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3D Printing

edited October 2017 in Related
Hey guys, 

I wanted to start a separate thread to discuss and document my journey through 3D printer land. I have been an AutoCAD user since 2001 - sadly, I still run AutoCAD 2002. I am very familiar with the solids modeling approach, especially in AutoCAD 2002. Using old school AutoCAD I can draw a lot of different things with enough time and motivation (I was even able to extrude technically correct threads at one time) - but it does not, to my knowledge, support newfangled file formats like STL. Nor, for that matter, do the 3D models generated in old school AutoCAD support correct tool paths etc. 

After seeing Brian RIcher's extremely cost effective 3D printed cabinets for his Overnight Sensations, it lit a fire under my ass and I immediately requested and received permission to order a printer of my own. 

So I ordered this Monday morning, along with a few spools of cheap PLA and an odd accessory or two:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074QLQSQV/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Grand total came to under $700 for enough materials to print two bookshelf cabinets. Wait, what? Cost effective? How can that be? Well - my table saw originally retailed for over $1000, and I challenge anyone to build a pair of cabinets with complex curves and ready to go for the $30 in material and 70hrs that it took for Brian to print his pair. Time is money, and when you no longer enjoy making sawdust and your skill set in the woodshop makes it difficult to produce the kind of baffle geometry that I believe is required for next-level speaker systems... Plus, the 70 hours to build the cabinets are effectively free-time as the printers do the majority of the labor. I am not seeing how I, as a very lazy man, can lose by offloading the bulk of the labor involved in building a cabinet to a robot. In fact, that was essentially my bread and butter for the majority of the last fifteen years anyways. 

Anywhoo, since I am in need of CAD software that will allow me to produce correct STL files and I am in need of software that will assemble those STL files into printable objects, I started doing some research. 

I am hesitant to use any of Autodesk's products, but will not rule them out. I learned Inventor years ago, and found it to be astonishingly difficult compared to some of the other alternatives - although it was extremely powerful and those that have a knack for it really made it sing. 

I downloaded and installed something called "FreeCAD" today - I am going to commit to learning it as it is multi-platform, meaning at some point in the near future I will be transitioning to Linux for the majority of my PC work. It appears relatively full-featured, but will present a learning curve for me as I am very used to subtractive/additive solid modeling in AutoCAD. I imagine regardless of what software I pursue I will be presented with that challenge. 

Based on some research, I opted to purchase a license for Simplify3D. It allegedly prepares the model for optimal printing etc, and is not really expensive compared to most 3D modeling software. 

I am not necessarily here to solicit opinions on software, however, so much as to just get a conversation going about 3D printing in general. I have noticed over the years, listening to various commercial and DIY designs, including my Vermillions, that there is a significant benefit to a specific type of baffle treatment. The specific type of geometry I want to begin implementing cannot be done within the constraints of my time and talent limitations. 

In addition, I imagine all sorts of goodies coming off the printer not necessarily related to DIY audio. 

I do not plan to use primarily PLA in the future, but it is extremely cost effective and I do plan on fucking up more than once during the process. Eventually, however, I do plan on attaining a high proficiency level in both 3D modeling and printing so I am looking forward to that. 
D1PP1NR-Carpenter
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Comments

  • Great start JR, talk about jumping in with both feet. I have used PLA and use Fusion 3D. I will take a look at freecad and simplfy3D. I was waiting for a large format printer, and this might be it. May go for the 500mm model, but is a bit more cash, but I should be able to print MTM bookshelves 18" high. It is a bit more coin, fully equipped it about 1500$, but still way bigger and cheaper than the more popular 3D printers.

