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Old 08-20-2020, 01:32 AM   #1
Rolling Thunder Tech
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3-D Printing

Been considering purchasing a small 3-D printer and have no experience with the process. Does anyone in the group have a 3-D printer and have advice for a beginner.

Leonard
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Old 08-20-2020, 06:25 AM   #2
dudulle.69
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Re: 3-D Printing

It all depends on what you want to print.
If you want to print small parts with great precision, you need a resin printer.
If you want to print large size parts, you need FDM wire printer, sorry I don't know the terms in English.

For the resin, I have an Elegoo Mars Pro printer.
I can print parts up to 11.51cm x 6.5cm x 15cm, with great accuracy
Here are some examples









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Old 08-20-2020, 06:40 AM   #3
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Re: 3-D Printing

To print large parts, you need an FDM printer, I just bought a Creality CR10 V2.
It has a printing capacity of 30cm x 30cm x 40cm.
I don't have an example to show yet, because I'm currently working on another project.
With this printer it is possible to print vehicles in 1/6 scale. To do this, they must be printed in several parts.

But for both types of printing, it is necessary to first study 3d modeling.
There are downloadable 3d files that are ready for printing, but many are intended for video viewing only.
It is then necessary to modify them.
Some people get there very easily and for others (like me : p) it's more complicated.
I advise you to join discussion groups on Facebook for more information
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Old 08-20-2020, 07:14 AM   #4
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Re: 3-D Printing

To print a dodge, it might turn out to be something like this.
But be careful, it's not that simple, because you have to remove all the small parts to print them separately, as well as the wheels, seats, engine, suspension, ...



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Old 08-20-2020, 01:46 PM   #5
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Re: 3-D Printing

For 3d printing you need 2 things: technology and skills.

Technology is easy to obtain: all you need is cash. There are entry-level printers starting around 150 dollars and professional high-end printers costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. For hobbyists there are mainly 2 types of printers:
- FDM: Fused Deposition Modelling where the printer creates objects by laying very thin molten layers of plastic material on top of each other. These printers can produce large items upto 20x20x20 inch but will always show the plastic layers they are made of.
- Resin: Individual layers of liqued resin are cured by a UV light source. A LCD screen is used to allow/block UV light for each individual layer (pixel on = no light/cure). Maximum size of printed objects is typically a lot smaller than from FDM printers. however printing layers can be as thin as 20 micron (0,02mm) which results in invisible layer lines.
For either type you will also need to learn up skills on how to operate these printers, but there are many sources available for help (ie Reddit, Facebook etc)

Skills are a lot harder to obtain. 3d printing starts with a digital 3d model, which is then 'sliced' into individual layers before sending it to the printer. Creating a digital 3d model requires the skill to design a 3d model in a 3d design software (= another piece of technology!). Not only do you need to learn how to operate the software, but you also need to learn how to view/analyse an object and recreate that in the software. That can be quite a steep learning path.

I've started building up my design skills about 6 years ago and using Shapeways to print my first models like: http://www.sixtharmygroup.com/forums...ad.php?t=21814
First by using some free 3d design software before purchasing my own software from Cubify Design. Nowadays Fusion360 would be my choice. It is a professional 3d design software, which is free for hobbyists.

You can try to search the web for free models, but I've found those models always lacking in details and accuracy. Most 3d models available are intended to be used in 3d video games and not for 3d printing. Reworking a 3d video model into 3d printing might be more difficult and time consuming that designing it yourself from scratch.

My recommendation: if you want to start 3d printing, start with obtaining the skill on how to design a digital 3d model. Start with something small & simple and use Fusion360 to design it, and i.e. Shapeways to print it for you. As your skill level grows you can start designing more complex and larger items. As time passes and you build up your skill, the quality, price and ease-of-use of the technology will develop in your favor and there will come a time that you will want to buy your own 3d printer.

