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47 posts


#272735 13-Jul-2020 10:12
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Anyone here have a 3D printer for home use?


What sort of items do you print on it?


I have always wanted one, but think I will only print crap ha, Maybe the odd phone case.

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  #2521784 13-Jul-2020 10:23
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I have one that I go through phases using. I have used it to do things like a car phone mount that has a wireless charger. A screen mount for the 5” display for my RPi. Perhaps the most useful was for a glovebox catch that kept breaking and Ford wanted a fortune for a replacement.


There are libraries full of projects online that are kind of fun. I fully admit my ownership is more for fun and to scratch a design itch than the printer being of real practical use.


My machine does leave noticeable ridges in the finished project and you have to be careful if it is going to be load bearing with the amount of infill you use (denser=more filament) and the direction of printing (not as strong when shear is parallel to print layers).

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  #2521832 13-Jul-2020 10:35
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I have got far more use than I actually thought out of mine.


Admittedly a lot of that "use" was tweaking and modifying the printer itself, but even so I have printed out a huge number of models just for the fun of it, as well as learning some basic Fusion 360 skills and designing & printing some stands for synth gear and some computer case parts/mods along with other more practical stuff.



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  #2521931 13-Jul-2020 10:50
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I got an Anycubic i3 - cheap as, Aliexpress.

I use it mainly to just print cases for electronics projects, or mounting brackets for random things.

The only real limit to what you print is how good you are with your 3d modeling software of choice. If you've got time to learn, you'll print anything you want.

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  #2521936 13-Jul-2020 10:57
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The only real limit to what you print is how good you are with your 3d modeling software of choice. If you've got time to learn, you'll print anything you want.




Even if you have no skill or desire to learn, there is a vast number of existing designs available for free on Thingiverse and other sites, catering for all sorts of needs, both practical and frivolous!


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  #2521988 13-Jul-2020 12:18
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I'm onto my 4th 3d printer. What I enjoy most is the design of new things. I've done quite a number of designs, ranging from a mount for my gate latch to an Elbonian Dilbert character, to cool mechanical devices to 3d-printer parts to a detailed aircraft rotary engine.


The worst thing about 3d printing is the frustration when it just won't print properly for no apparent reason. If you want to avoid that, I suggest you get an upmarket name-brand printer rather than something cheap from AliExpress. My advice is that any 3d printer will cost you at least $1000, either up-front, or in hours of work (at maybe $1/hour). The more you spend up front, the less hours.


Beware that designs published on Thingiverse and elsewhere are of variable quality (I guess it's probably the same on sites where people publish their own (Vogon) poetry). There's any amount of trivial stuff like aircraft with cylindrical bodies and rectangular wings. And heaps of stuff that is practically unprintable (e.g. aircraft which are a single object). And heaps of 3d printer parts & phone cases. My rule of thumb is to ignore anything where there isn't an actual photo of the thing that has been printed by somebody. Having said that, I do have large collections of cool, printable things that I plan to print "one day".


If you're into RC model aircraft, there's a blossoming of large-scale 3D-printed flyable models at the moment.



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  #2522056 13-Jul-2020 13:03
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I questioned the value in getting one for work, but since we have, we use it a lot for:


  • Custom enclosures
  • DIN rail mounts for misc devices
  • Custom brackets to mount various devices

Granted it will take quite some time to pay itself back on purely material costs (it wasn't a cheap one) it is saving us a lot of time in the workshop custom building stuff, and if we want more, we just hit print and let it rip.


Whether you "need" one at home would probably depend on what hobbies you have.  

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  #2522085 13-Jul-2020 13:40
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I'm a mechatronics engineer by trade and I've found having a printer endlessly useful for home projects.


I've got a Prusa mk3. As others have said above, you either spend less upfront and spend hours tweaking it to get good prints, or spend more upfront and spend time printing. 


I mainly print functional parts designed myself - mounts, cases, brackets. Latest print was a solar panel mount on a pole for an IoT project. Not really into the miniature figures and models for display.


Other uses:


  • Prototyping parts before cutting steel.
  • Printed my partner a headset mount for her work desk and next day had requests from the rest of her team for one each.
  • Father has requested many motorbike parts - cable clamps, clips etc. Printed in PETG they lasted him 40k+ kms, I printed spares for him which he never needed on his journeys.
  • Toaster handle broke off by old age, copied in CAD. Microwave push to open button at friends. 

I think you need to be willing to learn CAD (if you don't already know it) and design your own parts to take full advantage of having a printer. If you have any hobbies that need parts then you will always find a use for one.


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  #2522243 13-Jul-2020 16:12
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I recently was given a CubePro 3D Duo, and about 15 mixed filament cartridges.


Unfortunately, no longer supported by 3D systems, but that can be worked around.


It's bit of a behemoth!  And the second extruder has an overheat issue. prints for about 5 minutes, and then throws an error. Web site is not that helpful.


But have managed to print a couple of samples - they look not too bad.


Wife suggested making customised puzzles for the grandkids - a 4yo who is into dinosaurs, so could make one of those skeleton puzzles based on his name.


Have to trial out the 3D system Invent program that came with the printer. A few reviews advise that it's not too bad ..

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  #2522322 13-Jul-2020 17:25
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6 printers and access to a 3D metal printer. But they are partly used for the job (having an idea, which needs to be visualised overnight for a prototype. This is why there are many units to print multiple parts in parallel).

- ISP1: OneBox FTTH modem, 1/.5G, full DS, VLAN7, VoIP + ipTV streaming flat
- ISP2: LTE USB modem + GL-AR750S, 100/40M data plan (wireless fallback)
- NET: OPNsense CI329, ES-16-XG, CRS305, C2960X-48TS, 3 GWN7630, 2 UPS
- SVR: 9i3C246 32G/24T, 2 H2 16G/500G, N2 4G/1T || 2 remote HC2 14T+4T
- USR: DeskMini 9i5, NUC 8i7HVK, Aspire E5, EliteBook 840, Galaxy Tab, 4K TV
- IoT (EU868): openHAB, CCU3, Vantage ISS 6327, LoRaWAN 4 GWs/15 Nodes
- 3D: 2 Ender-3/Pro, 4 Ultimaker 2E+/3/3+/S5, MPCNC, EleksLaser-A3 Pro
- ipPBX: GO-Box, 2 GRP2613, SPA112 (for Fax & W-48, a 1948 Siemens phone)



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  #2523740 15-Jul-2020 20:10
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I have an Ender 3 and a Malyan M200. Print in ABS and PLA. Mostly printer mods, small parts, recently made a nice speaker holder for my nest mini


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  #2523748 15-Jul-2020 20:24
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Don't have one, but my local library does!  Always wanted to try it.  The lady there is super helpful, aparently its about 60c to make a reasonable sized keyring.  Resolution didn't seem to be awesome, but I'm keen to try it!

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