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Jaybird

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    Jaybird got a reaction from Canada EH in Dollar Shave Club Information   
    why shave when you have a magnificent beard!
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    Jaybird got a reaction from Delusional Phil in Anime Club - Heaven Society   
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    Jaybird got a reaction from fcon in Experiences with non-techies   
    oh thats a great one!
     
    Dad: show me how to send this contact to someone on my new blackberry
    Me: let me see your phone
    Dad: no, I just want you to tell me how to do it.
    Me: I have no experience with it. If you want me to tell you how to do it i need to figure out how to do it first. now let me see you phone.
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    Jaybird got a reaction from dizmo in Vive help!!!   
    i signed on for the first time in a year just to say, im out. 
  5. Informative
    Jaybird got a reaction from uzarnom in [Guide] 3D Printers: An Introduction to Buying and Using 3D Printers   
    3D Printers: An Introduction to Buying and Using 3D Printers


    Intro
    This thread is to serve as a central location to information regarding 3D printers and how to use them. The reason is that there is no central, detailed, location that thoroughly explains what a 3D printer is, how to pick one, what too look for when buying, how to operate, and achieve a successful print. I will be going through every facet of 3D printing including what is a 3D printer, to completing your first big print. This page may be routinely update periodically as new information arises. Every bit of information is my own thought from my own personal experience. If I get something wrong just pm and ill make corrections. Let us begin on our journey through the world of 3D printing.


     
    What is a 3D Printer?



    You must be interested in 3D printing if you have made it to this paragraph. Some of you may have heard about it, how it can make tools, or you may have even seen one, but what exactly is 3D printing? 3D Printing is defined as: a process for making physical objects from three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many successive layers of a material until the desired model is constructed. 3D printing is revolutionizing the way R&D is done. It took weeks to prototype new products and was often very expensive. Now, companies can produce prototypes in just a few hours. In its basic form, 3D printers are a robotic machine that is comprised of servo motors and an extruder. These two tools used in unison are what product the product. But what is the product made of exactly?



     
    What is Filament?


    3D printers use a variety of filament. The two primary filaments are made of PLA or ABS. PLA is polylactic acid or polylactide. It is a biodegradable thermoplastic derived from resources such as corn starch, roots, or sugar cane. This is why some people say that during printing, PLA gives off a bit of a sweet aroma. The PLA is extruded into a thin line called filament that is wound on a spool for easy transport and unwinding. The other major filament is made of ABS, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. It is a thermoplastic polymer that is often used in the production of automotive parts, as well as everyone's favorite, Legos. Other materials include PET, Nylon, and PVA. PLA and ABS are the two primary and often suffice for personal project. The other material is more often used for special products where a desired specific outcome is necessary.


     
    What is The Best Printer to Buy?



    What is the best printer to buy? This is a complicated question that is often asked by people who want to take a dive into 3D printing but have no clue where to start. First off, no 3D printer is the right printer. Every printer has its pros and cons and not a single printer will be able to meet every single one of your unknown needs. I will go into detail a little bit later about the problems associated with 3D printing and how to rectify these problems. There will be overlapping information as pros and cons and problems and solutions also aid in the what makes a good printer and how to improve prints, which will be discussed later on. I will cover fundamental necessary parts that make or break your experience with 3D printing.
     


    The first thing to determine when buying a printer is: what is your budget. Budget is the primary factor of choosing a printer. At the time of writing this you can buy a $300 HICTOP Prusa I3 printer, or a MakerBot Replicator for about $3,000. The reason this is the major factor is because the $300 printer does not come with all the bells and whilst that a $3000 printer does. It is the equivalent to buying a 4-wheeler vs range rover. Both will get you up the mountain but the journey is what makes the difference.
     


    The second thing to determine is print area size. It typically cost the same weather you have 100x100x100mm print area or a 1000x1000x1000mm print area. However, larger print areas require more fine tuning to ensure level print surface. The choice really comes down to how much space do you have.

    The third factor is the XYZ axis movements. While this does not seem like a major factor, it very much is. The best printer's print bed either move in the Z axis or do not move at all. You maybe asking why is this. If the print bed moved in the X or Y axis, you risk your print breaking off of falling over due to the sudden and quick movements of the print bed. This can be best illustrated with a skateboard. A skateboard does not have a motor or brakes. The wheels move frictionlessly over the ground. Now say you are standing on a motionless skateboard and someone comes along and pushes the board with their foot. simple physics says that you head is going to stay in the same spot while the board pulls your feet out from under your body. The motion will be transferred upward toward your head until the forces equalize. Unfortunately your feet aren't attached and your head hits the ground with a thud. The same thing happens when the print bed moves in the X and Y axis. This is generally not an issue if you are printing slow or the product is not very tall with a lot of little details.
     


