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Mar 31, 2014, 12:01 PM
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3D Printer


Recently, against my better Judgement, I dove head first into another hobby.

I visited my local hobby shop about a month ago and one of the guys behind the counter was firing up a 3D printer. Now since I thought that 3D printers only existed in really expensive R&D labs and crappy sci-fi movies I had a number of questions. As he printed some riser blocks for a DJI Phantom I watched intently and talked his ear off. He patiently answered all of my questions, and then told me something that astonished me.

I could get into this hobby for $350.

I always thought that the only 3D printers were thousands of dollars and required an advanced degree in nerdery to maintain and use. Fact is, they are quite inexpensive. As long as you are willing to buy them as a kit, have a hardy amount of mechanical know-how, and are willing to constantly tinker and calibrate it's very accessible.

I won't lie. The reason I purchased this initially was to print parts for my numerous hobbies, but it has grown into more than that. It's now a full fledged hobby.

That said there are several ways to use this tool (read: "toy") to help further my RC flight hobby. For example, tonight I'm going to go home and print off a firewall and some control horns for some new Flite Test planes I'm building.

In conclusion, if you're the type of person who likes to tinker and has a solid mechanical mind, take a look into 3D printers. It's an amazing technology and we have the opportunity to get in right at the cusp of it being a consumer product.

For those of you who don't, try and find a friend with a printer. They are ever so handy.
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Mar 31, 2014, 12:22 PM
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Cool... do you have links to your specific setup? Parts list / recommendations / pros-cons / etc.? I'd be interested in reading some of your experiences good or bad.

Thanks much,
J
Mar 31, 2014, 12:36 PM
Redacted per NSA "suggestion"
dedStik's Avatar
Brother you don't know the half, it is said of both 3d printers and CNC machines that they are indeed hobbies in their own rights.
Mar 31, 2014, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by uberjay
Cool... do you have links to your specific setup? Parts list / recommendations / pros-cons / etc.? I'd be interested in reading some of your experiences good or bad.

Thanks much,
J
Certainly.

Here is my particular printer.

http://printrbot.com/shop/printrbot-simple/

It needs to be assembled. For me it was a 3.5 hour build, I've heard of people taking 11+ hours. Not sure why.

As a stock kit it isn't very accurate since the X and Y axis (the side to side and forward to back) motion is controlled by 200lb test fishing line and dremel sanding drums. Inconcsistent to say the least.

There are a million upgrades that can be done to this little unit, and most of them can be printed. If you're having a hard time there is a great resource in printrbottalk . com, and if you can get past the arrogant snobbery of a couple of the posters it's pretty fantastic at answering questions.

Are there better printers? You'd better believe it. The Simple (the one in the link) just grew up into an all metal version, but you have to buy it assembled and it's twice the price. Might be worth it to some, but I'm more interested in learning about the tech than I am printing useful things. Besides (so far) everything I need can be printed with the Simple.

There is a hell of a learning curve, and it takes some patience and a mechanical mind, but the payoff is fantastic.
Mar 31, 2014, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by dedStik
Brother you don't know the half, it is said of both 3d printers and CNC machines that they are indeed hobbies in their own rights.
Maybe not, but I'm beginning to. I'm having so much fun wtih this thing it should be criminal.
Mar 31, 2014, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stradawhovious
Certainly.

Here is my particular printer.

http://printrbot.com/shop/printrbot-simple/
...
Great, thanks! That's helpful to know.

Cheers,
J
Mar 31, 2014, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by uberjay
Great, thanks! That's helpful to know.

Cheers,
J
Do a LOT of research before you buy. This hobby isn't for everyone.
Mar 31, 2014, 01:03 PM
Registered User
Thanks... definitely will do that. Just 'dabbling' at this point... no money is in play yet ;-).

J
Apr 08, 2014, 09:29 AM
edi
edi
Triplane addict
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Hmmm, I am tinkering with the thought of buying one, but first I want to get to grips with my neglected CNC mill again.
Apr 10, 2014, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by edi
Hmmm, I am tinkering with the thought of buying one, but first I want to get to grips with my neglected CNC mill again.
Yeah... a CNC and a laser cutter are on my short list...

For when I win the lottery. :lol:


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