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I am perplexed as to what printer would be suitable for my needs.  I have designed parts in the past and produced .stl files for commercial printers to produce the items and been pleased with results.  However, I suspect things have now moved on in the domestic printer market.  So, if I wanted to produce items in high definition using a tough non-brittle plastic material what 3D printer and material would be the best buy for me?  I don’t want to purchase anything I will soon grow dissatisfied with.

 

Les

 

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Hi Les. That’s a difficult one. As far as I know, high detail and tough non-brittle plastic are fairly mutually exclusive. Can you give a bit more background about your budget, what you’ll be printing, what sort of size the parts will be, and what you’re going to be doing with them?

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Hello JCL

 

Thanks for your reply.  The first thing I would like to produce are things like the sides of carriage bogies, axle boxes etc.  They would not have to be so pliable but I have noticed some commercial stuff is a bit brittle so I don’t want to be too limited in what I can print in future.  However, thinking about it I can’t think of anything I want that would have to flex too much but good detail is a must.    Hopefully, layers of 0.1mm are achievable in a domestic printer.

 

Budget is flexible enough though.  It depends what I can get in a domestic printer for my money.  Beyond £1000 I would have to have more of a think about it but I would prefer to have something that would last a few years.

 

regards Les 

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The obvious candidates for home printing are the Elegoo Mars and the Anycubic Photon, both way below your budget, at c£250ish. 

 

I went with a Photon as there's a huge community of users. The Mars has a very slightly larger print volume, but seemed to have marginally less of a following and was harder to get hold of. There is a Photon S variant, but consensus is generally that the older model is better, if only for the much better support. Layer size is down to 0.01mm IIRC. I tend to print at 0.05, mainly because I'm impatient and it takes ages otherwise.


If you want to max out your budget something like the Phrozen Shuffle springs to mind, in all honesty I've not looked at what it really offers you.

 

I'm still firmly getting to grips with mine, but I've successfully printed N gauge bogies, the resins retain enough flexibility to get axles in (without using pin point bearings). Curing for too long can make things brittle, but it's a balancing act. Several threads on here with people showing what they've achieved, my meagre efforts below, the bogies on the top wagon were printed too, as were the LTF bogies on the bottom photo:

 

48931045918_8e55d9934b_z.jpgUntitled by njee20, on Flickr
 

48931774392_08b2ef90e1_z.jpgUntitled by njee20, on Flickr

 

48880402783_f59cdbb45b_z.jpgUntitled by njee20, on Flickr

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Regarding resins being brittle there are cases of users intermixing resins, including flexible variants, to reduce the brittleness.

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1 hour ago, MikeTrice said:

Regarding resins being brittle there are cases of users intermixing resins, including flexible variants, to reduce the brittleness.

 

That's true. There is a bit of alchemy going on out there. My printer (Peopoly Moai) uses a laser, and Mike's (Anycubic Photon) uses an LCD panel, and the printing process takes place at different temperatures. So you need to make sure that the resins you use are compatible with your printer. However, this is not difficult to work out, and there are plenty of people out there and on here that can help you - as nje200 says, especially for the Photon.

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Many thanks for all your replies but I have another question now.


Are there advantages using resin rather than filament types of printer or vice versa?

 

Les

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5 hours ago, MikeTrice said:

Regarding resins being brittle there are cases of users intermixing resins, including flexible variants, to reduce the brittleness.

 

I've had success mixing 1 part monocure Flex3D resin, 4 parts Anycubic resin to print items that have about the same flexibility  as 'standard' plastic kits, ie parts can be flexed and twisted appreciably  more than standard resin alone.  Using  100% Flex i get items with the flexibility of Gummi Bears..

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1 hour ago, les101975jud said:

Many thanks for all your replies but I have another question now.


Are there advantages using resin rather than filament types of printer or vice versa?

 

Les

Resin printers have a smaller print volume, are messier, more faff (you need to clean and cure prints) and they smell a bit. However the level of detail is far higher and the finish is markedly better. Personally I was only interested in resin. 

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Since Les is buying a resin printer and he is going to need resin as well, which resins are people using for bogies and wagon.  I've just been using the Anycubic green but is there anything that really stands out.

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Hi, I've just been chatting to someone who has built their own printer. Have you ever thought about making your own from a kit?

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I am grateful for the responses to my original question.  Currently, I am inclined towards a resin printer like the Anycubic Photon.  The price point is very much cheaper than I was expecting and to respond to Harry50, I feel less inclined towards building a kit.

 

Since asking my original question I feel I have made some progress weighing up the pros and cons of all what is available out there.  Thank you all very much.

 

Regards

 

Les

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On 28/10/2019 at 16:18, njee20 said:

The obvious candidates for home printing are the Elegoo Mars and the Anycubic Photon, both way below your budget, at c£250ish. 

 

I went with a Photon as there's a huge community of users. The Mars has a very slightly larger print volume, but seemed to have marginally less of a following and was harder to get hold of. There is a Photon S variant, but consensus is generally that the older model is better, if only for the much better support. Layer size is down to 0.01mm IIRC. I tend to print at 0.05, mainly because I'm impatient and it takes ages otherwise.

 

Note that the 'huge community' of Photon users (Photonsters) have been miffed by Anycubic's switch from an industry-standard motherboard in the Photon 'classic' to a proprietary design in the Photon S. The Photonsters community had invested a lot of effort into understanding the original board, and what could be borrowed/learned from other brands using the same component. On top of this, recent Photon S firmware now uses a different print file format, incompatible with the 'classic', so little of the Photonsters work can be carried forward. To cap all this, current production of the 'classic' now also contains the proprietary board, which can be determined only by powering up and reading the firmware version or examining the innards. This now being colloquially known as the "Fauxton". Other Photonsters are buying spare original CBD motherboards and retro-fitting them to Photon S printers, to enable continued use of third-party toolchains instead of Anycubic's proprietary one.

 

The Nim.

Edited by Nimbus
More info just in from Photonsters FB page.
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Ooo, that's interesting, didn't know they'd been fitting the proprietary motherboard to the original Photon, that's a bit cheeky!

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Wow, how to alienate your customer base.

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All of which makes me want to ask another question.  If I was to purchase one of these Photon S printers with the latest motherboard will I be at a disadvantage?  I will be starting from scratch with no historical modelling files so will it be OK under that scenario?

 

regards Les

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2 hours ago, JCL said:

Wow, how to alienate your customer base.

Especially with a host of competitive new resin printers coming into the  market  now.

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On 28/10/2019 at 16:18, njee20 said:

there's a huge community of users.

 

Do you know a forum or website for exchanging or buying Cad files for Photons or do you model your own? 

 

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Yep, that’s the obvious one. I’ve printed a couple of things off Thingiverse, but generally do my own stuff. It was the barrier to me buying one - I wanted to be semi literate with CAD!

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Yep, that’s the obvious one. I’ve printed a couple of things off Thingiverse, but generally do my own stuff. It was the barrier to me buying one - I wanted to be semi literate with CAD!

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yeggi.com is a kind of search engine for 3D prints and will search across all the major marketplace sites, myminifactory, thingiverse etc.

 

https://www.yeggi.com/

 

(You can put 'free' into your search terms if you  only want to get stuff for nothing...)

 

 

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