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Looking to get into 3D printing and engineering

  1. Nov 21, 2014 #1
    Hey guys :)


    Can anyone point me in the right direction on where to start with 3D printing engineering? I'm kinda lost but i'm super pumped and very very motivated to learn this stuff!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2014 #2

    billy_joule

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    You want to build one? Or just learn about them?

    If it's the former start from here:
    http://reprap.org/
    Check out the rep rap forum too:
    http://forums.reprap.org/
    If you want to get straight into printing I would recommend buying a kit, costs a bit more but sourcing parts is an exercise in itself (and often headache inducing..)


    If it's the latter, textbooks on rapid prototyping will give a good intro to the various types of 3D printing.
     
  4. Nov 21, 2014 #3
  5. Nov 22, 2014 #4

    Danger

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    One thing you'll need is a good working knowledge of a 3D draughting program to drive the printer. I'm going nuts trying to learn TurboCad.
     
  6. Nov 22, 2014 #5

    billy_joule

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    The plug is not something you could do with a 3D printer, it's injection moulded around the cables and prongs. Also, mains electricity can kill so best not to play with it unless you are qualified to do so.

    I'd be hesitant to recommend learning 3D modelling software too. Getting a handle on the software and hardware of your printer is a steep enough learning curve, getting a well calibrated functional printer is a feat in itself. There are thousands of great objects to print from places like http://www.thingiverse.com/ without having to delve into modelling software at all.
     
  7. Nov 22, 2014 #6

    Danger

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    Sure, if you want to be stuck making stuff that you could probably buy with less effort and cost (factoring in the cost of the printer). To do anything useful, you have to be able to design the part that you want the same as if you were to send blueprints to a machine shop.
     
  8. Nov 24, 2014 #7

    billy_joule

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    There is a massive online community of people with 3D printers making and sharing models of things you can't buy (for want of a better term).
    I have experience and access to solidworks but The first 100+ objects I printed were models off the net (calibration parts, full set of spare & improved printer parts, gearboxes, peristaltic pump, cable chain, chess set, guillotine (for heatshrink), mecanum wheels etc etc); ie it was sometime before I wanted something that I needed to model myself. Some things I could've ordered online but they often cost an order of magnitude more than my material costs.
     
  9. Nov 24, 2014 #8

    Danger

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    We apparently don't invent the same sort of devices. :D
     
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