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Thread: 3 D printing questions

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Gunslinger1911's Avatar
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    3 D printing questions

    We seem to have a wealth of knowledge here, not just guns and boolets.

    Did some searching, but my search foo needs work ,

    Anybody have an opinion of what would be the "printer to get"

    Looking for less than $500, don't mind putting it together.

    Not a nerd, but not a luddite either.

    I see so many useful things that can be made with one of these things.

    So far, the Anet 8 seems to be a winner.

    What say you to help a buddy out ?
    Cogno, Ergo, Boom

    If you're gonna be stupid, don't pull up short. Saddle up and ride it all the way in.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
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    Prussa make very printers. They take about six hours to assemble. We have two at the library I work in that are running as close to 24/7 as we can restart after they print two face shield frames. Currently we're using PETG as it is cleanable. PLA is the simplest filament to use, but it won't stand up to sterilizing chemicals.

    For people who like to tinker (us) the Anet or Ender printers are under $200. They take two to six hours to assemble. They print PLA easily. I've made powder tricklers, bushings for MEC charge bars and most recently Lee Micro Disks. Prussa Cura is one of the better slicers. I've edited this to add a picture of a few of what I've made this week.

    Files for shooting related items can only increase as more of us contribute.Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
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    The folks researching 3d printing of frames. etc. who I've talked with suggest the Creatify 3D Ender 3 printer, 250-350 range.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    I have the Creality Ender 3. I enjoy it it came highly recommended by a few friends of mine that are due hard 3D printing nerds. The Pro model isn't worth the extra money.

    I would recommend that one and they have an updated model they are releasing.

    I run Linux on my computer and use Cura to slice.

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  5. #5
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    Creality, right. Brain here's messed up. Insomnia sux.

    You can buy Prusa kits for $100 off evilbay etc., I've heard, if you don't know how to build them that can be a long time getting them going; Enders are 2-3 hours to 'good to go'

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Ender 3 instructions are very lacking. But there are a lot of YouTube videos from fans and Creality that will help you.

    What ever you get, also order the Auto Bed Leveling kit a couple spools of plastic. Leveling the bed is a pain and that will help you a lot. Most printers don't come with plastic and trust me you will use it all printing upgrades lol.

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  7. #7
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    I would check out the YouTube videos on 3d printers. There are a lot of them and the various modifications available. I had thought about getting one but just to much to do around here first. Good luck.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub


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    I have an Anet A8 for going on three years now. You have to tinker with it for a while to get reliable prints, but once you figure out common issues and how to fix them, it's actually quite reliable. After three years, the biggest recommendations I'd add up front are a glass plate for the bed (note 1), a supply of extra nozzles and feed tubes (note 2), a Raspberry Pi3+ (note 3), and couple tools (note 4). After you get it built, recommend anchoring it to a thick piece of plywood using any number of the hold-down parts you can 3D print.

    Feel free to PM me if you want more details!

    Note 1: My aluminum bed worked great for a while, but it has warped a bit over time due I think to belt tension. You don't need one right away though.

    Note 2: I'm sure some guys are better at changing filaments than I am, but occasionally they get clogged / broken at feed, etc. They're not that expensive and I try to have a few on hand to make it easy to change if needed.

    Note 3: I use a Raspberry Pi3+ running OctoPrint to control the printer. I can connect to OctoPrint via my network, upload a file, tell it to print, and then let the Raspberry Pi do the work. Not strictly mandatory, you can do the slicing on your home PC, dump the file to a micro SD card, and upload that way. I find the Pi waaaayyyyy more convenient - though there is some setup and configuration required. I even 3D printed a custom case that mounts to the Anet behind the display. I added a camera so I can watch it -- mine does not have the thermal runaway firmware installed, so this allows me to check it (there are other ways to do it though).

