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On 19/12/2019 at 13:28, Andy1963 said:

Would be interested to know what you are using to create models and how easy it is to learn?

 

Have a look at "Designspark Mechanical", which is free from RS components.

https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/mechanical-software

 

It's the only free package I know of that allows you to enter exact dimensions as you are working on designs.

 

I've used it quite a lot and the things I have made from it have come out to exact size, so they fit together or fit with existing parts.

Examples - a coupling height gauge and a battery compartment cover complete with the spring latches as a single piece print.

IMG_0187a.jpg

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1 hour ago, RobjUK said:

 

It's the only free package I know of that allows you to enter exact dimensions as you are working on designs.

 

Have a look at Tinkercad. Free online cad package and allows exact dimensions to be used.

Needs a little creative thinking to get the best from it, but great value when free.

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The £149.99 offer is still there for the Balco printer, so I've taken the plunge :)

 

Mark

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Fusion 360 allows entering of exact dimensions, and doesn’t SketchUp too...? Surely that’s a very basic functionality. 

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1 hour ago, njee20 said:

Fusion 360 allows entering of exact dimensions, and doesn’t SketchUp too...? Surely that’s a very basic functionality. 

 

 

On 20/12/2019 at 20:56, RobjUK said:

 

Have a look at "Designspark Mechanical", which is free from RS components.

https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/mechanical-software

It's the only free package I know of that allows you to enter exact dimensions as you are working on designs.

 

SketchUp does allow precise measurement input.

See this video:

 

Edited by Damo666
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I can’t think of any CAD package which doesn’t allow that. Free or otherwise. 

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9 hours ago, njee20 said:

I can’t think of any CAD package which doesn’t allow that. Free or otherwise. 

CAD, yes - but free 3D modelling packages seemed to start out as more by-eye art than engineering oriented.

 

I've had my 3D printer for a good few years now & looks like Sketchup (and likely others) have matured over time. Good to know!

 

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Blender 3D has allows me to write in dimensions to 6 decimal places. It's free, and is a modelling program, but it's got quite the learning curve. 

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Ive found sketchup to be buggy when designing in model units. If you are working with small arcs and circles of say  a mm or less  it won't let you increase the number of sectors to smooth the circle, or draw small arcs.

Also it goes mental when tryng to zoom in, you'll get close and then unless your mouse is exactly over the item  it suddenly rushes past and you're  lost out in space somewhere and can't find your model without using the zoom to extents or something button.

 

I fix this by either modelling in original units and rescaling at the end, or rescale everything up by 10 times and then rescale back at the end.

Edited by monkeysarefun
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On 16/01/2020 at 22:45, RobjUK said:

CAD, yes - but free 3D modelling packages seemed to start out as more by-eye art than engineering oriented.

 

I've had my 3D printer for a good few years now & looks like Sketchup (and likely others) have matured over time. Good to know!

 

 

I think I've tried all the free-ware CAD systems but I couldn't find one that I liked. Of course that could be because I've been using TurboCAD for more than twenty years and I'm too old to learn new tricks. I know some people hate TurboCAD too ;)

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On 15/01/2020 at 19:20, MarkC said:

The £149.99 offer is still there for the Balco printer, so I've taken the plunge :)

 

Mark

That is encouraging. Mark C has a printer. When are you home? I have a stack of jobs for you.

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15 hours ago, RBAGE said:

That is encouraging. Mark C has a printer. When are you home? I have a stack of jobs for you.

If you know how to set up and use such things, Bob, then welcome :D

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Mine arrived today via Yodel. Lower X Rail was loose in the box and the extruder head was flopping around although the Z movement was constrained by the industrial cable tie. Quite a job to get it all back as it should be as some of the rail bearings appear to be blind ended, making it difficult to thread the second rail into place. All done now so on to the mysteries of bed levelling. :-)N 

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Dont over fuss about levelling the bed. Set it roughly according to the instruction without faffing about too much and then set it to print a shape say a square 100 X 100 X 1 high with a brim base.

 

As the printer is printing the brim, make fine tune adjustments to the bed using the knurled dials at the bed. Less than a quarter turn at a time and the results are immediately visible. You are aiming to see a flattened bead which is adhering to but not spread out onto the bed. Once happy, abandon the job, clear the bed and set your proper job off.

 

Levelling with paper and the like can only go so far, its better to make fine adjustments with a print bead.

Edited by JimFin
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Mine has arrived at home - also via Yodel. Looking forward to trying it out.

 

Thanks to the above two posters - some useful information there :)

 

Mark

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So, who else has found the hidden USB port on their Balco printer?  I think the later versions in Aldi have it more easily accessible, but for us Mk1er's, it takes a bit of hunting.....

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