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Best 3D Printing Solution for Baseboard Mounting Parts


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Hi all,

 

I'm thinking of getting a 3D printer for making models, and believe a resin one is best for that.

 

However, I also will need to do some 3D printing of mounting parts for fixing some items to my baseboards on the underside. I'm thinking that resin wouldn't be suitable, and for such things I would need a filament printer and make sure it can handle a suitable material.

 

Can anyone here confirm my thoughts, and suggest suitable filament printer and material type for such mounting parts?

 

TIA

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I think a lot depends on the amount of stress the mountings will experience. If the stresses are very low or entirely compressive then resin might be strong enough. If you do decide to go for a filament printer then PLA should be OK. I've watched quite a lot of YouTube videos where various filaments have been tested for strength (CNC Kitchen is a good channel for that) and none of the ones you could use on a home printer seem particularly stronger than PLA overall. PLA is also the cheapest, is readily available and is the easiest to print with.

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Either would do the job if you select the appropriate material to go with it.

 

With a FDM printer, ePLA is excellent as it give real strength,  it can be annealed after printing and is straightforward to print with.  ABS is an alternative but it is very difficult to tune a printer in to work with that successfully and you need to factor in an enclosure to keep the temperature up. ABS likes it hot while printing. 

 

With a resin printer, it is again about selecting the type of resin to give the properties you want for the job. Some are close to ABS in strength, other incorporate flexibility. Have a look at the Siraya Tech website as it give an idea of different resins and their properties. personally I blend them to achieve the properties I want for a job.

 

The one thing I have found with a resin printer is that you need an additional step to get dimensional accuracy sorted. FDM's pretty well print to the dimensions you give them, resin printers often need some adjustment in the software to correct XYZ discrepancies.

 

Attached is a servo bracket I use extensively printed with my FDM if this is the sort of thing you had in mind. I use an Ultimaker FDM printer and an Anycubic Mono X for resin. 

 

In my experience, FDM is a much simpler and less demanding process than resin which has the complexity of some pretty noxious chemicals to handle and manage but will not achieve the level of detail or surface finish of a resin printer/

Copy of Servo bracket.stl

Edited by JimFin
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As Jim says, FDM is ideal for mechanical parts and while you can get quite good detail with smaller nozzles it can't compete with resin for surface finish and small details although I have been able to print 00 track and turnout bases with my filament printer using a 0.2mm nozzle.

 

I've used PETg filament for mechanical parts and it's a lot tougher than PLA. You do need to use an all metal hot-end as it has to be heated too around 250 degrees.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Ian J. said:

Of the FDM printers listed in this Tom's Hardware listing, does the Creality Ender 3 Pro deserve it's place at the top? As I've not done 3D printing before, I wonder if it would be a good model to start with, as they suggest?

 

https://www.tomshardware.com/uk/best-picks/best-3d-printers

 

It looks like pretty good value and it has some nice features. You might want to shop around to get the best price.

 

Be prepared for some initial disappointment. With any FDM printer there are quite a few things to learn before you will be able to produce what you want and there is a danger you will become so engrossed in the whole business you'll lose sight of what you were trying to achieve in the first place :D

 

But that's what hobbies are all about, and when you do produce some great parts you will be really chuffed.

 

 

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I think your assessment is fair. You certainly can make strong parts on resin printers, but they just don’t have the same mechanical properties as an FDM printed part, and achieving even broadly comparable results requires using more expensive resins. The cost of parts is subsequently much higher on resin printers too. 
 

The answer is clearly to buy both! There are Voxelab Proxima resin printers on eBay sold direct by Flashforge which are often in the £130 range; and an Ender is £175 or so. Job done then!

 

I personally find resin printers easier. There’s far less mechanical tinkering, the amount of hardware changes people make to FDM printers is mad, it’s like modifying cars! I like having both, the simplicity of an FDM print is good; once it’s finished you pop it off the bed and it’s done, where resin need cleaning and curing and what not, plus they do smell. 

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I think many people modify their 3D printers because they can rather than because they need to. Certainly for printing PLA just about every current printer will give decent results unmodified. The only significant upgrade I've done to my printer is to upgrade the bed levelling springs. I'd had the printer quite a while beforehand and I only did it so that I didn't need to re-level the bed so often. I've recently had to change the boden tube but I knew I'd have to do that eventually as it's a well-known design issue and I had some Capricorn tubing on hand ready for that eventuality. I got close to a year from the original boden tube so I'm not grumbling.

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So, currently I'm looking at the Creality Ender 3 Pro for FDM and an initial purchase, for the purposes of making 'simple' mounting parts for various components on the underside of basedboards (plugs, sockets, etc, those kind of things), where appearance is secondary to functionality.

 

Then, once I have experience and familiarity with 3D CAD and printing of these 'simple' parts, my thoughts are to get an Elegoo Saturn for resin printing model items, as I understand resin is better for fine detail.

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9 hours ago, PaulaDoesTrains said:

I think many people modify their 3D printers because they can rather than because they need to. Certainly for printing PLA just about every current printer will give decent results unmodified. The only significant upgrade I've done to my printer is to upgrade the bed levelling springs. I'd had the printer quite a while beforehand and I only did it so that I didn't need to re-level the bed so often. I've recently had to change the boden tube but I knew I'd have to do that eventually as it's a well-known design issue and I had some Capricorn tubing on hand ready for that eventuality. I got close to a year from the original boden tube so I'm not grumbling.

 

Hi Paula,

 

I've had an i3 clone for a few years and I'm thinking of converting it to a bowden tube. I don't care for all that mass hanging off the carriage, or the amount of overhang. Do you think it wmight perform better with a bowden tube?

