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  • Topic: 3D printer

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    • April 13, 2020 3:22 AM EDT
      • London, England
         
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      3D printer

      Hi fols, is there anyone that knows their 3D printers? I need advice, I'm going to get my 1st 3D printer and I can't seem to make a decision which one. Could you check the website and leave feedback.

    • April 13, 2020 9:57 AM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Welcome to the forum.

      Rather than guessing your needs/wants, why don't you give us an idea of your plans. Want to make details and parts or are you of a mind to make long car bodies?

      What's your price range? What quality do you need and / or expect?

      What website?

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • April 13, 2020 10:19 AM EDT
      • Your Host in Littleton, MA
         
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      There's a handful of us here that have 3d printers.   The decisions really seem to be "How big of a print bed do I want?" and whether you are going to make high-resolution parts, figures, etc, or just assorted detail parts that dont need high resolution.  3d printers still arent very end-user friendly (in. my opinion), they aren't like getting printer or scanner.  They require fiddling, cleaning, and a bunch of other care and feeding to keep working correctly.  I've had mine going for about 3 weeks straight, 16 hours a day, printing respirators for local hospitals, and every couple of days I need to adjust things to keep it going.

      ____________________________________

      Bob, your Site Host and Benevolent Dictator.

    • April 13, 2020 6:48 PM EDT

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      I suggest that the decision process should go like this:

      • What material do you want to use? I assume that we are talking garden railways so I recommend you print using ABS (the stuff Lego bricks are made of). It won't melt and will last much longer in outdoor use.
      • Given you will be printing in ABS then you need a fully enclosed printer. ABS printing needs a controlled temperature to print fine detail well.
      • Next question is how much you want to spend. If you want to print large parts which fit in a 300mm x 300mm x 300mm volume and upwards then you can spend thousands of pounds. Personally I go for printers which cost 300 to 500 pounds and print bits in two halves if necessary and glue them together. Also expensive printers tend to print faster but that's not a factor if you leave big jobs to print overnight. It used to be that expensive printers were higher resolution and therefore printed more accurate components but that seems to be no longer true. Some cheap printers now will do 100 micron (0.1mm) resolution which is fine for garden railway purposes.

      So which would I recommend? The UP Mini 2 or the Flashforge Adventurer 3 (Google their names for your local suppliers). The former is around 500 pounds and is easier to use "out of the box". The latter is about 350 pounds, has a bigger print volume (150mm x 150mm x 150mm) and better resolution (down to 80 microns) but has a bit more of a learning curve.

      Finally, as Bob said, 3D printers are not like paper printers. They need adjusting, cleaning and experimentation. They can produce great results but only if you take an interest in getting those results.

      Regards

      Peter Lucas

      MyLocoSound

    • April 21, 2020 6:36 AM EDT
      • London, England
         
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      The website you asked about was a back link. However, I'll add it here https://www.dibbsto.co.uk/3d-printer/
      I don't need an expensive 3D printer. Just something to have fun with and relatively easy to use, since it's my 1st one.

    • April 21, 2020 7:17 AM EDT
      • West Glocester, Rhode Island
         
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      Lewis Oliver said:

      The website you asked about was a back link. However, I'll add it here https://www.dibbsto.co.uk/3d-printer/
      I don't need an expensive 3D printer. Just something to have fun with and relatively easy to use, since it's my 1st one.

      Whichever you decide to get, I wouldn't buy from that website.  Looks like a sham.

      -Dan

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    • April 21, 2020 6:24 PM EDT
      • OTTAWA, Ontario
         
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      Lewis Oliver - Have you learned to draw in 3D? Knowing how to draw in 3D will be 10 steps closer to getting your 3D printer to make exactly what you want.

      Many guys think 3D printing is as easy as popping a slice of pizza in the microwave to warm it up. 3D printing is a craft. You often have to finesse your design to get the object built in the printer as you need it to be. 

      Downloaded files don't always work for the large scale.

      Each 3D printer works differently than a competitor's machine. The print building software is different than the competitor's machine. You'll be spending countless hours mastering it as well. You'll be learning to run the machine mostly on your own. 

      The technology is moving so fast, the machines go out of production just as fast as the change of seasons and then you can't find repair parts. 3D printers are still in their infancy just like auto or motorcycle manufacturers were in their first 50 years of manufacturing. There are many out there but won't be around in 10 years. 

      Affordable scanners are only good enough to make snowballs.

      I also echo what has been said above by my fellow members.

      Buy the machine with the best resolution you can afford. I wouldn't touch a machine costing less than $500. 

      A 3D printer is a great tool for the hobby of model railroading. Just be ready to spend a lot of time ( like never before ) making your models to make the investment pay off.

    • April 21, 2020 8:48 PM EDT
      • Waverly, Alabama
         
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      Lewis, all the advice given above is solid.  You can spend any amount you want on a printer but in the end it comes down to how much work you are willing to put into getting the printer up and running and maintaining it.  If you like building and tinkering, you can go the cheap route and you will eventually get it like you want but it takes a lot of time, patience and upgrades.  In the end you will probably spend as much on a cheap Chinese printer as you would on a higher end model from a reputable company.  If I were going to make a specific recommendation, it would be to buy a Prusa.  They are on the expensive side (~$1000) but you will have a quality printer and spend more time printing than tinkering.  I'm not throwing rocks at any other brands, but I've been 3D printing for 3 years now and have had no issues with my Prusa.  Its rock solid and has a very good support community.  I've run mine for as many as 200+ hours straight with no issues other than changing filaments.  Its like the Energizer Bunny, it just keeps going and going. 

       

      I will echo Gilbert's comment about learning to create 3D models.  If you are not familiar with 3D modeling, I would spend some time learning the basics before I bought a printer.  Downloading designs off the internet is fine, but it gets old quickly and you won't always find what you need.  Now is a good time to study this part of 3D printing because unless you have a secret supplier, filament for 3D printers is more scarce than toilet paper.  There are many 3D design packages available to you but I would highly, highly recommend Fusion 360.  Fusion is an AutoDesk (AutoCAD) product and for hobbyist is free.  And the free version is not some scaled down version, its the real deal.

       

      Anyway, that's my 2 cents FWIW.

      ____________________________________

       

    • April 21, 2020 9:20 PM EDT
      • Chaco, Paraguay
         
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      Lewis,

      if you want a negative example about buying a cheap printer, have a read:

       

      https://www.largescalecentral.com/forums/topic/24939/3d-adventures/view/page/1

      ____________________________________

       

      My Chaosplace ->  

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