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Black Forest
12-20-2013, 04:54 AM
Have any of you all had any dealings with this brand of 3D printer? It almost seems too good to be true.

http://www.stratasys.com/3D-Printers/idea-series/mojo

Punkinhead
12-20-2013, 07:22 AM
Looks cool, but like all 3D printers they show pictures of it making neat looking stuff but when you stop and think about it you realize they aren't actually functional. I design automated assembly equipment and sometimes use a 3D printer to prototype one of our products to check for fit in nests, robot grippers, etc, before I can get my hands on real product but I don't see much practical use for one at home.

WhatTheFlux!
12-20-2013, 07:37 AM
I tried to address the "so what do you make with it" issue several times via kickstart/indiegogo platforms... My idea was to create several libraries of consumer goods, building blocks, toys and household items you can print on demand.

The idea was initially to sell a subscription, download patterns and print. This was universally panned by the "I can just fire up my 3D CAD, run the drawing through my special software and make whatever I want without your silly pay-to-print patterns." All well and good but not everyone can do that. Not everyone has the grasp of CAD, design or engineering.

Sadly the folks that have the money to kickstart such an undertaking are the ones who are taken in by the whole "anyone can sit in front of a 3D CAD program, design elaborate **** and print complex geometries in moments" spew. This is one of the major bottlenecks to making 3D-Printing-At-Home a reality.

Punkinhead
12-20-2013, 07:42 AM
I've got the CAD thing down (I spend a major part of my day using Solidworks), but what useful thing can I make? Serious question - I'm all about justifying a new toy but I'm coming up empty with 3D printers.

Mike Nash
12-20-2013, 09:20 AM
I think I'm hearing here lately that you use it to make parts to fix it when it breaks.

dp
12-20-2013, 09:31 AM
The con$umables are the print engines and ABS plastic sold together. These look to be expensive to operate.

KJ1I
12-20-2013, 10:15 AM
And all for just $9900.00

chipmaker4130
12-20-2013, 10:58 AM
I suppose it depends on what one considers 'useful'. For instance, in my shop I have a 40yr old Weatherhead fitting cabinet with over a hundered plastic trays in which I keep a huge variety of parts. Over the decades this cabinet served in an auto-parts store, several of the trays were quite seriously damaged. Making new ones would be a perfect job for such a printer, as would be custom air ducts (small engine intakes, heating/airconditioning deflectors), funnels, shields of various types, knobs and handles and certain tools among other things. The problem for me is that the good ones are still too expensive to buy and run.

Punkinhead
12-20-2013, 11:08 AM
The problem is stuff like trays, knobs and funnels are available at the Dollar Store for a buck and they're better quality than what comes off the homeowner grade printers. I really want one for the gee whiz factor but even as impulsive as I am, I'm too underwhelmed by the capabilities of these things.

softtail
12-20-2013, 12:05 PM
I agree. I see lots of trinket junk being made. True you could make such and such a widget when it breaks at home, but enough to justify the cost of the printer? Great to have one in town or on the web to use once in a while maybe.

Good for the gamer/toy/designer/artist prototype crowd but hardly something every house needs.

But my mill and lathe..... absolute necessities!

-Mike

mattthemuppet
12-20-2013, 12:48 PM
I'd love one for making adapters for my bike lights so I can make custom mounts. Plus remote switches, lens holders and so on. Somewhat simple 3d shapes that you could make on the mill, but which would take a bit of time as well as being hard to make multiples of. Stuff like that.

ironmonger
12-20-2013, 01:20 PM
Another useful application is patterns for investment casting. Make a model out of PLA plastic, coat it with investment and burn it out, then cast what ever you want in bronze, aluminum or steel. Pretty much limited to what you can melt at that point...

paul

WhatTheFlux!
12-20-2013, 02:50 PM
All of these arguments applied to computers, video game systems, VCRs and so forth.

It took a breakthrough in each case to make them go from "Well it's a nice trinket but--" to the gotta-have-at-least-one mode.

Right now, we're roughly 1984-87 computer-era when it comes to 3D printing. Everyone has their own OS, there are still competing bus architectures out there, while there are valid reasons to own one at home they are still exclusive to the people who have the experience or want to put the time in to learn.

Three things need to happen to make the 3D Home Print Singularity happen:

1) Material costs need to drop drastically. I'm working on that, as are others.

