Anyone got any experience with 3D printers

eddypeck

Member
Thinking about having a play with some 3D files, not looking at printers yet I have a mate that has one and said he can print stuff for me. But I was just wondering what free Mac based CAD software is out there that's quite easy to use.

Haven't done much with CAD, and nothing for years, I feel like I'm missing a trick.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
I've had a little play with 3D printing (not much call for it for me though) and honestly unless you've got plenty of time on your hands for fine tuning I'd say give it a miss unless you really need to use it lol. I'd also suggest a very well ventilated room for the printer due to melting plastic etc... and some can be quite noisy too.

Literally EVERY printer needs subtle adjustments and you can spend days 'fine tuning' a print out with tolerances etc.

As to mac, apart from Blender I can't really think of much 'free' on os-x (mind you not much different on windows)
 

eddypeck

Member
... for hobby rather than career related, I tinker with old cars and bikes in (what little) spare time I have, I keep putting it off but feel it really should be something I should get into for those little hard to come by broken parts or small custom bits and bobs.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Probably wouldn't be a bad thing for that if you've got the time and patience to get a home printer set up and tuned in etc. You will have some 'finishing' to do with anything you print out and you'd need to pick the print material carefully if it's on a vehicle, especially if it's near a heat source because most (cheap) home printers use (big rolls of) plastic which is melted and allowed to cool down in the desired shape instead.

Thinking you might be better off looking at some of the other types of 3D printers, but they do become quite pricey.
 

eddypeck

Member
So I've downloaded and installed a copy of Fusion360 by Autodesk, Autodesk also do the browser based software TinkerCAD. I had a look at TinkerCAD but it felt too basic for what I thought I might end up getting into so although a steeper learning curve with Fusion I think it will be better.
It's free for hobby (non-commercial) use but it is restricted to the number of projects you can have, 10 I think. I assume once you finish a project you can archive it and start a new one so I should be OK but if I really get into it it might be worth a paid for version.

Not sure if this link will work, it's posted from my Insta, but shows what I managed to do within a couple hours.


Still a very long way to go, but for a first task I'm looking to make a new panel to hold these gauges, and ideally allow me to angle them upward as they are hard to see from the driving position as they are down in the centre console.

img_5089.jpg
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Still a very long way to go, but for a first task I'm looking to make a new panel to hold these gauges, and ideally allow me to angle them upward as they are hard to see from the driving position as they are down in the centre console.

img_5089.jpg
For the Golf Mk2 right... you sure you can't just buy what you're after, there were loads of gauge holders when I owned one...

If you do want to do it yourself may I suggest a slight angle towards the driver as well as upwards so the dials are more 'head on' when you look at them. Maybe even have the furthest from you pushed out slightly further than rotated a bit more (imagine the curve your head would take looking at them)
 

eddypeck

Member
Panels can be bought, but where's the fun in that.

The items available aren't great and with regards to angle up and towards the driver, most I've seen are for European market so left hand drive so the guages would be tilted towards the passenger :sneaky:
And yes, if I get the hang of it, and up and right a bit would be my preference.

This isn't an item I need, as you can see form the pic I have a solution of sorts, a flat panel with holes cut - It'll do for now.

But I always find when learning new things it helps me if I have a project I can relate to. I've looked at CAD software before (Cinema 4D) but after following a few tutorials I got bored and had no real-life incentive to continue.
If I master this I may still be a long time till I even get as far as 3D printing, I may go on to replicate other parts.

I know there are some small clips and bits that are no longer available it would be good to be able to reproduce.

Also, everything 80/90s seems to be cool right now, so part that used to be £20 are now changing hands for hundreds! not that long ago I was buying GTIs for about £400, my current one is probably worth about £6k.
 
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