Just be aware that -though very rewarding!- learning 3d design & printing is alike a marathon, it's not a sprint and you'll probably encounter some failures on the way.
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Old 08-20-2020, 08:14 PM   #6
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Re: 3-D Printing

Would like a 3-D printer mainly for small 1/6 scale parts, so the Elegoo Mars Pro printer seems to be the one to get. Amazon has them for a couple hundred dollars. Dudulle, which program do you use for making and adapting the parts for printing?

Dutchman, looks like I'll need to spend time to learn the 3-D programs. Looked up Fusion 360 and it appears to be free for one year, assuming I qualify and then there is a subscription cost. Is there another version of the program that is a free download without a time limit?

Later on it would be interesting to have a larger printer that could be used to make parts for a 1/6 scale vehicle.

thank you both for the great info.
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Old 08-20-2020, 09:02 PM   #7
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Re: 3-D Printing

Fusion 360 is awesome and there are lots of tutorials on Youtube. after one year, you can renew your free subscription if you are a student.
I am using other software because my computer is too old, it does not support Fusion 360.
I am using SketchUp 2017, but I do not recommend it!
It's complicated and not really suitable for 3D printing.
But with time and patience, I improve and I manage to create small objects or modify files found on the internet.

It is true that it takes a long time to learn 3D on your own, but it is also a very long time to create real parts with these fingers.

At least with 3D, it's easy to correct an error and above all, you can then redo lots of objects.

If you are not in a hurry, elegoo will be releasing a new "Resin" printer in November, the Elegoo Saturn.
It is advertised at $ 500
It will have a print capacity of 19cm x 12cm x 20cm.
This will allow long guns to be printed in one piece.
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Old 08-21-2020, 09:18 PM   #8
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Re: 3-D Printing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolling Thunder Tech View Post
Dutchman, looks like I'll need to spend time to learn the 3-D programs. Looked up Fusion 360 and it appears to be free for one year, assuming I qualify and then there is a subscription cost. Is there another version of the program that is a free download without a time limit?
Leonard
Leonard,
From the autodesk website:

Qualification details
Fusion 360 is available for free personal use for individuals who are doing home-based, non-commercial design, manufacturing, and fabrication projects.

Individuals must be learning for personal use, outside of a company environment, commercial training, outside of their primary employment.

Individuals must be engaged in hobby businesses* or creating YouTube videos, blogs or other web content.**

*Individuals with “hobby businesses,” generating less than $1,000 USD in annual revenue, are exempt from the non-commercial requirement, thus for the free, personal use of Fusion 360.


I'm not really knowledgeable in 'legal english', but the way I interpret it, it means that you are allowed to use Fusion 360 for free if you use if for personal projects OR you do not generate more that $1000 revenue from your designs.

As for which resin printer to buy: wait for the next generation with monochrome LCD panels: they will last longer AND allow for faster printing. The Elegoo Saturn sounds interesting but there will be more printers released this fall.

Last edited by The_Dutchman; 08-21-2020 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 08-21-2020, 10:20 PM   #9
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Re: 3-D Printing

Leonard
I can only echo whats already been said. For high quality detail parts it is really hard to beat the Elegoo Mars and the ABS like resin. I love mine.


There are some tricks and techniques to getting really good prints. Suggest you watch YouTube videos from 3DPrintingPro. His videos are short and indispensable for getting support settings right and getting great prints. There are other's but his have been most helpful.


There are some other considerations:
1) My Goo is very sensitive to temperature changes. I print in a heated, closed off bedroom. I tried garage or even bedroom with window open and prints failed 100% of the time (come off build plate).

2) The ABS like resin is very strong, prints very reliably with super details - but it is stinky. You need to have heated place to close off when printing. I'm going to try the water washable Elegoo resin next.

3) You need alcohol to clean the parts unless you use water wash resin. This is a bit of a mess and alcohol is hard to get. Try the water washables first.

4) You can download models and STL from Thingyverse, GrabCAd and CGtrader, but there is no substitute to being able to model your own parts. I think Fusion 360 is the best out there for free/less money. It can also slice and develop G-code for machining parts (learning curves for all). But it is really good for what you get.

