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Old 06-20-2014, 04:21 AM   #1
Cambrian Creature
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3D Printers and Aquariums


I was looking at Thingiverse.com the other day and decided to check out the aquarium objects the members designed. The objects would have to be made out of waterproof plastic since PLA is biodegradable. A common printer plastic is ABS (the stuff legos are made of) and nylon is starting to become popular.

http://www.thingiverse.com/search/page:1?q=aquarium&sa=

The Printrbot Simple Metal 3D printer is priced below $700 (US) and is considered the best for beginners.


http://printrbot.com/product-categor...?orderby=price
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:54 AM   #2
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It would be nice to print decorations too like driftwood & rocks. They can be heavy and expensive for nice pieces.


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Old 06-20-2014, 07:14 AM   #3
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Time to put my Prusa i3 to good use
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Old 06-20-2014, 08:21 AM   #4
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Time to put my Prusa i3 to good use
Jealousssss
If people sent you models & paid cost+shipping+a fee, would you print stuff for them?

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Old 06-20-2014, 09:55 PM   #5
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I have MakerBot 2 for more then a year. I even have 3D scanner. I use them for projects here and there but I don't think 3D printing is there yet for printing aquarium stuff.
1. it's slow. Printing bigger things (10x5x5") will take many hours or rather half a day
2. it's ugly. You need to pain it
3. It's not that cheap. Small things cost just few cents or dollars. But price is fully correlated with size. One spindle of material cost $40.
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:27 AM   #6
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I have MakerBot 2 for more then a year. I even have 3D scanner. I use them for projects here and there but I don't think 3D printing is there yet for printing aquarium stuff.

3. It's not that cheap. Small things cost just few cents or dollars. But price is fully correlated with size. One spindle of material cost $40.
Did you check on the Thingiverse link I provided?

What about making your own ABS filament for $5 a pound and $4 for every additional pound (minus the extruder cost)?

Click link for details: http://www.filabot.com/
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:19 PM   #7
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Jealousssss
If people sent you models & paid cost+shipping+a fee, would you print stuff for them?
The shipping cost wouldn't really be worth it, I would imagine. Furthermore, the designing part is the most time consuming and tedious (unless you already have a CAD file to work from).


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Originally Posted by Cambrian Creature View Post
What about making your own ABS filament for $5 a pound and $4 for every additional pound (minus the extruder cost)?

Click link for details: http://www.filabot.com/
So essentially, approximately $9/kg. You can get 1 kg filament spools for various prices (and obviously, buying in bulk is cheaper). I have seen them as low as $20/kg, so that would reduce your savings to $11/kg.

Even with the Filabot Wee (kit price $650), you would have to use at least 59 kg of plastic before breaking even.

This doesn't include the cost of the pellets that are required for the extruder.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:34 PM   #8
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The shipping cost wouldn't really be worth it, I would imagine. Furthermore, the designing part is the most time consuming and tedious (unless you already have a CAD file to work from).
I went to school for that stuff. I'm not so great at organic shapes(I can build houses/furniture/inorganics just fine), but if I had motivation id give it a go... Or i'd just build tiny fish houses.

Another place to get stuff printed is shapeways.com. I
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Old 06-21-2014, 04:14 PM   #9
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Seems like a cool idea! Just like with everything the price will come down quickly and ten everyone will have one. Sorta like DVD players, remember when they were over $1,000?? Now you can get one for about $20.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:21 PM   #10
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I went to school for that stuff. I'm not so great at organic shapes(I can build houses/furniture/inorganics just fine), but if I had motivation id give it a go... Or i'd just build tiny fish houses.
I think around with Solidworks and have to agree that inorganic shapes are much easier than organic shapes.

For the latter, you might want to play around with Maya

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Seems like a cool idea! Just like with everything the price will come down quickly and ten everyone will have one. Sorta like DVD players, remember when they were over $1,000?? Now you can get one for about $20.
I don't think a price drop will happen anytime in the near future.

Some of the major hurdles that still remain are the speed of printing and also difficulty in designing parts.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:41 PM   #11
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Speed and time are relative, DVD players came down in price quickly because of the demand, but it still took then a while to get into the sub $100 market 10-12 years, then a few more years to get to drop further. But even 20 years isn't that long to wait for new consumer technology like this to drop in price, and within that time period the price should come down rapidly. Yes the price will not be $100-$300 next week or next year but within a reasonable amount of time the price will come down.

Speed matters to some and will improve over time as well. Most of the people here should remember dial up and how expensive it was and now pretty much everyone has cable if it is available, but people still used that dial up Internet because it was a useful tool. If it took a couple hours and a $40 spool of media to create a couple hundred dollars worth of custom fake aquarium rocks it would be time well spent.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:58 PM   #12
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For the latter, you might want to play around with Maya


I don't think a price drop will happen anytime in the near future.
Maya makes my brain hurt. I use 3ds.

Husband and I are both nerds, but for some reason, he doesn't think it will ever get to the point where everyone has a 3d printer, which amuses me. I'd kill for one!

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Old 06-22-2014, 01:14 PM   #13
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I think 3D printing is a total game changer. Star Trek here we come. There will be no stopping it once the price and economics are worked out. It will change manufacturing worldwide as people will no longer buy simple household items that are "Made in China" It's already started, but eventually it will 'replicate' things you would think are impossible.
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Old 06-22-2014, 01:36 PM   #14
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I know. And the thought makes me so happy. I cannot wait.

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Old 06-24-2014, 12:03 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
I think around with Solidworks and have to agree that inorganic shapes are much easier than organic shapes.

For the latter, you might want to play around with Maya


I don't think a price drop will happen anytime in the near future.

Some of the major hurdles that still remain are the speed of printing and also difficulty in designing parts.
The difficulty in designing parts should never be overlooked. I started learning to do CAD/CAM designing early this year, and I still have a lot of difficulty making it work well. Most of us who would tackle such a design process were trained to design in 2D, not 3D, and the process is totally different. I can see a big market for the printers, but nothing even close to that for CD/DVD players. Very few people are equipped to be designers.
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