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Getting into designing own 3d printer

Discussion in '3D printers' started by Tomasu, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Tomasu

    Tomasu New
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    I'm starting to get into designing and building my own printer. I find it incredibly fascinating.

    I'm wondering where everyone else starts?

    What tools to you prefer to use in the design phase? and why? I've looked at FreeCAD, OpenSCAD, TinkerCad (which would fail to create my account), and looked into commercial tools but as I'm just getting started with CAD in general, and I can't tell how long my attention span will keep up, paying an arm and a leg for pro tools is not in the budget at the moment. especially subscription based pro tools.

    So far I'm leaning towards OpenSCAD, due to being able to make parameterized models, but the lack of a built in library of parts, and no good visual builder, kinda hurts it in my opinion.
     
  2. Tomasu

    Tomasu New
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    Oh, and I looked into Sketchup as well. I prefer to use Linux, and getting it to work on linux reliably, even inside a windows VM is basically impossible.
     
  3. Kyo

    Kyo Master
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    On my Linux box I have Freecad and Sketchup (8, 2016 and 2017 ) installed (and a number of others I use less often) . If your not comfortable with doing some heavy tweaks. Don't bother with Sketchup 2017 it is not a straight forward install to get 100% working. Sketchup 8 is a breeze to install and use and is dead reliable. Download Sketchup 8 Here and Install via Wine. Sketchup 8 also has the benefit of being the last version that can be used commercially for free. Works great with Sketchucam and has most of the Openbuilds parts available in the warehouse Library for you to start designing your printer with right away.

    I would also recommend the dxf / stl plugin Here. Works great and is very handy for use with a 3d printer. A lot of plugins help make designing easier within sketchup, but I find each user has their own preferred set they build up over time.

    For a " Professional " Free option on Linux look at
    Fusion 360 Since they have provided a stable browser port we can now use Fusion on Linux. :thumbsup: ( I would prefer a native application, but will take what I can get lol )

    In my opinion Sketchup is the easiest tool to learn. Once you know what each tool does everything else is very intuitive. FreeCad is also easy to use and if it is your first CAD package will not have any greater learning curve then any other software package. At the end of the day they all get the job done and it is a lot of Fun designing printers :D looking forward to see what kind of designs you come up with.
     
  4. Tomasu

    Tomasu New
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    I spent a lot of time last night trying to get Sketchup 2017 to work under wine. And it'd hang fairly regularly whilst grabbing the mouse and not letting it go till I could get to a console to kill it manually.

    I'll look at the older Sketchup then :) Wait a moment, is the newer sketchup based on Google's old Sketchup?

    I managed to get Tinkercad working and a basic design going. Had to open a windows vm to sign up to tinkercad, and now I can log in via linux+chrome.

    At some point I'm just going to have to buy some parts (specifically extruded aluminium v slot for this first design) to test stiffness of the frame, and stability of the axis mechanisms.

    Thanks for the tips :)


    some time later...

    Installed Sketchup 8, and trying to open some OpenBuilds models from the warehouse fails. It says I need a newer version of Sketchup. 17.0.1 in this case.
     
  5. Tomasu

    Tomasu New
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    Ok, dropped Sketchup 8. Sketchup 17 is seemingly working so long as I avoid the built in warehouse windows. Oddly though, I seem to have oriented my first parts a little weird. Had to re-orient the axis based on my model. :eek:
     

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