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3D printers


#1

Has anyone looked/used any of the new home 3d printers for making
jewelry casts? The older versions of home printers gave a very rough
surface texture for fine jewelry. Mostly because the Z axis
resolution (steps) was around 200micros at best. But I’ve been
reading about some of the new versions:

Ultimaker - using PLA extrusion and Netfabb’s double skin layering,
have printed at 20 microns skin layers. The x-y is at 350 microns.

creator - Using resin and a DLP projector can print x-y at 50-100
micros and the Z axis layer down to 10 microns.

That kind of resolution seems like any cleanup would be reasonable.

PLA does not lend itself to direct cleanup. Cleanup would most
likely be done after casting. The resin model can be worked on
directly with the normal tools as well as nylon stocking and
isopropyl alcohol.

Has anyone looked at these or any other which might be used.


#2

I think as CAD CAM and 3D printers become less costly, easier to
operate, there will be more using them and the costs to have work
done will be less.

Right now the prices I am quoted to have something CAD’ed is
$500-750.

Another $50-100 to have it CAM’d and grown. Lately I have had offers
of free CAD CAM as long as I use them for casting and finishing the
pieces.

Or for $15 one can email over the images, specs, description and
detail and the file will be emailed back for you to have grown. Yes,
done in China.

For $15 who would not try? Image references available on their site.

(eBay) A customer sent me the link after I had told them what it
would cost to have their design CAD CAM and cast. They want to send
me the file to have it grown here and cast.

Our local high school grew an adjustable wrench that worked out of
the printer after being grown. Firearms have been grown and operated
right out of the printer (ATF is aware). How long before they start
feeding images of jewelry and grow their own settings and designs?
That is only high school, how about community college, trade school
and university levels?

Eight years ago India and China started feeding every known image of
jewelry into their databases to make anything at a moment’s notice.

So is it important to teach in our schools? Probably as important as
it was to start teaching kids about computers fifteen years ago. I
foresee high school kids working from home designing CAD files for us
on the cheap. Just like they did with creating web pages.

Charlie


#3

I have a friend who is using a 3D printer to produce masters for
casting brooches and stuff in peweter. The stuff looks pretty rough,
but he’s still learning how to use the equipment


#4

I just read the new edition of MAKE.
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1fd

They compare about 15 desktop 3d printers. Its quite amazing what is
going to happen with desktop printers. They want to make them
afforabale so everyone will have one just like an inkjet. The main
problem right now is resolution and accuracy. It doesnt seem like
they can produce a piece for the jewelry / medical industry yet.


#5
I have a friend who is using a 3D printer to produce masters for
casting brooches and stuff in peweter. The stuff looks pretty
rough, but he's still learning how to use the equipment 

How much did he pay for his 3d printer ?


#6

Here is a pic made with a DLP 3d printer at 50 microns:

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7zx6

And here is a blog with pics made with the Ultimaker, one at 20
microns:

These are amazing resolutions with DIY printer kits. The extrusion
model still has a corner resolution of.34mm (size of nozzle). That
means edges are slightly rounded. I’m not sure a make anything with
a sharper edge than that though.


#7

Might I suggest that you all take a look at

Affordable 3D Printers that are within reach of many of our budgets
AND they are using a new material that could burn out more
effeciently than the ABS plastic that they started with.

One of the folks over there even created a frosting extruder. I was
thinking that it could be re-purposed and that metal clay could be
used instead.

A MakerBot complete runs $2000 or buy the components and build one
yourself.

(I am not an employee OR representative for MakerBot)

Keith Hible
masterjeweler.net


#8
How much did he pay for his 3d printer ? 

Couple, three thousand dollars. It’s just a little one.

–RC


#9

I asked my friend about that the last time I saw him. He said that
almost all the inexpensive 3D printers lay down the material in a
semi-liquid form. He didn’t think the clay could be reduced to that
consistency to flow through the nozzles.

