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Thread: 3D printer

  1. #141
    Senior Member jamesrguk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitsyncmaster View Post
    I'm working on printing an HVAC faceplate with improved less light bleeding shields. My Formlabs printer can only print flat to 5.4" and I wanted to print flat so the back side has no supports. I can sand off the flat front side. What I have done so far is print a 5.2" section so I can adjust the model and print another test print. The back side does come out nice without supports using clear resin.

    I was thinking of getting a new filament printer but I have no clue as to how they work and what models are the best.

    The Formlabs has a larger printer but it's over $10,000. I may be able to send my 3D file to some companies that do that work but I like to make adjustments all the time for perfection.

    So what are some good filament printers I should look at?
    Dave,

    Depending on what you need to do I use all Creality FDM hardware for my small business, they're pretty solid in terms of build quality and with a few tweaks can be very reliable and good value for money in my opinion, also lots of online support as they're very popular.

    I print quite a lot of big parts for which I run larger nozzles (0.6 and 0. but also the odd small job and the quality can be very good indeed.

    To give you an idea I run the following:

    1 x Ender 3 (build volume 300mm x 300mm x 400mm)
    3 x CR10s Pros (build volume 300mm x 300mm x 400mm)
    1 x CR10s Max (build Volume 400mm x 400mm x 450mm)

    I only really print in PETG and ABS which are pretty tough.

    This HVAC control Knob was one of my smaller projects for a client and with a quick sand and a blast of paint a good level of finish can be achieved:
    HVAC.jpg

    Lots of people have their favourites but Creality's what I know quite well.

    J
    Last edited by jamesrguk; 01-15-2021 at 12:59 PM.
    James Russell-Grant
    VIN# 5462 Grey Automatic, Purchased in January 2000
    www.printsolid.co.uk

  2. #142
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Thanks. I have been looking at the many available printers. I see some have heated plates, heated enclosures, flex plates, and a lot of new stuff I have to read up on.

    I was wondering if two color units can print the two colors at the same time and the limitation. I would like to print the HVAC with clear and black.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  3. #143
    Senior Member
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    I have a Creality Ender 3 Pro, purely for hobby use. I kludged together an IKEA Lack enclosure for mine so that I could more easily print ABS (the enclosure traps heat, which helps reduce warping with ABS prints). Details can be found here: http://www.tmproductions.com/project...he-ender-3-pro

    I'm starting to play with PTEG, and if it works well enough I might just move over to it entirely, since it appears to have similar enough qualities to ABS for automotive use.

    A nice thing about the Ender 3 is that it is very affordable, and very easy to get parts for. At one point my tensioner on the feed portion broke, and I was able to get a metal replacement on Amazon for $10. I also got a glass bed for mine for better heating uniformity, which helps with ABS (or so I'm told).

    A slight annoyance with the Ender 3 is that it doesn't do bed auto-leveling. There are add-ons you can get for that, after which you have to update the firmware. I haven't actually done this yet. I usually onlu fix the bed leveling after one of my prints screws up, but it should probably be done more regularly than that.

    So far I've only printed with the stock nozzle for any size print, although I probably should try using larger nozzles for large prints. Most of what I print is functional instead of aesthetic, so it seems worth it. It honestly just never occurred to me to look into using larger nozzles until James mentioned it.

    Here's a few of the things I've printed:


    An IR remote for the A/V receiver on my desk. The knob is metal, but the base is printed, sanded, and coated with aluminum spray paint. It's surprising just how close the paint matches the metal knob.
    image-asset.jpg

    Mounts for smart heating registers, which are driven by an ESP8266 and a hobby servo.
    IMG_2814.jpg

    A carrier for the MegaSquirt so I didn't have to keep unscrewing it and its cables when I wanted to tinker with it on the bench.
    image-asset.jpg

    A nut carrier for my early VIN car where the nuts for the transmission linkage bracket aren't welded to the frame. This made it much easier to get the bolts in. The first version held two M6 captive nuts; this later version uses heat-press inserts that are much more reliable (you just push them in with a soldering iron and a special tip).
    IMG_4028.jpg

    A three-part louver striker/hook (left, right and bottom, with a metal pin after my plastic one wasn't strong enough).
    IMG_3184.jpg

    A terminal strip for the passenger side tail light wiring, which had just become a mess over the years with various things patched into it.
    IMG_2707.jpg

    I think that's the bulk of the more interesting stuff. I've had the printer for a year and a half, and it's been quite handy for these sorts of things.

    -- Joe

  4. #144
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    After printing 5 test prints flat (cut to the left side 5.2 inches), I printed one full size face plate. I had to position the part at a 51 deg angle to get it to fit. My printer can do much higher prints than wide. As you can see it has to add a lot of support structure where as printing flat it needs none. This print took 17 hours with 100 micro layers. My printer can do 50 and 25 micro layer but that would take 2 and 4 times as long to print. I even got some supports on the inside of the face plate. The outside supports are easy to remove and easy to sand that surface flat.

    I had an idea that may give a better optical face plate. I could print it in black with large areas left open. Then pour clean epoxy into those openings. That would eliminate all light bleed to perfection.
    Attached Images
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  5. #145
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Here is the finished 3D print. This print had to be printed at a 51 degree tilt to fit in my form 3 printer. So it took 17 hours to print. I still want to try it on a filament printer so I can print it flat and eliminate all the support structure my printer had to use. It does fit in the car but I would move the standoffs a little for perfection. I also did not print the curved sides (tinker CAD) does not let me do free hand drawing but this 3D stuff sands real easy on my bench disk sander. I sanded it after installing the decal so easy to do. I put a bottom light block on mine and don't know why the stock faceplate did not do that. Maybe it was to help keep the plastic cooler.

