Author Topic: 3D Printer start up costs?  (Read 459 times)

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Offline IanT

3D Printer start up costs?
« on: Nov 08 2019 14:41 »
I've been managing to resist getting into 3D printing up till now, partly because I prefer to get involved once the tech has matured a significant amount (I don't want to be an early adopter) - but mainly because I have a finite amount of time available and suspect this will suck up a good deal of it (just learning all the associated tools).

However, I've been looking at printers recently and have wondered what costs there will be apart from the basic machine. I know there will be consumables (filament) involved but Ralph convinced me this was not an issue when we had a long chat about it at the AGM.

What else needs to be considered?

Regards,

IanT
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline cabbage

Re: 3D Printer start up costs?
« Reply #1 on: Nov 08 2019 17:10 »
Step into my Office... You will need a copy of CURA (current ver is 4.3) £0.00p. This will "read" a number of native CAD formats if their interpreter is loaded.

A copy of Open SCAD £0.00p.  I using this remember to install the OpenSCAD  translator for CURA.

Print nozzles. I use 0.4mm steel one and buy of eBay in bags of 10 for about £4. You can make your own M6 threaded hex brass bar and a lathe...

The best results are done with a layer of 2" masking tape on the glass bed. This enable you to bread knife off your print without breaking your print

Apply PRITT to ensure good base grip to the masking tape. So far - one reel lasts a year.

I would suggest you stick to PLA. It is dirt cheap and anything sticks to it. About £10 per 1kilo reel is the stuff I use. You may have to tune the RepRap settings to get a smooth flow and weld. Most PLA uses a nozzle of 200C and a bed of 60C. Twiddling the temperatures plus minus 10C is normal.

Acrylic primer gives the best surfaces for painting - the Simoniz brand always gives good results I have found.

Depending on your pocket about £100 for a machine and about £30 for initial startup, there after about 2 nozzles a year and a tenner a kilo for PLA.

Remember, if your RepRap doesn't have the part or facility you need -then print it...

 Regards

Ralph

Offline IanT

Re: 3D Printer start up costs?
« Reply #2 on: Nov 12 2019 09:53 »
That's very helpful Ralph - thank you.

We are just about recovered this morning from our third weekend of Grandchildren visiting - a bit of a feast & famine thing. Can't wait to see them but somewhat relieved when they go home! No chance to enjoy coffee and reading when they are here for sure!

I still have reservations about the effort needed to learn all this new tech - particularly the 3D CAD side (previous attempts were not successful). However, I've been admiring printed work on WT and the new G1 3D-Circle group. I've also been watching lots of YouTubes about the subject (too much really)

This one was very persuasive as there were practical solutions here to problems I currently have in my workshop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8mzMDLqENA

He uses a Prusa 3i (which he likes) but I also follow 'Myfordboy' (lost wax [PLA] casting) who has recently moved to a Sovol which seems very nice too (and not too much effort to assemble).

So the next question is which 3D Printer? Anyone here got any thoughts/recommendations on the subject?

Regards,

IanT
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline cabbage

Re: 3D Printer start up costs?
« Reply #3 on: Nov 12 2019 11:24 »
Although the Prusa i3 is an old design - there is a lot of stuff around for it. My Prusa is now over three years old -and I need to replace the blower fan to the main PCB -as one of the blades has broken off the 40mm fan. (40p from eBay). I suspect small inquisative fingers... If you buy one I would suggest  that ypu buy a pack of the square 10A fuses from RS as they do blow if you short with a screwdriver. Because the bed moves you will have problems with tall thin prints but adding salt inside or masking tape tp the outside will anchor it firmly. The Delta type is very good at producing tall thin prints but the number of rose joints that have to be serviced - rules it out for me.

My vote is for the Prusa i3 or the more modern Omrod type. There is more information in the G3 Wiki.

As for learning CAD... If you can master FORTH then Opend SCAD will be a doddle! It is open source CAD script language - identical to "Picnic". Picnic was designed to allow accounts programmers to move to CAD. It makes BASIC look hard(!)

Again consult the G3WIKI for written scripts and download OpenSCAD and CURA - it will cost you nothing.

Regards

Ralph

Offline IanT

Re: 3D Printer start up costs?
« Reply #4 on: Nov 12 2019 22:47 »
Mrs Claus is buying me one for Christmas Ralph.

I finally decided on the Sovol (after much agonising and YT reviews etc) but it seems to be one of the best budget printers at the moment in terms of 'features' and comes virtually pre-built - something that might not have attracted me at one time but which does seem a bit more sensible these days....

A bit like my programming perhaps - I have MM Basic running on Pic32, RPi & i5 Laptop (so not too much Forth either now I'm afraid) but MMB is more than fast enough for everything I've tried on it thus far....just throw more CPU at it..

Regards,

IanT

   
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline IanT

Re: 3D Printer start up costs?
« Reply #5 on: Nov 13 2019 23:45 »
Been looking at Open SCAD Ralph - and it's certainly different (why am I not surprised?)

