3D Printing Filamant for Fallout Prop Building (General Question)

RockIt

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
To all those w/3D printing experience printing your builds...

3D printing is obviously a finicky mistress and an art all of itself, constantly learning and tweaking build/model parameters. I recently finished a build of ytec's Fallout 3 laser pistol and was given some zenworks 1.75mm zenworks translucent filament. I usually use 1.75mm hatchbox, as since they're the same diameter, assumed it wouldn't differ when extruder. Boy was I wrong! Never got even a single subassembly piece completed because the extruder kept skipping when it attempted to feed the filament through. If both are ABS and theoretically the same diameter, why the heck would there be SUCH a difference? Thoughts? I'd like to actually use this damn translucent stuff - I've got a couple projects (like the SHIELD night night gun) and a pile of LEDs just waiting to roll.
 

Daniel Nelms

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The manufacturing tolerance on filament is quite exacting. It's not extruded but pulled on huge machines, the settings have to be perfect or you end up with filament that has flaws where some parts will randomly be thinner or thicker which is bad news for your feeder/extruder. I stick to brands that I know, but even then it's not uncommon to get a bad batch. :(

That said I've had good luck with printing translucent PLA but no joy with the translucent ABS that I have tried. My guess is that it changes the thermal properties somehow.
 

nomuse

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I hope this isn't a hijack --

Anyone experimented yet with those metallic-content filaments for prop building? I'm still at the colored PLA stage myself, but I'm noticing more and more clever materials (I really want to try out NinjaFlex).
 

RockIt

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The manufacturing tolerance on filament is quite exacting. It's not extruded but pulled on huge machines, the settings have to be perfect or you end up with filament that has flaws where some parts will randomly be thinner or thicker which is bad news for your feeder/extruder. I stick to brands that I know, but even then it's not uncommon to get a bad batch. :(

That said I've had good luck with printing translucent PLA but no joy with the translucent ABS that I have tried. My guess is that it changes the thermal properties somehow.
Right on. I'm hoping it's just a bad batch and hasn't ruled out all filament from them (tho I'd hate to waste a ream of ABS...). Do you recall which brands you tried for the ABS that gave you heartburn?
nomuse - I recently backed a kickstarter for an 80% metallic filament, going with bronze (they were doing three metals - bronze, copper, and I forgot the third). Allegedly it's going to be comparable printing to regular filament, but I'm itching to try it out.
 
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nomuse

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I see the stuff now....Filamet. And their online store is taking orders -- dunno when they start shipping (or if they already have). Virtual Foundry is the website, if anyone is interested.
 

JBradley

Member
what machine and software are you running? You might be able to update the software settings with the actual dimension of the filament, which I get by taking several measurements with my calipers and averaging them. I usually have to do this in Repetier Host for my solidoodle 4 every time I get new filament. Changing the filament diameter in the software modifies the calculation for how much to extrude.
 

RockIt

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I see the stuff now....Filamet. And their online store is taking orders -- dunno when they start shipping (or if they already have). Virtual Foundry is the website, if anyone is interested.
Yeah, those are the guys. Been getting the kickstarter updates and they're showing decent printed results in their metal prints. We'll see, very intrigued. Don't intend to ruin my printer over it tho...

what machine and software are you running? You might be able to update the software settings with the actual dimension of the filament, which I get by taking several measurements with my calipers and averaging them. I usually have to do this in Repetier Host for my solidoodle 4 every time I get new filament. Changing the filament diameter in the software modifies the calculation for how much to extrude.
Damn good idea, I should give that a go. Haven't taken the calipers to it yet, just assumed it was within reasonable tolerance. And I'm using a Flash Forge Creator Pro with sailfish to modify the .stl/.gcode/.x3g files. What I need is access to solidworks again so I can start busting out new CAD models ago - my computer crashed last year and I lost my copy/license. Ugh.
 

nomuse

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Give Fusion 360 a look. Decent CAD, inheriting a lot from AutoCAD et al, and very reasonable terms -- free for students, hobbyists and start-ups.
 

RockIt

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Give Fusion 360 a look. Decent CAD, inheriting a lot from AutoCAD et al, and very reasonable terms -- free for students, hobbyists and start-ups.
Thanks for the tip. I'm going to check that and FreeCAD out this week, give them a go.
 

juliegrrl

New Member
I'm really liking 123Design, nice straightforward CAD package which for a person with minimal CAD training like me is a blessing.
I also second the suggestion to take actual filament diameter measurements and update your Slicer profiles with it. I use slicer which has a separate collection of settings for filament so you can keep quite a few profiles. As far as translucent ABS goes, I've had great luck with cheapie rolls of it bought for experimentation. I had to drop my extruder temperature by 5 degrees, but otherwise it's printed just fine. Just did a translucent green core and tip for 11th doctor's sonic screwdriver using it.
 
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