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  1. #1

    New to 3d printing, is it a good hobby?

    Hello, I'm new to the forum and 3d printing in general and the only previous experience I have is an art teacher who had a 3d printer in class. I'm interested in getting a 3d printer to expand the range of DIY projects I'm able to do but I'm curious if it's a good hobby or more for a career. I basically want to know if I will be able to utilize my printer fully if I have no design background or expertise. Obviously I'm willing to learn new things but I am just asking this before I waste money. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Staff Engineer
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    I suppose you could make a hobby out of finding models on Thingiverse or someplace like that and printing them out. But to take full advantage of a printer, it would help to be able to design your own. You don't say what sort of projects you have in mind, but clarifying that beforehand would help in choosing a printer to carry them out.

  3. #3
    Technician Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    I bought my 3D Printer as Both, I have used them to print many 3D Models for fun.
    Rubix cubes, containers, Bird feeders, toys, redesigned obi-wan kenobi light saber with sound, ect...

    Have 3D Printed A swimming pool Jet nozzle replacement, Yard light globe replacement, Ford Taurus rear seat release bezel "These are Copies the I made.
    I Have designed a Case for my 3D Printer Controller card, Designed a Filament run-out sensor with enclosure, Designed a Bird House and Bird Feeder ect...

    I hate to say it but this is funner than a barrel of monkeys.
    For the price of a box printer I bought 2 Aluminum Frame 270 X 220 X, 190mm 3D Printers and Built my own Environmentally controlled Enclosure.
    With purified Air filtering for all classes of air contaminants particles, bacteria, odors and chemical vapors.

    Plus with the knowledge I have acquired, My hobby has expanded to helping individuals in the 3D Printer Forums. Spent 30+ hours helping a man in the UK getting his 3D Printer working with Marlin 1.1.4.

    They have a Free Web Site the allows you to create your own models with just a few clicks of a mouse button.
    https://www.tinkercad.com/

    should clarify the swimming pool flange is an obsolete part that I duplicated for sale the newer replacement parts will not fit..

    Helped on Fixya.com for years now, they have been after me to go pro for $30.00 hour but then it would not be fun. It would be just another J O B.
    Last edited by Roberts_Clif; 08-31-2017 at 11:09 AM.

  4. #4
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    A 3D printer is a great tool for most careers involving some kind of creativity or creative thinking.
    As a hobby, I don't think there are many better and more versatile ones.
    Even as a household tool it is worth buying one for the sake of being to repair and customize things as well as create artistic items that would otherwise be costly.
    Customization is a key point and if you have an art background there are tons of ideas. For example you can create scaffolds for sculpting onto, decorative pieces or mathematical 3D patterns to incorporate into art pieces.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    what they said - having had a 3d printer for over 3 years now. It's one of 2 gadgets I own that would get replaced asap if it ever died (tassimo coffee machine is the other)
    Mind you I've got 3 printers now so unlikely to ever be without at least one :-)

    Designing your own things is the best part. And plenty of free cad packages around. I use openscad, 'cos I can't draw :-)

  6. #6
    Engineer-in-Training
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    Printing isn't a "hobby" anymore than a wrenching or sawing is a "hobby."

  7. #7
    Technician Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djprinter View Post
    Printing isn't a "hobby" anymore than a wrenching or sawing is a "hobby."
    You are outright wrong.

    Definition of hobby

    an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies
    An guess what the first Item on this list is. 3D Printing
    Last edited by Roberts_Clif; 09-01-2017 at 04:11 AM.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    well with me it's both a hobby and part of my business.

    And in what universe is it comparable with wrenching and sawing ?
    I think of a thing, I design the thing and my 3d printer makes the thing.

    If I use a saw - I need wood, nails, glue screws and plans - which I am bloody awful at drawing.
    If I have a wrench - I need lots and lots of other things to go with it.

    I agree that a 3d printer is a tool. However it is NOT comparable to a saw or a wrench :-)
    It's equivalent is a fully manned and tooled up production line at a plastics factory.

  9. #9
    Technician Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    well with me it's both a hobby and part of my business.

    If I use a saw - I need wood, nails, glue screws and plans - which I am bloody awful at drawing.
    If I have a wrench - I need lots and lots of other things to go with it.
    This is correct, however would never tell Jay Leno that his Hobby of restoring old cars was not.

    Word is he just sold all his entire car collection to Arab Sheikh for about 1 billion dollars.
    Now he has plenty of money to start again from scratch, and reminder his fun was in restoring the cars.
    His job was late Night Talk Show Host, so car rebuilding cars was his fun hobby.

    I bet it Hurt him selling his car collection, but not for very long (haha). Bet Leno next New first car restoration will be a classic Race Car.

    If you read this Jay would be proud to 3D Print a part for your next project.
    Last edited by Roberts_Clif; 09-01-2017 at 09:33 AM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Roberts_Clif View Post
    I bought my 3D Printer as Both, I have used them to print many 3D Models for fun.
    Rubix cubes, containers, Bird feeders, toys, redesigned obi-wan kenobi light saber with sound, ect...

    Have 3D Printed A swimming pool Jet nozzle replacement, Yard light globe replacement, Ford Taurus rear seat release bezel "These are Copies the I made.
    I Have designed a Case for my 3D Printer Controller card, Designed a Filament run-out sensor with enclosure, Designed a Bird House and Bird Feeder ect...

    I hate to say it but this is funner than a barrel of monkeys.
    For the price of a box printer I bought 2 Aluminum Frame 270 X 220 X, 190mm 3D Printers and Built my own Environmentally controlled Enclosure.
    With purified Air filtering for all classes of air contaminants particles, bacteria, odors and chemical vapors.

    Plus with the knowledge I have acquired, My hobby has expanded to helping individuals in the 3D Printer Forums. Spent 30+ hours helping a man in the UK getting his 3D Printer working with Marlin 1.1.4.

    They have a Free Web Site the allows you to create your own models with just a few clicks of a mouse button.
    https://www.tinkercad.com/

    should clarify the swimming pool flange is an obsolete part that I duplicated for sale the newer replacement parts will not fit..

    Helped on Fixya.com for years now, they have been after me to go pro for $30.00 hour but then it would not be fun. It would be just another J O B.
    Thank you so much for the detailed reply! I'm definitely going to do more research and play around with Tinkercad to see if modeling is enjoyable to me

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