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Have You considered getting a 3D printer

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Q: Have you ever considered getting a 3D printer for your workshop?

Y - already have  
48%

 
 

Y - but cost  
2%

 
 

Y but quality  
2%

 
 

No - got no use  
10%

 
 

No - just toys  
1%

 
 

No - got no interest  
8%

 
 

Yes - but other tool  
5%

 
 

yes, this year  
3%

 
 

Yes - in future  
21%

 
 

(155 votes)


Howard Lewis14/12/2020 15:08:03
6031 forum posts
14 photos

If I buy one, out of curiosity, and get some sort of a hang of using it, it will most probably become one of those devices that one wonders "How did I manage for so long without it"?

But, presently cannot think of a need / use for one!

Printing shims to set tool heights, perhaps?

Howard

Edited By Howard Lewis on 14/12/2020 15:08:45

David Noble14/12/2020 16:49:24
avatar
313 forum posts
18 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 13/12/2020 18:28:49:
Posted by David Noble on 13/12/2020 17:25:19:

Just supposing, I was to show an interest in a printer, not that I do at the moment! which would you recommend?

David

The Creality Ender something (whatever number they are now up to) is probably the most popular at the cheap end of the market.

I would recommend the Sovol SVO1 - but only because that is the one I bought (after very careful consideration, mind).

My recommendation is already well out of date, as these things move on at a pace, and may not be suitable for what you would need.

Thank you NDIY

David

Ronald Morrison15/12/2020 12:14:44
83 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by Howard Lewis on 14/12/2020 15:08:03:

If I buy one, out of curiosity, and get some sort of a hang of using it, it will most probably become one of those devices that one wonders "How did I manage for so long without it"?

But, presently cannot think of a need / use for one!

Printing shims to set tool heights, perhaps?

Howard

Edited By Howard Lewis on 14/12/2020 15:08:45

Two thoughts on this question.

1. Do you have CAD experience so you can design a product you would like but can't buy? I use FreeCAD to design and Cura slicer to generate the gcode the 3D printer understands. Both of those programs are free if the budget is of consideration.

2. Have you ever wasted a few hours on Thingiverse to see what other people have designed and made the design freely available. There are practical items and whimsical items and educational items there.

I have designed and printed a few items to repair things around the house. Have you ever tried to search for the plastic end caps on an ironing board foot? I made one of those that had gone missing. I printed change gears for my mini lathe. I made new feet for my folding beach chair so they wouldn't sink into the sand. Whatever you can think of that will fit within the printing envelope can be 3D printed. Now think of the limitations of the material. Not everything that can be 3D printed should be. Got a design in mind but don't want to waste the time and metal only to find out that it won't work or isn't practical? Design and set it up on the printer, start the job and walk away. That printer works the same whether you are watching it or not (unless something goes wrong and the print can't complete but then it stops when it thinks the job is done).

jaCK Hobson15/12/2020 13:32:24
259 forum posts
92 photos
Posted by David Noble on 13/12/2020 17:25:19:

Just supposing, I was to show an interest in a printer, not that I do at the moment! which would you recommend?

David

For cheap, Creality.

Ender 3 is dirt cheap, will get you going, easy to tweak and upgrade but can give good results as std

Ender 3 v2 has useful upgrades - build plate, quiet motors, easy to update firmware, better power supply, better adjusters.

For least hassle, Prusa

Prusa use their printers to make their own dog food, or something. Everything is tweaked for reliability including great support for different slicer settings for different combinations of filament, nozzle etc

Prusa mini if you are OK with the print size limitation. Much cheaper than the std prusa. Just as reliable.

Steve Pavey07/01/2021 22:10:55
361 forum posts
41 photos

I’ve just got an Ender3 v2, which seems to be very good so far - certainly easy to put together and set up. I did manage to drive the nozzle into the bed at one point while levelling it, but fortunately it’s mounted on springs so I got away with it. The first print went much better than I dared to hope for - a bearing holder for the top of the z axis, and I even found a new bearing the correct size to fit it. The only real problem I’ve had so far is loading the filament - I found it a struggle to persuade it to go down the tube for some reason.

Bob Rodgerson07/01/2021 22:47:37
611 forum posts
174 photos

Creaity Ender 3 Pro is the one I bought as a Christmas present to myself. If you can draw using any of the 3Dv drawing programmes you can make it own this machine. It worked straight out of the box (After building it up) and has not disappointed me in the slightest. There are a million and one free drawings out there that can be turned into a 3-d solid.

Ronald Morrison08/01/2021 00:23:06
83 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by Steve Pavey on 07/01/2021 22:10:55:

I’ve just got an Ender3 v2, which seems to be very good so far - certainly easy to put together and set up. I did manage to drive the nozzle into the bed at one point while levelling it, but fortunately it’s mounted on springs so I got away with it. The first print went much better than I dared to hope for - a bearing holder for the top of the z axis, and I even found a new bearing the correct size to fit it. The only real problem I’ve had so far is loading the filament - I found it a struggle to persuade it to go down the tube for some reason.