–RC


#10

MakerBox

i have seen the video and seen the finished moldes looks great and i
can seethe benefits from the solidscape molder but can we as
jewelers

believe in the motto “you get what you pay for”

so simply why such a large difference in price

please explain i an very interested in getting a 3 d printer for my
business


#11
Here is a pic made with a DLP 3d printer at 50 microns:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7zx6 And here is a blog with pics
made with the Ultimaker, one at 20 microns:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7zx7 These are amazing
resolutions with DIY printer kits. The extrusion model still has a
corner resolution of.34mm (size of nozzle). That [OK whatever...] 

100Microns… 50 even 20microns Basically useless for jewelry. There
is a reason these toys are only $2Grand. They don’t get anywhere
close to the sub-10micron level required to rapidprototype jewelry
objects. Even at the 6.25micron capability of SolidScapeprinters
people find room to complain about the resolution. Don’t even kid
yourself about the burnout capabilities of PLA. If you want a cheap
RP to make Yoda heads and cellphone cases, they are an awesome
bargain but there is a reason real RP costs $35K+. Someday, yes but
not today.

Charlie O


#12

Hi Charlie,

Err…

20 microns isn’t enough? That’s 0.020mm, or 2 hundredths of a mm.
If that’s not good enough, somebody’s just hunting for trouble.

The only machine I know the specs on off-hand is the EnvisionTEC
Perfactory, which is somewhere north of $25K, and is expressly
designed for doing RP jewelry. It runs to 30 microns in XY, and
somewhere between 25 & 100 in Z, depending on environmental factors.

The parts look like really clean injection waxes.

Admittedly, the makerbots are cheap, low resolution toys, but
they’re not the only game in town. Move up to a better machine, and
you’ll have much better luck.

Regards,
Brian


#13

I haven’t personally seen any model produced from one of these
machine to see for myself how much cleanup work would need to be
done to finish the surface properly. But I have looked up the
resolutions of some high end models and they are in the 16-100
micron range. I didn’t check the one previously listed as 6.25.
Regardless, I can’t speak for how useful.

I can say there are not many low end (<$3000) machines that boast the
20-50 micron resolution. Someone asked why the price difference, well
that’s an easier question. New technology always commands top dollar.
I purchased an IBM AT with 6mhz CPU and 30m drive for $3200, now I
have a 2.6ghz pc with a 1TB drive which cost half that. Think of DVDs
and digital cameras. In this case afew DIY people are getting
together to produce kits (3d printers at there heart are just cnc
machines). They don’t build the machines, they aren’t paying for big
office space, not a lot of administrative overhead, salesmen, or
advertising. Most are young people trying to build a startup company
on a shoe string targeting the low end market. However, some of these
kids are producing high end machines: Formlabs started by MIT
students have managed to garner $2.9 million in a Kickstarter
campaign to create Form 1 laser 3d printerwhich they are going to
sell for $3900. Currently being sued to keep it offthe market, SOP
for some companies to keep competitors out of the market for a year
or two until the court resolves the issue. No matter who wins the
sueing company has gotten the delay to market.

There are a lot of reasons why 2-3 year old technology can be sold
for less. Reverse engineering is much cheaper than engineering. Ask
the Chinese.


#14
I can say there are not many low end (20-50 micron resolution). 

They claim 100 micron resolution but the nozzle on these makerbot,
replicator 2 extruder type machines is 0.4mm so the smallest feature
is a little more than 0.4mm (0.016" or 400 microns) as there is a
bit of spreading when it is deposited.

The higher end photopolymer machines have way finer resolution but
ten times the price.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#15

I will be attending the LVL1 - Louisville’s Hackerspace meeting this
Tuesday and I will report my findings!!!

I hope to touch, feel, loupe a finished model and since this group
meets every Tuesday will continue to investigate. I THINK I want one
of these but, since finances are short, will be offering my skills
to the group or resident makers in an attempt to add one of these
tools to my toolbox!

First, I indeed need to investigate and 50 miles worth of gas one
way is a little cheaper than the price tag of a new machine. If
possible, I will acquire some printed models and run some test
burnouts.

I almost used my disability back pay to purchase a 3D printer online
that would have taken most of $20,000. Unfortunately it was a little
bait and switch and that didn’t happen BUT, I did discover the
MakerBot because of my search and should have found someone with one
before this and looked in person at the models.

