3D Printers

VR3VR3 Posts: 23,467
edited July 2014 in DIY, Mods & Tweaks
I am looking to invest into a 3D printer next year.

I think my budget will be around 2K and I would *LIKE* to be able to manufacture up to a 6" cube with dual colors.

I have seen a few options out there, my plan is mid next year... I am curious if there are any honorable mentions to look out for and some to stay away from? Is there anything changing drastically in the next 8 months that I should be looking for?
- Not Tom

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Post edited by VR3 on


  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 16,198
    edited November 2013
    Congrats on the investment. To say I'm envious is an understatement. I haven't known anyone to invest in one yet and I keep my head out of that arena due to the current expense. Good luck man!
  • VR3VR3 Posts: 23,467
    edited November 2013
    Thanks man -

    I have several avenues I am looking to jump into and a 3D printer fills pretty much every void that are unanswered. It will definitely allow me to take what I am doing now to a whole other level with far less boundaries! :) Granted I am still about 6-8 months away from this...
    - Not Tom

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    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 10,613
    edited November 2013
    3D printing is the next hype in manufacturing and prices as you well probably know are dropping drastically. The more you stretch it out the better chances of getting a decent one on the used market, or a new one cheaper.
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  • GospelTruthGospelTruth Posts: 381
    edited November 2013
    I did a quick search to see what's out there. Here's a list of models and their reviews along with costs and features.


    If you plan on doing all your own CAD work, then this will be fine. However if you want to replicate parts as well, you will need to get a good 3D scanner as well. We have a scanner and 3D printer on campus here, but the line to get anything done is too long for me during the school season. I'll have to wait until summer. They are very cool, and in the long run I see these coming way down in price. It will be nice to someday be able to printer our own replacement parts for older products.

    Good luck! I'll be waiting to see what you think of them when you do get one.
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  • cnhcnh Posts: 13,310
    edited November 2013
    Exciting possibilities in a decade or so? But for now, aren't these printers just glorified "toys" that can only produce "plastic" based models? Admittedly, they can use computer 3D imaging and cameras to capture a very sophisticated semblance of the original...but it's still plastic?

    Now when and if they can figure out how to get said printer to fabricate more "complex" materials and do so in one location on one machine or a few that pass the product to each other, there is NO end to the possibilities and "manufacturing" WILL become a thing of the PAST. It's a Star Trek future boys and girls; remember those lines in Star Trek TNG about how there is no money in their world and individuals do not work for base reasons like accumulation, possession and greed but for the advancement and betterment of themselves and "others". Yeah, it's Utopian. But isn't that where technological advances should be leading "us"? Ok, maybe not, I know how much you boys love hedge fund managers and the like. lol

    As for me, I see this as the beginning of the end of "wage" labor as we know it and the birth of something wholly OTHER! Something beyond present conceptions that ennobles the "individual" and does not subsume him/her under a Gov't or an Economy? Because we don't need either of those in the new world. (Insert Realist fodder and backwash here________ [naysayers are always welcome; it's what they do best--keep things as they are]).

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  • Hi guys! As for me, the best 3d printer for beginners is Wanhao Duplicator i3 mini.


    The printer costs less than $ 200. But despite the simplicity of the design and low price, it makes high-quality models, especially if they are from PLA.

    Here are some of the main pros and cons: Nothing needs to be further customized and invented. To start the printer and print the model you don't need any special knowledge. But this printer doesn't have any heated platform, the case is open and the print area is small but it still large enough for most projects.

    If you want to know more about how to choose the 3d printer and make the right decision, I will recommend reading this article. It was very helpful to me.

    Good luck with your choice! :)
  • VR3VR3 Posts: 23,467
    - Not Tom

    Vr3Mods.com ///// Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,659
    PLA ? People's Liberation Army ??
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 42,927
    DSkip wrote: »
    I miss cnh.

    The PLA reminded you of him, eh?
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  • RobbyKYRobbyKY Posts: 104
    The big learning curve for these things is the 3D CAD work required. I have a laser cutter and can crank out AutoCAD 2D drawings at home to feed that thing all day long.

    In 3D world, I use Catia and Solidworks professionally but mainly for assembly visualization vs printing. Getting a 3D file correct to successfully print a 3D model takes a bit of time to master but don't expect to be perfect the first time. Plenty of free programs such as Blender and Sketchup out there to play with before plunking down hard cash for a "real" program or these days, a monthly subscription. I've had a couple of 3D printers at home in the past (under $1K) to support my other hobby but due to the overall quality and constantly changing technology have kicked them out the door. I've even printed a few things on our work printer that probably cost more than my yearly salary but wasn't happy with the surface roughness.

    I highly suggest you try your hand at mastering 3D software skills and then send the file to Shapeways (www.shapeways.com) for printing to see if they can meet your expectations since I assume you're thinking of using this in a business application. One, they will "fix" any file errors you might have and feedback so you can learn from mistakes and two you can select materials and finishes to actually touch examples of what you're making without costly investments that might not be what you need.

    I mainly print parts for my model train insanity so the small sizes make surface finishes critical and printers that can meet (at least my) expectations are a little out of reach if I plan to keep playing in the audio hobby as well. Shapeways invest in the latest and greatest technology and can print basically any material with almost any surface quality one desires. I use their "fine detail plastic" but they can do multi-color polyjet and even metals.

    I have zero association with Shapeways other than sending them my credit card number every few weeks.....

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  • RobbyKY wrote: »
    In 3D world, I use Catia and Solidworks professionally but mainly for assembly visualization vs printing. Getting a 3D file correct to successfully print a 3D model takes a bit of time to master but don't expect to be perfect the first time.



    i recommends you to try TinkerCAD. It's free soft and very useful for 3d printing.
  • VR3VR3 Posts: 23,467
    I almost regret making this thread
    - Not Tom

    Vr3Mods.com ///// Version3Audio.com

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • verbverb Posts: 7,979
    I picked this baby up recently from CL. Price was right - free! Everything works, came with extra spools, and accessories. Some shop wear, but good condition. Now what to do with it? :) We have many 3D printers at work, we'll print some parts as needed for our prototype vehicles, until the production tools become ready.

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