Introduction into printing 3D parts for lightsabers

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TheJediSmuggler

New Member
Recommending software is not straightforward as it depends not only on what you want to achieve but how you get on with the software itself. For instance Blender has an incredible feature set and people produce amazing models with it, but I never got very far with it as I was unable to get past the awkward interface. If you can tough it out and learn its work flow I suspect there’s not much you can’t achieve with it.

Fusion 360 is one I was learning, however it's fallen out of favour a bit with the recent changes. It's still good and provided you get on with it I think it may be the right choice for you if you're modelling items like lightsabers.

For my models I use Sketchup for CAD style modelling, Silo 2 for poly modelling and Sculptris for organic sculpting… but I’ve come to that after a lot of trial and error with other packages. A lot of the time what you get out of a software package is less about the features of a specific program and more about how much determination you bring to bear.
I see. My best bet would be to look at them all and see what interface I like best. For now, I'm not looking at a variety of project, but it is nice to have a lot of features. It's nice to be versatile.
 

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xl97

Master Member
I think for your FIRST printer.. (especially if you are open and think you'll have more in the future)

The ENDER 3 will be a choice for you.. or the 5 if its bigger (dont recall off hand).

They easier to put together.. and you can start learning more about the ins and outs of 3D printing.. alignment.. slicing....etc..etc
 

TazMan2000

Master Member
I see. I'll have to sit down and think about what kind of printer is best for a starter and complete beginner like myself. I think with the right resources, I learn quickly. I tend to experiment once I start to get the hang of things haha.

3D Fusion? Hm, I'll have a look at it. Thanks :)
Correction...Fusion 360.

TazMan2000
 

Mr Mold Maker

Master Member
If you're only printing sabers you can get away with a smaller FDM. Yes, its a lesser learning curve.

I disagree with the sentiment FDM has less of a learning curve. Resin is essentially plug in, level, and print. The only service they really need are screen replacements and, on the Mars anyways, it is a 5 minute job. The software and supports are also incredibly intuitive in my opinion.

Contrast that with my experience back when I had an FDM printer? It was HELL. Feed issues, nozzle clogs, misalignment, thermistor and fan issues, bed adhesion. The list goes on and on. Then there is the software and the hours and hours spent fine tuning the printer for the best results. I spent more time working on my FDM printer than I think I ever spent printing with it.

Had my Elegoo Mars for over a year and my Saturn for a few months now. I will personally never use an FDM machine again. Just my two cents on FDM vs Resin. So which printer would I recommend? The Elegoo Mars, 100%.
 

TheJediSmuggler

New Member
I think for your FIRST printer.. (especially if you are open and think you'll have more in the future)

The ENDER 3 will be a choice for you.. or the 5 if its bigger (dont recall off hand).

They easier to put together.. and you can start learning more about the ins and outs of 3D printing.. alignment.. slicing....etc..etc
I'll put the Ender 3 on top of my list. Thanks for the suggestion!

Correction...Fusion 360.

TazMan2000
Ah ok, got it.

I disagree with the sentiment FDM has less of a learning curve. Resin is essentially plug in, level, and print. The only service they really need are screen replacements and, on the Mars anyways, it is a 5 minute job. The software and supports are also incredibly intuitive in my opinion.

Contrast that with my experience back when I had an FDM printer? It was HELL. Feed issues, nozzle clogs, misalignment, thermistor and fan issues, bed adhesion. The list goes on and on. Then there is the software and the hours and hours spent fine tuning the printer for the best results. I spent more time working on my FDM printer than I think I ever spent printing with it.

Had my Elegoo Mars for over a year and my Saturn for a few months now. I will personally never use an FDM machine again. Just my two cents on FDM vs Resin. So which printer would I recommend? The Elegoo Mars, 100%.
I see... And are resin printers (Elegoo Mars in particular) beginner-friendly? Or is it easy to use as long as you do your homework?
 

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The resin printers are tricky in that you have to clean them well everytime you use them, make sure they are leveled everytime you use them. The learning curve for them is in the resin cure times, building supports, replacing the fep and the projectors/light arrays. That being said the prints you get from them are amazing and require little minimal clean up.

My first printers are resin epax printers and I got them because I knew what results I wanted and there's only one way to learn how to use them. Buy them and learn knowing I'm going to fail with prints and have to learn how to replace parts on them.
 

xl97

Master Member
Both have ins and outs IMHO.... (but this from the outside looking in).. I would trust more what other are saying for real experience..

"that being said......"

If you are doing mostly INTERNAL saber parts... (you really need to look at the printers and get the specs for your-self!)..

I think an Elegoo Mars would be fine.. in the overall scheme of things.. its a very small print envelope..

Roughly the size of your cell phone screen, and (off top of my head) 5-6 inches in Z axis (height)

If you want to build intricate chassis parts... nothing will top this. (except more build room) LOL

They both have their 'learning' curves... but for me.. the 'mechanical' hoops the jump through the better/easier.