    PlA is cheap but it takes a long time and the bigger and more complex the model and thicker the walls the longer it takes. The longer it takes the more chances that your print will not complete. I have thrown away a lot of 80% 90% builds and some which were non starter. So a bit frustrating in the beginning, but then you figure out what works and what doesn't.
  • JR - My son built a smaller kit version of that printer. He said he uses AutoCAD Inventor Pro (student edition) and converts the files to G-code with another program - I think he said Cura? I've been impressed at what he's been able to make with it.
  • edited October 2017
    Can you just create baffles for conventional boxes? This can save significant time.
    ............. could you hum a few bars.
  • My first two will be just baffles, actually. 
    kennykani_101
    I have a signature.
  • edited October 2017
    I've been using this SUPER simple program (and as such, kinda limited, but I've learned how to finagle complex shapes out of it over the past 10+ years) and I knocked out a quick, pretty standard baffle, then exported to STL (which is apparently still in beta). I'll upload the file, see if it's useful. Only issue I can see, is you learning really basic, really limited software, then (the boat I'm in--) it's nearly impossible to learn anything else. It's called eMachineshop.

    It's zipped with 7zip 

    [edit]: well it's not uploading... if you want it just lemme know I'll get it to you
    deadhorse - leviathan - harbinger - shockwave (wip)
  • edited October 2017
    JR, you can email me DXF or DWG files and I can convert them in STL in Rhino.
    Rhino is actually a very good 3D modeler. If you know someone in school, you can get it for $195. Fully functional and for life.
    https://www.rhino3d.com/sales/north-america/United_States

  • Hey Roman, what else do we need with Rhino for cnc and 3d printing. Are there any other modules that are required? Would Rhino be able to generate the gcode for  cnc or do we need something like vectric for the toolpaths?
  • edited October 2017
    Rhino is a 3D modeler only.
    G-code (toolpath) generator is another software package. You can import STL or other formats from Rhino in to G-coder.
    Mecsoft makes plugins G-coders for Rhino. They work directly from Rhino5 but a bit pricey (all tho powerful). https://mecsoft.com/rhinocam-software/
    This is also a g-code generator.
    http://www.vectric.com/products/vcp/features.htm

    For 3D printing you can use softwar4e that comes with the 3D printer. They should have something generic so you can import the 3D model and print it.
    I am not sure what the differences are between pro software and free 3D printing stuff.
    https://mecsoft.com/visual3dprint/



  • As long as the models are in still, the free software can work for 3Dprinting. CNC, need a good tool path generator. Thanks, answers my questions.
  • I think pro 3D printing software allows for custom feed-rate and adjustments. Friend of mine has a commercial 3D printer that uses plaster and water mixture.  
    kennyk
  • I know almost nothing about 3DP.  That technology was in its very infant stage back when I was in college.  MSOE (Milwaukee School of Engineering) had a first generation machine that made 3D prototypes by printing layers of paper.  It was mind boggling back then (circa 1990).
  • That said I received a pair of large waveguides as a InDIYana door prize that Dan P 3D printed.  They feel, look, and weigh nothing like plastic.  They are very heavy and dense, more like white cement than like plastic.  Interested in what type of material he used to make them.  He told me I could drill and tap holes in them if needed.
  • DanP has got access to way more powerful and pro machines that what we are talking about!
  • Ah ok!  That helps explain what I didn't understand in the other thread.
  • PWRRYD said:
    That said I received a pair of large waveguides as a InDIYana door prize that Dan P 3D printed.  They feel, look, and weigh nothing like plastic.  They are very heavy and dense, more like white cement than like plastic.  Interested in what type of material he used to make them.  He told me I could drill and tap holes in them if needed.
    Those were made of glass-filled nylon, so they are plastic, but doped with glass, which minimizes shrinkage in the building process and gives the final product added stiffness, heft, abrasion resistance, heat resistance, etc.  As Craig said, you can sand, drill, and tap it and if you over-torque a hefty self tapping screw in it, you'll pop the head off before you strip the threads.  This stuff is bad ass.

    We (the company I work for, not CSS) actually make functional under-hood prototypes for OEMs as well as end use engine components for various custom automobile build houses.  The process is called laser sintering and is very different than the readily available 3D printing process being discussed here.  

