A 3D printer, your own personal manufacturing facility.
Note quite… its true you can make a lot of things with a 3D printer but if you think your going to be producing loads of bits to repair your car your going to be sorely disappointed.
3D printers …
- Take hours to print a reasonably sized part
- Aren’t as strong as bought moulded plastic parts
- Can sometimes be more expensive to make than buying a part
- Can fail during prints
So why do I have one?
- You can make something you have designed
- You can make things that aren’t in the shops
- The challenge of actually designing and making your own items
- They open up so many other projects
I started with a reasonable cheap printer called the Fisher delta, this is the green and black printer pictured here.
This printer taught me loads and while reliably printing most parts its limitations and issues taught me a lot about 3D printing that have held me in good stead.
These printers are called FDM printers (fused deposition modeling). This means they take a material heat it up until its molten and then extrude it out, gradually building up apart by multiple very small layers one after the other.
The material used in my printer type is a plastic filament that comes in rolls, this is slowly fed into a heated head with a nozzle at the bottom and the machine moves the head around gradually pushing molten plastic through and building ling the part up one layer at a time.
I now have a Prusa I3 MK3 and it has opened up a whole new level of larger projects as you will see in some of the posts I will be gradually building up.
The first being a post on “3D Printed Fortnight Axes & Props”