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Old Yesterday, 01:03 AM
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John, that is what is called a "Resin Printer" ... it uses a liquid resin which is sensitive to UV. A UV beam is focused on it one layer at a time to progressively harden the resin into the desired shape. They make very nice detailed prints, but only really suitable for non-structural parts, figurines, toys etc. in most cases. Can also be used for creating casting cores for casting intricate parts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereolithography


I use what is called an "FDM" printer, Fused Deposition Modeling printer.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fused_...nt_fabrication

The two processes are similar in concept, totally different in application. Resin printers are a bit of a mess to operate, liquids, smell, cleaning the parts, curing with UV light etc. My FDM printer (https://www.amazon.com/s?k=creality+...s_ts-doa-p_1_7) sits right behind me while I sit at my computer desk and I let it print, reach back and pull off the part when it's done.

If you want to get started in the hobby, I've had great luck with the one I bought. Week or so learning curve, they can be much like tuning an engine as far as tweaking settings, but well within the capabilities of anyone with mechanical skills. Most people have more problems with the software to generate their own designs than they do with the printers themselves. The defacto standard program for designing your own parts is Fusion360 by Autodesk, free for non-commercial use and VERY capable CAD software usable for far more than just 3d printing files. Fusion360 is also widely used by the CNC world as it can generated g-code for many, many CNC tools.

I use Autodesk Inventor, the big brother of Fusion360, which is a full featured CAD program used by many manufacturers, which has an equally large learning curve.

A 3d printer is basically a machine tool, it uses g-code just like any CNC machine, it just ADDS material rather than SUBTRACTING it ... which is why it's called "Additive Manufacturing".

Feel free to bombard me with any question you have concerning 3d printing.

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  #162  
Old Yesterday, 06:28 AM
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  #163  
Old Yesterday, 02:08 PM
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BTW, many, maybe even the majority of 3d printer users don't get involved in the design process, they just download the model files and print them.

To be honest the consumer 3d printer market is still dominated by people printing toys of some kind. People designing and printing their own parts is probably only 20% of the consumer market. So there end up being a lot of people that are very good at printing things, but no idea how to design something themselves.

Then there are the guys that are better at designing than printing (like me).

Point being, you don't have to be a CAD expert to get into 3d printing, but most mechanically inclined people want to start designing their own parts in short order.

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Old Yesterday, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dataway View Post
...The defacto standard program for designing your own parts is Fusion360 by Autodesk, free for non-commercial use and VERY capable CAD software usable for far more than just 3d printing files. Fusion360 is also widely used by the CNC world as it can generated g-code for many, many CNC tools....
I toy with learning CAD but have not found a "free" set of tools. As I understand, I can get a free trial of Fusion360 but after that, I pay.

If I took a class at a local community college, I suspect I'd have better luck.

I have played with "FreeCAD", but have not invested any time to really learn it. Is it useful for basic part design or too limited/awkward?

Mike

  #165  
Old Today, 01:40 AM
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You can get the free "Personal Use" version of Fusion360 here:

https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/personal

I've been using it on and off for quite some time now. It's partially cloud based, meaning an online connection is required for some processes, it has some handicaps made in when it comes to file conversions, shouldn't be an issue for a casual user. Upside is it automatically updates on the fly, Autodesk releases new capabilities and adds them to 360 for the general public to test.

Most of the open source type free cad packages like FreeCad will work on similar principles, from the look of their website it looks pretty capable. As long as the software will output STL files it should be a decent starting point.

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