Really Getting Started - Purchase Decision

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jsc
Posts: 1864
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:00 am

Re: Really Getting Started - Purchase Decision

Post by jsc » Tue May 13, 2014 5:26 am

Definitely printable. Nothing too hard, as I said; suitable for beginners to have a go as well as old hands. Preferably something useful. A lamp is good, but maybe too much to start with; needs to be too big. Something useful.

If you hadn't already done one, I would have said maybe a replacement M2 electronics box.

Maybe a soap dish. I own one of these, they are great: http://kk.org/cooltools/archives/1581 Possibly too difficult to replicate closely, but it wouldn't have to be an exercise in exact cloning.

Or if people like the lamp idea, we could try that. Suggestions welcome. It's just an idea; I think it would be fun to see what people come up with. I know several people on this forum have demonstrated modeling chops.

Toby
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: Really Getting Started - Purchase Decision

Post by Toby » Tue May 13, 2014 2:48 pm

How about a back scratcher.

I had this itch this morning that wouldn't go away....

There would be a learning element (for me anyway) on making parts that snap fit together since the arm would likely be too long to fit on the print bed.

Asadinator
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 3:24 pm

Re: Really Getting Started - Purchase Decision

Post by Asadinator » Tue May 13, 2014 3:55 pm

Hi everyone,

Im thinking of purchasing the MakerGear printer, but have a few question regarding these reprap printers in general:

- At work I have Stratasys printers (uPrint and Fortus900mc) which have both model and support extruders. I noticed these reprap printers have only 1 extruder (although I seen some "experimental" printers with 2), which I guess you can only print in 1 material (no support), is this correct?

- Following on from previous question, will this printer be able to print objects with overhangs? For example if I want to print a head, the chin/nose/ears will need support. I know that the Catalysy/Insight software for Stratasys printers have a limit of 45 degrees where no support is required, is it the same for MakerGear?

- The uPrint has a minimum layer thickness of 0.25mm and the half a million dollar Fortus900mc has 0.19mm, however these reprap printers claim to have a layer thickness of 0.1mm. Does MakerGear really print finer?

- Does the layers thickness depend on the extruder you have installed? If so, I noticed there are no extruders with 0.1mm nozzle on sale on the website.

- What is the quality of prints from MakerGear? Since the environment is not controlled as well as the expensive machines, what is the frequency of failed prints?

- And lastly, how is the delivery service to Australia? Is it affordable and no long delays?

Thank you :) :)

jsc
Posts: 1864
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:00 am

Re: Really Getting Started - Purchase Decision

Post by jsc » Tue May 13, 2014 4:29 pm

Asadinator wrote: Im thinking of purchasing the MakerGear printer, but have a few question regarding these reprap printers in general:

- At work I have Stratasys printers (uPrint and Fortus900mc) which have both model and support extruders. I noticed these reprap printers have only 1 extruder (although I seen some "experimental" printers with 2), which I guess you can only print in 1 material (no support), is this correct?
Only one material, but that doesn't mean you can't have support. The support is printed in the same material, and is intended to be "break away". This works better with some slicers than others. Simplify3D is particularly good with its generated support. There is a small gap left between the support and the model, which makes the attachment point weak.

You can print, in theory, anything, although of course some objects will be harder than others, to the point of being impractically difficult to print.
- The uPrint has a minimum layer thickness of 0.25mm and the half a million dollar Fortus900mc has 0.19mm, however these reprap printers claim to have a layer thickness of 0.1mm. Does MakerGear really print finer?
I have done 0.1mm prints, quite often. No problem. You can go even finer, but then you have to start tweaking and testing.
- Does the layers thickness depend on the extruder you have installed? If so, I noticed there are no extruders with 0.1mm nozzle on sale on the website.
No. The extrusion width (x/y plane) stays the same, just the z resolution changes. The nozzle diameter determines the maximum layer height you can achieve.
- What is the quality of prints from MakerGear? Since the environment is not controlled as well as the expensive machines, what is the frequency of failed prints?
Potential quality is equal to or better than all printers of its type. They all use more or less the same kinds of components, the only difference is how well they work together and the stability. The hot end is reliable. The frame is solid. Since you are a Fortus user, check out these photos: https://groups.google.com/d/msg/makerge ... MYxFYVR2UJ

Here is a 0.1mm layer print of mine in ABS: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=108

A smorgasbord of sample prints from a new user: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9&start=28

The environment is not controlled, you're right. ABS prints suffer as a result. With proper bed preparation, I have done many small prints successfully. The problems begin when you start having models with long straight runs of filament, like a long square box. Several members have come up with DIY enclosures, some more elaborate, some very simple. There are no issues with printing in PLA.
Last edited by jsc on Tue May 13, 2014 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Toby
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: Really Getting Started - Purchase Decision

Post by Toby » Tue May 13, 2014 4:51 pm

The print quality is very good. However, this is not a push-a-button-and-it's-done kind of machine. You have to learn how to operate it, for example, leveling the print bed. It's not hard, but you have to learn.

