### Network

#### Ian

Aug 23, 2006
1,486
Do we have many members with 3D printers here? I've had a Wanhao Duplicator i3 for a while now, and I've found it a huge amount of fun... even if about many of the things I print are for further tweaking the printer!

I've seen the occasional mention of 3D printing on the forums, but it would be nice to have a thread where we can find other members with a printer.

Here's my current Wanhao i3 (v2.1):

It's got a few modifications to it, which have improved the stock performance quite a bit (although it was pretty good to begin with):
• Glass Bed (and heat transfer pads)
• Z-Braces Mod
• PTFE Filament Guide Tube
• OctoPi Printer Server + Webcam
• Diii Cooler (improves filament cooling for overhangs)

Here's one of the early prints in PLA (an articulated-joint octopus from Thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:745413)

#### Ian

Aug 23, 2006
1,486
Since posting this thread, I've upgraded from the Wanhao Duplicator i3 to the Prusa MK2S - they're both the same Cartesian style (with a moving bed), but this one has a proximity sensor to help with adjusting the first layer height. It speeds things up so much - it's almost click and print.

The downside is that printing can be slow, so it's been running around 12 hours a day since I bought it. Here is a photo I took mid-print a few moments ago (printing an enclosure for another 3D printer controller):

They are so, so much fun to use. They're also very simple to build from scratch (loads of firmware is open source), which halves the price compared to some of the mid-range kits.

Any other 3D printer users here?

#### kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
4,864
Sadly not for me. I can see that the technology has come on leaps and bounds since I first took notice of 3D printers but they still aren't (imho) as useful and reliable as I'd like them to be before I could justify committing to one.

Out of curiosity, how much does a typical 3Dprint cost in material terms?

I think I'd go for a CNC router before I did 3D printing although I'm more than impressed with your enclosure print - very nice indeed.

#### Ian

Aug 23, 2006
1,486
It's still developing quite quickly, I think it has reached critical mass (at least to an enthusiast level), so there are enough companies trying to innovate to keep things moving along. More importantly, there are now lots of filament suppliers to keep the prints flowing .

Print costs can be quite variable, but a fairly large print like this enclosure would probably cost about £2/3 in filament. This can be lowered a little with improved design or lower infill rates. I pay around £20 on average for a 1kg spool of filament.

I almost went down the CNC router path, but I'd probably build wooden enclosures or route things I could do with a jig - so I wouldn't make the most of it. Some of the more expensive enthusiast CNC machines like the Shapeoko 3 look fantastic - I'd love to get my hands on one of those so I could route metals .

#### (*steve*)

##### ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd
Moderator
Jan 21, 2010
25,505
At my local hackerspace we have three 3D printers two of them are packed away because the space could better be used for something else. The third is a da Vinci 3D printer of some sort. We've just been offered two other printers which we're apparently taking.

I'm not a great 3D printer user, so I can't say much more. However I'd really like to do something with them, so maybe when I have more time...

I should maybe film a virtual tour of our space

Feb 16, 2016
98
I got this Anet A6 3D printer kit for 180$or something like that, im pretty happy with it so far, i've had no problems with it and it can print all the weird little bits and bops that my endless stream of DIY projects require.. Ian #### BobK Jan 5, 2010 7,682 I asked for one from Santa Clause last year, but then I failed to complete my part by researching which one to get. So Santa (AKA the lovely wife Morticia,) did not bring me one. Maybe this year. Bob #### kellys_eye Jun 25, 2010 4,864 Yeah... Santa let me down with my request for a Bugatti Veyron last year too - seems like I forgot to specify the colour! I'll be having a word with him later........ #### Ian Administrator Aug 23, 2006 1,486 I'm not a great 3D printer user, so I can't say much more. However I'd really like to do something with them, so maybe when I have more time... They're great for knocking up quick enclosures - thingiverse.com is also pretty good if you need to print some spare parts, as there are so many existing STLs that other users have uploaded. I should maybe film a virtual tour of our space Yes, please do . I'd really like to see what other hackerspaces are like. My local town has just opened a "Fab Lab" which works in the same sort of way - I'll be going along in a few weeks to join up and see what is on offer . I got this Anet A6 3D printer kit for 180$ or something like that, im pretty happy with it so far, i've had no problems with it and it can print all the weird little bits and bops that my endless stream of DIY projects require..

That's a fantastic price for a printer - it looks pretty sturdy too . They've come down so much in price over the past year, long may it continue .

Do you find you have to level the print nozzle often, or does it stay fairly constant between prints?

I asked for one from Santa Clause last year, but then I failed to complete my part by researching which one to get. So Santa (AKA the lovely wife Morticia,) did not bring me one. Maybe this year.

