Shape my Ways

Posted by B00 
B00
I got my poly jet white print today. There's some pros and cons.

Pro:
Very accurate to the modeled dimensions. Parts go together easily without sanding.
Good flexibility and remains strong

Con:
Waxy, and it sherds some.
Detail is barely better than WSF
Pricy$$

Overall I can't say I'll be getting another Poly jet white print again. It has very few advantages over WSF. Someday I might give the PJ Blue HD a try and see what its like, but for now zoom is off my radar.

I'll get some photos up soon.

Also, heres another interesting little thing [www.mojo3dprinting.com]

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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2012 07:34PM by B00.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Bummer about the PolyJet. I guess Zoom's out. Well, it was worth a shot. If you haven't taken a swing at i.materialise yet, Tom, do so. I think you may dig the Prime Gray. Just be cognizant of those visible print layers.

I heard back from i.m's support and they said they'd be happy to print in any orientation you like: just upload your model, place your print order, and as soon as you get the e-mail confirmation that the order has been placed, just reply to it with a screenshot of the model with an arrow indicating what you want the print direction to be. They'll take it from there.

Honestly, I'm a bit annoyed with their website. It's not like Shapeways' site is bug-free (though most have been worked out lately), but i.m's seems pretty bad. I uploaded the full Gin Gin arm (shoulder/top half of shield, saw blade, forearm/bottom half of shield) in a single STL file. The preview on the "3D Print Lab" page looks fine, but when I try to select a material for pricing, it just sits there saying "Calculating" forever. And when I go to my Profile page to see the model in my list, the thumbnail is broken. I assume these problems are related...but I just haven't had the time to pursue them about it.

I'll bitch at them next week about it, I guess.

Anyway, I took a look at that Mojo site. VERY interesting. I honestly thought FDM was kinda dead. I mean, SLA is the hot shit right now because resolution is through the damn roof...plus support material is a breeze. Hell, even SLS is great (in theory...just NOT from Shapeways, I guess) because you get strong parts with no need for support at all. I guess this Mojo machine is pretty high-res (~.17mm...not bad) AND it prints its own water-soluble support material. And since it's FDM, it just uses straight-up ABS as the thermoplastic filament...so you know that shit's strong and light.

Very cool...but I wonder how much it costs...
B00
They're not to forthcoming with the cost. $185 a month!!! but for how many months? Anyway, this is the best *personal* 3D printers I've come across so far. The rest are DIY extruders that have shit for material and quality/resolution. It's a good sign of whats to come. I haven't come across and SLS/SLA personal models yet.

I hope I can find some more specs on the material, strength, pliability, durability, and most of all wall thickness. I requested a sample print, pretty curious as to what it's like.

here's the zoom print. It's hard to convey how strange it feels in a photo.



Now this is bad ass [www.objet.com]

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Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2012 12:35AM by B00.
Attachments:
open | download - zoom.jpg (435.4 KB)
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "inexpensive metal molds"? Last time I checked
> CNCing a metal mold from a CAD model was fuck-damn
> expensive. And "all in the same day"??? Umm...I
> don't know of a single machine shop that can turn
> around molds in that short a time span.
>
> Sorry, man...this looks like vaporware.

Keep in mind that the mold apparently can't be any bigger than 3" x 3" x 3". I can imagine that molds that size can be machined within one day, espcially if the mold is not made out of steel. They also do not mention the complexity of the parts. For all we know, they're talking about a cube...

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I think that the polyjet you make is nothing but the Vero White from Objet.
This Vero White is also know as White Detail in the Shapeways material list and High Detail Resin in i.materialise site.

All this comes straight from the Connex 500 you've link.

I've done some prints with that, all my mini vilains are print with this and it's a really nice material once it's sanded and cleaned. It's not as accurate as the FUD from what I've experice.

