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You build your designs in CAD, save as .stl, slice and print. It's really easy. There are plenty of free CAD suites available.
My poorly articulated point is not everybody can do that.
Don't forget on GTT most members are of superior mechanical intellect...
I usually don't need a full blown model to give my cnc guys tool path. I can assign tools to two dimension geometry that can be drawn in moments.
The couple times I had to create solids to suggest to customers' engineers when trying to illustrate design changes to reduce production costs. Gave me a massive headache...
I have no training and have only done it a couple times though, may be too old to learn new tricks anyway.
 
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Never fails, just about every day, I come across something that makes me think, if I had a 3D printer, I could fix/make/modify that...

So in my quest to buy everything before I retire in a few years, now in a search for a 3D Printer. Want to keep it round $1K. And something that works out of the box without days/weeks of fiddling with it. I got other things to fiddle. :) People have done some nice mods to Ender's but way to much fiddle factor for me. I'll throw $$ at it. lol.

PETG/carbon fiber capable, dual extruders would be nice. Enclosed for ABS/ASA would be nice too.

Here's a, for example. I have a PM30-MV milling machine. It's very nice and will eventually get CNC sometime. But cranking on that Z-axis is killing me. Up, down, up, down. All the time. Same with the x-axis. I could spend about $700 for a power lift and power x-axis but will end up removing them when going full CNC. Ran across a nice power x-axis using the same NEMA 34 closed loop stepper that I'd use for CNC'ing. 3D Printed in PETG/Carbon fiber. Perfect.

I've priced just the mount with various on-line 3D printing services and just that part runs $150-250, quantity one. See where I'm going. Seems a no brainer to me.

But which one, I've spent hours on google/youtube and around and around I go, trying to decide.

Thoughts ?

My wife and I are both engineers, and have been playing 3d printers for about 8 years now. Some professional units at work, then at home versions as well at the house. Of all the printers we have used/had the best one, that we still use the most is our flash forge/microcenter clone really of the flash forge. The reason I put the / in there is it originally started as a "power spec pro" which is a duel nozzle 7 inch by 5 inch 5 inch build area roughly, but with the dual nozzle capable of printing with plastic on one and dissolvable support on the other. Over the years as parts wore out we replaced them with the brand name flash forge creator parts since they are interchangeable. So it has more flash forge parts than the original power spec ones. overall it has been easy to set up, easy to use, prints pretty much all we ever asked it to, and we have been running it for 7 years now! Of course various wear parts have been replaced, like nozzles and a few thermocouples, but it has been one heck of a machine. In fact we just bought the newer version of it to add to our stock, since we seem to have 3 - 4 prints in the que these days waiting for an open printer to make them. I think that was a creator pro 2 (flashforge).
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Damn you James (Clough42). He just did a review of the QIDI Technology i-Fast 3D Printer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpXPXlKCEWU and is very impressed. He's hard to please. Love his quote "If you want to print shelf decorations out of PLA, you don't need a printer in this category". LOL. That's me.

Large bed with magnetic print sheets on a reasonable heated Al plate, two sets of direct drive dual extruders (normal and high temp), dual z-axis AND a heated enclosure. About double my price point but it's got everything I'm interested in. Time to recheck the shop slush funds...
 

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4052R HOOS, 440R MSL, 485A
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Very nice. They are lots of fun. We have various sizes, makes, and models at work, and we are encouraged to play on them for free so we can work them into our daily processes. I've used them to make lots of repairs to kids toys using them with 3d laser scanners. The best part is the kids think the fixes make the toys look waaaaay cool.
 

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I'm sure a lot of things have changed and advanced since I retired from the tool and die shop... And I have not kept up on anything..

I would like to find a CAD program that would create line by line cutting moves I could cut and paste with a tool start and tool end routine for a machine tool... For instance to use on a Hawse or Okuma mill, Mazak or Daewo turning centers...

There have been some small projects I have kept in mind for a number of years but have never had a chance to get some spindle time...

What ........FREE..... CAD programs are available for rusty skills that would do this ??
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Made these.

Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design Red Gas


Switch box is for z-axis control on a milling machine.

These came in

Diagonal pliers Hand tool Pliers Tool Snips



Two PLA+, two ABS (one coming Monday), a Carbon fiber/Nylon, and Carbo Filer/PETG (also due Monday). Play time...
 
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