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Thread: 3D Printers

  1. #1
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    3D Printers

    Anyone else here beside me and Andrzej with one? I got mine for Christmas and have been playing with it quite a bit - so far mostly making parts to upgrade the printer itself though

    Went for an Anycubic Chiron for the bed size - 400x400x450mm which seems to rank as 'pretty big' in the home 3D printer market and did come at a cost, but not an extortionate one, I thought (under £300!). Fun little toy, but I can see myself getting through a lot of filament
    My DeDion build diary..
    Hon Sec of the Digidash branch of the Unpopular Kit Car Design club

  2. #2
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    Yep, not one, but two - the most useful gadgets I've ever bought!

    I bought a Geeetech i3 Pro B (Prusa clone) as a kit just over a year ago so I could learn the basics by building it myself. I then worked out how it could be improved, and set about upgrading it. Then three or four months ago I spotted an absolute bargain on eBay. A Creality reseller called Hictop EU were selling customer return CR-10 printers for the bargain price of £187 including postage. The deal was that any components found to be faulty would be replaced foc by them no questions asked, and it would carry a full 12 month guarantee.

    It had a few duff bearings which I replaced from my spares kit and, as usual, the 300mm x 300mm aluminum heated bed was warped. So they sent me a brand new £50 bed, and as I managed to straighten the existing one I now have a brand new spare! Better still, instead of a CR-10 what they actually sent me was the upgraded CR-10s version! So I ended up with a £370 printer and a £50 spare bed for £187 - a bargain or what?

    I'm now in the process of upgrading that one. By the time I've finished the only original components left will be the frame and the heated bed - but as I'm replacing the remote control box I should be able to sell that on eBay for around £100.

    It's a fascinating hobby, but personally I think they have a way to go yet before they could be considered mainstream consumer devices. There's quite a steep learning curve in terms of getting the print quality right, and an even steeper learning curve if you've never used 3D CAD design software before! I've been using Fusion 360 for over six months, and there's still a lot to learn. But I've produced a complete cold air intake system for my Dax, roll hoop spacers for a skinny hood, a visor to keep bright sunshine off my speedo (which turns the trip LCD jet black), nylon mounting clips for my radiator fan, tweeter pods for my son's car, a dash mounted phone holder, replacement interior lamps (£150 if you can find one on eBay) for a friend's Lotus Elan restoration, replacement parts for some vertical blinds, and of course loads of custom parts for my 3D printers! I still find using a 3D printer to produce replacement or upgraded parts for itself a fascinating concept!

    Oh, and I'm fortunate to have the top UK manufacturer of printer extruders and hot-ends (e3D) right on my doorstep!

    When I've finished the CR-10s upgrades I'm planning to build a totally custom 400 x 400 (or possibly 500 x 500) printer from scratch using my numerous spare parts - well, it keeps me off the streets!
    Last edited by conrod; 05-01-20 at 08:54 PM.
    Alan

    Ex CRC Thames Valley Regional Rep - please contact me if you're interested in taking on the role!
    UK Rep for European Cobra Club (eurocobra.boards.net)

    Dax 427 DeDion - now sold
    2003 E85 Z4 3.0i - the new toy!

  3. #3
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    Excellent bargain hunting on the CR-10s there, Alan! I was looking at those before I decided I really wanted a large build area for one specific thing I had in mind .. of course, now I can't really remember what that was, and the biggest thing I've produced on it is 120mm wide (indicator relocation plate for the Cobra)

    You're not wrong about the learning curve, though! I'd already spent a little time in Fusion 360 but that, in itself, is a huge thing to learn before you even get to turning out stringy blobs of mess.. I mean, parts. But stringy blobs of mess is definitely what I was originally producing! Now that I've dialled in the temperature (180ºC - too cold for PLA but the thermocouple notoriously under-reads on the Anycubic hot-end), speeds (down to 40-50mm/s from 60mm/s with Cura's defaults), layer heights (magic numbers) etc etc etc, I'm actually producing acceptable looking parts.

    Plus you have to train your brain to think about additive manufacturing rather than the usual reductive manufacturing - I'm used to how to make parts on the lathe, for example, by removing material.. orders of operation, tools, speeds, but none of that works with 3D printing as you have to think about supporting against gravity, how you can print off adjacent surfaces etc instead.

    Of course, I decided to "play" with the aim of getting more speed - the stock firmware settings restrict X & Y acceleration to 350mm/s/s due to the huge bed, so I bumped those up to 2000 (X) and 1000 (Y) then brought them down in Cura from 1800 to 500 for printing and 750 for travel, and introduced a load of 'ringing' into the exhaust bends I just printed Oops. Back to something a little more conservative and some Calicats or calicubes to print, I think!

    Quote Originally Posted by conrod View Post
    I still find using a 3D printer to produce replacement or upgraded parts for itself a fascinating concept!
    I think that makes it one of maybe two or three kinds of machines? A lathe can make all of itself (bar raw castings if cast), I think a mill can with the addition of a rotary table.. and a 3D printer can print itself. I find that fascinating, too!

    A couple of recent prints:


    Said indicator relocation bracket plus a Y-belt tensioner. I really should turn a proper roller on the lathe, though, instead of being lazy and printing one!