2) There needs to be a reason to own one. There was no point in owning a computer if you had to write your own software... nor any point in owning a VCR if there was nothing to watch. We need an exhaustive library of ready-to-print items and goods.

3) We need a DOS/WINDOWS level of standardization and automation. Average person (read someone without a homeshop or our backgrounds ;) ) needs to be able to pick an item, load the program, hit start. Thats it. Average person does not will not can not get into the high end 3D design and CAM functions needed to make a simple part.

Provided we make it through the "INSTANT GUNS AND WEAPONS AT HOME" scare this industry will reach singularity in about five years. We'll have maker-shops, super-custom-while-you-wait shops, village print-shops and so forth, with folks opting to own machines for print at home.



Quick side-trip -- the whole GUNS AND WEAPONS AT HOME thing can be traced back to certain industries and manufacturers who stand to lose big if custom-manufacture-on-demand becomes a reality. Think about it -- there will be less call for an investment in injection-molding quantities of product when this finally takes off.

Mike Nash
12-20-2013, 03:21 PM
Why would the average person need the ability to print a monochrome, mono-material plastic part? It is far cheaper (never mind quicker) to buy an equivalent generic white plastic fork or bowl pack at the the dollar store. I just really don't see the appeal here at all.

And really, do you enjoy browsing through hundreds or thousands of tiny thumbnail images to find that special, certain something you "need"? I seriously doubt it would be any better organized than say the Google Play store where you get a fuzzy cartoon image of who knows what with a cryptic description that you get to download and try out just to see if has anything to do with what you needed or not. (Not an android fan here. Don't buy a Nook whatever you do!)

And programming the computer was part of the appeal at the start of the home computer age.

softtail
12-20-2013, 04:52 PM
Well, I agree that we are in the infancy. Folks will be able to print multi color and material, but I still don't think the early days of computers, VCR's and standard paper printers is a straight across comparison. Nobody argued the utility of those items and they filled an obvious want. I don't figure folks consume as much product as the 3d print crowd would like to believe. They will do amazing things with them, I don't think it will be an 'at home' revolution. Down at the 3d print shop maybe.

As with all tech, the porn industry will 'make' the most of it to be sure.

-Mike

macona
12-20-2013, 07:05 PM
I wonder if that is the baby of them buying out makerbot.

loose nut
12-20-2013, 07:20 PM
It would be interesting, for investment casters, if someone came up with a type of fast solidifying wax that could be printed.

RussZHC
12-20-2013, 07:34 PM
We need an exhaustive library of ready-to-print items and goods.

so what kind of item are we talking about here?

That plastic handle or knob that is broken or missing off of some obsolete something or other? Sort of a one of custom job...

Very simple items and crank them out by the 100s of thousands? An attempt to supplant those off-shore manufacturers that have this down pat...

Could a 3D print shop in every city over 500 000 persons say have enough business to sustain itself?

Jpfalt
12-20-2013, 09:57 PM
so what kind of item are we talking about here?

That plastic handle or knob that is broken or missing off of some obsolete something or other? Sort of a one of custom job...

Very simple items and crank them out by the 100s of thousands? An attempt to supplant those off-shore manufacturers that have this down pat...

Could a 3D print shop in every city over 500 000 persons say have enough business to sustain itself?

The Dimension printers are made by the same company as the MoJo, but are larger and more expensive initially.

As far as things around the house, I have printed all sorts of household things including curtain mechanism parts, knobs, clips and holders and so on. The material sells for just a little over five dollars a cubic inch and a set of three stove knobs used about 50 cents worth of material which I then finished with acetone dips to get a smooth surface. I printed them because the stove model is out-of-date and the three knobs cost $36 on line in a set.

I also use it for replacement parts when I build new equipment or rebuild old equipment. One project was a rebuild of a Wilton-Strand production drill press. One speed change knob was broken and the other was missing. I modelled up a copy in CAD, printed them and acetone dipped them and have two knobs that look new.

Mostly what I use it for is to make patterns for sand casting. In some cases the printed part is the pattern and sometimes it is used to make a mold to make multiple patterns to put on a ram-up board. If you have seen the Martin Model die filer, I printed the original master patterns. I'm now working on replacement parts for the San Francisco cable cars. I also printed the treads for the circular staircase in the Astor Column in Astoria, Oregon and several repair parts for the Disney Railroad.

