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madis_lam

Performance of Ultimaker

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Hi,

I am enetring to plastic medical supplies manufacturing. Oour products are in size 6cm x 6 cm x 6cm and we are producing apprx. 10 000 items per year. Due to low amount of items I do not like to use mold technique for that. Hence I found Ultimaker. I read posts here but I still have some questions.

1) Is this system applicable for such amount of products?

2) Can I achieve smooth result with that. Smooth - If you imagine frame of your electrical socket in your wall. That mean can I achieve same result. Maybe I can help with sandpaper?

3) What can be apprx. cost of material if the item size is 6cm x 6cm x 6 cm? As I understand from web then it is under 1EUR.

4) Can I produce nut with thread that is connectable with bolt?

Thank you,

Madis

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1) 10.000 a year is about 30 a day (7 days a week). Depending on your printing speed/quality you need a few hours per 6x6x6cm model. Using a single printer won't cut it. Also, if you produce 10.000 of the same items 3D printing might not be the best solution.

2) Smooth depends on your model, your calibration, and a few other factors. But I haven't seen perfect smooth yet with my printer. Sanding might work, but melting the outside with a acetone or something also works.

3) 25-30 euro per kg. If you use PLA. However, for medical supplies, you might need medical grade materials, which I don't even know if they exists.

4) Depends on your thread size.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:12728

this works. But for "normal" thread, people usually cut in the thread with taps.

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For that sorta volume, you definitely wouldn't want to print them one at a time. You could probably make a plate so that 10 get printed at a time but, still, that's 3 long prints a day, 7 days a week..

 

Also, if you produce 10.000 of the same items 3D printing might not be the best solution.

Yep.

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Depending on what you are working on and what the durability requirements are casting would be the way to go.

You can contact Smooth on and talk to their techs...they will point you in the right direction and recommend the right materials for the job.

You would still need to make the source object you would make the molds off of. You can crank up the quality level of the Ultimaker to make a good source model.

http://www.smooth-on.com/

If you need smaller runs.. less than 500 I have sent stuff to http://Quickparts.com

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The small holes, which are smaller then 1mm?, will be a huge problem.

Also, wall thin walls can be a problem, depending on how thick those walls are. Honesty, I don't think the Ultimaker will be your best option. Looking at those models, I would go for a CNC milled mold, and injection mold the objects from that. (no personal experience with this method, but it's what they use for medium to large amount of production)

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You're comparing the output of a professional industry machine, assembled and calibrated in a factory to a hobby machine put together at home with wood and screws (and even some tape!). The price of the z150 starts at $15k and the Ultimaker costs $1500. It's really not a fair comparison and with the budget you have I wouldn't even consider an Ultimaker for anything but producing quick and cheap prototypes.

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No I am not comparing I just want to understand what Ultimaker can do and can I handle with that. Maybe it is not right plase to aske about other products but if you know some 3D printers that are below 15000EUR but with good quality then please let me know.

Regards,

Madis

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The ZCorp machines are a much higher quality then "RepRap" based Ultimaker. Which is also visible in the price. Not just in the price of the machine, but also in the price of the printing materials. I think

http://www.shapeways.com/

uses ZCorp machines to do their printing (check the videos). And you can just upload your parts to shapeways and you'll have example prints at your doorstep in a few weeks or so. For a 15k sale you most likely are able to get free sample prints from ZCorp. So you can test the strength of the result, and if it meets your needs. You should also contact 'classic' injection molding companies to see what they charge for creating objects like those.

The Ultimaker, while awesome, is not really intended for mass production use. It's more of a unique kind of object printer. Or an "adult hobby kit for personal use" (worst possible description :p) It also finds it's place in professions like architecture and art. Because of the "1 of a kind" nature.

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I looked and 3D printing with professional systems is too expensive. Hence I think "classic" moulding is only solution at the moment. But still I need to make prototypes to test all different products. Hence can somebody help me and print one of my product with Ultimaker to show how it looks like? I have designed my products in Google Sketchup.

Regards,

Madis

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Another thing you need to consider... Zcorp and most other machines don't produce ABS parts. Only FDM models do. The zcorp generates powder resin saturated parts usually for props or casting into more durable materials.

If you go Aluminum tooling you can get your mass production costs way down. Aluminum tools only last 10-20k model pulls before needing to be repaired or replaced.

you can read up on it at Quickparts.com

http://www.quickparts.com/LearningCente ... esign.aspx

And no I don't work for Quickparts :) .... I use them for protoyping (before I got my Ultimaker)

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I looked and 3D printing with professional systems is too expensive. Hence I think "classic" moulding is only solution at the moment. But still I need to make prototypes to test all different products. Hence can somebody help me and print one of my product with Ultimaker to show how it looks like? I have designed my products in Google Sketchup.

Regards,

Madis

If you can export it to STL (which is what most people use here) and send a link, then someone here will try to print it for you.

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Wonder what stops Ultimaker from reaching the quality from those other professional 3D printers.

1. Hardware ?

2. Software ?

3. Calibration ?

 

The ZCorp machines are a much higher quality then "RepRap" based Ultimaker. Which is also visible in the price. Not just in the price of the machine, but also in the price of the printing materials. I think

http://www.shapeways.com/

uses ZCorp machines to do their printing (check the videos). And you can just upload your parts to shapeways and you'll have example prints at your doorstep in a few weeks or so. For a 15k sale you most likely are able to get free sample prints from ZCorp. So you can test the strength of the result, and if it meets your needs. You should also contact 'classic' injection molding companies to see what they charge for creating objects like those.

The Ultimaker, while awesome, is not really intended for mass production use. It's more of a unique kind of object printer. Or an "adult hobby kit for personal use" (worst possible description :p) It also finds it's place in professions like architecture and art. Because of the "1 of a kind" nature.

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Wonder what stops Ultimaker from reaching the quality from those other professional 3D printers.

1. Hardware ?

2. Software ?

3. Calibration ?

Lasers.

We use

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fused_deposition_modeling

which is quite simple to build, and pretty cheap in materials.

ZCorp machines use

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_laser_sintering

which requires a more complex machine, and very fine and good powders.

I've also heard, that the default quality of ZCorp machines is very high, but the prints are very brittle, so to break very easy.

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