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  1. #11
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 22 Hours Ago Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 2,437. Received thanks 279 times, giving thanks to others 7 times.
    3D printers can be useful things, but as with most machines, it all depends on what you do.

    I've had a 3D printer since August, and the most useful item I've printed, are modular storage containers.

    I have however printed plenty of interesting things, which have no practical value what so ever, and spent even more money on upgrading it. I'm sure I'll print something useful with it at some point.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  2. #12
    I have has a Wanhao 4DS for about 6 years now and it is still performing OK despite a lot of use. The most expensive replacement was the dual extruder head, but the old one was probably OK but needed cleaning and setting up, but I just lost patience with it and then found the carriage was distorted and that was the root cause of the problems. Now it is printing well with just a bit of shimming to correct the misalignment.

    I bought a 70 Anet I8 kit before Christmas and it has become a project to beef up the plywood frame, make it electrically safe and put in better slide bearings. I haven't tested it yet, but it will be interesting to see how it performs against the 4DS, which was nearer 700.

    The only other upgrade to the 4DS is a WIFI SD card, which is beautiful if the printer is less than 3 feet away from the WIFI dongle, but over 5 feet and it doesn't connect at all.

  3. #13
    I had, for years, the same question as Agathon.

    Having friend with 3d printers, I never had the need to ask them for anything 3d printed. Only recently I needed a coupling for a hand blender, found the 3d model online for free, had it printed in ABS and works perfectly.

    Now there are a lot more interesting and stronger material filaments available and could be used in industrial machinery. Where the design is no longer limited to what can be milled/turned. And yo can have them quickly and a lot cheaper than CNCed for small runs.

    But for those materials you need a high temperature heated chamber and there is a patent (still) for the heated chamber so the few printers on the market have prices above 40-50k €

    I just started to design such a 3d printer and it is not easy to have everything except the hotend built around a 250 degC oven without leaking too much heat... :)

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