3D Printing - anyone else got one?

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Not seen many threads on here for 3D printing, maybe it's just TOO nerdy still!

I bought a £150 kit back in June and also a modified Kinect sensor that allows me to scan in 3D as well. It took me about 2 months to get it printing reliably, allowing me to make all sorts of pointless gadgets as well as spares and new parts for the printer itself!

Tweaking and tuning the printer is a very long, slow job, with issues around the extruder and drive system my major headaches. You have to get the temperature right, ensure the filament is fed at the correct rate and does not jam anywhere. The 3D scanner is fun, and I have 3D models now of the kids, the cat...

This was today's effort, a mini tape gun that takes sellotape rolls to help with the present wrapping :)

It's made out of PLA, which is slightly more flexible than ABS and consists of 4 parts: The main body, tape roll lock, dispensing roller and the top frame for the roller. This took 7 hours to print - somewhat longer than walking into town and buying something similar(!), but the fun is finding the designs, tweaking and finally printing. I have also just made up the parts to mount a Go-Pro onto a £3 clockwork egg timer, giving me a very cheap timelapse rotator.

3D printed tape dispenser.jpg
 

IronGiant

Moderator
It's not new. Just not discussed much. One of the pioneers of DIY 3D printing discussions on AVF was GasDad, several years ago. Until aggressive melanoma interceded :(

Perhaps now is the time to take it up again.
 

aVdub

Distinguished Member
It is something that I have browsed over quite a few times and does interest me.
 

Rog69

Distinguished Member
I don't own a printer myself but I work in the industry in tech / application support for a Stratasys dealer, so I get to play with their whole range of kit all day :).

I would be interested to know a little more about the kit you bought. That is a pretty nice print by the way, it looks like you have your calibration nailed :thumbsup:.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
How much does it cost to print?

I appreciate that the tape gun was a bit of fun and took 7 hours to print but what is the cost in materials (consumables) to print something like that?

Cheers,

Nigel
 

wilbanat

Distinguished Member
I find it fascinating that you can find a plan and make something solid that is usable, the moving parts bit is what I just can't get my head around...Very clever
 

Rog69

Distinguished Member
The prints with moving parts always blow people away, we often print these as demo parts -


It is printed in one piece with no assembly required. All of the gaps for the mechanical clearances are filled with a support material which is cleaned away afterwards leaving you with moving parts.
 

wilbanat

Distinguished Member
The prints with moving parts always blow people away, we often print these as demo parts -


It is printed in one piece with no assembly required. All of the gaps for the mechanical clearances are filled with a support material which is cleaned away afterwards leaving you with moving parts.
I want one :)
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
Me too :D
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
3D printing will be banned in this country the day after somebody kills someone with a 3d Printed Gun.
That's crazy - it will just leave the 3d printed guns in the hands of the geeky/really patient criminals.
 

balidey

Distinguished Member
I have a Reprap Ormerod.
Bought from RS about 18 months ago for £400.
Bought for my work to do a run of plastic parts that would have cost us thousands to get injection tools made.
When it was finally set up (not quick or easy) we modelled a prototype on Solidworks in the morning, printed it off, tested it. Total failure. Second model, printed, tested, very close to what we want. Then a final model change and by the end of the day we started printed the 'production' items. That paid for itself on that one project.
But sadly it is not being used right now as we don't have time to play with it.

We use PLA to print. We have also looked at the Stratasys type commercial machines. They are just plug and play, quality is a huge leap up from the Reprap, but you are looking at circa £6k for the most basic machine and metal printers are well into 6 figures. So that is why we bought the £400 reprap.

Brilliant technology, although like most tech, it is often used for the wrong reasons. Some people print everything just because they have a machine but it is not always the best material or production technique for the job. But for a hobby tool, I am still amazed that for a few hundred quid you can 3D print.
 

Rog69

Distinguished Member
It is possible to print guns but it is probably close to the worst possible way of making / obtaining one. Its a shame the press has fixated on this aspect of 3D printing and not the thousands of positive applications that it its used for.

You don't hear the media scaremongering the public about the thousands of factories up and down the country where it is possible for people to make just about anything out of metal, or the hundreds of hobbyist CNC machines and other metalworking tools that are in home workshops all over the country.

You would think that with the tools available that we would have home made guns all over the place!
 

Sonic67

Banned
A piece of plastic is useless for housing what is a small explosion. Ideally you still need some bits in metal. Then what are you doing for ammunition?
 
A piece of plastic is useless for housing what is a small explosion. Ideally you still need some bits in metal. Then what are you doing for ammunition?
The first functioning 3d Printed gun was single shot single use gun. So it was 100% plastic but it's one and only shot destroyed it.

However, there are now fully operational semi automatic SMGs which mix 3D printed parts with metal parts.


 

Sonic67

Banned
Yep, I know. The first printed pistol isn't a success as it was all plastic. Useless at containing a small explosion and how do you print out ammo?

The versions above require metal parts so how do you get them? If you can make parts in metal why not just go the whole hog and produce the gun all in metal?

Again what do you do for ammo?
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Mine's a very cheap Makibox - Retail store set up to sell off EOL stock of Makibox kits and Filament with heated bed and a much better extruder and drive. It does have designed in issues, mainly regarding stability and precision of movement, but as a hobby toy it's OK.

This kit was a failed "kick starter" type project, where quite a few hundred people pre-ordered and paid but many never received their kits. Instead, the company brought in to handle the shipping took all remaining stocks in lieu of payment and have been selling them off over the past year.

I use it to make bits for my drone, GoPro mounts, 3D models of the family and that sort of thing. Filament is about £14 per 300m, so printing is quite cheap, as an average print uses about 10M.

Having played with a high end ready assembled unit, the quality of the prints from these is much better and they are easier to use, but still require a significant degree of setting up.

I do intend to replace it with a better unit as funds allow. Something with a larger build area and higher precision.

I do understand the fear of making a plastic gun, but these things are so difficult to get working properly, it would be far easier to modify a commonly available de-activated or replica weapon. Quite honestly, I think the wish to own a gun - real or replica for anything other than sport should be sufficient have the individual banned from owning one!
 
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Rog69

Distinguished Member
Printing guns is more of a "because we can" application at the moment, yes you can do it but it doesn't really make sense to.

A 3D printer is just not the right tool for the job, kind of like undoing a nut with a pair of mole grips when you really need to buy a spanner.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
A 3D gun is still going to need ammunition - so at some point you need to buy something illegally - might as well be the whole gun.
 
Yep, I know. The first printed pistol isn't a success as it was all plastic. Useless at containing a small explosion and how do you print out ammo?

The versions above require metal parts so how do you get them? If you can make parts in metal why not just go the whole hog and produce the gun all in metal?

Again what do you do for ammo?
I believe some Americans have succesfully printed and fired plastic 3D printed shotgun slugs.
 

Sonic67

Banned
Ok what do you do for cordite? A percussion cap? Presumably they took it from existing ammo which comes back to "what do you do for ammo?"
 

Baron Von Doom

Well-known Member
I've been thinking of getting a 3d printer for a year or so.
At the moment I use shapeways to get my stuff printed,this can be expensive though but the quality is good.
 

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