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  • 3D Printers for Workshops

    Due to popular demand I decided to start a new thread on this topic.

    A little while ago I decided to grab a 3D printer. I didn't go crazy with the investment - I just spent about $350 and got the Ender 3 Pro from BangGood (essentially a Prusa copy). I was originally just curious and a friend had one and I thought, well why not me too! I didnt think I would use it for anything that serious.

    Fast forward and I would now consider this 3D printer as one of the most important tools in my work shop and I thought I would share a few examples of how I've been able to use it and maybe answer any questions anyone might have if they are considering getting one.

    I'm also curious how others might be using theirs - so please share!

    Click image for larger version

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    And a complete set of grid based draw organizers!
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    Constructions: Dayton+SB 2-Way v1 | Dayton+SB 2-Way v2 | Fabios (SB Monitors)
    Refurbs: KLH 2 | Rega Ela Mk1

  • #2
    I'd love one, but what puts me off is the thought of trying to learn new software - and the chance of never being able to understand it.

    I downloaded Google SketchUp when it first came out, but soon uninstalled it when I found It too complicated.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by fatmarley View Post
      I'd love one, but what puts me off is the thought of trying to learn new software - and the chance of never being able to understand it.
      Depends if you have the patience and time to watch a few tutorials, try some basic stuff and be prepared to google for answers when you get stuck. That's generally how I learn to use new software. Sketchup is pretty easy once you push through that initial learning and get familiar with just simply drawing shapes, pushing and pulling surfaces etc (stacks and stacks of youtube content on this)

      Note that you would only need to learn sketch-up/fusion/3D modelling if you wanted to design your own things from scratch. For many, there are sites that share a surprisingly extensive library of things others have made. https://www.thingiverse.com/ <-- is one of the big resources.
      Constructions: Dayton+SB 2-Way v1 | Dayton+SB 2-Way v2 | Fabios (SB Monitors)
      Refurbs: KLH 2 | Rega Ela Mk1

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DeZZar View Post

        Depends if you have the patience and time to watch a few tutorials, try some basic stuff and be prepared to google for answers when you get stuck. That's generally how I learn to use new software. Sketchup is pretty easy once you push through that initial learning and get familiar with just simply drawing shapes, pushing and pulling surfaces etc (stacks and stacks of youtube content on this)

        Note that you would only need to learn sketch-up/fusion/3D modelling if you wanted to design your own things from scratch. For many, there are sites that share a surprisingly extensive library of things others have made. https://www.thingiverse.com/ <-- is one of the big resources.
        What software do you use?

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        • #5
          A couple of things I can think that would be handy. First is a template for recessing odd shaped drivers. And another would be cover trims for ugly, odd shaped drivers like the Faital pro 5FE120.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by fatmarley View Post
            What software do you use?
            When I need to design something myself I use SketchUp at the moment. Friend of mine keeps recommending Fusion 360 so I might give that a go at some point.

            Constructions: Dayton+SB 2-Way v1 | Dayton+SB 2-Way v2 | Fabios (SB Monitors)
            Refurbs: KLH 2 | Rega Ela Mk1

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by fatmarley View Post
              A couple of things I can think that would be handy. First is a template for recessing odd shaped drivers. And another would be cover trims for ugly, odd shaped drivers like the Faital pro 5FE120.
              Yes, those would be nice templates to have.

              I would agree with what Dezzar said about Sketchup...once you get the hang of just a few basics it becomes pretty easy to do a lot of simple stuff that we do with DIY speakers. I watched a few videos, forgot how to do some of what they said and watched them again, and now sketching up basic speaker boxes (even with recessed drivers, chamfers and/or roundovers, etc.) is pretty easy for me.

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              • #8
                I've been considering a 3-D printer for probably a year or more. Fatmarley's concerns are mine as well. I'm not great with new software and I suspect it would be a big time investment in getting somewhat proficient with the process. I think it will happen sooner rather than later, though.

                DeZZar, thanks for the clear and useful labeled pics of what you've done with this so far. Really helpful. I also can really see me using this to create driver 'covers' for some of the 'wallflower' drivers that I frequently use. I don't consider the ND91 ugly, but it's certainly no looker either.

                Another use would be panels for small Bluetooth amp mounting and adding lights, etc. It would be great to have one item that all things could mount to that could be mounted into a cabinet instead of this, that, and the other like I've been doing.

