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Noticed the Aldi site has gone down at the mo

Typical new technology and the site's down error 503, still better than a 401

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Personally I think it’s a ruse, make it look like demand has shut down our site so people will go into store to buy their ‘Kevin the carrot’ toys (as that’s the rumour going round as to why the site has crashed)

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...so people will go into store to buy their ‘Kevin the carrot’ toys (as that’s the rumour going round as to why the site has crashed)

 

Nah. We'll all be printing our own carrots soon.

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Now says,

 

Connections

SD Card, USB port (Expert users only)

 

Anyway, fully supported by the wonders of modern technology, I ordered mine this morning on my mobile phone whist onboard a bus grinding it’s way up the winding hill road to Kandy in Sri Lanka. Thought I’d get in early knowing that ALDI may not repeat the offer. The printer will likely be at home before me.

 

As a bonus my wife is buying it for me as a Christmas present.

 

Better learn how to do some 3D graphics....

 

.

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yeah, got to learn to do some 3D designs too!

 

be interesting to see if my plan for the xbox kinect scanner works too, already have a list of modelling bits i want to scan and try and print off otherwise its try and design them

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Better learn how to do some 3D graphics....

 

.

I like the free OpenSCAD program because its interface is like creating a computer program. I don't think I would have bought the 3D printer if I had not discovered OpenSCAD.  I was never sufficiently interested to climb the learning curve for other 3D CAD programs.

 

...R

Edited by Robin2

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Hi Robin, yeah, that learning curve! I put a Blender tutorial up at the top of this forum. It's powerful, but it's pretty frustrating at the beginning.

 

i always wanted to try OpenSCAD, but unfortunately it kept crashing on me. I will try it again one day, I'm sure.

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i always wanted to try OpenSCAD, but unfortunately it kept crashing on me. I will try it again one day, I'm sure.

I've been trying to import drawings from Inkscape into it today, using a "Paths to OpenSCAD" extension (from here and here). The extension works nicely, but my brain is struggling with getting Inkscape to do what I want! I've also so far failed dismally to get any software installed that converts OpenSCAD to G-code for my CNC mill, although it exports to STL files that presumably work with whatever slicer the 3D printer uses.

 

Are 3D printers really toys/tools for home use, or still for the nerdy (or mad)? I haven't had all this hassle the with battery drills I've recently bought from Aldi!

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I've also so far failed dismally to get any software installed that converts OpenSCAD to G-code for my CNC mill, although it exports to STL files that presumably work with whatever slicer the 3D printer uses.

I use a program called slic3r (note the strange spelling) to convert the STL files to Gcode. I have the impression it is one of the better ones.

 

The code for a milling machine might be considered as a single layer of a 3D model. If that's what you want then create an OpenSCAD 3D image that is (say) 0.3mm thick and tell slic3r to use a 0.3mm layer height. You could use a thicker layer but then you would need to tell silc3r that the 3D printer nozzle is much larger.

 

Another option is simply to extract the sections you are interested in from the Gcode file for a model with several layers. You can get slic3r to add some special code between layers which could help you to find in the file where the layers change.

 

(This probably puts me in the Nerdy or Mad category)

 

...R

Edited by Robin2

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I use a program called slic3r (note the strange spelling) to convert the STL files to Gcode. I have the impression it is one of the better ones.

 

The code for a milling machine might be considered as a single layer of a 3D model. If that's what you want then create an OpenSCAD 3D image that is (say) 0.3mm thick and tell slic3r to use a 0.3mm layer height. You could use a thicker layer but then you would need to tell silc3r that the 3D printer nozzle is much larger.

 

Another option is simply to extract the sections you are interested in from the Gcode file for a model with several layers. You can get slic3r to add some special code between layers which could help you to find in the file where the layers change.

 

(This probably puts me in the Nerdy or Mad category)

 

...R

Nerdy or mad is fine with me :).

 

I'd love it to be that simple, but suspect it's not. CNC mills need information on the size and type of cutter to calculate tool paths, and there may need to be tool changes too. Trying to minimise the software used for a Silhouette Portrait, CNC mill and 3D printer is becoming rather challenging :scratchhead: .

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CNC mills need information on the size and type of cutter to calculate tool paths

Yes, I had forgotten about that. A while back I wrote a Python program to generate a mill toolpath from a simple black and white image (by simple I mean a 2 colour image) and I did make provision for the tool diameter.

 

I think it is possible to trick slic3r into allowing for the tool width by altering the size of the drawing. You may also need to make a "negative" part.

 

...R

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Yes, I had forgotten about that. A while back I wrote a Python program to generate a mill toolpath from a simple black and white image (by simple I mean a 2 colour image) and I did make provision for the tool diameter.