    Note 4: I got tired of running to my garage for the hand tools you'll need fairly often, so I bought inexpensive set to keep in a small plastic case (Staples school hard plastic case). Metric hex drivers ( 3.0, 2.5, 1.5, and 1.0). Box wrenches 10mm, 8mm, and 6mm. 8inch adjustable wrench. 5.5mm nut driver. Paint scraper. I use the 3.0mm and 2.5mm anytime I have to change nozzles. I think I used the 1.5 and 1.0 somewhere on the build, but don't remember for sure. I build RC helos too, and had an extra set of hex drivers, so I just threw them all in the box. Adjustable wrench is to hold the heated head block while you change nozzles. My original nozzle was 8mm (box wrench) but my new ones are 6mm (another box wrench). I used the 10mm somewhere, but can't remember where though. The 5.5mm nut driver is for hardware nuts (convenience). Paint scraper is to remove tough sticking builds from bed.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have a mini select wanted to upgrade to an anet 8 or something similar but with the covid19 scar prices have gone up to double what they were a couple of weeks ago.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
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    The Ender 3 is sold out a lot of places. Amazon is the recommended seller due to them stocking some. I got ours from Walmart for $188.95.
    Walmart still had some last week but they don't show any today.
    For a smooth printing surface, on an Ender 3, buy a package of mirror tiles. Usually five or six for $12.-$20. Skip all the "recommended upgrades" as you won't make good uses of them until after you master the Ender 3,
    Last edited by dbosman; 04-22-2020 at 10:46 PM.

  11. #11
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    I just bought one but I am a Luddite. My boy bought it and is going to put it together. He going to run it, I just paid for it. Right around $500. Bought basically to make fishing lures but will make a few gun parts.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Gunslinger1911's Avatar
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    I'm liking the vids of the Ender 3. May have a winner ! Thanks folks !
    Cogno, Ergo, Boom

    If you're gonna be stupid, don't pull up short. Saddle up and ride it all the way in.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

    firefly1957's Avatar
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    I was wonering the other day if these things could turn out a decent sabot and how long it would take for each one in say 44 caliber to hold a 38 bullet ?
    When I think back on all the **** I learned in high school it's a wonder I can think at all ! And then my lack of education hasn't hurt me none I can read the writing on the wall.

  14. #14
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    3d printing's best for prototyping, it is a smidge slow for "production"; depends on your printer & settings how slow or fast it is. IMO the best thing to do some times is to make a prototype with 3d printing and then cast it in urethane or the like for mass production; BUT making 2-3 to test isn't mass production! Just pointing out the landscape here, the timing would depend on the specifics of the sabot design & your printers' settings...

  15. #15
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
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    I've got a file for a .22 bullet in a 9mm cartridge. As soon as my son readjusts the printer I'm make, and time some.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger1911 View Post
    We seem to have a wealth of knowledge here, not just guns and boolets.

    Did some searching, but my search foo needs work ,

    Anybody have an opinion of what would be the "printer to get"

    Looking for less than $500, don't mind putting it together.

    Not a nerd, but not a luddite either.

    I see so many useful things that can be made with one of these things.

    So far, the Anet 8 seems to be a winner.

    What say you to help a buddy out ?
    IF you go with an A8, get the metal frame. I have an A8, but not had a ton of luck with it. The heated bed wouldn't shut off and i kept having layer shifts.
    it is a popular model, and if you have the time and desire to tinker, you may like it

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Right now, I am looking at a BIBO touch. Dual extruder and laser engraver. Has good reviews, and for the price looks to be a bargain since it is an enclosed printer that has a lot of upgrades included. But runs $700-800

  18. #18
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    HATCH's Avatar
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    I have a anet a8
    Its a good basic model
    I added a on/off switch to the right of the 5 button keypad. This way I could cut the machine off without having to unplug it.
    I printed a couple mods for it.

    Fan spacer - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1798669
    anti-z wobble - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2436455

    Purchased a micro-sd extension cable (this is a example, not the one I got) - https://www.amazon.com/LANMU-Extensi...0052777&sr=8-4

    I used double sided tape and taped it to the top of the printer. Allows easy access.


    Only issues I have are the following

    1) Leveling the bed. Its a pain in the butt to do it
    2) Parts not sticking to bed on startup - this is mainly due to improper level. I level it twice, use blue masking tape and then a glue stick
    3) The filament breaking off if I let it sit unused.
    4) Feeding the filament into the nozzle

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    I ended up with a Creality cr 6-se 3d printer that I got for $299. It has a self leveling bed and pretty easy to change out filaments. I did the firmware upgrade and can make adjustments on the fly now. Got PLA down and trying PETG which is being a pain trying to find the right settings. Adhesion is my problem. Been useful in getting organized with battery storage and tool storage primarily. Printing does take more time than you would think.
    Ron

  20. #20
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    One note I can mention is that it REALLY sucks being 5 hours in on a 8 hour print job and the power flickers.

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