Close



Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1
    Student
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    30

    Wanhao Duplicator i3 .... my ramblings

    Just to set out the stall a bit here ....

    This is my first ever 3D printer. I had done a bit of research, but as far as practical experience goes, I had none. I did not have a huge budget either.

    So, I did my research. A LOT of research. I worked out what I wanted to print and what features wre importantr to me. I wanted to be able to print in a variety of plastics and I also wanted to be able to print a reasonable quaslity. My last 'must have' was to buy from a UK supplier ( I live in the UK ) boith for customs issues and also for after-care. Buying from a UK supplier meant I would be covered under UK law if hte goods wer enot fit for purpose. Buying direct from China would give me none of that.

    So I ended up buying this printer. Metal frame, available from UK sellers ( it is made in China....but most of them are at this price point ) and with a reasonable print bed size. Heated bed too, so that covered my bases. Paid 295 through an Amazon seller and got it delivered next day.

    51hNq7uyAiL._SX385_.jpg

    Came VERY well packed. In a nice thick box, in a sealed large plastic bag, surrounded by plenty of foam. It is not a kit...you just have to bolt the upper part to the base section. Teh control box is wired up to the base, so you have to be a bit careful unboxing, as it's all joined.
    The wires need to be connected to the gantry part, but they are all labelled clearly, and if you can't clip wire A into socket A without help, the manual is now full colour with plenty of pictures. The quick start got me ...started.

    There were instructions to level the bed which I didn;t read carefully enough. It wouldn;t level...but a bit of googling and some sensible re-reading of the manual told me I should manually rotate the right hand 'Z' motor to level the horizontal. Then the bed levelled fairly well. I don't think it's perfectly flat...but near enough.

    The SD card supplied comes with CURA to install, and you get some tools, a scraper for lifting the prints off the bed, and some bits and bobs.

    You get a length of PLA filament ( it takes standard 1.75mm ) and you get enough to print the example model. Following the quick start 'print' guide, I found it actually VERY easy to print off the example model ( a hand.. ) first time with no problems at asll. Took a while, but then...I didn't have any real idea how long 3d printing took!

    IMG_20170714_220845380_zpss27re5y0.jpg

    The quality actually impressed me quite a bit. It was never going to be 'perfect' but I was genuinely impressed with how good it looked and felt.

    I had also bought a kilo roll of filament, as you only get a small amout of free stuff with the printer.

    PROJECT 1 ..... Warhammer Dreadnought from Thingiverse.

    3dp1_zpspjayfplh.jpg

    I ran out of the free white filament halfway trhough this, then had to switch to the new stuff. Which is black.

    FIRST LESSON:
    The way you lay out the part for printing really matters when it comes to print quality. The final arm on the Dreadnought weas printed with teh round barrel part of the arm facing upwards. When I laid it flat...it looked like THIS:

    3dp4_zpsh0xau6s5.jpg

    The lesson being tht my printer can draw lovely circles ....but print a tube on it's side and it gets messy. I also learnt about supports. The fewer you can get away with, the better.

    3dp2_zpsjo2sk26d.jpg

    So when it came to printing the bolter, I made sure the barrels pointed straight up. Needless to say...they printed lovely!

    SECOND LESSON :

    When printing, not all models are equal. Badly thought out or poorlyt made meshes do not print well. Spend some time fixing the file if the maker did not. I printed a set of gun barrels that were not joined. I also had issues with incomplete ammo belts etc.
    They printed OK, but the mesh had issues, and just didn't print well.

    THIRD LESSON:

    My 1Kg roll of filament does not fit on the supplied spool holder. If you are coping with this issue...make sure the filament does not get caught up, as when this happens, the plastic just stops flowing. It's not hte end of the world to re-prime the extruder, but your model becomes scrap. I will be printing a longer spool holder so I can properly support the 1kg filament spool.

    I have also been printing with a 'raft' as it is easier to get started and it takes up the slack if your print bed is not perfectly level. That, and my initial blunders, has resulted in a pile of scrap plastic:

  2. #2
    Student
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    30
    Well....been learning a LOT about how my printer works.

    Just finished making a fully articulated warrior bug from Starship Troopers. Looks great...but the body was a real challenge.

    Started off printing without a raft, and that proved how important it was to keep the bed clean and free from finger marks. Greasy paw prints are bad for adhesion...and bad adhesion results in ruined prints. I also discovered a few thigns about supports. You need to THINK about where you put them. Think about hte direction the print head is moving, and where the support is needed. It anchors extended parts of a print as well as supporting them. Where a poart was at the 'back' of the print, a support beyond that helps prevent it being dragged out of place.

    I have also been playing with some of hte other features a bit more. Now I have the basics I am fairly confident I can get results....which is encouraging me to push the boundaries a bit more.

    I have also finally got a USB adaptor for micro SD, as I can't put the printed where I can use a cable, so all my G-Code is going on the card. Should have got one of these from day 1!!!! It's just an E-Bay cheapy...but it works.

    I also found that the body of this bug was impossible to get to print well without lots of supports, and lots of supports means a messy finish. So...I put my 3D modelling skills to the test, exported the STL file into Blender, and sliced the mesh in half. Printing on the bed without a raft I got a very crisp edge, and when I glued my halves together, it looked great! Gave me a chance to look at scaling and how the model's mesh was done.

    I am finding this 3D printing lark rather addictive!

    IMG_20170723_153540028_zpsvz1pmcwo.jpg
    Last edited by proto-typer; 07-24-2017 at 06:22 PM.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    5,660
    addictive it is :-)

    PArticularly when you start designing your own things. At which point pretty much everyone you know will turn up with a project for you. I like those best :-)

    And great work on the bug !
    Yeah print orientation is very important.

