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Author Topic: So ... 3d Printers....  (Read 3728 times)

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Howard_Casto

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So ... 3d Printers....
« on: November 26, 2016, 12:54:56 pm »
It's that time of year again and all the low to mid end 3d printers are on sale.  I'm considering it this time, but I'm a little overwhelmed from all the choices. 

Thus far these two stick out on the low end:

http://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=107&cp_id=10724&cs_id=1072403&p_id=15365&seq=1&format=2&AID=11064683&PID=4485850&ref=cj&utm_source=cj&utm_medium=11064683&utm_term=Slickdeals+LLC-1122587

I believe this is the one a bunch of you got a while back.  It seems to be built to high quality and it isn't a kit, which is nice.  Then I found this one....

http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_343643.html?wid=8&siteid=136649&utm_source=webgains&utm_campaign=GearbestUSA

Now obviously it's a kit, it's constructed of a cheaper lexan base, and the fit and finish isn't as nice but....  it has a build volume of 220x220x240mm!  That's nearly a 10 inch cube!

So suggestions or comments sure would be appreciated.  I really like the larger build size of the cheaper model, but if it's a piece of junk all the extra volume is pointless.


BadMouth

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2016, 10:03:44 am »
I got the monoprice mini for $170.  The learning curve for it isn't nearly what I expected.
Make crap in tinkercad>export stl file>open in the copy of Cura included with the printer>export gcode to microsd card>pop in printer and select file.
I cranked out this fairly quickly: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,152133.0.html
I also made a bracket to hold my cell phone right under the radio in my truck.
So far, I only have a couple ideas in my head that I'd need a larger printer for, but decided I'd just join the local maker space and use their 3D printer after I get the designs done.
For me, this purchase was all about getting my feet wet and moving along the learning curve.  It has been great for that.

As far as the other one, I'd probably still be a bit intimidated by the user interface and needing to tweak it to get better results.
The guy in the video sounds like he had some issues before printing modifications for it.

So as a total noob I'd want the monoprice one, but if I were more experienced the bigger one would be better.

After I get experienced with design software more complicated with Tinkercad, I'll probably move up to a bigger machine.




Howard_Casto

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2016, 12:36:22 pm »
Well the tinkering I expect, but there are a few issues creeping up with the china unit.  Apparently the included software isn't supported by win 10.  I'm sure you can download something else, but that means software tinkering as well.  Also I'm unsure if it comes with sample filament, which isn't a huge deal, but then it isn't really cheaper.  I'll have to research more.  I'm waiting until Monday to see if there are any sales.

BadMouth

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2016, 12:48:46 pm »
Well the tinkering I expect, but there are a few issues creeping up with the china unit.  Apparently the included software isn't supported by win 10.  I'm sure you can download something else, but that means software tinkering as well.  Also I'm unsure if it comes with sample filament, which isn't a huge deal, but then it isn't really cheaper.  I'll have to research more.  I'm waiting until Monday to see if there are any sales.

The amount of filament the monoprice comes with isn't really enough to make anything.
For me, it did the bed level test print (per the instructions) and about 1/5th of the included cat figurine.
Rough estimate: only pennies worth of filament.

Howard_Casto

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2016, 01:19:30 pm »
Well I'm just wondering how much I'll waste before getting it calibrated properly.  Yeah it's probably not enough to matter, but when you'll throw a decent portion in the trash every little bit helps. 

They've also sold out at the LA warehouse, meaning shipping isn't free and it'll likely come over on the slow boat from China. 

Slippyblade

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2016, 04:16:48 pm »
When I get a 3D printer, I intend to build a grinder/extruder to recycle botched prints.

pbj

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2016, 04:28:07 pm »
Howard - No.  No new projects.

Finish up your other projects first.  My Everdrive purchase is on hiatus until you clean up that front end.

 :cheers:

Howard_Casto

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2016, 04:32:52 pm »
I was just reading up on that.  One guy made a pellet extruder that you just swap out instead of the normal filament extruder.  He's gotten decent results thus far but the thing about pellets is you typically have to buy them in massive quantities to get those big savings. 

