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3D Printing anyone?

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Mike Labbe

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We got into this a couple years ago with the affordable Creality Ender 3 3D printer. (seen in the video)

We since purchased another, which is uv light and resin based, for higher resolution. (Photon S)

Anyone else? What do you do with yours?

 

Mike Labbe

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Initially, we got them because Andy uses them to produce terrain, objects, and characters for gaming setups. We have them at home, not at the shop.

I've found many uses for it, and it's good to make replacement parts, cup holders, cell phone cases, and other small objects. They can print hard plastic, silicone type rubber, even a sandable wood material. thingiverse.com has thousands of pre designed files that are free for downloading.

Since March, one of them has been running nearly 24/7 to print PPE related stuff that we donated to local nursing homes, hospitals, businesses, and even some for Grumblers who made donations :) We give out the surgical mask straps free to our customers, branded with the shop name.

The printers are fairly inexpensive, starting at less than $200
 

Nikodeumus

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I have been seriously researching 3D printers for a few months.
I've watched numerous videos on both filament and resin-based printers.
I very nearly bought a filament printer that can use two separate filament feeders simultaneously for multicolour, or mixed-material objects.
The resin type seems to be somewhat messy, dealing with the excess resin, etc.
But at the benefit of a much higher quality object.
Have you found this to be true? Or am I off base on that?
 

Mike Labbe

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You are exactly correct.

Basic 3d printers, like the Ender 3, start at under $200. The Ender 3 V2 comes out this week, in fact. For most, this is sufficient. The materials are inexpensive (a $20 roll of filament will last a LONG time) This is the printer we printed hundreds of surgical mask ear relief guards with. There's no odor and it's easy to upgrade and maintain.

The resin printers use chemicals that can be somewhat smelly and toxic. We had to put a ventilation system in the house, connected with some ductwork that vents outside. With the duct exhaust fan on, there is no smell. The quality is much better.
 
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Mike Labbe

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I printed some of these and it is a one piece print that has a clip that moves to hold the clear face shield.

We mostly did the ear guards, in a variety of designs.
20200617_073330.jpg
 

Rick Hennen

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I printed some of these and it is a one piece print that has a clip that moves to hold the clear face shield.

We mostly did the ear guards, in a variety of designs.
View attachment 34493
Mike, I have also been doing my research for one of these machines. To your knowledge, have they come out with a production machine yet that is somewhat reasonable? I turn down projects that are 3d and may require 50 to 300 pieces that can not be milled efficiently with my CNC router. I just had one where they wanted 350 small 3D birds that were mounted on walls in a hotel and were being used as hanging fixtures. I initially considered 3D printing then thought about resin casting. Thanks for any input Rick
 

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JFeig

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All the the commercial (professional) machines are much more costly than the "Hobby Printers". I have seen production shops that might have 40-80 Prusa printers on racks printing away. The original Prusa kit is about $750 and the bed is about 8.3" x 8.3".

My Creality CR10-S4 is just over 15.5" x 15.5" and was in the $500 range.
 
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Mike Labbe

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Our Creality Ender 3 is about 9" x 9" (but it measured in MM) The resin print has a much smaller printing area.

Mike, I have also been doing my research for one of these machines. To your knowledge, have they come out with a production machine yet that is somewhat reasonable? I turn down projects that are 3d and may require 50 to 300 pieces that can not be milled efficiently with my CNC router. I just had one where they wanted 350 small 3D birds that were mounted on walls in a hotel and were being used as hanging fixtures. I initially considered 3D printing then thought about resin casting. Thanks for any input Rick

I'm not sure about production use. Ours is just for hobby use, but for the price of under $100 you can't go wrong. it rivals the quality of many far more expensive models and is the most popular 3d printer by far. Theyre so easy to upgrade, and we have installed several enhancements to ours. (some of them 3d printed) Some probably use design software and the 3d printer to make an initial item that they then reproduce with stronger materials and a mold. Then again, there are some production models that can print with metal.
 
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