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3D Printer :Researching 3D Printers for Purchase!

  1. Jan 16, 2012 #1
    3D Printer!!! :Researching 3D Printers for Purchase!

    Hey All!

    So I have been recently assigned to do some research towards purchasing a 3D printer. I find the idea of 3D printers very fascinating. I'm hoping that I can get some feedback from everyone on this forum to make the best decision towards buying a 3D printer.

    First off I will babble about some of the research I have already completed and the different brands and models that I have been looking at:

    ZCorp Series - The ZCorp 3d printer series seems to be my favorite at the moment, the only downfall being the material cost and sketchy stability. They claim that finished products can be made stronger by dipping them in a chemical bath (which seems to be basically a bath of superglue). The ZCorp series of 3D printers prints an object by successively laying out thin layers of powder and printing a binder on the powder, then again adding another layer until eventually the object is physically printed in a bath of powder. Excess powder is then blown off and you have an object.

    HP DesignJet 3D & Stratasys System - These printers are about the same, and are slowly gaining my likeness. I really like the fact that they print the object in ABS, which guarantees strength to a certain degree. The different between these two printers and the ZCorp series is that they actually build an object from top to bottom by laying out the ABS in successive layers, utilizing support structures which are chemically or physically removed at the end.

    Honorable Mention: MakerBot - The Makerbot is really affordable, but I fear that it lacks the accuracy and dependability that I require. It seems like a very fun toy, but not quite ready for what I would need it for.

    On that note, we will be using the 3D printer to print prototypes for fitting parts, so objects with snapping connectivity and threaded components. Therefore, accuracy, detail, and strength are a must. I will attach a few youtube links to give an idea of what I am talking about if you haven't had much experience with 3D printers.

    Any other suggestions or advice would be awesome. Also any information on where to purchase used equipment would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks All

    Links:
    ZCorp:
    HP DesignJet 3D:
    Stratasys:
    MakerBot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP715gO3Qr4&feature=fvst
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2012 #2

    berkeman

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    Re: 3D Printer!!! :Researching 3D Printers for Purchase!

    Coincidentally, this article just came out today:

    http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/drive_to_discover&id=8506753

    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  4. Jan 16, 2012 #3
    Re: 3D Printer!!! :Researching 3D Printers for Purchase!

    Thanks for the article berkeman. Il be sure to check that out. Thanks for the reply.
     
  5. Jan 16, 2012 #4

    Borek

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    Re: 3D Printer!!! :Researching 3D Printers for Purchase!

    This is off topic, but somehow I find the scanning part of the video hard to believe.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  6. Jan 16, 2012 #5

    AlephZero

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    Re: 3D Printer!!! :Researching 3D Printers for Purchase!

    It's believeable, assuming they did a few operations on a CAD system to finish the job. Here's a data sheet for a similar type of scanner: http://www.europacmetrology.co.uk/uploads/V5_Tech.pdf [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  7. Jan 16, 2012 #6
    Re: 3D Printer!!! :Researching 3D Printers for Purchase!

    reprap?
     
  8. Jan 16, 2012 #7
    Re: 3D Printer!!! :Researching 3D Printers for Purchase!

    These machines are so awesome. We have one at our school. I hav never used it yet, but I plan to get in there to make something. My dad wants to buy one for the house even, but as you all know.... they aren't exactly cheap. When I go to school on Thursday, I may go over to the engineering buiding and have a chat with my advisor about it. I'm sure I can get ya some info
     
  9. Jan 17, 2012 #8

    Borek

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    Re: 3D Printer!!! :Researching 3D Printers for Purchase!

    That's what I meant - the way it is shown on the video it looks like they just scanned from the outside and the system was already able to detect how the hidden parts of the elements look like. I could believe in an X-Ray scanner being able to do such thing.
     
  10. Jan 17, 2012 #9
    Re: 3D Printer!!! :Researching 3D Printers for Purchase!

    Yea I agree, the scanning would definitely require a little more work then just blasting a laser at a solid object with interconnecting components.

    But now that we are getting the discussion rolling, check out some of the questions I came up with to ask these 3D printer salesmen. If there are any comments on the questions, or additional questions you guys think I should bring up, lets hear them.


    1) What is the tollerance? How accurate can the machine print?
    2) Tollerence with threads and snap fitting?
    3) What material does the machine print in? What is the strength of the material?
    4) What is the material price? Price of material per cubic inch/ centimenter?
    5) What is the printing time?
    6) Colour options?
    7) Disposal of models?
    8) Any excess material that needs to be thrown out? Amount of waste?
    9) Any hazardous materials?
    10) Compatable with adhesives and paints?
     
  11. Jan 17, 2012 #10

    AlephZero

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    Re: 3D Printer!!! :Researching 3D Printers for Purchase!

    Even with an X-Ray scan, you would probably need to do some computing to "separate" the different parts.

    I have a bit of experience using similar "hi-resolution" scanning measurement devices. It would probably only take a few minutes for an experienced user to turn the scan output into a "full" 3D model with "moving parts". It's a bit sneaky not to mention it at all, but I don't think it's a big deal.

    I expect they turned the wrench over and scanned both sides, but they didn't show that either.
     
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