Cheap 3d printer kits – Experiences?

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  • Cheap 3d printer kits – Experiences?
  • Hi Northwind – I may well take you up on your offer of some parts but will wait until I finish / get stuck before asking, just so I have the complete list. πŸ™‚

    2 reasons for the acrylic breakages.

    The first is I chose to start building on a table too small to hold the printer. If I move anything then it knocks something else off the surface. That’s how the first piece and the z axis screw broke. I am going to try and move it to a bigger work area.

    The second was the wheel which was because I had tightened the bracket up and lined up the wheels correctly before discovering the metal frame bits were the wrong way around. I slide it off easily and rebuilt with the metal frame the right way round and slide the bracket back on. Unfortunately it was in a slightly different position and the right had vertical wasn’t quite straight so as it slide down the acrylic was pushed apart a bit and the wheel snapped off.

    The good news is that the super glue bonds appear to be sound so hopefully nothing lost.

    A few questions you or others may be able to help with:

    1)Can you re-print these parts or get them printed/laser cut in alloy and do the designs exist?

    2)Is getting them redone in metal a bad idea, other than cost?

    3)None of the wheels, pulleys, z screw etc are lubricated so far. Is this right and why not?

    tjagain
    Member

    NOt managed to hurt yourself yet? Unusual for a WCA thread πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    rjmccann101 – Member

    I’m thinking about investing in one of these. Anyone know anything about them? I looked at that too. Neat, but this is their second printer and I read some reviews of their first which put me off. Worth having a dig around.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    I can’t see any reason not to get them done in metal but it seems overkill- once you’re up and printing, parts are so simple to knock out if someone else has done a file for it (or design your own but I can’t be arsed, for parts). Or in a pinch you can just hand cut and drill stuff out of whatever sheet material you like, though that seems to offend printer tinkerers.

    The top Z axis mount is a classic for breaking though, it’s just not strong enough in use, you want to put a spare corner support under it if you can, and then print a stronger one as soon as poss.

    Basically there’s nothing in the printer that relies on flex, it’s only there for cheapness, and there’s so much vibration and backlash in it at speed that beefing up anything is a good idea i think.

    Lubrication and threadlock; I didn’t bother in the first build except on the Z axis lead screw, which needs a light oil or it’ll bind a bit. But I’ve added blue threadlock to pretty much everything as I go now and lubed obvious moving parts. But not surfaces, just pivots and rollers and such. Just for longevity rather than need, most of the rollers etc would be fine for years just rolling dry I think

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    I’ve just bought the Creality CR-10 from Gearbest so we’ll see how we get on!
    Slightly excited and slightly nervous of all the extra time spent at a computer!

    stumpy01
    Member

    AlexSimon – Member

    I’ve just bought the Creality CR-10 from Gearbest so we’ll see how we get on!
    Slightly excited and slightly nervous of all the extra time spent at a computer!

    Thumbs up!!

    I have been trying to wear my Wife down, regarding the 3-D printer purchase. Every time she says ‘we could do with x, y, z’ or ‘that thingummy has broken’ – my default response is ‘if we had a 3-D printer, I could just whip up a new one/modify that/make that fit better’.

    I suspect this tactic will end up with me living on a bench somewhere (I am not sure she could be arsed with a new patio), but it’s good fun…

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    Exactly the same here stumpy01. I also keep playing the ‘increases chance in job market for our sons’ card.
    I haven’t told her that the first thing I’ll be printing will be a cnc router yet πŸ™‚

    Not too much done today because of work but managed to get stuff taken apart and put back together the right way round.

    I must learn up/down, front/back, left/right and notice that when parts aren’t symmetrical there is probably a reason. On the bright side I am getting a good feel for how the printer goes together and how to move stuff.

    I will YouTube more progress when I get time but here is the last photo of the day that sent me downstairs for a wine.

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/WRw7pP]20170724_192410[/url] by WCA!, on Flickr

    Yes, I have mounted the motor with the electric plug connector facing the floor. D’oh (again!)

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    I’ve always considered an electric screwdriver to be basically a dabbler’s tool but now I have one, and a selection of allen key bits, sat permanently beside the printer, for exactly bullshit like that.

    We are up and running!!!!

    My first print was a 20x20x20 calibration cube that came out as 19.97×20.07×19.37 which I considered success. The Z was a little short because the filament feed was slipping I think.

    I adjusted that by moving the pulley wheel a bit and this is my second print

    A Z axis easy adjuster bracket. It works!
    [url=https://flic.kr/p/VWD3LJ]20170729_124049[/url] by WCA!, on Flickr

    What could possibly go wrong now?

    Well….

    The thing you are printing could start perfectly and then come unstuck from the bed
    [url=https://flic.kr/p/W1NFPi]20170730_073759[/url] by WCA!, on Flickr

    or you could leave the filament size at the default 3mm instead of the correct 1.75 mm and wait an hour to find this totality un-airtight fan shroud waiting for you
    https://www.flickr.c[url=https://flic.kr/p/XeTXmg]20170730_073735[/url] by WCA!, on Flickr

    Also, I think this suggests my bed isn’t totally level. Left side nearest you is definately higher that the far right. Funnily enough those are bed level thumb screws I am printing πŸ™‚

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/WZ6SHm]20170730_074039[/url] by WCA!, on Flickr

    stumpy01
    Member

    Nice. Good start…

    Impressed with the X/y dims on the cube…. Just need to sort the z.

    πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    Well done for getting this far!
    I’ve joined a facebook group for the Creality CR-10 and there is a mix of problems and success stories. I’m hoping that problems are more likely to get posted πŸ™‚

    Lots of people talk about the bed sagging in the centre, so the 4 corners can be perfectly level, but they still suffer adhesion problems. Could that be happening to you?

    I think the bed just wasn’t quite level. Seems better after a bit of fiddling.

    Now 2.5 hours into printing a small model boat. I know they said it would be slow…

    91191 lines
    32446.72mm of filament used in this print
    The print goes:
    – from 13.07 mm to 186.92 mm in X and is 173.85 mm wide
    – from 38.25 mm to 161.75 mm in Y and is 123.51 mm deep
    – from 0.00 mm to 35.60 mm in Z and is 35.60 mm high
    Estimated duration: 118 layers, 3:02:42
    Print started at: 13:02:44

    stumpy01
    Member

    WorldClassAccident – Member

    Print started at: 13:02:44

    Is it still going? Did it work? Any pics?

    The big print for the paddle boat hull was fine, as were the two pegs that pushed into that piece.
    [url=https://flic.kr/p/W4vi6t]20170731_152836[/url] by WCA!, on Flickr

    I then started on the paddle and left it printing.

    I returned a while later and it had stopped printing without completing the paddle but with the hotend positioned nicely to the side of the bed but covered in a smooth molten plastic shell.

    This shows some of the plastic I haven’t managed to chip/scrape off. It also shows the thermistor that is now plastic-welded into position and not working. πŸ™
    [url=https://flic.kr/p/Xhzqa6]20170731_151943[/url] by WCA!, on Flickr

    Replacement thermistors are easy to find but any ideas on where to get a new hotend that will fit?
    [url=https://flic.kr/p/W4v8QK]20170731_151959[/url] by WCA!, on Flickr

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    Shame – that hull print looks pretty good!

    Best way to clean this up?

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/W4ycmr]20170731_160417[/url] by WCA!, on Flickr

    Can’t heat it on the printer as the thermistor is knackered.

    Blowtorch perhaps?

    stumpy01
    Member

    What plastic is it? ABS or PLA?

    You could probably dip it in acetone and leave for a while…

    PLA so acetone won’t work but enough heat should unless you can suggest better

    Milkie
    Member

    Nice to see you are up and running, despite having some problems. Welcome to the world of waiting hours to find it’s failed! πŸ˜‰

    Stick it in the oven? Set to about 140°C, it should peel off. I had to do a similar thing to remove my nozzle. 😯

    This link may help you to work out what is wrong, or how to improve your prints. Print Quality Troubleshooting

    The 3D Benchy test print is pretty good, it really gives you an idea of what you can and cannot print and then you can fine tune your settings. In the near future you may find you have different settings, one that’s really good at overhangs/gaps and another setting that’s really good at all the other stuff.

    What are you using on your bed? I have really good success with blue painters tape and that is without a hot bed.

    A very thin diamond file in a dremel cleaned out the hole for the thermistor with no fire required.

    I have a piece of glass from a cheap clip frame clipped to the standard bed and then strips of cheap paper masking tape over than. Clip frame was Β£2 and the masking tape was 50p. Seem to work fine.

    Still playing around to see what I can do.

    I will probably try to do the boat paddle in ABS as I have a test roll. That will also test the heated bed (I think).

    spursn17
    Member

    I’m thinking about getting one of these printers, what software (free) is best for designing things?

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    I’ve downloaded Autodesk Fusion360 (free for hobbiests and students apparently).
    Lovely program. Doesn’t seem any harder to learn than Sketchup to be honest.
    Sketchup is the other obvious answer.

    Lots of the things on Thiniverse come with Fusion files and you can click ‘play’ on the timeline to see how they were made. Very cool.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    I use FreeCAD for designing and Cura for slicing as I use an ultimaker and it does 90% of the thinking for me.

    Tempted to try Fusion360 as FreeCad is giving me a headache this morning trying to ‘stamp’ the company logo onto a box grrrrrr.

    spursn17
    Member

    Cheers Alex/thisisnotaspoon

    Looks like Freecad then as my OS is Linux, and Fusion/Sketchup are for Windows or Mac!

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    Fusion 360 for the browser was on trial for a while and is now in ‘preview’ whatever that means (alpha/beta?).
    You have to apply to be able to use it.

    TheBrick
    Member

    Also look at solvespace. On Windows and Linux. Not as many bells and whistles as freecad but stability is better.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    There’s also https://www.tinkercad.com/ from Autodesk which is browser-based, but I’ve never tried it.

    spursn17
    Member

    Tempted to try Fusion360 as FreeCad is giving me a headache this morning trying to ‘stamp’ the company logo onto a box grrrrrr.

