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Old Oct 11, 2012, 12:51 AM
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I'm working at a shop that's looking to do some neat stuff with 3D printing, and can make the following comments:

1. Be careful of the limitations of 3D extrusion printers. The nature of the feed and structures can create significant limitations on what you can build. They're very inexpensive to operate and the parts are often remarkably lightweight, but the way they print heavily defines what you can print with them.

2. Research your printer options. The new Makerbot is ready out of the box, but it isn't cheap. The Ultimaker is a popular kit known for very high resolution prints, but it requires quite a bit more set-up and DIY construction.

3. If you're not printing a heck of a lot, just get it done at Shapeways. The quality is much higher, the materials are much better, and there are almost no limitations. Also, there's no $1,000+ initial investment.

4. For very small parts, the upcoming generation of stereolithography printers may be a superior option. $120/liter for resin seems expensive until you consider exactly how many pushrod guides, control horns, or landing gear supports that actually is. The price is very similar to the out-of-the-box Makerbot, and the precision is worlds better.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...nal-3d-printer

I might be able to print a few parts for free on an older Makerbot if anyone would like.
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 06:46 AM
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Elmhurst, NY (Queens in NYC)
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The MIT guys really have a nice printer and I thought about it BUT the volume of space is way small.

The new Makerbot has a volume of about 11.2 by 6 by 6 inches and that's the big attraction. I'd like it even more if they made it 18" or even 24" on the long axis.

The current model only works with PLA and the ABS version uses a heated build plate. Nobody could confirm or deny whether I could replace the build plate (or whatever it's called) at a later date, but I decided to go ahead anyway.

Yeah, Shapeways is inexpensive and fast and maybe living in NYC I might even be able to pick up stuff directly, but I bought this to learn as well as build and there's nothing like daily hands on and banging your head against unexpected problems to really learn how to do things.

A zillion years ago I bought an Apple II before most people ever heard of personal computers. I worked on mainframes at the time and my boss and most of the guys I worked with thought I was crazy. A few years later everyone was coming to me for advice. My basic drive was to learn programming and my rational ws I could take a couple of courses for the same money but when I was done all I'd have is a piece of paper confirming that I had taken and passed some courses. Instead I had a computer that I could program in several languages and I was so hooked on programming I'd spend entire sleepless nights convinced that one more line of code would get "it" working.

Same here. Constant feedback is what I expect to get out of having this thing at home.

Plus all the stuff I make!

Pete
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 09:12 AM
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Here's my chain and my pliers whittlings.

Pete
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 09:14 AM
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Here's the second view.

Pete
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 12:15 PM
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Wow, Makerbot said four to six weeks when I ordered, but they're shipping tomorrow for Saturday delivery. Would have shipped today but I won't be home tomorrow.

I guess I'll be making room for my new toy and probably downloading something to do a test run.

Pete
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 09:56 PM
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you know, most of the software is open source, as is a lot of designs. if you wanted to, you could build one as big or as small as you want. personally, im aiming for a 3 axis CNC router that sits on a sheet of paper, complete with stand alone x,y,z manual co-ordinate input via old school number pad.

mainframes... the only reason i know of those, is cuz i love old tech. i got a half dozen numitrons sitting on my desk at home. made in the good old USSR.
im too young to remember but i love to see old photos of ten and eight digit... oh heck, i cant remember. 400v vacuume tubes arainged as linear counters.
i wish i was around in the days od ENIAC and the days of computers build out of 7400 logic chips, back when the AGC was a new thing, back when wire wrapping was still wide spread (i do wire wrap, solder kills my liver and temper ).

i think the latest thing i love is the z80 processor, or the 8080a intel.

but, alas, i was born in 1983. im of the nirvana generation, of flip cell phones and skyline GT-R.
poop, now ive made my self sad

great whittlings, By the way. never could do that.
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemoskull View Post
you know, most of the software is open source, as is a lot of designs. if you wanted to, you could build one as big or as small as you want. personally, im aiming for a 3 axis CNC router that sits on a sheet of paper, complete with stand alone x,y,z manual co-ordinate input via old school number pad.

