A new best friend


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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default A new best friend

    Hi,

    We have probably all faced the problem with a need for an enclosure for our projects and usually it is really hard to get something nice that fits for a reasonable cost. At least I have and finally I decided to solve the problem once and for all. Enter my new friend the UP! 3D printer. (www.pp3dp.com)

    It prints out any 3D CAD object in a reaonable quality in ABS plastic fairly fast. The remote box below is made up from 3 parts that printed in less than 6 hours totally. That was with the smallest layer thickness (0.20 mm) and normal speed. With the biggest layer (0.40 mm) and normal speed the time will be cut almost in half. But the result has more visible lines. Also since this box needed alot of supports it also adds to the time.

    The "ugly" plastic that is visible on the bottom part of the remote is called "support" and is needed if you print something that has voids. All this is created by the UP! software and can be peeled away later.

    Super silly simple to use. It took me 20 minutes from I unpacked the printer until I was printing the first model. Plug and play when it is the best.

    You make the part in any CAD software and then export the object in STL format. Import it into the UP! software and then set the quality level (speed) you want to have.

    Yes - it does become some visible lines on the finished part.
    Yes - it is a bit slow (but it is really quiet so you can print all night)
    Yes - the parts come out exaclty the same every time.

    From UP! there is for the moment only white ABS avaliable and their plastic is a bit expensive but there is several other places to get ABS for as low as usd $15 /kg + shipping. The machine has only one printer head so you can not mix colours while printing. The work area is not the biggest. Is it specified to 140 x 140 x 135 mm but the actual model size is more 130 mm since it is not that great in the extreme positions.

    If DT or Melanie reads this and want to have printouts just let me know :-)

    for "the rest of you" test prints can also be arranged since it is a really kick ass machine but you probably want to see the results before you buy one. I am sitting in Beijing China and they have a post office here too so .....

    No - I do not work for UP! (but in one way i wish I did, cool machines and embedded electronics)
    Yes - I do believe that for the money spent and the time it will take to get started it is a really nice machine
    Well - They (UP!) have a newer machine called UP! Mini. It can print slightly smaller things but it did not feel as rigid as the UP! one does. Also it was not available NOW NOW NOW so... but it is much cheaper. I have not seen the Mini in action but all parts inside it was much thinner.

    Since everything comes with a price tag I can tell you the UP! is around usd$ 1500 and the Mini is around $900.

    It is almost as useful as DT's interupts and definatly a machine that I will always find a use for.

    Now making custom boxes is fun and simple and if you dont need lots and lots of them it is really a smart solution.

    There are other solutions out there such as Reprap and Makerbot. I am sure they also have great products but I have not tried them. What I like best with this machine is the time from it leaves the box until it is working. I do not know any other brand that can beat that for this kind of money.

    Thanks for reading!!

    /Per

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: A new best friend

    Thanks for posting.
    I have been asking if 3D printers would work for enclosures.

    Norm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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    Default Re: A new best friend

    The size is too small for my plans, but a short youtube would be cool to look at.

    I'm still holding on to a dream of a desktop CNC.

    Robert

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A new best friend

    I will try to put a video on some of my company websites since the government has blocked youtube.

    As long as the enclosures or parts of it (use glue to build bigger things) can fit the work area I am sure it will work nicely.The parts becomes really strong and look nice.

    How big enclosures do you need?

    They will release a new machine that can handle 180x180 mm but that will be avalible next spring and cost aprox usd $5000.

    /per

  5. #5
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    Jan 2009
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    Miami, Florida USA
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    Default Re: A new best friend

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumper View Post
    You make the part in any CAD software and then export the object in STL format. Import it into the UP! software and then set the quality level (speed) you want to have.
    Jumper,

    What kind of software do you use to draw your CAD drawings? AutoCAD, SolidWorks, ..?

    Robert
    "No one is completely worthless. They can always serve as a bad example."

    Anonymous

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A new best friend

    I use Inventor 9 but that is quite old and there are probably tons of newer and better 3d software solutions. As long as you get a STL file as output the printer software will do the rest.

    I tried to use Google sketchup but it just drives me mad. So anything that can make your idea into an object without loosing your temper seems to be a great software.

    /per

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