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3D Printing - Whats it all about?

Discussion in 'Members Hobbies' started by Ademission, May 23, 2021.

  1. Ademission

    Ademission Gardener

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    Overview
    3D printers are for people who like to make things. There are many libraries of designs on the internet (a good example would be Thingiverse.com). Selecting and downloading one of the library designs allows you to make the item out of plastic assuming you have a 3D printer. There are many different types of plastics you can use but the commonest is PLA. It is bio-degradable, reasonably priced and comes in a range of colours. It can be bought from Amazon at approximately £20 for a 1kg reel. The plastic is supplied as a long filament of 1.75mm diameter on a reel. A 1kg reel is enough to make a large number of items depending on their sizes.

    If you can't find what you want in one of the libraries, you can design it yourself on your computer instead.

    The 3D Printer
    I use an "Creality Ender 3 Pro". It cost me about £250. This is probably the most popular hobbyist printer with good capabilities though you can spend as much as you want. The printer has a maximum build volume of X=230mm x Y=230mm x Z=250mm. I find this volume is big enough for most of my projects. The printer has a very flat bed on which the printing occurs. It is heated to 60degC to make the PLA stick to it. After printing, the bed cools and the printed object loses its adhesion so the object can be removed.

    How is the printed item formed?
    Layer by layer. The print head extrudes molten plastic (at 215degC) in layers (typically 0.2mm). After printing one layer, a second layer is printed on top of the first etc. A 10cm high object would therefore have 500 layers. This can take a while!

    I won't go too deep with this description, though if anyone has questions I would be only too glad to answer them (if I can).

    Here are a number of things I have printed, though most of my designs are much more technical than these: -

    Aphrodite 2000.jpg
    Figure 1 - Bust of Aphrodite (marble PLA).

    Blue Vase 2000.jpg
    Figure 2 - Metallic Big Blue Vase (maximum height of printer).

    Gold Vase 2000.jpg
    Figure 3 - Metallic Bronze Coloured Vase (interesting shape).

    Multivase 2000.jpg
    Figure 4 - 3 Small Vases (suitable for single bloom).

    Napkin Holder 2000.jpg
    Figure 5 - Napkin Holder (Voronoi pattern).

    Orange Vase 2000.jpg
    Figure 6 - Metallic Orange Ribbed Vase (on marble coloured base).

    Owl 2000.jpg
    Figure 7 - Owl Pencil Holder (marble PLA).

    Spiral Vase 2000.jpg
    Figure 8 - Metallic Bronze Coloured Spiral Vase (for PLA roses).

    Roses in Vase 2000.jpg
    Figure 9 - Metallic Bronze Coloured Spiral Vase with PLA Roses.

    Enough for now.

    Best Regards

    Ademission

    Stay Safe
     
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    • joolz68

      joolz68 Total Gardener

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      They are lovely :) does a printer use a lot of electric?
       
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      • Nikolaos

        Nikolaos Total Gardener

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        As an antiquarian and antiquities collector/student, I find this sort of thing particularly fascinating! Could have all sorts of uses, like allowing members of the public to handle and closely appreciate extremely realistic replicas of ancient pottery and glass without any risk of damaging the originals! IMHO there is a lot about ancient art that simple viewing fails to convey to the layman! :blue thumb:

        Nick
         
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        • Nikolaos

          Nikolaos Total Gardener

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          Do you think pieces could be produced that would be very similar to the originals in terms of weight as well as other qualities, @Ademission? Some pieces (like ancient Roman lamps) can be surprisingly light! On the other hand I have a Greek South Italian votive piece that is a fair bit heavier than one would expect. It all depends on the local clay, I think.

          Nick
           
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          • Ademission

            Ademission Gardener

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            I wasn't sure so I checked on the internet for the average power. Apparently it uses an average of 150watts while it is printing. This includes the heating of the print bed and also the hot end (nozzle). The stepper motors would also be included in the stated power.
            It would therefore use 1 unit (kWh) every 7 hours. A print of a vase might take 15hours so 2 units.

