Jump to content
Ultimaker Community of 3D Printing Experts
  • Sign Up
mindwave

Books, courses I want to learn properly...

Recommended Posts

Posted · Books, courses I want to learn properly...

Im an IS Admin of 20+ years, but bran new to the world of 3d printing, developing etc.

 

Unfortunately because of the time limitations placed upon me by my job and family, learning this has come VERY slowly.

 

I have the monoprice MP Mini Select that I bought 2nd hand and printed 2 items and immediately jammed up the head.

 

Last week my son and I assembled an ANET A8 that seems to be working awesome. But Im limited to printing what others have created n(not that that wouldn't keep me busy for a decade).

 

But I know thwew is so much more.that I need to learn. For example I found a small 'laptop case' created by someone and posted on thingiverse.com, could work exactly for wha my next project needs. BUT

 

I need to learn some basics, for example, I can estimate how big it is, but how can I determine that, for example the piece from the left corner to the center is 4inches long?

 

Or if something is 6inches long but I need it 7 how do I do it?

 

I thought that if I learned 'sketchup' it would be what i need, but now it looks like most of what I want to do is done in CURA

 

and i cant find a book on CURA anywhere?

 

any and all ideas appreciated. and dont be afraid to say "HEY its easier if you use XYZ instead of what youre using,"

 

Thankd

 

J

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Books, courses I want to learn properly...

There isn't a real book like "Cura, and all you need to know about" available. Maybe you need start writing it 🙂

 

The best thing I did in the past was switching to Autodesk Fusion 360 a couple years ago. I also used sketch-up long time as it was a good enough 3D software for things beside of 3D printing. I fond it very complicate finding problems in terms of valid models and spend more time in searching for model errors as I need for building a model. Also it turned out for me that building a model (equal if it is more complex or not) in Fusion is much faster as I can use well implemented technics from other disciplines too in this program. For me the Videos from Lars Christensen was a real eye opener for using this software efficient and as a really helpful tool in areas that I never had thought to use it as an tool before.

 

An other good investment is a good trouble shooter for 3D printing problems. I fond the ebook "3D Printing Failures" from Sean Aranda (aka The print general) as a helpful book of reference when it comes to problems in this area. He update his book on a regular base and you will find a lot of useful tips in general for old/new printers and software like Cura.

This is only one resource of a lot other people who doing good stuff around 3D printing. Stefan Hermann (aka CNC-Kitchen), Thomas Sanladerer or Makers Muse are other one I visit sometimes when I have a little spare time  to look what they are doing or talking about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Books, courses I want to learn properly...

DD

 

Thanks for the recommendations, Im certainly going to spend some time looking through those ideas.

 

Unfortunately my original post was made really late (foir me) so sometimes my real ideas get lost in the typing.

 

The BIG thing that escapes me ,is measurements.

 

Thingiverse has amazing items, and IM slowly but surely learning how to print them properly the 1st time.

 

BUT the lack of measurements, and the fact that I cant figure them out, is driving me up a wall.

 

For example this spool holder:

 

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1624641

 

It works GREAT for what it is. BUT lets say that I think I need the arms a little longer?

 

Do I print whats there and than eyeball it and say ok, I need it 30% longer so I "increase" the "arms" by 30%?

 

I know I am missing something incredibly simple, but Im not even 100% sure if Im using the right software?

 

For example, would that be done in the "slicer" like CURA?

 

Or in the "designer" like Sketchup?

 

I understand that a lot of people design in CURA, but thats just an example.

 

I get that this whole thing is DIY, but I even approached one of the 'Maker Spaces' here in Orlando and asked if they had a class, and they said theyd never considered it?

 

Thanks for all your help, and any future ideas.

 

J

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Books, courses I want to learn properly...

If you want to know more about Cura (and the settings) I definitely recommend the setting guide plugin in Cura. It's written by one of our slicer engineers in his free time and it has a lot of information about all the features / settings that Cura has to offer. In quite a few cases, it also provides images (or even videos) to show the difference a setting can make.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Books, courses I want to learn properly...
On 1/26/2020 at 5:19 PM, mindwave said:

 

For example this spool holder:

 

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1624641

 

It works GREAT for what it is. BUT lets say that I think I need the arms a little longer?

 

Do I print whats there and than eyeball it and say ok, I need it 30% longer so I "increase" the "arms" by 30%?

 

I know I am missing something incredibly simple, but Im not even 100% sure if Im using the right software?

 

For example, would that be done in the "slicer" like CURA?

 

Or in the "designer" like Sketchup?

 

I understand that a lot of people design in CURA, but thats just an example.

 

 

Hi, so to clear up things a little: 

-You design your part in a CAD modeling application like Fusion360, TinkerCAD, OpenSCAD, Solidworks etc. Better stay away from SketchUp for 3D printing, as it is really bad at generating correct polygon models (more on that below). Here you can also edit dimensions - if the Thingiverse uploader also uploaded a CAD file and you happen to have the right software, you open the file and tweak the dimensions, add or remove features etc. 

-For 3D printing, you then export a polygon model (STL, OBJ, 3MF,...) which describes the object not in terms of features and parameters (extrusions, fillets etc.) but in terms of polygon surfaces. These models have to be watertight, non-manifold etc. to successfully be sliced and printed correctly, which is the point where SketchUp often messes up really badly.

-The finished polygon model is what you load into the slicer (Cura etc.). With most slicers, you can scale and/or distort the model, but editing features is difficult to impossible with polygon formats, regardless of what software you use.

 

So, if you only get the STL, you can print it as-is or scale the whole model, but you're out of luck if you just want to change a certain dimension. With simpler models, you can often re-create them by yourself, though.

 

For the spool holder you mentioned, you will notice the .scad files that are available - meaning you're lucky! You just have to download OpenSCAD, make yourself familiar with that software and then you can make those arms longer, export it to STL and print that baby :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Books, courses I want to learn properly...

Hi

 

I've gone through at least a dozen printer brands and for most of them, several printers per brand over the last decade or more. Eventually keeping up with their issues becomes a pain. Once the manufacturer stops supporting the model, it gets nutty. It gets worse when they go out of business. 

 

Building a printer from scratch ( = from a kit) is a wonderful way to learn what's in a printer. It also gives you a lot of details for tear down and set up of the printer. I've done a lot of kits over the years. The ability to mod / fiddle every little part is great. It also eventually turns the printer into a Frankenstein. Support becomes problematic as a result ....

 

Tool chain wise, check a few out. Pick a good one ( for your printer) and stick with it. The set of programs that get it done on this printer may not be the same as what gets it done on that printer. Fusion 360 and Cura are my current favorites. 

 

Training wise, YouTube is the way the world works these days. People don't read books, they watch videos. There are an enormous number of 3D printing "channels" out there. Each has their own spin and production values. Some will work for you, others simply will be to painful to watch. 

 

That said: 

 

With Fusion 360, the export from the "CAD" program is already in a format that can be sliced. With other tool chains, you may need a "shim" program between CAD and slicing. 

 

With Cura and *some* printers, the slicing is done *and* all the "load to printer" stuff as well. On other printers, you again are off to some sort of next layer to transport the result to the printer. There may also be another program to monitor the printer. Indeed I have a couple printers here that *only* work with the manufacturer's cloud slicer and support program. There are *lots* of variables. 

 

Ultimately what it all does:

 

1) Takes in a sketch and puts it in some sort of CAD format. 

2) Converts that CAD to and STL format ( shells that can be sliced)

3) Converts (slices) the STL to GCODE (the text file that drives the printer or CNC machine)

4) Loads the GCODE into the printer and launches the print

 

Since GCODE is just a text file, you can write it with a text editor. Why you would do that is a bit unclear, though I have done it. It is a very common "language" to drive all sorts of stuff so there are tutorials on it as well. 

 

Bob

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Books, courses I want to learn properly...

In short:

 

- a "CAD-program" is for designing *new* 3D-models, or for modifying existing models. Most CAD-programs create vector drawings, sort of, but then in 3D with solid models. CAD-programs are only for modeling, not for printing.

 

- a "slicer" is for cutting an existing model into thin layers and for generating traveling-paths ("toolpaths") for the nozzle, so that this existing model can be printed layer by layer by the printer nozzle. Slicers are *not* for modeling, only for printing. Cura is a slicer, not a CAD-program.

 

- a slicer may allow you to rescale objects, or cut-off a part of an existing model. But you should see that as a printing functionality, not an editing function.

 

So you need 3 things:

- first a CAD-program to design a model,

- and then a slicer to cut that model into thin layers and toolpaths,

- and then a 3D-printer to print it, obviously.

 

In this process you need 3 file-types:

- the native vector-fileformat of the CAD-program, so you can edit that model later on.

- this model exported to a "surface-fileformat", consisting of small triangles, which can be imported into the slicer (STL, OBJ, 3MF).

- a toolpath-file which describes the traject the printer-nozzle has to follow, and which is then loaded into the printer (gcode-file).

 

The CAD-program produces the first two files: the native vectorformat, and the export to STL. The slicer produces the gcode toolpath-file for the printer. And the printer produces the plastic model.

 

There do exist good freeware CAD-programs. I use DesignSpark Mechanical, which is easy to learn. Other people use Fusion360, or other programs. Avoid SketchUp: this will cause endless problems: it was made for visual 3D-models only, not for 3D-printing.

 

DesignSpark Mechanical is for geometric models, based on straight lines, circle-arcs, etc., like machine parts.

 

If you want to design organic models with smooth varying curves, then Blender is a good free program. But it has a very steep learning curve, not optimal for beginners.

 

As said above by others: search in Youtube for demo- and tutorial videos, spend a few days on them, and let that sink-in. And then try something of which the user-interface and workflow appeals to you. What the best program is, depends a lot on your models, requirements, and personal preferences.

 

For DesignSpark Mechanical, these short tutorial videos are good:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLv91f6GOku1_WEeZMDmspEx0ZC-odebsR

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...