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Thread: 3D printing

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr stormvisions's Avatar
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    3D printing

    Do we have any 3D printer types here? I'm trying to save a little money up to get a Dremel DigiLab 3D45. I'm hoping to slowly build up a specialty print shop I can work from home - get an an desktop engraver and a Tooli in the future too if it works out. I'm almost 60 now and not much chance I'll have money to retire so want to try to use my creative skills to make a few $$ before the job ends and I have to live in a box with my wife and my fish tank.

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    Pew Pew Lazor 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! Zenzu's Avatar
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    I've always wanted one, but will likely never have time to learn to program it. So it would just sit around gathering dust. I knew a guy when I worked at Yamaha that would make different attachments and what not for cameras(photography) and would sell the stuff on ebay and make a pretty decent stack in his spare time.
    THE CAKE IS A LIE!

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr stormvisions's Avatar
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    I've seen a few small things and think there might be enough business there if I focus on niche items on ebay, There are some things that are small - which saves on print time, material cost and shipping- but pretty high price. Anybody's guess but want to try something and if it's something creative it won't feel like work.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    rather than getting your own 3D printer you can send designs away to be printed on machines better than you can afford. That's how the custom jewelry makers do it (often paired with a very cheap home printer for the design process - once the design is vetted you send it to the print house for final versions). Check out Shapeways.

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    SCAPE Member 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! swoof's Avatar
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    I wouldn't get a closed in box type 3D printer like that. Your be better off with something more open. There are many different types, some involving more work than others. But if planning on doing this as kind of a side job look into different types depending on what you plan to be selling

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr stormvisions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayo View Post
    rather than getting your own 3D printer you can send designs away to be printed on machines better than you can afford. That's how the custom jewelry makers do it (often paired with a very cheap home printer for the design process - once the design is vetted you send it to the print house for final versions). Check out Shapeways.
    Thanks. I heard that mentioned. Will check them out.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr stormvisions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swoof View Post
    I wouldn't get a closed in box type 3D printer like that. Your be better off with something more open. There are many different types, some involving more work than others. But if planning on doing this as kind of a side job look into different types depending on what you plan to be selling
    Thanks. Will mull that over.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted bonsainut's Avatar
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    Don't spend money, and then look around to see if there is a market for what you are selling.

    Establish the market first, and THEN spend money based on how big the market is.

    For example, let's assume you decide to make some hot items that aren't readily available. Perhaps you decide you can sell $20,000 per year of these items. You might decide to invest in a higher-end printer than if your market size was only $4,000 per year. One of the main challenges you will have is that, by their very nature, 3D printers can produce just about anything, so that if the market is large enough someone is probably already printing something for it. Something to keep in mind.

    3D printing is both extremely easy and extremely difficult. It is extremely easy to buy a printer and learn how to start printing 3D objects. It is more difficult to learn how to model 3D objects to print. It is really difficult to produce professional level prints, given the delicacy of the procedure and the environment isolation required - where even someone slamming a door on the other side of your house can create a small jiggle in your object - ruining 3 hours worth of work and a chunk of filament. Additionally, many objects require post-processing - finishing, drilling, assembly, whatever - so it is likely you will need a small shop area that has to be dust free and has lots of ventilation for safe use of solvents.

    Good luck with your journey!! I agree with the earlier poster about using an outside service to get your feet wet and start making and selling items - you will learn a lot before you have to invest tons of cash.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr stormvisions's Avatar
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    Thanks. The money I am considering is based initially on my economic realities - a printer I have some chance of affording, with a reasonable learning curve. The printer I mentioned has good reviews, and is being used in a lot of training classes as well. I have some self taught 3D experience using the free version of SketchUp and I see that they have a free STL export available. I purchased a 3D slicer program that supports the 3D printer so I can pracxtice making my models in SketchUp and exporting them to be print ready. I will probably take a look at other print on demand services that were mentioned though as money is tight.

    I appreciate your feedback. It is useful. Sounds like you may have some experience.

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