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guitardr34m

Question before I buy a Ultimaker 2

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Hey everyone,

I've recently been prototyping a product and I've decided that 3D printing would be the most efficient way to do so. I had my first run of parts made with an online company and it was quite expensive, so for my next run I think it would be best just to purchase my own printer and save money in the long run.

Now I downloaded Cura and just loaded in my 3D models just to see how much they'd cost to do myself and how long it would take. My biggest piece said it would take 90 hours to make. I know nothing about 3D printing so I was wondering if this is normal? Can I keep that printer running for 3 days? It just seems a bit crazy to me but then again I'm a complete amateur with this so that may be a short amount of time compared to other things I just don't know.

Any insight on this before I put an order in for my own printer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

 

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Obviously how long something takes to print depends on the volume and to some extent the complexity of the part. 90 hours would be crazy for something the size of a golf ball, but for something like a basketball it might be reasonable. It also depends a lot on your settings. But can you leave your printer going for three days straight? Sure.

Without knowing what you're wanting to print it's difficult to give advice.

 

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If you can post your part up on youmagine, or thingiverse...or even upload a picture we may be able to help a bit. 90 hours is a BIG print. Like Robert said that`s basketball size filling the whole build volume.

You may be able to redesign the part or speed up the print time with various settings but hard to advise anymore without knowing what it is.

Its a GREAT printer though :)

 

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Wow thanks for such quick replies. I'm just waiting for the confirmation email from YouMagine and i'll be sure to upload my file.

It's pretty much a 6"x4"x6" block with some room bored out to hold a stepper motor and holes for a guide rod and a lead screw. But other than that it's just a solid block. I was thinking about taking chunks out of it for faster print times but I don't want to take away from its strength.

Anyway i'll upload the file and post a link here and if you guys have any suggestions I'm all ears. Thanks again!

 

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Also, when you say solid, do you mean 100% infill, truly a solid block of plastic?

You mentioned strength so I'm sure it is a concern. However, there is diminishing returns with dense infill.

Depending on how you use the part, you might reduce print time by going with say 30-40% infill and increasing the wall thickness to 1.2mm, 1.6 or 2mm (make the thickness a multiple of the nozzle size which is 0.4mm). Even though the default 20% sounds low, you would be surprised by the strength of a part that is 80% hollow.

 

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I think the default settings for the layer height is 0.1. For a block shape with strait walls you can change that to 0.2 or 0.25 and that will change your print time enormous.

 

As you can probably tell I have never done anything like this before. I changed the layer height to 0.2 and it dramatically decreased the print time but there are also two 1" horizontal holes going through the side of it. How would changing the layer height to 0.2 affect those holes?

 

Also, when you say solid, do you mean 100% infill, truly a solid block of plastic?

You mentioned strength so I'm sure it is a concern. However, there is diminishing returns with dense infill.

Depending on how you use the part, you might reduce print time by going with say 30-40% infill and increasing the wall thickness to 1.2mm, 1.6 or 2mm (make the thickness a multiple of the nozzle size which is 0.4mm). Even though the default 20% sounds low, you would be surprised by the strength of a part that is 80% hollow.

 

Again I have never 3D printed anything before so when you say 30-40% infill, even though it's a solid block it wouldn't print solid? Sorry if that's a dumb question I definitely need to read into this some more. It's not as easy as I thought it was going to be.

Thanks for both of your answers it's much appreciated.

 

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It would probably not affect the holes at all really.

And yes, 99.9% of the time the things people print will not be solid. They are instead filled with a cross hatch pattern of varying density depending on the settings. What I would recommend is that you load a smallish object into cura (to reduce processing time) and then switch over to layer view by clicking the large button in the top right of the screen and selecting layer view. After a few seconds you will see what the layers will look like. There will be a small slider that you can use to travel through the layers.

Now you can change the settings and watch the layer view update to reflect those changes. This will give you a better idea of what's going on.

 

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It would probably not affect the holes at all really.

And yes, 99.9% of the time the things people print will not be solid. They are instead filled with a cross hatch pattern of varying density depending on the settings. What I would recommend is that you load a smallish object into cura (to reduce processing time) and then switch over to layer view by clicking the large button in the top right of the screen and selecting layer view. After a few seconds you will see what the layers will look like. There will be a small slider that you can use to travel through the layers.

