Author Topic: Affordable 3D-printing  (Read 2932 times)

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Offline Cindori

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Affordable 3D-printing
« on: Fri, 12 October 2012, 18:26:43 »


www.kickstarter.com/projects/formlabs/form-1-an-affordable-professional-3d-printer

3D printing is really kicking off these days. Would a machine like this be suitable for crafting keycaps, or even keyboard cases? I know a guy here did just that, but it cost him a ton. For this machine, 1 litre of material is supposed to be $149. That would be enough for hundreds if not thousands of keycaps!

Quote
These acrylate materials typically have elastic modulus and tensile strength that are comparable to ABS used in FDM machines. They typically have somewhat lower impact strength than FDM ABS.

Keycaps really seem to be the perfect match for a 3D printer. From an idea to a 3d model to a real life keycap in a couple of hours. Will these printers change the game soon?

Offline jeroplane

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Re: Affordable 3D-printing
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 13 October 2012, 02:57:35 »
The Makerbot Replicator is also a relatively "affordable" option that is perfect for keycaps.

It uses either ABS (what many keycaps are actually made of!) or PLA, at $48 for 1kg of plastic.

Offline Paranoid

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Re: Affordable 3D-printing
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 13 October 2012, 04:44:03 »
That printer would be much more accurate than a reprap prusa mendel or a makerbot (which is essentially a reprap but almost assembled and twice as expensive). SL is just a much more accurate way of 3D-printing. For sure in these small affordable printers.
Here is the difference shown between FDM(Fused deposition modelling) and SL(Stereolithography):


I myself can't justify paying that much for a SL machine for private use (even if it is considered cheap), so yeah that's your own choice  ;D
I'm building a prusa mendel right now, which is cheaper than a makerbot or the one you mentioned, but putting it together is something you either want to do or not. I pay around €22 for one kg of filament, ABS or FLA (that's about $28,5). So material wise it's cheaper I guess, but I wouldn't say for sure that you'll have beautiflly finished keycaps unless you finish them yourself afterwards (sanding, filing, etc..). But then again, the qualilty you get out of your own built machine lies entirely in ones own hands ^^

Offline nokcha

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Re: Affordable 3D-printing
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 15 October 2012, 12:06:24 »
It only takes resin for now :[. Not sure about resin keycaps. It's too soft/brittle compared to ABS or PBT and paint generally does not stick well to it unless you primer it.

Offline __red__

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Re: Affordable 3D-printing
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 18 October 2012, 00:27:43 »
Nokcha, that's a huge assumption.  It depends on the resin.

There are literally thousands of resins available on the market with different physical properties.  Companies such as Innovative Polymers will custom-make resins to your physical specifications too.

Offline eyejay

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Re: Affordable 3D-printing
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 18 October 2012, 10:51:15 »
I'm really excited to see what happens when keycaps can be made reliably on a 3D printer that costs under a couple thousand. This is the first application where it actually makes economic sense to use a 3D printer, instead of just being a cool option to be able to do it at home / work. Can't wait until the level of detail meets what is required for high quality keycaps! Anyone ever see any attempts at making keycaps on a 3D printer? I assume they wouldn't be the best yet, but it would be cool to see what is possible with off-the-shelf printers today.

Offline modulor

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Re: Affordable 3D-printing
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 18 October 2012, 12:42:54 »
In terms of producing keycaps from 3D printers, Dox has had success with shapeways, where he also prototyped the case for his Ergo-Dox project...and they turned out decent!  Also, not super expensive.  You can read more about it in this post:

http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=33496.msg630468#msg630468

...or check out his design (and purchase) from the shapeways site:

http://www.shapeways.com/model/637295/keycap.html

I'm definitely keeping an eye on that Form 1 project...
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Offline phetto

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Re: Affordable 3D-printing
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 18 October 2012, 12:53:39 »
I need this.

What do you guys think will be a final price of the piece?

Offline dorkvader

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Re: Affordable 3D-printing
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 18 October 2012, 17:57:29 »
I need this.

What do you guys think will be a final price of the piece?
What Piece? The final price of the ergoDOX shapeways case was $200 almost exactly.

Offline kmiller8

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Re: Affordable 3D-printing
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 18 October 2012, 18:46:23 »
That printer would be much more accurate than a reprap prusa mendel or a makerbot (which is essentially a reprap but almost assembled and twice as expensive). SL is just a much more accurate way of 3D-printing. For sure in these small affordable printers.
Here is the difference shown between FDM(Fused deposition modelling) and SL(Stereolithography):
...

I myself can't justify paying that much for a SL machine for private use (even if it is considered cheap), so yeah that's your own choice  ;D
I'm building a prusa mendel right now, which is cheaper than a makerbot or the one you mentioned, but putting it together is something you either want to do or not. I pay around 22 for one kg of filament, ABS or FLA (that's about $28,5). So material wise it's cheaper I guess, but I wouldn't say for sure that you'll have beautiflly finished keycaps unless you finish them yourself afterwards (sanding, filing, etc..). But then again, the qualilty you get out of your own built machine lies entirely in ones own hands ^^

Wow, I had never realized just how much better of a print this offered than the RepRaps, I had just assumed this was a more professionally assembled model. Still waaaaay out of budget for me, but it's quite nice to see where things are going in 3D printing.

Offline phetto

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Affordable 3D-printing
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 18 October 2012, 20:15:28 »
I need this.

What do you guys think will be a final price of the piece?
What Piece? The final price of the ergoDOX shapeways case was $200 almost exactly.

I meant the 3d printer =)


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Offline i488

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Re: Affordable 3D-printing
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 18 October 2012, 23:16:46 »
thats what I am thinking abt? thish machine will need to work with some nice 3D graph software,otherwise i cant do the design myself

Offline dorkvader

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Re: Affordable 3D-printing
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 19 October 2012, 08:22:09 »
I need this.

What do you guys think will be a final price of the piece?
What Piece? The final price of the ergoDOX shapeways case was $200 almost exactly.

I meant the 3d printer =)


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All the get-in-early it's cheap have sold out, so it looks like if you buy through kickstarter, it's only $2699

Offline phetto

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Re: Affordable 3D-printing
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 19 October 2012, 08:35:08 »
^ Not2shabby

Offline mkawa

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Re: Affordable 3D-printing
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 19 October 2012, 09:11:46 »
i am dubious of kickstarter projects in general. it's one thing to propose a project (non-trivial, sure) and another thing entirely to deliver a produce-able one that works (VERY VERY difficult)

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