mainframes... the only reason i know of those, is cuz i love old tech. i got a half dozen numitrons sitting on my desk at home. made in the good old USSR.
im too young to remember but i love to see old photos of ten and eight digit... oh heck, i cant remember. 400v vacuume tubes arainged as linear counters.
i wish i was around in the days od ENIAC and the days of computers build out of 7400 logic chips, back when the AGC was a new thing, back when wire wrapping was still wide spread (i do wire wrap, solder kills my liver and temper ).

i think the latest thing i love is the z80 processor, or the 8080a intel.

but, alas, i was born in 1983. im of the nirvana generation, of flip cell phones and skyline GT-R.
poop, now ive made my self sad

great whittlings, By the way. never could do that.
Thanks for the comment on my whittling.

I can remember when the transistor was announced I think in 1948 and I wanted one but the early samples were in the better than hundred dollar range and a hundred then was like a thousand now. (My '69 Buick with 350 cubic inch engine w four barrel carb cost about $2,900 new. 0h! And it had positraction)

I started to make an Elf computer (wire wrap) on an S100 board but I kept modifying the design. I added a latch to increase the address space. (As designed it had 256 bytes! I think my second latch would have expanded the address space to 64k but I only had 1k static RAM chips.

Around then an Aunt died and left me some money. I paid a girl friend back for the Teac 3340 four track recorder I got and spent the rest on an Apple II. I gave the Elf and my notes to a friend and I still don't know if he ever finished it. I literally stopped sleeping at night programming in BASIC then Pascal when it became available and also fooled with Forth and Logo. There was NO software you could buy. We typed stuff in from magazines and saved on cassette! There were no word processors etc. the first REAL program was VisiCalc, the first spread sheet.

Oh well, those days are gone.

Edit: Buried in the Apple II ROM was something called Sweet Sixteen. It was an 1802 emulator in software. The Elf was based on the RCA 1802 which has 16,16 bit registers. Apparently Woz liked the flexibility of the 1802 and stuck one in the Apple II.

Pete
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Old Oct 13, 2012, 01:32 AM
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I bought a makerbot (cupcake) when they first came out a couple years ago. I had to spend a lot of time tweaking the parameters in skeinforge in order to get it to print in high resolution. Ive been out of the loop for a while now so I don't know if they finally got the profiles tuned better or not. I also had to do some mods to mine to keep the platform from wobbling.. I think they fixed that problem now.

There is also another pretty nice low cost 3d printer called the pp3dp. I think it prints in a higher resolution (.2mm layer thickness) and also handles support material better. They used to be over $3000.00 so the makerbot was the best option.
But it looks like htey are down to $1600.00 shipped now. That replicator looks pretty sweet too though.

Also, if you have a mac, this is a great App for analyzing your model, stl files and gcode files.

Some of the models I created are on thingaverse.

things I created

things I printed

And Pete, I used to sit up all night programming in BASIC and saving on cassette tapes..
Thise were the good ol' days.

I just got a mint condition apple ][ recently and started programming it again
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Old Oct 13, 2012, 06:27 AM
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Newcastle, NSW Australia
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Ive got one of these coming shortly........
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...rce-3d-printer

@PeteSchug, you should be-able to add a heat bed onto yours, they cost about $30
http://www.bilbycnc.com.au/DisplayPr...ID=PtHeatBedv2
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Old Oct 13, 2012, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thren View Post
Ive got one of these coming shortly........
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...rce-3d-printer

@PeteSchug, you should be-able to add a heat bed onto yours, they cost about $30
http://www.bilbycnc.com.au/DisplayPr...ID=PtHeatBedv2
The next iteration of Makerbot's Replicator II will have a heated build plate and I want to upgrade to that since it is obviously going to be an exact fit for the machine. I've also considered a heated silicone blanket. Dunno yet if I can get the exact size I want, but very little sticks to silicone and whatever the original purpose of silicone blankets may be, they are currently being used by some guitar makers to bend guitar sides.