I was not initially too impressed but I've been looking at some of the video tutorials this evening and I can see the attraction a little more now. It is a quite different approach to the more 'click & drag' graphical CADs but I can see that this might be easier for the sort of printed assembly I might need. However, I'm not sure whether it would also fulfil my other 3D CAD requirements in quite the same way as Fusion would probably do (for instance going from complex 3D model to 2D dimensioned drawing) but then I've only looked at the basics thus far. It may well do all this (and more) once explored further.

I can see why you think someone who likes Forth might like this though - I do like the idea of defining parameter variables and the use of 'if' statements. It also seems easier to "get into" than my initial ventures in Fusion too. HavenRegards,

IanT't downloaded it yet but I'm probably going to - too late now.     
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline IanT

Re: 3D Printer start up costs?
« Reply #6 on: Nov 13 2019 23:58 »
Something odd happened there - the cursor froze and the system wouldn't let me modify it afterwards.
Anyway - thank you for the suggestion Ralph.

Regards,

IanT
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline cabbage

Re: 3D Printer start up costs?
« Reply #7 on: Nov 14 2019 00:23 »
If you consult the G3WIKI there are several scripts there for you to examine and play with.

Regards

Ralph

Offline cabbage

Re: 3D Printer start up costs?
« Reply #8 on: Nov 14 2019 05:47 »
This is the SCAD script to make the lnwr bracket end.
All dimensions are in mm. rotations are deg. offsets X,Y,Z

//bracket end//
//gripper egg end//
difference()
{
   union()
    {
        translate([-8,0,0])
        {
            sphere(16);
        }
   
        translate([8,0,0])
        {
            sphere(16);
        }
   
        translate([-8,0,0])
        {
            rotate([0,90,0])
            {
                cylinder(16,16,16);
            }
        }
    }
   
    {
        translate ([0,3,-16])
        {
        cylinder(32,16,16);
        }
    } 
}
//torus
difference()
{
    translate([0,-19,0])
    {
        rotate([0,90,90])
        {
            cylinder(6,12,12);
        }
    }

    translate([0,-20,0])
    {
        rotate([0,90,90])
        {
            cylinder(16,2.5,2.5);
        }
    }
}

http://gauge3.info/wiki/index.php?n=Main.OpenSCAD

regards

ralph

Offline IanT

Re: 3D Printer start up costs?
« Reply #9 on: Nov 14 2019 10:18 »
Thanks Ralph - I will have a play with these and perhaps start to build a library of parts. I've also found some useful stuff on Thingyverse (Dremel 'noses' etc) that I will print. I was very interested to find that you could download the scripts (rather than just STL) for these parts, which means that you can modify them for your needs - keeping 'snippets' for reuse. I didn't know Thingyverse was as SCAD oriented as it appears to be...

I do think anyone taking a quick first look will think SCAD is rather User 'un-friendly' (the script approach will not appeal to all). I started at their website and looked at the documentation provided but it was really watching user videos of it that encouraged me to look further. This is one of the first YTs I watched (seen quite a few more since) and I think he does a good job of showing how it works in practice - albeit with simple shapes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTCu2hCuqfg

Many MEs are using Fusion or Alibre but I'm resistant to investing a lot of time in something I don't fully control. Fusion is free to Hobbyists (but may not remain so) and your content is held in their Cloud. Alibre has a free trial period and is then about £200 I believe - with paid updates required from time to time. However, both are very powerful, professional tools.

TinkerCAD looks very easy to use but won't meet my needs for precision (SCAD appears to) and Sketchup is really designed for a different kind of design work. I've not looked at FreeCAD thus far but it may be an option if SCAD doesn't do all that I want. I'd prefer to learn just one tool, although I will stick with TurboCAD for my 2D stuff.

So that's where I am currently. I've no shortage of other things to spend my time on but I'll explore SCAD in-between and hopefully have some simple/useful bits to print when the Sovol finally turns up. If there is some interest here (getting into 3D print) I'll post notes on my 'Newbie' progress as find my way around.

Regards,

Ian
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.

Offline cabbage

Re: 3D Printer start up costs?
« Reply #10 on: Nov 14 2019 14:38 »
Any SCAD scripts you think might might be useful to other people, the library in the G3WIKI awaits!

I have not looked at thingiverse recently...

Regards

Ralph

Offline IanT

Re: 3D Printer start up costs?
« Reply #11 on: Nov 17 2019 13:29 »
The Sovol arrived yesterday (three days earlier than predicted) with a few dents in the outer packaging, probably courtesy of Amazon. Santa agreed to let me have a quick check on the contents and as they were very well packaged, everything seemed OK.

The box has been re-sealed and must remain embargoed for a few weeks more I'm afraid.  :-(

Regards,

Ian
Nothing's ever Easy - At least the first time around.