I'm impressed with what you can print with now.  They have metal filament, wood-like filament and even felt filament. 

pbj:  This would probably give me more time to work on that junk.  The physical building of my racing cab has taken up the bulk of my time.  Being able to just print the fiddly bits would be a huge help.  Are you talking about the n64 one?  The third party FE isn't that bad once you get it configured.... it probably needs a bit more fit and finish though.

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2016, 04:36:38 pm »
Howard - No.  No new projects.

Finish up your other projects first.  My Everdrive purchase is on hiatus until you clean up that front end.

 :cheers:
Might want to step on that while they are still on sale.

Howard_Casto

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2016, 01:05:23 am »
Been researching this tonight.  Man my head is spinning.... so many options.  I found one that is an i3 clone (apparently the Chinese model and several others are just i3 clones) and uses a rigid steel construction.... it's a slightly smaller print area, but many of the bugs have been fixed.  Unfortunately the shipping is ridiculously high... I think the cheapest option was 70 bucks.  Maybe this is why many of the diy kits are acrylic based.   

Still torn between the two.  Something that is leaning me towards the monoprice one is the fact that it hasn't been known to catch fire.  Apparently many of the i3 clones use sub-standard connectors that can heat up and melt over time.  So right out of the box it has to be modded with molex connectors. 

pbj

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2016, 11:08:45 am »
Eh, I thought you were hacking the NES and Genesis Everdrives.  Nobody cares about N64.  Get that 3D printer.


Howard_Casto

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 04:27:49 pm »
Well if somebody can find me some source code I can.  The n64 cart has an open-source alternative.  The others don't afaik. 

SammyWI

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2016, 07:39:41 pm »
I have the Anet A8.  It definitely needs some upgrades and several plugs and wires are undersized which are a known fire hazard.  Expect to spend an extra $100 or so on upgrades.  That said, I really like it.  It's my second 3d printer and it has worked really well for me.  The print volume really sold it for me.  If you can live with a bit smaller print volume I'd go with one of the smaller Prusia I3 based units that doesn't need quite so many upgrades.

With RepRap based printers like the A8 or other Prusia I3 based units, you really don't need to worry about included software as there are many free and often open source options that work well.  Some of the closed source hardware designs may lock you into certain software.  The Anet controller board firmware is not open source but there is a group called Skynet3D that has an alternative firmware available that's I believe open source (free anyway).

Starter filament I wouldn't worry about since you will need far more to get things dialed in and then plenty more for printing.

They are available from more places than Gearbest but pretty much all of the sources I've heard of have non-existent customer service.  I got mine from https://www.3dprintersbay.com which lists a US address but ships from China. 
Ship time was a bit under 2 weeks but might be more now with the holidays.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2016, 07:50:17 pm by SammyWI »

Howard_Casto

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2016, 11:32:11 pm »
My next question was going to be where to buy.  Gearbest is out... as you said their customer service isn't great, they are out of units in the US, and shipping is no longer free. 

I've found a ton of i3 clones on ebay/amazon/ect.  Some have anet pcbs and some have melzi.  I've heard bad things about both so I'm not sure which one to get.  The melzi are slightly cheaper which makes me think they are worse.

The build size is what interests me.  It's large enough to print enclosures for projects without having to print in pieces. 

I want to try and get one that's already in the USA just so it'll get here before the holidays. 

SammyWI

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2016, 08:39:21 am »
I believe the Anet PCB is a rearranged Melzi. But I am seeing reports that people are getting newer Anet boards that have improved connectors which is good. I've seen some other variations between kits. Some have gotten acrylic sub frames on the heat bed which is not as good as the aluminum that I got.

Keep in mind that printing right up to the edge of the designed print volume can be difficult. I try to leave some margin. And large prints are both more difficult to print and can take a very long time.

Howard_Casto

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2016, 04:08:01 pm »
Well then I'm probably seeing an older model of the same printer then, and that's the reason for the discount. 

How could I tell about the printer sub-frame?  It's covered in most pics, but if I knew what to look for...

I'm aware I can't print to the bounds easily, but the monoprice ones are so much smaller I'm thinking they would struggle to print out... let's say a Gameboy shell or something similar. 

