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3D Printing Discuss 3D printed items and 3D printers as they relate to RC


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Old 03-25-2020, 01:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Interested in 3D printing. I need help getting started.

I am interested in 3D printing. I have read a lot of stuff and watched several hours worth of 3D printing introduction videos. I am a bit overwhelmed.


So far, it looks like the most common option is Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), but Stereolithography (SLA) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) are gaining traction.


As a hobbyist, should I purchased a true and tried FDM technology 3D printer, or would a newer SLA or SLS technology 3D printer be a better option?


Price/Cost: This would be my very first 3D printer. I am not looking to spending $10,000, but I also don't want to spend $300 on a 3D printer that will ultimately be frustrating and dissatisfying to use. It looks like the Original Prusa i3 MK3S kit is a bit expensive at $749.00 + $50.00 shipping, but it seems to enjoy very favorable reviews. The Ender 3D printers seem to be very popular, but it is unclear to me whether their popularity is based on bang for the buck at an affordable price, or if they are really that good.


What 3D printers are folks using and what has the experience with them been?


Can anyone who owns a Prusa 3D printer share his or her experience?
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Old 03-26-2020, 07:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a Prusa and Creality CR10S (same company makes Ender but much larger build volume).
If you want a true plug and play out of the box, no fuss, go with the Prusa. The printers from Creality are great bang for bucks, but better for people that have some exposure and experience.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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So Prusa it is. Since I have to pay for shipping, I might as well order everything in one order. Anything else I should get from Prusa? Multi material upgrade? Parts? Maintenance tools and lubrication? Filaments?
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Old 03-26-2020, 01:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Interested in 3D printing. I need help getting started.

You’ll be going through filament the most. So pick up some filament.


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Old 03-27-2020, 12:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I ordered the Original Prusa i3 MK3s 3D Printer kit with both steel sheets. Thanks so much for your help and advice.
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Old 05-03-2020, 10:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Any updates?
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Old 05-03-2020, 11:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes. I received the Prusa 3D printer 2 days ago. I still need to build it and test it out.
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Old 06-04-2020, 11:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Any updates?
I'm looking at the i3 as well
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Old 06-05-2020, 05:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Generally positive experience. I ordered the kit version. I learned several lessons along the way. The kit comes with building tools (hex drivers, needle nose pliers, etc.), but I did not bother using them. I used the RC helicopter tools since these are better quality and much easier to use. When building the frame, it is very important to not gorilla tighten the screws, as overtighening the screws will warp the frame. It would have helped to have a digital torque wrench, but I figured it out through a bit of trial and error.


Every build step on the online manual is followed by comments. The build would have gone easier if I had read all the comments before starting to build each step.


Prusa offers 24/7 customer support via chat, so that was very helpful.


I ordered both the smooth sheet and the textured sheet. I like the smooth sheet better for PLA prints and the textured sheet for PETG prints.


The automatic self-level feature adds to the enjoyment of this 3D printer. The removable steel sheets make removing objects very easy. I cannot imagine what it would be like to have to use a spatula to scrape objects off the sheet.


I want to build the enclosure, but the IKEA LACK tables are not currently in stock. I already purchased the acrylic sheets and the hard to find magnets for the enclosure. I also purchased a 37.5 lbs 16" x 16" x 1.87" $4.00 concrete paver from Home Depot to use with the enclosure to minimize x-axis vibrations.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I printed a few predefined trinkets (included in the stock Prusa SD card) with the stock Prusament PLA filament that came with the printer. The prints were nearly perfect. This tells me that I built the printer correctly, or at least within the tolerance limits.


Since PETG is more heat resistant, stronger, and pretty much the same price as PLA, I have invested most of my efforts to learning to print with PETG. Considering that all of the 3D printer parts in the Prusa printer are printed with PETG, why should I bother with PLA?


I have not designed my own unique parts yet, so I cannot comment on that process, but one step at a time.



What I can tell you is that there is a learning curve with 3D printing, but even a slow learning old guy like me can do it. Several of the automated features of my Prusa 3D printer have made my 3D printing experience more pleasant compared to the budget 3D printers I considered.


