Recent Topics

Is a heated bed really necessary?

by jokerwild

I've almost got enough to get the printer i want, i'll be able to purchase it in February. The printer is a Reprap Prusa i3 that has a print volume of 220220240MM.

One of the first things i intend to print is a 3d printer that is larger than the one i'm getting,Possibly of the same design, but i want this one to have a build volume of 500mm Cubed. I havent seen any printers with a heated bed that size so the question is, Do i really need a heated bed? what are the advantages and disadvantages to opting out of it?

Side Note: if your answer is "Google it" Don't bother responding, because if google could answer my question, i wouldn't be asking experts now would i?

Anybody experiencing weird health side-effects while printing?

by dylan77

A little background...

Got a ROBO 3D around beginning of February. Been printing nearly every day, well over 300 complete prints. I use black PLA almost exclusively. The printer is in my room, right next to my work station. I have no exhaust or air scrubbing system. Often I will design while printing so I'm about 3 feet from the printer when it's running, sometimes for hours. When I first got it I called my girlfriend over to check it out. She was in my room for about 5 min and left feeling congested and with a mildly sore throat...she is very sensitive to stuff like that though. All the while I kept printing, and feeling generally fine (there doesn't seem to be a lot of information on the health effects of PLA other than it's considered non-toxic). Recently however, I got sick in a weird way...I started to retain water and my BP was elevated way beyond normal levels. Went to the doctor and got some blood work done cause I was kinda freaking out. Everything looked okay, nothing really stood out to cause my symptoms. Let the printer rest for about a month and started to get better over that time (and with a BP med and a diuretic). So much better in fact that I started to run the printer again. Soon after I started to see some of the symptoms come back (edema, this was a few days ago, and a sore throat) so I stopped printing again to try to narrow down a cause, or at least rule out (or in) the printing process. I just wanted to put this out there to see if anybody else is experiencing these side effects or other conditions from PLA. I'm trying to figure this out and am looking for answers. If you have had any conditions and what they are or were please share. If I'm alone in this then I'll have to consider ruling the printing process out and look elsewhere for answers. Sorry if this is in the wrong category but I couldn't find a more appropriate one here with the amount of feedback it could generate with persons working with the same process. Thank....Dylan

3D printed compressed air tank

by Josh09

I'm doing an experiment to see if a 3D printed air tank can hold pressure, I watched a video of a guy try on a small scale (link below) what are your thoughts on doing this experiment on a larger scale? ( 20cm diameter tank about 50cm long compressed to about 10 bar) And what if you got pressure pipe and just did some sort of end cap? Thoughts?


Made a level shifter for proximity sensors & would like opinions

by Cyrrus

Hi all,

I was hoping to get your opinion on a circuit board I’ve been working on for my 3D printer which I think could become a sellable product.

I’ve designed level translator board that converts the higher voltage signal (12V to 24V) of a proximity sensor to a voltage readable by an Arduino or other controllers (5V or 3V3).

Initially, I just wanted to add a M12 capacitive sensor to my printer to be used as a Z probe but I didn’t want to underpower the sensor or use a voltage divider that’s subject to the internal resistance of the sensor or controller. I think that with the features I’ve added and the diversity of this design, I might be able to sell it on eBay but I would like to know what you guys think.
• Would this design be useful to you? (it can be used for more than auto bed levelling)
• Does this sound like a sellable product?
• What do you think that people would pay (if it’s less than it costs me to manufacture and ship then this isn’t worth doing).
• I kept a 20mm width so that it could easily fit onto T or V slot extrusion but that has made the board 50mm long with 4x M3 mounting holes or 38mm long without. I can’t make it smaller without making it wider.
• Would you want the pins left off so that you can solder them on yourself? Shipping would be more expensive if I attached the pins.

Pins on the board include:
• The sensor’s power, ground and signal pins
• Power and ground from the supply
• 5V, digital input and ground from the Arduino, RAMPS 1.4 or other controllers.

• Support for M12 or M18 inductive or capacitive proximity sensors. Sensor can be sourcing (PNP), sinking (NPN, normally open (NO) or normally closed (NC). What you see from the sensor is seen by the controller at a different voltage.
• The sensor can be powered at either 12VDC or 24VDC. My board can support voltages slightly beyond this input range so dodgy supplies won’t cause failure.
• No jumpers, switches or solder links. No configuration required. It might be an idea to ship with the pins left off and let the user solder them on but I'm not sure how people would feel about this.
• Translates the sensors higher voltage output to either 5VDC or 3.3VDC to be read by the 3D printers controller.
• Protection against shorting.
• Protection against incorrect wiring of the sensor and will never have an undetermined output state.

Bonus features (unintended but part of the design)
• Full isolation between the higher voltage power and signal, to the lower voltage power and signal. Only ground is shared for reference.
• Protection against shorting.
• Protection against incorrect wiring of the sensor and will never have an undetermined output state.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that the response rate of this design is <10µs and will always be consistent by device. e.g. repeatable results.

3D Scan

by 3dTM

Hello Everyone,
for I while, I have been experimenting with my self-build 3d Scanner and I would like to show you some of my current projectss:


I also uploaded some things here to share:


What do you think about the quality of the scans? Currently, I do not focus on texture but on relief/surface reconstruction. To which scanner are the shown results comparable?

I am still working on this project, that is why I can not release many details on the scan-process. The files are raw/unedited scan-data and one scan takes about 10min in preparation and 1-4h in rendering