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  1. #1
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    What a time to be alive

    Hey everyone FNG here. The Wife and i just moved here from TN a couple months ago. We/me spends most of our time in our garage building things. I'm attempting to make every piece of furniture in our home with high quality items. I got tired of buying furniture that cant handled being used on a daily basis or is made from crap material.

    What my wife and i did for new years eve was set up our 3D printer that was delivered earlier that day. On black friday a site had a sale on the Creality Ender 3 for $170 ($240 on amazon right now) plus free shipping. I looked through the interwebs and apparently that model is the new hotness for that price range. Even though I have zero experience or knowledge with anything like this I thought what the ####, its only $170 and maybe my half korean side will kick in. The plan was to use it for shop jigs, router templates, knobs, and things of that nature.

    Setting this thing up is a breeze. It took my wife and i around 45 minutes and neither one of us were within the legal limit to drive. I really wasn't expecting much from this thing but i was taken back on how well engineered, thought out, and the overall quality of the machine. (China finally made something that is isnt trash!!) Everything you need minus the fillament is provided. All the nuts, bolts, and washers were in labeled ziplock baggies and separated by size. Even the tools they provided were the best ones I've gotten from something like this. Good enough to where i'm keeping the 6 ball end hex keys instead of throwing them away. The instructions were pretty good if your mechanically inclined. It was a high quality photo type that gets the job done. My only grip is that there is one point where you have to loosen something up to make it fit that was not covered but anyone who is a little mechanically inclined will figure it out. Or find one of the 10 million youtube videos that will walk you thought it. We like to live dangerously so we only used to supplied instructions. Cant go into too much detail about the machine itself because i dont know what the #### i am looking at. But I am positive i couldnt obtain all the parts and keep the budget under $170. Im sure there are ton of pale 16 year olds that can but not this guy.

    To get started you'll need one program at minimum. Its a slice program that basically takes the 3D file (and there are many different ones) and converts it to a file type your printer can read. The one i use is called Untimaker Curra3.6.0 (free) and it is really simple. If you want to modify or to design your own from scratch you'll need a type of CAD program. I use Free CAD (again, free) and found that designing your own stuff on CAD is hard. Really really hard. But there are a few sites were people will put their creations in open source format so anyone can print them. I found one i like called Thingverse.com. They have something along the lines of 1.2 million files and iIve already found quite a few 3D models that i can immediately put to use while I'm figuring out CAD.

    One major drawback to the printer is that is slooooow. Painfully slow. My first print was a doorbell mount adapter for my vivint camera and a T-Rex keychain holder. That took almost 4 hours. I printed a set of router corner templates and that was seven hours. The knobs were much quicker at 45min-1 hour. There are things you can do in the configurations to change the quality, density, temperatures, and a bunch more. I'm not too confident in my abilities to go clicking buttons just to see if it worked a couple hours later. So i go with the recommended settings.

    I think this is going to be a game changer for me and will easily pay for itself and then some. i can make things that I could buy but but i wont, or make the things i would have anyway and save me some money, or make things that i cannot replicate with any accuracy with tools. Who knows where this will go. There is so much information online about this. You are basically limited to your time and imagination.

    Here are the pictures of the prints I made since last night. The printer has basically been going non stop and is running at the moment.

    Enjoy.
    Attachment 29473Attachment 29474Attachment 29475Attachment 29476Attachment 29477
    Last edited by Rex; 01-02-2019 at 12:02 AM.

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  3. #2
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    Re: What a time to be alive

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    Here are the pictures of the prints I made since last night. The printer has basically been going non stop and is running at the moment.

    Enjoy.
    Attachment 29473Attachment 29474Attachment 29475Attachment 29476Attachment 29477
    thanks for post, that's a price I'd jump into 3D printing to see how it goes.

    Get error message "Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator" when I look at pictures

  4. #3
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    Re: What a time to be alive

    i got the same error on my phone. but when i switched to my computer they display just fine. i added them to this reply. see if that works.
    IMG_1449.jpgIMG_1445.jpgIMG_1443.jpgIMG_1442.jpgIMG_1441.jpg

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  6. #4
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    Re: What a time to be alive

    Welcome. While 3D Printers have been out there for years, this is the first time my lizard brain has told me, "You want this."
    Last edited by tarheelz; 01-02-2019 at 08:55 PM.

  7. #5
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    Re: What a time to be alive

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    If you want to modify or to design your own from scratch you'll need a type of CAD program. I use Free CAD (again, free) and found that designing your own stuff on CAD is hard. Really really hard.