    The fourth factor is a heated bed. The heated bed is a near essential piece. First, I am going to cover the results of printing without a heated bed. When you print without a heated bed you need to use some sort of material in between the raw print bed and the product. Most people have found the blue painters tape works best as the filament will stick decent to the tape and the tape can be pulled up without leaving sticky residue behind. Plus painters tape can be reused a few times before needed to be replaced. When buying painters tape, the wider the tape, the better the results. Because the filament is a thermoplastic it means that it is heated up to a melted state and quickly cooled which causes it to harden in place. but because the outside of the new layer cools quicker on the outside than the inside touching the previous layer you develop some warping. The force of the warping increases with each layer and can force the first layer to either detach from the tape or peal the the tape up. both with will result in a print breaking off or failing entirely. This is where the heated bed come in. You do not need to use tape as the heated bed is an ideal surface for prints plus it keeps the first few layer warm enough to avoid this warping and allows the first layer to maintain a sticky state to ensure that it does not peel up.
     


    The fifth factor is the machine itself. There are minimalistic printers that only consist of the axis and the motherboard to run the machine. There are some that are an enclosure that also acts as the support for the axis. The best is one with an enclosure. The downside to an enclosure is that you cannot fix a print that is about to fail. The advantages of the enclosure is that prints have better results. results improve because the enclosure created a warm or hot environment which keeps the entire print warm and sticky which means less warping or a great chance of success.
     


    By now you must be asking me, “Which printer has these features as is affordable?” Well, the Printer market has been receiving new printers every year and each one is a little different in how things operate. What I have just covered are some of the most important feature in a printer. The rest I would classify as cosmetic matters such as nozzle size, lcd with buttons, or remote connections like using an sd card. If you want a good 3D printer that will make perfect prints I would suggest going for a more high end that includes all the major factors I have listed.



     
    You Just Bought Your First Printer



    so you have just bought your first printer; now what. First find a good location for your printer. because printers have fast moving parts you’ll want a desk that is solid. Then crack open the instructions that came with your printer on how to set it up. If the instructions are anything like the one that came with mine it will be less intuitive than peeling an orange. Therefore, I will cover some basic information about setting up for your first print.
     






    Setting Up Your Printer

    Setting up for your first print can seem a little daunting. You are thrown a wealthy of knowledge that for the most part, you probably will never need. Most printers come pre assembled and ready to print out of the box. Something may shift during shipping as its likely you may need to calibrate your computer to work correctly with the printer. I will get into that in the next paragraph. You have your printer out, you have removed all the tiedown zipties, tape, and other obstructions that are used to hold the printhead in place during shipping. You plug in your printer using the provided power cable. At this time there should be an indicator light that tells you the machine is up and running properly. Next you will want to locate your filament. Some printers require proprietary spools of filament and some will use any type of filament on a generic spool. Some printers have a dedicated spool holder to place your spool onto, other may have a chamber to put your spool into. Take the end of the filament and run the end into the motor that will draw the filament from the spool and send it into the extruder. Thats it, you have done the physical portion of setting up for your first print. we will now move on to connecting to the print with your computer.
     





    Programming Your Printer

    The next thing to do is to connect your computer to your printer. Your printer will most like ask you to download and install Cura. I have used Cura and it's a simple program to use. When you load up cura for the first time you will be prompted to select your printer from the list. Cura is open source and will most likely have your printer. This printer selection will preload Cura with the necessary setting for your printer. Cura come with a leveling program and can walk you through the bed leveling process or you can do it manually. some print beds do not have a leveling function and rely on a auto level script to tell the printer what is level. This I have found is a very terrible function and should not be used. problems associated with this is potentially running the print head into the bed on one end while being too high on the other. This is a bit exaggerated but I have seen it happen. Unless your printer specifically say YOU NEED TO LEVEL YOUR PRINT BED, your print bed is probably already level and ready to use and DO NOT TRY TO RELEVEL YOUR PRINT BED. I will explain why in the next paragraph.
     