 

I think it is possible to trick slic3r into allowing for the tool width by altering the size of the drawing. You may also need to make a "negative" part.

 

...R

I haven't managed to get my head round installing Repetier-Host yet, so haven't got Slic3r available to try. There are times when Windows is easier than Linux, not many, but this is one of them! I don't know if this is relevant to the Aldi printer though :).

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You can get slic3r on its own.

 

It just produces Gcode so it should work with most 3D printers. It can produce a few different "flavours".

 

...R

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I've got Repetier installed and working now. It includes Cura, Slic3r and Slic3r Prusa Edition. Presumably Repetier will work with the Aldi printer as I think it's Prusa i3 based.

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 Presumably Repetier will work with the Aldi printer as I think it's Prusa i3 based.

Let us know :)

 

...R

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Let us know :)

 

...R

How am I supposed to do that when I'm not buying one? ;)

 

The Aldi is for RTR/RTP modellers. "Real" modellers build them from kits, and hope to do a bit of kitbashing to it :).

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How am I supposed to do that when I'm not buying one? ;)

Sorry. I got mixed up.

 

...R

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Sorry. I got mixed up.

 

...R

It's not difficult when we wander off topic and turn it into a general 3D printer discussion :).

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Let us know :)

 

...R

I’ll download it and let you know,

 

(that’s if the printer hasn’t been wrapped round my head by my wife when she finds out I’ve bought one)

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I wonder how many RMWebbers took a punt on the Aldi printer and ordered one? It's now showing as Sold Out.

I did seriously think about it, but in the end decided to wait a while and perhaps get a higher-spec machine. The wait will give me a chance to get to grips with CAD software.

Edited by Pete 75C

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I'm curious to know how "ordinary" users are expected to use them. There are many many thousands of designs for just about everything imaginable available to download, scattered all over the web. They almost all come as STL files, that need running through a slicer program to prepare for printing. Are "ordinary" users expected to handle this bit themselves, or is it somehow built into the Aldi machines, so the STL file can be copied to an SD card, plugged into the printer, and every print comes out perfectly? The more I read up on 3D printing, the more I see it as a process that needs a lot of skill, patience, and a fair bit of failure and frustration. Not what modern consumers expect from the stuff they buy.

 

And that's before considering the more skilled level that Aldi say is needed for using the USB connection. The world of 3D CAD, slicers, printer control software etc., isn't for the faint hearted! I know I'm complicating things by trying to get software together that I can use for my Silhouette Portrait, CNC milling machine and a 3D printer (as I'm a masochist :)), but none of it is that straightforward. Or do kids learn all this stuff at school, so they can teach the rest of the family? I'm not sure they're much use for railway modelling unless you can get your head round all this stuff.

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I'm curious to know how "ordinary" users are expected to use them. There are many many thousands of designs for just about everything imaginable available to download, scattered all over the web. They almost all come as STL files, that need running through a slicer program to prepare for printing. Are "ordinary" users expected to handle this bit themselves, or is it somehow built into the Aldi machines, so the STL file can be copied to an SD card, plugged into the printer, and every print comes out perfectly? The more I read up on 3D printing, the more I see it as a process that needs a lot of skill, patience, and a fair bit of failure and frustration. Not what modern consumers expect from the stuff they buy.

 

And that's before considering the more skilled level that Aldi say is needed for using the USB connection. The world of 3D CAD, slicers, printer control software etc., isn't for the faint hearted! I know I'm complicating things by trying to get software together that I can use for my Silhouette Portrait, CNC milling machine and a 3D printer (as I'm a masochist :)), but none of it is that straightforward. Or do kids learn all this stuff at school, so they can teach the rest of the family? I'm not sure they're much use for railway modelling unless you can get your head round all this stuff.

 

 

It can be a steep learning curve. With some 3D printers you need to take things one layer at a time...

Edited by letterspider

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It can be a steep learning curve. With some 3D printers you need to take things one layer at a time...

As a consumer item sold by a supermarket, surely you should be able to plug in an SD card, and a perfectly finished print pops out instantly! They do it on Star Trek (but without the SD card!) ;).

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I'm curious to know how "ordinary" users are expected to use them.

 

Maybe I'm way off the mark, but I cannot imagine anyone buying one of these printers and just settling for downloading a 3rd party file and printing it? Shapeways would surely give you a far better quality print for a mere fraction of the cost of buying your own machine.

For me the appeal is actually the challenge of learning to use the software and eventually (no doubt after many many errors) ending up with something unique that is not to be seen elsewhere. I think those that don't want to/can't find the time to learn the software are going to be in for a bit of a disappointment...

I'm learning a language and, at my age, it's a bleedin' nightmare. Just as well I'm doing it because I want to and not because I have to. Challenging yourself is good, but I think the desire has to be there as well.

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