AMA<So I bought a 3D printer...>

From Monoprice (the Mini Delta if you must know) and have thus far created two Neko cats from PLA. I have to say for the price this little sucker works pretty well! I’m already looking at several projects to mod the printer to allow me to explore other more durable plastics like nylon and petg. I’m also about to plunge into the world of Cura and Blender in order to start making some project items like speaker mount adapters and hooks for my wife’s car.

So, you have questions? I’ll do my best to answer them!

I have been curious about them for some time, but assuming I know nothing…

How could I go about printing a 1/2 scale version of this emblem? (Color does not matter)

Well, you first need a 3d model of it. If you know what font that letter is from, it’s pretty easy. If you have the emblem itself, take the emblem off and try to get a good scan of it. I suggest just using a 2d scanner.

Then, with a program like google sketchup, you would build a 3d model by using the 2d image as a template and basically just adding some even depth. I know it’s pretty easy to do this but haven’t done it myself.

Shrinking the scale is simplicity itself, whatever program you use will have that functionality.

Will you make me a fuse-box cover for my car? I’ll pay for materials and shipping.

Goddamn thief at the swap-meet wanted $60 for one! Little piece of plastic smaller than my dick!

And can I interest you in a business opportunity? :smiley:

I’ve just bought one too, so I’ll be following this thread with interest.
Mine came in kit form, and my ten year old daughter and I have just finished putting it together. It works, but the thread on the lead screws for the Z-axis is waaay coarser than the firmware thinks it is. As a result, the Z-axis moves about ten times too fast and too far, so I need to modify the firmware. That’s the next job, this weekend hopefully - it’s apparently dead easy, and sproglet will get to learn a new skill.
So far I’m really impressed with it, although obviusly I haven’t printed anything yet.

I’m sort of interested in a 3D printer, partially for printing my own gaming miniatures, but every story I hear from someone who owns one is pretty much about how janky they are and how the owner needs to make a new this or that and change this and modify that, etc. It comes across sounding like more of a project than it’s worth – to me, anyway; for others the project may be half the enjoyment. I’m still waiting on a plug and play solution that just works.

Just for you.

I also got a 3D printer a few months ago. I’d been sort of interested for a long time, but I thought they cost $1000 or something like that. When I saw that a highly reviewed one, the Ender 3, was only $239, I went for it right away. It comes assembly required with comically bad, IKEA-esque instructions. YouTube solves that problem though. I don’t know about it being janky, but it is certainly harder than printing to paper, and there was a bit of a learning curve. It really hasn’t been too bad though.

First, you have to make or find a model. Thingiverse has a bunch of free ones online. One day, I’ll learn how to use Blender – you know, maybe.

Second, you have to “slice” the model to prep it for your printer. This got me down initially, but now I’m pretty used to it. That’s what Cura (free) is for. You start from some default settings for your printer, and tweak stuff based on what you’re printing. For example, you might change how much fill will be printed in hollow spaces of your model, or you might add supports if your model has overhannging sections. (Cura highlights these in red for you.) There are hundreds of settings you could change, but the point is you don’t really have to touch most of them.

Third, you have to adjust the printer bed. It’s very important to level it so as the nozzle goes back and forth, it stays at the exact same height above the bed. It’s also important that the printer’s idea of ground level is right up against the bed’s plate. If it tries to print the first layer even half a millimeter above the plate, it’s not going to bind well, and the model could start sliding around. This is fiddly at first, but now I can level the bed in less than a minute, and I redo it every few prints.

That’s pretty much it. It’s painful sometimes, but not too painful. You have to sort of enjoy the process itself though, otherwise it’s not really worth it.

Thanks. I was afraid I’d need a 3D scanner.

Off to find google sketchup…

Some good questions!

Jasg, SamuelA covered the basics, you would need to learn to use a 3-D modelling program like Cura or Repetier-Host (Both came with my printer) or Blender. All of them are free to download and there are plenty of tutorials plus as mentioned above Thingiverse has plenty of models to try out. It really isn’t as intimidating as it sounds, especially if you buy one pre-assembled. Support will vary depending on the manufacturer so that can be worth looking into.

Gato, I’d be happy to (for the plastic bits at least… :smiley: ) but it might be a bit as PLA is crappy generally for car parts exposed to heat, or weather. Once I can print nylon or PETG that’s a different animal as they are more solvent and heat resistant. If the cover is inside the car, it will hold up better. I would need dimensions or a 3d model to work from.