While I was searching for more info about Objet printer I've learn that they were about to release a material close to ABS and with their highest resolution printer.
I think that the blue HD you're talking about might be that material. I was really promising on paper, high resistance like the ABS printer but with the leve l of detail of the Connex 500. I know that lots of 3D printing company are looking at ABS and try to optimise it just because of the cost of the material itself. Even if something like a Rep Rap produce bad and low resolution result, the price of the ABS tube is really cheap. So the guys who will be able to use that material and have super high resolution with it, will win the war of 3D printing. Well at least that's what a reseller told me and it makes sense I guess.

Like Sanjeev was saying you really need to give a shot at that Prime Gray stuff, I'm sure your guns will look super nice with this and blend perfectly with the TF figure. They don't need to have white guns, they need to have grey gun :))))
Sanjeev (Admin)
Y'know, I'm not 100% sure that PolyJet print is Objet Connex. It looks kinda fuzzy around the edges...and I don't remember that from Shapeways "White Detail" prints. Weird.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how the Mojo sample part works. Kinda lame, though: it's THEIR sample. You can't send them an STL of your own shit to test print. Eh well.

The $185/mo is just their lease price...so maybe their term is 1 year? And I would imagine you'd have to pay for all your own material/support. I'm curious as to see what the full cost would be to buy one outright...

But yeah, like Mike said, even if SLA/photopolymers are the shit right now, IF someone can come up with a hi-res FDM extruder that uses plain old ABS, that's gonna blow up the spot.
B00
mikenozon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I think that the polyjet you make is nothing but
> the Vero White from Objet.
> This Vero White is also know as White Detail in
> the Shapeways material list and High Detail Resin
> in i.materialise site.

Now that you say that, the materials do feel a lot alike. That connex500 looks awesome. 14 different colors in one printjob! If only I had 22,000. Wonder if they would take my scion as a trade in?


Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how the Mojo
> sample part works. Kinda lame, though: it's THEIR
> sample. You can't send them an STL of your own
> shit to test print. Eh well.
>
> The $185/mo is just their lease price...so maybe
> their term is 1 year? And I would imagine you'd
> have to pay for all your own material/support. I'm
> curious as to see what the full cost would be to
> buy one outright...

I got a reseller's contact info and I'm working on getting a dialog going. I'm hoping I can get a sample print of one of my guns. This would give me a better idea if Mojo would really work out.

As far as pricing it's high. $9,999.00. Too high really, but it's the best resolution I've seen on an FDM/extruder style printer. It also has the support material removal thing, and it's own print software. It's hard to say if it would really be worth it, but when full blown printer cost 22K and higher I don't really have much choice :(

As far as Prime grey Ill order up a print of my crusader gun/sword thing.

EDIT: I talked with the rep, and he agreed to print a few parts of my crusader weapon (the tiny little hinge parts) he seemed to think the parts would not be a problem for the Mojo. He's going to print them on a Stratasys Uprint (Mojo predecessor) the mojo wont be out till June 15th. But if it prints on the Uprint, it will print on the mojo (mojo has a higher res). So we'll see.

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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2012 06:30PM by B00.
For the polyjet from Zoom I'm not sure. But for the white detail and high detail, that's the same, I've test it and it's written that it's from the Objet printer. Actually the Connex 500 is sitting in the main hall at Materialise, so no doubt about that.

As for the price, 22k is for the small desktop printer from Objet, for the 500, you can easily add a 0 to the number. 22k for the small printer is more or less ok if you use it for a "real" job, I mean, as a hobbyst it's crazy, but for a small design office, it's cool. But what's killing after is the print cardridge, something like 800$ for a 1 kilo cartridge. So you have to optimize your stuff.

Speaking about small printer, well that one is more cheap:
[cubify.com]
ok it's 0.25 mm resolution compare to the 0.17 mm of the Mojo, but it's 7 times cheaper.
And that one is supposed to be under 10.000$ : [printin3d.com]
with a resolution of 0.1 mm
B00
That poly jet 1500 sounds awesome. I'll have to do some more checking into it. Do you know what the material is like?

