Lotus Elan

Aldi 3D Printer

PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:34 pm

Looks good value for making those smaller parts :D

https://www.aldi.co.uk/3d-printer
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PostPost by: bill308 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:47 pm

Looks very promising. I wonder what kind of files it can read?

To be truly useful, in my mind, there has to be general purpose software available. Can it read a solid model from say SolidWorks?

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PostPost by: el-saturn » Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:32 pm

bill - you're evidently asking the right questions: please ask more!! and whether i can make or "casting" of the part out of some kind of foam!!! a light vacuumed laminate (on top with some prepared inserts) in epoxy matrix and cf will allow me to make loads of light and lovely replacement parts where the original must've infuriated colin (ford 105). due to his limited budget!! alpine sandy
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PostPost by: Fred Talmadge » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:29 pm

Looks like it's a Balco printer http://www.balcolifestyle.com.au/
They use something call Cura to print with.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:10 am

Lidl are soon to be selling them for ?40 complete with a laser scanner so you can just copy an original object or model/pattern.

OK its not April fools day but the technology is already there how long before they will fall to that price?

Close to 20 years ago when I had some involvement with laser scanners and CNC machining the prices were eye_watering and had I told you that one day I would have a Wireless operated colour printer/scanner/copier Under my desk for Under ?40 you would have called me crazy.

Only a question of time........................
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:05 am

bill308 wrote:Looks very promising. I wonder what kind of files it can read?

To be truly useful, in my mind, there has to be general purpose software available. Can it read a solid model from say SolidWorks?

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PostPost by: pharriso » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:31 pm

bill308 wrote:Looks very promising. I wonder what kind of files it can read?

To be truly useful, in my mind, there has to be general purpose software available. Can it read a solid model from say SolidWorks?

Bill


Generally 3D Printers take a format called .stl (short for Stereolithography); most CAD programs can export files of this format, SolidWorks definitely can.
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PostPost by: bill308 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:28 pm

The Balco website indicates the printer will work with .stl, .obj, .dae, and .amf file formats. It looks like this printer is widely supported, a good thing.

The next issue is connectivity. The information I see is that it prints from a MicroSD card. Do most computers support this media? Still, direct connectivity to a computer, by wire or wireless, would nice.

Bigger is better, but 200 x 200 x 200 mm (8 x 8 x 8 inches) could still be useful, especially if you could join separate pieces.

There appears to be several filament materials available including PLA, ABS, HIPS, conductive and wood. I guess if you needed something more, you could send a file out to someone, after you proof it in plastic.

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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:02 am

There are many USB adaptors available which take microSD cards, though with some you have to first plug the MicrooSD into an SD adaptor.

They make the card look like a USB memory stick or external USB hard disk.

All Windows Linux and OSX can write these in various formats.
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PostPost by: bill308 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:26 pm

This is probably where the state of the art is:

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/ge-huge-3d-m ... 00707.html

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PostPost by: pauljones » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:48 pm

Can we print a cylinder head?
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PostPost by: Fred Talmadge » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:21 pm

pauljones wrote:Can we print a cylinder head?

Well not with this printer and probably not with a material that would work. A larger machine could create a pattern that you could then cast a head.
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PostPost by: pauljones » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:39 pm

I was thinking for a display model. Accurately produced. I guess it would be easy for those in the know, that is not me.
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:19 pm

The largest dimension it will produce is 200mm, so perhaps a scale model would be possible.
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:52 am

I nearly bought one of those after looking up reviews.

However, for me the problem would be the time it would take to learn how to use it and the modelling software. My understanding is that these printers are not fire and forget; you need to keep an eye on them as they print in case something goes wrong. They are not as usable or reliable as the advertising suggests and I still think the technology has a long way to go, or rather that the cutting edge technologies need to come down in price.

On the other hand, this does seem like a reasonable, cheap introduction to 3D printing if you have the time to learn how to use it. It might be useful on an Elan for fabricating things like brackets and clips, where the part is not safety critical and (when fabricated from one of the material the printer supports) is strong enough for its intended purpose.

Consider also that the finish on the printed items is not perfect, so printing something like a knob that would be handled in use will likely not result in a satisfactory outcome.

What sorts of things might we use it for? (I mean Elan parts..)
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