3D printers - questions

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Shark

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So I'm thinking about getting a 3D printer. In my head I have visions of making accessories for models, or coming up with my own little do dads. The trouble is, I'm no CAD engineer or even an artist. So how hard is it to turn my vision of say a 1:24 soda bottle, into reality? I don't want to have a $500 paper weight.
 

Elm City Hobbies

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Issue with the home 3D printers is that they don't print with high resolution, at least yet.

While you can make a soda bottle, (or anything else you want) the part will need a fair amount of clean up to look presentable. IE: while the part is still one piece, because of a lower resolution to the part, you can alot of times see the layers of plastic on the part as it is built.

Nothing that a little sanding and putty can't fix, but depends on how much time and effort you want to throw into it.

Something like items from Shapeways, are done on refrigerator size printers that cost north of $15k, and the quality that they put out, just can't be matched in a $500-$2000 desktop 3D printer.

But....like any technology that has come along, the desktop versions will get better and better, for less and less money, so eventually, you will have a desktop printer, that puts out the quality of the larger machines for the price of the desktop ones are today.
 

Papermodder

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Hi Shark.
As Scott said, the prints are not perfect yet and require work after printing.
That $500.00 RepRap will just get you in the door. You will soon find that you are spending more money on upgrades to improve your print quality. If your not somewhat tech savvy, these machines are not for you. They require constant tweaking. Not trying to turn you off 3D printing, it can be a lot of fun. Just laying out some of the facts. I'm new to the 3D printing hobby myself and there is a lot to learn.
There are lots of repositories of stuff to print but you will want to learn to print your own designs. You will have to learn some software, no way around it. 3D CAD, A 3D modeling program and a mesh analyzer, as well as the slicer programs for your printer. There are lots of free ones out there to get you started. Lastly you do have to have a computer capable of handling these types of programs. I have a friend whose dual core won't cut it and can't run some of the software.
3D printing can be a fun and useful addition to our hobby and on it's own. Just be aware that it's not plug and play.
If you do decide to go for it, welcome to the dark side.

Jim
 

The Nylon Gag

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Ello mate

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeI9hBeAHEw&list=PL6q0fd3ileWIboa461ciqM_yKlm5WIu5B[/youtube]

This guy makes cool vids

Gag
 

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