Topics

3D Printing

WA4EFS
 

To those who have used a 3D printer to fabricate panels or other accessories –

Please share your experience, including printer make/model, ease of use, quality of output, etc.

 

Thank you,

-Lloyd (WA4EFS) ,_

KR0NS
 

I have used two printers.

The first is the DaVinci 1.0 by XYZ printing. It is ABS only and was the cheapest printer available at time of purchase.
Replacing the proprietary firmware made the printer usable (Repetier host + Repetier firmware).
Part finish is not great but usually good enough and I've made many functional parts with it.
The main cost of this printer is in the time that you'll have to invest getting the process and settings, both software and mechanical, correct.

The second printer I've used (but not owned) is the Ultimaker3.
In stark contrast to my experience with the DaVInci, this printer required very little adjustment and those that were required were partially automated.
Find (create) a model, load the (expensive) filament, and print.
It just works. And the prints are beautiful.

At the end of the day you get what you pay for. What you're unwilling to pay for in cash, you'll pay for with your time or do without.

KR0NS

 

I have used a few printers.

I currently use a Ender3 but unlike KR0NS I got way more than I paid for. I have added a few mods to it like a BLtouch and it works great. The overall print quality of any printer is based on more than just the printer.

You will have a learning curve to get the settings right, line width, line height and more.

The filament is another big factor in prints. I have tested more than a few and have found Esun and HatchBox to be worth the 2-3$ over the cheap stuff. Inland has been o.k. too just stay away from amazon basics they are very hit or miss.

The slicer you choose can also make a difference from a good experience and a bad one. I have been using cura and its a good starting software but I will be moving to simplified 3d very soon.

If you take your time learn the machine and what settings do what you will have a good time with them.

In the current market you can get into a solid printer for under 300$. The "you get what you pay for" is not always true in the printing world, just do your research and find one that fits your budget and has a good community.

The DaVinci line has had issue over the years, so has some of the monoprice printers. If I had to buy one again it would be another creality ender or CR10 they are very good and can load custom firmware which is a huge bonus.

73
--
David

  N8DAH

Kit-Projects.com

Shop now open!

 

rohn blake
 

My son and I have a Monoprice Maker Select Plus and it's been great after two specific upgrades. We replaced the carriage plate with a heavy duty one which made bed leveling so much easier, and added z-axis stabilizers, also contributing to better bed leveling and also overall print quality.

We've also replaced the hot end with an all metal one from Micro Swiss, but that was just so that we could use more exotic filaments like glow-in-the-dark.

As has been said, a lot of it comes down to the quality of the filament used... Hatchbox has been our "premium" filament and Inland our close second.

I'm craving for a Prusa printer but only because it does auto-bed leveling (bed leveling is, arguably, the most tedious but necessary part of printing).

None of the printer really needed adjusting (beyond bed leveling), but a lot of tweaks in the slicer software was necessary to get optimum prints... I used a x-y-z calibration cube model and made one parameter change at a time and printed a new cube. It took the better part of a Saturday afternoon but prints are at high quality now.

Mike D
 

I've have a Makerbot replicator (dual extruder) and a Prusa I3.  The makerbot is junk, the prusa is great and open source.  

I have printed a lot of pla, abs, and petg.  Work related prototypes, radio parts, eurorack parts, camera parts, and many AR15 and other firearm lowers.  I highly suggest sticking with an open source machine and avoiding the really low end models.  A heated bed is very helpful also.  Dual extruded are generally unreliable.  

The best deal out there currently is the anycubic mega-s, a Chinese clone of the prusa for ~$300ish.

Stick to name brand filament unless you like wasting lots of time.  If your time isnt of value some of the cheaper Chinese stuff is ok to tinker with, but if like me you dont have much free time - buy quality and spend your time enjoying it.

Mike kd5rjz

On Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 10:53 AM WA4EFS <himself@... wrote:

To those who have used a 3D printer to fabricate panels or other accessories –

Please share your experience, including printer make/model, ease of use, quality of output, etc.

