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  1. #21
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    That's a large list of printers, and few of us will have had experience with more than one or two of them. But all the FDM-type printers have similar issues; they need support on any overhangs over 45 degrees from the vertical, and the surface quality is not great. The only one of them on your list that I've used is the Type A, which is made nearby where I am. It worked pretty well, but didn't have soluble support and the surfaces were no better than most FDM printers.

    I have a B9 Creator DLP (projector/resin system), which does get great detail, but it's mostly good for jewelry-scale models. The resin used can be burned out to cast parts in metal. A 6-inch figurine would be possible, but would probably need to be done in parts, depending on the pose. It's an "open-source" printer, something of a Do It Yourself project, and support is done by means of a forum rather than directly. It works great when it works, but if you have problems, which many seem to have encountered, you're left pretty much on your own to fix them. If you get one, get the aftermarket glass and aluminum vat to go with it, since the acrylic one it comes with doesn't last long at all. Even with the good vat, you have to learn to recoat it yourself, using liquid silicone rubber and an oven. Right now, my printer is awaiting a replacement of a servo motor, which failed after only a few printing cycles. I'm on my own to purchase and install the new motor, although I did get some help on the forum, including the new settings to go with it.

    I've also got a Form1 (now upgraded to the Form1+). This is another printer that uses photo-reactive resin instead of hot extruded plastic, but this one uses a laser to catalyze it instead of projected light. It produces smoother prints than any FDM-style machine and gets good detail but also has a rather small volume. 6" figurines would be somewhat difficult to fit in the build envelope, and would also be best printed in pieces. Supports don't need to be as massive as the ones used with FDM printers, and they're relatively easy to remove. I've had good luck with it, but also a lot of partial prints that failed midway because of some unknown cause. But the company does offer good support, and has replaced my machine twice - the second time I paid for an upgrade to the new Form1+, which is supposed to have a stronger laser. So far, it's working well for me, but I haven't made many prints on the new system. Here's a link for your collection: www.formlabs.com

    Andrew Werby
    www.computersculpture.com

  2. #22
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    it's a lot cheaper, is essentially a makerbot that's been upgraded.

    If you can afford an ultimaker, then yep get one. Fantastic machines. Thought they were only single nozzle though.
    Won't necessarily make better models and will cost the same as 4 ff/makerbot clones.

    Basically I was thinking - good machine, great price :-)

  3. #23
    Super Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dargonfly View Post
    Thank you for your reply. I have seen your models before on this board, good stuff, the Gremlin head made me relive a lot of nightmares ...
    Is that a Prusa that you use for these models? Which material do you print in? Do you have to do any finishing on your models before painting? You don't use any vapor-bathing, filling, or additional putty modeling I think, or do you?

    Are there any printers that you are aware of that produce higher quality prints then yours? Not saying that yours aren't good, but realistically there is always something better.
    I would not mind spending a lot more money for even the tiniest increase in quality. Every bit of quality that the printer adds saves me post-processing work.

    Or do you have any experience with the printers that I listed?
    Mine were printed on a Crapforge, which is basically a Duplicator 4.

    I won't beat around the bush, don't listen to Andrew. Go and buy one today and start having fun.

  4. #24
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    The thing is once you go past .1mm print resolution, you pretty much need a microscope to see the difference.

    Ulimakers claim reliable printing down to 0.05mm

    But you'd need to see the same thing printed at different resolutions on the same printer to try and tell the difference between .1 and .05
    did you say you were in holland, near ultimaker ? (Hmm, probably another thread)
    In that case pop in and ask to see some print examples. Pretty sure they'd show you :-)

    Holding an actual printed article in your hand is worth 3000 internet threads.

  5. #25
    Technologist Dargonfly's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    The thing is once you go past .1mm print resolution, you pretty much need a microscope to see the difference.

    Ulimakers claim reliable printing down to 0.05mm

    But you'd need to see the same thing printed at different resolutions on the same printer to try and tell the difference between .1 and .05
    did you say you were in holland, near ultimaker ? (Hmm, probably another thread)
    In that case pop in and ask to see some print examples. Pretty sure they'd show you :-)

    Holding an actual printed article in your hand is worth 3000 internet threads.
    Yes, I'm from the Netherlands; home of both the Ultimaker and Builder. So I can (and will!) go to both their 'printevents' to get a small presentation, example, and get any questions answered.
    I have seen a lot of the printers at ESEF/RapidPro 2014 but it's difficult to compare them because not all of them are side-by-side and a lot of models look/are cleaned up/treated.

