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  • #31
    If I were to buy a 3d printer it would be SLA, no question but I am not a "normal" user.

    As for casting prototypes if you know what you are doing and have a good fdm printer the surface isn't amazing but should be fine for sand casting. There is a slight texture but not much at all. I should measure it with a micron indicator with a thin point and see but it should be on the order of 0.05mm peak to valley. Makergear or ultemaker with a short layer are quite OK but if you don't set them up or slice correctly then they will be very rough. Pla also sands quite easily. The commercial FDM printers have better surface but not improved nearly as much as they are expensive.
    I am guessing the people that printed the parts did not know what they were doing. The bar to entry is low so anyone can own a printer without actually understanding the settings, how to model, design, engineer etc.

    Very few printers on the consumer market are designed by skilled engineers who know anything about automation or tool design. (Or basic statics for that matter) the makergear m2 is the only one that makes any sense at all for FDM. Type A is also OK but expensive for what they are.
    L


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    • #32
      Luke, we were looking at finned cylinders/cylinder heads, with fins 2.25" tall, 1-2 degrees of draft, and .25" apart at the base -- they were not very friendly for sanding/finishing. With the very shallow draft and deep/narrow sections a very smooth surface helps to pull the pattern without dragging sand along with it.

      For more "open" parts like those chassis tube junctions above, FDM would be fine as access for finishing would be much better. But if I was going to the effort of getting parts printed, I'd much prefer to have parts that don't require me to do a lot of finishing. If I want to spend hours coating/filling/sanding to get a good surface I don't need a 3D printed part, I can use wood.

      On the other hand, the surface on some FDM parts in PLA would be fine straight off the printer for investment casting. It is a "horses for courses" kind of decision.

      That makergear runs about US$1800 and at that price I'd probably spend the extra money and go with the Form2. But thankfully I"m not currently having to find space in the budget for a printer!

      cheers,
      Michael
      Last edited by Michael Moore; 08-15-2016, 05:17 PM.

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