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Objet's Largest 3D Printer Doesn't Lose Precision

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Elizabeth M
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3D printing has come a long way
Elizabeth M   1/2/2013 6:34:15 AM
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Interesting article. I find the possibilities of 3D printing really exciting. It's amazing what can be printed now with the growing sophistication of this technology...it seems like the sky is the limit. It also helps companies cut costs and even may even the playing field for smaller companies that can't afford to outsource big printing jobs but may be able to afford the technology to do it themselves.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: 3D printing has come a long way
Cabe Atwell   1/2/2013 3:58:59 PM
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I have spent quite a bit of time trying to justify purchasing a 3D printer. I have gone back and forth. I almost bought one a few time, with some sort of reason backing it up.

In the end I didn't get one. Mostly due to the fact that most parts created from them are flimsy and only good for a representation. At least is the printers I could afford.

When they can print glass-filled PVC, then a purchase will be made for sure.

C

Charles Murray
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Re: 3D printing has come a long way
Charles Murray   1/2/2013 5:19:22 PM
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Great story, Cabe. I don't think you're alone in wanting to justify the purchase of a 3D printer. I know numerous industrial designers who are anxious to buy one, as well, for use in prototyping.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: 3D printing has come a long way
Cabe Atwell   1/2/2013 5:23:34 PM
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Chuck,

Do these fiends of yours just want to make prototypes? How will that pay for itself, for them? I find it hard to imagine that they have machine shops build them prototypes all the time. Hence, where all the savings comes from.

C

Elizabeth M
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Re: 3D printing has come a long way
Elizabeth M   1/3/2013 5:46:52 AM
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The flimsy factor is a good point, Cabe. The prototyping aspect is attractive but you're right, when they reach the next level and support more sturdy materials printing then things will really get interesting.

btwolfe
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Pricing correct?
btwolfe   1/3/2013 9:39:57 AM
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Our office has a ObJet Alaris30 printer that fits on a tabletop and cost us over $45000, so I'm thinking the pricing mentioned in the article is an order of magnitude off. I don't see pricing on their website, so could the author verify the price?

N. Christopher Perry
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Re: 3D printing has come a long way
N. Christopher Perry   1/3/2013 2:07:54 PM
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Cabe,

Are you considering it for a business or yourself?

In the case of business applications, I can attest to the fact that having a rapid prototyping capability is a substantial benefit to my organization.  We've used printing parts in almost every phase of the product development process: Test/assembly fixture parts, manifolds in finished products, usability testing prototypes, blanks for creating silicone molds for production parts.  We have 4 3D printers of varying types and frequently each is running 24/7 to keep up with our 400 person organization.  Being able to get functional parts in 24 hours has a tangible benefit in cutting project schedules, and that translates directly to money.

In the case of personal use, I can also attest to the benefit to having one on hand.  The parts are only 'flimsy' if you attempt to use them in an application they aren't suited for.  I've been printing everything from replacement parts for appliances to electronic enclosures and children's toys with great effect on my Solidoodle.  I may not 'need' it, but I'm making very good use of it.

 

N.C.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: 3D printing has come a long way
Cabe Atwell   1/3/2013 5:04:19 PM
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Mr. Perry,

Both, actually.

I design parts/devices for the CNC and paintball community. Almost everything is made out of aluminum. I would consider using plastic in a lot of my designs, but as I said, the strength is an issue.

I would use one to create a model representation I could hold, but it is not worth the printing. I could suffice with a digital 3D model.

If the plastics could become strong enough, I would get one without hesitation.

C

N. Christopher Perry
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Re: 3D printing has come a long way
N. Christopher Perry   1/3/2013 5:28:40 PM
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Cabe,

I think you're being a little too quick to write these technologies off for your application.  In my experience EOS Materials are not flimsy.

We've had various electronic/mechanical covers and enclosures printed with EOS PA2200 (Nylon) that have seen field service for years without issue.  They've easily passed durability tests that have included repeated 50mm diameter steel ball drops from 1 m without cracking or deflections of more than a fraction of a mm at thicknesses of 2mm - 4 mm.  We've been printing LiPo battery enclosures (fully assembled weighing in at more than a 0.5 kg) in the PA2210FR material (flame rated) which have passed those same tests, as well as repeated drops onto hardwood floors from a 1 m.

The PA3200GF is even more durable and considerably more rigid, being glass filled.

You should connect with vendors such as EOS and 3D systems and actually get a look at what they have to offer.  They even have aluminum filled materials too.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: 3D printing has come a long way
Cabe Atwell   1/3/2013 6:33:07 PM
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Now we are talking. Glass filled nylon is the way to go. In fact, I am currently making some parts made out of a similar material.

What machine are you doing printing on, the Solidoodle?

I was considering the Form Labs resin printer... maybe I should reconsider the machine.

C

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