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Educate Me In 3d Printing

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JimDawson

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#1
I have a project coming up that is going to require a 3D printer. What I know about 3D printing would fit on the head of a pin.

I have two 4 axis CNC machines sitting here so I have a working platform, including a way to drive the extruder stepper. I'll write my own software to run it. To save time, I'll buy an extruder and attach it to my machine. I have temperature controllers and will tie those into the computer. I'll use Fusion360 to generate the drawings and G-code

So the questions I have at the moment:
Recommendations on a extruder?
Do I need a heated base plate?
What is the temperature range of the base plate?
What is the temperature range of the extruder?
Any ideas about feed speeds, just for a starting point.
Additional questions that I don't know enough to ask?

Thanks in advance for any comments.
 

cs900

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#2
what material are you planning on printing with?

PLA will make your life a lot easier. It does not require a heated bed, but it certainly doesn't hurt. It's pretty terrible with heat though. ABS is a bit more resilient but you absolutely will want a heated bed.

I personally like the E3d print heads. I currenly have a volcano installed, but the V6 lights are pretty good too.

Also, forget writing your own code, that's non-scence :p . Cura is a free slicer, and works with standard Gcode.
 

brav65

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#3
I would go with ramps or marlin to drive your steppers they can be configured and uploaded with Arduino and you can pick up boards fo about $50 with drivers included. cs900 is pointing you in the right direction with E3D print heads. You can get the real deal for approximately $100 or a clone for under $15. Check out Aliexpress for good prices on all the materials for your project.
 

JimDawson

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#4
what material are you planning on printing with?
Good question, I have no idea. I may try several different materials. So it sounds like a heated bed is virtually mandatory. At least that will give me the option to use heat or not.

Also, forget writing your own code, that's non-scence :p . Cura is a free slicer, and works with standard Gcode.
:) I didn't mean that I would be writing the G-code, but I will have to make several modifications to my CNC software for 3D printing functionality. I need to turn my 4th axis into a print head rather than a rotary axis so the software will be a little different. What that really means is electronically gearing the print head to the vector axis, I think. :confused: It depends on what the G-code looks like.

I'll take a look at Cura. I haven't looked at the output from Fusion360 either, don't know what that looks like.

I would go with ramps or marlin to drive your steppers they can be configured and uploaded with Arduino and you can pick up boards fo about $50 with drivers included. cs900 is pointing you in the right direction with E3D print heads. You can get the real deal for approximately $100 or a clone for under $15. Check out Aliexpress for good prices on all the materials for your project.
This is going on one of my existing machines at least for now. I already have the hardware installed in both of my machines, I just need to plug the 4th axis cable into the print head stepper and make the some software changes. The mill will give me a 32.5 x 12.5 x ~12 printing area, and the router will give me a 48 x 98 x ~12 printing area. Not that I anticipate doing any 4x8 foot printing. :eek: If I decide to build a dedicated printer, I already have all of the hardware in stock. I'm a little strange, I keep steppers, servos, and drives on the shelf.:rolleyes:
 

countryguy

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#5
Hi. Jim, Hmmmm. Where to start! We all owe you a lot IMO for your help, so please keep on asking! My take is you have 2 options. Go OTS and just pull down Cura. It is fine for starters as a slicer. My sense of a slicer is software that takes an STL file and uses particular printing routines and options to develop 3-D printer g-gcode. An example would be the infill style and density. A 20mm square STL File test block is pulled into Cura. You throttle the exterior to be a 3mm solid outer printed cube material. Then maybe 15% infill. The infill percentage runs a grid pattern internally to fill the void of the remaining 17mm of space.

Take that up a notch. Pretend you have a long overhang or some gap in the center. You need to print support structures in and around holes and bridge points. You then need to pull them off easily. Perforations, tear outs, etc. You often need to set the offset heights for supports to keep them from sticking too much, but enough to keep it from warping and sagging as well. And the better the software, the better all those specialized 3D nuance routines will be. Cura is good. It is free, and does most of what ya need. We quickly moved up to simply3d for $149. 2 seats. My kid and I LOVE this package. The gcode that a slicer gens is so full of all this nuance and specialized code that I just scratch my head at how someone can come up with some of this stuff.

