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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Developers' Corner
3D printing discussion
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CreatorLes



Joined: Oct 05, 2014
Posts: 22
Location: San Antonio TX USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:59 pm    Post subject: 3D printing discussion
Subject description: how it relates to electro-music.com
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Hi,

I'm Les and I'm back, and I've brought a little friend with me - his name is 3D printing! In the past 10 months or so I have been educating myself on the topic and I even have a 3D printer at home and use a 3d printing service as well. I'd like to open a discussion on how we can use 3D printing in electro-music projects and events and such.

do you want custom knobs? Front panels with raised dragons fighting each other? custom enclosures? special materials or shapes? mounts for laser mirrors or whatever, speaker horns, etc.

I am offering my knowledge for free and will help you by providing goods for purchase or by showing you how to be a 3d printing goods provider or manufacturer yourself. Mainly I want to sprinkle the pixie dust of imagination on electro-music in the context of this emerging and game changing technology.

3D printing: the future is now!

Les
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BobTheDog



Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 3880
Location: England
Audio files: 32
G2 patch files: 15

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So what's your recommendation for a decent/cheap printer?
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CreatorLes



Joined: Oct 05, 2014
Posts: 22
Location: San Antonio TX USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There is a good printer at every price point. If you want to spend $800, then I suggest my printer, the ROBO 3D R1 model. Of course you will also need to spend a few hundred on materials and tools and maybe a table for it, so plan for all that. Shipping is $50 on a printer.

Now, having suggested my ROBO 3D, I also want to say that if you can go about double the price there are many more reliable options. ROBO may arrive with parts missing or broken, their quality control lacks somewhat, however in time you will get ROBO humming along beautifully depositing lovely melted filament traces on its super-smooth glass bed.

For a printer lower in price than ROBO 3D i'd go with PrintrBot and buy it from www.adafruit.com no questions asked, get the preassembled "metal" version. There are upgrades to it for heated bed and dual extrusion and other features if you want those.

For a printer higher in price than ROBO 3D the number of choices increases exponentially with each $200 more you pay. If I wanted the cadillac i'd buy a MakerBot hands down no questions asked.

Also please consider if using some of the many printer services is best for you. this is an early adopter technology which means that YOUR PRINTER WILL BREAK from time to time. Let someone else deal with that hassle and get a fair price on some great prints by going with www.shapeways.com or one of endless thousands of small companies happy to do $100 print jobs for you.

Final suggestion: run your decision past me before you buy. I've got 10 months invested in this hobby and I can do research on your option to see if it is a good one for your needs. I'm happy to advise and for the most part fair and unbiased.

Les
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DES



Joined: Feb 28, 2003
Posts: 685
Location: New Jersey
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Nice info!

I've been refurbishing/modding an old Liberty router system to eventually make front panels and circuit boards...could do wood work as well with a change if the spindle.. I've also seen some printer spindles that would allow me to do 3D to a limited extent.

WRT 3D printing...how strong are the finished pieces? Obviously alot depends on structure...but I just keep getting this picture in my head of the layers coming apart or the item shattering if it fell off the work bench...

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CreatorLes



Joined: Oct 05, 2014
Posts: 22
Location: San Antonio TX USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

3D printed parts are not very strong, though they can be extremely strong under certain manufacturing conditions. They do not shatter if dropped from a workbench, however as you mention the layered nature of them is their weakness. You generally cannot play HULK and rip parts apart with your hands (though sometimes with weak parts you can), but with tools if you break a part it will separate at the layers and a crack tends to propagate.

Another concern is the Tg, or glass transition temperature. This is the temp at which the material will soften or even melt. Most 3D printed parts have low Tg, but the materials are getting better all the time.

For refurbishing a synth, I would think that investing in a laser cutter would be the thing. Or both preferably. I am currently working on a set of knurled pot knobs which is a good application for 3D printing.

Les
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DrJustice



Joined: Sep 13, 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Cool, Les - It's good to have a resident 3D printing guru thumleft

As a fun fact on the side: The aircraft industry are already using 3D printed parts in commercial aircraft. From interior parts to fuelling systems and they're now into printing jet turbine blades and more. Their printers are a tad more expensive than the DIY ones though, using electron beam melting and titanium and other exotic alloys. I reckon 3D printing is the future for lots of manufacturing, and not least, a new world of DIY opportunities. Very exciting stuff Smile

Ed: sp.

Last edited by DrJustice on Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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CreatorLes



Joined: Oct 05, 2014
Posts: 22
Location: San Antonio TX USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Dr. Justice, as usual you are forward thinking and right on target. Without question the most gigantic claim made of 3D printing, which I firmly believe personally, is that 3D printing and related technologies are harboring in the Third Industrial Revolution. This will be an empowerment of the abused and almost nonexistent middle class that has been eroded by big business's abuse of the basic economic principles of free enterprise, most notably Freedom of Entry and Exit without which we can have only stagnation and economic decline. Now with a 3D printer in every neighborhood, the average Joe can rapidly prototype ideas and inventions and gadgets from a little plastic do dad to a complex industrial system. Some are saying that this development coupled with crowd funding could bring about a new age of prosperity that makes the first two industrial revolutions look like minor changes by comparison. With technology reaching even the most impoverished people of the world, we can lift up our downtrodden brethren and have an entire planet of peace and prosperity for all Human beings. Or so I believe. This is why I'm so excited about 3D printing - it's more than just a printer, it's a revolution in disguise.

Les
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CreatorLes



Joined: Oct 05, 2014
Posts: 22
Location: San Antonio TX USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

oh, i thought of a follow-up to the discussion of what printer is best to get. Look at features from the most obvious to the nitty gritty. You want to decide what feature is important to you, or what few, and then you can decide from there. For example, if you want super high quality and are willing to give up build volume to the point of having a small 6" cube of space to work with, then a MakerBot Mini is for you. Here are some features to consider:


Build Volume (8" cube is typical)
minimum layer thickness (100 um is typical, 50 is bonus)
endlosed, partially enclosed, or open frame (got kids? get enclosed)
open filament usage or locked in to manufacturer's filament (big deal)
Bowden feed mechanism (cannot run flexible filaments)
rostock (delta) or orthogonal structure (orthogonal typical, delta has advantages)
firmware - do you need to have your PC connected to run it?
automatic bed leveling - a must have these days
heated bed - allows use of ABS and hi temp materials, very nice to have
what type of feed system? can it run unattended (mine cannot, needs babysitting which will wear you out in a 3 hour job)
motor torque (higher better)
does the table move forward and back or up and down
is it a kickstarter newbie printer (be prepared for problems) or established 3rd generation (fewer problems)
does it come with tools (mine did)
does it have a single or dual extruder - dual is not all it is cracked up to be yet is very nice if you want to make curved bottom objects, otherwise all objects need flat bottoms).
the list goes on....

Tally up your important features and compare them to what you want to do with the printer. keep in mind things like a huge build volume means a 12 hour print to use the full volume, etc. Then find a printer with the desired set of features.

Les
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