Author Topic: Thinking of Leaping into 3D Printing  (Read 339 times)

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newt749

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Thinking of Leaping into 3D Printing
« on: July 06, 2019, 05:09:27 PM »
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Hi,

I'm considering leaping into the realm of 3D printing. Right now I can't afford to purchase an Anycubic resin printer as they are much pricier up here in Canada. I can get a Creality Ender 3 Pro for a reasonable price though and would like to get some opinions on it. Now I realize that a filament printer can't do as good a job with fine detail in N-scale as a resin printer can but, I'm mainly interested in printing some larger items. I was thinking of servo mounting plates, some bridge components and perhaps the sides of some buildings. I'd also like to consider some other projects that are on Thingverse but I'd have to have some experience under my belt before I tackle them.

So what do say, is this a good starting point or not? What should I know about the Ender 3 Pro before I commit? Any opinions on filaments, such as PLA, to start with.

Thanks in advance

Rob
Hampton, New Brunswick, Canada

AlwaysSolutions

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Re: Thinking of Leaping into 3D Printing
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2019, 06:10:55 PM »
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I don't have an Ender 3, but I believe my 2014 FDM printer is not as good as the Ender 3 so take this post with that in mind.  For reference my FDM is a PrintrBot Simple Metal - a good little printer by 2014 standards.  So what can you do with FDM?  Servo mounting plates - absolutely.  I've done several practical prints for things around the house on my FDM, mounting plates would be easy peasy.  Bridges and buildings - yes!  I'm attaching a couple of examples of what I've done.  Mind you I've used blended media to enhance the mediocre output of the printer, but at least you can see what you can do...

This is two bedroom house modeled after a prototype in Louisiana.  A lot of thought went in to making this work.  For example the patio and carport supports - on my old printer I would not want to print them vertically, so those were printed horizontally.  The roof (all of them) were printed on end in one piece.  The external walls of the house were printed as if the house were just sitting regular on the print bed - the internal walls were printed upside down so that I didn't have to deal with "bridging" over the doorways.  The window frames and doors were printed individually and so on.  To mask the fact that this was 3d printed, I "paper printed" textures for the roof tiles and siding then glued the paper to the structure.  Oh, and the floor was the same - hardwood floor printed on paper then glued to the 3d printed floor.
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This is some test fitting of a WPA overpass I'm constructing based on a prototype in my grandmother's home town.  Deck and girders were printed upside down in one piece, the railings took a LOT of messing around to get the look I wanted but eventually I found the magic formula.  The support structures and couplings to chain several components together were all FDM printed.  The roadway was...printed on paper and glued.  I personally love how that turned out.  Since I do own a Photon I am going to do the railings on the Photon - it's just easier and less cleanup effort and better detail.
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For filaments - PLA all the way.  It's easy to work with, perfect for the Ender 3, cheap, comes in a huge variety of colors, and unless you're planning on putting these things outside PLA is fine for indoor use.  For Ender 3 specific questions I'd check out the YouTube channel "CHEP" - he talks about the Ender 3 vs Ender 3 Pro, upgrades, tips for slicer settings and works with Ender 3s almost exclusively.  I enjoy his channel even though I don't own an Ender 3 - I've been thinking about getting one but I think I'm going to go Prusa Mk3 to spoil myself.  My old FDM requires too much tinkering to get good prints so I'm ready for the Cadillac of FDMs.

Cheers -Mike
« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 08:45:34 PM by AlwaysSolutions »

rodsup9000

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Re: Thinking of Leaping into 3D Printing
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2019, 06:34:47 PM »
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   I've been building and messing around with FDM printers for about 10 years now and they have come along ways in that time. A lot of it is in the software, so the one your looking at should be OK. BTW, I'm still using the early version of marlin on all of mine.

As Mike (@AlwaysSolutions) said, servo mounts and stuff like that is great for a FDM printer. Finer details, not so much. If you look through my build thread, you'll see where I used the FDM printer for different things on my rr. Here is some bridge tie strips I printed and they work and look great on the trestles.




















Rodney

My Feather River Canyon in N-scale
http://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=31585.0

newt749

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Re: Thinking of Leaping into 3D Printing
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2019, 07:32:41 PM »
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Thank-you gentlemen. That is exactly the kind of information that I was hoping for. The bridge parts are great! I was hoping to put together a rolling bridge similar to the HO Walthers one and now I think it is quite possible. The tip of doing internal walls upside down to eliminate print issues around the doorways is brilliant. I hadn’t thought about that but it makes perfect sense. I was thinking that I could print the sides of a building and then assemble it along the lines of DPM buildings.

Rob