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Overwhelmed with all the great information

Posted by Nicus 
Overwhelmed with all the great information
October 11, 2015 06:41PM
First and foremost I want to thank the RepRap community for there hard time and dedication. I've stumbled upon this site about 3 years ago when I wanted to start a business. I didn't have the capital at the time and life's hardships put my ideas on pause. I'm back now and I hope that having my own 3D printer is now in my grasp for the purpose intended. I apologize if this is posted in the wrong section but I need as much advice as possible, it will be greatly appreciated. I've search the forums and various other sources and could not find a solid answer. I know if there's anyone who could give me accurate information it will be here. This is my plan...

Budget $333

* PC/PVC slim transparent cases for newer phones, possibly tablets, ipads if I could afford a bigger bed.
* TPU cases in various colors and designs including transparent
* ABS cases
* Mix of all three. Does not have to be printed at the same time. TPU on inside and ABS outer shell or vise versa.
* extruder should be 3mm since I read its better for softer filaments like TPU.

What are my options on a budget? I want one that could print and that I could all make more of once the business grows to prevent the horrible fire stories I hear.
Dual+ extruders would be nice but I don't think its necessary if it increases the budget drastically.
I want the best one for my budget and application. I don't want to spend my time figuring out how to fix something or why it didn't work. A stable build.
I read the wiki's and saw various models but I cant give myself a solid answer. I am able to build one myself and any help getting parts for whatever model is appreciated.

Thank you all for your time. thumbs up

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/2015 06:47PM by Nicus.
Re: Overwhelmed with all the great information
October 11, 2015 11:13PM
Hey if you find a printer that can do all that for $333 keep me posted.
Re: Overwhelmed with all the great information
October 11, 2015 11:44PM
$333 is a very tight and oddly specific budget to have a printer with what you are looking for. A low budget is going to result in lower quality prints. That being said:

Probably your best bet would be something along the lines of a Delta type machine such as the Kossel mini. It would be difficult to print flexible filaments eith a bowden extruder thoigh. With the budget you have you probably will want to avoid the dual extruder and the headaches that can accompany them. Probably would suggest an end v6 hotend to accommodate the different materialstyles and smaller nozzles to get finer details.

Prusa i3 Rework - Ramps 1.4 - E3d Lite6 - Full Graphic LCD Controller
Re: Overwhelmed with all the great information
October 12, 2015 12:02AM
printers got cheap, but not that cheap. For example, I bought a folgertech 2020 "prusa i3" for I think $260 (maybe $270). It's pretty capable, but want to print PC? Going to need an e3d hit end. I think the real v6 had a price drop recently to like $70. Maybe cheaper. Check with filastruder if you're in the us for sure. Trouble is, we're at your budget now and haven't factored in shipping, but additionally, you'll need to upgrade the heated bed, either to 24 volt, or to a nice mains powered silicone one like I did. Omega engineering has them for about $70. Cool, not that bad, even with the $15 SSR to control it (yup, contrary to popular belief, the $15 Solid state relays work fine. Pwm frequency in repetier is 15.something, it's only 7.something in Marlin). Unfortunately you're not done yet. PC is nasty stuff to print by most internet accounts of it. You're going to need a heated build chamber too. Some have reported good results with just a cardboard box, but I doubt if that included use with PC (though if it can hit/maintain temps, I don't see why not). At the minimum though, you're going to need another thermistor to know the temps inside, and for PC temps, chances are you wont just be able to use the bed as the heater, so you'll likely want to get one of those 250 watt ceramic mains powered heaters $30, and another SSR ($15). Then you may be able to print PC.

Now, I wanted to answer the question before offering advise, but that's done (and I likely forgot about 100 things, or didn't know about something, etc). I too want to print in PC, but also delrin, peek, ultem...maybe even polyimide for giggles. I designed my own printer, bought the folgertech, bought another e3d for the folgertech....and I'm still messing around with good old pla. Design work is a pain. Materials are expensive (though pla/abs are fairly cheap). There's a lot to learn in 3D printing. You could jump straight into printing PC, but a lot of the basics, like designing for the printers, learning about support material, learning slicing software (skeinforge or perhaps simplify 3D are my current picks and skeinforge isn't a piece of cake to use even with pla!). So my recommendation would be to get a decent printer with what you've got right now, and start learning to print, design for printers, validate your designs, etc. then, once you've made some good products in pla/abs then move on and try PC. It's going to have its own set of challenges, but at that point, you'll have worked through all the simple issues and built your skills with the devices. It's not design/print/everything works. Fdm/fff has a lot of quirks. (As do other processes additive and subtractive! You may find fdm/fff not to be ideal for cases. (I'm thinking delamination possibilities along the thinner sections), in which case sla/sls may be better, but you won't be getting one of those at home for under $2kish for a small sla. There are print services out there that will print your designs on those types of printers.

Life proof, supposedly got their start with 3D printers. I'm not sure which type though. I'd be surprised if it was fdm/fff and not sla or perhaps sls. I'm sure there's plenty of sites with the story if it's true.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/12/2015 12:06AM by corry.
Re: Overwhelmed with all the great information
October 12, 2015 11:23AM
If you wanted to do all this right now, at any price, which off the shelf printers would cope?
Re: Overwhelmed with all the great information
October 12, 2015 09:49PM
Thanks guys. Very useful. I understand completely corry. I like that idea. So yes MechaBits, at any price, what will be my average cost be of setting up a stable system like that? I will do dropship and then get a basic setup and upgrade it until I get what I want. So the next question is. Which one should I start with printing ABS and TPU. I saw all the other filaments like the ninja flex. Awesome stuff. I could get cases for less than $1 wholesale. Is it worth it? The price of electricity, the time spending to learn and the price of filaments. Cases only go for anywhere from $3-$10 on ebay and amazon. Or should I wait till the technology develops a lil and stick to dropshipping, and wholesale. My e-commerce will feature repairs for phones, automotive, and computers. Anything I could print regarding those products will be incorporated. I know I'm cheating by asking, good info is hard to come by. I really appreciate the help. Is it worth it?
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