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Mike, these are fantastic prints.  Before I end up committing myself to one, can you say (relatively) how much cheaper these are working out when compared to using the services of the likes of Shapeways?  At face value and given how much it cost for my last order from Shapeways I'd wager these work out more than 50% less expensive. 

 

Many thanks,

 

Bob.

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A lot cheaper. I am also able to set my own tolerences. I have not done any costings but I think Knuckles of this parish has.

 

I have just finished my first bottle of resin (1ltr @ £45 ish). A lot of that went on the Nautilus which is a big model.

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Thank you Mike.  Even at £45 a bottle, it sounds like I'd easily recover the cost in postal savings fairly quickly.  

 

Bob

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To try and put this in perspective a set of 8 * Heavy Duty sideframes consume 8ml of resin, the buckets seats comprising 10 * double and 13 * single consume 19ml and my Grandson's small Nautilus consumes 34ml.

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45 minutes ago, Furness Wagon said:

How does the strength of the parts compare to that of shapeways?

Marc

I've been playing around with adding Monocure 3D Flexible resin at around 1 part to 9 of normal resin. Thats really made the parts  a  lot less brittle.  100% flexible resin is  pretty much like rubber.

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Latest print only partially successful. The hangers need beefing up but the details has printed.

 

Stone's Lilliput T4 Dynamo:

IMG_8163.JPG.61f02f34b9f870a58abc0d787abdd17a.JPG

 

IMG_8165.JPG.484a4681b1a5dae8378134cf50e376b8.JPG

 

IMG_8171.JPG.5f3439fdbdd5ea6d63dbcbf7bed57aef.JPG

 

IMG_8174.JPG.2e041fe70454feda20a9807b4f891f8f.JPG

 

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Re the running costs, what is the power consumption?, as the machine seems to run for quite a while on more involved printing is this a contributing factor to the end cost of the print?

 

Mike.

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That I cannot tell (I don't have a smart meter). The curing of the resin is done by UV Leds so presumably they are low consumers. That leaves fan, stepper motor and display panel. If I had to guess I would say it is far lower than a PC left running all day.

 

A greater consumer are the electric heaters I have had to run to raise the ambient temperature in my unheated garage. My longest print job to date has been around 20 hours.

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Earlier in this topic I mentioned that I relied on the sun making an appearance to post cure the mouldings. When removed from the printer the mouldings are still slightly tacky and not fully cured. Will the recent lack of sunlight the mouldings will cure in natural daylight, it just takes longer. Clearly some form of UV light source would neem to be provided.

 

In the end I ended up with two LED UV curing lights for nail varnish. The most important aspect of these is they must feature dual  light sources one of which is 405nm.

 

The first one was ordered from ebay (£7.39) and is a 36W model. It features three timer setting: infinity, 60secs and 120secs and is power via a USB port:

IMG_8141.JPG.46ce74e4d638e76f7c9fec6181be7afb.JPG

 

IMG_8143.JPG.375f2d822f9b6d9cd72d1ebae8e0ef42.JPG

 

IMG_8144.JPG.4478d1cce11306806f64820aa6b3ce8f.JPG

 

Shortly after ordering the above I was notified by ebay that the suppliers account had been removed and that I may or may not receive my item hence why I ordered another type from Amazon. This is a 48W model but only has timed settings of 99secs, 60secs and 30secs:

IMG_8150.JPG.c03e442fd16065a574c112a614bf730a.JPG

 

IMG_8152.JPG.b8c2b65d349da82146826b928d778ea3.JPG

 

Although the 48W unit (£16.95) only has a maximum of 99secs available it is a very powerful unit and it only takes around 4 zaps to cure the mouldings.

 

Of the two I must admit I prefer the 36W original. Being of lower power I can set it for constant light and leave it while doing something else. With the 48W machine I have managed to cause some Gresley sideframes to warp during curing, something I have not had happen with the 36W machine.

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They say curiosity killed the cat. And so it was that curiosity prompted me to attempt printing the Gresley Bogie in 7mm scale. This could be the biggest mistake of my life as the resulting mouldings have a physical presence that the 4mm ones lack and I am already thinking of ways the 7mm ones can be improved further:

IMG_8222.JPG.cd38db4924741a50e2a9764d2f3e9da3.JPG

 

IMG_8223.JPG.e7ead2352387ee8568430f7bbc3cb5bb.JPG

 

IMG_8224.JPG.fe48d4559566c717b10901bfce58c2e4.JPG

 

As an aside the thicker mouldings here needed the extra power that the 48W lamp provides.

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One step forward and two steps back.

 

First off the good bit. The revised 7mm sideframes have now been printed after thinning the top flange to something nearer to scale, emphasizing the axlebox lettering and removing the cover handles so they can be fitted with wire:

IMG_8235.JPG.cb83b6b2a597f52fff76ce8be3bdacfd.JPG

 

The not so good bit I have started another print job and on checking things were OK later discovered that the build plate is not moving so I seem to have lost "Z" movement.

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Interesting. Tried moving the Z axis from the control panel and that worked so restarted the machine (which I do after each print anyway) and the Z axis is now working again.

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The Photon has now been printing continuously for the last 4 days and copious amounts of resin consummed so time for an update or two.

 

Continuing my experiments with the 7mm Gresley Bogie I attempted to produce the floor mounting plates and as they were not visible decided to print at 0.035mm layer thickness. This is the result of my first attempt:

IMG_8254.JPG.b693fb1cc02bc2fc128f11336ca448e4.JPG

 

What has happened here is the supports have failed. Looking end on it is also apparent that the rectangular section is out of kilter:

IMG_8257.JPG.6b74beab8764c2d9cfa1cc90362a9170.JPG

 

The support strategy used for this is as shown:

Support1.jpg.7e0a4615e818e2b4460b60c735456053.jpg

 

In order to resolve the printing errors the supports were beefed up and the angle altered thus:

Support2.jpg.71dcaf9d78aa54a4e8296799e528de0d.jpg

 

This has resulted in no failed prints and the rectangle is now, well rectangular:

IMG_8258.JPG.91260dd8080d6e5e6ae656c9682c5101.JPG

 

Edited by MikeTrice
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At this stage it is probably worth talking about the workflow I use to produce a print.

 

The most basic of workflows look like this. I start with a model in Blender. From Blender a stl file is exported which is then imported into the Photon Slicer software, supports added and a photon file created for printing:

 

workflow.jpg.19787a9adb0bb54a29b7a025580f1b8c.jpg

 

The trouble with this workflow is it is not very flexible. Sometimes I find it useful to edit the file containing the supports added by the Slicer program before generating the photon file. More often than not I use a more complicated workflow thus:

1529958109_workflow2.jpg.d5ef0703411acbe8e4d29de8927340d4.jpg

 

Lets take the above as an example. I have created a file containing just the bogie sideframes and corresponding files for the bolsters, headstocks and mounting plates. If I now decide to produce a single photon file containing enough parts for a single bogie (2 * sideframes, 1 bolster, 1 mounting plate and 2 headstocks) I can import the corresponding "with support" or "with support edited" files rather than have to import the original stl files, rotate the objects and regenerate the supports. Note also that I often export the final stl file out of the Slicer as it lets me at a later date reimport the layout and slice at different machine settings. Keeping tabs on all the various files can be a nightmare in addition to some form of version control and I would be interested in what other people do.

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Having been blown away with the results of the Gresley Bogie being printed in 7mm I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if I tried printing part of a side in 7mm. The results were interesting to say the least and resulted in a number of experiments over the next few days not to say consumption of a reasonable amount of resin.