SammyWI

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2016, 07:03:50 pm »
I don't think you can really tell anything about what particular changes you might get from the resellers pages or photos.  I doubt the resellers themselves have much of a clue, they just get the boxes from China and ship them out.  These Chinese manufacturers tend to make small changes and upgrades as they go without updating descriptions, etc.  Can make assembly interesting! These printers seem to be selling like mad so I doubt you'll really find old stock anywhere.

Most all of the printer parts are available cheaply from Chinese suppliers. Sometimes quality is too cheap but for the most part I have had good luck.  I know an aluminum sub bed is available from other places or making one would not be very hard. It becomes slightly addicting to upgrade and mod your printer when you see parts on Amazon Prime for $10.

A gameboy shell should not be too difficult at all to print.  I looked up sizes and I saw less than 150mm as the biggest dimension.  I'd say you could print that on a 170mm bed or larger very easily.  Pushing things nearly to the edges should be possible but may be more challenging.

If you see versions that have an auto bed level upgrade, don't get it.  I bought that version and it did not actually do auto bed leveling, it just swapped the typical Z home limit switch (physical microswitch) for an inductive sensor that senses the aluminum build plate.  I ended up buying a new inductive sensor (better range and repeatability) and changing to the Skynet3D firmware to enable auto leveling. A very worthwhile upgrade IMO.

Materials: I would stay away from ABS.  I used it for several years and always had problems.  The main issue is that it shrinks when cooling which leads to it pealing of the bed when printing, warping and just a general pain. PLA is the easiest printing material and works for many parts, would probably be fine for gameboy shells.  For stronger and more heat resistant stuff I use PETG.  PETG is also more flexible in thin sections and comes in both opaque and translucent colors.  Both PLA and PETG (and ABS) print at temps low enough for the Anet hot end. Some materials require higher temps (nylon and polycarbonate for example) and really need the hotend changed to an all metal version.  The included hot end has a teflon liner which will melt and give off nasty gasses if heated too high.  How high is too high is debatable but I like to keep mine to 240 C and below.

I'm rambling, I know but I'm at home now with a real keyboard to type on.  And it's nice to talk about this on a real forum rather than a Facebook group where each thread seems to have three reasonable people and a hundred kids screaming: "yes it is, no it isn't, hey look something shiny!"

Howard_Casto

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2016, 11:29:54 pm »
Yeah I'm swaying back in the i3 direction due to the amount of parts and mods available.  Anything from dual heads to new frames.  I'm glad you said something about the auto-level because on the aforementioned facebook page everybody swears by the auto-level version.  It didn't make sense to me how a cheap sensor would help. 

I'm not interested in abs except for special projects due to the fumes alone.  I'm thinking it might be better to keep it in the house as it looks a bit delicate. 



I hear ya.  As per usual I ask in this forum and somebody who knows what they are talking about answers.  Funny how that works around here.  ;)

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2016, 08:14:40 am »
Keeping it inside is a very good idea. Climate controlled is best as any temperature changes can mess things up. Even a draft can mess up prints, keep away from open windows or HVAC vents. Humidity can affect the filliment too but PLA and PETG are not too sensitive to moisture. Dry filliment is happy filliment.

We are lucky to have the BYOAC forum. Many forums are dying with people shifting to Facebook groups, etc which is a huge loss IMO.

Howard_Casto

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2016, 12:46:49 pm »
Well I know I said gearbest is out, but it's back in.  They just had a new sale, 149 bucks shipped from LA.  I used paypal for payment and bought the shipping insurance for a couple bucks to protect myself. 

So:  [Smee]If anybody's not 3d printing... get here quick![/Smee]

http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_343643.html?wid=8&siteid=136649&utm_source=webgains&utm_campaign=GearbestUSA

Pay attention to the warehouse because when they run out it switches over to China and they charge you an additional 30 bucks (not to mention the 4-6 weeks for delivery)

So now that I've ordered one and I've saved so much money, are there any parts/mods/ect you guys recommend getting?  Urls on stuff would be helpful.

I've gotta buy some filament as well.  I stumbled across a ebay store that was selling red and blue pla 1kg spools for a mere 10 bucks a spool.  I'm unsure why those filaments are so cheap while other colors can be upwards of 30 bucks.  I've gotta get black though as I'll be printing some stuff for my car.  Transparent is interesting as well.


