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Journeyman Lunatic
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Discussion Starter #21
Between work and hobby prints, I've spent about $10k with Shapeways (using SLS) over the last couple years. And about $7k with Quickparts (using SLA) before that.

My questions in this thread are in regard to an affordable 3D printer using the FDM process, and whether there was anything really wrong about that cheap one I first cited. And, as Beddhist showed, yep, there are. So now, I'm probing the alternatives, and thanks guys for all the further comments on those products.

Not buying immediately, but my short list includes Folger Tech and HICTOP. I still don't like it that I have to pay $100 to FT just to email them though.
 

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Which models? I noticed that they both offer a Prusa i3 but one has a much bigger build platforms.
As long as you are spending that much money on prints. (I'm at about 12 k to shapeways) Have you considered one of the higher priced models? Formlabs has a very accurate printer Form 1 with 25 -200 micron layers thickness (.025 to .2 mm). Only problem is the build platform is very small. 6.5"x just shy 5" X just shy 5" prints.
They are about 3k shipped and the form 2 is about 800 dollars more but has about 6.375"X5.75"x5.75" build. It is more expensive but it's assembled has great support and software and the finish parts are ready to paint. The only drawback is the build size and the costs, but considering what you've spent it seems neglible. Here is a link to their newest model.
http://formlabs.com/products/3d-pri...JFmPXRerEkcj99yJWSC3QfXo30I30aBpXwaAmZR8P8HAQ
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Richard, most of that was for work, but yes, I see your point.

Thanks for that link, I've not seen that before. Looks beautiful. But I'm afraid my budget needs to stay around $500.

The one I'm most eyeing now is the HICTOP (who the heck came up with that??), 270 x 200 x 190, $418. Good (not perfect) reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YWOUTHE/ref=s9_dcbhz_bw_d0_g328_i1_sh?tag=viglink12177-20

The build size, in inches, is 10.6 x 7.8. With a hypotenuse of 13.2, that should allow for some pretty long/skinny parts.

For filament, Folger Tech has 1kg spools for $13 +s/h, seems like a good deal.
 

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Maybe a silly question... but if you only buy one reel of filament to start, what type (PLA, ABS, etc.) and what color would be the best for performing the setup and learning how to use the machine... and if there is any left, then for general use?
 

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the one i bought, came with a cartridge of white ABS.
(i have read, that these included cartridges are just half full)
set-up did not cost much filament. the demo-prints (a lion and a lighthouse) look good in white. as i am planning to paint most of the prints, i just bought black and white cartridges.
that ABS plastic is hard. i broke off part of one demo print, trying to get it out of the printer.
 

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From my experience with now almost a full year with the da-vinci, the black filament has had the best flow properties when heated as well as printing properties. I had tried white, but the layers were more prone to separation, as well as warping due to heat. I had one 13 hour print, that with the white filament that ended up looking like a taco due to warping. Changed the cartridge to black and it printed like a charm. I cannot say that this is true for all brands, just the xyz cartridges. The software that comes with the davinci system is also pretty good easy to use, although it only accepts stl files, but the stl file is still the most accepted form of file for 3d printing industry wide at this current time.
 

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Richard! Drat you!

Now I won't be happy until I buy that $3500 printer... wow, the finish is great! Everything I have seen on the lower cost printers would take so much finish work as to not be worth it in my time.

Now all I need to do is find someone in San Diego that wants to share the printer, cost and ownership...

Greg
 

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Good luck Greg, My sister laughed at me....
John
 

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Greg,
I have heard of collectives in a lot of bigger cities,,, I live in the sticks,,, that co-op printers and even provide services. You might want to look at joining one of the those, but I think the caveat is you have to attend and pay for their training courses on the machines and I heard the price varies.
 

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kormsen,

I am currently running two computers for the printer, both with windows 10 installed, I had previously used windows 8 on both machines and both had worked well.

WCRR152
 

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Discussion Starter #36 (Edited)
WCRR, does your davinci have a heated bed? That might have something to do with the warping. Also, what were your materials? PLA and ABS come in black and white...

Beddhist, good point on 3DHubs. From my limited experience, it seems anyone can get a cheap 3d printer and be a 3dh provider, so it's the luck of the draw. I went through one long episode with 3DH with a local guy who had good ratings. It took a couple weeks of file back-and-forth. And the part I got back had so much support material, it couldn't be separated. It wasn't salvageable, by any means.

However, if you know the printer hardware, I suppose you can identify someone on 3DH having, say, the Formlabs printer, and go for that (vs., say, the guy with a simple Prusa).

Kormsen, looks like they supplied you with a bad demo model that violated the min thickness rules for your machine... BTW, what kind of machine did you get?

Richard, thanks, and will do. DO you already have a PLA machine? Just curious.

Semper, I have the same question, so I'll get a spool of PLA & ABS. In white, because I'll always paint the part (tried colored parts from Shapeways, what a fiasco; and the colored filaments seem too neon...).

Greg, as for resolution, yeah, it would be nice to have the best. And maybe you'll find a local partner; I agree, 3DHubs is a great place to look.

But, there are two things I'm looking forward to messing with, for post-print finishing. One is the smoothing product put out by (who else) Smooth-On: XTC-3D. I picked up a kit at a trade show, but haven't tried it out yet.

The second thing is "wood" filament. Sounds a lot easier to sand! But has anyone here used it? And can it be sealed adequately?

Cliff
 

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I'll go halvesies with anybody here... but I don't want to split the cost and usage each 50-50... I want to split it horizontally... 100-100... you buy it and I'll use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
:D

Cliff

PS, I've got a bad case of twitchy finger... that triple-tap on Add to Cart, Proceed to Checkout, Place Order...
 

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WCRR - thanks!

Cliffy,
i just did not use a scraper, for prying it loose, but pulled on the head of the tower...
mumble: "learningcurve..."
the next one came off very fine - using a scraper.
i have the all in one from Da Vinci. and i'm still trying to find out, how to do more, than calibrate and print demo pieces.
the software insists every time i try to send a file for printing, that i configurate what printer i use.
at the moment i have installed and configurated everything for the fourth time.
next step: get an english windows, instead of a spanish one. (sometimes programs behave funny, when one has different languages working).

Semper,
with anybody?
i would pay 75%, and the electricity. you come over here, for printing.
 

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Cliffy buddy....better give your burning holes in your pockets to your wife for awhile....seems best approach...till yea gits your bearings buddy.....geez. Christmas was last week.
 
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