Let’s talk 3D printing

Hello. I’ve seen that lots of people on here like to 3D print stuff, and have been 3D printing yo-yos as well. This can just be a thread to talk about 3D printers, stuff you have printed, and whatever else! I do not have one yet, but I would like to get one. I’m looking under 200 dollars. I have found the creality ender and ender pro kits, photon zero for sla, and maybe a prusa if I really wanted it. Do you guys have preferences on sla or fdm? Which one do you think is better?

Good topic. Big topic.

I only recently got into 3D printing, and I’ve learned a lot about what it’s not very good at. And that’s precision manufacturing. Even though my resin printer can theoretically print to a minimum layer height of 0.01mm, other factors prevent truly precise, consistently printed parts. Factors like gravity, resin viscosity, peel factor, supports, and so forth.

I have an Elegoo Mars Pro, and as budget resin printers go it is very good. I’d say its one weakness is that it uses a color LCD screen rather than a mono LCD screen. I’m hoping that maybe one day Elegoo will provide an upgrade.

What makes resin printing a yoyo so frustrating is the fact that there is no ideal printing orientation. An upright orientation reduces the number of supports that will mess up the inner cup, but you will not get a perfectly round yoyo this way. A down-facing orientation is good for getting maximum roundness, but requires the cup to be filled with supports, and even then peel force guarantees that the inner cup will not have a perfectly even surface contour. An up-facing orientation would put supports all over the most sensitive part of the yoyo: the bearing seat, and that simply can not be compromised in any way or else it will not function properly.

Now, I don’t know if FDM printing would be any better at dealing with these issues. You still have to pick an orientation and you still have to deal with supports (not to oppose peel force, but to oppose gravity). Plus, the difficulty in getting smooth surfaces out of FDM makes it less than ideal as well. At least resin prints are supremely smooth (layer lines are completely undetectable).

I chose an MSLA printer because I wanted the smoothest possible results. But I am finding that making precise parts is very difficult, especially if they have rounded contours or inset sections.

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So I’ve been experimenting with an idea for multi-colored resin prints. I’m sure I’m not the first to think of this, and in fact I got the idea from seeing some multi-colored FDM prints.

Here’s an object printed such that it starts off in white and then changes to red for the top portion of the design.

The procedure for this involves noting which layer the color needs to change on and then pausing the print after that layer is printed. The vat is changed out with the new resin color and then printing is resumed.

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My friends are all shocked that I don’t have a 3d printer. I am the tech guy. Every gaming system. Modular synthesizer. Mac and PC. iPad and Android tablet. But for me, 3d printers are just not quite there yet. I’m hoping that they will evolve fast since the price has dropped and more people can buy in. But right now, there is nothing that I want to print.

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I like designing board games, and having the ability to print my own game pieces is extremely helpful to my process. And then I also find other handy things to print, like custom yoyo counterweights.

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Looks like the successor to my printer will be out next month:

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That two color turned out well. I’ve done similar with FDM, but haven’t tried it with the Elegoo Mars yet.

My newest project is crafting a sculpted set of pieces for the game shogi (Japanese chess). Since the game is Japanese in origin, I’ve decided to make the pieces Japanese themed.

The first piece I’ve printed is the Rook, represented by a pagoda castle (instead of a European-style castle tower as in western chess).

Now I realize that the kanji for this piece is actually hisha, which translates to flying chariot, and my pagoda piece looks nothing like a flying chariot. However, since modern shogi convention is to call this piece a Rook, I decided to take the design cues for this piece from the western chess Rook and translate it into its closest Japanese equivalent.

You might be wondering why I’m bothering to do this since presumably I could just buy a shogi set and not have to make the pieces myself. However, shogi does not use sculpted pieces like western chess does. Instead, the game pieces, called koma, are flat wooden tiles with printed kanji characters indicating which piece is which. There are game-play advantages to this which present a few problems for sculpted pieces, like the fact that the reverse side of the minor pieces represent their promoted forms, and the fact that the pieces of both sides are the same color because captured pieces can be used as your own forces, but I think I’ve found reasonable solutions for these issues.

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Amazing work @zslane! Can’t wait to see the full set!

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Here are a few more test prints. From L-to-R: gold general, silver general, knight, bishop.

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So I am very glad this thread has been made. I don’t have any clue about 3D printing but my friend has one and is willing to print me some rings for my Werrd Split Decision just for fun. I got original measurements from the legend himself, Mark Allen.

Anybody tried printing rims for yoyos or yoyo parts instead of full throws? Any advice in general?

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Here is one of the kings (O-Sho):

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Print quality looks great on these. Can barely see any lines, have you sanded them or anything after printing?

I think resin dosent really have those lines like FDM

Oh gotcha. I don’t know much about 3d printing, usually I expect to see lines.

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No post-processing at all.

Resin prints tend to be very smooth, especially with Chitubox’s “anti-aliasing” feature enabled. This is why I went with MSLA (resin) rather than FDM (filament) as my first 3D printer. Even though it is hella messy to work with–the cleanup process is pretty arduous–the results are what matter the most to me. And right now there’s no contest between the two in terms of the quality of the prints.

If I had the money and the space, I’d be tempted to give SLS (selective laser sintering) a try, but I don’t have enough of either for that, unfortunately.

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So the successor to my 3D printer, the Elegoo Mars 2 Pro, is available on Amazon now for $299 USD. I was pretty excited to see this become available finally, but after reading the Amazon reviews of it, I now feel this model is one to avoid.

Here’s why: the LCD screen in this new machine lacks the protective glass that all of Elegoo’s other models have, which makes it unprotected against accidental scratches or cracks. What’s worse is that the new LCD screen is not a user-serviceable part like it is on all their other printers. Which means if you do scratch or crack the screen, or when the screen inevitably fails (which it will, it will just take 3-4x longer to do so than the color LCD screens in previous printers), you can’t just order a replacement and install it yourself. You would have to send your printer to Elegoo for an LCD replacement.

I don’t know what they were thinking when they made these design decisions, but I believe that when the word gets out about this, the Mars 2 line of printers will die in the marketplace. Which is a shame because I really like my Mars Pro; I just want a monochrome LCD screen instead.

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I don’t know why they would do that. I had to replace the LCD on my MARS 1, after a slow leak in the film on the bottom of the tank drained into the innards of the printer. It was quite a mess, but not hard to replace the LCD. (Clear resin makes it easier to miss a leak…)

This piece probably needs no introduction:

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The opposing kings:

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