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  • Topic: Different type of 3D printers for modeling

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    • March 3, 2021 9:33 AM EST
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      Different type of 3D printers for modeling

       

      There's been much interest in 3D printing, and what different types of printers are out there.  I thought I'd start this thread off with the two main (and inexpensive) types of printers that are commonly used for modeling.

       

      Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

      With this technology, objects can be built with production-grade thermoplastics (Generally PLA, but also ABS, TPU, PET and PETG, PEEK, and others).   Objects are built layer by layer by heating the plastic filament to its melting point and extruding it. 

       

      Stereolithography (SLA)

      Stereolithography makes use of a liquid plastic as the source material and this liquid plastic is transformed into a 3D object layer by layer.  Liquid resin is placed in a vat that has a transparent bottom.   A UV laser traces a pattern on the liquid resin from the bottom of the vat to cure and solidify a layer of the resin.  The solidified structure is progressively dragged up by a lifting platform while the laser forms a different pattern for each layer to create the desired shape of the 3D object.

       

      I have no direct experience with SLA printing, but generally, SLA provides much finer detail, and quicker print speed for multiple items, at the expense of the size of object you can print.  SLA also has more post-processing needed (curing, washing, etc) whereas an FDM-printed object is near ready-to-use.

       

      This post was edited by Bob McCown at March 5, 2021 9:36 AM EST
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      Bob, your Site Host and Benevolent Dictator.

    • March 3, 2021 10:23 AM EST
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      Bob,

      I don't own a printer, but have associates who do.

      I have quite a few bits and pieces printed for me by them.

      They have moved on from filament printers to resin printers.

      The results of the resin types are superior to the filament.

    • March 3, 2021 8:37 PM EST
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Keep the learning coming Bob, I really would like to know a LOT more on this 

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      The Babs River Railway

      We can do that, but its gonna cost you... a lot more

       

    • March 4, 2021 7:32 AM EST
      • Southwestern, NH
         
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      SLA printers are much more affordable for our hobby today with the Anycube variant. when I got into this I had tried a FDM machine  that had a larger build footprint. I ultimately returned this unit as the larger build platform didn't relate to the ability to make larger models that I wanted at that time. I had been exposed to and had a few prints done on a high end SLA machine as early as 2007 and it was hard to lose the detail with the FDM. I was aware of the form 1 when it first cam out, but the build volume was less than needed. enter the Form 2 which had a much bigger build volume, and a friend that had one for his business. a couple of prints later I was hooked. at that time it was a 5K investment for the full kit.

      like FDM there are many resigns available (at least in the Form 2 lineup) some are very fragile for everyday model  use, others are much more impact resistant. I use one called durable for parts that are  in harms way. many of the parts I have spit out have been used to make rubber spin cast molds. they have a wax based resign that is for making lost wax masters that fully burn out. recently there is a resign that effectively replicates rubber flexible parts. I have not tried all of the resins as you need a liter of resign and a tray that costs about $250.00. one advantage to the form 2 and it further variants is that it has found a home in the dental appliance market, and has resins specifically for that discipline.

      I should mention that I use Solidworks 2017 (from my former business) for model creation, and The Form 2 has a dedicated slicer/support program called Preform, that is constantly being updated

    • March 5, 2021 12:36 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      I just looked at how relatively inexpensive these printer are.  Wow...  These really open up the possibilities for folks with limited space to store an arsenal of tools, let alone the budget to buy that arsenal!  Teach on!

    • March 5, 2021 8:36 AM EST
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      Eric Mueller said:

      I just looked at how relatively inexpensive these printer are.  Wow...  These really open up the possibilities for folks with limited space to store an arsenal of tools, let alone the budget to buy that arsenal!  Teach on!

       

      Yea, prices for printers really have come down, and the market has a ton of options to chose from.   They're still not a commodity like laser or inkjet printers are, they still need care and feeding (leveling, tweaking, etc) but they're getting there.

       

      One thing you need to accept going into 3d printing is that you *will* get print failures, often several hours into a print.  Sometimes you can recover from them with some tricks, but usually I just figure out the problem and start again.

      This post was edited by Bob McCown at March 6, 2021 12:32 AM EST
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    • March 5, 2021 9:35 AM EST
      • Becker, Minnesota
         
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      Thanks for starting this thread Bob.

      With SLA printers do you need to fill and sand the parts to get rid of the layered look?

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      - Eric

       

      Greater Minnesota Railroad (GMRR)

      "An Adventure in Garden Railroading"

    • March 5, 2021 12:02 PM EST
      • Southwestern, NH
         
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      Eric,

      While there is still some visual stair stepping, it is so small that once painted is not noticeable. depending on type of resin I can have layers between 100 and 25 microns. most time I run at 50 microns and if I did the math correctly that is .002 per layer. I would check the specifications for the printer you are considering.

       

      Al P.

    • March 5, 2021 12:54 PM EST
      • Waverly, Alabama
         
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      Al Pomeroy said:

      Eric,

      While there is still some visual stair stepping, it is so small that once painted is not noticeable. depending on type of resin I can have layers between 100 and 25 microns. most time I run at 50 microns and if I did the math correctly that is .002 per layer. I would check the specifications for the printer you are considering.

       

      Al P.

