Author Topic: Where do I start ?  (Read 842 times)

donwatson

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Where do I start ?
« on: March 27, 2018, 02:27:08 AM »
Hi All,
Total newbie here. I was intrigued by a note I received from Amazon recently offering a 3d laser printer very cheaply. (3D Printers Prusa i3 Auto Leveling Desktop 3D Printer DIY Kit Self-assembly Acrylic Frame LCD Screen Display + MK8 Extruder Nozzle + MAK3 Heatbed + 8GB SD Card, Printing Size 220*220*240 mm
by MSQIN
I was wondering 'what do I need to make this work'
Will I need software to input what I need ?? Is there any manuals/tutorials on using a 3d printer ?? I am totally lost here can anyone help

take care
Don W
EDIT I would like the software programs to work in Linux. Does this pose a problem ??
« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 04:19:47 AM by donwatson »

Administrator

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Re: Where do I start ?
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2018, 09:13:58 AM »
>3d laser printer

Correction: 3d printer

Generally, you should not have to change the firmware in your controller board like we do with laser machines. All you need to do is find what 3D CAD program you like to use and which Slicing software you like to use.

Check out https://3dprinting.com/software

Under 3D Modeling Software: SketchUP has a free version. I use it and like how simple it is. You finish your 3D drawing and then do an export to a *.dao file. Then, using MeshLab software (free) you check your model for 'leaks', fix if needed using MeshLab and then do an export to an *.stl file which is the final file type that Repetier Host (below) uses.

Under Slicers & 3D Printer Hosts: I recommend Repetier Host (free).

This is the work flow that I used when I was 3D Printing, but there are a lot of other ways to get to the end game which is to get to an *.stl file to load into your 3D Printer software (which ever one you decide to use).

>EDIT I would like the software programs to work in Linux. Does this pose a problem ??

I'm not sure as I'm a Windows 10 geek.

Post here with more questions and you'll get the help you need.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 09:15:26 AM by Administrator »
Admin -- Ralph -- support @ BenCutLaser dot us
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qv1qee2vb65785t/SetupBenCutLaser3.2a.zip?dl=0
BCL Paid license: $49.95
via Paypal to bclpp@primemail.com

donwatson

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Re: Where do I start ?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2018, 08:42:37 AM »
Thanks for that Ralph.
I will check out your suggestions immediately.

Don W

donwatson

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Re: Where do I start ?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2018, 02:48:31 AM »
I have had a look around and absorbed quite a bit of information. It looks like I really need to get my hands dirty. I have spied a 3d printer printer on Amazon,   
Geeetech Acrylic Prusa I3 Pro B Unassembled 3D printer DIY...
GEEETECH
 
RRP: 310.00
Price: 169.00
You Save: 141.00(45%)
Dispatched from and sold by GIANTARM-EU.
At less than 170 it is cheap and should give me some good experience. Has anyone any experiences with this make/model ??

ggallant571

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Re: Where do I start ?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2018, 05:57:50 AM »
I approach 3D design from a C programming background and find openscad works great for me. Design with the "C" like language and export to STL. Use Cura for printing because that was what came with the printer.
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donwatson

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Re: Where do I start ?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2018, 12:14:59 PM »
Thanks for that ggalliant571. I have installed openscad and will go and see if it works for me. I have had some experience with Blender so I can fall back on that.
EDIT I have had a look and it is too much for me. I will stick with Blender I think.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 12:31:16 PM by donwatson »

ThothLoki

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Re: Where do I start ?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2018, 01:07:46 PM »
I have had a look around and absorbed quite a bit of information. It looks like I really need to get my hands dirty. I have spied a 3d printer printer on Amazon,   
Geeetech Acrylic Prusa I3 Pro B Unassembled 3D printer DIY...
GEEETECH
 
RRP: 310.00
Price: 169.00
You Save: 141.00(45%)
Dispatched from and sold by GIANTARM-EU.
At less than 170 it is cheap and should give me some good experience. Has anyone any experiences with this make/model ??

I believe Admin has one similar but from FolgerTech

if you are looking for easy, take a look at the MonoPrice Maker Select or the Anycubic i3
Laser: A5 2000mw with L7 Board / A3 2500mw PWM with Mana SE -- All using T2Laser
3D Printer: Monoprice Maker Select v2.1
Image Resizer Applications (All OS): http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,1434.msg17297.html#msg17297

ggallant571

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Re: Where do I start ?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2018, 02:38:12 PM »
openscad is 1/10th the complexity of blender. It is most useful for building models when working with know values. Everything is built with a small set of primitives (approx 5) and operators (another 5). My first project was a 3D model of a small robot with motors, circuit board, legs, body etc. Nice feature was exporting to stl for 3d printing or svg for laser cutting.

I took a course in blender and wonder how many years it would take me to feel comfortable using it. Openscad took 8 hours.
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ianchia

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Re: Where do I start ?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2018, 03:01:07 PM »
I approach 3D design from a C programming background and find openscad works great for me... openscad is 1/10th the complexity of blender. It is most useful for building models when working with know values. Everything is built with a small set of primitives (approx 5) and operators (another 5).... Nice feature was exporting to stl for 3d printing or svg for laser cutting.

