Largest 3D printed object at home?
February 21, 2013 09:43AM
We have all seen the large industrial 3D printers making big wrenches, car parts and bicycles but what is the largest 3D printed object made on a RepRap at home? I am curious how my 500mm dia and high twisted gear vase will stack up....
Re: Largest 3D printed object at home?
February 21, 2013 10:31AM
Re: Largest 3D printed object at home?
February 21, 2013 12:21PM
Yup. Pictures or it didn't happen! tongue sticking out smiley
Re: Largest 3D printed object at home?
February 21, 2013 03:39PM
I have a Printrbot+ with the Super-Z upgrade. I have not really tried printing anything very tall though, and it now seems like a solution in search of a problem. I would much rather have a larger print bed. Why? Because as you go higher on the z-axis the build platform movement seems to exaggerate the initial inaccuracies of the printer. Basically, it seems to get worse the higher you go.

Again, I haven't really tried printing anything beyond the stock Printrbot+ height yet. But that is mostly because of other problems I've been trying to nail down with my print quality. I've already calibrated the heck out of it (using a digital caliper to measure printed parts) and I still get some very wonky prints--like a small belt pulley that refuses to have straight teeth. I think this may be due to a weird eccentricity I see on the current X-axis pulley, but I won't be sure until I replace it with the new injection-molded pulleys I received last week (waiting for new linear bearings to arrive so I can replace those when I take the whole thing apart).

Anyway, I have been thinking a lot on this height thing since buying the upgrade and I'm starting to realize that I have little need for such a thing mainly because:
A. such a tall (read: large) print would use a lot of plastic (which can get expensive very quickly)
B. going so tall could make the whole thing shake itself loose from the print bed (unless I set the print speed very low or use a huge skirt/brim)
C. such a large print would take a *very* long time, and finally,
D. I just haven't come up with a need for a very tall part (however cool I thought the idea was at first)

It is this last point that makes it seem like a solution in search of a problem, but perhaps mother necessity is just not looking at me yet...

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2013 03:40PM by Leorex.
Re: Largest 3D printed object at home?
February 21, 2013 06:33PM
Ok, this thing is still printing... but you can sneak a peek of the progress here:


I will update the pic when it finishes.

@Leorex It is really important to have a solid printer with precision parts whether you are printing large or small. The points you raise are good ones. Unfortunately, the printrbot was not originally designed to be printing such tall objects. This twisted gear lamp I am making is only possible because my printer has a extremely rigid frame with machined aluminum components and no printed plastic parts on the frame or drive components. I am finding the PLA to adhere very well to the bed so the bigger question is how i will remove the lamp without damaging it smiling smiley

As for why someone would print so big... we all know that the real power of 3D printing will only unleashed by the use of the imagination. Our group likes to dream big and print big. Composting toilets and rainwater collection to start with.

Re: Largest 3D printed object at home?
February 21, 2013 06:58PM
@ Leorex I get what you are saying and great points. I ran into similar problems when extending my axis on my printrbot build. I had to do quite extreme customizing for my z axis and my printrbot is no where near the height of yours. In order to reach those heights printrbot should have completely redesigned a printer instead of making it an add-on. I think its more like to say we can instead of something that they can do well. I started my build with printrbot parts then found every fault in the design and tried to fix and upgrade it. My build is still on going even though the majority of my modifications have been tested on a fully built printrbot. My goal was to build the best machine I could while correcting the downfalls of the design. If your interested in seeing the build click on the link. Leorex- good job on noticing the faults and figuring them out rather than ignoring them.

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Re: Largest 3D printed object at home?
February 21, 2013 09:20PM
whats the next print going to be? an owl?

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Re: Largest 3D printed object at home?
February 21, 2013 09:22PM
a life-sized Owl be cool
Re: Largest 3D printed object at home?
February 22, 2013 09:16PM
Re: Largest 3D printed object at home?
February 22, 2013 11:38PM
smiling smiley @ 24.5 hrs into the print (0.3 mm layer height) I had a feed issue and had to stop the print. The feed issue has been resolved and I am now printing again The overall height of the vase ended up being about 400mm. Even so it is a very impressive piece. I will soon update the picture link I sent earlier.
Re: Largest 3D printed object at home?
February 23, 2013 02:40AM
Gotta see it in action dude - video!
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