3D printers

Anyone got any expertise in this field? I am about to buy a desktop machine for work but am woefully lacking in knowledge, does anyone have any useful advice before I get the credit card out?

all I know is better dpi means higher quality output. and the raw plastic beads are a lot more expensive than you’d think.

I’m not sure what problem you’re using it to solve, but laser cutters can be better for structural components. Everything’s changed since I last looked into either, though. It’s pretty fast-moving.

I’m really intrigued with 3D printers as well, as far as I’ve read is better to download some 3d modelling software first, play around, create something and see how you get around and how you like it then send it to print to a 3rd party… then maybe you can have a more solid opinion on whether you need/want one

The virtual side of things we have sorted, we’ve been 3D modelling with AutoCad for ages, so software wise all we need is something to translate that to code for the printer.

We are looking at a filament feed dual extruder to print with PLA and ABS and are really only wanting it for model making and part prototyping, so finish isn’t critical, all printed part will require hand finishing for paint anyway. Guess my concern is that i’m about to enter a world of poorly translated models, blocked extruders and frustration…

Yeah, I don’t think I can help you there really. Everyone I know with a 3D printer is in a world of blocked extruders and frustration.

If you’ve a local Hackspace (London’s is in Hackney) that’ll have some people who keep up with that sort of thing, though they’ll also likely be largely socially inept.

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I’ve been thinking about this. How difficult would it be to design and make things like wind shields for bikes that would accurately retro fit a bike?

Thanks Wise, yep, had read that one and will be using simplify 3d for .stl conversion, with netfab prior to check that the model is watertight.

Beschy, I think the issue would be getting a good finish and the fact that making completely clear windshields could be tricky.

I’ve modelled up some mounts for my bike spotlamps & waiting for a price back from a company in Chelmsford to print them in ABS
& the more you think about it 3D printing could enable some fanatic custom stuff for motorbikes