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New to 3D printer, what do I do?


#1

I’m new to 3D printing but far from new to computers and software. I built my Titan 1 yesterday and been trying to find out how to go about printing one of my sketchup spaceship models.

I might have looked in the wrong places, but there is little or no explanation on the printing process.

  1. exporting a model for printing purposes should be easy.
  2. I see many videos show prints that have supports, do I have to model these into my 3D model or will the Kudo 3D print software calculate these into my print and set them up where needed?
  3. Printing a cube for example, how do I avoid getting a massive filled cube? Do I need to model it’s inside as well?

#2

Hi @Shocknolt,
You should start with the printing guide listed here http://www.kudo3d.com/downloads_manuals/ It will detail the process for you and shows (to some degree) how to use Creation Workshop to create supports. After doing that it’s basically just trial and error.

At the very bottom of the downloads page, you can find some good starting profiles and example files. Note that noe of these are for the default setup of a 192x108 projected area, so they will require you to adjust the height of your projector to fit. This calibration grid will come in handy for that.

You can also try the settings on this page that should be for 192x108 (100um XY resolution).


#3

Ok, so rigging supports and hollowing out the models is left to our own. The next hurdle is knowing what all the various parameters do and what values to set when you print…I knew this wasn’t easy when I first set out to purchase the Titan 1, but this part is insane…seems the easiest part of 3D printing is creating the actual models, and that is a tough job on it’s own…

Seems the test print is days away yet, so the printer goes back into it’s package and down into the basement for storage.


#4

My suggestion is that before you go printing one of your own models, print at least one of the samples using exactly the sample settings they supply. You’ll need to learn a lot about the feel of successful printing, separate from any issues relating to the shape, orientation, and supports from your own model.

I would suggest not printing out just one, but a lot of them until you feel you understand failures and successes, then move on to your own models.

There’s also quite a lot posted on the forums already where people have offered suggestions and helped out on others custom designs to diagnose print failures.


#5

Just my luck then, another $3K spent on yet another unfinished product. Kudo3D did little in telling us that we had to spend time and money trying to find the correct settings when printing out our models when the kickstarter was going.

So for each and every time I want to print something, I’m bound to waste more resin on trash prints than on the actual product itself + the chance of a crappy print is higher than the chance of getting a correct print?

Is this the issue(s) with Titan 1 or would I have had to done this with pretty much any 3D printer on the market today?


#6

imagine you have never rode in a car or drove one, and your new car shows up. you wouldnt expect to hop right in and zoom off into the sunset, its new tech you have never used. it takes time to learn. you just have to dig in and expect for it to take a while to get the hang of, or give up.


#7

Except for the fact that this car came in pieces and you have to fine tune everything that needs tuning…

Don’t get me wrong, I knew there would be stuff to learn, I just did not expect a final product to be this inaccurate and require this amount of tweaking and adjusting to get a print that looks ok. Building it from out of the kit was only fun, I’ve pretty much built my own computers since the 90s.


#8

It’s pretty much the case that every 3D printer, even up to those that are tens of thousands of dollars will require tweaking on a model by model basis. There are a variety of physical limitations involved (especially overhang angles and separation forces) that you need to take into account.

There’s a reason why as you go up the 3D printer price scale, there is more and more powerful custom desktop software they ship to help set up a print.


#9

@Shockbolt I wouldn’t give in that fast. It’s still early days for SLA printers as the patents have just opened up. Like @jkao says there is currently no printer at any price that can print something that looks great without learning effort.

To put it in perspective: if someone asked me 5 years ago what would have to improve with FDM 3D printers, I would say 1. the software and 2. the feeding mechanism.

Both have improved steadily and at this point, I can give someone new to 3D printing a 15 minute brief and they can then operate both software and machine, using one of our Ultimaker 3D printers (FDM). This will eventually be the same with SLA printers like the Titan and probably much faster than for FDM printers.

I too felt like I hit a wall when I started with this printer, but I got a few good results that encouraged me to keep trying. It would of course have been easier if Kudo made a sample file for the resolution they tell us to set the projector up for, so everyone got a nice demo model without any fuzz - and THEN could start experimenting with other resolutions and out own models.


#10

Not giving up but I’m feeling very annoyed due to expectations for this product being far from reality. I expected to be able to start printing ok-to-perfect prints after building the machine and calibrating it. From what you guys are saying, and I see other people almost cheering halleluja in the forum when they’re able to print something that resembles ok, I’m getting worried. I need this product to work smoothly, every time, for printing prototypes.


#11

Currently all DIY SLA printers envolve a pretty steep learning curve.

Prepping your models correctly is probably the most underestimated aspect. Envisiontec printers ship with Materialise Magics which is a $10k piece of software. Currently there are cheaper alternatives (meshmixer, or making supports manually). It is important to be able to shell your parts to a uniform thickness. This limits the separation force and saves resin. This is common in ALL SLA printers.

Part orientation is very important too, especially for parts that need to fit together. Try to keep interlocking parts printed in the same orientation. Also, a lot of parts benefit from being printed vertically (with a smaller layer cross section). It takes more time, however yields better results.

Since the Titan1 (and all other DIY printers) use a consumer home theatre projector, there are factors that take time to mitigate. Envisiontec printers use a custom DLP light emitter that is over $10k and emits a lot more lumens in a more controlled spectrum. They also have expensive calibration tools for measuring the light.

The optics in the Acer projector are also not designed for a macro FOV (even with spacers). So there is the issue of spherical aberration. This can be mitigated with other brands of projectors that happen to be a little friendlier for 3D printing. Also, custom lens can be used that will greatly improve the projected image. Once again, Envisiontec printers have a custom lens that is very pricey.

All of this can be frustrating at first. I think Kudo has very good intentions, however it is a new product launched on Kickstarter. This brings a certain level of expectations that should be realistic. We are all on the bleeding edge for this type of printing (at an affordable price). I have no doubt that in just a few years there will be completely baked resin based printers that will be a lot easier to use. The Autodesk Spark software and the Ember is a great first step. In the interim, we just need to accept the current landscape. Right now, a pro level DLP resin printer will set you back around $50-75k with resin costing $1000/liter. Not to mention service fees and maintenance costs.


#12

@Shockbolt I’m pretty sure it will. The process is good, but there is absolutely a learning curve here. Supports, hollowing, resin that change once they’re recycled, pigments… There’s many new things to learn. For the detail level I’m after I don’t mind. But sure - Kudo3D could make this easier on themselves.


#13

I guess if the truth was let out during the kickstarter, they would not have done so well. I know for sure that I would have placed my dollars elsewhere knowing then what I do now about the Titan 1, infact I would not even have considered getting the Titan 1.

I feel tricked and screwed but I will give it a chance, it’s not like I can return it… though I won’t be getting any more hardware from them in the future without doing a thorough research on the parts they fail to mention.


#14

i have a co worker who may be willing to purchase it from you


#15

Shipping from Norway will ruin him…with the weight and volume, it will probably cost him half a new printer.


#16

@Shockbolt Norway? If you’re near Oslo, I could help you out if you’re having a hard time getting it working? I’m one of the organizers of Oslo’s biggest hackerspace http://www.bitraf.no :wink:

I’m also organizing a bi-month 3DP meetup, so feel free to drop by! http://www.meetup.com/bitraf/events/220197643/


#17

@Jensa : Molde, Vestlandet. I don’t know yet, finding out the stuff I did kinda put me off the whole thing. I had hoped to spend maximum a day to calibrate the thing and start printing accurate prototypes. Right now it’s gone back into the box and I’m focusing on other projects until later.