Reality check (Was: 3D Printers at Des Plaines Hobbies)

Tom Madden

Bruce wrote:

"If I read the specs correctly, this gives exactly the same level of detail as Shapeways FUD.  Both list the finest detail at 100 microns or 0.1mm.  That said, it is still pretty cool that you can get this for that price and of course, unlike Shapeways, you control the direction of build, which is a critical parameter."

This is a fused deposition machine. According to the specs the plastic filament used as build material is 1.75mm (nominally 0.070") diameter. The heated nozzle through which the filament is extruded is 0.4mm (nominally 0.016", or roughly 1.4" in HO). That is your "pixel" size for this particular printer, and you can't build a feature by stacking single "pixels" on top of each other.  Also from the specs, the 100 micron figure is the minimum (in this case, that means best) "layer resolution", which I assume means minimum layer thickness, not the minimum resolvable feature size. Shapeways doesn't quote layer thickness, but I believe their FUD process uses 29 micron layers. FWIW, the printers they use for FUD are capable of 16 micron layers.

My latest Shapeways adventure ended yesterday, badly. They can now do 11.3" long parts with FUD, vs. 7" previously. I sent them files for two HO Pullman sides (sans doors), which were 10.3" x 1" x 0.090". Surely they wouldn't build those standing on edge??? Surely, they did.......

Tom Madden

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