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Fabrication options (ABS printer, waterjet, etc)

Posted by Watanabe 
Fabrication options (ABS printer, waterjet, etc)
October 04, 2010 09:54PM
Currently a master's architecture student at U of Michigan.

I'm interested in having my own 3d printer as the lines/usage of the above can get fairly congested at peak times (ie: end of a project, everyone's trying to output their work) but having my own printer on my desk would be fairly game-changing in terms of feedback between digital/physical models...

I'm lucky enough to have access to a (very) wide range of fabrication devices:

Listed in order of accessibility:

Laser cutters: up to 1/4" acrylic (can operate byself, 2 hour limit/week) - very comfortable using
ABS Printer: Dimension 768SST 8x8x12, Dimension 1200es 10x10x12 - hand over a 3d file, pay for material usage, haven't used but supposedly pretty simple
CNC Mill: 3 axis bed, can cut stainless steel - haven't used
Waterjet: 2 axis
7-axis robot: waterjet/routing attachments - haven't used

I like the biological model of mendel, the self-replication, but part of me thinks it'd be great to have my parts milled out of metal for extra stability... on the other hand I think I could just hand over a set of mendel files and get a "professional grade" kit back for relatively cheap ($4/in^3) and is probably the best bang/buck and return on time. Or if there is a set of files for lasercutting an acrylic mendel that would be the easiest for me to execute, I've seen examples but haven't been able to track down files...

anyone care to comment on what they think would be the best route of attack?
Re: Fabrication options (ABS printer, waterjet, etc)
October 05, 2010 02:25AM
At $4 per cubic inch and 67.7 cubic inches for the Mendal parts would be ~$270 which you would probably pay for the RP parts created by a RepRap machine so I'd say go for it. Professionally made parts for the price of home made.

Bob Morrison
W├Ârth am Rhein, Germany
"Luke, use the source!"
BLOG - PHOTOS - Thingiverse
Re: Fabrication options (ABS printer, waterjet, etc)
October 05, 2010 08:02AM
Like rhmorrison, I'd definitively go for the printed parts. Also, the build documentation and community knowledge of the printed Mendel is far superior.

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