3D Printing at home

3D Printing - Notch 8 - TMTV

Our hobby is embracing 3D Printing, but we tend to think of it only in terms of commercial services such as Shapeways. These services have printers costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they can create ready to use (or almost ready to use) models for us.

By contrast, we typically dismiss consumer-grade 3D Printers – those costing under $1,000 – as being too coarse for our needs.

But a couple of months ago, I hosted modeller Jeff Pinchbeck at the TrainMasters TV studio for a discussion on these home 3D Printers, and how they can be a valuable addition to our workbenches. Jeff took the plunge and bought a 3D Printer about a year ago, and since then he’s found many uses for it – including many he didn’t expect.

The first of a four-part series on 3D Printing is now available for viewing on TrainMasters. In this episode, we discuss why Jeff decided to buy a 3D Printer, how he selected the model that he did, what’s in the box, and how the process actually works. Jeff brought his 3D Printer into the studio, so we even turn it on and start printing something.

The rest of the series will be shared over the coming months. But be warned: After watching these four segments, you may be clearing space on your workbench for a 3D Printer. I know I’m thinking about it.

Enjoy if you watch.

UPDATE: All four parts are now available online for viewing.

4 thoughts on “3D Printing at home

  1. Eventually we will reach the point where we seldom buy a product, but buy a license to print a limited number of copies at home. Remember how recently a home printer was a simple dot matrix device, costing far too much money, and for ultimate quality you had to use a pen plotter? We will reach the point where the level of finish will be become acceptable without the requirement for fillers, rubbing down and painting. This is true not just for the hobby, but many household goods. Even, perhaps, spare autoparts for non-precision parts.

    This is certainly great news for the environment, and it means that in theory anyone with the determination to learn 3D design (which will become a normal part of schooling) can make their designs available, for cost or for free. This is also great news for design.

    It means a different direction for craft, maybe, within the hobby. Already I see people bemoaning the high quality of recent RTR, as it is so good it is hard to get up to that standard via conversions/kits/hand building. We will probably get more of the same.

    Personally, I get enjoyment from working with tools, so it won’t stop me from doing things whatever way suits me best.

    • The really interesting stuff about a home 3D Printer – at this point – is its ability to make things where finish quality is not important. Jeff and I explore some of these in future episodes – everything from assembly fixtures to drivetrain components. Many of these are things that would be time consuming to make in conventional ways. We’re just getting started…

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