Mitchell is doing a 3D prototype of a lamp for his design school. The 4" bolt holes all have internal support prints inside the holes to keep them uniform and crisp. When it was done, I pried up 1 end and the way they printed this infill was incredible. It came out like a zipper.! One long folded 3D printed infill for a long hole. Many know what I mean. You get melting , bad infill that is too dense, or not able to stop warping ... That's the kind of thing I mean by a top notch slicer. 20seconds and my 4" 7/16 holes were unzipped.

Headed bed.... No brainier. Do it! Kits abound out there. For materials, fumes and such for me left us using a product called nGen. Tough, and little to no warping. Pla is fine too and very inexpensive compared to some products. When you get into the nylons, you need higher print head temps. So you need a system to drive the higher temps for the material and you need the heated bed. I love the Taz6. Overpriced but you print out of the box. All of their source, parts, and manuals are on their site. You can make a taz6 with any 3D printer. True open source so they say.

All fusion 360 does is take my 3D part and convert to STL and launch my slicer program. From there it is all about Your slicer spitting out gcode based on tricks for printing objects via a fluid.

If you make your own, you will need something to also feed the filimrnt into the head. That feed rate is adjustable in the slicer software but usually is not tweaked. Maybe consider possibly buying a unit that you can tear down and put discrete modules into your cnc setup. The head and feed motors onto your Z setup? Again, The taz6 is run by the arduino or something like thT. All firmware is open for you to pull down. Buy a head end, Plug it into Cura via a USB cable, calibrate, set the type as taz and you may be close? Lol. Yeah. Sure...
 

cs900

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#6
This may be easier than you think. Most slicers run the extruder as a rotary axis. Every line of code has an incremental move for the extruder. You should just need to calibrate the steps for your extruder and you'll be off and running.
 

JimDawson

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#7
Hi. Jim, Hmmmm. Where to start! We all owe you a lot IMO for your help, so please keep on asking! My take is you have 2 options. Go OTS and just pull down Cura. It is fine for starters as a slicer. My sense of a slicer is software that takes an STL file and uses particular printing routines and options to develop 3-D printer g-gcode. An example would be the infill style and density. A 20mm square STL File test block is pulled into Cura. You throttle the exterior to be a 3mm solid outer printed cube material. Then maybe 15% infill. The infill percentage runs a grid pattern internally to fill the void of the remaining 17mm of space.

Take that up a notch. Pretend you have a long overhang or some gap in the center. You need to print support structures in and around holes and bridge points. You then need to pull them off easily. Perforations, tear outs, etc. You often need to set the offset heights for supports to keep them from sticking too much, but enough to keep it from warping and sagging as well. And the better the software, the better all those specialized 3D nuance routines will be. Cura is good. It is free, and does most of what ya need. We quickly moved up to simply3d for $149. 2 seats. My kid and I LOVE this package. The gcode that a slicer gens is so full of all this nuance and specialized code that I just scratch my head at how someone can come up with some of this stuff.

Mitchell is doing a 3D prototype of a lamp for his design school. The 4" bolt holes all have internal support prints inside the holes to keep them uniform and crisp. When it was done, I pried up 1 end and the way they printed this infill was incredible. It came out like a zipper.! One long folded 3D printed infill for a long hole. Many know what I mean. You get melting , bad infill that is too dense, or not able to stop warping ... That's the kind of thing I mean by a top notch slicer. 20seconds and my 4" 7/16 holes were unzipped.

Headed bed.... No brainier. Do it! Kits abound out there. For materials, fumes and such for me left us using a product called nGen. Tough, and little to no warping. Pla is fine too and very inexpensive compared to some products. When you get into the nylons, you need higher print head temps. So you need a system to drive the higher temps for the material and you need the heated bed. I love the Taz6. Overpriced but you print out of the box. All of their source, parts, and manuals are on their site. You can make a taz6 with any 3D printer. True open source so they say.

All fusion 360 does is take my 3D part and convert to STL and launch my slicer program. From there it is all about Your slicer spitting out gcode based on tricks for printing objects via a fluid.