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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2016, 12:59:46 pm »
I'll respond in some detail when I get home tonight and can use a real keyboard. But I would stay away from the cheap mystery fillimaent. It will only cause you grief. Hatchbox and Esun brand PLA have both been good for me and are on Amazon Prime. Makergeeks are not on Amazon but are one of my favorites and they do grab bag style deals for discounts but they pick the colors.

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2016, 08:35:57 pm »
I'm using Amazon for most links since that's where I buy most but Ebay and Aliexpress (cheap but slow) are both fine sources.

My feeling is that most of the overheating issues people have are a combination of marginally sized connectors / wires and poor assembly.  I have to bet that Howard will have no issues with electrical assembly  ;) after that check things carefully during the first few prints for any overheating.  Also, I don't like running the bed too hot with the stock setup.  50 - 60 C is plenty for PLA and PETG.  ABS needs more like 100+ C which is pushing things for this unit and another reason to avoid ABS.  Make sure the wires to the hotend are secured with a strain relief to the corner of the X carriage. Otherwise things can loosen up and fall out of the hotend causing a thermal runaway. This comes up weekly on the Facebook groups at least.  Make sure the wires to both the hotend and hot bed are able to reach freely to all movement positions and don't get pinched or pulled too tight.  Zipties are your friend.

My must do upgrades:
Power supply.  The supplied unit is 20A with no fan.  It's undersized and poor quality.  Easiest to up it to a 30A with fan like these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MAC9MO6/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_5_w
Also possible to use a computer power supply.  And some people run two power supplies, one for the hot bed and one for the rest.

Hotbed SS relay.  I use this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HEQVQAK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
This lets you bypass the PCB for the hotbed power, the PCB hotbed output is then used as a signal to the relay.  Really cuts down on the undersizing / overheating issues.

Hotbed electrical connection.  The plug / wires are a little undersized and it gets warmer than I'd like but has not failed or discolored on me so far.  Most straight forward fix is to up the power wire size and solder them directly to the board.  Easiest to do during assembly but since I didn't do it then and I hate to disassemble a working unit, I'm still working in this.

Hot bed springs.  The hot bed springs can scratch through the 'paint' insulation on the bed and short the bed.  Easy fix just add some kind of insulating washer.  I just cut up some plastic I had laying around.

Really recommended:
Hot bed surface.  Getting the plastic to stick well for the whole print time but still pull off when done is the eternal problem for 3D printers.  The right print surface is a big part of this.

The masking tape that comes on the bed will work for PLA but is kinda crap.  PLA will print pretty well with blue painters tape and an unheated bed. 3M tape seems to be one of the best.  Needs to be replaced every 10 prints or so (depends on how hard you are on it). Clean off any fingerprint residue, dust, etc with some rubbing alcohol before each print (true for most any surface). May help to roughen up the surface a bit.

My best recommendation here is to use PEI (Ultem). It's a type of plastic that has just the right amount of stick and release on a heated bed, at least for PLA and PETG. Leaves a very smooth surface on the bottom. No glue or other stuff to mess with. Most common PEI is a plastic sheet about 1/32" thick that you have to add adhesive to, often sold as a kit for 3d printers.   I prefer precut PEI tape I get from here: http://catalog.cshyde.com/item/3d-printing-materials/ultem-pei/36-3a-3d-866x866. Lasts for a lot of prints as long as you don't tear it up getting prints up. I have yet to replace my first piece. I've used a lot of different surfaces and PEI bets them all, works great and easy to use. Just wipe with alcohol before each print.

Decent tool to remove prints.  Lots of options but I like this one: https://www.amazon.com/ToyBuilder-Labs-Print-Removal-Tool/dp/B00VB1U886/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1480556021&sr=8-2&keywords=3d+print+removal+tool. It's cheap, thin and flexible enough to get under the part but not sharp so won't hurt the surface.

OK I better stop now.

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2016, 09:20:08 pm »
I'm using Amazon for most links since that's where I buy most but Ebay and Aliexpress (cheap but slow) are both fine sources.

