Are 3D Printers Finally Practical?

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SteveHGraham
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Are 3D Printers Finally Practical?

Post by SteveHGraham » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:04 pm

I didn't know where to post this, but the topic is close to CNC, so here I go.

Are affordable 3D printers getting to the point where they are actually useful? I was just looking at plans for a bench power supply, and they call for a printed case. Annoying.

When I looked into printers a couple of years back, the plastic was weak. I saw people on Youtube bending printed parts and causing them to separate into layers.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

John Hasler
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Re: Are 3D Printers Finally Practical?

Post by John Hasler » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:22 pm

I've seen parts made with affordable 3D printers that seemed strong enough for a power supply case. According to friends who have 3D printers they require careful tuning to get acceptable quality. Appropriate choice of material is important.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Are 3D Printers Finally Practical?

Post by SteveHGraham » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:49 pm

I am reading up on it, and I finally found some useful information. Some company that sells plastic filament did a test where they printed hooks from various substances and then suspended weights from the hooks. From what I see, I think the current technology is worth a $200 investment in a printer kit.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

DavidF
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Re: Are 3D Printers Finally Practical?

Post by DavidF » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:35 pm

I 3d printed the coupler in my vacuum pump 3 years ago with intentions on replacing it with the proper part. But so far the if its not broken dont fix it rule is still in effect. Also have a 3d printed part in my washing machine for the past 4 weeks because it was on back order. Depends on what you want and need I guess. No regrets here.....

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NP317
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Re: Are 3D Printers Finally Practical?

Post by NP317 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:13 am

SteveG:
Whatever printer you get, there will likely be a discussion group about it.
I have a friend who has extensively modified his already-good 3D printer, based on community input on the pertinent group.
It now prints excellently, two-color and multiple durometer/melting temperature plastics, even.

The discussion groups provide a significant research resource for making your decision.
And new/improved printers are appearing at least monthly...
~RN

chucketn
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Re: Are 3D Printers Finally Practical?

Post by chucketn » Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:48 am

I've had my under $200 Anet A8 for just over a year, and no regrets, other than a few designs that didn't work. I have a box of failed prints, and those poor/bad designs. I admit it took a while to get the printer dialed in, but so did my Iathe and mill. I have learned to use Fusion 360 since getting the printer, and really, really, like having the ability to design and prototype parts before committing to metal. My favorite use is printing patterns for sand casting in aluminum.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Are 3D Printers Finally Practical?

Post by SteveHGraham » Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:13 pm

I'm going to try an Anet A6 and see what happens.

I am hoping to get better at Fusion 360 as a bonus.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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