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MC123

Time to buy one ?

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Hi Community,

First post here so please excuse what may come across as complete ignorance in my questions.

I have been getting 3D prints for some time 3d print hub. I'm now wondering if it's time to buy my own 3d printer as I must have spent a small fortune by now.

I would like a printer that is at least capable of high resolution, so I think the ultimaker is the right tool for the jobs.

Here is a question just to give me an idea of how long it would take for the printer to pay for itself.

Are you bound by manufacturer spools/refills or has it become like the standard printer industry where there are not manufacturer refills available at a fraction of the cost at just the same quality ?

As an example, I have a 3d print that is relatively small and uses 8cm (cubed) of material (according to 3d print hub). If I had my own printer what would the cost of that much material be please (roughly) in UK GBP PLA or ABS

How many cm (cubed) does a standard spool hold ?

Are the materials the only running costs of a 3d printer or are there other wear and tear items that need replacing periodically after much use ?

Sorry if all of this has been asked before, if so can you please point me to a thread with helpful information such as this.

Thanks

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Make sure you get an open source printer. Ultimaker is one of MANY open source printers. I didn't realize how important it was until after I bought mine.

3dhubs has a fantastic guide on buying 3d printers which are rated by thousands of users. I recommend you look through that.

ultimaker can use anyone's filament - some very cheap brands are quite excellent but for the first 10 spools I recommend you get a quality filament so you can realize how important that is. Then if you are printing through a roll every week you can certainly try different cheap options. You are lucky you are in England where they have one of the best filaments out there - faberdashery. Their filament is expensive - this is from their website:

http://www.faberdashery.co.uk/products-page/print-materials/arctic-white/

100 meters is about 840g or 640cc is 24£

So a 8 cm^3 part would be 24*8/640= 30 pence.

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Just in case you buy another printer. If it's 1.75mm filament printer don't buy Faberdashery since they sell 100m of 1.75 to the same price as the 3mm (the cost of a production with that filament sky rocket because the grams are almost a half). But the full spools cost the same. On brands like colorfabb they sell by 750gr spolls on that ones it's easyer.

My production costs are a 30% higher with Faberdashery (with 1.75mm filament) than colorfabb. But the think it's that they sell really nice pla with really nice colors.

The think about owning a printer it's that you will have to learn to maintain it, know it's limits, learn what material & brand works better and also what settings are the best for each color. But when you get the general idea it's a easy process. And also this forum has many expert users like gr5 and many others. It's really important to read the forum and search for their little gems of knowledge. I learned a lot just by expending a week reading and reading before my printer arrived.

Edited by Guest

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Many thanks for the replies, I have been reading the threads with interest, certainly a lot of information to take in, so far in my small research window I have concluded that PLA is a good place to start, ABS good for flex but not as easy to print (at least do it slower with higher temps and reduced fans) but that it gives of some smelly toxins, so consider XT (I think from memory), but higher temp printing is not good for the wear (on something, I forget what, lol).

Having researched a bit more about materials I'd like to try various materials, pla, ninja, abs, XT, nylon etc.though appreciate they all require custom settings.

What I haven't unearthed yet, though I'm sure more digging will provide the answer is,if printing different materials, do you have to switch out printing heads ? If not how do you ensure the remainder of the last filament is gone before your print starts on the new one, or do you just have to print off the excess ? But obviously nozzle (probably wrong term) would be at wrong temperature !

Do you have to clean the printing head/nozzle (correct term still unknown ;)) between prints ?

What about printing with rubbery type filaments, can this printer do that ? I have no idea what the material would be ?

I have read that buying cheap filaments is not a good idea and not to go wider than the 2.85mm eg you can buy 3m but can leads to problems as it can get stuck in the tube (technical term forgotten) .

Can anyone uk based recommend a good filament supplier that has satisfied their needs, I'd rather go with recommendation that works than re-invent the wheel and come unstuck due to my poor selection of filament supplier.

So many questions so little time so much content on the forum. I have read the print hubs guide and that is pretty good.

Naturally I will search for the answer to all those questions on the forum too.

Thanks again. :)

Edited by Guest

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I can try to answer a few.

As gr5 said on uk the best filament must be Faberdashery.

When tou change from one kind of filament t another you must do an 'atomic pull' ot a few yo remove the other kind of filament. Then you can just load the next one.

There's also other way and that's using cleaning filament (it's expensive and a bit overkill). I use it mostly when going from woodpla to pla. Since that are the filaments I work with mostly.

Edited by Guest

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I can try to answer a few.

As gr5 said on uk the best filament must be Faberdashery.

When tou change from one kind of filament t another you must do an 'atomic pull' ot a few yo remove the other kind of filament. Then you can just load the next one.

There's also other way and that's using cleaning filament (it's expensive and a bit overkill). I use it mostly when going from woodpla to pla. Since that are the filaments I work with mostly.

 

Thanks, on their site the drop down selection lists it as 3.0mm but at the bottom says, "Your filament comes packaged for protection and storage. Choose from 1.75 or 2.85mm diameter, available by the meter (up to 90m), in 100 meter coils, or as a 750g spool."

I presume it is actually 2.85mm ?

Thanks for the answer re changing materials etc, I will now google a new term, "atomic pull" I'm scared of what my search engine may reveal :-)

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2.85mm is really the standard, and generally speaking when people speak of 3mm, they mean 2.85mm.

Also, you might want to try http://3dfilaprint.com/ (who I have nothing to do with). I have bought their black RepRapperTech PLA, it is way cheaper than faberdashery (£17 delivered) and really high quality. I don't know about their other colours or materials.

Consumables include glue stick for the bed (I swear by UHU glue stick which you can buy cheap anywhere except for ebay - no idea what they are smoking there), a new teflon coupler every 1000 hours printing or maybe more (I got at least 1500 hours out of it) which will cost you £11.50 plus who knows how much for shipping, and apart from filament that's really it.

When changing filament of the same material, I usually do nothing other than swap over filaments and extrude a few centimeters to make sure everything is OK. If swapping from PLA to ABS, I do much the same, since ABS melts at a much higher temperature than PLA.

When swapping from ABS to PLA, I extrude some filament at 240C or higher until I see the PLA coming through, then I drop the temperature down to 210C. This seems to work fine.

Occasionally though the nozzle needs clearing, and then the Atomic pull is your friend.

Printing elastomers such as NinjaFlex seems to vary from person to person. I have printed various parts in NinjaFlex without too much hassle. Some people here had a really rough time.

A while ago I bought some really cheap Chinese PLA filament off ebay, some of it was really good and one roll essentially unusable. I bought some unbranded ABS and the print quality is amazing. Way better than ColourFabb PLA, which for some reason people use as the gold standard, but in my experience is OK, but not gold. YMMV buying cheap stuff.

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