am now into my second day of testing the UP! 3D printer and I'm happy to say it's been two days of surprises, fortunately all good !
For those of you not familiar with the machine it feeds a 1.75mm diameter ABS plastic wire into a heated nozzle and then extrudes the semi liquid plastic through a 0.2mm nozzle onto a build plate which is 140mm x 140mm and with a build height of up to 135mm.
A single item or a whole group can be 'grown' onto the easily removable base plate which makes it easier to remove them.
The machine comes complete with a basic tool kit and a full roll of ABS.
The included software will take an .STL file and very quickly prepare it for printing.
It is VERY quiet when running and very clean, no wax dust everywhere !
I've been surprised at the shorter times taken compared to milling. Six very complex ring designs take around an hour to print. As the parts are growing a support structure is also grown to support any overhanging areas. This support can easily be broken away by hand or with pliers, either way leaves hardly any surface blemishes.
Yes I'm aware that 0.2mm is not anything wonderful compared to some machines currently available but with a bit of thought it's easy to learn to live with rather than trying to make a big issue and problem of it.
I'm finding that rings are working out about 2 grammes each including the support structure. A new roll of ABS wire is about $30 / £30 for a kilo so it's not an expensive machine to use.
ABS does burn out o.k. for casting. An option of the software is to build 'hollow' models with a honeycomb type fill to minimise the amount of plastic to burn away.
A second material is available, Polylactic acid (PLA) is a bio-degradable polymer which melts at a lower temperature and burns out quickly and more cleanly than ABS. My roll just arrived today so I'll be trying it soon.
Now for the best point, It's only $1500
haha it's a toy. you bought a toy.
aren't the step lines really bad on that? the university has one of those and it is basically a toy.
why did you buy this you crazy man? lol
Where is the line that divides tools from toys and who decides where that line should be ?
I wouldn't descried the step lines as 'Bad'. Sure they are there, under a 10X lens they look like a staircase but then this machine was never meant to produce models to cast in precious metals which would be given a perfect polished finish.
I recently turned down a large order for 200 Bronze rings which were all to have a hammered finish.
I just couldn't justify the time it would take to mill all the wax models.
In just over an hour I will be casting 160 of the rings from models printed on the UP machine. I cast 40 yesterday and they all turned out o.k.
After initial barreling I will 'hammer' them all on a mandrel to get the exact sizes I need and also the required 'hammered' finish.
I've just weighed a few of yesterdays castings and they are around 10 g each in Bronze.
10g x 200 = 2Kg of Bronze @ $25 / Kg = $50 for the metal used.
plus sprue wax, investment, electricity, gas etc.
I'm charging $15 for each ring.
Looks like my 'Toy' has paid for itself in less than 7 days. An EnvisionTec couldn't do that quite so easily.
When swimming across a river it's best to work with the river and use the current to help you across, you'll make it to the other bank, maybe not exactly where you wanted to be but you'll be o.k.
Try and fight it and you will get swept further downstream, get all all stressed and tell everyone never to try it themselves.
I must be missing something ..you said you turned down the job and now your casting 160 of them?... anyway I would just make a mold of one ring you could even just mold the plastic grown one....and wax inject them.... would take apx 1min each and you wouldn't have to worry about the burnout.....(.who wears bronze rings they turn your finger green)
to me $15.00 is way too cheap for all the work involved growing, spueing, investing, burnout ,casting, cutting the sprues off, sizing, polishing, ultasonic and steam cleaning..also you should charge a higher price because probably no one around you has a printer and where would they go to have a piece printed
the printer would be a good window display....post some pics of the 160 rings I'd like to see how they turned out
Hi Julian Chatt
I am very glad about your UP 3D printer. I am also much interested with 3D printing but i am using 3Dstuffmaker www.3dstuffmaker.com printer nearly 1 year. It also functioning with PLA. It has large print area when compared to other printers.
I've been very pleased with my UP! printer. I have made almost 2,000 Bronze rings this year and every one has been cast from an ABS master grown on the UP. I have also found it great for making small skulls which can be cast hollow.
I have a roll of PLA but so far I haven't tried it. Some people say it is o.k. others have big problems. I hope I have time after christmas to experiment.
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