    Thisisnotaspoon, there’s a setting in Freecad (edit/preferences, document tab) that you can uncheck ‘Add the program logo to the generated thumbnail’, have you tried that?

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    Well my Creality CR-10 turned up yesterday.
    Easy build as expected (about 30mins taking it very slow).
    Started to print the included test file. Looked absolutely perfect straight onto the glass until the nozzle temp suddenly dropped and it stopped extruding πŸ™

    Replacement heater cartridge ordered (Β£2.99) and we’ll try again. Not sure I trust my soldering.

    stumpy01
    Member

    Blimey, it looks big!

    Shame it’s failed though!

    I’m trying to forget all about 3-D printers at the mo, having realised I don’t have the spare cash to spank on a ‘toy’ and I don’t really have the time to div around with it, even if I did get one. Hmph.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    It’s not quite as big as it looks in that pic. It’s an awkward thing to store though. Haven’t really worked out where it’s going to live!

    timnoyce
    Member

    I’ve just got a MarkForged Mark Two. Prints carbon infused stuff. AWESOME.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    timnoyce – Member

    I’ve just got a MarkForged Mark Two. Prints carbon infused stuff. AWESOME. Get out of here with yer warrantied, supported, well built product πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    Just caught up with this thread, interesting read. Mildly relieved that WCA hasn’t glue-gunned himself to the desk. (-:

    I was idly wondering, what’s the running cost of these things? I’ve a few friends who “cosplay” (fancy dress at cons rather than some kinky fetish) and I thought maybe a 3D printer could be handy for printing accessories like weapons and the like. Probably a non-starter if it’s going to cost the GDP of a small African country to print anything larger than a Polo mint.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    Cougar – Moderator

    I was idly wondering, what’s the running cost of these things? I’ve a few friends who “cosplay” (fancy dress at cons rather than some kinky fetish) and I thought maybe a 3D printer could be handy for printing accessories like weapons and the like. Probably a non-starter if it’s going to cost the GDP of a small African country to print anything larger than a Polo mint.

    Electricity aside, it’s basically all about weight- if you’re buying in hobbyist quantities you’re generally spending somewhere between Β£10 and Β£20 per kilo for most filaments. You get a bit of wastage from support materials- depends a lot on the design, most of the stuff I print is very efficient, some cosmetic stuff not so much (frinstance a cosplay helmet might be one humungous piece with a load of supports, or it might be 4 or 5 bits that you assemble after printing, with less supports) Also you would vary the density of printing for strength.

    So it depends but imagining how much a part would weigh if it was made of standard lego bricks is a good place to start.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    Thisisnotaspoon, there’s a setting in Freecad (edit/preferences, document tab) that you can uncheck ‘Add the program logo to the generated thumbnail’, have you tried that?

    Maybe I didn’t describe it very well, I have a 3D file of the company logo extruded 1mm, which normally I manage to put onto stuff we print (because stuff like that impresses the boss more than a well-designed part!) and do a boolean operation to ‘stamp’ (engrave?) it out of the surface.

    Sorted it out in the end, setting the angle to 120deg and each axis to 1.0 somehow results in rotating it by 90deg in two axis. I’m sure if I remembered trig better I could explain why that happens…….

    Electricity aside, it’s basically all about weight- if you’re buying in hobbyist quantities you’re generally spending somewhere between Β£10 and Β£20 per kilo for most filaments. You get a bit of wastage from support materials- depends a lot on the design, most of the stuff I print is very efficient, some cosmetic stuff not so much (frinstance a cosplay helmet might be one humungous piece with a load of supports, or it might be 4 or 5 bits that you assemble after printing, with less supports) Also you would vary the density of printing for strength.

    So it depends but imagining how much a part would weigh if it was made of standard lego bricks is a good place to start.

    Your real issue will be boredom though. To print out a matchbox sized object with ~2mm walls takes about 2 hours on medium settings. You can run them much faster (XY axis) and with lower resolutions (z) to speed things up, but quality drops off.

    Where 3D printing would work well, is small intricate things. So for a sword, start off with one from a toy shop and 3D print a new handle. Or make the blade by another method (plane a bit of wood down?). It’s too slow to work effectively on large parts, and the odds of a failed print increases the larger the print.

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    somewhere between Β£10 and Β£20 per kilo for most filaments

    Sounds reasonable.

    imagining how much a part would weigh if it was made of standard lego bricks is a good place to start.

    Sounds expensive. Where are you sourcing Lego from at ten quid a kilo?

    allthepies
    Member

    Time is a factor. 3d printers are *slow* and I’m not willing to leave mine on, unattended overnight – lots of people do but I’m not going there.

    Lots of big prints can be split down into constituent parts but I see some people going for 70 hour prints 😯

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    Sounds reasonable.

    Especially when you consider a kilo is probably 100+ hours of printing!

    I bought a 2.2kg drum yesterday for Β£50*, I expect never to finish it! I also need to rig up a new holder for it as it’s too big for the ultimaker!

    *you can get really cheap, Β£6/750g spools from ebay and amazon, but as mines for work it only takes one 1 hour print to fail and the savings wiped out.

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