 

Without further ado this is what the sample side looked like printed at 0 degrees to the build plate:

IMG_8241.JPG.1382c606fac70f47cf867b1b5a0abaa3.JPG

 

Now I learnt a lot from this. The most important thing being that as generated the supports were too short making it very difficult to correctly dissolve the uncured resin when the print was removed from the machine. Also note that the top layers of the print seem to be flattened with a lack of depth and the door edges ill defined. Resolving the depth of the supports was acheived by exporting the stl file from the slicer and importing into Blender for lengthening. The follwing image shows the before (top) and after (bottom):

sides.jpg.53b1743f2a9a5b15c278b8aa008731dd.jpg

 

I decided at this point to carry out some further experiments but using a smaller section of the side so decided to concentrate on getting a good door print. So I created a number of alternative models orientating the door at various angles and printing off at 0.02mm layer thickness:

IMG_8244.JPG.ac3c808e70f43d65e63ad83b10a083bf.JPG

 

On a couple I suffered from failed supports again however I felt I had enough at 0.02mm to carry on:

IMG_8242.JPG.caa02c1b683f66d162713bfec99ecb15.JPG

 

I was curious as to what impact the layer thickness had so I printed a number of samples rotating from 0 degrees to 70 degrees at 0.035mm:

IMG_8248.JPG.b9b42367826b2e3d9e0fb2a89b6a143c.JPG

 

At some of the orientation the printed results were actually pretty good with the door edges actually appearing:

IMG_8250.JPG.930f2c576c5d749b1ecc5da32702f24d.JPG

 

So things were looking quite good at this point so I decided to reprint the same doors at 0.05mm for comparison (0.035mm top and 0.05mm bottom):

IMG_8253.JPG.f512a7b211a2eaecf9b9cf89c9f6b57f.JPG

 

At some orientations the difference is quite marked but at others less so however I think I will stick with 0.035mm for future sides.

 

So as a final test the Gresley Sideframes were reprinted at 0.035mm and I can honestly say that for them the difference is not visible to the naked eye (0.02mm top, 0.035mm bottom):

IMG_8262.JPG.0ee26be1072d10e8163225dcdc2dfe84.JPG

 

 

 

Edited by MikeTrice
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Mike,

 

I'm following this with interest.  I recently got a Phrozen Shuffle - very similar to your Photon - and have been starting to produce some worthwhile parts.  My main fight has been getting to grips with Fusion 360 and I'm now getting there.  My experiences with printing are much the same as you,  basically finding out the best orientation for parts and the placement of supports.

 

Your description of your workflow in your previous message has been a help.  I was getting annoyed at setting up sets of small parts in the slicer to print off and having to set up orientation and supports all over again.  I'm using Chitubox to do the slicing and supports and I noted that I could sometimes get duplicate files on screen.  So I've just done a test saving individual parts with their preferred orientation and support layout as separate Chitubox project files.  These project files can all be called up together and duplicated and placed to make up a composite slicer file.  So thanks for the nudge to get the brain cells working.   My only worry might be that as Chitubox is apparently under continuous development,  that someone might deem this facility a bug and I lose it in future versions. :-)

 

Jim.

Edited by flubrush
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Hi Mike

Thanks for posting all your trials etc. I have tried drawing with Fusion 360 using the following tutorials which were very clear: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/about/outreach/3d_design_printing/fusion_tutorials/

I have then drawn a couple of 7mm LB&SCR buffer castings, the second one is this Craven Loco bottle shaped one trying to be like the one in the photo:

So I followed your simple work flow but with 360 at the start and used the green resin that came with the machine and used 0.035 on the z-axis and as per your timings, added the auto supports after lifting the model 3mm above the table and I am very pleased with the result!

The base of the casting is 8.6mm square and the width of the ribs either side of the nut are 0.2mm.

I now need to spend some time drawing more parts!

Thanks again

Ian - ex Amesway member now in Blackpool

2019-03-23.png

99 cropped.jpg

Craven loco buffer.jpg

Edited by ianmaccormac
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Thanks also for that link to the Warwick videos Ian.

Very useful. 

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I found the video tutorials very useful and a quick way to get started with the basics, cheers Ian 

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Second print so tried a few options such as 7mm and 4mm parts. I may even get some Craven LB&SCR locos finished at this rate! I now need to learn how to reposition supports as they ended up aligning around parts where I didn't really want them. 

20190325_223056.jpg

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