    Starting Your First Print

    You are now ready to start your first print. Typically the instructions will direct you to a 3x3x0.5cm cube. It is a basic print that can test to see if your printer is set up correctly. Cura is a slicing program that takes the .stl file and renders code for the printer to use. cura has alot of settings you can adjust but all you need to pay attention to at the moment is whats on the front page of cura. Select Expert and select Switch to Full Settings. This allows you to make fine adjustments to how your print will be have. youll need to set the temperature of the print head to the recommended temperature for you filament, typically this is 110c. Your bed temp will be about half of the print head temp but milage may vary and you will need to find out what works for you. If you hold your mouse over the settings in Cura it will give you information about what it does and what the recommended settings should be and I would suggest leaving it there until after your first print. Now, select the print button and you will see a window pop up with X and Y axis and some other buttons and a terminal box. You want to select the home button for the X, Y, and Z, axis. The print head should be about the thickness of a piece a paper above the print bed. If it’s not do not worry you can make adjustments later. Click in the terminal box and type our M501. This command will tell you the settings for the printer. You will see at the bottom bed offset. This number you will need to change to get the print head the right distance away from the print bed. Z axis will be set to zero and will most likely be too high. Start by lowering the Z axis by 0.2 mm at a time using the command M212 Z-0.2. If the head is still to high repeat the previous step and type in M212 Z-0.4. The print head will be set 0.4 mm below Z original home of 0.0. To save this setting type in the command M500. you can verify the changes have been save by typing in M501 again to show your printer settings. This will be time consuming if you have to move a large distance. By large i mean up to 3mm. once the cube comes out looking nice you are ready to print your next product. typically this will be a fan shroud. The fan shroud is nice to have because as the printer start to print over the edge of the previous layer. The fan will quickly cool the new layer and reduce the edges from curling up. Congratulations you have finished your first print and are now on a journey to printing awesome things.
     






    Improving Your Prints

    Some products will often having your printing at angles greater than 45 degrees. typically printers can do a little more than 45 but it gets iffy. You can improve prints with overhangs by selecting the scaffolding selection. Scaffolding lets you print in the air. scaffolding is typically offset from the print by less than 1 mm such that its easy to remove when the print is finished. the scaffolding might become attached to the product but using a set of needle nose plyers or your fingers to easily tear it away from the product. If the product is have bad warping you may need to increase the bed temperature. Like wise if you have a printer with an enclosure the print bed will raise the ambient temperature inside the enclosure which will reduce warping as well. Setting the fan speed to max has never cause problems and is always good to have running.
     




    Some printers are designed with speed in mind and can travel at about 150mm/s. Running a printer with speed set to high can cause prints to become weak or fail in the process. Moreover, running a print too slow can cause prints to have a lot of skin tags to appear as filament is still being extruded from the print head even if the head is move over open space to print in a different area. I have found my printer prints well at about 50mm/s.

    because it is not effective to print a solid plastic object, programs will allow you to select the density inside the product. 15% is a good density for most prints. Cura has a visual section that allows you to see how a print will happen layer by layer as well as were the infill material will be lade. I found that if you have a layer that will be printed directly onto the infill material and is not touching the border you will to raise the density to ensure more infill material is touching the new layer. Otherwise you will be printing in mid air with no scaffolding support and this will leave a big hole in your product.
     


    If the print is still pealing up after all that I would suggest investing in a product called PEI. Polyetherimide, known as PEI, seems to be the best bed you can buy. Reports of users who use it say that prints are near impossible to remove. This means that you wont have to worry about your print pealing up. The solution to removing prints usually involve sticking the bed and the print into the fridge or freeze and using thermodynamics to cause the print to break free from the bed. If you are using this with a heated bed a thicker piece of PEI will work better. I have heard that PLA will print to pei just fine without heating the bed. ABS requires a heated bed either way. a 12x12x1/4” sheet will cost you about $100. For more information on this product clicker HERE. 
     






    Completing Your First Print

    You calibrated your printer, you have printed your first print, and you just completed your first custom product; now what? You can begin tweaking and adjusting the advanced settings to more fine tune your prints for the perfect quality. your can increase in speed, increase the resolution, and improve the quality. There is a bucket load of other settings you can change but I will not go into detail about those as they vary based on the product you are printing.



     
    Program to Design Your Own Products

    You will most likely be printing other peoples 3D models for a while before you come across the idea that you want to make your own 3D model and print it for your needs. There is an abundance of 3D modeling programs. Everything from high end enterprise grade software to freeware offered by some printing companies. I am only going to touch on the products I have used.

    First up is Sketchup. Sketchup was previously owned by Google and was later bought by another company. It still has a free version and can do most basic modeling. However, sketchup does not work well with 3D printers and often pieces of the model do not get rendered in Cura. this is why Sketchup should not be used.
     


    Next is Autocad's 123D Design. It is a basic modeling tool designed for 3D printing. It has very limited functionality but if you can stretch your brain you can create nearly anything. I have used it to make a few things like my headphone holder for my desk.
     


    Finally you can use solidworks to create 3D models. solidworks is an enterprise grade software and as such is not free. However, if you really enjoy 3D modeling and are rather good at it, solidworks might be the program for you.





    Sharing Your Products With Others

    If you are still curious about where to find 3D models to download there are a few sites on the internet that allow a user to upload and share to 3D models with the community. Thingiverse.com is hosted by makerbot. The library is easy to navigate and they often have some awesome new design picked by a staff member to show off to the community. They also hold competitions for 3D modeling and you get the opportunity to find some swag. Other sites include: pinshape.com, youmagine.com, and myminifactory.com. There are other sites but these are the ones I am a bit more familiar with. Also, there is a thread on LTT for 3D model sharing linked here (insert link).







