3D Printing for the small business

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Darkproductions

New Member
My apologies if this is a repeat, I did a search and didnt find a thread on this. I run a small props business making weaponry for cosplayers (no this is not a sell job) Anywho, recently I found a hidden blade assembly from Assassins Creed and I want! Unfortunately, given it's nature, it must be machined and while I am a proficient sculptor I am not a machine. So my question is this; does anyone know of any 3D printers that have become financially feasible to the private market. I don't need a $4,000.00 machine, I am hoping that these have become like vinyl printers and are becoming available to "hobbyists" and small businesses. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
~N
 

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exoray

Master Member
If you want models that look like they were made with spaghetti you can get a MakerBot for well under $4k, but beyond that you won't get much more... Production 3D printing machines are in the 100s, 200s or 300+ thousand dollar arena, the most basic office models are still 10s of thousands of dollars... Not much is going to be had that produces what I would consider even passable small parts for under $10K...

Much more cost effective is simply to take advantage of companies like Shapeways that run the top of the line machines and offer VERY cost effective model printing to the hobbiest....
 

DrewSmith007

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There's also a ton of places like emachineshop.com that can do the part for you in materials that aren't cost effective to print. They even have a proprietary CAD program that you can design with for free.
 
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miscavity

New Member
actually you can usually find a older model zcorp 400 on ebay for 1-2 k, possible less depending on how bad of shape it is. That's what I did. Then you can use hydroperm or one of the other opensource recipes and cut the cost down to almost nothing. That's what I did. now I just need to learn more about cad/3d sculpting. also the makerbot/ulitmaker stuff looks a lot better now than it did a little while ago, the parts actually looked kinda smooth in places, especially with the 1.5 mm filament
 

exoray

Master Member
actually you can usually find a older model zcorp 400 on ebay for 1-2 k, possible less depending on how bad of shape it is.
Based on todays standards and what can be done with new tech, IMO the vintage Zcorp machines do not produce passable models... If you are happy with what it makes then I guess to you it's worth the money to you, but IMO they simply don't produce decent enough 3D models vs the alternatives...

also the makerbot/ulitmaker stuff looks a lot better now than it did a little while ago, the parts actually looked kinda smooth in places, especially with the 1.5 mm filament
Still looks like spaghetti, compared to production machines...

Those rough 3D machines certainly have their place and they are cool but I could never justify the cost for them vs what you get when I can drop a few buck at Shapeways and get far superior results...
 

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zenix

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
another bump for shapeways.com for 3d printing services.

however I compared the ultimaker print I got at Maker Faire in NYC last month to the stratasys uPrint printed bowie bunny and the ultimaker did seem to be nicer quality.

also, the thing-o-matic with the brand new mk7 extruder is quite awesome now too.
 
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Scandvoice

Active Member
I suggest you PM Indiefilmgeek on the Prop Costume forum - if I'm not completely mistaken, I believe that he and his brother are building one. ;-)
 

DrewSmith007

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I purchased the Mk7 Stepstruder from them the day it was released and will be building a large format printer with it. I'll start a thread here when I get started on it.

They don't come off the machine ready to use, but I think with a little clean up work it should perform adequately.
 

TylerHam

Well-Known Member
I have used shapeways and I think they are pretty good - Their standard resin is OK - not too smooth, but I have yet to try their DETAIL resin, which seems like a better bet
 

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