Buying my own printer

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LesleyRobinson, May 2, 2013.

  1. LesleyRobinson
    LesleyRobinson New Member
    I have about $3000. (CDN) that I can use to buy a 3d printer. I'm considering the Replicator 2 or the Cube. But I worry that these printers won't be suitable for printing the type of thing I am interested in, which is mathematical surfaces and curves in space. I have successfully created files and had them printed by Shapeways. No doubt Shapeways uses much more costly printers. I worry that the Replicator or the Cube won't be able to print my files because of "overhang" or something, but I can't find any definite info about this. I have attached a picture of some of my models (which are painted).

    Attached Files:

  2. LesleyRobinson
    LesleyRobinson New Member
    I should mention that I can modify my models so that they stand on a base (rather than just having the z axis pointing down at the bottom of them).
  3. Mhagan
    Mhagan New Member
    your models might be printable on a RepRap derivative home printer. Your models look like they will really push the limits of current desktop 3D printers. My experience with them has been the support material works fine but the surface quality of the part where it touches support is not as good.
  4. LesleyRobinson
    LesleyRobinson New Member
    Could the problem with the surface were the supports touch be helped by sanding? And how do you know where supports are needed?
  5. Mhagan
    Mhagan New Member
    Supports are usually generated by the software. This is usually accomplished by; you the user, specifying an unsupported angle or distance over which support material is needed. Most slicing software supports this and has satisfactory default settings. Sanding the surface will help but you will have to sand the entire model or use some other finishing technique to get a uniform surface. I have a desktop 3d printer at home and I use it for fast form and size checks before I optimize the design for Shapeways' printers.

    Most desktop printers are still pretty basic, this may change in the future but for now at least, they can't produce the complex geometries and quality of the more expensive industrial machines. They can still make some really cool stuff, but your designs are more limited by the build process.
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  6. PeregrineStudios
    PeregrineStudios Well-Known Member
    Myself, I'm looking at the Form 1. Hoping to get my order in while preorders are still open so I get the discount. $300 more than you said you have available, but god that thing looks like a dream. $3,300 for stereolithography printing? Count me in.

  7. woody64
    woody64 Well-Known Member
    Yeah. would also look for a form1 / formlab for prototyping ...
  8. LesleyRobinson
    LesleyRobinson New Member
    I wonder when the Form 1 will be ready to ship. Maybe I should wait. It would cost $3,621.11 to pre-order a Form 1 (not using Kickstarter, and including shipping to Canada). I have that much in my professional development account. However I worry about it being such a new product. They haven't yet started shipping even to the people who paid on Kickstarter.

    I read that Form 1 is being sued by 3D Systems. ee-d-desktop-printer-in-full-production.html

    But they sound optimistic on their blog:
    However they seem to keep putting the dates back.

    I don't know if my employer would let me spend my PD money on something so tentative.
    I'm thinking maybe of getting the Cube printer which I can get for $1,468.01 (CDN) now, and then maybe get the Form 1 next year, when they are more established. (My PD fund gets about $1550 added to it every year up to a cap , which is 3 or 4 years worth)
    Last edited: May 14, 2013