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Old 09-20-2019, 05:46 AM   #1
Dialedin
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Anyone using 3D printing?


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Really considering buying myself a 3d printer for use on our farm but there are so many different ones! Is anyone using one to print airplane parts? What one are you using? Sell me on it!
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Old 09-20-2019, 07:24 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone using 3D printing?

I'm in the same boat. The only thing I picked up from a buddy who does a lot of it.....if you are OK with assembling you will save bundles with a kit. Like half price on some.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:39 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone using 3D printing?

I jumped in with both feet and bought a Lulzbot Taz6 about 2 years ago. Must confess I haven’t touched it for a good 6 months or more, but I did use it to print wheel covers. Fake exhausts and prop hub for my ill-fated 1/5 scale Wildcat. I plan to do more with it... just need to overcome inertia.

A 3D printer is an amazingly powerful tool. Really the only limits are your imagination and the ability to design your item in CAD (or find someone to do it for you). There are online resources like Thingiverse where other upload the CAD files they’ve created, to share with anyone who wants it. RC Scale Builders maintains a small but growing library as well, contributed to by site members.

You can spend a little or a lot. I probably went overboard, but wanted something that was essentially turnkey and could use different materials. The “default” material is PLA plastic. It’s easy to use but for our needs isn’t always suitable. Parts made from it can melt and warp if left too long in a hot car for example. I used ABS for my Wildcat parts; it’s more durable, has a higher melting point, and can be smoothed with acetone. When the plane crashed on the maiden flight, even the ABS prop hub survived although the airframe was a write off.

The machines from Creality seem popular with RC folks. There are a couple of ongoing threads over on RC Groups.
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:43 AM   #4
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Re: Anyone using 3D printing?

Bought a Creality Ender 3 Pro a few months ago. Fantastic machine and it is a bargain at 250$. Would recommend to anybody looking for a great, inexpensive entry level machine.
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Old 09-20-2019, 04:20 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone using 3D printing?

My son has one. Took a while to set it up and it works great. Wanted to get cowl for my GWS Tiger Moth. Cost from states was $30 for 2 pieces of thin plastic. Printed out 2 cowls in an hour and still have them. Great little machine.
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:05 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone using 3D printing?

I have had a Prusa i3 Mk3 for about a year and a half. I printed some parts for Ramjet's big bipe and I've printed a handful of airframes from 3dlabprint and some from the 3dprinting forum on rcgroups.

Mine has been good to me. I've been printing the thin wall stuff since the beginning. Not sure if I just got lucky or if it's because I shelled out for a genuine Prusa. Like someone else said you can save some coin if you assemble it yourself and I enjoyed building it.

As long as you have realistic expectations and understand there are limitations you'll love it. It is like another hobby altogether.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:44 PM   #7
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Re: Anyone using 3D printing?

Got an ender 3 about 4 months ago - great machine - Almost plug and play...

I have used it a bunch to make parts for RC. I have been playing with different methods to make parts more like traditional construction than some of the mainstream 3D printing stuff for RC.

When I get a chance I will post some examples....

Its an awesome tool for scratch builders - the 3D CAD is a bit of a learning curve but once you master the basics it allows you to make a lot of intricate parts that are so hard to make the traditional ways...

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Old 09-22-2019, 03:47 AM   #8
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Re: Anyone using 3D printing?

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I took some cad modeling classes back in high school and ive kept up with that a bit so that portion doesnt really scare me. My main concern is getting one that turns out to be a little big/or too small than i need or one that is limited in what material to print in.
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Old 09-22-2019, 08:29 AM   #9
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Re: Anyone using 3D printing?

The printers themselves are often quite moddable (is that actually a word?). If you want to start small & inexpensive, you can get a pretty basic unit to try out and then upgrade as your needs grow. One of the neat things is, the printers themselves often contain a number of 3D printed parts, so you can even just print replacements and upgrade parts.
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Old 09-22-2019, 03:14 PM   #10
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Re: Anyone using 3D printing?

I have trolling for info on and off for a bit. So hard to sort out legit reviews. Making upgrade parts as the first task seems common.
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