Simple. Obvious. der. Logical first step.
Well no, not really. Despite the recent hype and the fact that the technology has been around since 1983, choosing a 3D printer is a fraught process. 3D printing covers a number of different technologies (Selective Laser Sintering, Filament Deposition Modelling, Stereolithography etc) and a broad range of materials from chocolate to concrete to the stuff lego is made of. You need to know what you want to print, will it be a house or earrings or dinner or a jet engine? That gives you some idea of the range of applications for 3D printing.
To cut a long story short, I got tired of waiting for the big 3D printer I really want and bought a little one because JFDI. I now have a Flashforge Creator Pro on it’s way from the friendly people at The 3D Printer in Melbourne. [breaking news – just received their shipping confirmation… it’s really coming!]
Why the flashforge?
- Dual Extruder
- Print Volume
- Community & open source
- Enclosed build envelope
- Multi-material support
- Heated plate
Availability? Did I mention I’m in Australia? the tyranny of distance strikes again. But we’re all immediately connected online I hear you say, true, but that only means I can instantly find all the awesome things from websites who won’t ship to AUS or if they do, offer overpriced shipping. Then there’s the currently awful exchange rate, plus credit card fees for foreign currency, and 10% GST on top of that. So take the USD price and add 38% plus shipping and that’s my cost. So any printer that’s already in the country has a huge advantage given my day of JFDI.
A bit more of the long story; A lot of printers are rather small for the projects I have running through my mind. The prospect of having to cut my ideas into bite sized pieces in order to print it then painstakingly gluing it back together is unappealing to say the least. I just want to print it in one go and that’s where the 3D Monstr comes in. Quad Extruder, Multi Material, heated bed, 0.04mm layer thickness and huge 600mm cube print volume. I came across this printer about 8 months ago and have been eagerly watching their progress towards fulfilling their Kickstarter campaign orders so they can start producing commercial orders like mine. There are one or two other suppliers out there with larger build volumes but are hugely more expensive. So while I’m waiting, I figured I might as well learn by doing on a smaller machine.
Till next time when I open my shiny new machine 🙂