If you make your own, you will need something to also feed the filimrnt into the head. That feed rate is adjustable in the slicer software but usually is not tweaked. Maybe consider possibly buying a unit that you can tear down and put discrete modules into your cnc setup. The head and feed motors onto your Z setup? Again, The taz6 is run by the arduino or something like thT. All firmware is open for you to pull down. Buy a head end, Plug it into Cura via a USB cable, calibrate, set the type as taz and you may be close? Lol. Yeah. Sure...
Thanks! A lot of good info there :encourage:

This may be easier than you think. Most slicers run the extruder as a rotary axis. Every line of code has an incremental move for the extruder. You should just need to calibrate the steps for your extruder and you'll be off and running.
That should make it really easy. I didn't anticipate too much problem integrating my software. That's the beauty of writing your own CNC controller, you can change it at will.:)

Please tell me about your heated bed. What temperature range do you need and what are you using for a heater?
.
.
 

cs900

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#8
I got my heating pad from these guys. Took a while to get to me, but it works great and has a fairly uniform heat distribution. You can order pretty much whatever size you want, but you will need a solid state relay to drive it. It also has a built in thermister which is super handy.

I usually run my table around 60-70*C
 

JimDawson

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#9
Thank you for your help everyone!

OK, with everyone's help I have been able to put together a BOM for the needed materials to get me started.

https://www.amazon.com/E3D-Titan-Un...8&qid=1476939097&sr=1-32&refinements=p_89:E3D
upload_2016-10-20_9-6-53.png


https://www.amazon.com/E3D-Extra-No...8&qid=1476939097&sr=1-30&refinements=p_89:E3D
upload_2016-10-20_9-7-53.png

https://www.amazon.com/E3D-All-meta...8&qid=1476938391&sr=1-10&refinements=p_89:E3D
upload_2016-10-20_9-7-25.png

http://www.mcmaster.com/#3618k398/=14o9r02
Cartridge Heater High-Temperature, Stainless Steel Braid, 1/4" Diameter, 1" Length, 120V, 80W
upload_2016-10-20_9-11-23.png


I chose this to replace the cartridge heater in the hot end because I want to use 120V AC heaters


http://www.mcmaster.com/#35765k388/=14o9f4j
Flexible Silicone-Rubber Heat Sheet Adhesive Backing, 12" x 24" Strip, Medium Watts/sq. in, 120V, 1440W
upload_2016-10-20_9-17-35.png


The size is based on the best compromise between the mill work envelope and the available sizes of heater sheets.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#3856k88/=14o9hw5
Bendable Thermocouple Probe for Liquid & Gas without Cable, Type K, Round Pin Connection, 6" x 3/16" Probe
upload_2016-10-20_9-20-34.png


I'll bury this inside of the build plate, it's compatible with the temperature controllers that I have in stock

A few spools of various printer filaments, including some cleaning filament.

In Stock:
  • 3/4 inch aluminum tooling plate for the build plate
  • Stepper motor to run the extruder, drive is already installed in the machine system
  • Temperature controllers
  • Other needed misc. hardware
To Do:
  • Design/build a mounting system to attach the extruder to the quill on my mill
  • Design/build the build plate system. Needs to be attachable to the mill table, have a heat break to isolate it from the mill table, and accommodate the expansion when heated without affecting flatness.
  • System integration and program modifications.
  • Learn how to use the system :confused:
I downloaded Cura slicer software, looks pretty easy to use.

I'll post a build thread when I get to this project in a couple of weeks.:)
 

cs900

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#10
that's a thick build plate! I thought mine was a bit overkill at 1/4"

and what is cleaning filament? sounds like snake oil to me, haha.

Good call on the AC heaters. nothing worse than waiting for your printer to get up to temp. My printer heats up in about 4 min which gives me time to get my filament loaded and make sure the build plate is clean. Looking forward to seeing your build thread.
 

JimDawson

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#11
I have a bunch of 3/4 tooling plate on the shelf. Mass in this case is not an issue, the mill or router won't even know it has anything on the table.

Cleaning filament. The reviews looked pretty good. https://www.amazon.com/CLEANING-Filament-Makerbot-MakerGear-Printers/dp/B00MVIYNFW

I do tend to lean towards overkill. I didn't want to undersize the heaters, it is always easier to run them at reduced power. That and I don't want to have to increase the size of my 24V power supplies, I'm running out of room in the electrical cabinets.
 

cs900

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#12
interesting. I always just use a piece of filament to purge the old stuff out.
 

countryguy

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#13
Ok... now that we have a BOM in steady state- I'm dying to ask; What is the end product that will come out of the replicator Captain? :) Something fun I hope? Knowing the quality of work you do, I'm excited to see how it all comes out!
 

JimDawson

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#14
What is the end product that will come out of the replicator Captain? :) Something fun I hope?
Thank you for the kind words :tranquility:

Not so much fun, it's part of a medical device I have been asked to help develop. That's really all I can say about it.