      Eric, to follow up on Al's comments, you will also have some post processing to clean up the support connection points.  With resin (SLA/DLP/LED) printers, the parts must have supports in order to have a successful print.  The connection points will need some degree of sanding/cleaning depending on the size of the connection, your overall desired look and whether or not the support face must mate or be glued to another surface.  The cleanup is not hard, it just takes a little time.

      ____________________________________

       

    • March 5, 2021 3:55 PM EST
      • Southwestern, NH
         
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      Dan,

      Good point, easy to forget about. what I try to do is position the supports where they are more easily cleaned up, and generally away from the highly detailed surfaces when ever possible.

      Al P.

    • March 5, 2021 8:08 PM EST
      • Waverly, Alabama
         
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      Al, since most of the stuff I print that is RR related gets heavily weathered to look old and used, I've found the support connection points can simulate rust pitting if properly painted so they come in handy from time to time.  But hiding them as you suggested is a great idea.

      ____________________________________

       

    • March 6, 2021 12:39 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Thanks, everyone.  We are still tinkering with materials and methods as we settle on what works for us, balancing durability, affordability, and, yes, pleasure of the process.  I could really see something like this paying for things like windows, doors, and detail parts.  I am not sure how much I would enjoy dickering with CAD software to make more complex things.

       

      Eric

    • March 6, 2021 9:16 AM EST
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Eric Mueller said:

      Thanks, everyone.  We are still tinkering with materials and methods as we settle on what works for us, balancing durability, affordability, and, yes, pleasure of the process.  I could really see something like this paying for things like windows, doors, and detail parts.  I am not sure how much I would enjoy dickering with CAD software to make more complex things.

       

      Eric

      Eric,

      A 3D printer (of any type) is very handy to make doors and windows - and they were SO much nicer than the ones I scratch built from styrene.  And if you're NOT going for very fine detail, the SLA printers work just fine.   Be aware that you probably need to PAINT the finished product with paint that provides UV protection. 

       

      If you don't want to mess with CAD software, you probably don't have to.   First of all, there a LOT of stuff available at https://www.thingiverse.com/ - here your best bet here is to be prepared to use various search terms as the search engine there does NOT seem very smart.

      Every printer that I have seen seems to come with some software that translates the .stl file into the instructions for the specific printer.   Most of this software allows you to scale the product - at worst, you might have to do some math to figure out the proper ratio for scaling an 1:12 window or door to 1:22.5.   (And if you really hate math, AND have the patience, I bet somebody here would do it for you!  )

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • March 6, 2021 11:41 PM EST
      • Mount Vernon, Missouri
         
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      I have printed hundreds of parts on our train trailer. I will include a couple videos that shows our mine deck that is loaded with 3D printed parts. 

      The next video is a moonshine still, 

      There are many many other printed parts on this trailer layout.

      All these parts are printed out of PLA because it is not exposed to direct sunlight, anything I print for outside is PETG it is very durable to exterior elements.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_ll3IKtiHg

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSbeVP3WNqY

      The next video is showing many 3D printed parts but did not say in the audio, I mention a lot of parts to see, but did not mention them being printed.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSMO1vzFirQ

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKpc4YOKx60

      This last video shows a slow walk around of the trailer, again shows a lot of 3D printed parts, Buckets, concrete blocks, Steel rack with printed steel angles and bars stacked on the rack.  In the hotel there is the check in counter with check in book and service bell printed. The Backery has pies , cake, breads, soda bottles, all the shelving, the windows and doors in the hotel building. Gas cans, Milk cans, cattle watering tank, moonshine bottles, the baggage cart and suit cases on the cart.  In the cook shack all the dishes were printed the water tank and the wood fired water heater, the dishwasher sink, the large coffee dispencer. All the dishes on the outside covered table , the refridge, and green freezer, the meat grinder and the meat all printed. The sliced breads and cut pies are lasered. Remember for every part that was printed it had to be hand painted, See all the blue dishes with white speckels? more than 50 of them.  There are many items I have failed to mention, but if you are into details a printer is a must. Try buying some of what I printed,

      Yes I have DRAWN every part I printed, in sketchup, I have 13 yrs experience with sketchup in my business, so yes it works very well for me.

      I use 2 different FDM printers, Sorry not the cheap ones, I have used 3 different Tevo brand with good success, because we print for our business I have purchased a Makergear and a Mason, beds are 8 x 8.5" x 8.5" tall print tables. Both are american made a must for me from now on. 

      SLICER programs can be a problem, I started with Matter Control bought the 150.00 Simplified 3D , The word simplified is a lie, for me. I have used CURA , Hmmm ok I keep going back the Matter Control, so simple. 

      Do I use Thingyverse? no , They have very little of what I need/want, I can draw up most of what I want before I can find it and down load for printing. I have spent a lot of time TRYING to find things , Screw it ,,,I just draw what I need. I know that is easy for me, not for many others. 

      Do I put my drawings into thingyverse, No , never looked into it, and probably will not bother the time it takes to research how to do it.

      Have I shared my drawings sure have, all I need is an email and what you want and some time to do it, and maybe a reminder.

      Have I ever drawn things for others? sure have. Most of the time for free.

      Figures have I drawn figures? YEs Massive time to do that. Printed a few, will do more later, ONLY FOR MY FUN. I still own and run a business.

       

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