Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


General Introduction

General Introduction

General Introduction

How many here have a 3D printer in your work or home office?
What type do you have?
What software do you use to generate, check or fix the g-code?
What slicer do you use?
Are you pleased with the printed products?

We have a Makerbot Replicator 2X ... http://store.makerbot.com/replicator2x.html
Using gcode viewer from http://gcode.ws/ for checking/fixing & reviewing the g-code & toolpath. Excellent program.
Currently using the latest Makerware slicer with good results.
Also testing Simplify3D from http://www.simplify3d.com/creator/ with good results. It gives lots of control.
So far pleased with the results, but have had curling problems on larger pieces.

Will post some images of parts soon.

RE: General Introduction

We have 2 machines where I work.

Eosint M280 for SLS of aluminum.
Objet Alaris 30Pro for plastics.

Both machines have their own software packages, which we feed from our CAD system (SolidWorks) as SLA files.

We use both machines to make prototypes for design considerations and sometimes sales samples of our products (LED lights) prior to Production.

Both machines work well for most applications, but not all. As state above by CBL, long pieces have issues with warp or curling, usually attributed to localized cooling (SLS) or curing (UV for plastics). Part orientation affects the quality of parts being printed as well, and can also lead to huge support material savings if done properly (like rotating parts 45degs instead of leaving them horizontal). We've tried various types of material for printed optics but even with a lot of manual polishing, they are not perfect, and end up outsourcing them to ProtoLabs or similar.

Below is a picture of several parts from both machines which I piled together for the photo. You can see the curling in the long circuit board mock-up at the top of the photo.

"Art without engineering is dreaming; Engineering without art is calculating."

Have you read FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies to make the best use of these Forums?

RE: General Introduction

We have a Viper si2. We use Xtreme and Accura60 resins from 3DSystems.
The build envelope is 250mm x 250mm x 250mm. We mainly use it our parts but lately offering it to outsiders.
Our parts are small are smallish but it is running everyday and sometimes the builds are timed to run back to back.

RE: General Introduction

I have a Solidoodle 3 FFM printer in my home workshop. Haven't had much time to play with it in the past few weeks as I'm swamped at work.

I've been using Repetier Host to talk to the printer and to review G code, and Slic3r 0.9.9 for model slicing. Most of my modeling is done in Solidworks but I've used SketchUp as well for some parts. On my projects list is setting up Repetier Server on a Raspberry Pi and integrating it into my machine enclosure.

I picked it up more as a "hobby" device than anything else, but I've been working with some friends on designs of a few products they're interested in working on. I've also used it to print out repair parts (mostly brackets and switch levers) on a few broken appliances around my house and the inlaws' house.

Like most home printers, I have some issues with ABS parts (not) sticking to the bed. ABS glue (ABS dissolved in Acetone) works best but can be pretty ugly to look at if you use multi-colour ABS snippings to make your glue. One of the most effective (and cheapest) mods I've made was to get a $2 piece of picture frame glass, coat in in kapton tape (100 foot rolls available on ebay for <$30) and clip that over my print bed with binder clips. Giving the kapton a light sand and wipe with acetone before printing got rid of most of my sticking issues. If I'm doing a long, skinny part I may have to use ABS glue to keep it from curling up.

Finally, the best thing you can do for a home 3D printer is build an enclosure. Lots of curling issues that I get arise from my printer being situated in a cool, damp basement in Toronto. Keeping the ambient temperature around the print bed at 30-40C helps to minimize parts from warping during the print. As I understand it, Stratasys owned a patent on a 3D printer with an enclosure. Maybe now we'll see some enclosed Makerbots hit the market soon.

RE: General Introduction

How many here have a 3D printer in your work or home office?
- I have one at home
What type do you have?
- Printrbot plus
What software do you use to generate, check or fix the g-code?
- Pro-E WF4 to create solid models, .stl output
- Kisslicer to convert .stl to .gcode, and also to have a look at tool paths.
What slicer do you use?
- primarily Kisslicer. I used to use Slic3r but it started giving me trouble @ version 0.96 (?) and after I tried Kisslicer I haven't really needed to go back.
Are you pleased with the printed products?
- usually, yes

I use an aluminum plate for my heated bed, with neoprene insulation below the heater. Kapton tape + ABS juice to make the parts stick. I also have an enclosure around the printer, homemade of acrylic and wood.

I have some ideas about reducing curling and delamination, which I've posted here:

RE: General Introduction

I really do like the idea of adding breaks to the walls of parts as you've done, ivymike. I've tried it on a few parts with great success.

There's another forum that I visit once in a while that has some great 3D printing discussions--> www.soliforum.com . Much of the talk is around the Solidoodle printer but there are some "general" fora as well.

RE: General Introduction

Picked up a SoliDoodle II in late '12(?) as a hobby machine, but I knew it would eventually be rolled into the home business over time. I picked it up with the intent of making bit/baubles for my custom pens... lost was casting would turn my designs into pewter/silver pieces. It took me a while to tweak the machine for the best print (and it could probably use some more tweaking time), but I'm happy with the output so far. 0.1mm layer resolution is good enough for me, though I wish they would tweak the firmware to handle g-code circles as a unit item. I'm using Repetier with Slic3r.

Dan - Owner

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close