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2012 06:56PM by B00.
thomas Wrote:
>
> Keep in mind that the mold apparently can't be any
> bigger than 3" x 3" x 3". I can imagine that molds
> that size can be machined within one day,
> espcially if the mold is not made out of steel.

If you have access to a CNC mill, and your injection mold can be milled with the available tools (a big if, though most two-part injection molds can't have the kind of undercut that would make milling impossible), then you can definitely knock out an aluminum piece in a few hours. Is aluminum hardy enough to injection-mold with this machine? I dunno, but I suspect that's the kind of process they're alluding to.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
B00
I meet some contacts at Wondefest last weekend, they have connections to a group in Baltimore that do aluminum mold plates and styrene injection. Cant imagine it very cheap.

Also found some other 3D print services.

[www.pcsenginc.com] these guys have every machine under the sun just about. They also charge a shitload of money.

[www.moddler.com] These guys deal almost exclusively in character 3D models, and do a gorgeous job

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Sanjeev (Admin)
Just checked out moddler: their Estimator .3 Beta gave me an estimate of $31 on baby Gin Gin (the MUSCLE). That's a pretty good when they're boasting SLA resolution of 16 microns. [By comparison, Shapeshit charges $20 for it...and that's in 3D Systems photopolyer...at roughly 100 microns.]

We may have a winner...at least when it comes to producing a one-off to act as a mold master! I'm gonna look into placing an order with them soon for some MUSCLEy shit I'm working on.

Still gotta get on i.materialise about that website bug preventing me from ordering a full-size Gin Gin arm in Prime Gray...
Woaw, the samples in the gallery are impressive. I think I'm going to try to get a mini Garada made by them to see.
B00
I've got a few quotes I'm waiting on from Moddler. Hope they aren't super expensive. Anyway, after dealing with Zoom I can say their costumer service is on par with shapeways. As in "it sucks". They wouldn't even tell me the minimum wall thickness for their SLA material. I just got some bitchy answer. I mean, if they are going to take the time to replay to my message, they could either just tell me the info, or they could choose to be assholes about it. They chose to be assholes. There out.

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Sanjeev (Admin)
Bummer about Zoom. Eh well. Fuck 'em.

I've got a call in with Moddler, myself: I just dropped them an e-mail to ask if they can do multiple solids in a single STL file or if they need each individual part as a separate file. Kinda excited about these guys.

Then again, there's a Shocker toy in their Portfolio...so that's clearly a strike against them! LOL
B00
The quote I got from moddler is reasonable. But they charge a cleaning fee. And they will only print in what color their machine has loaded. If you want a different color, they charge 100 to change the material. That kinda sucks. Hopefully their print quality is good. They said white resin material, so I hope its not the same crap zoom used.

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Sanjeev (Admin)
That's not surprising though. I mean, these guys supposedly offer print resolution way better than the best we've seen so far...*from the cheap guys*. In other words, Shapeways, i.materialise, etc.

I can't imagine Moddler's stuff being better than Empire Prototyping, the folks I've worked with here in MA...but hey, ya never know. With Empire, they charge a ton, but the SLA print layers on their EnvisionTEC machine are virtually invisible to the naked eye...with NO post-processing whatsoever. Instead, their big pricetag comes from the post-print cleanup, which I guess involves a ton of time cleaning the excess print "flash" or whatever off the pieces (but again, not sanding or otherwise treating the parts' surfaces).

So perhaps Moddler is like a halfway point between Shapeways or i.m and professional houses like Empire. That sounds pretty sweet to me!

I'm placing an order today...
B00
I'm moving forward with my order too. I think Moddler is looking very promising.

PCS offers some serious high res printing .0006" ! Minimum wall thickness .25mm! I got to play with some of their prints at Wonderfest, they had a tiny little tank tread about .25mm thick all the treads were printed as one piece and the treads were jointed so they could move. It was made for a tiny little tank just a bit larger than a matchbox car. Seriously awesome, but yeah they want serious money for that.

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Sanjeev (Admin)
Y'know, I didn't really dig that deeply into PCS because you'd already mentioned how pricey they were...plus the website is more geared towards their retail selling of printers, themselves. Well, I was just checking out their Services page, and it looks like they can SLA metal parts! I have no idea how that even works!

I know lots of places can SLS metal (or quasi-metal in the case of alumide), but I'm not sure how SLA works.

They also offer "simulated die casting", along with metal finishing services. Weird.
B00
Yeah PCS offers a ton of industrial options, they do all the prototypes for Mcfarlane and Neca toys. They do great work. One of the guys who works there also has his own resin recast shop for models he prints. They had a sweet black bird from Galactica, and a Cylon raider from Galactica: Razor. PCS does top notch work and guys really know their stuff, but like i said, price.

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Well, I've upload a file to moddler and ask for a quote three days ago and still no news. Might have to send them a quick mail. I hate sending my files like that and don't have answer, especially that little file grrrrr.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Heh...I submitted my model to them (Moddler) yesterday, myself. No word yet.

But hey, I contacted i.materialise about that stupid website bug a few days ago. No word from them either!
B00
That's strange, they responded to me with in a few hours of uploading. Dumb question, did you check your spam filters? If nothing else I could contact them on your behalf's.

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Sanjeev (Admin)
Well, if I still don't hear anything from them by Monday, I'll try hitting up John Vegher directly (since he's already e-mailed me about a question I had). I'm e-mailing i.m directly now to see what the deal is...
B00
So I'm getting some sample prints from Stratasys (mojo makers) really interested to see how they turn out.

As far as Personal style printers, we're pitting Stratasys Mojo against the 3D systems projet 1000:

Not sure what the durability is on the 3D system material, Mojo's ABS should be very sturdy.

Projet prints with a .004" layer thickness, mojo prints at .007".

Mojo is a little cheaper by about 2K and comes with the support material removal system. Projet has no support removal system. Not sure if it's photopolymer needs one.

Both have expensive materials.

Both limited to one color. Projet 1500 can do more but is $15,000. So out of our price range.

We're going to contact 3D systems and see if we can get a sample part of the Megatron cannon printed, the front barrel ring thing should be a good trial.

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/2012 05:30PM by B00.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Tom, do you know if the Projet 1000 is the same machine Shapeshit uses (well...leases the use of) for their "Frosted Ultra Detail" material? If it is, we all know the strength characteristics of that "FUD": fairly strong...but somewhat brittle. Definitely nothing compared to straight-up FDMed ABS!

By the way, one quick tidbit on the i.materialise front: I just read on their somewhat useless forum that multiple solids in a single STL file are no longer going to be accepted...so I think that's why the website was erroring out whenever I tried to price my Foe Gokin Gin Gin arms. I uploaded each part separately, and they all priced out just fine...BUT I ran into yet *another* bug: once I had my cart filled and went to checkout, the page couldn't seem to understand my address and wouldn't allow me to proceed. Strange since I'd placed and order with them before with no issues with my addy.

*Sigh*

I just e-mailed them directly to find out what the deal is...
B00
The Projet uses a white material. The FUD from shapeways is called a Multijet Modeling process. Not sure what that means, it would be great if they said what the material really was and what machine is that prints it.

It sucks your having so much trouble with I.M. It wont take your address? Now that's F'ed up. No more multiple solids in one STL? I wonder if it's a problem with their printer software of their website.

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Sanjeev (Admin)
Christ, what a shitshow. I'm beginning to lose my patience a bit. If I don't get ALL my fucking questions answered by the end of next week, I'm thinking about dumping i.m as an option.

Okay, moments ago, I was able to put my order through. How? Beats the fuck outta me. All I did was RE-upload my *old* Gin Gin arm STL file (yes, the single STL file containing ALL the parts for both arms). It gave me the same damn error message about not understanding my address....BUT this time, I was able to click the Proceed button, and the error message magically disappeared.

Good, right? Not exactly: this time, the shipping jumped from $15 to $25. Why? It gave me the non-optional option for UPS Express Saver 2 day shipping. I couldn't unclick the radio button. $25...for half a dozen super-light 2-inch parts. Not happy. Still...I pulled the trigger.

I e-mailed them again immediately after placing the order to ask what the deal was with the shipping (and to tell them what print orientation I wanted). I made sure to mention that this was a big deal for me since I was planning on going into production with these prints and that I will need lots more. We'll see how they respond...

There's one more question I have for them though...but I'm proceeding in baby steps: I'm gonna wait until I get the final word on the UPS bullshit. Afterwards, I'm gonna grill them about this multiple solids in a single STL file crap. Peep this. I reported before that a full set of Gin Gin arms was $40 in Prime Gray. Now, that's when I priced it with the old single STL file. Well, when I uploaded each part separately, the price was closer to $65. Not acceptable. And if it's true about them no longer allowing single STLs for multiple solids in the future, I'm gonna have to do like the guy suggested and actually model in a fucking sprue. Fan-fucking-tastic.

Stay tuned...
B00
Man, sounds like an irritating ordeal. I'm hoping moddler works out, it could be the solution we've been looking for. My only gripe about them is they dont have different colors readily available, it's a $100 charge to change colors. That does suck.

I hope mojo gets some different colors. Transparent and Gray would kill.

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/2012 07:21PM by B00.
There's something that has been bugging me in this thread. Considering the prices you have to pay to have really small parts made, what exactly is the advantage above resin molding those parts yourself?

Except not having to make prototype parts and molds, I mean.

Do you get a part of the price each time an item is sold?

AFAIK, not all resins are fragile, and some can even be colored to get pre-colored parts. If the master part is well made the copies can be of extremely high quality too. And seeing you can get resin molding starter sets containing half a liter of resin for about 50 bucks...

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B00
Not all of us are sculpting wizards, and it's better (for me anyway) to design the entire assembly at once so you know the parts fit and function correctly. especially when dealing with extremely small and intricate components.

Yes, I do get a kickback from the sale price on shapeways. I can set my own mark up on the cost of the print.

Re-casting can be expensive, time consuming and very difficult depending on shapes/details/undercuts etc. Not to mention good recasting skills can take years to acquire. It's a discipline in of it's self. 3D printing can make the model available to anyone who wants a print, without the need to stock up on re-casting supplies and manufacture my own inventory. It's a tired argument really (one I've had on other sites many times) and I don't want to get into it here. So I'll simply say, to each his own.

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Sanjeev (Admin)
Well said. There's even more to it...but I'm not particularly interested in rehashing all that now either...

Anyway, I got my Moddler quote last night! $62 (plus $10) for a couple highly-complex (multi-part) MUSCLE-style figures. I'd say that was fair...IF the quality does, in fact, exceed Shapeways' 3D Systems' offerings.

But here's the weird part: I also got a reply from John about what machine they use (when I asked, I mentioned that I was used to working with 3D Systems and EnvisionTEC machines for high-res stuff). Well, he said they use the Objet Eden 500v...BUT he went on to say that their parts aren't as smooth as 3D Systems (or EnvisionTEC, obviously). Bizarre given the images in their portfolio--*unless* those photos were of significantly post-processed parts (starting to sound a little bait-and-switchy, huh?). Well, I wanna see it for my own eyes, so I'm gonna throw down. I really hope it works out...
For the record, I'm not trying to bash 3D printing. I'm just genuinely interested in discussing the pros and cons.

> Not all of us are sculpting wizards, and it's
> better (for me anyway) to design the entire
> assembly at once so you know the parts fit and
> function correctly. especially when dealing with
> extremely small and intricate components.
>
I don't think you need to be a sculpting wizard to make prototype parts by hand, except for very rounded designs. In the latter case I can see the obvious advantage of 3D printing, although it looks like some significant post-processing is generally still required to get a smooth result. If I were to make a spherical part and have it 3D-printed, due to the way the layers are build up there is a staircase effect instead of smooth surfaces.