            Hope this helps

            Ademission
             
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            • Ademission

              Ademission Gardener

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              Hi Nick,
              Interesting question. PLA is relatively light when compared to clay for example and normally the prints are like a honeycomb inside as an effort to save material. This is built in to the software that is used to create the gcode for the printer but the density of the honeycomb can be changed through a parameter called infill density. However it may be possible to include lead weights or similar to increase the apparent density.

              Ademission
               
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              • Kristen

                Kristen Under gardener

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                I struggle as to what I would actually use a 3D printer for. Although I did "create an account" on Thingiverse.com and CHECKED the "Naughty" option :whistle: and that gave me some more ideas ... some of them hilarious, but not so much that an Aged Aunt would appreciate them as a mantlepiece adornment ...

                I have a friend who collects miniature soldiers, and instead of forking out for them he now just prints the ones he wants. That I get, but I don't have a hobby of that ilk; the Space Station 3D Printed a specialist spanner for a particular requirement ...

                ... but for me I think I would need something "useful" rather than phallic pull-knobs on all the bathroom light cords :)
                 
              • NigelJ

                NigelJ Total Gardener

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                Anything of use in the garden or greenhouse?
                 
              • Ademission

                Ademission Gardener

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                Hello Kristen,
                In all honesty, novelty items don't interest me either. Usually, the things I make are out of necessity. If I need something, I design it using CAD and then make it with the 3D printer. Occasionally I use Thingiverse. If I find exactly what I'm looking for I might download and print it but this is probably only 20% of the time. Its surprising how useful the 3D printer can be when something breaks or you need a bracket or a gadget to do a specific job. Often you can have the item in your hand within a few hours or less. It really is limited by your imagination and your design capability.

                Regards

                Ademission

                Stay safe.
                 
              • Kristen

                Kristen Under gardener

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                I've seen some YouTube of a hobby carpenter who 3D printed all sorts of exceptionally creative holders for tools, and adaptors for dust collection, etc.

                But i can't think of anything of that ilk that I would need for the garden / shed. Happy to be enlightened :)
                 
              • Ademission

                Ademission Gardener

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                Hi NigelJ,
                I make stuff as it is needed....

                A few items in the Greenhouse: -
                1. Door knob
                2. Fixing brackets for electrics
                + others

                Figure 8 bracket 2000.jpg
                The above photo shows an adaptor. The bronze coloured bolt attaches a wooden plank to the greenhouse and this is where my 3 sets of mains sockets are attached (see below).
                Figur 8 fitted 2000.jpg

                Still waiting for new 10ft x 12ft greenhouse to be delivered although base is ready as can be seen in the picture.

                In the garden: -
                1. Bird feeders (3 different types)
                2. Wall brackets to support bird feeders
                3. Trellis supports
                + others

                Regards

                Ademission
                 
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                • noisette47

                  noisette47 Total Gardener

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                  OH has been tinkering to try to reproduce a door-hinge doodad thingy for a plastic shed. There seem to be a lot of prototypes lying about :biggrin:
                   
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                  • Ademission

                    Ademission Gardener

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                    Hi Kristen,

                    Yes, I've done a few tool holders.
                    Tool holders 2000.jpg

                    Regards

                    Ademission
                     
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                    • Ademission

                      Ademission Gardener

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                      Hi noisette47,

                      There are many designs for hinges that can be scaled to fit most circumstances without having to design yourself (if you haven't already, take a look at thingiverse.com).

                      I notice you are in Lot-et-Garonne. Its a lovely part of the world. I had a good holiday near Nerac a few years ago.

                      Best Regards

                      Ademission

                      Stay safe.
                       
                    • Fat Controller

                      Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                      I find these very interesting, and something that I would love a shot at some day - handy for making repair parts for things that cannot be found anymore maybe (not that I can think of a single thing to make at the moment :biggrin:) - - that would be the top and bottom of it for me though as I don't have an artistic or creative bone in my body.
                       
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