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Thread: 3D printer

  1. #11
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Thanks jangell. Boy your scaring me with all the technical terms but I bet when I start using some software it will make sense. You have me now looking for 3D modeling which exprots the STL files and slicer software for the gcode output file.
    Dave M vin 03572
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  2. #12
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    Preform, the slicer for formlabs printers, comes with the printer so you just have to put the stl in and print.

    Now the other thing to really understand, however, is making a structurally solid 3d printable part. Not just any single pixel thick mesh can work as a 3d printable surface. There are free softwares like Autodesk Meshmixer that can help you check your parts for printability that I'd consider using for printing.

    Blender's become a fairly good free 3d modeling software that you can jump into if you're looking to learn. I personally use Maya, but I'm vfx based so we tend to use Maya for most work along with softwares such as Zbrush and even Modo for sculpting characters and the like. Solidworks is good as well if you're looking to make hard surface physically accurate models. It's a bit overkill for hobbyists but there are many options you can explore.

  3. #13
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    3d scanning isn't a scan and print affair. Most 3d scanners create a large amount of errors, especially with shiny bits and parts. In the case of every scan I've always had to engineer cleanup. If you want to scan without any special hardware and get really good results you can use a DSLR camera and Reality Capture and it'll do REAL good at solving a mesh from a photo session. It's about $99 for 3 months subscription with a photo limit (that you probably won't need to bust) but the trial lets you run things for free before you commit to it.

    https://www.capturingreality.com/

    You'll still have scan errors, you'll still need to cleanup scandata, and it'll take time. I'd recommend Zbrush to clean the scandata, but that's about $900 a license.


    My workflow is typically:
    - either Maya or Zbrush for an original asset (Blender would work here for you as free alternative).
    - Cleanup and scale (you may have to cut parts up to do a larger print on a smaller bed) (and hollowing to save material if needed) in Materialise Magics (its about $7k a license so you're better off using MeshMixer which is free)
    - export stl or obj from Magics (or MeshMixer)...to be honest most slicers use OBJ files now with no issues
    - open stl or obj in Preform (which is free and part of the Formlabs Form3 software)

    -Print!
    - Take print, put into formWash and let it sift and agitate for 15 mins
    - Let print air dry in Wash
    - Place print into formCure, set to proper material settings for optimum surface integrity
    - Cure for about an hour

    - Pull part out of formCure, pull off the supports, cleanup and sand, and you're done.
    Last edited by megamanex; 10-01-2019 at 08:47 PM.

  4. #14
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    We're currently 3d printing things right now at about 36 feet long by 26 feet wide by 12 feet tall and that stuff is kinda incredible.

    Essentially 3d printing my own vehicle chassis from Maya meshes in foam, casting them in fiberglass, and then finished products come out flawless.

    It's super cool.

  5. #15
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    What megamanex said. For modeling, itís mostly thinking of building it like a real object. Modeling apps donít obey the laws of physics, so you need to add physical constraints yourself. CAD apps are a little better, but you can still do impossible things. You just have to keep that in mind, and avoid adding details that are too fine and shapes that canít physically work. You also need to be aware of the size of your build area; if your model is too big you might have to do multiple prints and glue or otherwise fasten them together.

    I havenít used Meshmixer (Autodesk, our (Modoís) arch nemesis!), but it sounds like a good plan. Iíve also printed smaller pieces of my models to test fits and designs so that I donít have to spend material and time on larger prints when Iím only tweaking a small part.

    The slicers are pretty easy to use. I canít speak to the Form one, but in Cura you mostly just pick your material, pick a print quality, and click Slice. You only have to play with the settings if you are doing something unusual or need more control.

    After that, you just give it to your printer, wait a while (probably a few hours for an FDM print; not sure how fast resin ones are), and youíll have your model. Final finishing work depends on how pretty you want them to be. So far Iíve just used the raw prints, but Iím making relay boxes and speedometer housings and tablet stands ó nothings fancy. This is a two-piece stand I finished today to mount a tablet for EFI tuning over the center stack on the DMC (it slips between the top of the stack and the trim).

    7B1C5A5B-1142-4131-AAA0-9C0C85E8B9BE.jpg24160407-0F9D-4804-95DC-EAA437590E2A.jpg

    Honestly, learning how to do 3D modeling is going to take most of your time. But you can literally just throw together boxes and cylinders and get something decent, depending on what your end goal is. Thatís basically what I did with the tablet holder above, plus some boolean subtractions to cut the hinges and some other holes. Itís not a pretty model, but it doesnít have to be.

    Iíve only done a little scanning, but I can attest that all models need cleanup. In some cases you might be better off just using the scan as a reference and building a new model over it. I had some grand plans to design a new interior for the DMC from photogrammetry and 3D printing, but I donít want to make 300 FDM prints for a dashboard/console.

    While Iíd like to recommend Modo, itís a $600/year subscription, so youíd probably want to go with Blender or Sketchup or something like that so you can get the hang of modeling. I feel like Sketchup might be more tailored to this kind of thing (itís just a CAD-like modeler; Modo, Blender, Maya, etc are full model/texture/animate/render packages), but I havenít used since I tinkered with it many years ago, and Iím not sure what itís like these days.

    I want to see the 36í print megamanex is making but Iím guessing itís NDAíed VFX stuff.

    ó Joe

  6. #16
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megamanex View Post
    -Print!
    - Take print, put into formWash and let it sift and agitate for 15 mins
    - Let print air dry in Wash
    - Place print into formCure, set to proper material settings for optimum surface integrity
    - Cure for about an hour

    - Pull part out of formCure, pull off the supports, cleanup and sand, and you're done.
    So what is this formWash and formCure? I see the FORM printers can be bought in a basic $3500 or $6000 system.
    Dave M vin 03572
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  7. #17
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    The wash and cure machines allow for better part finishing after the print.

    https://formlabs.com/wash-cure/


    Theyíre probably part of that more expensive bundle now.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    I downloaded Blender. Holly Shi...t. That software is going to take forever to learn. It does things you really don't need to print a 3D part. I guess I don't think much about 3d since parts I machine are just thought of differently.
    Dave M vin 03572
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bitsyncmaster View Post
    I downloaded Blender. Holly Shi...t. That software is going to take forever to learn. It does things you really don't need to print a 3D part. I guess I don't think much about 3d since parts I machine are just thought of differently.
    Blender really isn't a good tool for part design.

    I think FreeCAD is the best of the open source tools, though it's kind of hard to learn and seem to behave strangely whenever I try to use it. Fusion 360 seems to be a decent free option if you don't mind cloud based stuff that could disappear if Autodesk decides to make it non-free or shut it down. I've never tried it though as I don't like relying on cloud based stuff.

    I use ZW3D, which while pricy (seems to be at $2000 now, was less when I bought it), is probably the best value for mid-range 3D CAD, and has everything needed to do precise engineering parts. It's Solidworks like software at 1/3 the price. There is a 30 day free trial you can download.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Bitsyncmaster's Avatar
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    What I'm looking to create is a disk I can put text on. Sounds pretty simple but looks like I need to watch all the you tube training just to do that.
    Dave M vin 03572
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