    I couldn't really find much information about the Builder except a short article in Makezine so I wouldn't know which other printer it's comparable to. It seems pretty unique with its dual-extrusion through one extruder and the large build size (66[cm]) on the larger model. And the mono extruder version is pretty much the cheapest assembled printer I can find (due to shipment & tax.)

  6. #26
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    the builder dual feed system looks interesting - but cheapest assembled printer ?
    you're about 800 euros off ! lol
    flashforge - 647 euros. Built, tried and tested.
    my dutch is a bit rusty (used to be quite good - reading it anyway) - but you could certainly find one shipped from europe somewhere. Mine was shipped from the uk - so no p&p or tax :-)

    Like I said - buy one now, and play with it while youy're looking for something a lot more expensive and probably not much better :-)

    Have to look at that dual feed one nozzle system - would sure save time on calibrating with the dual nozzles.

    (2 minutes later) LMAO - they want 178 euros JUST for the brass nozzle. Screw that I'll just calibrate :-)

  7. #27
    Technologist Dargonfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    the builder dual feed system looks interesting - but cheapest assembled printer ?
    you're about 800 euros off ! lol
    flashforge - 647 euros. Built, tried and tested.
    my dutch is a bit rusty (used to be quite good - reading it anyway) - but you could certainly find one shipped from europe somewhere. Mine was shipped from the uk - so no p&p or tax :-)

    Like I said - buy one now, and play with it while youy're looking for something a lot more expensive and probably not much better :-)

    Have to look at that dual feed one nozzle system - would sure save time on calibrating with the dual nozzles.

    (2 minutes later) LMAO - they want 178 euros JUST for the brass nozzle. Screw that I'll just calibrate :-)
    Hmm, I like your train of thought:
    I personally only had looked at new printers, but a assembled and tested printer will probably have less trouble.
    But what about the durability of the parts? Aren't these worn out at some point? Can I replace them easily?
    Also; I cannot find which slicer this printer can use for slicing. Is it something like Cura or Slic3r? Does the software produce good results?

    This route is probably a good one though; because I was thinking about being able to print the highest of quality parts too; but I don't need every parts in ultra quality, and if I do need it, I can always go to 3Dhubs and get someone close to me to print it at a high quality. (there are a lot of Ultimaker 2 in my city, and even some SLA machines in adjacent cities.)

    Thank you for your good advice Curious aardvark!

  8. #28
    Technologist Dargonfly's Avatar
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    There's a package coming my way...
    Should be here within a week

  9. #29
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    Pretty much any printer (with the exceptions being pretty obvious) will print from any slicer.

    And congrats on the purchase.

  10. #30
    Technologist Dargonfly's Avatar
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    Talking

    So it's here! I got the Flashforge Creator Dual Extruder and I have been tinkering a bit with (got scared shitless every time it made a new noise!) and here are my first two prints:


    Since these images are large I'll just put the album here instead of linking them all:
    http://imgur.com/a/0k7UA

    This was after I printed some 'pasta' because my bed was too far away from the nozzle. Also, I'm using a PVP based glue stick to make it stick to the plate; seems to work just fine.

    These were both printed using Makerbot software (ReplicatorG kept saying my COM port was already in use...?) with the following settings (most were standard, I just adjusted the speed:
    - Material: MakerBot PLA (blue)
    - Rafts: Off
    - Supports: Off
    - Infill: 10%
    - Number of Shells: 2 for cube, 3 for Marvin
    - Layer Height: 0.10mm
    - Extruder temp: 230 Celcius
    - Build Plate temp: 110 Celcius
    - Speed while Extruding: 40mm/s
    - Speed while Traveling: 70mm/s

    Both pieces took 30 minutes to print; (and I have been watching with amazement the whole time!)
    I'm quite happy with this, but there is still a lot of room for improvement:
    - The first 1-2cm of print isn't there (no material), this gets 'fixed' by the next layer of material, but makes the bottom a bit more sloppy
    - The first few layers (approx. 2mm total) don't have a nice shell
    - The shell has something 'wavy' going on in the X and Y direction (though not that much)
    - The topside of the cube has 'dents' where there is no infill; I watched the process and I think by having just a larger top surface this can be fixed (or more infill off course)

    The Marvin did a bit worse:
    - First layer of left foot didn't print (no material); same problem as mentioned above
    - During printing I could see that the overhanging parts (front and more notably the back) would curl upwards(!) this would get pushed back by the nozzle every time, but this created the flat ass that Marvin has (not good!)
    - The ears are drooping; same as the top eyelid (which makes it look like he is squinting)
    - The parts where you attach it to the keychain also drooped a lot and is very low quality

    Top surface of Marvin is rather nice. So biggest problem is overhanging parts that droop / curl. Going to the Flashforge part of this forum to look for some advice on that.

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