too new to be really usefully for making stout, resilient, parts that can withstand heat and direct sunlight?

TIA
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Old 11-26-2022, 10:03 AM
yolocalypso yolocalypso is offline
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We spent about $200 on an Ender 3 Pro to basically make warhammer tabletop terrain. My coworker used his Ender 3 Pro to 3D print parts to make another 3D printer that’s worth probably $1500- he added a camera and Raspberry Pi so he can print remotely, etc. my other coworker spent $1000 on a printer that can print huge things- helmets, etc. he bought a scanner as well to 3D print car parts. I know another guy who has 7-10 Ender 3s set up and he specializes in drone parts- go pro housings, battery housings, etc. So you can definitely 3D print useful stuff.

I would say $150-$200 for a decent printer. We got ours from Amazon, but I know Microcenter has sales on them all the time- all my work buddies got theirs on sale for $100.
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  #3  
Old 11-26-2022, 2:27 PM
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They have Teflon reinforced polymers but you need upgraded extractors and tips.
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  #4  
Old 11-26-2022, 8:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iMigraine View Post
Been curious about them, what they can do and how much must one spend to get a decent one. Are there any places on the web that you would recommend to checkout.

One of the problems I see is that most people seem to make trinkets or War Hammer characters with their 3D printers. Would like too see some interesting parts made that are actually useful if your NOT interested in the above.

Is the tech still too new to be really usefully for making stout, resilient, parts that can withstand heat and direct sunlight?

TIA
Go to youtube and binge videos about the Ender 3. Yes, there are better printers nowadays but that one just works. There’s infinite support for it. Download the program Prusa Slicer to play around with and see what it’s all about. Go to thingiverse and cults3d websites to see what kind of models are out there. Check out the youtube channels PSR and the 3D pew general and the Reddit group fosscad if you are interested in 3D printing your own firearms.

Check out the YouTube channel Thomas Sanlanderer if you want to see what types of materials you can run in these machines and the various properties they have.

The tech is not really new anymore. There are tons of materials available for printing now. You can make your own filaments out of water bottles and weed eater nylon (don’t run that in the house! You’ll probably die). You can even buy the Glock material and run that through your printer.

What kinds of things are you looking to print? Warhammer models are generally printed on resin printers which is a whole other thing. I have a few resin and a few FDM printers and use them regularly/daily.
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Last edited by ibanezfoo; 11-26-2022 at 8:19 PM..
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  #5  
Old 11-26-2022, 11:26 PM
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What IBanezfoo said, the Ender might be a good inexpensive start, you may decide that 3D printing is not for you (as several of my friends), and then it will collect dust or end up in Goodwill or you may like it and up building something yourself to suit your purpose later but the Ender will get your feet wet in the meantime. One thing to add, download some free CAD programs, i. e. FreeCad, it does take some time to learn it, but there is great satisfaction from creating your own designs, at least for me.
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Old 11-27-2022, 3:55 PM
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Get a cheap Ender and see how it goes. I over paid and bought a TAZ 6 about 4-5 years ago. Its nice, but not $2500 nice. It has been flawless though and gets quite a bit of use.

I use mine often. Its only for tools, shims and parts. Ive made a toy or two for the kids, but I put it to use for stuff around the garage and house. Heres a few things off hand that Ive used it for:

Downloaded and printed tool holders for lathe.
Designed the tailstock scale mount for tailstock DRO.



Automatic bullet colators and plates for bullet feeders. You can make these for about $30, or buy them commercially for several hundred. I made 2. Large and small. Downloaded this from thingiverse (it gets taken down every time).



Designed these and printed them last night.
I needed to make a box to house an air filtration system for a fiber laser. Makes it easy to join boards together and tack them with nail gun+glue.


Designed bullet trays for inspection and cam loader.
I only shoot my reloads, so I dont have bullet trays.


Designed these for loading 6.5 creedmor on the single stage.
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2022, 9:43 AM
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I have an Ender3. It's very handy and complimentary to few other things I do at home.
Projects come in spurts, but still handy to have.
If you get one and don't want to get stuck just making things you find on line, learn a CAD program. I use FreeCAD.

Here's a fun project I made for my car. It's a wireless charger for my phone.

Sorry for the large pictures.






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  #8  
Old 12-01-2022, 10:16 PM
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If you get one and don't want to get stuck just making things you find on line, learn a CAD program. I use FreeCAD.
Same here. Not exactly the most intuitive program but there are a lot of tutorial videos on YouTube which make it a lot easier but still one has to invest some time. I am starting to get the hang of it (at least till the release of the next version I am on 20.1 at this time) and designing your own stuff is more satisfying than actually printing it.
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Old 12-01-2022, 10:34 PM
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Take a look at https://www.matterhackers.com/

Helpful people and will be happy to sell you everything to get you started.

Just a happy customer.
Be careful kids in candy stores are................you get my point.

And your going to want some cad program to design your own stuff at some point.
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2022, 11:41 PM
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As an engineer who uses high end printers of all types and materials, I can tell you unequivocally that the cheap printers you are talking about are toys. You can have fun with them making stuff, but that’s it.
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  #11  
Old 12-02-2022, 9:04 PM
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Originally Posted by sonofeugene View Post
As an engineer who uses high end printers of all types and materials, I can tell you unequivocally that the cheap printers you are talking about are toys. You can have fun with them making stuff, but that’s it.
Oh geez. At work I have half million dollar fiber lasers that rip through aluminum or plate steel or whatever. At home I have an $800 CNC that also can cut some of those materials. I have Co2 lasers in my garage that only cost a couple grand that can do things the fibers can’t. At work I have massive CNC plasma tables and waterjets but people can do similar things with their home “toy” cutters, just not as fast. Hoffman Engineering seems to be producing quality things on his 3D printer “toys” as are many others. They are tools. How you apply them is up to you. These home machines aren’t meant to be production machines yet many people are making a living with using them in that capacity in small print farms.

Hell most of the Gcode can be swapped around between all these machines at home or work and it works fine other than having to tweak your speeds and your tool on/off code.
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Old 12-04-2022, 2:18 PM
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As an engineer who uses high end printers of all types and materials,
Aren’t engineers suppose to engineer? What kind of engineer runs these things, other than one who isn’t very good at engineering.


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Old 12-09-2022, 12:38 PM
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Just some nerds playing with their toys

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Old 12-10-2022, 5:13 AM
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Aren’t engineers suppose to engineer? What kind of engineer runs these things, other than one who isn’t very good at engineering.


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Depending on your work environment, often the best engineers are those that have the "practical" hands on skills as well as the theoretical "technical" knowledge. The practical knowledge can be critical when it comes to ease (as in time/money/swearing) of your designs.
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Old 12-11-2022, 6:49 AM
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Having read this thread, and two of my sons having Ender3 S1 printers, is there something better at the $400 price point? I'm actually looking to get something with a bit bigger print volume so a followon question would be is the Enders S1 Plus worth $550 or again is there a better value?
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Old 12-13-2022, 9:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mshill View Post
Having read this thread, and two of my sons having Ender3 S1 printers, is there something better at the $400 price point? I'm actually looking to get something with a bit bigger print volume so a followon question would be is the Enders S1 Plus worth $550 or again is there a better value?
The Creality C10 in various versions are bigger printers. They make expansion kits for the Ender 3 and other printers as well. One of my buddies expanded his Ender out to 400mm. No issues with it.

https://enderextender.com/

I havent used the S1 so I can't say if its worth it or not. The Ender3 basic with a few mods does everything I need. I use Octoprint so I don't really care about the onboard panel so I can't say whats better or worse about the various models.
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Old 12-19-2022, 3:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iMigraine View Post
Been curious about them, what they can do and how much must one spend to get a decent one. Are there any places on the web that you would recommend to checkout.

One of the problems I see is that most people seem to make trinkets or War Hammer characters with their 3D printers. Would like too see some interesting parts made that are actually useful if your NOT interested in the above.

Is the tech still too new to be really usefully for making stout, resilient, parts that can withstand heat and direct sunlight?

TIA
I had been watching 3D printers for a few years, and bought one when I found an actual use where it would pay for itself.

The sharkfin antenna cover on my car fell off. It was going to cost $1k to replace as only the entire antenna was available and it required redoing the headliner to replace it. I coughed up a couple hundred for a Ender 3 Pro. I printed it with PETG, and painted it for a bit more UV protection. It's been on the car for almost three years now.

The hardest part was the 3D CAD needed to print the part. The learning curve is a bit steep. I used Fusion 360.

I usually break it out every few months to print up something. The last thing I made was a hanger for USB and other computer cables.

It's a learning experience and if you are not into tinkering with stuff to get it to work, a low end 3D printer might not be for you.

As far as stout and temperature resistant, the basic printers don't do too well. Most low end 3D printers feed the filament through a teflon tube that goes all the way to the heated extruder. This limits your max temperature to about 255C. This directly translates to the resulting heat resistance.

The most common plastic to use is called PLA. It's only good to about 55C so it can start to deform if it is in your car on a hot summer day. I used PETG on my antenna cover and it's has held up to the inland SoCal heat. There is another plastic called ASA that is supposed to be really good for sun exposure.

One common upgrade is what is called an all metal hotend. That removes the teflon from the part that melts the plastic and will allow most printer to reach about 300C. This allows printing Nylon and some other plastics.

To print "engineering" plastics like polycarbonate, PEI (aka Ultem), and other expensive exotics you really need a heated enclosure as they will warp right off the build plate on an open heated bed printer.
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  #18  
Old 12-20-2022, 6:43 AM
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After some research and many discussion with my son (has an Ender 3 S1 Pro) I found a really good deal on an Artillery Sidewinder X2 for $300. It arrives next week and I have already ordered the upgrades for about $50 (bipmetal heat brake, copper lined heater block, metal idler arm and hardened steel nozzles). The first couple things I will print will be for the printer itself (side mounted spool holder and z-axis brace/support). The bed is 300x300 so it is not a large printer but bigger than the E3 and a few features the E3 does not have but a bit less expensive.
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