Now you can change the settings and watch the layer view update to reflect those changes. This will give you a better idea of what's going on.

 

Thanks that actually really put things in perspective for me. I had no idea that it was printed like that.

I really appreciate all the help everyone. It makes things a lot less confusing for me and pretty confident in ordering my first Ultimaker 2.

 

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Thanks that actually really put things in perspective for me. I had no idea that it was printed like that.

 

Yes, it's very nuanced. In general 20% infill will give you a part that feels quite solid. I usually print around 10-15% (when I can't get away with 0%).

The amount of infill you specify will generally have a linear effect on your print duration; 50% infill should take half as long as 100%, and 20% should take one fifth as long, etc.. You can also have the printer do infill at a different/faster rate than the rest of the part. I usually set a 75mm/sec infill speed, with the overall print speed set to 50mm/sec or less.

Layer height also has a linear effect on print duration, such that a print using a 0.2mm layer height will take half as long as one that uses a 0.1mm layer height.

So you should be able to bring that 90 hours down quite a bit by adjusting some of the print settings. 90 hours may be doable, but it's stretching it in my opinion. The problem's not that the printer can't handle 90 hours of constant operation, but you only need one small thing (such as having a piece of dust/hair clog the nozzle, or the filament spool getting snagged) to go wrong and the entire print will fail.

My longest successful print to date has clocked in at 40 hours, for a part that maybe used about 50% of the available build volume (if not less).

 

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If you're trying to balance strength with quicker print times, you could use the "pause at Z" function to drop in inexpensive metal supports, such as brackets.

Basically, you design hollow voids into the part that would accept the metal supports. In Cura, under plugins, you would tell it to pause at the layer just before it covers those voids. Printer pauses, you drop in your metal supports, hit resume, and the printer prints over the metal brackets, sealing them in permanently.

Best of both worlds, quicker print times because you don't need to go to the extremes with fill and shell %, and excellent strength from the metal supports (as well as not actually having to mount the metal supports since they are completely integrated)

anyways... it's just a thought

 

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Forget making things totally solid, not really worth it unless you intend to throw things of a mountain :p You`ll be surprised at how strong the PLA prints can be with just the right amount of wall thickness. Your 90 hour print will probably end up more like 10 hours hopefully.

 

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If you're trying to balance strength with quicker print times, you could use the "pause at Z" function to drop in inexpensive metal supports, such as brackets.

Basically, you design hollow voids into the part that would accept the metal supports. In Cura, under plugins, you would tell it to pause at the layer just before it covers those voids. Printer pauses, you drop in your metal supports, hit resume, and the printer prints over the metal brackets, sealing them in permanently.

Best of both worlds, quicker print times because you don't need to go to the extremes with fill and shell %, and excellent strength from the metal supports (as well as not actually having to mount the metal supports since they are completely integrated)

anyways... it's just a thought

 

Wow I didn't even know you could do that. That sounds like an awesome idea though it's something I definitely need to try out. Thanks for that.

 

Forget making things totally solid, not really worth it unless you intend to throw things of a mountain :p You`ll be surprised at how strong the PLA prints can be with just the right amount of wall thickness. Your 90 hour print will probably end up more like 10 hours hopefully.

 

Yea I was also looking into other materials and I came across a carbon fiber mixed ABS that seems very strong and I think it would work really well if I were to make the layer height a bit thicker and keep the infill pretty low to cut down the printing times.

 

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According to this thread: http://umforum.ultimaker.com/index.php?/topic/7575-strength-of-different-filaments

at least the carbon fiber PLA wasn't any stronger than the ususal. So I doubt that ABS does make a big difference..

 

Good thread. I was looking for a carbon fiber ABS thread and didn't find anything but your point definitely makes sense. Thank you.

 

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This isn't really related to my question but I didn't want to start a new topic to ask it. Does anyone happen to have a copy of the PDF of the "Terms of Service"? They're page on it on the Support tab isn't working and I haven't gotten a response via email from them for a couple days now. It's just something I'd like to read regarding warranties and things like that before I put in an order. Thanks for any help!

 

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