    You can see some of the poor finish in the straight exhaust section after I turned up the speed - by contrast, the tensioner beside it was printed at 0.1 layer height with conservative speeds and the finish is brilliant on that. Shiny black filament doesn't photograph well, but better than the shiny white I was using before!
    My DeDion build diary..
    Hon Sec of the Digidash branch of the Unpopular Kit Car Design club

  4. #4
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    Aaron, you can draw and print a driveshaft with angle scaled yokes, and you have a tool to align your diff and gearbox.

  5. #5
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    Hah! I hadn't thought of that.. You're right, the middle part of the prop would easily fit within 400x400!

    [edit] Do you think it would take 400hp? Just kidding!
    My DeDion build diary..
    Hon Sec of the Digidash branch of the Unpopular Kit Car Design club

  6. #6
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    Love the idea of 3d printing and all the options open to make your own designs from CAD to product in such a short time. Aluminium printing is very interesting and might be the end of CNC machines in the future only time will tell. Just think of all the aluminium products you would print, suspension parts, inlet manifold, even wheels !

  7. #7
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    I have the Ender 3 Pro, or more accurately I bought my son one for his birthday in August and I've been using it ever since. I design my own functional prints with blender and cura.

  8. #8
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    New garage clock made with my Ender3


  9. #9
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    An update for the "3D Printer Nerd" community!

    I managed to grab another bargain a couple of months ago, when I saw an ad on Gumtree for an E3D BigBox printer. These were launched four years ago as a Kickstarter campaign at around £800 - £1000 each. He'd included photos of some things he'd printed recently, and they were absolutely dreadful - as a result he hadn't seen much interest from the ad. I knew these printers were capable of much better quality than that, as they used top quality components and had rave reviews at launch. So I made a 200 mile round trip and struck a deal at £150 -the core components alone were worth far more than this!

    The printer's frame was made from 5mm perspex, which is not the most rigid of materials. The build plate on this HBot style printer moves up and down, driven by two lead screws with four guide rods and bearings - so it was heavily over constrained, making it prone to jamming unless very carefully set up. I decided to strip it down completely and rebuild it as a CoreXY design, with an internal frame made from 2020 extrusion, reusing the perspex as an outer cover. The big advantage of CoreXY is that there are no motors on the X and Y gantries (they're mounted to the frame) so the moving printhead assembly is lighter, which enables much faster print speeds. For that reason, I also decided to use a remote extruder and Bowden tube, thus removing the weight of the extruder motor from the moving assembly.

    Another feature of CoreXY is that the X and Y motor arrangement is very different. They work in tandem - if only one of the two motors turns, the printhead moves diagonally. If both are turning in the same direction the head moves orthogonally. It's also essential that the belts are correctly and equally tensioned, and that the belt runs are parallel to the X and Y beams. The need to perform trigonometric calculations places extra load on the processor, so I also decided to replace the 8-bit board with a 32-bit one (ordered directly from China at the ridiculously low price of £20!).

    Because I was constrained by the frame dimensions, I couldn't use one of the pubicly available CoreXY designs. So I had to come up with my own design, and then design and print all the parts required. It therefore became my main "lockdown" project - and after a month's work it was finally all assembled.

    The frame is now rock solid - even running at full speed there's no vibration. I've cranked the velocity, accereration and jerk values right up, and the mechanics are fine. The limiting factors are the extruder and hotend - if it's cranked up too much the hotend can't melt the filament quickly enough so the extruder starts to skip. It had already been fitted with an E3D Volcano hotend with a 40 watt heater - so the only way I can increase the threshold is to upgrade to a SuperVolcano with an 80w heater - but that's another £130, and the smallest nozzle available is 0.8mm rather than the 0.4mm I'm currently using. This means the extruder would need to push through four times the volume of filament, thus probably cancelling out the extra power of the 80 watt heater, and redcing the print quality significantly too - so I'll stick with the Volcano!

    Here are some videos of the printer in action:

    https://youtu.be/dFGOngoKS8I

    https://youtu.be/Sf--GgFO12E

    https://youtu.be/IV9rP6Y26HU

    I'm still using the original A4998 stepper drivers at the moment, but I've just received some TMC2209s from China which should reduce the stepper noise a fair bit!
    Alan

    Ex CRC Thames Valley Regional Rep - please contact me if you're interested in taking on the role!
    UK Rep for European Cobra Club (eurocobra.boards.net)

    Dax 427 DeDion - now sold
    2003 E85 Z4 3.0i - the new toy!

  10. #10
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    Don't know why I didn't think of printing parts for my Cobra before - I've had a 3D printer for a couple of years now (Wanhao i3+). I was using OpenSCAD to design but have now switched to FreeCAD which has a much steeper learning curve but is so much quicker and more powerful, for certain operations at least.

    This evening I've designed some simple caps to finish the ends of the door seals, which have always looked a bit crap. I print almost exclusively in ABS now - got fed up with PETG stringing and blobbing and PLA is too brittle. I'd love to print with Nylon but have had little success - when I dry the roll out again I'll give it another shot. I get superb results and they're even better improved with a little sanding and painting. Next thing will be to print some grommet covers for the roll bars - again, another thing that lets down the look of the car (which I built 15 years ago).

    I've already printed a new bracket for one of my cooling fans which had broken.
    Reverend Robin
    GD427 Euro

    He who dies with the most tools wins

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