Jophiel, most entry level printers won’t have the resolution to really do 25 mm figures justice but there are printheads coming out that would make it worthwhile, check thisarticle from all3dp out.

Dave B, I considered a kit but went with one fully assembled because it was the right combination of price and features. My next printer will likely be a kit, either a V3 Prusa or a bigger delta like this one from SeeMeCNC.

Yeah, I figure it ain’t there on the cheaper end yet and getting an expensive printer defeats the purpose. The stories of how everyone’s printer needed extra tweaks and mods reinforces that it’s not ready for the basic consumer market yet. But more power to the pioneers who’ll get us there.

What’s a “neko cat” other than saying “cat” in two languages? Do you mean this?

I got a Geeetech Prusa I3 B Pro for £150 ($190) on Amazon. I really wanted a kit so that my daughter could help me put it together and learn from it. As it came from China I was expecting the instructions to be terrible, but I was surprised how good they were. Each step in the PDF file had a link to a Youtube video showing you how to do that step, and the instructions were clear and well translated. Also, all of the fasteners were bagged up in numbered bags, and every single part was numbered.
My only complaint was that one of the smaller acrylic frame pieces was snapped in two. I superglued it back together and it appears to be fine for now, but it took me an embarrassingly long time to realise that I’ll be able to print a replacement! All of the parts are available to download.
I get the fact that it’s not for most people just yet, but I enjoy fiddling with stuff, taking things apart etc, so it’s a decent project.
I’ve been 3D modelling in AutoCAD for over 20 years, so it’s amazing to finally be able to print some things out.
Or it will be once I sort this Z-axis out.

I am going to live vicariously through the OP; I’ve wanted one for a couple of years. Every time I see a new inexpensive model I read the reviews, and then realize…for just a hundred dollars more…I could have an extra feature - well, I go from $230 to $800-1000 on that path pretty quickly.

And really I don’t have a solid use-case, so even though I could afford it, I can’t quite get over the question of just what would I use it for?

For giggles, I downloaded a model for some small (1 inch diameter) “traps” for use in Gloomhaven; I was able to find an online service that printed 8 of them in a color of my choice and, delivered, under $10 and a week. It’s not “fun”, but it is hard to argue against that economy.

That’s it. Time lapse vid**here**. Not mine.

Raza, Great username BTW are you a Dark Matter fan? My impetus was snapping the cargo hooks on my wife’s new Ford Edge due to momentary inattention and a crappy design. Replacements were $170 CAD. The printer was $200 and I can make mods that will allow me to make net hooks in such a way that they are sufficiently recessed to prevent it happening again. There have also been other things I wanted to do where the mounts were either unavailable or hideously expensive. For example, mounting Rigid Industries LED driving lights into the fog light mount holes in my Subaru. This is literal case of square peg and round hole but I can design and fabricate an adapter that will allow me to do it without looking bodged together. Plus, I could potentially set up an account on Shapeways and make some money back on my investment by selling to others with the same goal…
As far as getting spendy I figured $200 was money I could afford to lose. If it isn’t as useful or fun as I had hoped I can sell it and make a chunk of my money back or sell it and upgrade to a more professional machine as I alluded earlier. That is the more likely scenario based on what I’ve done so far. Cura looks fairly easy to use and I am starting to learn Blender for video editing at work so it all dovetails nicely.

Dave B, my initial goal was to get the FLSun kossel on Amazon for pretty much the same reason. You learn a lot by building it up yourself. One day, I’d love to do a Factory 5 kit car for the same reason. I need more garage for that though. :smiley:

It’s under the hood, on the top of the fender. Pretty well away from the normal mung. I’ve been looking for plans for this thing for a while. I’ll let you know if I ever find something someone could work with.

Here is the block:

And here is just about the only picture I can find of the actual cover :eek: :

Look at that price!

Just found this, still too expensive: I’ll bet I can make one out of an old .22lr box. :wink:

Maker’s Muse on Youtube is a pretty good resource for all things 3D printing related

I’ve thought about getting one but after thinking hard about it, I couldn’t find any practical use for it.

GP, PM me the dimensions, LWH, inside and out if you can get them (Even if you measure off the fuse panel it’ll work) and I’ll try to make one out of ABS. I have some white filament I want to try. Also would you like a miniature catfish or a spinner logo printed on it? :smiley: Also, we’ll sort out shipping when it’s done.