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Costs of 3D printing?

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Deadeye

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Just curious really - from time to time people say "so I 3D printed it"; a recent example was dust extraction adapters and a Y piece.
Anytime I've looked at getting something made it's been prohibitively expensive.
Is it loads cheaper doing it yourself, or does it only really work if you enjoy it and don't factor the time?
How much would a 100mm Y piece cost to print - they're about a tenner at Axminster?
Also, what's the capital outlay and learnign curve to make things? Is Sketchup enough?
 

NickM

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In terms of raw materials (spools of plastic), it would cost "pence". I can't give you an accurate figure, but a 1kg spool of plastic costs around £15 (for good quality).

You can get a pretty reasonable printer (e.g. a Reality Ender 3) for a little over £200. I've done some dust extraction adapters - e.g. 100mm down to 60mm - and it worked well for that. You could probably fit a 100mm Y piece on it, but that's probably towards its limits in terms of size.

The biggest learning curve (for me anyway) is the CAD side of it. You could use sketchup, but most people reckon that Fusion360 (also free) is better for this sort of thing. However, I'm finding it very hard to learn. Fortunately I have a 14 year old son who can sort out most of the problems I have! There are some very good YouTube tutorials if you have the patience to watch them.

You should also be prepared to spend some time fine tuning the printer (e.g. levelling the bed etc.) and fixing the odd issue which can arise. Again, lots of good resources on YouTube.

Overall, I think it's great fun and can be very useful from time to time, but you need to be prepared to get frustrated sometimes. You need to be "into it" if you see what I mean.

Here are a few things I've printed for the workshop:

Dust extractor adapter (for my planer/thicknesser I think):

Dust extractor adapter for thicknesser v3.png


Adapter for connecting a Makita ROS to a workshop hoover:

ROS dust port adapter v2.png


A prototype bracket for desk project I've been working on (final piece to be made in brass):

Desk bracket v3.jpg
 

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DBT85

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Getting it made and printing yourself will always be prohibitive for little one off jobs like this.

The nice thing is that for something you could just download a file and print it yourself for little things. As always, there is a time cost element of learning the software, the hardware and getting good results.

NickM, if you have any Qs regarding Fusion I'm getting better with it every day (building a fully parametric workshops to Mikes Plan as a project to learn it) so ask away, or alternatively the autodesk forum usually drums up an answer fairly quickly.
 

NickM

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DBT85":31xgn9i4 said:
Getting it made and printing yourself will always be prohibitive for little one off jobs like this.

The nice thing is that for something you could just download a file and print it yourself for little things. As always, there is a time cost element of learning the software, the hardware and getting good results.

NickM, if you have any Qs regarding Fusion I'm getting better with it every day (building a fully parametric workshops to Mikes Plan as a project to learn it) so ask away, or alternatively the autodesk forum usually drums up an answer fairly quickly.
Thanks, I’ll definitely bear that in mind. My son is my first port of call and he hasn’t failed yet. It’s usually something like: “oh, you just need to create an offset plane and do it from there” :shock:
 

DBT85

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NickM":2gz6ve53 said:
DBT85":2gz6ve53 said:
Getting it made and printing yourself will always be prohibitive for little one off jobs like this.

The nice thing is that for something you could just download a file and print it yourself for little things. As always, there is a time cost element of learning the software, the hardware and getting good results.

NickM, if you have any Qs regarding Fusion I'm getting better with it every day (building a fully parametric workshops to Mikes Plan as a project to learn it) so ask away, or alternatively the autodesk forum usually drums up an answer fairly quickly.
Thanks, I’ll definitely bear that in mind. My son is my first port of call and he hasn’t failed yet. It’s usually something like: “oh, you just need to create an offset plane and do it from there” :shock:
ha and you nod and say "oh yes, silly me" while looking a bit befuddled!
 

Sideways

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One "maker space" I spoke to in the last year offer use of a pro grade 3D printer at about £7 or £8 per hour. They are funded so this figure is said to cover actual costs, not staff salaries or profit. The problem came when they explained that something like the 100mm adapter to the side of a drum would probably take several hours to print at a middle -high density. It's all so slow I don't think it's economic.
But as machines are getting cheaper and better, the way to go is to have your own so time doesn't matter.
 

DBT85

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You can get the Ender 3 pro for under £200 on banggood and shipped from the UK. Don't ask me how I know.

Nick, point me in the direction of good filament please!
 

NickM

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I’ve found the AMZ3D PLA on Amazon good. It seems to have gone up in price a bit - I thought it was around £15 but perhaps it was on offer when I bought it.
 

DBT85

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Only natural for things to have gone up in the last few months, less shipments from China and more people bored out of their butt at home!

Any suggestions on a slicer and anything else I need to think about? Fusion I already have.
 

