Thread: New toy, Afinia 3D printer
Well, it's my birthday next week so I thought I'd get something fun
Arrived yesterday. So far I have printed a couple of impossible gear wheels off thingiverse.com, a mounting bracket that was proving tricky to cut and a plastic case I AutoCADded some years back.
I haven't dared take it to it's top precision yet because it is slow enough as it is. Think I'll resist pressing the "Fine" and "0.15mm layer" buttons until bed time. I'm using Alibre 2012 to draw in 3D, the new version looks a lot friendlier than the one I had.
Overall impression? Freaking amazing so long as the part edges rise steeper than 45 degrees from the horizontal. Shallower than that and I reach for the sandpaper because it gets a bit steppy.
Next a case for my milling machine pendant, the missing parts from my plasma torch height control, suddenly the tube feeders for my pick and place become simple and I can make as many as I want as complicated as I want. Holding those chip tubes was tricky, milling from all sorts of angles, needed lots, PITA. Now I can print a chip tube shaped hole. Bliss.
Have to buy some more ABS so I don't run out over Xmas. Think I will try the 'Octave' filament, it has a slightly lower melting point.
did you really make that cog wheel on that printer? thats friggin amazing... can i ask how much that cost?
The cog has a herringbone tooth pattern, a hexagonal bore and meshes fine and dandy with the little idler. Someone has written a cog to .stl script for some program or other and the print geeks are going wild with it. If you want a cog to look at, ask me quick before it becomes boring
The printer was £1512 including tax and delivery and came with 2kg of white filament. Doubtless someone will now find it cheaper but I don't care.
There are cheaper DIY options but the Afinia comes ready to run and has neat software which sorts out all the support on your overhangs.
Robin what made you chose that particular printer if you don't mind me asking, I know there are a few on the market now from the little I do know about them, fancy one myself but a bit out of my price range unfortunately.
I think they are absolutely amazing & you have to wonder what will come next.
At that resolution the results do look good. It would be nice to see some close-up pictures of the parts. You could make some cable covers for stepper motors.
I'm getting increasingly tempted to make the extrusion head thingy and attach it to my router to turn it into a rapid prototyper...
Your workspace looks about as tidy as mine!
Then 2 things happened, the resin caster got slammed with a patent violation law suit and Afinia released a 0.15mm layer version of their software.
It lays down ABS in layers and thin is tricky. Some stop at .25mm, .2mm is normal, 0.15mm sounds exciting. There is "The Cube" at a better price but I think it only does 0.25mm and they have put the filament in cassettes so they can screw up the price of consumables. Apparently they give you a hard sell when you register the machine to get the software.
The clincher for me was a YouTube movie showing the Afinia in pieces, it uses profile rails rather than round rail and bushings. I liked that. It has a steel frame which is good. Levelling the table is a PITA until you figure out how to do it. Quite honestly all the home use machines are a bit Mickey Mouse but some are more MM than others.
Every advert you see will print in white. White doesn't show streaks.
There is the PLA filament alternative to ABS. Very eco-friendly because it's bio degradable. Not too keen on my parts rotting so I'm sticking with the ABS.
I was waiting for the Form1 to be released before making a decision on that or a Replicator2. I'd not come across the Afinia so it looks now to be a toss up between the Replicator2 & the Afinia for me !
I could really use one of these, I'm hopeless at design so end up making several prototypes that I can actually hold in my hands before I finally end up with something that's both functional & as aesthetically pleasing as possible. At the moment I'm CNC milling my protoypes in aluminium & wasting a lot of time making fixtures & re-working the Gcode.
I reckon £2kish on one of these will be money well spent if they turn out to be reliable bits of kit.
Attachment 7537Attachment 7538Attachment 7539
Another two nemma 24 endplates coming off the production line. Seriously though an end plate will take about 2.5 hours to print with a layer height of about .2mm and a nozzle of .35 mm. You also need a heated bed to about 110C for ABS and about 60C for PLA plastic but PLA is not suitable for temps higher than about 60c as it softens.
I don't think converting a cnc machine is viable the feed rates are a lot higher with 3D printing. For those that are interested look at RepRap Forums there are plenty of self builds. Re the pics the one made with screwed rod is a Prusa and the other is a mendel90. All the plastic bits were made on the Prusa for the M90
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