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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
For that brand you picked, make sure there are forums where people talk about them and have tips in case you have issues. Make sure there is support from the manufacture, etc. A lot of 3D printers are open source, so someone can take a design, copy it and resell it. If they go cheap or improve things is up to them. There are a lot of printers that look the same and use the same basic construction, so look more into the parts and support side of them, don't just trust Amazon reviews.

There is no need to go crazy in the garage for the printer (unless you're just into that). If it's room temperature in there you'll be fine. If you are printing with ABS the keep is keeping the print hot and letting it cool slowly after it's done printing. ABS shrinks more than PLA (it's not considerable, but enough to warp a print or have it release from the bed). Your printer is enclosed and that's all you need. you can even cover a non-enclosed printer with a cardboard box or foam board to keep the heat in.

Your main issue is going to be keeping the dust out of the printer. You want to keep the bearings and belts clean, dust off of the filament which could cause a clog in the nozzle, and dust off the print bed so things will stick. Even in the house I cover my printers with an old sheet when not in use.

Filament takes a lot of work to sand to a smooth finish. You can't use power tools because it could cause too much heat and melt the plastic again. Best bet is to sand it by hand to knock off the high spots and use a lot of sandable filler primer spray paint, sanding between coats until it's smooth. Use body filler if needed.

You'll be surprised on how versatile the standard .4mm nozzle is. Going up to .8 or 1mm will generate parts faster and will work for speaker rings, but if it's something you're going to finish, the .4 nozzle will get you a cleaner start.
Yes, I saw many reviews raving about how great their customer support was, even months-years down the road. I'll look for specific forums as well. Issue is the garage has a south-facing asphalt shingle roof, and before I put in the vent fan would see temps of 110-120-130F for 3 months of the year. On top of that, I run space heaters 4-5 months of the year to keep the space above freezing for paint & aerosol storage, but it feels wasteful with no insulation. Now with the fan I can mostly keep it below 100, but with oppressive humidity on top of that, it still makes it hard to use the space as a productive workshop. So this shadetree mechanic is ready to be a conditioned-garage mechanic - it should make all of my projects more enjoyable. I'll definitely keep the dust factor in mind and keep the machine under some kind of cover when not in use, since the garage doubles (triples?) as a carpentry workshop on top of automotive projects and general parking use when not otherwise occupied.

I have big renovation plans within the coming months and expanding/conditioning the garage for the above reasons was already high on the list.

Edited to add: I saw that this unit also can run a .2mm nozzle - is that total overkill? Seems like a good choice for finished parts as well.
 

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Edited to add: I saw that this unit also can run a .2mm nozzle - is that total overkill? Seems like a good choice for finished parts as well.
Most printers can run a .2mm nozzle if you have them dialed in, you would only use that if you're into table top games and want to print figures. You use smaller nozzles if you are printing narrower or detailed objects. It would take forever printing anything big. Not only would you want to print .12, .1 or .08mm layer heights with a .2 nozzle, it also means the print lines will be .2mm wide. So it would take a lot more perimeter lines to make something of any type of strength.

There is no reason you can't print down to .08 layer with a .4mm nozzel either.

The visible lines in a 3D print are caused by the "squish" that happens when the layer is printed on top of the other, and those will be spaced based on your layer heights. Most prints will be .2mm heights, you can do up to .3 with a .4mm nozzle for most larger objects. They will be stronger and faster.

You also see layer lines of a surface is flatter or curved, you will see the steps as the layers build up. You can mitigate those by changing the layer heights as the print flattens out or curves. You'll be able to see those in the slicing software. Some software even has adaptive layers, when it will adjust them as needed to help reduce the stepping.

But again, the hours it would add to the print to reduce the layer lines might not be worth it if you are planning on finishing the print anyway. However, if your time is valuable, let the printer run a a few days, it'll be fine.

Oh, there are also basically an epoxy they market towards 3D prints, you mix it up and pour it on the print and it will self level and smooth out/fill in the layer lines as it cures. So that's another finishing process you can look into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Most printers can run a .2mm nozzle if you have them dialed in, you would only use that if you're into table top games and want to print figures. You use smaller nozzles if you are printing narrower or detailed objects. It would take forever printing anything big. Not only would you want to print .12, .1 or .08mm layer heights with a .2 nozzle, it also means the print lines will be .2mm wide. So it would take a lot more perimeter lines to make something of any type of strength.

There is no reason you can't print down to .08 layer with a .4mm nozzel either.

The visible lines in a 3D print are caused by the "squish" that happens when the layer is printed on top of the other, and those will be spaced based on your layer heights. Most prints will be .2mm heights, you can do up to .3 with a .4mm nozzle for most larger objects. They will be stronger and faster.

You also see layer lines of a surface is flatter or curved, you will see the steps as the layers build up. You can mitigate those by changing the layer heights as the print flattens out or curves. You'll be able to see those in the slicing software. Some software even has adaptive layers, when it will adjust them as needed to help reduce the stepping.

But again, the hours it would add to the print to reduce the layer lines might not be worth it if you are planning on finishing the print anyway. However, if your time is valuable, let the printer run a a few days, it'll be fine.

Oh, there are also basically an epoxy they market towards 3D prints, you mix it up and pour it on the print and it will self level and smooth out/fill in the layer lines as it cures. So that's another finishing process you can look into.
I like the idea of an epoxy coat before finishing, reminds me of what I've sometimes done when resurfacing cracked wood trim. Granted, the cracks still often transfer through the new surface, but the added thickness makes it manageable to conceal them.
 

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I haven't personally tried resin coating a print, but just from my general knowledge of plastics - there's two ways to get it to stick: mechanically and chemically. For chemical bonding, high surface energy plastics will bond to the resin better than low surface energy plastics. One aim of adhesion promoters (such as is used for high-strength epoxy bonding compounds, like the kind used on car body panels instead of or in addition to spot welds, or for paint) is to increase the surface energy so that the polymer resin chemically bonds to the surface.

Mechanical bonding works best with a rough surface; so going over the part with a fine grade of sandpaper (perhaps 400 grit) helps; as does the inherent contours of the part that result from it being made of a collection of layers and not injection-molded.
 

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I've coated and/or filled a few prints with epoxy. If your epoxy/resin sticks, one concern is that your resin could be more brittle than the printed part, so if it flexes the resin could crack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Decided to try the phone approach first:



Here are a couple random objects I decided to scan. These were early attempts, hand held, and probably not enough passes for accuracy. I think I can make this work. With more passes I ought to be able to get a complete scan. Next will be seeing how to play with files created in this app on my MacBook Pro. For another night.

App is Scaniverse. I also tried 3D Scanner App and it was weak sauce in comparison. The trick with Scaniverse is to turn off "simplify mesh" if you are scanning small parts.






Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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