 

Thanks,

Andy

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8 hours ago, AndyID said:

 

Hi Paula,

 

I've had an i3 clone for a few years and I'm thinking of converting it to a bowden tube. I don't care for all that mass hanging off the carriage, or the amount of overhang. Do you think it wmight perform better with a bowden tube?

 

Thanks,

Andy

 

That's the theory. But there are plenty of printers with direct-drive extruders producing good results so it's clearly not as clear-cut as that.

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18 hours ago, Ian J. said:

So, currently I'm looking at the Creality Ender 3 Pro for FDM and an initial purchase, for the purposes of making 'simple' mounting parts for various components on the underside of basedboards (plugs, sockets, etc, those kind of things), where appearance is secondary to functionality.

 

Then, once I have experience and familiarity with 3D CAD and printing of these 'simple' parts, my thoughts are to get an Elegoo Saturn for resin printing model items, as I understand resin is better for fine detail.

Resin is certainly far better for detail, and the Saturn is a great printer, and the cheapest of the ~9" printers. IMO there's very little transferable skill though, if you learn on FDM you'll be starting again with resin, and vice versa. I had 4 resin printers before I bought my FDM one and had no idea what I was doing (still don't really!). I accept that doing both simultaneously is likely to end in tears though, and CAD design is transferrabale. 


I've followed my own advice and bought a Voxelab Proxima on eBay for £108, couldn't go wrong at that price! Will retire one of the old resin printers I think. My only consel would be to consider whether you need the volume of the Saturn. If you only aspire to printing small detail items then a smaller printer is cheaper to run, they're faster, and a bit easier to use (peel forces increase markedly with the print area). If you want to print OO gauge stock or larger items then the Saturn is a great machine.

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I would certainly be looking at a resin printer not just for details but also larger objects like locomotives, rolling stock, building sections, etc.

Edited by Ian J.
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I've an Ender 3 v2 that I'm enjoying messing with (partly because I don't want to get the resins out for the Mono X). There's a couple of known faults on it, but they're not difficult to sort out. Also, there's a busy and friendly group on Facebook. As other people have said, the main thing is to replace the springs and level your bed as most issues can be traced back to this.

 

I've used it for a few things around the house, and I've just printed a 4mm wagon on it - the print was a lot better than I expected.

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So far I've done a few small prints for the layout.

 

I had some old Triang "UD" milk wagons, two of which had missing hatches so I printed some replacement. On the layout (as opposed to under a microscope) you can't really tell which is which apart from them being a purer white unaffected by age.

 

I won an Ebay auction for n old Hornby 75 ton crane complete with match trucks in very good condition apart from the usual missing chimney and a couple of the supporting legs missing. I was the only bidder and paid £9.99 plus postage. I'm not bothered about the missing legs as I don't intend to deploy it in "play" mode but I printed a new chimney for it. It's not something which will get a run out very often.

 

I've printed a lever frame to go inside my Scalescenes signal box. I printed the base and levers separately with the levers being printed on their sides and assembled it using superglue. It's not turned out too bad and is way better than looking into an empty signal box.

 

An ongoing project is a water crane. I could buy one for a few pounds but where's the modelling challenge in that? So I found an old photo of one online which I thought suitable and have done an approximation of it in FreeCAD. I printed it flat on the bed in two halves then glued them together. I used the variable layer height function (I think it's called dynamic layers) in Cura and it's come out quite well although a bit small so I'll print another one and scale it up in Cura.

 

I think you can get good results in some circumstances from an FDM printer. The secret is in knowing what they're good at and what they're bad at and designing your part to avoid what they're bad at. For instance, if I were to print a wagon I'd split it down into to the various parts which can be printed flat, much like an injection-moulded kit.

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23 hours ago, JCL said:

I've an Ender 3 v2 that I'm enjoying messing with (partly because I don't want to get the resins out for the Mono X). There's a couple of known faults on it, but they're not difficult to sort out. Also, there's a busy and friendly group on Facebook. As other people have said, the main thing is to replace the springs and level your bed as most issues can be traced back to this.

 

I've used it for a few things around the house, and I've just printed a 4mm wagon on it - the print was a lot better than I expected.

Hello Sir hope you are all good?

 

so how is the Ender 3 v2? I'd be keen to see some of the prints this machine knocks out, as im thinking of getting a new FDM printer this year for some of the larger buildings i am planning. I know Creality do some large format printers and ideally would love to get a 350-400mm build bed FDM printer as my zortrax struggles to print anything unless its ABS which warps big time.

Cheers

 

Rob

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10 hours ago, woko said:

Hello Sir hope you are all good?

 

so how is the Ender 3 v2? I'd be keen to see some of the prints this machine knocks out, as im thinking of getting a new FDM printer this year for some of the larger buildings i am planning. I know Creality do some large format printers and ideally would love to get a 350-400mm build bed FDM printer as my zortrax struggles to print anything unless its ABS which warps big time.

Cheers

 

Rob

 The Ender 3 V2 has a 220 by 220 build plate so is smaller than what you're looking for.  Their CR-10 MAX has a 450 by 450 build plate but is a lot more expensive.

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2 hours ago, PaulaDoesTrains said:

 The Ender 3 V2 has a 220 by 220 build plate so is smaller than what you're looking for.  Their CR-10 MAX has a 450 by 450 build plate but is a lot more expensive.

Thanks Paula, any idea on the final quality of the prints? the 450x450 would be ideal for what i need

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On 20/01/2022 at 12:29, woko said:

Thanks Paula, any idea on the final quality of the prints? the 450x450 would be ideal for what i need

Not really. Michael at Teaching Tech on YouTube did a review a couple of years ago of an early production sample which was not without its issues IRC. I assume those have been addressed.

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