For more blocky designs you can assemble masters out of styrene sheet, free-hand or by first drawing up a design (CAD or otherwise) and copying that to styrene sheet. Add some tubing and profiles, and you can build pretty intricate parts. Then the master needs to be smoothed out, but the subsequently produced parts would need relatively little post-processing.

So to get parts comparable to factory parts (smooth surfaces everywhere) I could get them 3D printed, but then I'd need to use putty and sand every single part. With resin casting it would mean more work for me to set everything up, but considerably less post-processing.

A third option that looks interesting to me is the possibility of building your own 3D router using open-source drivers, stepping motors, and a hand-controlled mill/drill-stand. There's some pretty intricate stuff out there, including horrible looking wooden constructions that can cut out parts precisely nonetheless. I've seen these used to cut out 2D stuff like carbon fiber, fiberglass, and aluminium plates, and 3D stuff in aluminium, wood and nylon plastics. This is expensive to set up, mostly due to needing a good mill/drill-stand as a base (300-500 bucks), but you can combine CAD drawings with good quality parts. And if you use scrap delrin (available on Ebay for cheap in large quantities) as the base material then a gun scaled to a Deluxe TF could retail for less than 15 bucks...honestly, if I wanted to mass-produce my own designs I'd go for this option, also for the experience of building and using such a thing (because I like that ;).

> Yes, I do get a kickback from the sale price on
> shapeways. I can set my own mark up on the cost of
> the print.
>
> Re-casting can be expensive, time consuming and
> very difficult depending on
> shapes/details/undercuts etc. Not to mention good
> recasting skills can take years to acquire.

So do good CAD designing skills :P

> It's a
> discipline in of it's self. 3D printing can make
> the model available to anyone who wants a print,
> without the need to stock up on re-casting
> supplies and manufacture my own inventory. It's a
> tired argument really (one I've had on other sites
> many times) and I don't want to get into it here.
> So I'll simply say, to each his own.

My reason for asking is that I find 3D-printing an interesting development, but when I look at some of the examples in this thread I find it quite horribly expensive for the apparent quality of the parts - I'm talking finishing here. Some parts have a rather...furry...look to them, and I can't say I am a fan of the layering effect. On the other hand, from what I see it seems the tolerances are generally quite good, and parts seem to be sturdy - no breaking pegs and other issues. Now I obviously don't know for sure how these parts feel in hand: Are they model-like, or comparable to a G1 toy's ABS plastic? Does plugging parts together and then unplugging them repeatedly wear them out quickly? That kind of thing is what I miss in here.

Maybe I'll like 3D-printing more as accuracy increases, combined with thinner material layers. :D

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B00
thomas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> >Not to mention
> good
> > recasting skills can take years to acquire.
>
> So do good CAD designing skills :P

thomas
----------------
>>Not to mention good
>>recasting skills can take years to acquire.

>So do good CAD designing skills :P

Exactly, so for some of us it's just one or the other. Basically, what do you want to invest your time in. For me it's digital design. I can make what I want to make right now, as opposed to investing years into acquiring sculpting/scratch building and recasting skills to make my designs. Like I said, to each his own.


> My reason for asking is that I find 3D-printing an
> interesting development, but when I look at some
> of the examples in this thread I find it quite
> horribly expensive for the apparent quality of the
> parts - I'm talking finishing here. Some parts
> have a rather...furry...look to them, and I can't
> say I am a fan of the layering effect. On the
> other hand, from what I see it seems the
> tolerances are generally quite good, and parts
> seem to be sturdy - no breaking pegs and other
> issues. Now I obviously don't know for sure how
> these parts feel in hand: Are they model-like, or
> comparable to a G1 toy's ABS plastic? Does
> plugging parts together and then unplugging them
> repeatedly wear them out quickly? That kind of
> thing is what I miss in here.
>
> Maybe I'll like 3D-printing more as accuracy
> increases, combined with thinner material layers.
> :D

