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Re: What 3d printer do you use at work?

Postby Cameron » January 9th, 2018, 12:43 pm

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All the small consultancies and similar operations in my area have a Formlabs Form 2 and it seems to be 'near perfect' aside from the smaller build areas. If I was buying one today I would get that one, hands down.
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Re: What 3d printer do you use at work?

Postby Wosh » January 9th, 2018, 2:16 pm


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Wanted to concur with Ryan about the Objet - people can be general all rounders with it, but you'll need someone dedicated to get intimate with the machine and processes.

Although focusing more on the hobbyist, this reddit 3D printing megathread can be a good resource to ask questions and search for previous answers (make sure to check previous months too):

https://www.reddit.com/r/3Dprinting/com ... read_what/

Re: What 3d printer do you use at work?

Postby seurban » January 10th, 2018, 9:25 pm


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We have an old Dimension Elite SST1200 that we use a lot, and unlike the OP it's been quite reliable. We have had the maintenance contract though, and they have done significant work on it to the point of rebuilding major sections. The company we've used is Fisher Unitech, and though the contract is expensive it is nice to have a reliable workhorse that we don't have to fuss with to make work. We also really like the soluble support. After having supports that just dissolve away (we do usually break most of it off to speed it up as well, but that's easy and quick), cutting supports off an SLA feels like a real pain. Resolution isn't great, but for most things we don't actually need super high res unless they're tiny parts or finish models.

We also have a Form 1 that doesn't get a ton of use since the FDM machine is easier and more reliable. Not sure if we'd use the SLA more if it was a Form 2. Unfortunately Form has stopped making material for it, which pisses me off a little (it's not that old, even if it makes economic sense they've lost points with me by not supporting their product long term). We did find some third party material from Photocentric, though, which has worked well so far. We've only used the clear flexible, but they have a big selection with multiple colors (inc. clear) for each material type. https://photocentricgroup.com/usa/our-shop/?v=7516fd43adaa. The material is cheaper than Form's as well and I believe it should work with the Form 2.

Photocentric also makes some interesting printers that we might consider if we want to upgrade the SLA. They use LCDs instead of lasers or DLP which allows them to have a relatively large build volume. Their biggest printer has a build volume of 470mm x 240mm x 340mm (18.5 in x 9.4 in x 13.4 in) for about $5k. They also have smaller/cheaper models. The resin for these machines (they call it "daylight" resin) is also pretty cheap with a big selection (more options than for their laser resins, I think). The only issue is that it's hard to find reviews from people who've actually used them. Do any of you have any experience with them?

Re: What 3d printer do you use at work?

Postby VanDeBar » January 11th, 2018, 4:56 pm

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Thanks guys, much appreciated ! This definitively helps me !

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The Objet printers are definitely only suitable for large organizations doing high budgeted projects.
For mechanical models and industrial design in general, FDM is recommended. For the same budget of an SLA printer you can also get a BCN3D Sigma and have great quality dual material prints.
I do a lot of detail work i.e. textures, jewelry so for me it is time to now add an SLA printer to the range.
Once there was a Kickstarter initiative called ONO but they failed to deliver. There still is a budget solution - the SparkMaker.
If you guys know of other SLA machines sub $500, let me know!
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There is Zortrax M200 at my office. I use it heavily for creating parts related to power or hand tools designs.

I ordered samples from Makerbot reseller, Formlabs 2, and Ultimaker 3 in advantage to compare prints to each other with respect to quality and price. IMHO, when quality of surface is a MUST Formlabs is a winner. However if money does play a role to you, it can be failed decision.

The price of print itself is high, but the cost of printing makes real difference. Original resign from formlabs is not cheap. Comparing to cost of FDM, prints can be 4x more expensive. If you are going to print big prints, as I do, like 10 to 15 cm high, this can make a differance.

Makerbot quality of samples I achieved were low with respect to Zortrax and Ultimaker. The last one has superior to Zortrax configuration and tooling assets. Same with price. At the end I decided to buy Zortrax. This is why.

* very good quality of printed surfaces(ABS accuracy 0.09 mm, infill high or maximum)

* easy to use, no extra experience in 3D printing necessary

* nice design(imho superior to Ultimaker)

* extra covers to "seal" printing area

* low price with respect to prints quality

These are pros. There are cons either:

* ABS which default material Zortrax M200 is printing the parts has high shrinkage. I mean high! I Spent a lot of time to find appropriate configurtation regarding settings and position of printing, and finally there is no known to me solution to achieve big parts fitting together. Recently I`ve done some desgin for 18V cordless drill, printing components seperately i.e "color" housing and TPR area, trying at the end to assemble them. It does not work every time. Parts tend to have diffirent tollerance regarding the big dimensions. My advise is to print whole designed device at once, and them paint seperately appropriate areas.

* there is no sensor regarding missing fillament in printing head. It happened to me several times, that printer was doing its job while the fillament was missing. It can be annoying issue with 3D printer placed in different room, left for 18 + hours long print alone.

Finall question: Am I happy with Zortrax? Yes.

I learned how to over come mentioned annoying issues( i.e big shrinkage)

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