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May 19, 2024, 08:19:22 am

Author Topic: 3d printers  (Read 4315 times)  Share 

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Aaron

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3d printers
« on: March 24, 2019, 12:49:37 am »
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Hey folks

I'm after some opinions / thoughts on 3D printers. If anybody has used a 3D printer and can positively recommend it, please let me know of the brand name so I can look into it. Whether you have one at home, you've used one at school/uni/etc... any recommendations/thoughts would be extremely helpful.

Looking for something that I can use in a school environment so ease of access and fast-ish printing time would be preferable.

Thanks in advance :)
Experience in teaching at both secondary and tertiary levels.

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Srd2000

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Re: 3d printers
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2019, 09:10:03 pm »
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Hey, I've done a bit of printing so I should be able to help out. :D

I've used a Cocoon printer from Aldi when it was on special. I normally use it for various physics and engineering projects. I wouldn't recommend anything more expensive because most people buy one at of the buzz and glamour of them, print something, then pack it away in the closet forever. Whilst the Cocoon is a decent starting printer, it does occasionally need a tinker if the nozzle clogs or something isn't quite aligned. These are easily fixed though and you'll get quicker at troubleshooting the more experience you get.

How accurate and reliable are they? These are dependent on the print design you've made. A common testing print design is the THY test. Print a letter T, H and Y with the bottom of the letter on the ground. Each test and show something unique about your printer precision and the design settings. Quite regularly printers will struggle with the T, because the offsets lines of the T means that the printer has to print in the air. Very difficult. However a simple design change makes this incredibly easy, just rotate it so that the T is lying flat. In conclusion, you can say that a printer has a fixed accuracy of how well it can print, but you can make its job easier by designing something well.

How often would I use it? Last year I did 4 major prints and usually a prototype print for each to make sure settings and things work out nicely. It'd usually take me a week or two to finish designing something. This is also a very important skill that you'll need to practice because if you can design it on your computer doesn't mean it can be printed nicely. Otherwise you can of course download ready-to-go stuff off the web, but there isn't the same satisfaction as seeing your baby being born in front of your eyes.

They can be brilliant for little custom things and gifts. Friend's birthday coming up? Print something with their name, they'll love you. Want an R2-D2 pen holder? Print it. Want a Hodor doorstop? Print it.
But as previously said, it is better to learn how to make something that you want before you invest in a printer. There's no point buying it if you can design something as simple as a dice.

Moral of the story, learning how to design something you want to print. If you're planning on having this in a school then it could be a great opportunity for the students to design say the fuselage of a model rocket and teach some good ol' physics. Nothing better than tricking students into learning.

TL DR: Learn to print well first, then buy

Let me know if any of this has helped or you want more advice! Good luck
2017 - Maths Methods (CAS), Chemistry, Physics

2018 - Specialist Maths, English, Japanese (SL)