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Unread 05-14-2018, 05:53 PM
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3D Printers

Hey CD,

I was thinking about 3D printers, especially for FRC prototyping and even final part manufacture for stuff like enclosures, and was wondering what your teams use/what you like printer wise. Our school currently has two Ultimaker 2+s, but I don't like the results we've been getting (i don't think they've been treated very nicely...) and I dont like their incompatibility with the 1.75mm filament standard. Anyways, thoughts?

-ZB
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Unread 05-14-2018, 05:59 PM
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Re: 3D Printers

I have had the opportunity to use the cheap $200-300 printers and a higher end Makerbot. The quality of the Makerbot was superb and just worked. Didn't require fiddling, etc. It was more expensive to use though.

However the cheaper ones, especially the ones you have to put together will teach more. When you get the cheaper one dialed in assuming you have the same resolution (you can usually upgrade the cheaper ones) then the print quality will be very similiar).

Filament on the cheaper 3d printers are also much cheaper as well.
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Unread 05-14-2018, 06:11 PM
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Re: 3D Printers

I'm just gonna start this off by saying that there is a lot that goes into getting a good 3d print. You say that you have a couple gen 2 ultimakers but haven't been getting good results with them. Do you know what filament, you're using? Have you been printing at the right settings (temp, speed, layer height, infill etc?) Has the machine been maintained well (Clean nozzle, leveled bed, guide rails kept oiled?)

There are a ton of factors in 3d printing, most of which you usually have to tinker with yourself, that will affect how the print quality comes out. It quite suprises me that you;re getting less than satisfactory prints out of a gen 2 ultimaker since those are still really good printers. As for materials if on a budget use something like iehter petg or nylon 910, both materials are quite strong and good for most applications in frc although they both take a little playing around with to learn how the material prints and I wouldn't exactly use them in 'high" load applications.

If you want a new 3d printer to make final parts that will go on your robot and you want them to last and money isn't much of a concern I would definitely look into getting a Markforged printer. The printer can be had for around $3500 which isn't too bad for it can print their carbon fibre infused nylon filament that many teams have used to great success in the past few years.

https://markforged.com/onyx-series/

For more info on all things 3d printing read through this CD thread. Keep in mind that all of the cheap printers in the thread have sorta been made obsolete by the existence of the Prusa i3 line of printers.

https://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/s...hreadid=158583
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Unread 05-14-2018, 06:18 PM
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Re: 3D Printers

We use a Mojo printer, and while it may be more on the expensive side, the benefits of it definitely show, as we've never had a failed print. Furthermore, all of the prints are extremely high quality and can stand up to a lot of use. As an example, we use 3D printed pulleys on our robot wherever we use belting, even the drivetrain, and after 5 competitions we had to replace 1 pulley out of the 8 on our drivetrain.
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Unread 05-14-2018, 06:19 PM
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Re: 3D Printers

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnapDragon View Post
We use a Mojo printer, and while it may be more on the expensive side, the benefits of it definitely show, as we've never had a failed print. Furthermore, all of the prints are extremely high quality and can stand up to a lot of use. As an example, we use 3D printed pulleys on our robot wherever we use belting, even the drivetrain, and after 5 competitions we had to replace 1 pulley out of the 8 on our drivetrain.
Here's the working link
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Unread 05-14-2018, 06:39 PM
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Re: 3D Printers

A few months ago I acquired a Original Prusa i3 MK3 printer and I couldn't have been happier with it. It's no ultimater or makerbot in terms of reliability (though I've heard the makerbots have plenty of issues), at least so far, but everything I've heard is once you get all of your various settings dialed in it's absolutely perfect. I've loved it so far and the features in it make printing a lot easier for a lot of things. I'd highly recommend it, especially since many of the other printers mentioned here are locked to specific brands of filament, and can't print the nice engineering grade materials like Polycarb or some of the Igus filaments.
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Unread 05-14-2018, 06:45 PM
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Re: 3D Printers

If your team has the budget, just getting a printer that is exclusively for your team is incredibly helpful. Not only do you get the benefit of being the sole entity queuing prints, but printers at schools tend to be mistreated by introductory classes. As previously stated, Ultimakers are fantastic printers, but like every printer, have to be used correctly with dialed in settings. While you are looking for recommendations, Markforged is at the top of my list, but a cheaper option is a Prusa i3, or any Hatchbox printer.

Edit: I would highly recommend checking out this thread about relatively the same conversation last year

Last edited by peytonfitz : 05-14-2018 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Adding link for similar thread
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Unread 05-14-2018, 09:30 PM
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Re: 3D Printers

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Originally Posted by peytonfitz View Post
or any Hatchbox printer.
Are you sure you meant Hatchbox printer? They make fantastic filament, but only a single, rather large, delta printer
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Unread 05-15-2018, 07:18 AM
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Re: 3D Printers

I've worked with both Makerbots and budget printers, higher end printers like Makerbot, ultimaker, ect. basically give you a nice UI and good prints, but if you're not able/willing to go all in on one of those, I personally like the Monoprice Select Mini (might be too small for FRC, but they have a larger version) and the Anycubic i3 Mega. Both are under $400, accept any filament brand (I like BAMtack off Amazon right now), heated beds, really nice prints, and have SD card support. They use Cura for their software, which I like quite a bit. Check them out if you're interested
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Last edited by scubadiv3r : 05-15-2018 at 07:19 AM. Reason: added more detail :)
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Unread 05-15-2018, 07:25 AM
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Re: 3D Printers

Getting a Prusa has been one of the best investments for the last year (besides the cnc router). It has a fair amount of reliability and isn't that bad to transport (we brought ours to competition for quick fixes). We love it! The MK2S has worked nicely recently, but we purchased the MK2.5 upgrade so we hope it will work even better. Here is a link
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Unread 05-15-2018, 12:04 PM
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Re: 3D Printers

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray548 View Post
Getting a Prusa has been one of the best investments for the last year (besides the cnc router). It has a fair amount of reliability and isn't that bad to transport (we brought ours to competition for quick fixes). We love it! The MK2S has worked nicely recently, but we purchased the MK2.5 upgrade so we hope it will work even better. Here is a link
+1

We got 2 Prusa i3 MK2S' in the middle of this season as part of a grant and were very impressed with the results. They were easy to set up and the auto bed leveling is awesome. We use it for both prototypes and final production parts. Our climber this season was using 3D printed gussets as the sliders because they weren't particularly load bearing.
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Unread 05-15-2018, 12:07 PM
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Re: 3D Printers

Allen Gregory lists the MatterHackers Pulse XE on his "First $10,000" list of equipment for new teams. That thing comes assembled and ready to print NylonX carbon fiber composite material, but it can also print $25 per kg spools of more common materials all day long.

It would be hard to talk me into spending $3500 on a MakerForged Onyx (with its $180 filament spools) when I can get two Pulse XE's or 3-4 Prusas for the same equipment cost.
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Unread 05-15-2018, 12:14 PM
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Re: 3D Printers

We have a few Afinia H400s for $600 they are a very nice printer. Once you get the setup correct they will run without issue for many many prints. I would say that we have over a 90% success rate with these things. We use them with Afinia's ABS plus which is expensive, but doesn't give us issues saving time and money. It prints upto 99% solid, which we used for our winch drums this year and they don't even show signs of fatigue.

I would stay away from the H800 their bed is too big and uneven and when you try to change the nozzle the hot end tends to break.

I love the H400 and highly recommend it to any team who wants the benefits of 3d printing but does not have the budget for a carbon printer.
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Unread 05-15-2018, 12:16 PM
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Re: 3D Printers

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardcopi View Post
I have had the opportunity to use the cheap $200-300 printers and a higher end Makerbot. The quality of the Makerbot was superb and just worked. Didn't require fiddling, etc. It was more expensive to use though.

However the cheaper ones, especially the ones you have to put together will teach more. When you get the cheaper one dialed in assuming you have the same resolution (you can usually upgrade the cheaper ones) then the print quality will be very similiar).

Filament on the cheaper 3d printers are also much cheaper as well.
I'm glad you had a good experience with a Makerbot, but I can't in good conscience recommend them to anyone. I ran a lab with ~30 of them, and it was one of the more miserable work experiences I've ever had. For a supposedly "high end" printer, they jam constantly, have terrible bed adhesion, rely on rafts (yuck!), can't reliable extrude, jam constantly, treat hotends and extruders as a wearable (lolwat), and have a host of QC problems. The *ONLY* makerbot I'd recommend is a free one found outside in a dumpster.

If you need larger build volume, check out the CR-10. It's a solid machine with a wealth of documentation and online resources.

For a smaller one, check out an authentic Prusa printer. Their documentation is amazing, the printer is excellently featured, and you won't have any problems.

If purchasing through a school, sometimes you need to buy from approved vendors. In that case, check out the newer Dremel 3d45. It's an enclosed printed with relatively larger volume, has a nice filter (no abs stink!), and is relatively reliable. The cost is slightly higher (1600 for education, iirc?), but the support is great. It also has a nice web slicer, which makes the learning curve for printing reliably pretty easy.
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Unread 05-15-2018, 12:23 PM
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Re: 3D Printers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechvet View Post
I'm glad you had a good experience with a Makerbot, but I can't in good conscience recommend them to anyone. I ran a lab with ~30 of them, and it was one of the more miserable work experiences I've ever had. For a supposedly "high end" printer, they jam constantly, have terrible bed adhesion, rely on rafts (yuck!), can't reliable extrude, jam constantly, treat hotends and extruders as a wearable (lolwat), and have a host of QC problems. The *ONLY* makerbot I'd recommend is a free one found outside in a dumpster.

If you need larger build volume, check out the CR-10. It's a solid machine with a wealth of documentation and online resources.

For a smaller one, check out an authentic Prusa printer. Their documentation is amazing, the printer is excellently featured, and you won't have any problems.

If purchasing through a school, sometimes you need to buy from approved vendors. In that case, check out the newer Dremel 3d45. It's an enclosed printed with relatively larger volume, has a nice filter (no abs stink!), and is relatively reliable. The cost is slightly higher (1600 for education, iirc?), but the support is great. It also has a nice web slicer, which makes the learning curve for printing reliably pretty easy.
+1 Makerbots are crap.
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