Print bed level automated self-calibration continues to be considered a novelty by some folks, but I can tell you I would not purchase a 3D printer without this feature. No way I would waste time with 3D printers that rely on "manual" calibration. This Prusa 3D printer performs an automated 9-point bed level calibration at the beginning of every print, which takes only about 30 seconds.


The flexible print bed makes releasing printed objects at the end of the print a very easy task. I've watched many old YouTube videos demonstrating how to release printed objects from the print bed (usually a glass bed) with a metal spatula, but that feels like 8 track tape era technology compared to the latest flexible printing bed technology.


I've also watched lots of videos were folks use Elmer's glue sticks or hair spray on the print bed in an effort to make the 3D printed objects stick to the print bed. You don't use any of that junk with the Prusa printer. The plastic filament just sticks to the Prusa print bed (as it should). No need to resort to clandestine methods.


About PETG filament quality, I think Prusament may be at the top of the food chain as lots of effort is made by the manufacturer to produce high quality and consistency from batch to batch. So Prusament may be the Kontronik of plastic filaments. However, due to the limited color options and the high cost of shipping to the US, other filament brands are worth considering, especially filament sold on Amazon. Besides Prusament PETG, I have also tried Hatchbox and SUNLU PETG filaments. Both have worked very well and except for color, both have printed pretty much indistinguishable from the much more expensive Prusament. I plan to test other PETG filaments brands (AmazonBasics, eSun, etc.) and I will post my observations as I do.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback.

What was the delivery time for you? Which spring steel sheet did you go with?
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I ordered the Prusa printer on March 27 which was about 2 weeks after the COVID shutdown. I received it on the first week of May, so that was about 5 weeks, which was the time frame stated on the website at the time.


I ordered both steel sheets. The smooth steel sheet seems optimal for PLA. PETG likes the textured steel sheet better. Both steel sheets are double sided, so if you were to mess up one surface, the other side surface should work just fine. I clean both sheets with denatured alcohol (Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.) which is a mixture of ethanol and methanol, and the prints come out excellent. I don't bother with the isopropyl alcohol.


I clean the brass nozzle with a brass brush before every print after the nozzle has preheated. After brushing the heat end clean, I then spray off any residual plastic with a compressed air can. I also use the compressed air can on the heat bed to spray off any small plastic particles that may have fallen on it from the hot end while brushing the nozzle. After 4 rolls of PETG filament, my nozzle looks like new, unlike the nozzles on the online videos which look like they've been rubbed on an elephant's ass. A dirty nozzle is not a badge of honor.
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I took some time off from 3D printing, but now I am spending more time on it. I've gone through about four 1kg rolls or PETG filament. I still don't understand all the settings in the PrusaSlicer, but the prints are coming out pretty well. I also learning how to do my own designs on Tinkercad, and so far so good.


This is my 3D printing station in my hobby room. Since I am printing mostly with PETG, I decided not to use an enclosure.




I stacked two $10 IKEA LACK tables using "cone" couplers I 3D printed from Thingiverse. I added furniture adjustable feet to eliminate any table wobbling on the floor.







I am also using a 16" x 16" cement paver from Home Depot to minimize printer noise transmission. I adhered rubber feet to the 37.5 lbs. cement paver.










I am also keeping the filament reasonably dry. I store the open filament in individual containers with a bag of silica gel dessicant. The dessicant lowers the humidity from about 46% down to 19% inside the container.


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Last edited by curmudgeon; 09-24-2020 at 08:15 PM.. Reason: Adding photos again
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Can't see any of your pics, even by copying the URL and pasting into my browser.
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I am not able to attach the pics on HeliFreak. Never had this happen before. So I posted the photos using google photos, but I did not realize I had to check mark each photo to make them public (default is private). Anyway, I made the photos public, so they should be viewable now...I hope.
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Old 09-23-2020, 10:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Nope. Same deal even after deleting cache and cookies. Not seeing them on my phone either.
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I can’t see it
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Old 09-24-2020, 08:15 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I tried it a different way. Hope it worked now.
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Old 09-24-2020, 08:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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its good now
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Old 09-25-2020, 11:56 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Yep, I can see 'em too.

What are the inside dims of those tables? I need to get my printers off my workbench and was looking at those to get them tucked into a corner somewhere.
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