My feeling is that most of the overheating issues people have are a combination of marginally sized connectors / wires and poor assembly.  I have to bet that Howard will have no issues with electrical assembly  ;) after that check things carefully during the first few prints for any overheating.  Also, I don't like running the bed too hot with the stock setup.  50 - 60 C is plenty for PLA and PETG.  ABS needs more like 100+ C which is pushing things for this unit and another reason to avoid ABS.  Make sure the wires to the hotend are secured with a strain relief to the corner of the X carriage. Otherwise things can loosen up and fall out of the hotend causing a thermal runaway. This comes up weekly on the Facebook groups at least.  Make sure the wires to both the hotend and hot bed are able to reach freely to all movement positions and don't get pinched or pulled too tight.  Zipties are your friend.

My must do upgrades:
Power supply.  The supplied unit is 20A with no fan.  It's undersized and poor quality.  Easiest to up it to a 30A with fan like these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MAC9MO6/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_5_w
Also possible to use a computer power supply.  And some people run two power supplies, one for the hot bed and one for the rest.

Hotbed SS relay.  I use this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HEQVQAK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
This lets you bypass the PCB for the hotbed power, the PCB hotbed output is then used as a signal to the relay.  Really cuts down on the undersizing / overheating issues.

Hotbed electrical connection.  The plug / wires are a little undersized and it gets warmer than I'd like but has not failed or discolored on me so far.  Most straight forward fix is to up the power wire size and solder them directly to the board.  Easiest to do during assembly but since I didn't do it then and I hate to disassemble a working unit, I'm still working in this.

Hot bed springs.  The hot bed springs can scratch through the 'paint' insulation on the bed and short the bed.  Easy fix just add some kind of insulating washer.  I just cut up some plastic I had laying around.

Really recommended:
Hot bed surface.  Getting the plastic to stick well for the whole print time but still pull off when done is the eternal problem for 3D printers.  The right print surface is a big part of this.

The masking tape that comes on the bed will work for PLA but is kinda crap.  PLA will print pretty well with blue painters tape and an unheated bed. 3M tape seems to be one of the best.  Needs to be replaced every 10 prints or so (depends on how hard you are on it). Clean off any fingerprint residue, dust, etc with some rubbing alcohol before each print (true for most any surface). May help to roughen up the surface a bit.

My best recommendation here is to use PEI (Ultem). It's a type of plastic that has just the right amount of stick and release on a heated bed, at least for PLA and PETG. Leaves a very smooth surface on the bottom. No glue or other stuff to mess with. Most common PEI is a plastic sheet about 1/32" thick that you have to add adhesive to, often sold as a kit for 3d printers.   I prefer precut PEI tape I get from here: http://catalog.cshyde.com/item/3d-printing-materials/ultem-pei/36-3a-3d-866x866. Lasts for a lot of prints as long as you don't tear it up getting prints up. I have yet to replace my first piece. I've used a lot of different surfaces and PEI bets them all, works great and easy to use. Just wipe with alcohol before each print.

Decent tool to remove prints.  Lots of options but I like this one: https://www.amazon.com/ToyBuilder-Labs-Print-Removal-Tool/dp/B00VB1U886/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1480556021&sr=8-2&keywords=3d+print+removal+tool. It's cheap, thin and flexible enough to get under the part but not sharp so won't hurt the surface.

OK I better stop now.
Wow, I have no interest in getting one of these, but I enjoyed this breakdown, Sammy!!!
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Howard_Casto

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2016, 10:34:47 pm »
Thanks Sammy that's extremely helpful. 

I think I've got an old atx power supply from a gateway of all things.  I'll have to check the wattage but it's small enough to fit on the chassis.  I have some nylon washers from another project that will fix the spring issue. 

In regards to the bed, I saw where one guy used glass that was roughed up with a dremel.  Do you think that would work?  I was thinking of maybe a mirror as I could monitor the underside of a print as it's printing. 

I'll go ahead and order the other stuff. 

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2016, 08:10:27 am »
Glass is a good choice for a print bed. Best is borosilicate glass that can handle the heat and stress well. Some people report using plain glass or mirrors without problems, others say those can shatter without warning.  Some people like to roughen up the surface but most print with some kind of glue on the glass. Hairspray is one choice but I had great results using PVA glue which is just the basis of Elmer's white glue. Elmer's purple glue stick worked great for pla and nylon on my old printer.  The downside of glue is  bit of mess and needing to clean it off prints and every 5 prints or so I had to clean the build up off the glass and start fresh. But PVA is water soluble and easy to clean.

