Flash Forge Inventor Series

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  1. #1

    What got you into 3d printing and why do you like/love it?

    What were your experiences like when you first started? What got you into it? Do you use it for art or tools or other things? I really want one but the experience seems daunting.

  2. #2
    Staff Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Oakland, CA
    I wanted to use them for making art pieces, primarily. And I'm a DIY kinda guy, so it seemed like I'd have better control and save money by keeping it in-house. But getting them to work and keeping them working was a lot more work than I thought it would be. If what you really want is the end product, and not a new hobby tinkering with balky machinery, using a service bureau or someplace like 3DHubs makes a lot of sense. You pay a little more per part, but you don't have to pay for parts that aren't good, and you're not stuck with any particular machine - if you decide you want finer resolution, or a larger print, or full color, etc., you can just find someone with a machine that can do that particular job. Leave the headaches to someone else...

    Andrew Werby

  3. #3
    Would you say a lot of the community is diy centered? And do you sell any of the pieces you make? How much was your first 3d printer?
    Last edited by wambamkam; 04-17-2018 at 04:59 PM.

  4. #4
    Student Access3Dservices's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Stratford, Connecticut, USA
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    I'm the Operations Director at a nonprofit that provides free services to people with disabilities. In response to repeated cuts to our State funding my boss proposed we start a 3D printing, 3D scanning and 3D design service despite none of us having any experience with 3D printing, scanning or design. His son had run a small business 3D printing in college and acted as a consultant.

    I was against the idea from the start because I knew what was going to happen, and it did. I was forced to learn how to run a 3D printer and basically handled all aspects of that part of the business. However, what I did not expect was how much I would enjoy it or how successful it would be.

    Fortunately we got a small grant to help fund the purchase of equipment so we bought three Airwolf3D Axioms since they could print ABS and high temp filaments like Nylon and Polycarbonate. Fortunately the Axiom comes ready to print, so we had them up and printing the first day. There's definitely a steep learning curve and if we had bought kits requiring assembly we never would have gotten off the ground, but I picked things up quickly and we've been growing ever since. We now have the three Axioms, 2x Flashforge Dreamers, a Cultivate3D Beast and I'm about to start my first build, a Hypercube Evolution.

    The 3D printing community is certainly DIY-focused, if you don't like tinkering with things you will not enjoy working with a 3D printer. However, you don't have to be a mechanical or electrical engineer to learn to operate and troubleshoot a 3D printer - I'm not very mechanically inclined and have no electronics experience but that just makes the learning curve that much steeper. If 3D printing can keep your interest the required knowledge will come with time working with the machine, so be sure to get something that will continue to work and with a good support community, and best of luck on your adventure!

    -Joe, Operations Director, Access 3D Services

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Since I was a kid I've been a mad inventor. But always lacked patience with making stuff.
    It's why i got into wood turning rather than cabinet making.
    Clamp a bit of wood and spin it up to 1000 rpm and poke it with a sharp bit of metal.
    It's nerve wracking but you can make an actual finished item in a very short space of time.

    Makibox got me into 3d printing. In that it was the first machine under £300.
    I ordered one and started reading up on 3d printing and learning to use openscad.
    6 months later makibox folded with my machine and filament sitting in a shipping container in hong kong.

    Bought a flashforge creator and haven't looked back since :-)
    Won a klic-n-print in the big competition.
    Built a he3d k200 delta last year and am currently building - totally from scratch - a 'slightly' bigger delta with a build volume of 350mm x over a metre tall.

    The fact that I can envisage a thing, design it and hold it in my hand a couple hours after first thinking of it is just amazing.
    People might think that waiting 4 or 5 hours for a smallish object isn't that fast.
    But the point is that It happens independently of me. Once I've started the print off, I can go shopping, walk the dogs, do some work, go to bed etc.
    My time is mostly tied up in the designing process - which I'm pretty quick at these days :-)

    It is a process close to miraculous.
    Not quite a startrek replicator - but damn some of the machines out there are getting close.

    Great industry to be a part of :-)

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