Here are some recent examples of prints posted on this forum by other members:
3dprints.jpg
From
3dprints.jpg (104.57 KiB) Viewed 7140 times
This is from a new user (Will Newton) posted in his thread on assembling the M2 for the first time:
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9&p=1015#p1015

This thread recently appeared.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=146

Makergear is working on an all metal dual extruder. Below is a pic they posted recently in the old Google Group. (In this thread but there's no other useful information besides the picture:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic ... BljKMuzlBA )
Dual V4.jpg
Dual V4.jpg (296.35 KiB) Viewed 7140 times
You'll have to contact Makergear about shipping costs.

Toby
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:44 pm

Re: Really Getting Started - Purchase Decision

Post by Toby » Tue May 13, 2014 5:36 pm

In terms of failure rates, I recently had a project that required about 80 models all told be printed in PLA. I kept all the prints and failures. The end tally was out of 80 models, there were 3 print failures, and two of those were caused by user error (I did a print with multiple models in which the order of printing caused the bed fan to collide with one of the models.) There was only one failure due to something happening with the printer.

The models weren't large. I think the longest print time for any single part was about 45 minutes. The success rate was so good that I had no problem going through about 4 design iterations before I got the one that worked.

Asadinator
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 3:24 pm

Re: Really Getting Started - Purchase Decision

Post by Asadinator » Tue May 13, 2014 6:01 pm

Thanks for the quick and detailed replies!
jsc wrote: Only one material, but that doesn't mean you can't have support. The support is printed in the same material, and is intended to be "break away". This works better with some slicers than others. Simplify3D is particularly good with its generated support. There is a small gap left between the support and the model, which makes the attachment point weak.

You can print, in theory, anything, although of course some objects will be harder than others, to the point of being impractically difficult to print.
Interesting. So I guess this break away support works best externally and not internally in models.

jsc
Posts: 1864
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:00 am

Re: Really Getting Started - Purchase Decision

Post by jsc » Tue May 13, 2014 6:15 pm

Asadinator wrote: Interesting. So I guess this break away support works best externally and not internally in models.
Support internal to the model goes by a different name, and is called infill.

Models aren't usually printed solid through and through, there are usually a few layers of "perimeters", then the inside is filled in a less dense pattern, down to, say, 10%. This infill serves to provide mechanical strength, and provide support for the top layers. Infill is not designed to be breakaway, because it is part of the "solid" body of the model. 100% infill would give you a solid model, but take a long time, use a lot more material, and is usually not necessary.

I should also mention that filament printers can "bridge" a fair ways over air if there are places for the ends of the filament to attach. So if you have an interior horizontal overhang, that can be printed without support. As an example, you can print an entirely hollow box.

Dale Reed
Posts: 376
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:39 am
Location: Cleveland Heights, Ohio USA

Re: Really Getting Started - Purchase Decision

Post by Dale Reed » Tue May 13, 2014 10:59 pm

Asadinator wrote: - Does the layers thickness depend on the extruder you have installed? If so, I noticed there are no extruders with 0.1mm nozzle on sale on the website.
The layer thickness depends on how far you index the Z axis up for each layer. The extruder runs at a lower feed rate to compensate. If the extruder ran at the same rate, the flat tip of the nozzle (with the 0.35mm or 0.25mm hole in it) will "smoosh" the extruded plastic out wider.

I'm not sure whether they used an 0.35mm nozzle or an 0.25mm nozzle, but the guys at MakerGear have a Yoda head that was printed at 0.02 mm layer thickness (20 microns). Search old blog entries on the MakerGear site for the picture. I live about 5 miles from MG HQ and have been there several times. I have held that Yoda model in my hands and inspected the layers. It is a wonderful print. It took Josh and guys LOTS of tinkering and testing to get it right, but it is a sight to behold.

The minimum Z axis step (resolution) (with microstepping) is 0.0025 mm. So Yoda was done with 8 Z axis stepper motor steps per layer. As a practical point, though, you can't run filament out of the extruder slow enough to print at that kind of layer thickness, and you're probably bumping up against other hysteresis artifacts of the motion. (Vibration in the bed due to Y-axis acceleration is more than that, for example.)

So, yes, people here routinely print at 0.1 mm layer thickess. Most of my work is done at 0.2 mm and it looks super. 0.1 mm is pretty achievable by hobbyists. If you're REALLY good and you need it, you can go smaller, but it WILL take practice and tuning of your processes!

Dale

Asadinator
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 3:24 pm

Re: Really Getting Started - Purchase Decision

Post by Asadinator » Wed May 14, 2014 2:53 pm

I forgot to ask, is it safe to operate the printer in your bedroom? Are the fumes non-toxic and do they leave a long lasting smell? Will opening a window easily clear out all the smell after a print?

Thanks in advance ;)

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