Thank you all for keeping this thread active!!
Keith Hible
masterjeweler.net


#16

James

They claim 100 micron resolution but the nozzle on these makerbot,
replicator 2 extruder type machines is 0.4mm so the smallest
feature is a little morethan 0.4mm (0.016" or 400 microns) as
there is a bit of spreading when it is deposited. 

The nozzle diameter comes into play when your talking wall thickness.
I’m not sure how limiting you think.35 or.4 mm minimum wall thickness
would be but the xy resolution is sub 20 microns on most of the

$1000 extruder machines. Meaning they can make a line or curve
starting wit h.35/.4 mm dot and move 10 microns at a time. The real
resolution issue has/is in the z axis (perceived steps as you make a
curve building up). Only a few JamesThe nozzle diameter comes into
play when your talking wall thickness. I’m not sure how limiting you
think .35 or .4 mm minimum wall thickness would be but the xy
resolution is sub 20 microns on most of the >$1000 extruder machines.
Meaningthey can make a line or curve starting with .35/.4 mm dot and
move 10 microns at a time. The real resolution issue has/is in the z
axis (perceived steps as you make a curve building up). Only a few
<$4000 machines give you 20-50 micro layers in the Z axis. When you
look at the models made by the Makerbots and Replicators, it’s the
horizontal lines (Z axis) you notice as being bad, the curves in the
XY look smooth. Scott


#17

Hi

When I am not in my wife’s shop I am at the local community college
shop where I have access to some nice machinery. Last Thursday I
unpacked our brand new makerbot replicator 2. I got it almost ready
to go but was missing one item, or so I thought.

A call to support in Brooklyn quickly cleared up what I needed to do
and what they needed to do to make the instructional manual better.

We have access to a lot of software: but I am not fluent in it. We
have a Roland 3-D scanner as well as a Stratasys prototype machine.

When I get a change I will report back on the new system.

Charles Friedman DDS
Ventura by the Sea


#18
The nozzle diameter comes into play when your talking wall
thickness. I'm not sure how limiting you think .35 or.4 mm minimum
wall thickness would be but the xy resolution is sub 20 microns on
most of the >$1000 extruder machines. 

The reason I say the nozzle diameter is an issue is variation in
spot size from less than perfect feed of the filament in and molten
plastic out of the extruder that also contributes to the poor
surface quality. The larger the nozzle the larger the variation.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#19

Talking to a geek today, we are very close to being able to scan a
master and the stone(s) to set in it and email the data to a caster
and get back a fully finished piece ready to set.

Also in rings being able to specify different sizes for the design.

Can’t wait
Richard


#20

I am back with a sample to experiment with. I have seen the
Replicator 2 and a little of what it produces and I still want one.

Regarding the resolution: OK. It may not be the equivalent of a
multi-thousand dollar wax printer but I assure you, I can figure out
how to incorporate this tool into my shop and make it productiveand
worthwhile addition. Time to fore up Google Sketchup and start
building models! Either that or Blender. There is apparently a plugin
that enable export of the model to MakerWare, the software that is
used for the replicator 2.

I have a new place to go every Tueday at 8 P. M. and would encourage
any of you that are anywhere near Louisville to attemp to make it to
any one of the NUMEROUS events held in the LVL1 space. I would even
offer that I don’t have TOO much to offer but I might be able offer a
place to stay if it were a long drive and you wanted to attend.

A schedule of events can be found on their site:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7zyq they are in Google Groups as
LVL1 - Louisville’s Hackerspace and they have a

If none of you have taken a look at the thing one can make with this
"cheap toy" technology, I encourage you to visit Thingiverse:

The sample I have is not quite what I was looking for I. E. not
directly into plaster and then the kiln. that is why I am breaking
out the CAD software and making it a point to make it up to
Louisville to as many events as possible. As a matter of fact, in
their co-op space they have a mics array of jewelry tools and no-one
currently regularly using them or teaching anyone how to use them.
They do now!

Furthermore (this is related to another thread about a co-op) what
they are doing in their space is a great example of how to put
together a co-op.

Granted a little caotic and disorganized BUT a functioning co-op,
nonetheless…