Do you 3D Print?

I wonder if GHI will mind if I did a poll on their forum. Ok here it goes:

+1 If you own/use a 3D printer or CNC mill that cost less than $5,000 USD.


Can’t technically +1 so I’ll comment :slight_smile:
Have plans to DIY a Prusa i3. Have some parts, need a waterjet cutter to do my frame next

What about poor rich folk like me that use systems with a few more zeros? ::slight_smile:


What about all 3?
A few years ago I picked up a used ‘benchtop’ CNC with a 24"x30" bed for $1200.
Last year was the $3500 12"x20" 40w CO2 laser.
This year I got a $2300 SLA printer.

The laser and printer both came from Full Spectrum kickstarter projects.

@ Mr. John Smith - want to own those tools, but can’t currently justify the cost for a hobby. When there are reliable options in the sub $1k (or cheaper) range, that might change. I’m never averse to buying tools that don’t see frequent use (for example, I own a lathe, a biscuit joiner, and several other power tools that are only rarely used), so long as they’re a reasonable outlay, and the potential exists for them to come in VERY handy at the right time.

3D printing is almost there.

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@ devhammer - 3D printing is definitely there. You can build a RepRap for $700 that has more speed & precision than a $3000 Makerbot. Believe me that once you have one, you’ll wish you had two because you’ll find so many things to do with it.

How about this for good print quality

Having played with one I agree with Ian that you can get really good results from the RepRaps. In many cases better than a far more expensive machine, but plug and play they are definitely not.

I don’t have a 3D Printer yet but it’s on the wish list.

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I don’t fit either, I use Shapeways.



i want to have a 3d printer but somehow everyone seems to forget the minimum requirements of driving one… like know how to use a cad program… jeeeee am i the only one that missed that class in college? because frankly i know nothing about design.

OK ok truth to be told i’ only getting into this to earn more points to get my insider access, so don’t feel shy to click on the +1 above :wink: but what i said above is still true…


@ Jay Jay - I don’t believe you. CAD is easy peasy. I reccomend(in the free domain) Design Spark Mechanical , Sketchup ans OpenSCAD in that order. OpenSCAD is basically programming. It gets complex when you need to design for injection moulding, but for 3d printers (especially the powder ones shapeways uses) it’s simple.

+1 for OpenSCAD

Sorry Bill Doesn’t count; but good on you.

All three counts so long as each one cost less than 5K

You use Shapeways because you have no choice?

@ Jay - Lolz.

@ hagster - Real CAD is not easy peasy. SolidWorks, Inventor and all their ilk are serious pieces of software. However it is possible to learn; even for the uninitiated.

I haven’t tried solidworks or inventor so I can’t comment. DSmech and Sketchup are most definately real CAD. DSmech is a stripped down version of Spaceclaim which is not cheap. Some of the parametric modeling packages are probably fairly tricky and OpenSCAD requires a totally different thought process.

I found that so long as I religiously followed the first couple of tutorials I was fine. You definately need to RTFM(getting started section) but it takes hours/days before you can design useful stuff not weeks/months.

I’m not sure how people do the more sculpted stuff, but for cases, brackets, hooks and stuff it’s not hard.

Maybe I just have a mechanical mind.

EDIT the hackaday tutorials give a good overview of many of the availiable software. 3D Printering: Making A Thing With Solidworks, Part II | Hackaday

Good luck with using Sketchup to create printable objects. Prepare for hours of frustration…then you can move on to next little tweak to your object.

All my cases were done in SketchUp. My home theater, I’m in the process of building, was all mapped out using the same. It takes a bit of tinkering to get it to play well with 3D printers but once you have it figured out, it’s a very good tool for the price of free. :wink: