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3D printer recommendations

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IanT06/12/2019 14:47:58
1543 forum posts
144 photos
Posted by Jeff Dayman on 06/12/2019 02:29:40:

To those receiving an Ender 3 soon, prior to or during assembly do check out Myfordboy on Youtube. He has an excellent set of build notes for careful assembly that will contribute to great prints.

If your machines come with a glass bed, that's great! in my experience they work FAR better than the peelable bed pad the machine came with. If your machine does not have a glass bed, it's a worthwhile improvement, in my opinion.

Well Jeff - Myfordboy's latest 3D Printer is actually a Sovol

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilezW1FQ_JU

"I have tried a few printers but this is my new favourite. The direct drive gives excellent prints"

Knowing nothing about 3DP, I watched numerous reviews of different 3D printer types - some dating back a few years and there was (is) a lot of differing opinion out there. So who best to listen to?

MyfordBoy seems to know what he's talking about. He has used a number of different 3DP machines - and most importantly - he is using them in the same areas as I'm likely to want to use mine - so his opinions carry a bit more weight with me. I also wanted something current (technology does move on apace these days) and also RTR 'out-the-box'. My budget was >£250 and certainly I could have saved money and spent 8-10 hours building a kit but I'm now old enough to start thinking that 10 hours of my spare time (plus the other product improvements) is probably worth that extra £100!

So whilst it's great there is a good user community for a particular 3DP model, if that advice is on how to build the thing (or how to then make it work better) that's not really a huge advantage - if you can now buy something that is pretty much pre-built and already has improvements that help with known problems (like having a heated glass bed).

My Sovol is still in it's box (until Xmas) and once it's assembled (about 10 minutes) there is the problem of learning all the associated CAD/Slicer software required to use it. I've always felt that's where my real problems would most likely be, so hopefully my new 3DP will help smooth my progress - rather than slow it.

Another year on and the Sovol won't be the latest (or probably best) product as this technology is moving so fast - but right now it's what seems best for my needs - we will see!

Regards,

IanT

Limpet07/12/2019 16:57:12
135 forum posts
5 photos

Well I received my Creality Ender-3 Pro today, assembled as per instructions, and set the bed as per the instructions from CHEP (youtube) and to my surprise my first print looked like it should - ok it probably needs a bit of tweaking but I was well impressed for a first attempt - the main problem I had was the included software would not load under windows 10 - so I downloaded Cura and all was good, my first print was a dice from thingiverse - Looks like I'm now hooked

Lionel

Jeff Dayman07/12/2019 17:37:24
1827 forum posts
45 photos

Great news Lionel! well done.

After the first few prints it is a good idea to check that your bed leveling springs are keeping the screws / finger wheels tight and not allowing them to turn. On my machine the springs relaxed a bit and needed retightening. I just turned each finger wheel the same amount (closely as possible) so I didn't have to re-level the bed.

Later I changed the springs to "hot rod" aftermarket heavier ones ( only cost a few dollars) and have not touched them since.

Happy printing!

Limpet07/12/2019 18:48:34
135 forum posts
5 photos

Jeff I will keep an eye on the springs and change then if they start to drift There is so much to learn as I'm still trying to get my head round fusion slowly but it is rewarding to actually hold something in your hand rather than just on the screen.

Limpet07/12/2019 19:24:29
135 forum posts
5 photos

In case anyone is misled by my comment above about assembling the Ender 3 the lower half comes pre-assembled and it's just a case of assembling the top half which are in small assemblies approx 1-1/2 hours to switch on

Lionel i

Pete Rimmer08/12/2019 01:23:22
729 forum posts
49 photos

I just took delivery of one of these today - a Creality Ender 3 Pro. I got it from Amazon which means I paid a bit more than the cheapest UK prices (and a lot more than the bangood ones) but you get it next day and don't have to worry about fedex dropping a bill for import,vat and admin fee six weeks later.

Anyway, I'll recount my observations here:

Packing: superb. You get literally everything you need including tools all packed in a 2-layer box with properly shaped foam inserts

Build instructions: adequate. There's a sheet and there's also a PDF on the supplied SD card & reader. It's all pictographic and there is no easy way to get it wrong.

Construction: Better than expected. I put mine together loosely leaving all screws that could be tightened later just snugged up.There's only the two vertical rails, top strut and x-axis bar really plus a load of fittings. The guide wheels were well adjusted and all I had to do was get out a square to check things before tightening. Once fully assembled the frame is impressively rigid for what it is. I suspect that most people just throw it together but I am a little more picky than most and don't want to do it twice or try to dial out any mis-alignment.

Assembly: Straightforward but I did find a couple of small adjustments I had to make notably the z-axis motor mount and the cable routing. I also found that the pre-fitted cables didn't lend themselves well to following a natural route so I removed the bottom cover, cut all the zip ties, ran them out straight then routed them in nice relaxed curves to their destinations before tying them back up again. The z-axis motor simply couldn't be fitted to allow the screw to run parallel to the axis of travel so I opened up the two holes a little to allow some adjustment and made a small packing gasket from the card box that they put the filament cutter in to space it off the column, and doing this made the screw run nice and true. Not serious but looking online it seem it's an endemic problem that would take no effort for them to sort.

Operation: Well, the first time I turned it on it did - nothing. The 24v power lead had come out of the 2-pin plug due to poor soldering. I had to remove that and re-solder the lead. After that it turned straight on and worked well.

One thing I will say is that the operating instructions are sparse. There are a lot of configuration settings (that you could mostly leave alone) but they simply aren't covered in the instructions. Thankfully, the online support is huge and you'll easily find out what does what and that's what I had to do, as I literally know NOTHING about 3d printing except what I've learned in the last 10 hrs.

I printed some test prints to prove the bed levelling was good. I found that the bed plate was not truly flat but apparently that's because it was cold and they flatten out when heated. I also found that the default heat of 45 degrees for the bed and 195 for the nozzle were too low for the PLA and the tests prints were not sticking. I turned them both up 10 degrees and the alignment tests came out great so I kicked off a test print from the card.

A quick note about the software side which (like me) you might not realise:

I use sketchup but no other 3d software so I was planning to install fusion 360. Can't do that on my old PC as it needs 64 bit. Also I was going to use Cura slicer - can't do that either as the 32 bit version is very old. Creality do however bundle their own slicing software on the SD card (and it's downloadable) which does work even on older pc's so a bonus point for them there. I also discovered that you can export sketchup files to a .due format that their slicer can handle, so I'm going to try that tomorrow.

On the whole, am I pleased? Well yes I am very happy. I didn't expect it to be quite so good for a £200-ish machine. I'm going to cut my teeth by printing out some of the many parts that people have made for the printer - cable guides, tool tray, small clips etc then I have a list of other things I want to print of my on design. I can see this machine getting a lot of use. Certainly I'd recommend one to even a raw novice like me.

Pete.

fizzy08/12/2019 10:19:44
avatar
1716 forum posts
116 photos

Call me old fashioned but if I have to take a soldering iron to repair a brand new machine im guessing there will be lots more unforseen issues and it would be going straight back to the seller for a refund!

Pete Rimmer08/12/2019 11:07:02
729 forum posts
49 photos
Posted by fizzy on 08/12/2019 10:19:44:

Call me old fashioned but if I have to take a soldering iron to repair a brand new machine im guessing there will be lots more unforseen issues and it would be going straight back to the seller for a refund!

I can totally understand that, but people do what they are comfortable with. I saw nothing more than a cold joint that takes 3 minutes to re-solder so I wasn't about to un-do several hours assembling work, pack it all up into the original bags and send the whole unit away for the want of a few minute's simple soldering. These things are modular produced so a cold joint wouldn't be indicative of the quality of the other parts, which I have to say is very good.

Keith Rogers 208/12/2019 12:38:09
71 forum posts
1 photos

I took delivery of my Ender 3 on Thursday and like Pete Rimmer found it required a 0.5mm shim behind the motor mount to align the Z axis screw. I also adjusted the Y axis carriage wheels slightly to alleviate some slight play, apart from that it went together very easily with some care to set everything square. All in all a very good machine for the money, I'm very happy with the quality of the prints and look forward to many happy hours playing with it.

Keith.

Tony Jeffree02/04/2020 23:34:23
avatar
393 forum posts
8 photos

Well, Santa brought me an Ender 3 for Christmas, and I assembled it a few weeks back and checked that the axes moved, then other stuff got in the way until yesterday, when one of the volunteer organisations put out a post asking who on the island (I live in the Hebrides) had a 3D printer. I answered, pointing out that I had yet to use it in anger & there might be a learning curve getting up to speed on it. Turns out that they were after someone to print frames for face shields for use by the front line medical/ambulance/carer staff on the island. Happily someone else with a printer had done the donkey work and provided me with a STL file, so I gave it a go. The Ender 3 has performed flawlessly so far, and I am busy converting 1 kilo of PLA into face shield frames. Very neat/simple design, the frame has 4 lugs that allow an A4 sheet of acetate (think OHP transparencies) to be clipped on, the holes being made by a standard hole punch. They take 13 grammes of PLA to print, and about 1.5 hours of machine time, so not exactly a quick process, but I have now completed 8 of the 50 that are needed. Prototype pics below - I don't have the right acetate sheets right now but mocked one up with a laminating pouch which is a shade oversize, hence the "peak" in the middle, but you get the idea.

img_20200401_183711.jpg

img_20200401_183728.jpg

Bandersnatch03/04/2020 01:36:47
avatar
1656 forum posts
60 photos

Nice going, Tony! have you considered doing two at a time (if printing area permits) by positioning them so that the leg of one is positioned in the loop of the other?

