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Buying a printer in the UK

 Post subject: Re: Buying a printer in the UK
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:59 am 
Brood Brother
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I do not have a resin printer, I have a PLA prinrer. PLA feeds a really long tube of plastic into a guide arm and thenit is heated up and extruded out. The head is moved and place the slightly melted plastic on the previous layer and at the end of each level it raises the head.

I resin printer works a little differently. You use a tub of liquid resin that hardens when a certain type of light is shone on it. The head has a series of lights or a screen which allows light to come thorugh it where the slice pattern tells it to shine. That system allows the pattern of the print to printed layer by layer rather than move a head around to complete each layer.

Your biggest problems are going to be the smell (well ventilated area), and cleaning of the resin from the 3d printer after each print job. And you want to avoid a suction crisis which might pull the print job off the base. People get around this by placing their print jobs on a slight tile, using stilts to lift the job off the base. I am not very sure of the exact workings of a resin printer - not having owned one, but I have been told by others about them, when I was considering which to buy.

My PLA printers heat bed has been fixed thorugh the use of some electrical solder, red and black silicone heat insulated heavy duty wires rated to 180 degrees Celcius, 18awg. after soldering them into the relevant pins in the connector, and then soldering onto the conduction pads on the circuit of the heating bed, I tested their electrical congruity with a multi-meter. It worked.

However I dropped the whole damn thing while putting it back on my table (as I had to turn the heating bed over to access the curcuit tabs - saw this remedy for the problem on a youtube video). Something went wrong, and now every time I set t go home it does not sit at the correct height. The head sits about 1cm above the bed, and everytime I set home it raises another centimetre. I thought it was a programming prblm, or a connection had loosened from the motherboard in the main housing, checked the connections, could not get a new eprom, motherboard, etc and though it was too expensive to fix anyway. I have had it sitting on my desk near my computer for the since April 2020.

There is a lot of help, and support from the community, and things are getting better as they go. Perhaps start off smaller, ask around which are the best resin printers on the market for the best price. Get advise on setting up your resin printing garage/shed area, and see how it goes.

Personally my family is cursed. I wrote 3 parapraphs about what problems I have had in the last month, but I cut it out as It is not relevant.

Check around, see what you can do. I know if things go well, the cost of a 3D print can be as little as 20 cents each.

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a printer in the UK
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:27 am 
Purestrain
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Alhazred wrote:
I have to say I was excited to get a resin printer until this thread. For the people that have been at it since this thread was written have things got any better or should I sit on the sidelines until a new (better) generation of the tech comes out?


I've had mine almost a year now. The machine I have hasn't changed, but I've got way better with it.
I don't need to change machine settings much/at all unless using a different resin or in response to temperature extremes.
My workflow has improved, in terms of minimising mess, and im much more comfortable and much faster with the whole thing. I use mine far less than many people seem to, so maybe i was slow to get the hang of it properly.

The only real 'problem' i had recently was swapping to a different resin, which didn't work for me, but that was only £20 gone or so, and i just swapped to another after aa couple of unsatisfactory test prints.

The process is still, however, inherently involves pouring and cleaning toxic liquids. That's not going to change in the next generation of printers, it's several generations away.
… flip side of that ive got 15mm cataphractii terminators on my painting desk, not many alternatives for that!

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a printer in the UK
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:44 pm 
Brood Brother
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Alhazred wrote:
I have to say I was excited to get a resin printer until this thread. For the people that have been at it since this thread was written have things got any better or should I sit on the sidelines until a new (better) generation of the tech comes out?

Nothing has materially changed except more STLs available. It's definitely a hobby in its own right, by which I mean you need to know more than just reading the manual to be successful. For instance, the Prusa Slicer is better than the Anycubic slicer at placing supports and will automatically orient your model (the goal is to avoid large flat areas that can stick to the bottom of the vat instead of the previous layer), so then you take the supported model from that and slice it in anycubic format separately. But for me personally, I have not experienced any problems with the actual resin etc, though I cant say I use it a lot.

I have not had any hardware faults or need to adjust/tighten up hardware at all. None of Deb's issues are really relevant to resin printing as those parts are for FDM printers. IMO FDM is a lot more complicated and a lot more tinkering is needed with the actual hardware, as the margins are very small and there are a lot more variables (movement in 3 axes instead of 1, nozzle setup, heating elements etc). An SLA printer is much simpler mechanically, the drawbacks are in the use of liquid resin itself. The tinkering will be in software - layer sizes, exposure times, orientation of the mode, placement of supports. Even then I have not found it makes a huge difference; if you understand what type of issues cause prints to fail (large flat areas, and layers in 'mid-air') then most things just seem to work with default settings or settings found on google/reddit for a particular resin. I don't think I've ever had to try to print anything more than twice. Having said that, some people do seem to get better hardware than others (e.g. I have never needed to re-level my build plate, others have).