5) Using vendors for printing parts is a good way too. I use Shapeways for structural printed parts. They are not cheap but the quality is very high. It is difficult to print high end plastics like Nylon and metals on home printers. But Shapeways can do both for reasonable prices. You have to have a .STL model in order to use these services.

6) With any printer there is a slicing software needed. There is a bit of learning curve with this as well. Chitubox comes with the Elegoo and is overall really good. I've made a lot of parts and it slices and prepares the files really well. All of my fails have been setup related (not model or slicing issues). Chitubox latest versions (1.6.x) are very crashy. It crashes constantly. I find the best version is 1.5. Its stable. There are other slicers (Cura and Prusaslicer) are both popular.


7) Resin printing is sensitive to cleanliness, dust, UV light etc. You have to clean build plate, vat etc pretty well and often - esp when learning. If you have a print fail you must clean out the vat of the cured bits which is a pain. Now I hardly ever have a failure so I don't clean out resin from vat that often. You have to clean build plate every print.

There is a learning curve for all the above especially if you are not an engineer or technical person. But none is hard with patience and practice. There are tons of YouTube videos for everything printing, so dive in!


Good luck! -Bob

Last edited by tankfan0720; 08-21-2020 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 08-22-2020, 12:44 AM   #10
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Re: 3-D Printing

Thanks appreciate all the help and advise. Hadn't gone far enough into the Autodesk website and earlier today was able to find the link for the free personal use download for Fusion 360, which is now on my computer.

I'll start by watching a bunch of the youtube tutorials before mucking around with the program.

Last night I watched some youtube 3-D printer reviews and the Elegoo Mars and mention of the Saturn came up and they had very positive reviews.

Checked on the Elegoo Saturn, their website lists that it will be available in October on the Amazon site and they are taking orders for the second batch of pre-orders. Would be good to use the time between now and October to get a little familiar with Fusion 360. Am a mechanical engineer in HVAC/ plumbing design and have some experience with AutoCAD, so hopefully that will help some with the learning curve.

It looks like there are quite a few different types of resins available for the Saturn. Which types of resins does the group recommend for different applications? I know that's a broad question.

Leonard
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Old 08-22-2020, 09:55 PM   #11
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Re: 3-D Printing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolling Thunder Tech View Post
It looks like there are quite a few different types of resins available for the Saturn. Which types of resins does the group recommend for different applications? I know that's a broad question.

Leonard
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Personally I have good results using Monocure Rapid Resin, but that's not to say other resins are better or worse. Some brands provide more brittle results, others are more flexible. Some resins can be used for 'lost wax' casting.
My recommandation is to pick a well known brand to start as they are more likely to have consistency when producing batches of resins. But be prepared to tweak your printing settings every time you start a new bottle!
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Old 08-25-2020, 12:51 AM   #12
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Re: 3-D Printing

I have an AnyCubic Photo Zero, super easy to use in my opinion. I have no modeling experience unfortunately. Those are some very nice radios and rifles. How do I get my hands on something like that?
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Old 08-25-2020, 05:34 AM   #13
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Re: 3-D Printing

Leonard
If you get an Elegoo, I would use their resins at first. At least until you get comfortable with the process. Their "ABS like" is excellent and great for detail parts. You can really use any resin, from any manufacturer, as long as it activates at your machines wavelength. But its one more variable to troubleshoot when something goes wrong. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 08-25-2020, 08:47 PM   #14
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Re: 3-D Printing

Thanks I'll take any advise I can get as I'm sure I can still come up additional issues to overcome.

Have spent the last few evenings watching Fusion 360 tutorials mainly from Lars. Of course I'm at the stage of the more I learn the more I realize I don't know. It is interesting learning a new process like this.

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Old 08-27-2020, 09:27 PM   #15
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Re: 3-D Printing

without any 3d design expirience i do this in a couple of hours for my 75mm pack howitzer. Cloverleaf Ammo Bundles and shells




nothing special, but was not so hard to do. people with more talent and good blueprints can do awesome stuff for 1:6 community .

would love to see some us radios, mortars or simple items like AT-mines


but i was also suprised how much a smale item like this cost on shapeways
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Old 08-27-2020, 10:20 PM   #16
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Re: 3-D Printing

LOL, I've been designing the same cloverleaf caps.

