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Some help for a beginner

Posted by Jan 
Some help for a beginner
February 02, 2012 02:59PM

I have wanted to build a RepRap for a long time now, and it finally seams to be time.

I already have the X, Y and Z axises standing (though I'm not building after any existing design), but now for the extruder and hot end part I wanted to use proven designs.

So, my questions:
What is a "Hot bed" used for? Do I need it?
Would this hot end work?
Would this extruder work?
What material (PLA, ABS etc.) would be best for a beginner?
Any more tips?

As I'm only 15, it's important for me to keep costs down as much as possible, but I have understood the extruder part is not the right place to save at.

Thanks in advance,
Re: Some help for a beginner
February 02, 2012 03:52PM
Let's say you can start printing without a heated bed.

The hotend and extruder you mention will work. But hotend is not very cheap. Have a look at this other one: [www.hotends.com] that seems same price range but better.

Start with PLA, definitely.

I think you are correct: extuder/hotend (mostly the latter) is a critical component.
Re: Some help for a beginner
February 02, 2012 04:05PM
Thanks for the quick reply.

Ok, I'll go with the hot end in the link then, and with the extruder I posted.

Does it matter what color I take for the PLA?

Re: Some help for a beginner
February 02, 2012 04:10PM
Welcome to the forums Jan!

Good choice on selecting high quality parts for the extruder. I second getting a hotend from hotends.com, they have a very good reputation.

The extruder (gregs hinged or "gregstruder") you linked to is excellent, I use it myself on my printers.

PLA is nice to begin with as it needs lower temperatures to extrude, and you can print smaller parts without a heated bed. Though I suggest you look into building [reprap.org] or buying a heated bed in the near future. It's mostly needed to keep the parts sticking to the build plate while printing, and also to make the parts cool down at a slower rate to avoid warping.

Edit: You can use whatever color PLA you like, natural is good to experiment with temperature, and dark/black has a good contrast for seeing how the first layer is put down.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/2012 04:12PM by Nudel.

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Re: Some help for a beginner
February 02, 2012 09:10PM
With the translucent colors it is harder to see the flaws and blobs. For tuning, that can be a problem. But different colors seem to melt at different temps.
I'm in the US and really like the filament Ultimachine sells. The white and red do seem to work better at a lower temp than a the translucent blue, green or natural.
Re: Some help for a beginner
February 03, 2012 07:35AM
When buying electronics / motors, try buying them together as you can get discount kits which include everything.

This way you can save a lot of money / postage costs.
Re: Some help for a beginner
February 03, 2012 12:56PM
Thanks a lot for the additional tips!

I have now ordered the stepper controllers, extruder and PLA, and I will soon order the hot end too. I will post some pictures of my work so far later tonight.

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