If you need any pointers, tag me in a thread if/when you're looking for one and I'll do what I can to advise - I'm always reading up on 3D printers, so may be able to help .

#### Rixen

Feb 16, 2016
98
That's a fantastic price for a printer - it looks pretty sturdy too . They've come down so much in price over the past year, long may it continue .

Do you find you have to level the print nozzle often, or does it stay fairly constant between prints?

It's really quite consistant, even for such a cheapie

I occasionally check the bed level and usually I dont have to make any adjustments, but when I do they are minor, so, it's not that big of a deal I find.

One of my colleagues was replacing the speakers in his car, he somehow broke the mount inside the door, dealer was charging a ridiculous price to replace it, so he drew it up in Fusion and I printed a new one, took 36 hours and used the entire build plate (220 x 220) definately the biggest print i've done on it.. But it came out great..

Yeah... Santa let me down with my request for a Bugatti Veyron last year too - seems like I forgot to specify the colour!

I'll be having a word with him later........

Maybe your in luck, you get to wish for a Chiron instead..

Ian

#### kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
4,864
I got this Anet A6 3D printer kit for 180\$
It loooks as if the table it's sat on is made from a steel or aluminium plate (a thick one too!) or is this just the image resolution and it's actually an upturned piece of worktop material?

#### Rixen

Feb 16, 2016
98
It loooks as if the table it's sat on is made from a steel or aluminium plate (a thick one too!) or is this just the image resolution and it's actually an upturned piece of worktop material?

It's a 7075 aluminium plate, measuring 500 x 550 x 55mm

We always talk about how light that stuff is, well, this thing was a real pain to get up the stairs to my appartment, my back will appreciate not moving it around too much

#### kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
4,864
Nice!

Many people fail to appreciate the need for a properly stable mounting for CNC's and 3D printers. That solution is excellent!

#### Terry01

Jul 5, 2017
206
Just reading the thread. THOSE THINGS ARE AMAZING!! I would like one of those! The Santa idea is a good one too...I just don't know if my Mrs will agree....one way to find out.

I'll let you know how it goes down....

Ian

Jul 5, 2017
206
YIPPEE!!

#### Ian

Aug 23, 2006
1,486
Nice!

Many people fail to appreciate the need for a properly stable mounting for CNC's and 3D printers. That solution is excellent!

Have you got any thoughts as to what may be a cost effective solution for mounting a 3D printer? I mounted some noisy pumps using dense blocks, bolts and an anti-vibration mat - but this would look a little messy in my office. I like the idea of the aluminium plate, but I think that's going to be pretty expensive (especially for two printers).

One of my colleagues was replacing the speakers in his car, he somehow broke the mount inside the door, dealer was charging a ridiculous price to replace it, so he drew it up in Fusion and I printed a new one, took 36 hours and used the entire build plate (220 x 220) definately the biggest print i've done on it.. But it came out great..

What a brilliant use! I'm yet to fully test such a long print like that - I thing the longest I've done so far is around 15h.

#### Terry01

Jul 5, 2017
206
I'm getting 1 from Santa!

I know this could be answered as "how long is a bit of string" but.......I am brand new into hobby electronics, 0 into 3D printers but looking to change that!
Could one of you point me where to look for my first 3D printer. I'd be looking to make project boxes and that sort of stuff so nothing too intricate. I'd look to spend £200-300 or there about.

Ian

#### Ian

Aug 23, 2006
1,486
I'm getting 1 from Santa!

I know this could be answered as "how long is a bit of string" but.......I am brand new into hobby electronics, 0 into 3D printers but looking to change that!
Could one of you point me where to look for my first 3D printer. I'd be looking to make project boxes and that sort of stuff so nothing too intricate. I'd look to spend £200-300 or there about.

Very nice! Things are likely to change in the run up to Christmas, so it may be better to check in a couple of months - it can change that quickly.

A printer that looks pretty interesting is the Monoprice Select Mini - it's a compact 3D Printer that is really very affordable and it's finally available in the UK (it's easy to get hold of in the USA). Here's the Amazon link:

The ANET A6 (like @Rixen has) and A8 are available at around the price range too. Sometimes the CR-10 printer is on offer and falls within your price range - that has some really good reviews, but it's huge!

#### BobK

Jan 5, 2010
7,682
Well, here is a question for you. Would it be difficult to use a 3D printer to squirt resist ink onto a PCB? Are such nozzles available? It seems like the highly accurate positioning these things can do would work very well for making PCBs.

Bob

#### kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
4,864
Would it be difficult to use a 3D printer to squirt resist ink onto a PCB?
I think current technology such as ink deposition or even laser etching will always be preferred over using a 3D printer. PCB printing is only 2D after all.

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