I've found it easiest to just remove the nut holding the tube to the feed mechanism and get it started into the tube, the thread the nut back where it belongs. Once started you can just release the feed and push the filament down the tube.

Robin08/01/2021 11:05:03
avatar
539 forum posts

I have the ancient UP Plus 2, an all-steel affair that can be moved around whilst printing without upset.

Favourite prints are my litter picker, featuring a double-sided rack, and the catch which holds the kitchen door open.

Clive Farrar08/01/2021 11:22:44
avatar
119 forum posts
41 photos

I go in fits and starts with mine. I have got through 4kg of material so for so done a fair bit with it , Ender 3 V1.

have done all the common mods and it works very well for me. I have 3 pages of own design work on tinkercad and find it very useful for creating odd bits that you can not get hold of , and yes lots of stuff from Thingi@@@@ but you do have to choose carefully as there is some rubbish.

Little RC parts, new knob for crepe maker, special bobbin end for SHMBO ! , oil drums for model boat, bee hive gates, pop bottle bird feeder , wasp trap etc

So yes they can be useful, but mine did sit idle for 6 months until the current set of projects came along .

For the money its a good indoor hobby in these cold confined times.

Regards Clive

Henry Brown08/01/2021 13:29:39
avatar
548 forum posts
117 photos
Posted by Ronald Morrison on 08/01/2021 00:23:06:

I've found it easiest to just remove the nut holding the tube to the feed mechanism and get it started into the tube, the thread the nut back where it belongs. Once started you can just release the feed and push the filament down the tube.

Ronald, I'm a newbie to this as well, I find that it's best use the direction of curve of the filament and also cut the filament at a sharp angle helps no end. Mines an Ender 3 Pro.

Bob R, I did the same and I'm quietly getting my head around Fusion 360. My first prints were a set of holders for my Multifix tool holders, design on Thingiverse, since then I printed adjusters for the X and Y belts amongt other things. My attempts at a tool tip holder to go on the board with the Multifix worked out ok as well...

tip box.jpg

I did have a problem with loose screws on the preassembled X axis cross bar causing the setting of the bed to be a nightmare, this was compounded by loose adjusting screws under the heated bed. It took it all apart and put some slightly longer screws in the X axis cross bar as there was a bit of unused thread and Loctited the adjusting screws under the bed, I also change the rubbish springs for a set from ebay (from I_jest-you_not, andylaw1974@hotmail.co.uk) which has now made it much easier to set up and stabalised the bed.

Lots of frustrating fun, a steep learning curve indeed!

IanT08/01/2021 14:00:42
1989 forum posts
212 photos
Posted by David Noble on 14/12/2020 16:49:24:
Posted by not done it yet on 13/12/2020 18:28:49:
Posted by David Noble on 13/12/2020 17:25:19:

Just supposing, I was to show an interest in a printer, not that I do at the moment! which would you recommend?

David

The Creality Ender something (whatever number they are now up to) is probably the most popular at the cheap end of the market. I would recommend the Sovol SVO1 - but only because that is the one I bought (after very careful consideration, mind).

My recommendation is already well out of date, as these things move on at a pace, and may not be suitable for what you would need

I purchased a Sovol S01 too David, about a year ago now and I'm very happy with it. I did some research at the time and the Solvol came with a number of 'features' as standard - that were "add-on" (additional cost) accessories on other 3D printers.

From memory they were a better quality PSU, tempered glass bed plate, uprated bed springs & adjusters, a powered filament feed on the head (e.g. not Bowden feed), twin Z-axis leadscrews (and steppers) - all virtually pre-built (very little assembly required) and not much more in cost than more basic printers from other vendors.

As NDIY says, everything moves apace these days and there will be newer models around now but I would certainly recommend a Sovol S01 or anything with a similar spec (e.g. Creality CR6).

Regards,

IanT

Howard Lewis09/01/2021 14:36:56
6031 forum posts
14 photos

Knowing NOTHING of CAD, it sounds like there would be two learning curves, CAD and then the 3D printer (Once a decision had been made on which CAD package, and then the printer to buy )

I would need a TOTAL idiots guide to both.

Howard

Martin 10009/01/2021 18:42:06
274 forum posts
6 photos

Built a reprap Mendel sometime in 2010, finally replaced with a prusa i3 mk3 around two years ago.

SillyOldDuffer09/01/2021 19:34:56
Moderator
8512 forum posts
1914 photos
Posted by Howard Lewis on 09/01/2021 14:36:56:

Knowing NOTHING of CAD, it sounds like there would be two learning curves, CAD and then the 3D printer (Once a decision had been made on which CAD package, and then the printer to buy )

I would need a TOTAL idiots guide to both.

Howard

I was surprised how easy the printing part is. I have a Creality3 Pro, which automates most of the hard stuff. Most recent hobby printers remove a lot of fiddling.

Put it together, levelled the bed, loaded plastic filament, plugged in a memory card, selected the test file and that was pretty much it. Considerably easier to drive than a lathe or milling machine where you can't just follow the instructions.

3D CAD is the hard part and I suspect downright difficult for anyone who has spent a lifetime working with 2D drawings. Difficult to describe but as well as learning a complicated software package it's also necessary to approach design from a different perspective. Unlearning 2D is really difficult, but not impossible.

