Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile


Please help me understand.

Posted by aceface 
Please help me understand.
March 17, 2012 03:21PM
Hello all,

i am very appreciative that this forum service is available to me, as well as the wiki, thank you thank you thank you!
I have just now discovered the awesome world of 3d printing and i am very excited! i am a little new, so dont assume i know much.

my goal is to build (or perhaps purchase) a fully working kit of drumms printrbot. but i have a few questions:
1. items may be drafted in google sketchup or downloaded, but how are they uploaded to the controller board? via direct usb conntection to computer, or any other way?
2. i have seen many videos of repraps printing, but i havent been able to see how the abs-type material is fed to the hot-end. it looks like a flexible rod similar to a gluestick. are my assumptions correct?
3. i am well versed in soldering and building such things, considering that, would it be best/cheaper to build my own or purchase a kit found -here-?
Re: Please help me understand.
March 17, 2012 04:17PM
After creating the 3d design and saving it in the STL format, you "slice" it to create g-codes, which instruct the printer in the print head movements to actually print that design. The g-code file can be transferred to an SD card which is installed into the printer controller, or more commonly still, sent over a USB connection to the prinetr controller one line at a time. The printer controller interprets these commands and prints your object.

The printers feedstock is usually in filaments of 3mm or 1.75mm, usually purchased in rolls of from 1kg to 5 pounds. This filament is typically ABS or PLA plastic.

It is definitely cheaper to acquire the parts and build your own printer and you will know more about how to tune or troubleshoot it afterwards than by assembling a kit, but many people are very satisfied with a kit to begin with. It largely depends on whether you only want to print or intend o gt fully immersed in this addictive hobby.

The Printrbot has attracted a lot of attention and looks like an excellent starter printer to me. If you want a larger print area or to print faster you can print one of the other reprap designs with it and move the electronics plus extruder to that new printer.
Re: Please help me understand.
March 17, 2012 04:35PM
Welcome to RepRap!

1. You first use a program like slic3r to generate gcode from the 3D model, then an interface program like pronterface to controls the printer and sends the gcode via USB. If your electronics support it you can also use a SD card.

2. The filament is a 3mm rod of solid plastic rod in a coil. Here's a older video I found where you can see the basic principle of the feeder system used: [www.youtube.com]

3. The cheapest option is to self source and scrounge the parts for a Prusa Mendel, which is a more mature and widespread design than printrbot. Self sourcing also teaches you more about the individual parts, and you get to know your printer better, at the cost of what can turn out to become a lot of time. The printrbot kit is very cheap, and a lot of people are getting one, so in that regard it is a pretty safe buy. But they are new to the scene, and only time will show if they manage to keep up with their ~6 week lead time. If I were to buy a kit, I'd personally rather buy a Prusa or Huxley from [reprappro.com]

I recommend looking at the videos from spacexula on youtube. Especially the "Still Extruding" series will teach you a lot, even though some things get outdated pretty fast.

Edit: Seems like I took my time to write this response. Oh well, it might add a few details. winking smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2012 04:37PM by Nudel.

Blog with RepRap Comic
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login