ok guys I have been 3d printing and CAD Designing for quite a while now. And after looking over this thread I would like to fix some of the misconceptions about 3d printing.
When 3d printing is it limited to a plastic material? Can you make soft rubber type things? Print up some reballs haha.
First There is rubber plastic but It is mostly experimental currently. There are some that have recently been released but they would not work for the purposes of reballs.
3D Print everything if given the chance. You could actually make quite a bit of money 3D printing your own "hopper shells" Magazines for Mag fed guns, pod
Hopper shells and magizines would be possibilities and are actually reality. But it is not very convenient in the way of magizines becasue they have complex shapes and designs that work best with molds. However it is achivable with 3d printing it is a much more complex process than that of a normal print.
I really want a 3d printer, i just need to get better at designing on computers.
3d printing is incredible technology. It is great but a few tips if you plan on becoming a printer.
#1 Don't buy the first printer you see for a good price. My first printer was a crappy old reprap that I had to rebuild after the previous owner put it own ebay as slightly used.
#2 If you are not mechanically inclined STAY AWAY from DYI or any Reprap. I understand that many reprap printers are nice because they are cheap and some work very well but for your first printer it is not worth the headache.
#3 Don't get discouraged. 3d Printing is a very inexact art that takes a long time to fully understand. I have been working with mine for a very long time and still don't have perfection in every print.
#4 Fails Happen. If you are new to printing then it may happen alot. But Remember 99.99% of the time it is USER ERROR.
#5 I would suggest if you are looking for a printer to check out the SeemeCNC Orion. It is a incredible printer for a price tag around $1350 and works great straight out of the box in 20 min you could be printing. #6 If you want to learn about design get a Autodesk software. I use a mac and Inventor Fusion is around $30 and It does almost as much as the $1000 software.
#6 Finally I will say that even if you don't want to get into design go to thingiverse.com a website run by makerbot there are designs for almost everything and has a great community.
Klub, or any other people who are interested in getting into 3d printing I would be happy to help you and answer questions. In fact Please PM me before you look into 3d printing to ask the opinion of a 3d printer. It would pain me if anyone here would have to start 3d printing in as hard of a way as I did. I wont go into more detail here because that is a story for another time.
The problem with 3D printers is you can't print air. It sounds stupid reading it I know. But hollow spaces can be a nightmare because the machine needs to form a so called back bone to keep printing up a skeleton and then a complete surface. Magazines could potentially be a pain in the ass unless done in halves. then you still have to cut out the ribs which support the outside of the shell.
You've also got time constraints. You can save all the money on the product you want but time is what kills you. It can be hours to print a single part depending on complexity and if you crank up the detail on the machine it will take even more. Rushing a job with a printer makes very noticable lines and grooves in parts but if you slow it down and print with more detail it can be very smooth.
Many paintball parts have the potential to printed but I'd stick with more inconsequential parts like the OP. Btw grip looks good.
Bah, replied to a necro, fuck it 3D printing is still going strong in paintball concerning Simons Hopper.
While some of this is true to a point I would like to clear this up . This "BackBone" is called support material. In some cases yes it can be a pain to clean up. But if you plan out your printing settings correctly and THINK before you press print. In most cases if you setup your print in a smart fashion then the Support material many times comes right off.
Next although many printers may not be able to print very quickly with high quality. Speed is not the biggest control on quality/ resolution. You see as extrusion based printers move they extrude a hot plastic while the end effector moves the extruder. The printer moves in layers and these layers seperate a 2D drawing from a 3D part. So When you have taller layers to shorten the amount of time to print a 3d object then the resolution will be lowered. Layer Height is the biggest factor in resolution. While Speed of the end effector moving does effect it, as long as you work within the recommended parameters of the machine then you should work well.
Next it is true that some parts just were not made for printing. When it comes to strength of prints you can increase the infill from hollow (0%) to solid ( 100% ). You see most prints aren't entirely solid on the inside. They are normally partially hollow with from a average of 30% in most cases when it doesn't have to withstand much stress.
The problem with 3D printers is you can't print air. It sounds stupid reading it I know. But hollow spaces can be a nightmare because the machine needs to form a so called back bone to keep printing up a skeleton and then a complete surface.
Yes, I know this is a necro.
This is why SLS printers are the master race. Not only do you get much higher quality parts, but you can easily print hollow parts because the powder bed supports the layer above this. Unfortunately most SLS printers are very expensive, but you can use a service like Shapeways to get SLS parts for fairly cheap. Also the SLS patent recently expired, which means we may see some cheaper DIY SLS printers in the near future.
Well SLS printers are "Technically" the master race. That is for manufacturing and large professional engineering companies. Theres are a few printers that aren't OBNOXIOUS and are just overpriced. But the thing is however SLS may be nicer it is also a HELL of a lot more of a pain in the ass to work correctly. There are companies that managed to manufacture nice working machines after Years of working for it and I understand it is a nice working product but in the way of "Paintball Printing" SLS is just inconvenient and not built for Applied forces and engineering as much as for High Quality models. Also I would like to add that SLS also uses support material. It cant magically go over overhangs.
I hope you appreciate my writeup as I did put some Time into this. If you have any questions about 3D printing or want to learn more/ help with your printer and troubleshooting. I would be happy to help. PM me here or on MCarterBrown where I spend more of my time nowadays.
Believe it or not I have barely Scratched the surface in explaining 3d printing. I would be happy to go in depth more at another time.
Edited by paintballer999, 03 May 2014 - 08:25 PM.