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a printer in the UK
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:13 pm 
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Sounds great! I think there are two ways of aproaching 3D printing. The "give me free stuff"-way or "now I can design and print whatever I fancy". I bought mine for the second reason. I think it helps with putting up with the sticky fume generating goo that is the lifeblood of this additional hobby.

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a printer in the UK
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:53 pm 
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@Deb - I didn't really look at Filament printers because I assumed that the level of detail at 6mm would be low. Did you print a lot at that scale and how happy were you with the results. Do you have any pics of models that you would be willing to share?


@Kurt & Apoc I'm not 100% sold on resin, I've just heard that the detail is better. Since I've never worked with resin before, how bad is it? Is it 'you need a dedicated room with a fan in it' or 'if it isn't outside you could die' I can do the first one but not the second one. I would prefer not to die if at all possible.

@Nitpick - I think I am mostly in the first group. I am not (or at least haven't been) creative enough to make my own sculptures but I am really loving the creativity out in the community that I've seen so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying a printer in the UK
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:19 pm 
Purestrain
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The detail is another level with resin. Filament has its uses and is very cheap, but can't compete with traditional models at this scale. Some people do get amazing results with filament, but it takes a lot of tinkering and testing of settings, upgrades, temps, nozzles etc whereas resin has better results out of the box (in theory).

Re how bad is the printing resin: the key requirement is a space you can ventilate the printer in and some means to keep the resin at 20c+ (either heating the room, or heating the printer). This does not mean outside, but you'll want some windows open and probably not to spend much time in the space with it with resin in without protection (or a good extraction system).
The uncured resin is toxic and you need to wear gloves – you can develop a contact allergy to it. The uncured resin will give off gas/fumes, but there is frustratingly little info on the actual implications of this – instructions recommend a face mask, people on youtube use face mask respirators. I hadn't really been bothering (probably stupid) but have just bought a 3m half mask with relevant filters.

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a printer in the UK
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:40 pm 
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...and if you do use a mask - make sure that you don't have a beard or adopt a WWI style of moustache, like what's his name again... Begins with an 'H'...

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a printer in the UK
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:42 pm 
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Also. Since you dont mind waiting - there is a lot happening right now as the elegoo Saturn is being introduced and Anycubic just presented a rival model for large size resin prints. This could mean that the traditional elegoos and anycubics will drop further in pice...

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a printer in the UK
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:17 pm 
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Alhazred wrote:
@Deb - I didn't really look at Filament printers because I assumed that the level of detail at 6mm would be low. Did you print a lot at that scale and how happy were you with the results. Do you have any pics of models that you would be willing to share?


When I was doing well, I had some really good results. My Necron army has a lot of 3D prints in it, and I made some really nice buildings.

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Some of the 6mm scale minis that I have 3D printed. Some of them have been rescaled down from 40K scale using the cura slicing program. The buildings were done in a mid level quality and took 3 to 4 days each. The Monoliths took about 4 hours each on super fine quality, and some of the other minis like the objectives the obelisks were all done in fine or super fine detail.

Th Eldar minis were mostly rescaled down from 40K (about 20-25% of the original size) and they seemed to do the job. The PLA did get a little thin in places and had to have the bridge base removed from under them very carefully so as not to damage them. They were done on super fine and took between 2 to 3 hours each.

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Last edited by Deb on Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a printer in the UK
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:54 pm 
Brood Brother
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Thank you all. I really appreciate the feedback. @Deb. I have to admit those look great and were much better than I expected.

I talked to my wife a bit about it and she gave me quite the face when I said the words 'contact allergy'. I think I'm going to pass on the resin printer for now because I have space technically but ventilation would be an issue. I think I'll look back in early next year and see how the technology is coming along. Maybe FDM will make a few leaps and bounds in the next year.

That being said I don't know if my epic addiction can wait that long. Is there a place on line where I could work with someone who has a resin printer and get some things printed? The cost of models on ebay is insane. Which is silly because I always yelled at the price of GW epic stuff back in the day. Someone out there is bound to want to undercut those folks for a few bucks.

Again, thank you all. I'm growing to really love it around here.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying a printer in the UK
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:01 pm 
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Sounds like a reasonable decision. While there are a lot of 'I don't care about the smell' and 'I have the printer i my bedroom' comments on the interwebs, I cannot help but associate these with a Darwin award of sorts. Precured or melted pleatic is quite likely pretty nasty stuff. If the urge to create is not unbearing, I'd wait too. If you cannot, there are ways to vantilate like putting the printer in a box or small locker or someting and shoving a hose out the window using a duct fan to rid the immedoate surroundings of the offending vapours. This is what I do.

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