Should take a bit longer than printing one but not as long as printing two separately.

(it might be possible to do more than two).

Edited By Bandersnatch on 03/04/2020 01:38:34

Tony Jeffree03/04/2020 05:46:58
avatar
393 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by Bandersnatch on 03/04/2020 01:36:47:

Nice going, Tony! have you considered doing two at a time (if printing area permits) by positioning them so that the leg of one is positioned in the loop of the other?

Should take a bit longer than printing one but not as long as printing two separately.

(it might be possible to do more than two).

Edited By Bandersnatch on 03/04/2020 01:38:34

That's a good thought. The bed is probably too small for three but two should be possible. I will see whether it makes a difference.

not done it yet03/04/2020 08:44:40
4728 forum posts
16 photos

I fail to understand how the material of the visor can make a difference to the hole spacing of a standard hole punch.

unless the STL file is for a particular standard of hole punch and the punch used is to a different standard.

Apart from that obvious difficulty, it looks like a good project. I note there is another STL file for a similar project in a thread today. I am going to print that one.

Tony Jeffree03/04/2020 09:25:53
avatar
393 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by Tony Jeffree on 03/04/2020 05:46:58:
Posted by Bandersnatch on 03/04/2020 01:36:47:

Nice going, Tony! have you considered doing two at a time (if printing area permits) by positioning them so that the leg of one is positioned in the loop of the other?

Should take a bit longer than printing one but not as long as printing two separately.

(it might be possible to do more than two).

Edited By Bandersnatch on 03/04/2020 01:38:34

That's a good thought. The bed is probably too small for three but two should be possible. I will see whether it makes a difference.

Unfrtunately the Creality slicer won't allow me to interleave two objects that way, so a no-go.

Tony Jeffree03/04/2020 09:30:20
avatar
393 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 03/04/2020 08:44:40:

I fail to understand how the material of the visor can make a difference to the hole spacing of a standard hole punch.

unless the STL file is for a particular standard of hole punch and the punch used is to a different standard.

Apart from that obvious difficulty, it looks like a good project. I note there is another STL file for a similar project in a thread today. I am going to print that one.

Apologies, I didn't explain. The lugs on the frame are spaced to work with an A4 sheet that has been punched with a 2-hole punch set to A6, pinched twice from either end of the long edge. So if, as is the case with a laminator pouch, the material is bigger than A4, the two middle holes end up slightly too far apart. This won't be a problem with the proper A4 acetates though. There is a version of the design that uses a standard UK 4-hole punch, but as a 2-hole punch is more ubiquitous, we decided to go with that version.

Micky T03/04/2020 09:49:41
avatar
59 forum posts
29 photos

i use cura slicer with my ender 3 and you can open a file twice (or mas many times as you like) on the same work area and then slice and save as g code for printing. You are able to move the objects around so that they fit within the printing area.

MickyT

Tony Jeffree03/04/2020 10:15:33
avatar
393 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by Micky T on 03/04/2020 09:49:41:

i use cura slicer with my ender 3 and you can open a file twice (or mas many times as you like) on the same work area and then slice and save as g code for printing. You are able to move the objects around so that they fit within the printing area.

MickyT

Thanks Micky - sounds like I need to grab a copy of Cura.

Tony

Neil Wyatt03/04/2020 10:56:45
avatar
Moderator
17970 forum posts
709 photos
77 articles

Cura is very good, also its default settings are well chosen .

Neil

Ron Colvin03/04/2020 12:14:46
68 forum posts
4 photos

I received my Ender 3 Pro in February. The assembly went well, and I stood back to admire my work, then experienced one of those slap the forehead and emit doh! moments.

Assembly error

At first I found that the prints would not adhere to the heated bed, then realised that the default temperature was set at 16 degrees C, increasing that to 60 cured the problem.

The other problem that I had was with the slicer, I wanted to use Cura, but being a 64bit program, I could not install it on my old 32bit desktop machine, nor was it possible to install it on my chromebook. The solution I found was to use AstroPrint, **LINK** which is a cloud based 3d printing operating system using Cura as the slicing software. It is free for non commercial users.

Ron

Neil Wyatt03/04/2020 12:44:51
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Moderator
17970 forum posts
709 photos
77 articles

Can anyone else see what is wrong in Ron's picture...

Neil

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