I'm also not a fan of making my new 'tool' my new hobby.

MANY MANY MANY people here tinker with and upgrade and update their printers.. all day every day..

I'd rather spend my time using my tools for my hobby... instead of my new tool being my new hobby.
 

TazMan2000

Master Member
I disagree with the sentiment FDM has less of a learning curve. Resin is essentially plug in, level, and print. The only service they really need are screen replacements and, on the Mars anyways, it is a 5 minute job. The software and supports are also incredibly intuitive in my opinion.

Contrast that with my experience back when I had an FDM printer? It was HELL. Feed issues, nozzle clogs, misalignment, thermistor and fan issues, bed adhesion. The list goes on and on. Then there is the software and the hours and hours spent fine tuning the printer for the best results. I spent more time working on my FDM printer than I think I ever spent printing with it.

Had my Elegoo Mars for over a year and my Saturn for a few months now. I will personally never use an FDM machine again. Just my two cents on FDM vs Resin. So which printer would I recommend? The Elegoo Mars, 100%.


I guess it depends on each of our experiences. Initially I had several issues with FDM but after learning how to deal with them, I have few now. Used mirror for the base, sprayed it with cheap hairspray, level the base properly and no issues after.

With my Elegoo Mars, I have had problems right off the bat. Levelled the print surface, and still had issues. Lubricated the film and still had delamination issues. Repositioned the object so that I have more bed contact, and a successful print. Print the same object again and more delamination issues. I switch resins, and have worse luck and have to play with exposure settings.

I hope to get to the point that I will eventually know exactly how to prep my Mars for a perfect print every time.

Still, I love my Creality CR10S and would never give it up. I also would love to get a new Saturn. For me, I need both types of printers for what I do.

TazMan2000
 
Another thing to consider about resin printers is that there are expensive resins for jewelry castings. So if you want your final object to be in metal for example guns/lightsabers that's also something to consider.
 

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Mr Mold Maker

Master Member
I see... And are resin printers (Elegoo Mars in particular) beginner-friendly? Or is it easy to use as long as you do your homework?

I can only speak to my experience with it, but yeah. Incredibly beginner friendly out of the box. I went from never having printed anything with resin to having a full lightsaber printed in about a week.

There are absolutely some small things to figure out like the proper orientation on parts, which is very intuitive IMO, and you can of course go into detail tweaking settings as much as you like beyond that. I tend to just use the stock settings with fantastic results. It really was just plugging in and pushing print for me, on both the Mars and Saturn. There are also a lot of great videos and groups centered around them. Speaking long term I have only had to replace the LED on the Mars once, ($30 screen, 5 minute job) and re-leveled the bed a handful of times.
 

Mr Mold Maker

Master Member
I guess it depends on each of our experiences. Initially I had several issues with FDM but after learning how to deal with them, I have few now. Used mirror for the base, sprayed it with cheap hairspray, level the base properly and no issues after.

With my Elegoo Mars, I have had problems right off the bat. Levelled the print surface, and still had issues. Lubricated the film and still had delamination issues. Repositioned the object so that I have more bed contact, and a successful print. Print the same object again and more delamination issues. I switch resins, and have worse luck and have to play with exposure settings.

I hope to get to the point that I will eventually know exactly how to prep my Mars for a perfect print every time.

Still, I love my Creality CR10S and would never give it up. I also would love to get a new Saturn. For me, I need both types of printers for what I do.

TazMan2000

I guess I never learned how to deal with the FDM issues. The problem was, it seemed like I had a new issue every week. I could make a whole book on every issue I had with my machine, it was just about every single one you could have.

I am truly sorry to hear that! I had a completely different experience with the Mars. Like I mentioned above I tend to use stock settings and haven’t had any issues at all. I did have issues to start with using the Elegoo ABS-Like resin, but after I switched to Siraya-Tech fast I’ve had a solid track record with successful prints. I’d try that resin if you haven’t, and just keep playing with the orientation and supports and I’m sure you’ll get it nailed down.

Whenever I have something larger than the Saturn, I send it off to a printing company. A little more upfront cost but it saves me all the time sanding and filling, and has none of the detail loss you have inherently when finishing an FDM print.
 

TheJediSmuggler

New Member
I can only speak to my experience with it, but yeah. Incredibly beginner friendly out of the box. I went from never having printed anything with resin to having a full lightsaber printed in about a week.

There are absolutely some small things to figure out like the proper orientation on parts, which is very intuitive IMO, and you can of course go into detail tweaking settings as much as you like beyond that. I tend to just use the stock settings with fantastic results. It really was just plugging in and pushing print for me, on both the Mars and Saturn. There are also a lot of great videos and groups centered around them. Speaking long term I have only had to replace the LED on the Mars once, ($30 screen, 5 minute job) and re-leveled the bed a handful of times.
I see, thanks for the info!

Thanks everyone for input! I think the best way to go forward is the learn more about the different kinds of printers and software, and see which fits best with my needs. Seems like I got some homework to do.
 

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