Shapeways is not cheap so I used them to print a master parts, from which I then casted resin copies.

Investing in your own 3d printer is worth it. My 3d material cost is a fraction of what Shapeways would charge me to print these cloverleaf caps. Ofcourse you need to invest money , but I have recuped that at least 10 fold sofar.

It's just like printing money...
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Old 08-27-2020, 11:09 PM   #17
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Re: 3-D Printing

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Dutchman View Post
LOL, I've been designing the same cloverleaf caps.

Shapeways is not cheap so I used them to print a master parts, from which I then casted resin copies.

Investing in your own 3d printer is worth it. My 3d material cost is a fraction of what Shapeways would charge me to print these cloverleaf caps. Ofcourse you need to invest money , but I have recuped that at least 10 fold sofar.

It's just like printing money...

do you have a shapeways shop or a item list? are your caps for 75mm pak howitzer shells?
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:30 PM   #18
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Re: 3-D Printing

Awesome work on the cloverleafs, the radios, the rifles, etc.

Nicely done guys!

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Old 08-31-2020, 04:40 AM   #19
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Re: 3-D Printing

Dudulle

To show how much I don't know about 3-D printing. when you print the rifles, is it done horizontally or a vertical pull and are more than one done at a time?

thanks
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Old 09-01-2020, 06:44 AM   #20
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Re: 3-D Printing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolling Thunder Tech View Post
Dudulle

To show how much I don't know about 3-D printing. when you print the rifles, is it done horizontally or a vertical pull and are more than one done at a time?

thanks
Leonard
Hi
I print diagonally! This is to limit the take-off effect of the screen. For the long guns, I have to print them in two parts, because the Elegoo Mars tray is not big enough. I could try to print them vertically, but I have plenty of current projects and only one printer AH AH AH. : lol:
I will wait for the Elegoo Saturn which will allow me to print larger pieces.

Here are my latest achievements :

French helmet M51


French pistole WW1



And various things
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Old 09-01-2020, 07:01 AM   #21
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Re: 3-D Printing

3D printing is really happiness.
For a new project, I needed a pipe.
In 5 minutes, I found the file on the internet,
in 10 minutes, the file was modified to be printed
and after 1 hour the pipe came out of the printer.
Pipe






Yes, it is possible to make several pieces at the same time.
All the parts need to be placed on the printer bed
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Old 09-01-2020, 06:04 PM   #22
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Re: 3-D Printing

Looking at the last photo,
I tell myself that I must specify that these are French M51 helmets
and that it is not a female breast
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Old 09-01-2020, 07:16 PM   #23
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Re: 3-D Printing

Thanks for the info, and yes my first thought of the last image was that you were making breasts for a female figure. ha

With the pipes, do you specify the support trees or does that part of the slicing or Fusion 360 program? Just lately was putting together a British figure and was searching the on line stores for a pipe. Sure would be fun to make parts that I need.
Thanks for your patience with the newbie questions.
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:15 AM   #24
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Re: 3-D Printing

Hello Leonard.

Support trees are generated automatically by the slicing software.
But it is possible to modify them manually.
No problem for your questions,
i just hope you understand my explanations with my english translated by google

And since I try to always fill the printer tray, this is what it looks like when I print ONE pipe

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Old 09-22-2020, 08:40 PM   #25
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Re: 3-D Printing

You're English is excellent. Have been watching many Fusion 360 tutorials, mostly from a person named Lars. His tutorials are easy to understand and well thought out as well as fun to watch. Some tutorials from others have put me to sleep or they seem to miss discussing a step.

The Saturn 3D printer is listed by the mfr as being available on Amazon in October and am leaning towards ordering one. It is a big step, getting into an entirely new production method.

Up till now have used rubber molds and casting materials, with the cast almost doubling in the last few years, and it is very difficult to cast delicate parts which are also prone to breakage. Making a two part mold is also time consuming and then there is the storage issue of all the molds. Once learned 3D printing would have lots of benefits.

Leonard
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