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johnpollard

prototyping

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Hello,

I have been researching 3d printers and i am interested in purchasing an Ultimaker 2.

I'll try and keep my story and questions brief.

In 2007 I had an invention idea, and had a company very interested in it. We signed a royalty agreement and they were going to take on the prototyping (with my original design and guidance) and produce the part.

after 2 years + of producing only one thermoformed prototype and then allowing things to stagnate, and then deciding not to move ahead, it left a bad taste for me as a newbie (and certainly not a businessman).

That being said, I have a few more ideas I'd like to pursue, but do not want to leave it in the hands of a company that may, or may not, proceed with the concept.

So, in an effort to gain more control (at least in the concepts infancy) I want to try my own prototyping to create reasonable professional models to show potential manufactuers/companies.

I think I can handle producing what I need using some form of CAD program, but am worried (based on my researching of 3d printing websites etc) that producing things on a 3D printer is "a pain in the ass" and very difficult to achieve, due to failures, clogging, warping, not sticking, levelling....blah blah blah.

I'm just a working guy, who wants to work on these extracurricular activities without breaking the bank, and/or pulling what's left of my hair out with a technology that will drive me crazy!

Any advice, knowledge, similar experience, or viewpoint is sincerely welcome.

Have a great day.

John (Canadian eh)

 

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Yes, there are a lot of crappy 3D printers around, and crappy software too. But, presumably you have a specific printer and software in mind?

While I would certainly recommend that you get you own 3D printer for early experiments, there are also commercial printing services which can support higher quality and better materials for late prototypes.

 

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Hi fellow Canadian!

Too bad about them not proceeding with the design. But good on you for taking it into your own hands and lessons learned!

The one big thing I would consider is the scale of your design. UMs (and most FDM printers) are good for stuff that's like ping pong ball size to roughly that of a large mug. You can make multi-parts to make bigger objects but they will start to take a toll on how long prints are.

In general, UM2 is a good choice if you don't want to be tinkering too much with it. Stick with PLA unless part strength or heat resistance matters to avoid the warping/clogging buildplate sticking issues. You shouldn't have too much trouble.

There is usually a little bit of learning curve to figure out the best settings, but the UM2 is one of the easiest to figure out, most of it is automated and tells you what you do on the screen. There is no configuration, e-steps and crazy stuff like that usually required.

 

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UM2 got best printer in their printer shoot-off last month. UMO+ is half the price and the quality is just as good but you have to spend 20 hours putting it together.

Seriously consider using shapeways.com to print up some prototypes. They will be nylon which is more flexible unfortunately than PLA but the quality is professional.

UM2 3d printed parts have a look - they are clearly 3d printed. They do not look quite as professional. But they do look very good. If you are patient and print slow the quality is pretty good but never perfect.

The form1 however prints much higher quality.

I guess it all depends what you are printing. If it is a simple box to house electronics then UM2 sounds like a good solution. If it is much larger like a plastic chair, then I don't think that would be smart. Parts with overhangs are difficult (but doable) and leave uglier surfaces on overhangs. So you might want to design your part so you can print it with no overhangs more than 45 degrees (bridging is fine - you can print the top of a window opening no problem as long as it is horizontal).

I mean the UM2 will go to 80 degrees from vertical but the quality is not so good.

 

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