I think I saw recently that a few Kinkos stores will be test marketing 3D printing using an FDM 3D printer in six of their stores.

I don't expect to see many home 3D printers until the price comes down a little more and some sort of network of cheap 3D models turns up. There was a stencil maker called a Cricut or something like that which made a small splash and then went quiet. It's problem is that you can't generate your own patterns and the memory cartridges for the supplied patterns cost an arm and a leg. At the present time, it appears the equipment manufacturers are buying the cheap new startups to keep the cost of 3D printing up to the level that it is not yet a commodity.

Mike Nash
12-21-2013, 08:01 AM
The material sells for just a little over five dollars a cubic inch and a set of three stove knobs used about 50 cents worth of material
Mighty small knobs or your cost/cu-in is a typo...

Jpfalt
12-21-2013, 05:32 PM
Mighty small knobs or your cost/cu-in is a typo...

The knobs I printed were for a GE wall oven and were for the timer, cook start delay and stop time set. They were about 3/8" diameter, tapering to a flat on one end, hollow and about an inch long. It really blew my mind that the set of three of these cost $36 on line.

A piece I am working on right now looks like a shortened offset 15/16" wrench with a circular detent slot to be cast in bronze. It's about 2-1/2" wide, 5-1/2 long and typically about 5/16" thick. It only uses about 2 cubic inches of model material and 1 cubic inch of support material. It prints in about 1-1/2 hours and will need to be finished with automotive surfacing primer and sanding to be ready to use as a pattern. Most of the cost is in reverse engineering a worn out part to make the 3D model.

Jpfalt
12-21-2013, 06:13 PM
After thinking about it a bit, most of the things I have printed around the house would fit in a 3 inch cube. Even with the bigger printers I have sometimes had to print in pieces and cement them together with acetone. With a 3" printer and some acetone, I could print just about anything I need and glue it together. I've been thinking about a pocket hole drill jug for woodworking using a plastic body and an inserted drill bushing. It would actually end up costing less than the high end purchased jigs.

alistair1537
12-21-2013, 06:59 PM
I have seen some one-off applications where 3D printers shine - fancy pieces to accessorize hats, and decorations for weddings; special events etc. where you would print personalized stuff for the event - I have even seen a Bride's veil - printed with their personal lacings and letterings - your mind can imagine anything - How would you like a cake with a model of your favourite car; pet; disney character on it?

ooh another one - name tags?

Black Forest
12-22-2013, 04:13 AM
The thread that Sir John(Mohammed) started on his new 3D printer made me start thinking seriously about buying a 3D printer. Talking to my CAD reseller who sells GeoMagic formerly Alibre which is owned by 3Dsyytem, he recommended the MoJo and not a 3DSystems printer. He said 3Dsystems has not very good customer service and is slow to deliver the printers.

All the discussion about why one would want a 3D printer at home is somewhat interesting but not really relevent to my original question! How many of us have a shop full of machine tools that we use to make projects that we could by for nearly nothing? Most I would say. So I am investigating my options on a 3D printer. Just think of the homemade legos I could print!!!!!

Mike Nash
12-22-2013, 08:37 AM
All the discussion about why one would want a 3D printer at home is somewhat interesting but not really relevent to my original question! How many of us have a shop full of machine tools that we use to make projects that we could by for nearly nothing? Most I would say. So I am investigating my options on a 3D printer. Just think of the homemade legos I could print!!!!!

So you just had to drag this thread into the realm of "Untouchable Reasoning"!

Black Forest
12-22-2013, 09:15 AM
So you just had to drag this thread into the realm of "Untouchable Reasoning"!

I am not sure what you meant by"Untouchable Reasoning"?

loose nut
12-22-2013, 10:30 AM
Sir John(Mohammed)!

That's Mohammed Al Blidgport, the khalif of Sumpwater.

Jpfalt
12-22-2013, 08:20 PM
To answer the original question, yes. The two machines I have are made by the same company and have run relatively well. The 1200ES uses the same sort of head and the same material. I think that $9000 for one is a little steep and the print cartridges add up. I deal with the local servicing dealer and have had good support. I cary a service agreement on the 1200ES and depending on the price of the service agreement, it's a handy way to go. The machine and software are proprietary, so don't plan on servicing it yourself.

Having a printer means that I can find lots of use for it. Printing for others is mainly to defray the expenses.