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Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54372] Sat, 22 September 2012 04:38 UTC Go to next message
avatar polychemy  is currently offline polychemy
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Hi everyone, I am seriously considering purchasing the Makerbot 2.

But I was wondering if the quality of the prints was the same as Shape ways WSF?

Anyone knows if the printer is comparable to poly-amide plastic at shapeways?

I wonder if the quality is the same. The Makerbot prints at 100microns which is about 0.1mm.

Shapeways printers print at 0.12mm. But it is a powder based printer.

Is it comparable?

I understand the material is different, Makerbot uses PLA plastic, a bio-degradable plastic.

If the Makerbot 2 can output the same results as Shapeways WSF, then it will be a sure buy for me.
Any advice people?

Thanks!


Polychemy - 3D Printing & Design
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Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54373 is a reply to message #54372 ] Sat, 22 September 2012 04:41 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar polychemy  is currently offline polychemy
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Also anyone know if PLA burns out cleanly in investment casting?
Thanks.


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Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54419 is a reply to message #54373 ] Sun, 23 September 2012 12:11 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar polychemy  is currently offline polychemy
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Bump!

Really hoping for an answer to this!
Thanks!

Here's the makerbot by the way:
https://store.makerbot.com/replicator2.html


Polychemy - 3D Printing & Design
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Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54427 is a reply to message #54419 ] Sun, 23 September 2012 22:08 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Bathsheba  is currently offline Bathsheba
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It's not describable as 'the same'. Whether it's 'comparable' depends on what you're using it for. Strength and hardness are probably as good. To my eye the aesthetics aren't comparable. With these spool-fed machines you can always see the toolpath in the part: models are visibly made of spaghetti rather than a continuous material. If you look closely at their image of the rotary engine part -- the biggest version is in the brochure -- you can see this, especially in the green parts.

It's noticeable that all of the promotional material in their site has shots of only two parts, the tractor and the engine, and no close-ups. If this machine makes parts that are better than others of its class, they're not showing us the photos to prove that. I'd need to see high-resolution magnified views of the tops, bottoms and insides of curved and flat parts. Since those aren't here, I have to guess that this machine has the same reduced surface quality on the undersides as others of its kind.

There's nothing about how undercuts are handled. What about hollow parts? Again, since they don't say and don't show a useful set of sample parts, I have to assume it's limited in those areas.

Regards investment castability, I strongly advise not believing anything you hear. Get a sample part by hook or by crook and do the experiment! Only way to make sure you're not going to lose money on somebody's hopeful claim...IME if you push hard enough you can always find someone who will say what it takes to sell you a machine. This is information about what marketers will do when backed into a corner, not information about what the part will do when it's in the burnout kiln.

I hate to be a skeptic: I'm sure it meets the specs they claim and I hope it's very nice. I'm not immune from the wish to have one of these things! But if this is the one that would make it worth my while, these marketing materials don't show that.

[Updated on: Mon, 24 September 2012 17:50 UTC]


-Bathsheba
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Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54443 is a reply to message #54373 ] Mon, 24 September 2012 13:42 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar mkroeker  is currently offline mkroeker
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RE the PLA investment casting, this link http://3dtopo.com/lostPLA/
was just posted on the openscad mailing list. Apparently one has to blow out residual ashes at least
when using a rustic home-built furnace...
Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54520 is a reply to message #54443 ] Wed, 26 September 2012 19:19 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar woody64  is currently offline woody64
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I also have asked for a test part and detailed pictures

I got the reference to this:
http://www.makerbot.com/replicator2-press-assets

In the section below there are some high quality pictures:

But still no clear picture about the surface. There's also mentioned a very small step size, but no part seen so far,

In some of the pictures you see this spaghetti structure mentioned above. So very very difficult to judge.


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Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54523 is a reply to message #54520 ] Wed, 26 September 2012 23:31 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stannum  is currently offline stannum
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Check the orange lamp, you can see all the lines in the lamp shade near the edge, including some "bubbles", and also the steps in the base and the fill pattern in the arm. The 120-Cell item is also a good reference, and you can compare the size to the machine.

Of course, open the high resolution (>1MB) images, and make sure your browser is not scaling the images down (or download and use an image viewer). If that is the best resolution, that is useful for rough prototypes and mechanical parts, but not very nice for tiny helmets. The wheat colored facade shows distortion in what should be a flat wall, so the machine is not very capable of hitting the same spot twice, the goo flows.
Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54532 is a reply to message #54372 ] Thu, 27 September 2012 03:15 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar polychemy  is currently offline polychemy
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Thanks everyone for the replies. After looking at the high-res photographs, I am really put off by it.

Maybe they are printing at low quality? I don't know, but it looks terrible IMO.


Anyway in other news, the guys at MIT have started thier own company, FormLabs and have released thier own 3D printer.

Very high resolution resin based printer, and cheap too:
http://formlabs.com/

They are on kickstarter as well.


They also claim they will be releasing a Wax based material for investment casting. So i have my eye on this.
What do you think of their DLP printer?


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Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54534 is a reply to message #54532 ] Thu, 27 September 2012 03:32 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stannum  is currently offline stannum
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There is also the Miicraft if you are interested in resin bath based systems. And if you look in the past KS projects, you can find at least 2 other printers, which maybe are already avaliable for normal sale. It seems they are finally becoming reality, and so is "cheap" resin.
Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54557 is a reply to message #54532 ] Thu, 27 September 2012 16:30 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar woody64  is currently offline woody64
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It seems that the formlab results are much better.
The pricing seems to be a little bit higher, but still interesting


More then 8100 items sold over SW (but still a hobby)
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More then 270 shop items (more then 146 already printed once) More the 500 successful Products (Items&material printed once)
Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54562 is a reply to message #54372 ] Thu, 27 September 2012 19:01 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar 7777773  is currently offline 7777773
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PLA has been used for metal casting: http://3dtopo.com/lostPLA/
I haven't done this yet but it sounds like it works great and I plan to try it out.

While the new 0.1mm resolution or a Rep2 should be about equal to or perhaps better than WSF, the fused deposition modeling print method leaves more visible lines than powder printing will, even if the powder printer was actually printing at a lower resolution.

Print software should allow you to increase resolution. You're probably looking for something near .02mm layers which is far better than WSF.

See: http://www.makergear.com/blogs/frontpage/6591695-20-microns- i-am for an example of .02mm layers.
Any home printer can do this; it is a matter of setting the layer height and adjusting your settings to compensate.
I do recommend a metal cased printer over a wood one, as the metal is better with vibration and not as sensitive to humidity and temperature changes... all of which will really start to affect your prints at superthin layers over very long print times.

When setting up a very high resolution printing profile for yourself, I recommend gradually working your way down from default to tiny layers, so you can more easily tweak the other settings and maintain good quality.

Keep in mind smaller layers increase print times dramatically, and makerbots aren't known for fast printing at default settings. I haven't heard yet if Rep2 has had this addressed, but Acceleration features have been in beta firmwares for the first Replicator, so Rep2 might be faster.



I've never used a DLP resin printer but they do appear to be very high resolution machines by their nature. There have been plenty of kickstarter campaigns but no hobbyists have them yet so I can't speak to their actual functionality but I do intend to pick one up once they've been mainstreamed a bit.

[Updated on: Thu, 27 September 2012 19:12 UTC]

Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54606 is a reply to message #54562 ] Fri, 28 September 2012 15:22 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar natalia  is currently offline natalia
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Our WSF machines the resolution is 0.1mm so yes the Replicator has a comprable resolution, but unlike the SLS technique (selective laser sintering) it can't do undercuts, moving parts, or interlocking parts.

So depending on what kind of designs you are making the Replicator is great, for more complex or intricate parts SLS is more appropriate.

Like Bathsheba said, you can still see the path that the nozzle takes. The difference is that this is a $2000 machine, whereas the machines Shapeways uses are commercial grade, with hefty price tags of $1million or so, and the quality difference shows.

I think the Replicator is awesome and a great tool for making at home and quickly iterating a design in plastic. For finished products in a variety of materials, I use Shapeways (of course!)

I know there are designers who use both, it really does depend on what you want to do.

It's exciting to see the DIY technology get better and better!

[Updated on: Fri, 28 September 2012 15:24 UTC]


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Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54614 is a reply to message #54606 ] Fri, 28 September 2012 20:11 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar 7777773  is currently offline 7777773
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Actually, overhangs are easily handled on home printers by enabling "Support structure" which is typically just a check box or pulldown selection in the software.
Moving parts, or interlocking parts require either designing your model following similar rules to WSF to avoid parts binding together, or using a dissolving support structure... Unfortunately Makerbot has removed the second extruder option in the Replicator 2 for the moment, so water-soluble support is not an option there any more. I suspect they are looking into improving the click-and-go nature of water-soluble PVA, as PVA is currently a pain to work with... PVA has to be kept completely dry in storage for obvious reasons, and this has been as issue for many users. With the Replicator 2's move towards home printers becoming an Appliance-for-everyone rather than the geeky tinkerer's toy they have been so far, Makerbot seems to be taking the cautious approach here.
I look forward to more printers using dual extrusion for dissolving support, as it makes printing working clockwork gears in one job possible, and general support removal as easy as tossing the model in a bucket of water. Without dissolving support, removal of supports for overhangs is time consuming, and inside support removal becomes difficult or impossible. Here's a Youtube vid showing the removal of support in a working ball-bearing that was home-printed in one shot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8bewoJKAiI This is several minutes of hands-on cleanup versus drop-in-water dissolving of support, and while the person that shot the video makes it look very easy, more complicated models will take much more time.

[Updated on: Fri, 28 September 2012 20:19 UTC]

Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54619 is a reply to message #54614 ] Fri, 28 September 2012 20:59 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Bathsheba  is currently offline Bathsheba
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Yes, soluble support systems are one of the things these machines need to make them workable. IME this general class of support system is never quite as easy or effective as well as the powder-based processes (ZCorp, Ex One, SLS). Nonetheless, I could imagine owning a cheaptastic machine with that feature, but not without it.


-Bathsheba
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Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54620 is a reply to message #54619 ] Fri, 28 September 2012 21:05 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar 7777773  is currently offline 7777773
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Agreed.
Another great project to follow is the PWDR: http://pwdr.github.com/
Literally the same technology as Shapeways, for home use. Not quite ready for prime time but very cool.

I suspect within 5 years every one of us will have a home printer, but it's hard to guess which hardware architecture it will be. The technology is getting better and cheaper by the day. Exciting times!
Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54630 is a reply to message #54620 ] Sat, 29 September 2012 05:37 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Bathsheba  is currently offline Bathsheba
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I don't follow the news too closely because it's clearly too soon to invest. When people start sending me brutal, unforgiving close-ups of fresh raw parts with glossy bellies and breathtaking undercuts, then I'll start paying attention to individual brands.

I agree with 77*: five years from now I'll probably have one of these things, but I bet it won't use any of the processes that are cheap and popular today. This industry grows in quantum leaps, not incremental improvements.


-Bathsheba
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Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54634 is a reply to message #54630 ] Sat, 29 September 2012 11:11 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Jettuh  is currently offline Jettuh
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I'm sure that you will still have to keep using a service in the future like Shapeways, not sure if you want a printer with a bounding box of 60cm in your living room? Razz
Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54639 is a reply to message #54634 ] Sat, 29 September 2012 13:47 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar henryseg  is currently offline henryseg
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Some of us might...
Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54649 is a reply to message #54372 ] Sun, 30 September 2012 03:12 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Bathsheba  is currently offline Bathsheba
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I doubt I'd want a metal printer, but a plastic one would be a reasonable piece of studio equipment. I've never made a part bigger than 30cm which doesn't seem out of line.


-Bathsheba
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Re: Is Makerbot replicator 2 comparable to WSF quality? [message #54718 is a reply to message #54649 ] Tue, 02 October 2012 01:23 UTC Go to previous message
avatar polychemy  is currently offline polychemy
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every few months a new better printer comes out.
Honestly I know that whatever printer i buy now will go out of date the moment it's delivered too me.

So might as well invest in a printer that fits my need as one comes out.

Basicly i need a printer for prototyping. Before making large orders on shapeways I would like to prototype my designs.
Because it takes 15~ days to get one WSF print, I might as well do it at home. Cut's down my development time alot.
And when i need commercial quality prints, I'll go for shapeways.

I'm eyeing the formlab printer for now.
Which as reached 1million dollars in 8 days BTW! (10x the required funding)
Shows how much interest there is in home desktop printers.


Polychemy - 3D Printing & Design
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