Thursday, December 11, 2014

3D printer quick overview for noobs

3D Printer overview

For those of you out there who are in the advanced class and want to do 3D printing, here is some info you do not find on the 3D printing forums.

If you are looking to buy a 3D printer, and I recommend buying one first before you build one.

You need a machine with the following things and I will explain as I go along.

1  Every moving part needs a bearing or bushing.  The cheaper machines do not have this.

2 Your electronic board has to have a  fan on it.  These boards will run warm and while driver chips are  only bout $10 it is pointless to throw money away cause you did not have a fan.  You need a machine that is dead reliable, and will run tens of hours unattended.  Your machine will make millions of moves and the cumulative travel distance of that print head will be measured in 10's of KM or miles every month.  It is not a paper printer.  Desktop paper printers can not handle that work load and neither can a crappy printer.

3 You need to know CAD.  Get DesignSpark. It is free.  It works.

4 Your print head is the most important part of your machine.  If you see a machine offered with a J head, don't get it. 3 year old tech and not reliable.  You need a print head with active cooling.   

 The reason is simple.  Plastic is in 3 states: solid, liquid and between that you got this rubbery sticky stuff that will clog your print head.  You want as sharp of a  temp difference between the hot and cold side as you can get to keep that sticky state from forming.

I use liquid cooled, most of the industry uses air cooled.  Guess who has a more reliable unit?

5 Plastics.  If you want to print molds and one off parts use PLA.  it has many uses, you can even make artillery fuses with it.  Abs Plastic for a little stronger parts and if you want real strength, then you gotta go into a better print head with temps that will hit at least 300c.  

If you can go up to these temps then it is possible to reuse plastic sota bottles.

Btw here is  todays video to give you some ideas.   The print used in the mold is pretty bad, but you get the idea.

1 comment:

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