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  1. #1

    Newbie question.

    Hi Guys,

    I have just dipped my toe into the world of 3D printing. I have ordered an Anycubic i3 mega as my very first printer and I can't wait until it arrives tomorrow.

    I have absolutely no experience with 3D printing or with any associated software, so this promises to be a steep learning curve!

    I have seen many of the wonderful designs on thingiverse and will be trying some of those in time, however what I wanted to do was to get my head around the 3D software and find something suitable for my needs.

    I would like to be able to 3D print text, using a wide variety of different fonts. I have tried Tinkercad, however this only seems to offer 3-4 different, basic fonts.

    As well as being able to use different fonts, I would also like to be able to manipulate the text, for example being able to arc it (so that it looks like a loose inverted U shape, if that makes sense!) or warp it, or basically just change it to my satisfaction. I plan on making simple things like name plaques and name tags for my grandkids and don't want regular straight-line text.

    Can anyone recommend some FREE simple to use, beginners software, that could fulfil my requirements?

    P.S - I use a MAC, so it would need to be compatible with OSX.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Engineer-in-Training Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    I would also like more information on this subject a well, Have tried to print a resume on a thin sheet of white filament with black lettering.

    Though I have not yet succeeded as of this date. I can not find a way to print such small lettering.

  3. #3
    It is a FFF machine.. Fused Filament Fabrication.. Printing is not really what it does..

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    it's doable.
    Openscad lets you use any font installed on your computer.
    It doesn't easily do anything fancy.

    For that most of the other cad programs will probably work.
    Or you can use your normal dtp/design package. save the text file as a dxf and import it into your cad software.
    Most slicers will also let you import jpg files and extrude them into 3d files.

    As far as printing fine lettering. You have to make sure your slicer is set up to print single walls with No minimum length.
    If you want really fine text - use a finer nozzle.

  5. #5
    Engineer-in-Training Roberts_Clif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post

    As far as printing fine lettering. You have to make sure your slicer is set up to print single walls with No minimum length.
    If you want really fine text - use a finer nozzle.
    I will give Fusion 360 Online a try, As when I tried to setup before did know have Fusion 360 yet.

    "print single walls with No minimum length" and a "smaller nozzle"

    I have always believed that a smaller nozzle might work better, though the the small details may just be too fine for 3D Printing with filament.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Thanks for the replies so far guys. In order to explain a little better what I am trying to achieve, I have found the following on Thingiverse
    Screenshot 2018-10-14 at 15.28.53.jpg

    I would like to be able to create something like this, however I want to customise it with my own text and also with different fonts, if possible.

    What software would someone use to create something like the above image and how it that then turned into a file for printing in 3D on my i3 Mega?

    Thanks again for any input.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    I'd use openscad - which only produces fuly printable stl files.

    I could either
    just use a script directly. Or I could produce it as a dxf file from a paint program, import it into openscad and extrude it.
    Or I could produce it as a jpg file, load it into flashprint and extrude it into a 3d .stl file.

    And that's just three ways I could do it.

    I have always believed that a smaller nozzle might work better, though the the small details may just be too fine for 3D Printing with filament.
    Get the filament and the settings right and you can print from a 0.15mm nozzle. Now that's seriously fine detail.
    The thing to remember with smaller nozzles is that the back pressure will be greater, so you need to print both hotter and slower.

    It's one reason i want a monoprice mini delta. I've already got a 0.215mm nozzle ready for it :-)

    I make text stamps for clay. And getting simplify3d settings right to not leave bits out was a real sod. It eventually came down to single wall and no minimum length for them.
    But that is on a machine with a 0.5mm nozzle.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 10-15-2018 at 06:36 AM.

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