1 2 3 First Previous 190 Replies Latest reply on Mar 14, 2019 1:21 PM by Matt Peneguy

    Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.

    Shawn Stugard

      Ok, so SolidWorks and 3D printing go hand in hand right?


      Let's hear about your printer. Did you build one? buy one? which one? why?


      Coolest print? Dumbest print? Biggest headache? Most egregious use of printer at work (think photocopying your butt at the office party)?


      What materials are you playing with?

        • 1. Re: Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.
          Shawn Stugard

          I built myself a Folger Tech Kossel (Delta style) RevB printer a couple years ago. It took me 4 or 5 evenings (at least 2-3 hours each) to build it. That was one of the most fun projects I've ever done, in fact once l was finished my impulse was to immediately order another kit, but logic prevailed and I didn't do that.


          Building a kit was really, really cool, especially since the kits have a bit of "Mom and Pop" flavor and leave some things to your imagination. There were some challenges and minor irritations along the way, perfect for me, since I love solving problems. The kit designs always have room to improve and most of the time they provide STL files for all of the printed parts. Some of the steps are very fiddly, like tiny m3 screws that mounting in awkward locations where fingers like mine do not fit. I had to modify/make tools to get a couple of those in place, but it was major fun. So if you are into customizing things, this is likely the hobby for you.

          • 2. Re: Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.
            Anna Wood

            I have a BCN3D Sigma.  Have had it since early 2017.


            While not a 3D printer....  Just finishing the build on a CNC Router Parts, Benchtop Pro CNC Router.  Should be able to fire it up this weekend.

            • 3. Re: Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.
              Frederick Law

              My first one:



              Nice little printer.  Easy to carry and take it anywhere.



              Small build size: 100x100x100


              Software don't get update.

              No heat bed.  Any print larger than 50mm will warp.

              Steppers are weak.  Extruder can't pull large roll.

              Need calibration all the time.  Spend more time calibrating than print.  Remember print was slow.



              Get machine shop at work to make a grounded steel bed.  The stock plastic one was never flat.

              Also add a cup heater to heat the bed.  No control just on and off.

              More consistent print but It'll print for a few days then start acting up again.



              What I got it to before I get another printer.

              • 4. Re: Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.
                Shawn Stugard

                I like the enclosure with the material hanger up above! Seem like it would be easy to switch materials as well as easy to see what you have available. Good idea to use a coffee cup warmer for the bed. Do you have it controlled by the printer, or is it just on all the time?


                A little tiny printer like this might be cool for my kids to play around with since they are not allowed to mess with anything in Dad's office.

                • 5. Re: Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.
                  Shawn Stugard



                     The BCN3D looks pretty cool! I like the independent heads, great innovation.


                  I would really like to build a CNC router at some point. I had access to several giant (10' x 20') CNC routers at a former employer and I really miss being able to process sheet goods so easily. Very jealous, hope it goes well for you.

                  • 6. Re: Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.
                    Ronald van Til

                    I've got a Velleman K8200 kit printer. Needed to make some modifications, but printing quite nicely since that.


                    Modifications done: Glass print surface, converted heated bed to 24V instead of 15V, changed Z-axis from simple threaded rod to trapezium threaded rod, changed printhead to E3D head, changed belts and pulleys to better quality finer pitched ones and a lot of small things I forgot.


                    Don't use Solidworks for printing (running Win7), I use Cura, Slic3r and Repetier host.


                    Printing PLA (various sorts), PETG, TPE (flex rubbery stuff), ABS and tried nylon with little succes (bad adhesion to print surface).


                    Using it for fun...


                    Dummy cilinders for my 33cc 3 cilinder radial...


                    New greenhouse for my little crashed B25....


                    Nice toy....

                    • 7. Re: Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.
                      Mark Kaiser

                      We are on our second commercial printer.  We had a Dimension BST for a good number of years, and recently donated it to our local High School, replacing it with a Markforged X series.  The Dimension was a very reliable printer as long as you gave it parts it could build (obvious I hope).  No maintenance, adjustments, until the head started wearing out late in life.  Only one type of material possible with it.  Not very strong for anything beyond show and tell.


                      Decided on the Markforged for material strength options.  We have the model with two extrusion heads, and can reinforce builds with carbon fiber, kevlar, or fiberglass.  If you do it right, supposed to rival the strength of Aluminum.  For the price vs. material strength, Markforged has it nailed.  Printer hasn't been quite as reliable as the Dimension, and has some quality issues where support material interface is (vs. Dimension).  Very impressed with just the base material durability, and ease of support removal though.  Still learning alot on this printer.  Base material is a choice between Nylon and their Onyx, we use the Onyx mostly.  Not supposed to be able to switch between the two with same nozzles.  We have once.


                      Haven't made too many not for work fun parts.  Snuck in some kid school project parts, have a couple 'only able to 3d print, not manufacture real world' for show and tell. 

                      • 8. Re: Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.
                        Craig Schultz

                        We purchased a FormLabs 2 printer about 2 months ago.


                        Trying most of the resins.  The engineering group of resins is the most stable.  The plain resin we got had issues which were resolved quickly with FormLabs.  The parts are easy to clean up and finish. 


                        We also have a Connex 3000 which our group doesn't use any more.  FL is just easier to use for their layout software and the finishing process. 

                        • 9. Re: Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.
                          Chris Saller

                          I recently purchased a DIY Prusa, built it, the software was corrupt. Support was crap. After a couple weeks of back and forth of louse support and trial and error of lousy software, I returned it.

                          Now, I'm looking to purchased a new printer within the next few days. I want a dual extruder, but trying to stay below $1k (if possible).

                          I'm looking at these two:


                          • 10. Re: Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.
                            Shawn Stugard

                            "Printing PLA (various sorts), PETG, TPE (flex rubbery stuff), ABS and tried nylon with little succes (bad adhesion to print surface)."


                            I've been wanting to try PETG for a while, but the hotend I have is an E3D clone, which is not quite up to sustained printing at high temps. I think I could get away with it for a while, but would end up melting the PTFE liner. PETG is appealing since I could print accessories for use in my car(shifter knob, replacement button for my temp controls, etc..). A genuine E3D is only my short list of upgrades.


                            I'm working on a design to use a little 12V diaphragm pump as a part cooler. I've got some vinyl hose running from the top of the printer down alongside the bowden tube. My effector has a soon to be empty spot for a nozzle, since I'm removing the bed leveling sensor (prox switch) which is kind of pointless.


                            • 11. Re: Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.
                              Frederick Law


                              Mickey mouse printer.

                              Have material out is handy but PLA get brittle and became unusable.


                              The heater is just on/off.  I bought a timer so it won't run indefinitely.

                              You really have to buy their filaments cause it had problem pulling the bigger spools.


                              Recently my other printer broke a part.

                              So I fire this up again to make repair part.


                              Learn a lot from this so I know what I want.

                              • 12. Re: Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.
                                Frederick Law

                                I print at 250C with clone E3D.  No problem.

                                I'm thinking about volcano.  So I can get up to nylon temp.

                                • 13. Re: Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.
                                  Shawn Stugard

                                  Good to know, maybe I'll give it a go.

                                  • 14. Re: Watercooler: Let's talk 3D printers.
                                    Ronald van Til

                                    PETG can be printed at something like 225 degrees celcius. Should be possible on the PTFE heat bridged heads....


                                    Nice material, easy to print.


                                    I am using a CPU fan and a printed manifold for print cooling works a treat.


                                    Upgraded the heat bridge fan on the E3D with a better one with tricked bearings. Less noise and vibration. Also very adviceable.

                                    1 2 3 First Previous