Plan to buy a 3D printer

Bob H

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
We will be getting into 3D printing this year. Just getting started on looking into the latest advancements.
As with everything in manufacturing, selecting the right equipment for the intended results is important.
Don't want to be jumping in & end up with obsolete technology a month down the road.
As I understand it materials are getting much better by leaps & bounds lately.

So I'm asking for the thoughts on this from people already into this type of manufacturing.

TIA
 

Lothar

Well-known member
247
450
63
Location
Hills above Denver, CO
I've seen some amazing things in the 3d metal printing arena. Can't imagine a machine with those capabilities would be obsolete any time soon. Sure improved models will undoubtedly come along but even whats available now can create some extremely impressive products that would be valuable well into the future. That's not to imply I have any expertise on the subject, just an observation and a possible avenue to consider.
 

Bulldogger

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
1,272
350
83
Location
Quantico VA
Metal printing is extremely expensive. Plastics are decidedly more affordable. If you have some hundreds of dollars, there are some good machines like Prusa or Creality and so on. If you have a few thousand, there are some pro-sumer brands like CreatBot (which I have) and if you hane $20,000 you can get into continuous fiber-reinforced which can be as strong as aluminum, Onyx Pro being one example.
What are you looking to do?
Bulldogger
 

NDT

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
9,318
3,309
113
Location
Camp Wood/LC, TX
3D printing is a hobby thing not a manufacturing thing. Maybe for prototypes. In manufacturing we turn out widgets every minute or less, no time for hobby machines. Must use injection molding.
 

M-35A3

Member
61
2
8
Location
MI
3D printing is a hobby thing not a manufacturing thing. Maybe for prototypes. In manufacturing we turn out widgets every minute or less, no time for hobby machines. Must use injection molding.
There are 3d printing farms out there that manufacture alot of items not just prototypes . small scale vs large scale .


We will be getting into 3D printing this year. Just getting started on looking into the latest advancements.
As with everything in manufacturing, selecting the right equipment for the intended results is important.
Don't want to be jumping in & end up with obsolete technology a month down the road.
As I understand it materials are getting much better by leaps & bounds lately.

So I'm asking for the thoughts on this from people already into this type of manufacturing.

TIA
I use a creality ender 3 v2 in which it works out great and is inexpensive for what it is . Another good thing about plastic 3d printing is you can upgrade the printer with the printer itself (within reason) which is amazing honestly so nothing to worry about something becoming obsolete anytime soon . A roll of filament goes along way as well , most of the rolls range from $20-$60 with the specialized rolls being on the higher end of the price range . I suggest checking out the official creality website @ https://www.creality3dofficial.com/ .

The metal 3d printers are still extremely expensive like others have mentioned here in the tens of thousands of dollars last i checked.
 

GT4U

New member
19
18
3
Location
Illinois
Personally I use an Ender 3 (v1, the v2 hadn't came out when I bought mine), it works great for just about anything I can throw at it. Also instead of trying to 3d print metal parts I would recommend casting the 3d printed part, it is a lot cheaper to do.
 

Cave Johnson

Member
36
72
18
Location
Texas
Personally I use an Ender 3 (v1, the v2 hadn't came out when I bought mine), it works great for just about anything I can throw at it. Also instead of trying to 3d print metal parts I would recommend casting the 3d printed part, it is a lot cheaper to do.

Im not in the habit of it, but I have a friend who set up a printer to print in wax filament. He uses it for jewelry casting. HOWEVER.

Polymaker Polycast is something he has used for me before for large parts. I gave him a reel to try out. Its a low ash filament that you can burn out to do investment casting on a bigger scale. I dont have a crucible setup big enough to do that, but it's out there.
 

patracy

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
14,418
3,343
113
Location
Buchanan, GA
3D printing is a hobby thing not a manufacturing thing. Maybe for prototypes. In manufacturing we turn out widgets every minute or less, no time for hobby machines. Must use injection molding.
Then I must be doing something wrong. I've been printing items in a production scale. Yes injection molding can crank out far more in a shorter period of time. But when it comes to scale. The cost of the dies and such would require runs in the thousands/hundreds of thousands to compensate for the outlay of the setup. When you're making hundreds of something, the cost can't be justified. Plus I can use the printer for other things as well.

Now when you get into a very complex design that would require more than two dies, I'd suspect the 3d printing can be justified even more.

Speaking of which, @Spot_ll I need to get to work on your follower design. I will probably make a production run of those on the big printer once it's dialed. I know you only wanted a few. But I think that would be relatively easy to mass produce in large runs on the big printer.
 

patracy

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
14,418
3,343
113
Location
Buchanan, GA
Oh and as far as a printer. I'd suggest starting with a Ender or some other decent brand. Sure the Prusa clones are cheap. But the quality of those are just junk at times. I know it might tempt you to get a large volume printer like a CR-10 S5 (which I have), but start small at first. Big prints have their own unique problems.
 