Glass can be attached to the bed with binder clips so you can remove which is very useful. But the nozzle can run into the clips if you're not careful. You can also stick the glass down more permanently. Heatsink tape works well from what I hear and helps the glass get up to temperature faster. Speaking of that, you will probably have to take a bit more time heating the bed and remember the bed temperature sensor is on the bottom so the glass temp will lag behind the indicated temp.

The big issue that made me switch away from glass is that an inductive sensor needs metal to work. The glass adds more distance to the Aluminium heat bed and it's hard to get a sensor to work for that extra distance. I know I said don't get the auto level version but that is only because Anets version sucks. A DIY upgrade is very worthwhile and is one of my favorite things about my new printer.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 08:14:28 am by SammyWI »

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2016, 11:14:30 am »
Awesome thread.  I've been on the fence about getting a 3D Printer and I think I may finally pull the trigger this season.  Merry Christmas to me!  I'm looking at custom brackets, project enclosures, etc. 

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2016, 11:39:34 am »
I've used mine more than I thought I would.

It's strange.  Several times now I've needed a small part that I would usually have cut out of wood or bent up metal to make.
Rather than getting out the jigsaw to cut it (poorly), drill and bits to drill it, It's easier to just make the thing in tinkercad and print it out.

This weekend I'm going to be stuck at a Christmas party when I'd rather be at home watching football.
I made a tiny stand to hold my phone up at a good viewing angle.  It only took 10 minutes to design and 6 minutes to print.
I printed out extra for the office, car, coat pockets.

What I've found to be the most useful tool is a digital caliper.
Adjust to size of part needed>look at number on display>drag object in tinkercad to that size

I've also started printing thin partial parts to test fit, as part of the design process.


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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2016, 01:24:48 pm »
Well I'm having to come to terms with the fact that in my left eye at least, my eyesight isn't what it used to be.  I used to be really good at fabricating fiddly bits for projects but now I'm constantly screwing stuff up.  Depth perception plays more of a role in making things than you would expect.  Hopefully when I get glasses this spring it will help, but in the meantime I think I would actually save time and money by designing stuff in the computer and then printing it out.  I guess all those years learning 3dsmax and autocad for 3darcade wasn't wasted. ;)

I'm also very excited about the auto gear and sprocket plugin for google sketchup.  Being able to design and print out a working gear box seems very useful. 

A digital caliper is on my short list of things to buy.  I wanted to see if harbor freight had any deals. 

I will get an auto-level kit down the road, but I want to learn how to use the thing first.  I figure manual calibration knowledge will help me troubleshoot any problems with the auto-level system.  Believe it or not I probably have pyrex or possibly some safety glass around here somewhere.  Sometimes I feel like WV is just some elaborate Truman Show, only mixed with Sanford & Son.... and Cops. 

Oh btw... companion projects: 

One of the first things I want to build is a 3d scanner.  Sure enough there are thingiverse plans for a small scanner.  I want to up-scale it so it can handle larger objects though.  I also spent all night watching some guy rube-goldberg together a filament extrusion machine over the course of several months only to wake up this morning and see another guy had designed one that I would have made... vertical with the  hot end gravity fed, which solves 90% of the consistency problems because...well...gravity is a constant. 

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2016, 07:58:28 pm »
If I haven't mentioned it yet check out www.thingiverse.com for models shared to print.

Nothing wrong with using a simple switch for the Z home. I would recommend modding it like this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1479176
This lets you level the bed seperatly from adjusting Z home position and gives you a fairly precise adjustment. Also make sure that you lock the bed into position after leveling the corners. I think this area tends to move during printing and the wing nuts supplied may not have very good threads.  Kits come with extra M3 nuts so I'd use extras as jam nuts.

A better fan duct is a good early mod.  Plenty to choose from, I used this one: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1823404

You'll see a lot of printed frame braces to support the points where the y axis (hotbed) belt attaches. I don't know if the frames tends to bend there or not but it seemed like a reasonable thing to reinforce at assembly.  IMO the printed braces are a lot of material to solve a simple issue.  I liked this idea: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1517525.  But I just ran the extra threaded rod as close to the belt attachment as I could without printing a special belt attachment part.  Just had to drill some holes through the front and center frame pieces, the back frame piece already has an oversized hole to use that can be covered with some fender washers. Again, best to do at initial assembly.  You do risk cracking the acrylic parts drilling the holes but I had no problems going slow with light pressure and scrap wood backing.

3D scanner is on my list of projects.

Funny you should mention gears.  I am a mechanical engineer and I design gears as part of my job. Surprised to hear that SketchUp has a plug in for gears. Last time I tried to look at Sketchup for a friends project it drove me nuts with how imprecise it was.  Maybe it's changed. I do have some gear models shared at Thingiverse under the username Drawcut.

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2016, 11:10:49 pm »
For frame stability is was just going to mount the whole thing on some laminated wood.  I think I have part of a countertop lying around somewhere. 

I think I've got everything ordered.  I still need to order a spatula to remove prints and unfortunately spatula city is no longer in business.  ;)  I was looking into pcb milling and some people have add success using the i3 to mill with a large dc motor and spindle.  I've probably got that crap lying around.  I'm also looking into 3d scanning... it hasn't progressed much since the last time I looked.  A laser pointer/camera combo still seems to be the way to go. 

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2016, 12:49:30 am »
I ended up putting mine downstairs in our spare bedroom closet. I am not sure if your is going to be as loud as mine. The Printrbot Simple Metal gears have a really high pitch to them, gets super annoying after awhile.



The Printrbot has a built in auto level but I had too many issues with it. I just took out the auto level gcode command and threw in some nuts and screws and just manually adjust it. Ive never had leveling issues since.

As mentioned earlier in the thread Hatchbox PLA is my go to filament. Can get it shipped in a couple days through Amazon Prime and consistency has been good.

I was going to get a glass build plate but once I upgraded to a heated build plate I stopped having warping or peeling issues. Now I just slap on some painters tape and I am good to go. (Image shows kapton tape instead, this is when I first upgraded the build plate size, pre auto level fix)

Scanning is also my next thing but the ones I really want are like 5K and up.

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2016, 11:11:55 am »
I have mine mounted to some 3/4" plywood I had laying around. I cut pieces of rubber gasket material to put between the printer and the wood then got some stick on rubber feet for under the plywood. Works well and probably helps dampen noise and vibration.  I used this stuff but got it at a local hardware store: https://www.amazon.com/Danco-59859-Rubber-Packing-Sheets/dp/B000PS9Z8A/ref=sr_1_10?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1480866712&sr=1-10&keywords=rubber+sheet

The Anet A8 has been quieter than my Printrbot original. I have it in the basement in an unfinished workbench area.  But it is directly below our bedroom. My wife says she can't hear it at all in the bedroom.  I can just barely hear a few bits if it's quiet and I concentrate but it doesn't bother me for sleeping.

I just got the  heated bed plug worked out.  It is a 6 pin plug with only 4 used.  The two outside plugs are bed power, the two innermost pins are for the thermistor. But the two unused pins are soldered in to the heatbed just unused on the wire side of the plug. (Somebody on a FB group saw this.) So I added two connectors and wires back to the Mofset and I now have 4 wires for heating the bed and the plug sides and wires have gone from warm to the touch to room temperature. Soldering the wires directly is still probably a better way to go but I really didn't want to take the bed off since it has been printing so well.  The bed plug is a JST VH series (or a copy of one). I got parts from Digikey (https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/jst-sales-america-inc/SVH-41T-P1.1/455-1319-1-ND/608888).

Another project I've been considering is a laser cutter / engraver. I won't be able to get the power to cut very heavy material but I wonder how much I could cut with slow speeds and multiple passes.  My old Printrbot may be donating parts.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2016, 11:15:36 am by SammyWI »

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2016, 11:16:39 pm »
So for anyone interested I assembled my anet the other day.  It took two afternoons, but some of that had to do with the fact that I stupidly used the instructional videos on the site I ordered it from instead of the ones on the included sd card.  These bad boys are getting revised faster than the vendors can keep up with.  It wasn't particularly hard, but if you want to save yourself a big headache, go ahead and take all the nuts and tape them in place on the slots in the acrylic panels to hold them in place.  I'd say 50% of my time was used up trying to get the little sobs in place.  Cable management is also an issue.  The included wraps work, but they are kind of ugly and some of the cables are waaaay too long, so you have to fold them up and manage them somehow.  I'm thinking of re-routing mine around the board so that it looks better.... perhaps I'll run them behind the board to take up some of that slack.