I just took a look at http://www.openscad.org and it looks fascinating. I'm a software developer and artist and am fascinated with generative art (think Joshua Davis aka praystation). Openscad gives me a great way to transition code based generative art into laser engraved/cut and 3D printed forms. Thanks for sharing @ggallant571! Much appreciated. 🙏 🙏🏽 🙏🏾 🙏🏿

- Ian

donwatson

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Re: Where do I start ?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2018, 06:28:31 AM »
@ThothLoki, It would seem these machines are pretty similar in construction but vary in the materials used in their construction. It's no great loss to invest less than 170 yet still have the potential to turn the machine into something pretty useful.

@ggallant571, I had a look at openscad and it is a very good program. I don't want to start learning another way of doing things that leaves my mind even more confused than what it is. I have used Blender for some time now and I am happy with it.
My initial fears with 3d printing was the number of programmes that were quoted that you need to get a print.
If I have it correct now, you only need a programme to design the part (Blender), and a programme to slice it up and produce the code for the printer (Slic3r), and the built in programme on the printer to actually print the part, I believe the printer programme is pre-installed in the printer. ??? Or have I got it wrong again ?? At 80 years old I am I am beginning to realise that I have forgotten more than I have learned ?? :D :D
Some drawings for parts and some designed pieces can be downloaded from thingiverse and can be sent straight to the printer ?? Is this so ?
I really would like a book on how this all works but I haven't found anything in the bookstore. Is there a decent book out there ??

ggallant571

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Re: Where do I start ?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2018, 07:33:14 AM »
Like the laser etcher, the typical 3D printer has an embedded gcode interpreter. My meager understanding of the technology is that there are minor differences in quality and accuracy between the various slicer applications. The choice of design tools is dependent on ones background, mentality, goals, and availability of local assistance. Good luck!!!!
« Last Edit: April 12, 2018, 09:39:16 AM by ggallant571 »
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donwatson

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Re: Where do I start ?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2018, 08:28:14 AM »
So that looks like 2 programmes then ? A programme to design the objects and the programme built into the 3d printer. An ideal solution I think.
I have long used Blender for the design of rolling stock for the Trainz computer programme, so I am happy there.
My other problem is the lack of books on the usage of the 3d printer. I will have a look on Amazon and check out what is available.
Thanks again for all the help, I hope to put it to good use.

ThothLoki

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Re: Where do I start ?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2018, 12:18:07 PM »
You need 3 "programs"
1. part designer
This could be openscad, blender, fusion 360, tinkercad, solidworks etc. This is where you build your 3d file (STL)

2. Slicer
This could be Slic3r, Cura and others. View this as the printer "driver" it converts your work (ie model) into a gcode file

3. G-Code Sender
Appls like Cura have the ability to slice the model and send the model to the printer. There are a few out there. I personally have a $10 Rasperry Pi Zero W running Octoprint connected to my printer. I then access it through a local web interface and can view/control my printer from any computer (i have 8 running at the moment), any phone (2 of them) or any tablet (lost count). The software is free and very robust.

Hope this helps
Laser: A5 2000mw with L7 Board / A3 2500mw PWM with Mana SE -- All using T2Laser
3D Printer: Monoprice Maker Select v2.1
Image Resizer Applications (All OS): http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,1434.msg17297.html#msg17297

donwatson

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Re: Where do I start ?
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2018, 03:50:36 AM »
Thanks for that ThothLoki, I think I may have to buy a printer then work out what I need. With all the help available I should be ok. The spac on this machine says Windows, Mac and Linux OS's are supported. It has GT-Host, Repetier-Host and Printrun installed, and there is a USB port for connection to a computer, also an SD card support for offline printing.
The file formats are .STL.GCode. I reckom this should be ok.

I have been looking at a few books on Amazon. If I may quote from one I saw last night
 " Printers that use ABS need an enclosed space to create a 'heat bubble' as the object is printed so there is almost no airflow around the object.
PLA objects, in contrast, can have constant airflow around the object and require no such 'heat bubble'.
When you see a printer without an enclosure, know that they will only be able to print using PLA " ???

I think it is better to drop the idea of the books and ask the guys on the site here what they advise. In fact I reckon I should order that printer now and worry about all these things when I have built it ??
Thanks again for all your help this really is a great place.

ThothLoki

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Re: Where do I start ?
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2018, 09:59:34 AM »
Just get the printer. Most come with the basic software you need to get going. After that, you can start looking at different or better software

Between this forum, Thingiverse and YouTube, most of the questions I have had have been solved
Laser: A5 2000mw with L7 Board / A3 2500mw PWM with Mana SE -- All using T2Laser
3D Printer: Monoprice Maker Select v2.1
Image Resizer Applications (All OS): http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,1434.msg17297.html#msg17297