DBT85

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Deadeye":1md41m8k said:
DBT85":1md41m8k said:
Any suggestions on a slicer and anything else I need to think about? Fusion I already have.
What's a lslicer? And fusion for that matter?!
Fusion 360 is software for making just about anything a little like Sketch up.

A slicer I believe is software that loads your model file and literally slices it into layers to send to the printer. I think you can also set things like how solid to make things.

For example, to make a solid ball 5cm in diameter uses a lot more material and takes a lot longer than making a ball that's made up of an internal lattice to support the solid outer shell. It's also faster to print.
 

worn thumbs

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I was reading one of several pieces online about the widespread efforts to produce PPE with 3D printers.One of the Formula 1 teams was able to produce items in a few minutes that were taking a great deal longer with home hobbyists printers.No doubt the printer cost a great deal more than the hobby printers and in the setting it was intended for the cost of the machine was easily justified.For home use,how would we ascertain the rate of cost versus material deposition?I'm curious because I can visualise owning one at some point and would like to be better informed in case an extra twenty or thirty pounds would save a chunk of time.

I have a sense that the users are split between those who find the models online and download the files for printing and those that actually model exactly what they want.
 

DBT85

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The machines the F1 teams have are probably running into the hundreds of thousands. Hell Ferrari have been printing metal engine parts for a few years now.

I don't think at this level that there is anything in the price range you mention that will save much time. Depending on what you want to print you can change the layer thickness to suit. A thicker layer means it prints quicker.

So if you want a model of yoda you might want a very small layer to have more fine detail, but if you want a pipe adapter for your DX you don't much care for fine detail so it can print faster.
 

SVB

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I've been looking to find a plan to make m33x3.5 chuck hubs like these. My CAD skills done extend to the external thread - anyone seen a suitable file on line? (Thinking of plastic only - to store chucks / faceplates on wall - screws through middle will provide sufficient strength)

Simon





Simon
 

NickM

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SVB":2spmyx65 said:
I've been looking to find a plan to make m33x3.5 chuck hubs like these. My CAD skills done extend to the external thread - anyone seen a suitable file on line? (Thinking of plastic only - to store chucks / faceplates on wall - screws through middle will provide sufficient strength)

Simon





Simon
Do you have the ability to print it?

If you give me the other dimensions (overall length, diameter of the wider section and the size of the screw holes), I reckon I can draw that and email you a .stl file.

Nick
 

CHJ

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SVB":2tsfprla said:
I've been looking to find a plan to make m33x3.5 chuck hubs like these. My CAD skills done extend to the external thread - anyone seen a suitable file on line? (Thinking of plastic only - to store chucks / faceplates on wall - screws through middle will provide sufficient strength)

Simon
A search of the printer forums should turn up 'Generic' thread form files that just need adjusting for TPI , Angle etc.

I know that was what was used for generating these for me:-
Thread adapters
Thread adapters In use
 

NickM

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Something like this (although I notice there is an unthreaded section which I could add if you give me that dimension too). Aside from the M33 x 3.5 thread, I've made up the dimensions.

Untitled.png
 

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TheTiddles

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3D printing has been the darling child of the popular science world for years now, it’s almost reached the stage of being as good as they said it was 25 years ago, it’s very impressive how far it’s come, but it won’t be replacing conventional methods of production for many years yet (if ever). If you consider the pipe junctions shown previously they may take tooling that costs a couple of £k, but the part price is then a few pennies in large quantities and can be made at a rate of 20 per minute with minimal oversight. Obviously additive manufacturing has a different focus but it’s also nowhere near as good for the price. Yes, you can manufacture fantastic parts by this method, including things that cannot be made any other way, but not on the toy machines that are sold for the home market.

It’s also a bit like having a good lathe/mill/any other tool, it’s not just the tool you need, the person running it and designing for it needs to match its capabilities. I’ve lost track of the number of parts that have come off additive machines terribly because they were designed for subtractive methods and just made differently, with predictable results

Aidan
 

DBT85

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I agree for the sake of conventional mass production, certainly right now. But I don't know that that's really been the main target for much of this stuff.

3D printing as a technology is producing amazing things like lattices for grown body parts or bespoke engine components for race teams for example. All far and away above what anyone can do or needs to do at home.

Of course as you say, those parts shown can be made en mass for pennies with the right tooling. The issue is that nobody at home has that tooling or the need for 1000 of the item in question.

Instead I can quickly draw up a couple of adapters to from from y tool to x hose. Hell, Charnwood charge £6 for a 100mm to say 63mm reducer and invariably it will cost more once you add in shipping and its also invariably not actually the right size because every tool manufacturer has a different idea of what "100mm port" means.

These very cheap entry level machines can do things like that easily enough and you can make it the size you need off the bat. You of course can only do that if you also know how to draw it in the first place.

At the end of the day £200 machines are there for toying with and just occasionally you might find a half decent use for one. Maybe you make some couplers or a router template or just use it to make your own MPCNC.
 

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