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Having read lots on here about a few who have and use the 3D printers I thought it was time to jump in and get one !

I have no design knowledge, no CAD knowledge but I did run a small sign writing business as a side line..this isn't really a help I'm finding :)

I read El gringo's thread and bought the same printer he is using https://www.box.co.uk/Creality-Ender-3-3D-Printer_2324683.html

I messaged Mr Gringo and got the low down on software, 3D design is done in skecthup and exported to CURA for conversion to a 3D printer file.


So with machine ordered and software downloaded I opened a file the ever helpful El had sent and thought I'll go to work......a few minutes of staring at the screen told me all I need to know I haven't a clue with design software so I looked for tutorials and came across these


Very very helpful and an hour later I'd learnt the very basics. Enough to draw this,



It may not look like much but it's better than where I was an hour ago. The next step is to take it from sketchup to CURA and make it a file the printer will understand. The printer gets delivered tomorrow so hopefully I can have something running by the end of the day.


Be great if anyone doing this properly can join in and give any advice or tips :)


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Cad is something that you will take a while to learn. A,fter  a while, you will work out the system you are using, and altthough you may not use it at it's full capacity you will work out what works for you.

Put rads in corners wherever possible so you do not create stress raisers (points that will cause your creation to crack) Make things look nice, not just functional. Spend time working on the cad data to make things that work well, are strong enough but are aesthetically pleasing.

If in doubt, over engineer something. Make it bigger and thicker so it does not fail in it's application.

I have used various (expensive) cad programs, but go back to acad 2006 as it is a system I know back to front and it creates the stuff I need it to.

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Fusion 360 from Autodesk, takes a while to learn but its free and powerful, or one of the free cad packages. I got a Creality CR-10 and spent time dialling it in.  You see a lot of folks doing upgrades right away, it's not necessary, they can print really nice after a bit tweaking.  "3D Printing Nerd" on the youtubes has a few tutorials on fusion 360,  easy for beginners. I'd definitely look there.

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Todays sketch a bracket to hold instruments on the VFR, haven't sussed how to make the text flush with the surface but tbh I've done enough learning on it for now and the printer comes soon so that should make my head explode :)



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First of the shouts for help...

Loaded the .stl from sketchup into CURA, takes the file ok and slices ok but when I run preview it seems to only print the surface...is this how it is or what have I done wrong ?

Also Weeksys question above as I wondered the same



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Are there perhaps gaps in the model, I've had this with Sketchup previously.  You can check the model using 3D builder in Windows 10, this has an option to fix the model. 

For the text, I'm assuming you want the VFR part sunken into the model, in Sketchup, I think its push/pull to make it go up or down.  

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So the printer arrived !

More assembly than I thought but got the time so off we went, instructions were ok if a little basic but after an hour or so it was in one piece





Basic setup didn't go too well as the arm didn't like going all the way down to the bed. A quick google and it was a case of loosening all bolts and aligning everything up a certain way. Once this was done it all moves freely. Next up was getting the filament through and again another google had some tips and that works fine too. Bed levelling was also completed.

In between working on the bike this took a few hours, I still need to iron out what's wrong in CURA the slicing program but tomorrow I could be printing, I've drawn a simple 8mm spacer so it's a quick print so wish me luck

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Had a few minutes so tried my 3d model in another slicing program 3dprinterOS which is an online tool. It took a matter of seconds to convert my 3d object into a sliced object for the printer. Unsure why CURA won't but I'll go with this one for now while I learn about the printer

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Time to get serious and print something proper, what better than a Viking duck 



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1 minute ago, bignige said:


20 GOTO 10


Reminds me of many a mis-spent Saturday afternoon in the local branch of John Menzies...……….ZX81 or Spectrum, possibly even a BBC Micro

10 Print "Fuck Off"

20 GOTO 10

it made us laugh at the time

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