    Issues of 3D Printers

    The biggest issues with 3D printing is that the products printed cannot be made for load bearing regardless of design. The layers do not fuse together and as a result will break in between layers if excessive force is applied. This is why you only see little toys and figures and parts for drones being made.

    Warping is the next big issue. I have covered ways to reduce warping in the previous sections. I have not solved this myself personally but I have only heard rumors as to what to do to fix it. My findings regarding this are things that i have done myself or have ruled as highly worth trying.
     





    Conclusion

     
    I am overly fascinated by 3D printers and cant wait for the near future when the function becomes perfected. With there being no standard for 3D printing, it has been left up to the community to drive the in home printer to new heights. If you can any questions or would like to know more information about techniques I am happy to help. Likewise, if you know of any techniques or have any suggestions, feel free to leave a post. If you feel I need to make a correction please PM and Ill make the changes as soon as I can. I dont know everything, only what I have experienced so I may get something wrong. I simply want to help everyone make the best prints.
  6. Agree
    Jaybird got a reaction from Roll_Like_Rollo in Experiences with non-techies   
    oh thats a great one!
     
    Dad: show me how to send this contact to someone on my new blackberry
    Me: let me see your phone
    Dad: no, I just want you to tell me how to do it.
    Me: I have no experience with it. If you want me to tell you how to do it i need to figure out how to do it first. now let me see you phone.
  7. Like
    Jaybird got a reaction from Stupidtiggers in Anime Club - Heaven Society   
    join the anime club they said. it will be fun they said. 
  8. Like
    Jaybird got a reaction from GoldSrc in Anime Club - Heaven Society   
    has anyone watch gunbuster?

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    Jaybird got a reaction from Phorlorn in Heaven Society - Week 70 Anime Poll   
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    Jaybird reacted to BashZeStampeedo in Anime Club - Heaven Society   
    Yes, long ago. Also Diebuster.
    It's hard to avoid Gunbuster, since it was what essentially introduced the world to the ever-popular "Gainax Bounce".
  11. Like
    Jaybird reacted to Jacona in Anime Club - Heaven Society   
    Couple people I know has, they seemed to enjoy it. 
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    Jaybird got a reaction from MyInnerFred in Anime Club - Heaven Society   
    has anyone watch gunbuster?

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    Jaybird got a reaction from MyInnerFred in Heaven Society - Week 70 Anime Poll   
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    Jaybird got a reaction from mxz3000 in Experiences with non-techies   
    instructions are for squares
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    Jaybird got a reaction from helping in Anime Club - Heaven Society   
    HDD not dying, but the righting head lost accuracy due to lack of pressure as a result of high altitude. Hdd is fine. Files and programs that are created at while at altitude will be corrupted. Usually you can erase the corroded file but in my last case it corrupted a root file and I was sol. Had to do a fresh install.
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    Jaybird got a reaction from cooldogz123 in Experiences with non-techies   
    instructions are for squares
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    Jaybird got a reaction from MyInnerFred in Build 01 - The Life of a Prodigy   
    Update: 12/20/2015
     
    Its been awhile since my last update. Lets get started. Same specs as before, just a new case. Ive decided to go with the Corsair Air 240. A bit more spacious case compared to the prodigy, and the cable management job to prove it. 
     
    Pictures:
     













     
    I need to figure out how to get the bubbles out. its really bad. 

  18. Like
    Jaybird got a reaction from Vitalius in Build 01 - The Life of a Prodigy   
    Update: 12/20/2015
     
    Its been awhile since my last update. Lets get started. Same specs as before, just a new case. Ive decided to go with the Corsair Air 240. A bit more spacious case compared to the prodigy, and the cable management job to prove it. 
     
    Pictures:
     













     
    I need to figure out how to get the bubbles out. its really bad. 

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    Jaybird got a reaction from Charger in Anime Club - Heaven Society   
    click spring. yes, ivs subbed to this  channel. 
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    Jaybird got a reaction from Vitalius in Anime Club - Heaven Society   
    click spring. yes, ivs subbed to this  channel. 
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    Jaybird got a reaction from Ruostunut kokis in Anime Club - Heaven Society   
    why do we all have the same avatar?
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    Jaybird got a reaction from Ruostunut kokis in Anime Club - Heaven Society   
    there's a thing for that thing with the people who have those things that need things. 

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    Jaybird got a reaction from GoldSrc in Anime Club - Heaven Society   
    there's a thing for that thing with the people who have those things that need things. 

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    Jaybird got a reaction from Vitalius in Anime Club - Heaven Society   
    why do we all have the same avatar?
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    Jaybird got a reaction from Vitalius in Anime Club - Heaven Society   
    there's a thing for that thing with the people who have those things that need things. 

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