Finding a good printer service has been the main topic on the thread. Getting the right balance between cost and quality. There are materials and printers that are amazing, with .0006" print layers. You don't even need to sand them the layers are so fine. The cost of these materials are out of my "hobby" price range. For now. Most of the materials I've received do stand up to repeated use on my transforming designs. A few have not, it's just trial and error to find the right material for the right price. Some materials feel very gritty (shapeways white/strong/flex), some smooth (zoom poly jet white). The flash from my camera exaggerates the surfaces on the prints, in real life the "fuzziness" isn't as noticeable, mainly because my prints are very small. Some materials are ABS plastic. Anything printer that prints in true FMD like the MOJO printer will use ABS plastic.

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Sanjeev (Admin)
Yeah, I've been working in the CAD industry for about 12 years. Why not leverage those powers for good? My dream when I first started working for PTC (the makers of Pro/E...or Creo...whatever the fuck they're calling it these days), my dream was to reverse-engineer a TT 1/55 Valk...just to have a virtual transforming/functional model of something so cool. But I never got around to doing that (mainly because it would have no practical value!).

Only in the last few years have I become more interested in making toys than collecting them...so the real pressure was on to make this shit happen with the resources around me. And that meant applying my established CAD skills to the more and more accessible 3D printing industry.

Now, I'm doing a combination of using CAD/3D printing to make final production parts that are just barely cost-effective, AS WELL AS to make mold masters for molding and casting. Both are appropriate to the toys I want to make.
Does anybody know anything about these things?

[store.makerbot.com]

A buddy of mine ordered one recently. Decent investment, or is he getting a piece of crap?
B00
I worked with a "Thing-O-Matic" the predecessor to Replicator it wasn't so good. But Replicator could be much better. The .2-.3mm layer thickness isn't too bad really. The dual color model sounds good, and replacement material is cheap enough. I wouldn't say its crap. Might be fun really.

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Sanjeev (Admin)
Okay, got some news...

Got my invoice from Moddler last night...and paid it. So that order should be on the way by the end of the week. I'm still curious about the actual resolution of the parts given what John Vegher told me. I have some 3D Systems parts from Shapeshit to compare against...so we'll see.

As for i.materialise, I got a reply on the shipping: there's good news and bad news. Shipping for normal US orders *has*, in fact, risen from $15 to $25. That UPS Express thing is no longer option. That's the bad news. The good news, however, is that all orders over $100 get free shipping! For production Gin Gin arms, that won't be a problem for me...so I'm a bit relieved about that.

Next, I was told definitively that STLs containing multiple solids are *definitely* no longer accepted. To which, I replied that the single file containing both Gin Gin arms cost $39...but separately, they're $69...which I'm simply not paying. I asked the support guy to verify that cost increase...and if so, whether the parts could be printed simultaneously to reduce cost or anything like that.

I made it clear that the parts were for a low-production item, so I'll need multiples on-demand. Mike mentioned that they offer resin-casting services, so I inquired about that. Gotta cover all the bases, y'know?

The i.m doors seem to be closing rapidly...

:(
B00
That's bad news about I.M. No multi part STL files? Man that's no good. I should have my prints from moddler in a few day so we'll see what they look like. I've got my fingers crossed.

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Sanjeev (Admin)
Y'know what's fucking hilarious (in a totally not funny way)?

If what John Vegher told me was accurate and that Moddler's prints don't have as high resolution as Shapeways' 3D Systems output....AND I get no love from i.m on the pricing, you know where that leaves us?

That means Shapeways' "FUD" will be the best of the cheap hi-res options AND Shapeways' polyamide will be the best of the high-strength/low-res production options.

Oh, the bitter, bitter irony.

I'm going to stop typing now so I can facepalm for a minute or two...
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