  4. #4
    Student
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    30
    Last night, I began work on a serious scratch build project.

    One of my other hobbies is RC. A few years back I had a go at modifying and improving a 1/16 RC tank, and that was fun. So much fun, I decided to try and scratch build one to use up all the spare bits I had built up. I very quickly found myself out of my depth there, as there was only so much you could do with flat plasticard sheeting, glue and sandng. Especially the wheels and suspension elements which needed to both work well and look right. Plus I needed multiple wheels that all looked the same. Now....I have the tool to do the bits I simply could not before, so I have decided to have another crack at the project.

    This introduced an entirely new thing to my printing.....scale. And it was not simple....

    Simplfy 3D is not flexible when it comes to scale. It wants to work in mm, and the only other measure it knows is inches....which it will try to convert to mm if it thinks your object is too small. This is a problem! I was modelling in Lightwave ( my modeller of choice ) and using a free STL exporter I found online. This worked fine to export files, but when I imported to Simplify, it kept asking me to convert the model to mm on import. This left me a tiny model. I expected it to be 100mm, and now it was 2.5mm! If I didn't convert, I got a model 0.1mm that was so tiny you couldn't see it!

    First thing I learned about Simplify was that you could double click on the model element list and get it's dimensions and scaling to show up. This was handy! Maybe I should have read the manual....

    I could mess about with the sizes and force it to be the size I wanted, but this was not a good strategy. I was going to model a complex thing in several parts, not all of which I would print in one go, and they then had to fit together....so I needed to do the scale work in the modeller and know they would come out the same relative size.

    I did a bit of searching on the simplify forum, and found out the issue. Basically....the STL format does not contain any info on units....just numeric dimensions. Simplify assumes mm ... so the base scale in the modelling program HAS to be set to mm. Anything else and it goes screwy. Once I did that....I was able to export an STL that the modelling program said was 38mm across and have it show in Simplify a 38mm. This means it will print to 38mm.

    A silly little thing, but a really important one once you move away from simply making pretty shapes and desk ornaments to making parts that need to do a job or fit in a space. Downloading models from Thingiverse etc. just means someone else has done the hard work.

    No I need to model the rest of the suspension so I can make 8 sets of suspension units I need for one of these....

    t35-replica.jpg
    The bulk of ht hull and flat plating will be made from sheet plasticard, but the details and complex parts I will 3D print.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    5,660
    given that any sensible being would never ever model anything in inches - where's the problem :-)

    There are actually another type o sterolithic file that simplify3d will read and some cad packages will export.
    You can also use .obj files.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 07-29-2017 at 11:48 AM.

  6. #6
    Student
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    30
    Print settings are important....learned that today!

    I printed some nice suspension arms for my tank, but left the 'fill' settings at 30%. This was fiine for a lot of the parts, as the large blocks were OK and the small detail picked up nicely, but the larger flat faces were just the wrong thickness for my settings. I ended up with thin walls and hollow cores which basically peeled itself apart. Will reprint them with a much more solid setting

    uwNrasW.jpg

    As an interesting aside .... the ribbing on the arms actually gives them surprising rigidity in the direction they actually take load.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by proto-typer; 07-31-2017 at 08:54 AM.

  7. #7
    Technologist Roberts_Clif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Washington State, USA
    Posts
    142
    Add Roberts_Clif on Thingiverse
    Once you have finished printing your first successful 3D Print you are hooked, lock stock and barrel. An while 3D Printing others designs if fulfilling in a since.
    We quickly become professionals in Prototyping, Designing are own models for 3D Printing.
    Last edited by Roberts_Clif; 08-06-2017 at 04:59 PM.

  8. #8
    Technologist Roberts_Clif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Washington State, USA
    Posts
    142
    Add Roberts_Clif on Thingiverse
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    given that any sensible being would never ever model anything in inches - where's the problem :-)

    There are actually another type o sterolithic file that simplify3d will read and some cad packages will export.
    You can also use .obj files.
    As I have lived on a Standard all my life that includes Inches.
    My question? Why anyone would ever make a rude comment about being a "non-sensible being" because of a measuring standard - here's the problem. :-)
    Last edited by Roberts_Clif; 07-30-2017 at 01:29 PM.

  9. #9
    Student
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    30
    One thing I had not noticed was the fact that I had to select M in the STL exporter in Lightwave, not MM ..... or I got micro prints again.

    Anyways that was easy enough. I hadn't even noticed the setting, and it was only when I messed with it I realised it was there and messed up a print.

    Had another hitch printing my wheels. First attempt, I had stupidly thin sides after I fiddled with some profile settings in Simplify. That was a bad thing to do, as the prints failed twice, and were an absolute pig to get off the print bed. I thought about the settings and decided to go 100% on these as I had with the suspension arms. Thought being that this is a heavy loading area, and I want them to be as strong as they can be. Printed well at these settings and I let them cool on the bed before removal. I say removal...a th damn things WOULD NOT BUDGE!!!! When I did prize one off, it pulled a piece of the sticker Wanhao put on the ally bed off with it! I know adhesion to the be is an issue....but usually it's NOT sticking that is the problem. I need to retry them and print more....so is there anything I can do to make them stick...er...LESS WELL?

    I am tempted to go to a glass bed rested on the heated ally one, but don;t know if that would make it much harder to adhere.

    What tips have you guys got for prints that won't come off?

    Going to print the next pair on a raft, as the backside will not be seen and can be filed flat easily.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    5,660
    My usual contribution to this topic is get yourself a sheet of Printbite.

    No more glue, glass, tape, release issues or sticking problems.
    It ain't cheap but it's damn near as good as they say it is :-)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •