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Elite user
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Profile of MCM
How fast could you print out a "rough" item that had a discernible but simple shape (ball, square, cone, etc)? The size would be 3 or so inches tall. And, can you touch it once it is done? And, what is the cost of the biodegradable or "lego" plastic for such an item?
jay leslie
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Southern California
9489 Posts

Profile of jay leslie
On 2011-07-09 01:55, EsnRedshirt wrote:
Depends on how much postwork you're willing to do. The extruder nozzle is 0.4mm, and the machine can theoretically go down to 0.2mm layer height. After that, it's up to you how smooth you want to sand it.

I'm surprised that everyone has some grasp of 3D. It's becoming easier to understand. EsnRedshirt is correct.

The resolution can be configured to STL (Steriolithography) a standard for 3D but not the only one, meaning that it will do layers in .002. This is the same res. as older CAT scans (replaced by CT)
If there are steps in the final product it's because of the nozzle and pressure on that particular machine. When we machine objects using a spindle there are no steps, depending on the tool-path strategy. That's a vital component of machining, the strategy for which your tool moves including feed, speed and step-over. I don't believe the printer has those abilities but I could be wrong.

I would like to see a few projects too.
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Newark, CA
893 Posts

Profile of EsnRedshirt
My printer's outdated now- they've produced a new model called the Replicator, that's got two extruders, and a 4"x4"x8" print area.

MCM, speed is entirely dependant on size and infill. A calibration cube that's 1"x1"x0.5" will take 10 to 15 minutes depending on settings. You can touch it as soon as it's done- but you wouldn't want to. The extruder head the plastic comes out of runs around 200 Celsius, and the build plate it prints on heats up to 100 Celsius. That's 392 degrees and the boiling point of water, respectively. Takes a few minutes for an object to cool enough to pull off.

Jay- there are some people working on high speed controller software for the makerbots that can get a layer height that's down to 0.10mm. But yes, the step is a limitation of the machine. However, I should note the steps are only on the vertical plane; it can do very precise circles horizontally. The standard software does include variables to adjust feed rate, layer height, and platform speed. Of course, your mileage may vary- it takes a lot of patience and time to tweak the settings to perfection.

Anyone wanting to see a bunch of different projects can check out; There's literally hundreds of projects there to view (and even download and print- if you have the tools to do it.) Check out the remote control turtle shell racer (a la Mario Kart), it's pretty awesome:
Self-proclaimed Jack-of-all-trades and google expert*.

* = Take any advice from this person with a grain of salt.
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