View Full Version : Is 3D Printing Worth It?

02-16-2019, 06:25 AM
I am curious as to everyone's opinion as the why 3D printing is worth it. I have been thinking of getting into the hobby so I can fuel my insatiable need to do small projects. But a friend of mine asked a question that got me thinking. He asked "why not just buy a part from someone with a printer?" free netflix (http://movieseriesworld.com/) tech news (http://techgeniuszone.com/) This made me think that without the overhead of filament, a printer, and the time, it may be worth it to forgo a printer and buy parts online. My main question is whether or not the the hobby ALONE is worth the $300- $1000 a printer would cost. . PS: I know that the answers will be skewed toward 3D printing. But am curious to hear from newbies with regrets and seasoned veterans who are in love with printing

02-16-2019, 06:49 AM
Welcome to the forum, Pankh. There are many reasons to get into 3D printing. The budget people set for their hobbies varies greatly.

My purpose was to enhance my design services offering. It became a hobby after that. Like most hobbies, I am very budget minded.
But I am tinkerer at heart. I design things in CAD (professional level) so the printer is simply an extension to my work.

If you know someone like me, then yes, you could probably make a few parts and open up this avenue for developing some cool stuff.
But if you had to pay for every piece, you will spend way more than a nice printer would cost you.

Then consider the printer too... $300-$1000 will still only buy you a hobby printer but it is what most of work with. Professional printers start around $4K and go up fro there.

If the tinkering with printers is not your thing, chose carefully. But if tweaking your printer to the nuts is part of your thing like me, then many more options exist.

And there are as many reasons not to get into 3D printing. Wood, cardboard, hot glue, and many other craft mediums can do just as good a job for many projects. 3D printing is like having a mill or lathe. If you don't have time for it, don't bother having them. And the DIY crowd is coming up with ever more clever ways to work with much better mediums including casting metals from a home made forge. So the question is not only 3D printing, but what does the rest of your workshop look like. Maybe that alone can answer if a 3D printer would enhance your shop's capabilities.

Me, I want an industrial 3D steel printer. 1/2 a $mil is hard to come by.

02-28-2019, 12:58 PM
It depends on you whether you want to make it worth for yourself or not.

If you are thinking that you will purchase a 3D printer and print stuff from Thingiverse. I think you will be bored after some time.

The actual fun in using a 3D Printer is when you create your own design and 3D print it.

You can make key rings, photo frames, phone cases, spare parts for appliances - the list is endless.

03-28-2019, 11:02 PM
I work with cnc machines at the shop, i make mostly metal parts and plastic and i can't afford one of these machines myself +20000 usd, i got a cube 3d printer i traded for an ipad and 50 usd because the guy couldn't get it to work, with the help of the people at this forum i got it working and now im closer to my goal, i intend to print prosthetic hands for children that can't afford one in my town, i havent started to search for the people that need the prints because i'm still having issues with that printer randomly but i've managed to get some prints from it, i got another printer 2 weeks ago, its a geeetech g2s pro i paid 50 usd because i had to flash the firmware and they sold it to me as a dead machine, the problem i'm having with that one is that the belt slips and it messes the layers so i can't count on it until it's fully functional, next week i will go to the next town to pick up another dead printer that i also want to fix but all i know is it has missing parts, the model is a tevo tarantula and if all goes well i'll have 3 working 3d printers to start making those hands to help out anyone that needs them, at least in my town for starters.

The thing is that i wouldn't be able to make any of hese parts without the 3d printers, it's the most affordable way i could find to make them, i got some aluminum extrusions i bought at the recycling store in town and i intend to make a small desktop milling machine, i also got an arduino and some small steppers for it but i need more parts, ballscrews, couplers, bearings, etc. But i'm giving it my all to get there and i know i couldn't do it without access to the 3d printers, i've roughly spent 1200 usd in my small shop on a 2 year span because i really don't have much of a budget for this, i got a harbor freight mini lathe 7x10 (used and missing parts) bench drill, band saw, 3d printers, etc. and to me it will all be worth it when i start helping out those that need it, i'm just not there yet but i will be soon. :)

03-28-2019, 11:39 PM
Nothing like persistence, Jack :)

I am learning Arduino now. I don't know how I've overlooked this for so many years.

I am getting some new experience with a 3D Systems CubePro Duo. Still a closed system but a whole lot more options from the Cube3 and certainly more sizable.

One thing I am learning quickly; even though these are the same manufacturer, you can certainly see the difference between the way the two operate.
I can now say that the Cube3 is a hobby printer where the CubePro is very technical. I am working to expand the use of the CubePro as well.

Of course, I am not saying to get a CubePro. But I can tell you that the Cube3 has much more appeal after wrestling with a 95lb mini-fridge sized enclosed printer.
Again, my offer to help you with that little printer is still good. I very much support your cause.

Can you share what you have learned about getting this effort off the ground on the regulations and implementation side?

03-29-2019, 03:07 PM
I actually checked the regulations and to be honest i think i hit a wall there, i need to register as an association and hire an accountant and do a lot of paperwork in order to get recognized and start working on it but it would cost me a lot of money i don't have. The other option is that i could join someone that is already stablished and help them but i live in an area that is run by drug cartels and usually they're involved in these things in some manner, money laundering most of the time and i don't want to get dragged in to working for them. Do you remember those old jackie chan movies where everything is run by gangs and they have to pay for protection? it's just like that here.

The third option is for me to "sell" the prosthetics as a small business, make some kind of contract just to cover my butt and sell a prosthetic for a dollar or something like that or just enough to cover for the filament and registering as a business is a lot easier :eek: or maybe go incognito, just find someone who needs my help and do it, i'm not planning on asking for donations anyway and it's probably safer for me this way and avoid getting unwanted attention.

I think i got the G2S pro printer working last night, i had to replace the stepper drivers and i got a print with no problems after that, on saturday i'm going to go get another printer and start working on it so i can have 3 printers just in case one of them fails i have other 2 backups and make the hands faster that i would with only one, i love the cube 3 printer because of the quality but it takes too long for a print and it would take me a couple of days to get 1 hand from it, with more printers i could get it done faster, i got a motor to make the filament extruder machine and it's the next project in the list after i check the third printer, i saved a lot of plastic bottles and hopefully i can turn them in to filament to make parts and recycle at the same time.

It's a lot of work and i'm going solo on this one, i live in a dangerous place where it's not a good idea to attract a lot of attention but i think in going the right way, i'll keep you posted on it! :)

03-29-2019, 04:28 PM
Thanks for the overview, Jack. I hear you! It is a shame that you have to described this world as it really is. I look forward to seeing a picture of all the machines humming generating new hands for good people. Let me know if I can help in any way.