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3D Printing: Step by Step?

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  • Paul Alciatore
    replied
    After a couple of initial sessions with Fusion, I had to concentrate on other things. I am hoping to get back to it soon. I guess I will find out how the free option works because I am sure the initial 30 days are long expired now.

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  • sdalcher
    replied
    I use autocad and then Cura to slice it and create the tool path. Best advice is just start playing. I read everything I could before buying and felt like there were holes in everything that I was reading. Once I started playing, it didn't take long before I was printing some very complex parts. I bought a prussa clone for right around $200 off eBay and have been very happy with it.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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  • epicfail48
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    I am playing around with Tinkercad and Fusion360. I think I am going to like Fusion360.
    Fusion is a little tricky to learn, but its definitely the best free option ive tried. Not quite as easy as something like Sketchup, but a lot more powerful and more used friendly than the competition products

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul Alciatore
    replied
    I am playing around with Tinkercad and Fusion360. I think I am going to like Fusion360.

    My sketch was not intended to be a polished drawing. The dimensions are about 2" wide, 1.25 deep, and 1" tall. I did leave off a line on the right hand view where the curved back meets the flat side, but I think that is obvious. Otherwise it is accurate: a "D" shaped brick, one inch tall with a "D" shaped, blind hole in the middle. Elf's suggested 3D model is not correct. He seems to have seen more lines than I drew. I will post a 3D version when I get one.

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  • Magicniner
    replied
    Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    OK, I have decided that I will get a 3D printer. Haven't picked one yet. What I would like to ask is just what do I need and need to do in order to get started.

    I have a first project in mind, a stand or holder for my TV remote. It will both keep the broken battery cover on and allow me to stand the remote in a vertical position on my desk. Here is a quick concept drawing.



    What I want is to know where I go from this 2D CAD drawing. What do I need? And how do I do it? I would guess that a 3D CAD drawing would be the first step, but will any 3D CAD program do or do I need any specific ones. Cost is a prime consideration so no $10K programs, PLEASE. Free would be best.

    And then what are the steps from there? Do I need any kind of program that translates the 3D drawing into something the printer will understand? Should I buy the printer first and work backwards?
    Your drawing is problematic, there is at least some missing hidden geometry for the internal hard angles which makes the drawing difficult to interpret, if the 3D example model offered is correct your drawing is even worse than I suspect ;-)
    You might be better with a "back of a cigarette packet" 3D sketch with dimensions,

    - Nick

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  • RB211
    replied
    GOOD Slicer software is critical for success with complicated prints. I recommend Simplify3D. Does the Cetus have a heated bed? It's crucial for using ABS. I use a Prusa i3 Mk2s

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  • Dunc
    replied
    A nice little book (~120 pages) is MAKE's Getting Started in 3D printing.
    Here in Ottawa (Canada) the public library has a workcenter with assorted 3D machinery. DIY projects need only the .STL file; the user pays only for materials.

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  • Rustybolt
    replied
    I'll second Fusion 360. easy to use and you can just convert your drawing to an STL file and dounload it directly to the printer software. I recomend
    the Cusa printer that was mentioned here a few weeks ago.
    You'll find excuses to use the printer. I made some specialty knobs with a captive nut for work. All kinds of stuff.

    Leave a comment:


  • fixerdave
    replied
    Step by step:

    * draw in a '3D modelling' package, and I'll add a +1 for Fusion 360.
    * export as an STL file, which is a 3D model.
    * import the STL into a 'slicer' package. I use Cura (free) but there are others.
    * tell the slicer the specifics of your printer, the filament you are using, and the print characteristics you want.
    * export the output of the slicer as printer specific gcode.
    * get the gcode to your printer, via USB cable, wifi, SD card, or USB thumb drive (all depends on the printer).
    * tell the printer to print it.
    * wait.

    Note that some of the above steps are starting to get integrated as, for example, fusion 360 actually has a slicer and some slicers talk directly to the printers. Eventually, it will be draw and print, except for the tinker-types (like most of us) that want full control.