But........While I am leaning to use the system there will be fun stuff and I will certainly be documenting the progression of the testing and my learning curve. Hopefully documenting my stupid mistakes will help others. ;) And of course any other fun stuff in the future will be posted.
 

Boswell

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#15
The thick build plate will take longer to come up to temp. You will probably also want an enclosure around the build area. It does not have to be too tight but some types of filament such as ABS need to cool down slowly and an enclosure will help retain heat. It also reduces drafts with can cause the part to cool unevenly and result in warping. I use CURA as the CAM software (3D printer people call this a slicer). I find it very straightforward to use. It will take and STL file from your CAD system and out put a GCODE file like any good CAM software will. Looking forward to seeing your build
 

Metal

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#16
Funny I just got my 3d printer working yesterday!

Note on materials ive researched:
Alloy 910 is just about the strongest filament you can get without getting into crazy expensive carbon fiber mixes https://www.amazon.com/Taulman-PA-Alloy-Alloy-Printing-Filament/dp/B00W6CS72I

TPU is durometer 90ish polyurethane , which is questionably useful but they are working towards a nice soft rubber apparently http://www.sainsmart.com/sainsmart-...u-series-filament-for-3d-printers-reprap.html

I've been printing PETG successfully so far, which I picked because it was cheap, but it's apparently pretty new person friendly.

Make sure you secure your extruder at 200+c not at room temperature, as mine leaked like crazy until I remembered how hot this dumb thing is really getting and snugged it up at working temp.
 

buffcleb

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#17
I have a bunch of 3/4 tooling plate on the shelf. Mass in this case is not an issue, the mill or router won't even know it has anything on the table.
When I built my 3d Printer I went to 3/8 inch MIC-6... It took forever to home up to temp... to get the plate up to 100c took about a hour... then cool down took forever... removing prints tends to be easier once the built surface cools and contracts a bit...

Now I just use glass over the heater with cork between the heater and the support frame... works great... It takes no more the 10 minutes to come up to 100c (my basement is very cold - with winter coming it'll be 10c - I have an enclosure but it still takes a while for the first warmup)...

I cut 4 glass plates and can switch one out right after printing... let then one cool down and keep on going...

Unless your going to go with a large AC heater I would seriously consider doing the same...
 

cs900

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#18
An hour? Wow. I have a 1/4 in mic 6 plate and mine only takes about 2 minuets to heat up. I'm also using an ac heater though.
 

buffcleb

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#19
the AC heater is why... I'm using a 12v heater still... it's in the plans to swap that out for a AC one but I need to get the solid state relay... been on my todo list for a while... just need a 36 hour day so I can fit everything in :)
 

Metal

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#20
An hour? Wow. I have a 1/4 in mic 6 plate and mine only takes about 2 minuets to heat up. I'm also using an ac heater though.
I've seen this reported on a bunch of groups I belong to, its invariably been poor solder joint where the wires go into the heating unit.
I run a 12v heating bed 12in/12in and it takes about 15m, maybe.
 

atunguyd

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#21
Honestly I would not rewrite the software. Marlin is open source and probably 95% of the printers use this. They've done the hard lessons so use that. Also be careful with going overboard work your heaters especially if you are going to use your own software. There have been a few people who have burnt down their houses even with a single 40w 12v heater. Temp sensor comes loose so the software has no feedback and just drives the heater which melted the aluminum heater block which ignited the plastic model below it. Marlin has support for safety here, also has software PID heater controller and many other lessons learnt.

Sent from my SM-N920C using Tapatalk
 

JimDawson

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#22
I will be using a 1440 watt AC heater on the build plate and and an AC cartridge heater for the print head using PID controllers for both, which I'll tie back into the computer. They will also have a thermocouple loss safety shutdown programmed in.

As far as rewriting the software, it's not much of a rewrite. I just need to adjust the code to handle the print head. Which means ''gearing'' the print head axis (W) to the X+Y+Z vector axis (S axis). The print head needs to run at a programmed speed that is a function of the S axis vector speed under G-code control

The drive hardware is already installed in both of my machines as is the operating software.
 

Eremius

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#23
Make sure you secure your extruder at 200+c not at room temperature, as mine leaked like crazy until I remembered how hot this dumb thing is really getting and snugged it up at working temp.
Quoted for emphasis.

This caused me MUCH headache.
 
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