3D Printing - "It's all about design and quality output. Not how fast the printer can run."
Originally published in Ramblin Dan Blog
A new workshop blog from Ramblin’ Dan is about to appear. It will be 3D Print project oriented on a style like my machine shop blogs. It will not be about the tools, but what can be done with them.
As seen in this picture, I am using a Cartesian style 3D printer. My desire is to convert to the faster operating Delta Style printer at some point. However, if I go my own way without help from a sponsor, the printer will be seen but never promoted. No more free rides from Ramblin' Dan.
I am working the dickens out of my Cartesian style printer. It’s crushingly slow but I now have it tuned to do decent printing. The surface lines are there as there is no way around that. The prints are otherwise clean and presentable for a fused deposition modeling (FDM) printer.
I have no pressing reason to upgrade, except for speed...
The FDM process will remain the most hobbyist friendly for the foreseeable future. A great many manufacturers of the machines and filament have recently come into existence. At this point, the real business of 3D printing is the making of the machines and material for doing the printing. This results in driving the entry cost down for getting started in this activity.
The Dallas Texas area alone is reputed to have several hundred brick and mortar 3D print shops in existence. Printing itself is not a problem. What to print is my goal.
No one generally goes into furniture making because of the brand or style of the table or band saw they use to make the furniture. The same thinking applies to 3D printing. The printing tool is necessary but it is just a tool, an enabler. A whole lot more emphasis applies to the design and creation. The first run prototype. The trial and error. The learning from mistakes. The joy of perfection.
There is a whole lot of this going on in the background, there must be. I have posted a couple of my original designs on Thingiverse. There is a lot more creation going on than is getting published. I have just not been looking the proper direction. Maker’s fairs, are a good direction, I think.
I believe the “machine that can make itself” (Rep-rap) is a legacy that has moved on as a challenge. In any case, the focus here will look beyond self-replication. The tool has a far more useful purpose than just breeding itself. Ha!
I used to play with computers because they were computers. Back before the IBM PC was ever considered. It was a fascinating time just building the hardware. Then it became time to do something useful with the personal computer. Software made it a useful tool.
That’s the crossroad where 3D printing stands for me today. The hardware is here in force. Now is the season for doing (making) things. The best of that experience belongs to the folks that can build the required digital (.STL) file from an idea formed in the mind into a solid product that comes off the printer.
The goal now is not just the owning or possession of the 3D printer, the tool. It is now about putting that tool to work creating dimensional products.
My present web publications certainly cover the machines I use and how well they do their job. However, I want my primary focus for 3D Design Print Studio to be on the project being made. The blog is about the creative process.
I love sketching an idea, then adding dimensions, making a detailed drawing, and imagining how it will look and work. Then making a prototype to test the concept, then refining the design. It’s this process of creating something from nothing
That’s the basis of RD’s - 3D Print Design Studio
The focus is the project. The equipment used will be highly visible and the benefits of using it will always be featured. That is why I need to be using solid dependable equipment that is not always needing “improved” or modified to do the job. The blog is about the project, not how to keep the equipment running.
I wonder if there is a manufacturer that can meet those demands?