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  • Looking for some information.

    Hi everyone , I'm in Australia and looking for information on what to buy and where to buy from , from Australian members as a lot of the great advice about our hobby is American based and a lot of the shop's are not here and shipping is so costly.
    I'd like to know what would be the best printer to get , I haven't a clue where to start ! I have a new laptop , what's the best program or does that come with the printer could someone give me a rundown on what I need to get started ? I'd like to be able to print 1:32 &1:24 scale body's . Seeing the stuff you guys are doing is amazing !
    John from Australia.

  • #2
    Hi John,...for retailers that sell printers in in OZ, you may be better off asking some of the folks on Auslot Forum........plenty of people printing down under.

    Chris Walker


    • #3
      A lot of people are using an Ender3 by Creality. I have one. Very good bang for the buck, as they say. Creality ships direct from China. When I bought mine I paid just over $300CAD all included. Search here on HRW for "Ender". Have a look at user "CHEP" on YouTube. He has loads of videos on how to fine tune an Ender 3. You can find stuff to print on (free) or design your own online using (free - what I mainly use). Originally I was looking at buying a Prusa but I figured for $300 I couldn't go too wrong, and if it was a complete bust then I wasn't out a horrendous amount of money. At this point in time, for what I print, I don't need to spend 3 or 4 times that amount to get a new printer with the same resolution and quality of print. The choice to go with an Ender3 was made by seeing some 3D printed figures here on HRW.

      The basic process to print something in 3D is to create or download the 3D file (usually an STL file), then you need to prepare the file for printing to whatever printer you will be using, this is called "slicing" the file. For this use CURA, it is free, well supported and very good for most basic slicing needs. Slicing software turns the STL file into a GCODE file, which is what the printer "understands". From there you send the GCODE file to the printer and out comes your print.



      • #4
        Hi John,
        The "best" printer is sort of like the "best" slot car. Do you want a model, an ultra fast but not scale car, a compromise, your favorite body and livery? Lots of choices and trade-offs. What sort of resolution do you want? Are you OK with doing some post-print work, or do you want high resolution right off the bat?

        The Creality Ender3 is a great budget printer. Many of us have and use them hard (mine routinely runs most day and night). As with slot cars, a few tuning tweaks will make it work even better, although it's not bad out of the box. The downside is that layer height matters and the Ender claims capability down to 0.05mm layer height which doesn't give you injection molded smooth curves on your fenders. While resolution of the .stl file itself improves the surface finish, a resin printer will be different.

        Having said that....I LOVE my Ender3 and for the $180 USD I paid, I couldn't be happier. Probably 90% of my 3DP bodies have been printed by the Ender3 (I did a few on my Dremel 3D20 at the start). I don't want the fumes and hassle of the liquid resin, and I am willing to do a little sanding and priming to have cars I can't get in scale otherwise.

        But.....I am currently working on getting a printer with dual extruders because that will allow me to wash/dissolve the supports away, which hopefully will improve body and figure details. And that's a whole different level of cost and complexity.

        As far as printing.....
        The printer uses a gcode file which tells the extruder where to extrude in the X/Y/Z space of the build plate.
        But the CAD models are generally in a format called STL (for stereolithography) which basically is a software generated surface mesh.
        In order to convert an STL file into gcode you use a slicer which is a software program. It controls all the settings of the print....what temp, how fast the head moves, where support structures are located, what layer thickness to use. The slicer basically cuts the model into flat "slices" (layers) and then tells the printer how to print each layer. When they are stacked on top of each other for 18 hours .....voila, you have a body.
        CURA is the most popular free slicer. I have also used Simplify3D which you have to buy (but CURA didn't work with the Dremel printer when I started using it a couple years ago so I bought Simplify3D). For what it's worth, I do everything in CURA now.

        As Pete has said...there are lots of places to find files, Pinshape and Thingiverse are a couple that I have found useful (GrabCAD is another).
        And Pete is also right about YouTube being a great source of information and all the folks on here.

        And Chris is also right about getting local recommendations.....Nimrod is down there but several others print as well......

        Take a dive down the rabbit has totally changed my hobby experience! Without a doubt, the second best tool in my slot car toolbox (behind the Dremel tool).
        Come Race at The Trace!
        Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN


        • #5
          John I was in the same position as you (shopping around and asking questions) I ended up finding a used Wanhao for 100 bucks Canadian from a guy upgrading local no less
          Keep you’re eyes peeled there are deals out there
          Peterborough Ont


          • #6
            Thank you everyone for your help, I've been looking at different makes here and with the information every one has given it sounds like say if I get a ender I'll probably won't to upgrade to a dual head application and desolving supports sounds like a lot less work! I'm gravitating toward two possibilities the Flashforge creator pro or the Flashforge inventor . I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to computers and with what I have read these two seem to have all the bells and whistles that I'll need without having to upgrade and learn a new machine over again , they also have a good size build area also capable of metal fill application for the odd part for my bike's and car if any one has experience using these please give me your two cents worth on them? Thanks again to everyone for your help.


            • #7
              If you are looking at spending that sort of money them look at a Prusa.


              • #8
                Hiya Rastas,
                You've come to the right place.
                There is a wealth of experience and knowledge here and all with a friendly smile
                Not to say other Forums don't, but HRW was one of the first if not the first to provide a specific 3D forum.

                I can only offer knowledge on the machine and slicer softwareI use.
                I have a Wombot Exilis XL, Creality Ender 3 and CR10 and use Cura for all of them.

                If you like to tinker, the Ender 3, once armed with a glass bed, has printed with consistent, great results, but it all comes down to good leveling and your first few layers .
                For the price, you could grab one try it out and if serious, get a better one, but you may just fall in love with it as I did.

                I paid AUD1k (New) for the Wombot approx. 4 years ago and it prints great, it came stock with all the hop up bits people suggest for the Ender 3, Direct drive filament feeder, dual threaded rods, auto bed leveling.
                I paid AUD$180 (Used) for the Ender 3, approx. 1 year ago and it also prints great, all i added was the glass bed, the print quality matched and surpassed my Wombot.

                Lots of models out there on the Web and plenty members here willing to share and help
                I have a number of files to share.

                Look forward to seeing some of your prints



                • #9
                  Thanks Phil I've been watching a few videos on YouTube about the prusa found them very good I'm definitely going to keep an open mind, I'll be doing a lot more research before I make my mind up.


                  • #10
                    Thanks NimROD, as I said to Phil I'm looking at different makes and models on YouTube and it's amazing what's out there , i feel confident enough about the mechanical side of things but the computer side is very durnting , my computer skills are very limited ! But willing to learn so I'm glad to have this forum of friendly people to ask advice thanks for the feedback!


                    • dinglebery
                      dinglebery commented
                      Editing a comment
                      If you mainly want to print nice clean bodies, I'd look at resin printers.

                  • #11
                    Originally posted by -nimrod- View Post
                    Not to say other Forums don't, but HRW was one of the first if not the first to provide a specific 3D forum.
                    It was, SCI has too but SFI doesn't.

                    I'm an Ender 3 Pro user looking to upgrade, still undecided whether to get a Prusa and stay in the FDM field or go resin and get a SLA machine.
                    Besides the quality advantage resin printers have over FDM the other biggie is cost-per-print, resin is much more expensive for the same volume of material, that could be the decider.

                    Kevan - Isle of Man
                    Life is like a box of Slot cars...πŸš“πŸš—πŸššπŸšœ


                    • #12
                      Watching some videos on YouTube on resin printing it seems to be a lot more involved and safety with the chemicals is a big consideration.
                      Last edited by Rastas; June 27, 2020, 08:11 PM.