Dave

Nealeb10/01/2021 09:09:06
78 forum posts

Much the same as Martin 100 - built a Mendel something ages ago, complete with home-built extruder/hot end, now replaced by Prusa Mk3. Technology's moved on a bit - the Prusa knocks spots off the old machine in many ways.

I have a design for a sewing machine bobbin case that is a good brownie-point earner!

Oven Man10/01/2021 10:16:46
avatar
179 forum posts
31 photos

Father Christmas gave me a Sovol SV01. Putting it together was easy, but levelling the bed was a bit of a pain. It worked perfectly printing the standard XYZ cube that comes on the supplied memory card. I have printed various things from thingiverse. With regard to value for money it is excellent, I have no regrets about choosing that model. I have been playing around with Tinkercad and created some simple models and successfully printed them. I looked at Fusion 360 and was completely overwhelmed, I needed something much simpler to start my journey into 3D CAD. The biggest issue I currently have with 3D printing is getting the print to adhere to the build plate. There are loads of parameters that can be set in Cura with regard to printing the first layer so it's just a case a learning what everything does.

Peter

IanT10/01/2021 10:22:09
1989 forum posts
212 photos
Posted by Howard Lewis on 09/01/2021 14:36:56:

Knowing NOTHING of CAD, it sounds like there would be two learning curves, CAD and then the 3D printer (Once a decision had been made on which CAD package, and then the printer to buy )

I would need a TOTAL idiots guide to both.

Howard

I had the same concerns Howard - but a friend of mine suggested that I try Open SCAD "to get me going" and that's what I did. I am now working with Solid Edge 2020 but I still find SCAD to be a very good way to design simple (but useful) objects for 3D printing. I try to make them quite flexible by defining key dimensions as variables - such that they can be simply changed to print essentially the same shape for a different use.

At first glance, Open SCAD programmes look quite intimidating but they are really very simple combinations of basic shapes. There was some discussion about 3D printed "T-Slot blanks" not so long ago - and I published an Open SCAD programme to generate them. Here it is again.

It's very simple really (I'm not a programming Guru !) and can be altered to suit any T-slot size...

//
//
// T-Slot Filler - IanT
//
L = 75; // T-Slot Length
HR = 1.5; // Hole Radius
BW = 14; // Bottom (of Slot) Width
TW = 8; // Top (of Slot) Width
BH = 4; // Bottom (of Slot) Height
TH = 9; // Top (of Slot) Height
//
//
difference () {
union () {
cube ([L,BW,BH], center=false);
translate ([0,(BW/2-TW/2),0])
cube ([L,TW,TH]); }
translate ([L/2,BW/2,0])
cylinder (TH,HR,HR);
}

And the object it creates...

t_slot_filler.jpg

Open SCAD is a very easy transition into 3D Printing - and is much easier to learn in small (but useful) steps than a full blown 3D CAD system in my view. It's free to download and I was printing my first 3D designs the same evening - and if I can do that, so can you.

Regards,

IanT

IanT10/01/2021 10:37:01
1989 forum posts
212 photos

Here's another example - a support 'saddle' for a DC motor.

I've printed several versions of these - a good example of something that can be simply done with 3D print - that would probably be more time consuming using other methods...

//
// Sadddle for DC (Drill) Motor
// IanT
//
BL = 107 ; // Base Length
BW = 60 ; // Base Width
BD = 20 ; // Base Depth
ML = 107 ; // Motor Length
MR = 39 ; // Motor Radius
HD = 25 ; // Hole Depth
HR = 3.1 ; // Hole Radius (Clearance)
D1 = 20 ; // First Hole Distance
D2 = 70 ; // Second hole Distance
//
difference () {
translate ([0, -(BW/2), 0])
cube ([BL, BW, BD]) ;
translate ([0, 0, (MR + 6)])
rotate ([0, 90, 0])
cylinder ( ML, MR, MR) ;
translate ([D1, 0 ,0 ])
cylinder ( HD, HR, HR) ;
translate ([D2, 0, 0])
cylinder ( HD, HR, HR) ;
}

And the end result...

dcmotor_saddle.jpg

Regards,

IanT

Ron Colvin10/01/2021 13:12:08
81 forum posts
6 photos

I brought a Creality ender 3 pro last February to produce components for small scale railway modelling.

For this, I found the finish of the printed components too coarse for the intended purpose.

In the future I will be looking at resin 3D printers to fulfil my original requirements.

I have found the Creality useful for producing jigs and templates though.

Here are a couple of images of items for a 1/10th scale garden railway diorama that I used the printer to produce.

locomotive kit parts.jpg

diorama 2.jpg

Ian Johnson 128/01/2021 17:28:03
370 forum posts
102 photos

Finally bit the bullet and bought a Creality ender 3 V2 and two reels of PLA, which all arrived today, a day early which is nice!

Just got to assemble it, then think of something to make with it! No idea how to use the thing though, but I'll give it a go, after all it's just another toy to play with. laugh

IanJ

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