    Those wavguides Craig got were huge and heavy.  It was the only pair like that I ever made and if I was to quote something that size to a regular customer, they would have been $800 for the pair.  

    With all that said, there has been talk for decades about 3D printing revolutionizing manufacturing and that's just not the reality.  There is no need for most items to be customized and 3D printing will never usurp injection molding for fast, cheap manufacture of mass produced plastic stuff.  It's too good and too cheap.  Metal parts are different, but CNC still trumps 3D printing in most applications.

    3D printing is great, however, for prototypes, DIYers, and anyone else who wants to make less than thousands of something.  Make the CAD file and it's yours forever.  Print one out when you want, share it with your friends, make changes on a screen and print it again.  It's great to see that the machines have come down in price so it's worth it for your average DIYer.  While I'm at it, let me throw out a plug for www.proto-pasta.com for filament supply.  One of the guys I used to work with helped start this company.

    Dan
  • cssaudio1 said:
    PWRRYD said:
    That said I received a pair of large waveguides as a InDIYana door prize that Dan P 3D printed.  They feel, look, and weigh nothing like plastic.  They are very heavy and dense, more like white cement than like plastic.  Interested in what type of material he used to make them.  He told me I could drill and tap holes in them if needed.
    Those were made of glass-filled nylon, so they are plastic, but doped with glass, which minimizes shrinkage in the building process and gives the final product added stiffness, heft, abrasion resistance, heat resistance, etc.  As Craig said, you can sand, drill, and tap it and if you over-torque a hefty self tapping screw in it, you'll pop the head off before you strip the threads.  This stuff is bad ass.

    We (the company I work for, not CSS) actually make functional under-hood prototypes for OEMs as well as end use engine components for various custom automobile build houses.  The process is called laser sintering and is very different than the readily available 3D printing process being discussed here.  

    Those wavguides Craig got were huge and heavy.  It was the only pair like that I ever made and if I was to quote something that size to a regular customer, they would have been $800 for the pair.  

    With all that said, there has been talk for decades about 3D printing revolutionizing manufacturing and that's just not the reality.  There is no need for most items to be customized and 3D printing will never usurp injection molding for fast, cheap manufacture of mass produced plastic stuff.  It's too good and too cheap.  Metal parts are different, but CNC still trumps 3D printing in most applications.

    3D printing is great, however, for prototypes, DIYers, and anyone else who wants to make less than thousands of something.  Make the CAD file and it's yours forever.  Print one out when you want, share it with your friends, make changes on a screen and print it again.  It's great to see that the machines have come down in price so it's worth it for your average DIYer.  While I'm at it, let me throw out a plug for www.proto-pasta.com for filament supply.  One of the guys I used to work with helped start this company.

    Dan
    OMFG WAVEGUIDES THAT SMELL LIKE COFFEE
    deadhorse - leviathan - harbinger - shockwave (wip)
  • 3D printed parts are already showing up in more areas than most people realize. Along with self-healing materials, additive manufacturing is making serious in-roads. 

    The next ten years should see subtractive manufacturing relegated to artisan status. Additive processes are already being used for production in several industries - and it is being used for critical components. 

    It is unwise to discount a technology such as this, probably better to adopt it and advance it lest we get left out in the rain like the old school machinists. They never saw CNC amounting to much, either. 
    I have a signature.
  • I don't think subtractive fabrication is going away. Ultimately, additive fabrication is limited to the material properties. Can titanium or some of grades of stainless steel be printed ever?
    But there are already hybrid machines.


  • Subtractive fabrication, additive frabrication...  I am way out of the loop.
  • Yes, multiple types of metals are being printed. Wee bit out of reach of the DIY'er, though. One of the parts I saw printed was a stainless shaft inside of a Cessna engine. 

    Cessna plans on utilizing more printed parts going forward. So do various automakers. 

    Glad I work in a premium branded food company. 
    I have a signature.
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