Overall I'm extremely impressed with the build quality for something so inexpensive.  There are a couple of head scratching design flaws, but they can be fixed easily by just printing out parts.  I would show an example print, but like an idiot I somehow managed to order 3mm filament instead of 1.75mm.  So to be continued I guess. 

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #34 on: December 26, 2016, 11:59:17 pm »
Good to hear you got it running. So beside all the little knick-knacks you'll print is there any major projects lined up to print?

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #35 on: December 27, 2016, 01:27:16 pm »
Nothing major.  Third generation Camaros don't have much in the way of cup-holder options, so I'm going to design one for my car.  Hopefully if it turns out well enough I can distribute it to keep people from cutting holes in their center consoles.  There are some extra holes on the extruder carriage, so I'm going to try and design some quick-release accessories like a plotter pen and maybe a pcb mill. 

I've got a couple of arcade related ideas, but really important. 

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2016, 12:22:44 am »
Decided to take the plunge -- for $154 shipped from California, had to give this one a try - the bedsize is a bit smaller than the Anet A8 (200mmx200mmx180mm) but a good bit larger than the monoprice mini. Was going to wait for the A8 to get replenished in LA but came across this one for about the same price so decided to order rather than wait before I spent the $ on something else  :laugh2:

Now to find a good place to order some filament from (it comes with a small roll (250g) for setup but I'm sure that wont last long !) -- Note to self be sure to get 1.75mm not 3.0mm  ;D

« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 12:28:12 am by JDFan »

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2016, 09:43:36 am »
Looks like a hell of a deal to me.  I ended up spending another $10 on a spool holder like that to go with my monoprice mini.

I also picked up a little needle nose pliers & sidecutter set at Walmart for 3 or 4 bucks.  Also had a flexible scraper.  I already had this stuff, but it's nice to have a set that stays with the machine.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 09:48:41 am by BadMouth »

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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #38 on: December 30, 2016, 10:59:16 am »
OK - couple questions for those with a printer already -- How long does a roll of filament tend to last ? And has anyone used the monoprice filament - Is it good quality ?

Asking because Monoprice has a pretty good deal on the filament right now ($19.99 per 1Kg roll of most PLA ) and till the 31st they have a 15% off code (maker15) that makes it $16.99 a roll but the thing is if you purchase 1 or 2 rolls the shipping is about $12 but if you get 3 rolls it makes the free shipping cut off and shipping is free which means the 3rd roll only costs a couple bucks and seems like it is what I should order but will 3 1Kg rolls be too much ? :dunno

Total cost breakdown :

Quote
3 rolls @19.99 + Free shipping = $59.97 - $9 code Maker15 = $50.97 or $16.99 per roll
2 rolls @19.99 + $12.44 shipping = $52.42 - $6 code Maker15 = $46.42 or $23.21 per roll
1 roll @19.99 + $11.39 shipping = $31.38 - $3 code Maker15 = $28.38 per roll




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Re: So ... 3d Printers....
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2016, 11:17:42 am »
How long a roll will last is pretty hard to answer because everybody is printing different things / shapes / sizes, etc.  I found a couple of places that try to answer that question:
http://www.soliforum.com/topic/1409/how-long-will-a-spool-last-how-much-can-i-print/
https://www.makerbot.com/media-center/2012/02/24/a-matter-of-scales-how-much-can-you-print-with-a-single-1kg-spool

IMO, buy the three spools. If you enjoy 3d printing at all, you will end up buying a lot more than that in the long run.  Plus it's always nice to have a variety of colors to use. I have not used the Monoprice filament but it is a brand that I have heard others using and those prices are good at the 2 roll option and very good at 3 rolls. For one roll $28 is fairly expensive for basic PLA.

Now I do need to go dig up that thread on printing a Star Wars control yoke. That's been something I have wanted to do for a while but have never gotten around to.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 11:21:24 am by SammyWI »

  
 

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