3D printing is complex. It involves a HUGE cast of players to stage a production. Someday it’ll be as simple as printing on your inkjet printer. But that isn’t the case now. If you read through Don’s PROJECT DETAILS you can get a feel of the complexity. At the same time, there are a choices to be made. So the process is complex anyway, and then you have to figure out which direction to take on each choice.
Don can’t say that his process is ‘perfect’ but it does work for him. To that end, below are listed some of the resources he uses to produce his prints. When he began doing this, he wishes he had a nice streamline list like this…so that’s why it is here.
Bottom line (for Don):
He bought his Duplicator 4 from Joshua at Makergeeks. He buys a lot of his materials from Makergeeks. After he broke his machine (his fault) he bought a spare head from Carl at 3DPrinterSolutions, and then bought a second in case he did it again (he hasn’t). The new head had the MK9 design, and at the same time he started printing on glass/tape/alcohol and switched entirely to PLA. Sometimes Makergeeks didn’t have the color he needed, so he orders from 3DPrinterSolutions when needed. When concerned about his board being wonky, he bought a backup board from 3DPrinterSolutions because he had the parts needed. His board is fine. He broke his glass plate removing a print, fortunately had a backup from 3DPrinterSolutions but bought a new one. Then learned to soak his plates in hot water and the prints fall off. Breaking glass is no longer a concern. He models EVERYTHING in Lightwave 11.6 and uses Simplify3D for his slicing and machine control. He has been printing since March on a regular basis and has over 1,000 hours on his machine using these resource and hardly ever has a failed print.
To that end, he reads about the 3D printing industry from a few news sites, looks at some blogs and orders from his suppliers constantly. It’s rare when he doesn’t have at least 20 spools of various materials in his studio.
To keep up with the ever-evolving world of 3D printing, Don keeps an eye on these sites:
Some of the blogs watches
Materials, parts and printers
Don prints in PLA and gets his materials from Makergeeks.com or Ultimate 3D Printing Store.
Don bought his Duplicator from Makergeeks and gets his spare parts from 3Dprintersolutions.us
Why use the Duplicator? It works. Don’s machine runs about 60 hours a week at a minimum. With thousands of hours of the Duplicator, he has no problem endorsing the machine.
Don Models in Lightwave. He knows the program and uses it to produce all of his illustrations. It now supports 3D printing…so for him, Lightwave allows him to do what he does in 3D, for both print AND 3D printing. It’s a stable in his pipeline.
Don has worked with EVERY free, open-source slicer available. But it wasn’t until he bought Simplify3D that he was able to create the work he does. The program gives him complete control of his printer. You get what you pay for in life. Why spend a bundle of money on a printer and then use inferior software to run it? Makes no sense.