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Discussion in 'Plastic' started by reddwarf, Jul 5, 2014.
Has anyone considered a 3D printer to do plastic models.
3-D printers can be a bit expensive (for both the unit and the material for making the models). It may be hard for some people to justify the cost.
However, they are GREAT for making game piece and smaller models (depending on the size of the printer).
I've considered it, but the logistics (creating the files, using a machine), and the low print quality I cannot say that I have followed up. And just so you understand, I have access to 3D laser scanners, CATIA, waterjets, a Kern laser, and we do have multiple additive printers at work.
My biggest problems with all models is my age, shaking hands, bad eyes, etc
i worked with a Makerbot Replicator 2 (not 2X) and with PLA materials and i´m still not happy about the results! the Resolution of 0,1 mm (or 100 Microns) is not good enough! believe me!
Unfortunatly i cant change the Material to ABS, because the Replicator2 use only PLA, but i saw, that you can do awesome models with ABS if you use Acetone to make the surface smoother!
Have you ever tried "shapeways"? I was told that IF you order something there you should choose "ultra-frosted detail" to get a good result.
For all the trouble, I don't think it is worth it. At this stage, you would be better going the vacu-form route for custom plastic models. These 3-D printers, for the average consumers, have a long way to go. The commercial ones have been extremely capable, in many mediums, and methods, for a very very long time. If you have access to some basic machinery, like a milling machine, and metal lathe, you can build a much better printer than you can buy. Maybe not everyone, I know I could, the programming language is easily available, and for free, as are many plans for many different style units, from laser to plastic, for scintered metal, and plastic beads that melt to form the material. The metal/laser 3D printers units are the most accurate, usually requiring a kiln to finish off the pieces.