HDN

Well-known member
1,390
2,930
113
Location
Finger Lakes Region, NY
If you end up getting a Creality printer, be prepared to install aftermarket firmware for the best experience. For some reason Creality severely handicapped their own firmware, which is their own fork of Marlin. Creality has repeatedly failed to take advantage of the useful features offered by the latest builds of Marlin firmware. Such features include linear advance, which limits blobbing at model corners, PID tuning the print bed temperature to mitigate the visibility of print layer lines, and refined automatic bed leveling compensation, if the printer is equipped with a bed compensation probe.

Gosh I should really post in this board more o_O I've been considering buying a small CNC milling machine to complement my 3D printer. Some parts I make I feel are faster milled than printed.
 

patracy

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
14,418
3,343
113
Location
Buchanan, GA
Pretty much all the printers out there will do better with flashed firmware. The only printer I have that isn't on a flashed firmware is my first printer that's a prusa clone. And that's because it's "lobotomized" and being controlled by octoprint.
 

HDN

Well-known member
1,390
2,930
113
Location
Finger Lakes Region, NY
Pretty much all the printers out there will do better with flashed firmware. The only printer I have that isn't on a flashed firmware is my first printer that's a prusa clone. And that's because it's "lobotomized" and being controlled by octoprint.
I flashed a build of Tiny Machines firmware onto my Ender 5 Plus and start my prints from the printer. I use Octoprint to monitor the print job and allow me to cancel from in the house in case I catch the print going very wrong over the camera. My favorite Octoprint plug-in I use right now is something called AutoBim, which turns the BLTouch probe into a virtual dial indicator that goes to each of my bed's corners and returns a Z measurement. It keeps going in laps automatically until each bed corner is within a set tolerance from my turning of the tramming knobs :)
 

Havok

Member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
109
21
18
Location
Boston/MA
Apologize for the delay I just logged in after a long hibernation. I have a Matter Hackers Pulse XE and I definitely use it for production. I went this route because the machine is specifically designed to print more abrasive filaments like CF Nylon and FB Nylon. I have printed carbon fiber infused nylon parts that are replacing structural aluminum parts with no issues from a strength and durability stand point and weigh next to nothing. Those parts are going on a year now with no stress marks or signs of cracking etc.
 

HDN

Well-known member
1,390
2,930
113
Location
Finger Lakes Region, NY
Well done! One of these days I'll get some steel nozzles for my printer so I can use those materials. So far I've really enjoyed printing ABS now that I created a friendly environment for it - a temperature-controlled enclosure :)
 

Havok

Member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
109
21
18
Location
Boston/MA
Well done! One of these days I'll get some steel nozzles for my printer so I can use those materials. So far I've really enjoyed printing ABS now that I created a friendly environment for it - a temperature-controlled enclosure :)
Its tricky to print with an enclosure is a smart move. I can share my print settings whenever you are ready to try them. Bed adhesion is the hardest part to figure out in my experience. I still will have issues if one little thing is off.
 

HDN

Well-known member
1,390
2,930
113
Location
Finger Lakes Region, NY
Its tricky to print with an enclosure is a smart move. I can share my print settings whenever you are ready to try them. Bed adhesion is the hardest part to figure out in my experience. I still will have issues if one little thing is off.
One of the best things I've done is get a magnetic PEI sheet from TH3D Studio. PLA and ABS stick to it without glue stick or ABS slurry. And if you start having adhesion issues, just wash it with dish soap and dry it and it's good as new (dust, grease and oil are its worst enemy).

Right now my bed adhesion issues are limited to uneven bed heating because the Creality heat beds kinda suck :( Because of that my print volume is somewhat limited at the base. I haven't looked into an alternative to retrofit though.
 

Havok

Member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
109
21
18
Location
Boston/MA
One of the best things I've done is get a magnetic PEI sheet from TH3D Studio. PLA and ABS stick to it without glue stick or ABS slurry. And if you start having adhesion issues, just wash it with dish soap and dry it and it's good as new (dust, grease and oil are its worst enemy).

Right now my bed adhesion issues are limited to uneven bed heating because the Creality heat beds kinda suck :( Because of that my print volume is somewhat limited at the base. I haven't looked into an alternative to retrofit though.

I only have adhesion issues with Nylons but my suggestion would be to heat the bed up an extra 5*C and see if that helps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HDN

Bulldogger

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
1,272
350
83
Location
Quantico VA
I only have adhesion issues with Nylons but my suggestion would be to heat the bed up an extra 5*C and see if that helps.
Plain old Elmer's white school glue thinned out and applied in two coats (opposite directions of brushing) with a large flat brush has worked the best for me out of all the different adhesives I have tried, including Magigoo and other fancy ones. I also tried every white craft glue, none did very well. Elmer's stick is good for some simpler filaments like PLA, but for Nylon one needs very good hold, and Elmer's worked much better than any other for me. That is on both carbon lattice sheet and glass bed.
BDGR
 
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website like our supporting vendors. Their ads help keep Steel Soldiers going. Please consider disabling your ad blockers for the site. Thanks!

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks