3D Printing

STARLORD13

New Member
Does anyone here 3d print their builds like iron man helmets, etc.? If so, what printers do you guys use? Or which is the best to get? Im thinking about getting one to do projects. Please all advice is helpful. :thumbsup :D
 

Kevin Gossett

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Check out Make Magazine's 3D printer guide for reviews. There isn't really a "best" machine out there for everyone. You have to decide what type of printer works best for you. You need to consider build volume, level of detail, materials used (PLA vs ABS vs resin, etc), cost, usability, etc, etc, etc.
 

Fawbish

Sr Member
Also, discard any notions that the printing is simply load up file and walk away. It takes a bit of dedication and understanding to start getting good prints, and it helps to be familiar or start to learn about 3D design in some cases, unless you want to only download previously designed models (which is also fair play). Printing out full helmets etc is a long and laborious process that depending on cost of machine/build area will necessitate splitting the model into multiple printable pieces in certain cases, taking into account support structures within the prints etc. This all affects your post processing time - which of course usually is the key reason people initially think they want a printer for.


There's no denying you can print out something relatively quickly (<10 hours) that would have taken an age to manufacture by hand, and then paint it and wahey its done. But in reality, the finish wont look good due to build lines, there'll be certain details that you realise arent quite right etc. It still requires a decent amount of post processing. Saying that, its fun to learn and mess around with! I started cheap with a Da Vinci 1.0 (£400/$500 ish), and I'm still enjoying it now.
 

JJ Griffin

Sr Member
Does anyone here 3d print their builds like iron man helmets, etc.? If so, what printers do you guys use? Or which is the best to get? Im thinking about getting one to do projects. Please all advice is helpful. :thumbsup :D
Pretty vague question... I personally use a Lulzbot Taz 4. "Best" is a very relative term. The "best to get" (for the most part) would be the sort of industrial SLA printers that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, so why don't you let us know what your budget is and we can help suggest models a bit closer to earth? ;)
 

xeno

Sr Member
When buying a 3D printer consider not only accuracy,
but also speed and ease of changing a nozzle to a different size !

A lot of printers can do great accuracy but take ages to print larger objects :)
 

GhostMinion

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well, like stated above, a Lulzbot Taz 4 is nice. The new Taz 5 has a smaller bed, though.

Makergear M2 is really nice, I'd recommend it for sure. Getting nice pretty prints off of mine.

I love my Makerbot Replicator 2.............however..................don't buy anything Makerbot makes. All their new stuff is total crap. Read the reviews for yourself, nobody seems to be happy with the new line of printers they came out with.

And don't forget, it's not just your printer, but the software driving it that makes it awesome. Check out Simplify3d, way better than any of the freeware available.

Hope it helps.
 

GhostMinion

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Also, expect your first few weeks of printing to be hell. Dialing in a printer is no fun at first, but stay the course and don't get discouraged. The second and third time around is a lot easier and faster, dialed in my M2 in about a week.

My Lulzbot took about 6 months, if not more..................
 

widescreen

Well-Known Member
I have a Leapfrog Creatr HS and I think it's great - very large print bed, 2 Nozzles (2 colours or materials), large choice of materials (PLA, ABS, PLA, Nylon & exotic materials) & can print very quickly.

It has been said before - these printers get a lot of getting used to. Each model can behave differently.

You will get what you pay for though. Don't expect miracles from a £500 kit.

I know someone with a cheap SLS machine & even though the prints are sharper, the results can differ dramatically.
 

JJ Griffin

Sr Member
Well, like stated above, a Lulzbot Taz 4 is nice. The new Taz 5 has a smaller bed, though.

Makergear M2 is really nice, I'd recommend it for sure. Getting nice pretty prints off of mine.

I love my Makerbot Replicator 2.............however..................don't buy anything Makerbot makes. All their new stuff is total crap. Read the reviews for yourself, nobody seems to be happy with the new line of printers they came out with.

And don't forget, it's not just your printer, but the software driving it that makes it awesome. Check out Simplify3d, way better than any of the freeware available.

Hope it helps.
While most of this is true... the bit about the Taz 5's bed is incorrect. Both the Taz 4 and Taz 5 have the exact same build volume, which is 298mm x 275mm x 250mm. The only difference in terms of the bed is that the Taz 5 has a PEI print surface so prints stick better without the aid of adhesion promoters like ABS slurry.
 