 

Thank you,

-Lloyd (WA4EFS) ,_

Thomas Martin
 

I have an Crealty Ender 3 from Banggood. It came as a kit cost was about 170.00 delivered. You tube had assembly instructions basically very easy to assemble.
I would recommend going to youtube to get ideas on setting up and use.
I have made a series of items that were taken from thingiverse. They include duel paddle key and an Anderson power distribution panel. The keys were gifts go CW friends have received good feed back on them.
Ii have to depend on items published to thinginverse as I am not well versed in the cad programs to design my own.

Tom 
K0amd



On Jun 12, 2019, at 10:53 AM, WA4EFS <himself@...> wrote:

To those who have used a 3D printer to fabricate panels or other accessories –

Please share your experience, including printer make/model, ease of use, quality of output, etc.

 

Thank you,

-Lloyd (WA4EFS) ,_

Charles Wells
 

For the past year I have been using a Taz6, courtesy of my employer (it was handed to me one day with the dictum to figure out how to make it work.)  It works well, and in general is pretty glitch free.

I'll second the admonition to use quality filament.  We made the mistake of buying some cheap PLA, and had no end of troubles (clogged nozzles, gloppy extrusion, inconsistent heat requirements, etc.).  Quality filament makes a world of difference.

A heated bed and good print surface make a difference too.  I have taken to printing on 'bare' glass as I was having a lot of adhesion problems with the PEI coating supplied on the original bed.

Best of fortune
Chas AD0UY


On Wed, Jun 12, 2019 at 11:54 AM N8DAH <Dherron@...> wrote:

I have used a few printers.

I currently use a Ender3 but unlike KR0NS I got way more than I paid for. I have added a few mods to it like a BLtouch and it works great. The overall print quality of any printer is based on more than just the printer.

You will have a learning curve to get the settings right, line width, line height and more.

The filament is another big factor in prints. I have tested more than a few and have found Esun and HatchBox to be worth the 2-3$ over the cheap stuff. Inland has been o.k. too just stay away from amazon basics they are very hit or miss.

The slicer you choose can also make a difference from a good experience and a bad one. I have been using cura and its a good starting software but I will be moving to simplified 3d very soon.

If you take your time learn the machine and what settings do what you will have a good time with them.

In the current market you can get into a solid printer for under 300$. The "you get what you pay for" is not always true in the printing world, just do your research and find one that fits your budget and has a good community.

The DaVinci line has had issue over the years, so has some of the monoprice printers. If I had to buy one again it would be another creality ender or CR10 they are very good and can load custom firmware which is a huge bonus.

73
--
David

  N8DAH

Kit-Projects.com

Shop now open!

 

Jim Sheldon
 

I have, and use, two 3D printers.  One is a Snapmaker 1 has a small printable area 4.9 x 4.9 x 4.9 inch cube and it's very expensive, over $600 but it does come with a laser engraving head and a CNC carving head for wood, plastic and phenolic substrate PC board material.  Easy to set up, easy to get running and holds it's settings well.  My wife got this one for my 77th birthday and when I decided I needed something else to print larger stuff, she let me get a Creality Ender 3.  I got my Ender 3 from Amazon when they had it as the "Genuine Creality Ender 3-X" with a glass printing bed and the latest firmware already loaded it.  

The Ender 3 (if you get a genuine Creality one not a knock-off) is not too difficult to assemble and set up.  Once you have it running, I'd get the Ultimaker Cura slicer and configure it for the Ender.  Works a whole lot better than the Creality slicer and allows a lot finer settings for the various materials.

I started out printing things I downloaded off thingiverse.com and thanks to one of our 4 state members, I got started with Autodesk's "Fusion 360" 3D CAD program.  I'm still a novice at both 3D printing and 3D CAD, but I am making progress.  I designed, printed, and published on thingiverse a case for Pacific Antenna's 41dB step attenuator kit.  Took a while and I still don't have the design perfect, but it prints well and works to protect the open PC board from clipped leads and fingers when used to attenuate up to 5 watts of transmitter power (this might cause a light RF burn if you touched the right point in the circuit).  Better safe than sorry - LOL.