                One thing I don't want to do though, is get away from the manual way of doing things... I try to make things clear for others to do with my projects so others can do them if they want to.... and needing to use a 3-D printer is a show-stopper for those types of things. Still, as prices go down and ease of use increases, I can see it being doable in the near future, even for me... a software knucklehead.

                Watching 3RUTU5 do his thing with those Bluetooth builds has sparked my interest in smaller radios and such, so that's been a push too. Making one thing that is a driver grill, and mounting panel that can easily screw into an enclosure is pretty attractive I must admit.

                Anyway, this thread is interesting and again, I appreciate the pics and explanations of their usefulness, gracias!

                TomZ
                Zarbo Audio Projects Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...aFQSTl6NdOwgxQ * 320-641 Amp Review Youtube: https://youtu.be/ugjfcI5p6m0 *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
                *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF

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                • #9
                  DeZZar - were the port tube elbows printed in half’s, and then glued together? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                  • #10
                    The 3D printing learning curve:

                    1) Unless you just want to print stuff from thingiverse without mods, you'll need to learn some 3D software, you're leaving most of the utility of having a printer on the table if you don't.
                    2) Learn how to design 3D parts that a printer can reasonably print. Most things are sort of obvious if you think about them (can't print large overhangs without supports)
                    3) Learn the basic slicer usage and settings (add supports/scaffold, infill %, etc.)
                    4) Figure out which material to use (PLA for most stuff is good enough)
                    5) Learn to troubleshoot issues (you'll need to learn more with cheap printers)

                    The good news is you can learn as you go, starting with printing whatever sample object came on the SD card and go from there.
                    Copy of Lou C's speaker pages: http://www.rob-elder.com/LouC/speakers.html

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dkalsi View Post
                      DeZZar - were the port tube elbows printed in half’s, and then glued together? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                      Yeah printed in a couple of sections then glued together. You can see in the pic the smaller tube has a small recess in the end - the other joining parts have the opposite so they just slot together and can be glued with a little CA glue.
                      Constructions: Dayton+SB 2-Way v1 | Dayton+SB 2-Way v2 | Fabios (SB Monitors)
                      Refurbs: KLH 2 | Rega Ela Mk1

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What sort of cost is involved in printing some of these things. Say ... for the port tubes and the organizer tray ... generally speaking best for just custom needs and designs?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by oldloder View Post
                          What sort of cost is involved in printing some of these things. Say ... for the port tubes and the organizer tray ... generally speaking best for just custom needs and designs?
                          Filament costs $10/pound. Most items aren't printed with 100% infill (to save time and plastic). Unless you count the cost of your CAD labor and electricity, most items are under a dollar.
                          Copy of Lou C's speaker pages: http://www.rob-elder.com/LouC/speakers.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by oldloder View Post
                            What sort of cost is involved in printing some of these things. Say ... for the port tubes and the organizer tray ... generally speaking best for just custom needs and designs?
                            Here in Aus I buy a roll of PLA plastic for around $25-29 and the roll is 1KG (2.2 pounds).

                            If we just round up and say $30 per kg, then its around $0.03 per gram of plastic. To give you a rough idea then, from the items pictured:
                            Item Volume Time Cost
                            1x1 Sized draw organiser 33g 2:00Hrs $0.99
                            90 degree port bend (82mm port) 120g 10:00Hrs $3.60
                            Single port section (115mm length x 82mm internal D) 86g 6:00Hrs $2.58
                            Trim router holder 100g 8:00Hrs $3.00
                            Corner router template 19g 1:30Hrs $0.57

                            Power to run the printer is negligible - if you were to run it 24x7 all year it would be about $150-200 depending on what you pay for power. That's about 1.5 cents per hour.

                            For items that take longer to print, I usually just set it going overnight and come grab my part in the morning. The massive clamp for holding my table router took something like 29hours - the machine ran reliably and printed it without a hick-up - just let it run overnight and had my part the next afternoon. Ultimately, this part doesn't exist - I would have had to buy a completely different version of my router lift which was $570 to a fit a round body motor. I think around 250 grams of plastic and 30 hours printing ($8) for this alone justifies the cost of the printer. ​​​​​​​
                            Last edited by DeZZar; 06-14-2021, 07:54 AM.
                            Constructions: Dayton+SB 2-Way v1 | Dayton+SB 2-Way v2 | Fabios (SB Monitors)
                            Refurbs: KLH 2 | Rega Ela Mk1

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for that breakdown, it puts the costs into perspective.

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