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msleeper

Sr Member
The PEI surface is 100% worth it. We have one on the Mini we have at the hackerspace and I am immediately buying one for my own printers.
 

Daniel Nelms

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Also many lower end SLS printers have small build volumes. This will change as time goes on. You do still see build lines on SLS prints so they will require some post finishing work. Also, you will need to seal the prints before attempting to mold them in silicone.

No matter what machine you get you need to realize that there will be a steep learning curve associated with it, this is a new industry and much like the emergence of the PC market in the late 70s the machines on offer today take a lot of TLC.
 

GhostMinion

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
While most of this is true... the bit about the Taz 5's bed is incorrect. Both the Taz 4 and Taz 5 have the exact same build volume, which is 298mm x 275mm x 250mm. The only difference in terms of the bed is that the Taz 5 has a PEI print surface so prints stick better without the aid of adhesion promoters like ABS slurry.

Sorry, but you're mistaken. When the Taz 4 first came out, it had the same exact size bed as my Taz 3 has, which is about a foot by a foot and about ten inch build height. Not sure if they've changed that, but I'm certain is was just like mine when the version 4 was introduced. I only lately realized they even had a fifth version, and was disappointed to see the bed size going down. Not sure why they wanted to make it smaller.

As for the PEI tape, are you talking about PET tape? The green tape? Because that's what they've been coming with standard since the Taz 2 was out.



EDIT: Is the PEI tape red? Seems this is a new tape surface. Wonder how it compares to PET tape?
 
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msleeper

Sr Member
PEI is not a typo. I'm not sure if it's really a "tape", you don't replace it often like you do with PET or kapton. You put it on your surface once and you print directly on to it.

It is without a doubt the best surface I've ever printed on, nothing else compares.
 

Lord Magneto

Well-Known Member
I love my Makerbot Replicator 2.............however..................don't buy anything Makerbot makes. All their new stuff is total crap. Read the reviews for yourself, nobody seems to be happy with the new line of printers they came out with.


Hope it helps.
Can confirm... makerbot mini owner over here... It actually works really well now but man oh man do I wish I had another printer... will be purchasing an ultimaker or Taz in the next year or so.
 

GhostMinion

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
PEI is not a typo. I'm not sure if it's really a "tape", you don't replace it often like you do with PET or kapton. You put it on your surface once and you print directly on to it.

It is without a doubt the best surface I've ever printed on, nothing else compares.

Now, I'm wondering if it's made for ABS specifically? I gotta say, I've loved PET tape. I only print in PLA, though, so I couldn't give a comparison to ABS. My favorite thing about it is when the part cools down, it just sort of undoes itself from the print bed, and comes right off.
 

msleeper

Sr Member
I haven't tried printing in PLA, but my understanding is that it sticks to anything. The TAZ 5 and the Mini advertise as printing in PLA so I assume they've tested the PEI surface with it to success. When it cools the material releases.
 

GhostMinion

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I haven't tried printing in PLA, but my understanding is that it sticks to anything. The TAZ 5 and the Mini advertise as printing in PLA so I assume they've tested the PEI surface with it to success. When it cools the material releases.

Interesting indeed. I'd try it if I wasn't already happy with what I've got. Good to know though. :thumbsup
 

JJ Griffin

Sr Member
Sorry, but you're mistaken. When the Taz 4 first came out, it had the same exact size bed as my Taz 3 has, which is about a foot by a foot and about ten inch build height. Not sure if they've changed that, but I'm certain is was just like mine when the version 4 was introduced. I only lately realized they even had a fifth version, and was disappointed to see the bed size going down. Not sure why they wanted to make it smaller.

As for the PEI tape, are you talking about PET tape? The green tape? Because that's what they've been coming with standard since the Taz 2 was out.



EDIT: Is the PEI tape red? Seems this is a new tape surface. Wonder how it compares to PET tape?
No, I am not mistaken. The Taz 4 and the Taz 5 have the exact same print bed size and build volume. I am not sure where you heard it had changed. It's well documented in lots of different places so I can screenshot the specifications for you if you're really convinced they're different sizes.
 

GhostMinion

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
No, I am not mistaken. The Taz 4 and the Taz 5 have the exact same print bed size and build volume. It's well documented in lots of different places so I can screenshot the specifications for you if you're really convinced they're different sizes.

No, no. I believe you are right. I've not found a shred of proof that my claim was correct.

But man, I swear when it came out the specs were the same as the previous version. Oh well, glad I got my version 3. ;)
 
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