    One major drawback to the printer is that is slooooow.
    Enjoy.
    Attachment 29473Attachment 29474Attachment 29475Attachment 29476Attachment 29477
    This is the thing people dont realize about 3Dprinters when they buy one , they need an input file, you cant simply "think" things out of these machines, they're only as good as the person modeling the parts. They are also inherently slow. So unless you want to simply print other peoples parts , if you have no CAD ability or program, theyre kindof useless. The other thing to consider is what the actually plastic resin material is. Most machines , even large industrial prototype 3D printers that I use, the parts are merely for a touchy feely kindof part, not for any real function.

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  9. #6
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    Re: What a time to be alive

    I've found the 3D printer to be quite useful for woodworking thing-a-ma-jigs. I've made dogs for dog-holes and all kinds of tool holders using mine. Quite useful.

    If you haven't yet, check out a website https://www.thingiverse.com/ that has a bunch of pre-designed things and plans for others.
    I don't believe in Astrology. I'm a Sagittarius and we're skeptical.

    "May the grain be with you" - Roy Underhill

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    Re: What a time to be alive

    Welcome to NCWW Rex, and thank you for the informative post. I can hear the grumblings all over the place; dang it, Christmas was last week! Now I've gotta wait a whole 51 weeks for one!
    Experience is a hard teacher; she gives the test first, and the lesson later.

  11. #8
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    Re: What a time to be alive

    Welcome. It would be fun to hear about your successes (and failures) with your printer. A lot of us are thinking about getting one.

  12. #9
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    Danny (72)
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    Re: What a time to be alive

    Thanks for your post I had no idea 3D printer output was so sharp and crisp.

  13. #10
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    Re: What a time to be alive

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex View Post
    i got the same error on my phone. but when i switched to my computer they display just fine. i added them to this reply. see if that works.
    IMG_1449.jpgIMG_1445.jpgIMG_1443.jpgIMG_1442.jpgIMG_1441.jpg
    Weird, I was on computer and they didn't work, but this batch does on the computer. I spent my fun money on a Sous Vide setup, so be a little while before I can invest in a 3D printer. Friend has one, and we've sold some printed knick knacks at shows that have pretty much paid for the machine.

  14. #11
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    Re: What a time to be alive

    Quote Originally Posted by tri4sale View Post
    Sous Vide
    Being that I like to cook, mainly over charcoal, as well as woodwork, Sous Vide is another thing outside of, but related to, my hobby... Similar to 3D printers, I want one, but do I NEED one?

  15. #12
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    Re: What a time to be alive

    Just one major word of advice, don’t be afraid to experiment with 3D CAD programs, including possible paid applications. Some are much easier to learn than others and can also be much easier and more intuitive to use. For my CAD use I mostly use TurboCAD Pro, though it is by no means inexpensive these days (though you can buy older versions for less), as I found it much easier to use than all the others I tried (and it was considerably less expensive than AutoCAD at the time). These days many will start out with SketchUp. So the moral to this story is that it is worth experimenting to see what application works best for you — even many of the paid applications permit free 30-day trials. Then learn to master whichever solution works best for you.

    Also, experiment with different viewport and snap settings. Back when I started everything was usually exclusively wireframe drawings as computers had difficulty rendering anything else in real time, but what I found most intuitive to use for 3D design was a fast draft rendering mode (shaded surfaces rather than just wire frames) with wireframe edges enabled on hidden surface edges plus I learned to customize the snap points to be optimal for whatever I’m trying to do at that moment as learning how snap works and what each type does greatly simplifies getting your objects and edges to properly line up with, or attach to, one another.

    Good luck and keep us informed from time to time on your progress!

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    Re: What a time to be alive

    Quote Originally Posted by ste6168 View Post
    Being that I like to cook, mainly over charcoal, as well as woodwork, Sous Vide is another thing outside of, but related to, my hobby... Similar to 3D printers, I want one, but do I NEED one?
    That was my attitude about Sous Vide, I want but do I need. Well BJ's had a clearance rack with one for $40 (dropped to $30 the next day so I got the difference back) and a tub to cook in was $10 from Target, so for $40 I took the plunge. Plus a friend has one for 2 years now and swears by it. What set me back was the vacuum sealer, bought a nice one.

  17. #14
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    Re: What a time to be alive

    Welcome to the neighborhood! Lots of great people here with tons of knowledge to share. Technology is becoming so accessable that you can use it to create do many things.
    - Not living life till you're part of the Food Chain

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