    The hardest part of all this is configuring the slicer, and it's not that hard considering all the help and examples out there for various printers. The settings in the slicer are your primary point of control, and it's mostly a trade-off between speed on the one hand and how pretty and strong it is on the other.

    The next thing to get your head wrapped around is how to design something such that it is easy to print and strong in use. For example, in your design, I'd note that the bottom is going to have the texture of whatever you print on, the build table, so it's good that it's the bottom. The arches, likely being made of PLA plastic (the beginner's choice in filament) won't be that strong. Assuming the remote fits in the top, I'd fill those arches in with vertical bars or something or just leave them solid (look solid but the slicer can fill with a grid pattern of whatever density you want). At a fine layer setting, the sides actually end up looking the best.

    If I went through and described all the slicer settings and what they do, you'd probably glaze over and not buy a printer. It's not that hard. Just get the printer and start playing. It will all make sense fairly quickly. Once it does, a 3D printer is a handy thing to have around. I've not had one for that long but it's already just another tool to fix things. Go for it. It's time.

    David...

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  • elf
    replied
    It is free for hobbyists and companies making less than $100,000 per year. The price is $300 per year if you don't meet the hobbyist criteria. You just need to renew every year. They have repeatedly stated that it will continue to be free for hobbyists.

    This took about 2 minutes to draw in Fusion 360:


    If you add dimensions to your 2d drawing, I'll do an accurate model for you.

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  • Sun God
    replied
    For a hobbyist I believe you choose the 'company' option when signing up. Its a one year subscription, but it's free so long as your 'turnover' is less than $100k. You only need to reverify your turnover once a year, and the licence continues free in perpetuity.

    As far as the 3D printer goes, I could not recommend the Cetus 3D any more highly. It was truly an almost plug and play experience for me, no bed leveling or other tuning required.

    For software, get a copy of Fusion360 and learn 3D CAD. Once you've learned 3D CAD you'll never go back to 2D. It's not even difficult, since you likely have the tools in your head on how to design a part sorted - you just need to learn the new tools to turn your 2D profiles into 3D parts. Fusion has a built-in .STL exporter, so you just send that file off to your slicer - or in the case of the Cetus, the control software has a built in slicer.

    It couldn't be any easier, and honestly, on a weekly basis I find new uses for my printer. It's one of the purchases I'm most pleased with.

    Leave a comment:


  • Paul Alciatore
    replied
    Looking into Fusion 360 I see free offers for a three year student/academic subscription, but they say nothing about amateur use. If I register as a student, I wonder what happens after that three years expires. Can it be renewed? There is no way I can afford their regular prices and I do not want to invest my time in learning to use it only to find that I am forced out after three years.

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  • wierdscience
    replied
    I haven't delved into 3D cad yet,but I did recently buy a printer and started learning to use it.I'm using Cura for slicing software and like it since it's fairly simple to use.

    Leave a comment:


  • elf
    replied
    First step is to import the 2d dxf (or dwg) into a 3d modeling program. I use Fusion 360. It's free for hobbyists. You should also redesign it to be more 3d printer friendly. The long arch requires a lot of support which may or may not work well. Once you have the 3d model, save it in a format the slicer program can use, generally STL. In the slicer program, set all of the parameters to print the model. I use Slic3r for slicing. It's also free and open source. It outputs gCode which is used by the printer.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ryobiguy
    replied
    Originally posted by H380 View Post
    It is just a very basic CNC mill control holding a hot glue gun.
    It's a CNC extruder. But that doesn't sound as sexy as "3D printing." Actually I'd even argue they are more like 3d plotters than printers.

    Recently I picked up a generic (as is my style) Qidi printer from Amazon. I'm using Linux so am limited to FreeCAD and Cura, which are also freely available on Windows/Mac. The tricky part was finding the gcode to add as the setup, beyond that the main learning curve depends on your CAD skills.

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