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HankWalker
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CEO
Steampunk Artifacts
HankWalker   9/5/2013 4:33:13 PM
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That steampunk includes a lot of metal. A direct metal laser sintering 3-D printer will set you back $250k-$1M+. You will be the envy of every hobbyist in Huntsville.

MARTIN.RAABE
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Rookie
openSCAD is my favorite
MARTIN.RAABE   8/20/2013 4:41:39 PM
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I have a 3D printer (reprap) since 18 months and I use openSCAD to generate the STL files and prointerface to print them.

There are many openSCAD libs you can include, all in source, so you understand, what's goin on.

Greetings from Germany

Martin

DrFPGA
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Bookmark This Location
DrFPGA   8/20/2013 4:36:19 PM
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Max-

When you run into trouble with your 3D printer you can visit this website for some help...

http://www.flickr.com/groups/3d-print-failures/pool/ 

 

 

 

 

Max The Magnificent
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Blogger
Re: Sketchup with 3rd party free .stl exporter easiest learning curve
Max The Magnificent   8/19/2013 11:55:12 AM
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@JeffL_2: I do know I got SketchUp to deliver a functional two-piece gauge enclosure with a twist-lock front.

Fair enough -- and as you say it shoudl only be a matter of rescalling -- I'll keep you posted as to how I get on :-)

JeffL_2
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CEO
Re: Sketchup with 3rd party free .stl exporter easiest learning curve
JeffL_2   8/19/2013 11:43:03 AM
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"That's a real pain!"

Max, I'm sure the first folks who heard Colonel Powell's lectures about the discovery of the Grand Canyon said the same thing (recall he lost most of the members of his group to various incidents). There's certain penalties that we "explorers" or early adopters have to be able to deal with, then again having conquered them we wear them as badges of honor. In the final analysis I didn't really have too much trouble thinking of inches as mils but yes you do have to take it into account.


I have heard good things about Rhino3D but I also recall hearing that's about $1K, you pay your money and you pick your poison. I do know I got SketchUp to deliver a functional two-piece gauge enclosure with a twist-lock front. Nothing new is ever easy.

Max The Magnificent
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Blogger
Re: Sketchup with 3rd party free .stl exporter easiest learning curve
Max The Magnificent   8/19/2013 11:24:09 AM
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@JeffL_2: you need to bear in mind that SketchUp is only really written to work well for the scaling architects would use...

What? That's a real pain!!!

Max The Magnificent
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Blogger
Re: 3D MCAD
Max The Magnificent   8/19/2013 11:20:06 AM
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@ScRamjet: I'm lucky I guess, I have SolidWorks at home as a part of my work License.

That would be nice -- but there's no way I could afford a license just for playing aroudn at home.


Did you see that the MakerBot folks are coming up with a 3D Digitizer: http://store.makerbot.com/digitizer.html

 

JeffL_2
User Rank
CEO
Re: Sketchup with 3rd party free .stl exporter easiest learning curve
JeffL_2   8/19/2013 11:13:09 AM
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Max,


I did my first actual 3D parts a couple years ago and I used regular SketchUp version 8. I believe I used the su2stl.rb plugin which USUALLY works OK, there's a webpage about it if you have problems. I actuallly got usable hardware first time using Redeye as the service bureau. I would however give two pieces of advice. One has to do with scaling, you need to bear in mind that SketchUp is only really written to work well for the scaling architects would use, the tools DON'T work particularly well for small things like enclosures so you'll need to scale up the drawing by 100x or even 1000x while you're editing it so at the very LAST step you scale it down before export (which of course works flawlessly). The other is you need to download a REALLY GOOD .stl file viewer and learn how to use it. The reason is if you "drag" one part to be "adjacent to" another, it may LOOK LIKE the two components are "touching" then if you have it made you find they come out as separate parts, not such a great result if you're paying hundreds of $ for a prototype! (I guess you're thinking about having your own machine so failure comes relatively cheap but our time and materials are worth SOMETHING.) It was actually the manager at Redeye who spotted and fixed the problem for me, again showing there IS value in working with folks who know what they're doing! I would also wholeheartedly recommend the same book I bought which appears at the following link to help you understand the various RP processes and services available:

http://www.amazon.com/Rapid-Prototyping-Principles-Applications-2nd/dp/9812381201/ref=sr_1_19?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376924963&sr=1-19&keywords=rapid+prototyping


Good luck RPing!

ScRamjet
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Freelancer
Re: 3D MCAD
ScRamjet   8/16/2013 4:17:08 PM
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I'm lucky I guess, I have SolidWorks at home as a part of my work License.

And I've become pretty good at whipping up 3D parts at work.

Now I need a 3D printer, Lots of items I can make for my hobbies.

Parts for my Model Trains, Parts for My exotic Flying Model Rockets, Ect.

 

Good Luck with the Free Software. I played with Sketchup a bit, it's OK but not up to SolidWorks level. I guess I'm spoiled now.

Aeroengineer
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Blogger
Re: 3D MCAD
Aeroengineer   8/16/2013 10:58:08 AM
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Do not worry, your primary MCAD package should be able to handle 95% of what you want to do.  Once you get into the more nuanced issues, is where you start wanting to have a secondary MCAD system.  Most of my experience comes from designing wind tunnel models and composite rotor blades.  These are areas where the small stuff counts.  Geometric deviations of ±.002" on a wind tunnel mode was considered a normal profile tolerance.  We once lost many thousands of dollars because a MCAD program interpreted the geometry improperly on import and caused things to be misshapen by ±.020.

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