    I don't plan to sell these so if you want to try to print it I can send you the .stl or .obj file. I would like to see the result on another printer. This will only work with my REV C HVAC LED board. The REV B would need a little filing on that bottom light block to clear the two ICs I moved on the REV C.

    I will paint the sides and test for light bleed. I was shipping black foam for the sides but looking closely at the fit in the car it seems you don't need that foam.
    Attached Images
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  6. #146
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Today I painted the sides and push button holes black. Painting with an artist paint brush does a lousy job since some areas are thin paint. Can't really do two coats either since the second coat just softens the the first coat. Not that it really matters much since this final result looks much better than the first one I built with a flat plastic sheet.

    I still think the best result would be to 3D print one in black with cutouts to pour clear epoxy into or get a printer that can do two colors on one print. I still think I will buy a filament type 3D printer to play with so I'm waiting on trying the black print for when I get one of those.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  7. #147
    Senior Member jamesrguk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitsyncmaster View Post
    Today I painted the sides and push button holes black. Painting with an artist paint brush does a lousy job since some areas are thin paint. Can't really do two coats either since the second coat just softens the the first coat. Not that it really matters much since this final result looks much better than the first one I built with a flat plastic sheet.

    I still think the best result would be to 3D print one in black with cutouts to pour clear epoxy into or get a printer that can do two colors on one print. I still think I will buy a filament type 3D printer to play with so I'm waiting on trying the black print for when I get one of those.
    Dave,

    You can certainly get 2 colour FDM printers, sometimes duel extruders so one just takes over from the other, or you have a purge tower which prints to one side and you run two colours through the same nozzle. To be quite honest at the non-professional price point (lets say sub 1000) I haven't really seen a really reliable system out of the box, however, depending slightly on the print you may be able to use 'pause at height' and change the filament colour, and you can use z-hop' (in some circumstances) to lift the nozzle over printed parts and effectively print one file over the top of another, so there are ways to make it work.

    You'll probably struggle to print things on an FDM printer as transparent as you can with resin printer though.

    Heated bed is a must to print anything useful ABS, PETG etc... As for auto bed levelling I have it on 4 of my printers, but the one that give me the least hassle is my Ender 3 with manual leveling.

    It's great fun, I get the impression that you're the kind of person who'll make it do want you want it to do through clever design.

    James
    James Russell-Grant
    VIN# 5462 Grey Automatic, Purchased in January 2000
    www.printsolid.co.uk

  8. #148
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrguk View Post
    Dave,

    You can certainly get 2 colour FDM printers, sometimes duel extruders so one just takes over from the other, or you have a purge tower which prints to one side and you run two colours through the same nozzle. To be quite honest at the non-professional price point (lets say sub 1000) I haven't really seen a really reliable system out of the box, however, depending slightly on the print you may be able to use 'pause at height' and change the filament colour, and you can use z-hop' (in some circumstances) to lift the nozzle over printed parts and effectively print one file over the top of another, so there are ways to make it work.

    You'll probably struggle to print things on an FDM printer as transparent as you can with resin printer though.

    Heated bed is a must to print anything useful ABS, PETG etc... As for auto bed levelling I have it on 4 of my printers, but the one that give me the least hassle is my Ender 3 with manual leveling.

    It's great fun, I get the impression that you're the kind of person who'll make it do want you want it to do through clever design.

    James
    Thanks. I ordered the QIDI X-plus. Mostly chose this because it's one of the few that is trying to print with nylon carbon fiber. Probably won't work well with that stuff yet since it's to new. I do plan to try to print an HVAC in black and then pour in clear epoxy so clear printing won't be needed. I still suspect my gear ball with the fine printed decal on it will only work on my resin printer. The resin printer still can do the finest resolution of 25 microns in all three axis. I get 25 microns all the time in X and Y but I select 100 microns for layers to speed things up.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  9. #149
    Senior Member jamesrguk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitsyncmaster View Post
    Thanks. I ordered the QIDI X-plus. Mostly chose this because it's one of the few that is trying to print with nylon carbon fiber. Probably won't work well with that stuff yet since it's to new. I do plan to try to print an HVAC in black and then pour in clear epoxy so clear printing won't be needed. I still suspect my gear ball with the fine printed decal on it will only work on my resin printer. The resin printer still can do the finest resolution of 25 microns in all three axis. I get 25 microns all the time in X and Y but I select 100 microns for layers to speed things up.
    Nice, if printing with nylon you have to keep it as dry as a bone it absorbs atmospheric water like mad and then prints really badly. I didn't realise that when manufacturing with nylon, most items are deliberately left to absorb moisture before being packaged as this is apparently a crucial step in the manufacturing process and partly responsible for Nylon's durability (sorry went off topic).

    You'll get better resolution from resin, but you can achieve good results from FDM (with a little post-print finishing) I deigned and printed these replacement knobs for an old Maserati and used textured paint got a very OEM look.

    Switch Knob.jpg

    It's great fun.

    J
    James Russell-Grant
    VIN# 5462 Grey Automatic, Purchased in January 2000
    www.printsolid.co.uk

  10. #150
    Senior Member BladeBronson's Avatar
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    I love that in just a little over a year, this went from "I'm thinking about buying a 3D printer" to "check out this clear HVAC panel I designed and printed". Nice work, Dave!
    Christian Williams, Bay Area
    #3452 from 2000-2005
    #10644 since 2015

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