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a few questions before buying

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Hi all, I'm new to 3d printing & I've decided to go with Ultimaker because of its reputation on speed & its cited precision.

however, I would like to ask a few questions in order to know what's the best combination of items to buy.

first, about me.

I have had some practice with Solidworks & can comfortably build a 3d model of whatever I need.

I intend to use the Ultimaker to prototype some ideas for inventions & whatnot.

most of the work would probably be small parts which are sensitive to details (< 1mm).

I intend to get the netfabb engine with the printer

I want the better plastic type for finer details, but I intend to use the white of either one so that I can color it later if needed.

second the questions:

1) would the ultimaker be able to build something like the worm gears ? note that if i print it standing up, there won't be supports between the teeth of the gear & if i print it sitting on the side, there won't be support for the main round body !!

2) which type of plastic is better for finer detail (less than 1 mm) ? & what is the minimum resolution for it ?

3) if I'm printing small parts, can I put more than one part together ? (example: printing the whistle and the bottle opener, there're 2 files, but each is small enough to fit side by side)

4) I heard that the plastic density is around 30%, can I change that ? (if i want a more durable part, can I make it 80-100% and just keep it at 30% for other parts)

thank you for reading and your contribution.

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1) Yes. You would print these pointing up. The Ultimaker can handle some overhang, and thus you can print wormgears like that.

2) PLA schrinks less then ABS, so it's usually better to use PLA. Remember that the printer puts down lines of 0.4mm width and usually 0.1mm thick, so small details can be troublesome.

3) Cura's project planner allows exactly this. I would also advice you to start out with Cura and if that doesn't give you enough quality, then you can always look at NetFabb. NetFabb is a bit harder to use bit give more possibilities to tweak. However, we have had people step back from NetFabb to Cura. Because of the easy of use.

4) Yes, lots of things can be adjusted, and how much infill is added is one of those things. Note that 20% infill (my default) is already very strong. I tried to crush a print by stepping on it today, and I failed. And this was with only 15% infill.

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thanks for the quick reply.

I think I understood your answer for (2), but I would like to confirm it.

so, if I look from above, I would see a blob that's 0.4mm , but if I look from the side, it would be 0.1mm right ? (in here the 0.1 is the layer thickness)

so, if I want 0.1mm precision, I would need to make it on the layer side.

ok, another question about t he width.

the line is 0.4, but if I want to make something & be precise about it, do I need to make it in multiples of it ? or is 0.4 considered the minimum, but I can actually get 0.5 or 0.6 accurately enough ?

also, is it accurate enough to go 0.45 ? or am I starting to get ridiculous :lol:

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You got that right, 0.4mm in width, 0.1mm (or even less) in thickness.

You are asking a very good question. And in theory, the printer could do a 0.6mm feature just fine, however, the current software is not up to it.

What you could do, is download Cura, and load some test STL files into there. Cura features a preview of the path it will print, with actual width of the lines it will put down. So you can see how it will print what you are trying to print. And you will notice that small features sometimes do not get printed correctly.

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Thanks for the help Daid, greatly appreciated

I'll download Cura & have a look around.

and I'll probably order the printer, after all, we're talking about parts of a mm & I'm sure a prototype can be made to a larger scale & then rebuilt to scale !!

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