I also ordered a set of ball end hex drivers (Allen wrenches with screwdriver type handles) in the sizes used for the Ender & Snapmaker's screws.  Needing a tool holder to keep them organized on the work table, I put Fusion 360 to work and designed a nice stand with places to insert the handles.  I also used the print text feature of Fusion and labeled each of the storage positions with the proper size markings for the hex driver that fits in that hole.  It's printing as I write this.  Because of the size, it's about a 6.5-7 hour print.   I started it at 12:45 this afternoon, it's 2:45 now and the Ender's control display shows it about 20 percent complete after 2 hours and 5 minutes of printing.  I've learned a few tricks with the Cura slicer and have it set to stop and call for a filament change at the start of the raised lettering so I can switch the filament color from green (tool holder itself) to do the raised lettering on the top surface in black.  The ender has a very loud Piezo alarm buzzer and once the filament change is called for, it literally screams at you so kind of hard to miss from anywhere in the vicinity of the work room - LOL.

Jim, W0EB

Jim Sheldon
 

Forgot to add a photo of the tool holder printing on the Ender3 to my original reply to the topic.  Here it is at 20 percent complete.

Jim, W0EB

 

I have a Creality CR-10 that I bought a couple of years ago.
It generally works well.  It'd probably be better if I stopped messing with it :-)

It's build volume is about 1' cubed.  I got it mostly for making enclosures and antenna/mast parts.
I've put some designs up on Thingiverse.  The quality is good and getting better with most mods.

My latest modification is a linked dual Z drive that I'm just about done with.
The kids are off to camp soon, so I'll have more time to wrap it up soon.

John
W1JDS

Joshua Wood
 

I have a Monoprice Maker Select V2.  It's a pretty decent printer, and I picked it up for around $250 USD.  For the price, it's quite amazing.  I'm quite happy with what I define as "Functional Prints" - i.e. things without too high of a level of detail.  These are things like enclosures, antenna insulators, wire winders, SMA wrenches, soldering tip holder, shims, a part to fix my trash compactor, a filament cutter,   I could work on dialing in my settings more, but I don't intend for most things to have a very high level of detail, and I print in mostly PETG (very stringy filament).  I did make a bunch of mods to the printer - nyloc nuts in 3d printed knobs, Z-axis brace, Z-levelers, webcam mount for time lapse, octoprint on a raspberry pi,  filament guides, amongst others, to improve print quality and ease of printing.  If you want really fine detail prints (chess pieces, D&D minis, etc), there are a lot of ways to 'finish' them (sanding, painting, acetone bath, etc), but you should probably skip fused filament printers altogether and go to resin-based SLA printers.

All this said, I recommend many people stay away from 3d printing (in general).  3d printing is a hobby unto itself - not just a "print what I want."  While you likely could buy a printer that is plug and play, most of the middle end through all of the lower end printers will require significant tinkering, fiddling, adjusting, print setting tweaking, etc.  It's not a simple as I want X, I get X in Y time.  You'll routinely have to print something multiple times to get settings dialed in for a particular filament - which can / will change when you change filaments.  This is why many people stick to specific filament manufacturers.  In addition to that - as soon as you manage to get your settings dialed in, you start printing EVERYTHING you can find on Thingiverse.  While it's fun... It gets boring, really quickly.  You need to start looking at 3d design (even in something simple as TinkerCAD) to start solving your own problems you run into.  This is yet another hobby unto itself.

All said, I love my printer.  I think it's one of the best purchases I've made.  I've more than paid back its cost in wire winders, electronics enclosures, board game piece organizers, etc that I normally would have purchased instead.  This doesn't even include the ones I've made for other people.  They're great, they're definitely worth getting into - but only if you WANT to get into all the affiliated aspects of them (i.e.  appliance operators need not apply).  Also, if I had the disposable income, I'd definitely spring for the PRUSA i3 mk3.  Automated bed leveling (arguably the WORST PART OF PRINTING), flexible build plate, included PEI build surface, multiple extruder option, and really fancy firmware options - help make it arguably the Elecraft of 3d printing.  I think that probably the best deal currently available is the Monoprice MP Mini Delta ($160 USD), if you don't need a large build volume or fancier filaments.

~Josh
W0ODJ

P.S.  If it doesn't come with one - buy a metal putty knife and long tweezers - the putty knife is great for removing prints, and the long tweezers....  well, 250 C doesn't feel the best when you accidentally touch the hot-end (ask me how I know...)

WA4EFS
 

Thanks to all who have described experiences with 3D printing (and wishes)—lot’s to think about but not an easy decision!

 

73, -Lloyd (WA4EFS)