Your machine looks interesting to me because its open frame would make it easy to lengthen one axis without too much trouble. On the subject of a machine being able to reproduce all of its own parts I was told (by a guy selling a different printer) that a particular printer being shown at the Maker Faire was capable of making all of its own mechanical parts.

Right now I'm sitting at home waiting for delivery. My tracking number says it's on the truck!

All I have to do is figure out where I'm going to put it! If you saw this place you'd wonder the same thing.

Back to shuffling stuff from here to there and back again.

Pete
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Old Oct 13, 2012, 11:44 AM
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Egads,!!?!

It's here and I still don't know where I'm going to put it.

The bath tub is a possibility. I can use the sink to take sponge baths.

I think I'm going to clear out the area next to the scanner. It'll be a tight fit. I can use my laptops (three (3) count 'em, three- not counting my MacBook Air) in my lap.

I have a set of steel shelves I was thinking of using but I'd have to move one shelf about three inches. I'd love to use my roll around tool caddy but then I'd have to figure out what to do with my drill press!

I think I'll do something else for a while and let things percolate in the back of my mind. Maybe go shopping or visit the Makerbot store. I've got contact info for them to exhibit at the WRAM Show in Feb. I think it would be a fantastic place for them to show their stuff.

My main problem is too many airplanes crammed into a small studio apartment!

Maybe I should get more steel shelving.

Pete. (Taking a nap and allowing my subconscious to make up my mind)
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Old Oct 13, 2012, 01:12 PM
Ego varius quis.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteSchug View Post
The next iteration of Makerbot's Replicator II will have a heated build plate and I want to upgrade to that since it is obviously going to be an exact fit for the machine.
It doesn't have a heated build plate?!?

I'm under the impression that it's a mandatory upgrade. Something like half of Hackaday attends my local hackerspace...
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Old Oct 14, 2012, 07:03 PM
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As currently available it's heaterless and uses only PLA.

Since I want to use ABS I will have to upgrade it myself but I don't want to give up size so I have to wait for their heated build plate.

I'm also wondering if I can get a custom sized silicone blanket. If that works the guys who make the blankets have a ready made bonanza waiting for them.

Spent the day shopping and downloading Makerbot software in the Apple Store. No broadband at home! Way too tired to install the thing tonight, but maybe tomorrow afternoon or Tuesday. I've read enough to know what's next and nothing looks hard except for learning something like Sketchup. Not doing bad.

Pete
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 02:35 PM
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silicone blanket? go to a kitchen shop and get a silicone pie pan. cut off the edges and you got a silicone mat.

3d design take tallent, or stubornness. either one will work just as well, with a small advantage for stuborness.
keep at it and start small.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemoskull View Post
silicone blanket? go to a kitchen shop and get a silicone pie pan. cut off the edges and you got a silicone mat.

3d design take tallent, or stubornness. either one will work just as well, with a small advantage for stuborness.
keep at it and start small.
The silicone blanket I'm talking about is heated! Some guitar makers have been using them to bend guitar sides. They go up to about 500 degrees Fahrenheit if you need. That's the kind of silicone blanket I mean.

Not too well known but since I make musical instruments I know about these odd items. Obviously I'm not planning to run it at 500 degrees and I also don't know if a convenient size is available or if it will lie flat enough. If it's not flat enough it's not possible to level the table accurately so the extruded wont hit the surface.

In other words, it's an interesting thought since nothing sticks to silicone and it can take heat or in this case generate it.

Most likely I will wait for Makerbot to come out with the heated table. All the stuff I've looked at seems to use Kapton tapr as the release surface and that's what got me thinking about silicone. Probably expensive to get it custom sized. Probably more expensive to get it dead flat made of rigid silicone but who knows?

Anyway, got my bot and am scratching my head about getting it installed.

I think my HiFi is going out the door to make room. Also part of my building table may become home to a laptop.

Pete
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