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Hampshire
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I am huge fan of electronics and after seeing the makerbot throughout this year I really want one as they look totally awesome. Now I could buy a makerbot for 1500 pounds (uk) but that is a lot of money and only just going in to college there is no way of affording it. I currently work in Maplin and earn around 300 pounds a month (do a bit of basic math) and it would take me about 5 months.

I saw a video today from eevblog of the maker bot and it looked awesome. I asked him a question because he kept mentioning cheaper ones and he replied back with the suggestion of the up mini. Unfortuantly they have no means of delivery to UK and the conversion is still around 1100£ which is much better. (If you want to watch the video):


The question is, it wont be now but if I get an idea of what to get I hope to get one before Christmas. Any better, I could do with a contract deal and say pay monthly 200£ or something.

What cheap, easy to use (I have no CAD experience) 3D printer at around 1000 pounds and cheaper if possible.

Thank you for your responses and views.
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TrevorB

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Reprap Huxley? - Complete kit shipped to UK address £411 - http://reprappro.com/Huxley

Reprap Mendel? - Complete kit shipped to UK address £511 - http://reprappro.com/Mendel

Quite tempted by a Huxley myself.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 02:10:54 am by dxw00d » Logged

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What I am about to say below has little bearing on whether you can build or find a way to do what you want to do in a cheaper manner, but it is something to keep in mind, since you are in school. This is information that you might just "blow off", but I promise you, if you keep it in mind, you'll be way ahead of the game...

I currently work in Maplin and earn around 300 pounds a month (do a bit of basic math) and it would take me about 5 months.

There is nothing wrong with deferring your wants and saving money. Have some patience, take the time to build savings, and you'll be that much further ahead in the long run.

Any better, I could do with a contract deal and say pay monthly 200£ or something.

So - you're saying you'd rather go with unsecured credit to purchase such a machine? May or may not be a bad idea; if there's no interest, and you can afford it (will 100 pounds left over be enough to get you by each month?), then it would be a good deal. However, if there is interest - you'll end up paying more than if you just saved and waited. How much more would depend on the level of the interest, and how much you paid each month.

Unsecured credit can be an evil thing. It is OK, as long as you are able to pay it off completely each and every month. It can become evil very quickly, though, if you only pay off the minimum needed each month.

My advice: Make a budget. Live within that budget of expenses vs income. Set aside a portion of your budget to go into savings (rainy day fund - because there -will- be rainy days). As you get older and have a career (after you graduate), you'll want to build your savings so that you have at least 6 months worth (if not more) that will pay you what you earned monthly if you lose your job (this money is also called an "f-u" fund, because it will allow you to tell your old boss to stick it, so you can easily move on without any worries).

If you are able to have such a savings, and don't have any unsecured debit (ie, credit cards or other similar credit instruments - mortgages are ok, though) - you can live very comfortably, without much worry. Believe me - my wife and I had a pile of debt (not as large as some people, though), and when we paid it off, and had savings in the bank - the feeling is wonderful. I recently went through a period of a month where I didn't have a job, and what passes for unemployment insurance here in the states didn't help much (to be honest, its been relatively worthless); knowing I had savings, though, made it bearable. Knowing I didn't have a credit card payment, or any car payments - that I just needed to keep the roof over our heads paid, and water/electricity on - that was bearable. My wife was still working while I found new employment (I just completed my first week at my new employer) - so we still ate ok (not that it really matters; we probably have 3 months worth of food in the house and freezers).

Take this to heart now, while you're still young and have a bit of a "head start" - you'll get your 3D printer in time - but you'll also get a lot more if you follow the above advice and start with it early.
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I am interested in the huxley, what packages are used to design for these devices ?

Duane B.
 
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According to http://reprap.org/wiki/CAM_Toolchains there are a few options.
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I really need to replicate myself first to get a grasp of half the things I would like to do.

This could be very interesting but take a year or two of my life :-(

Does anyone have any experience of the learning curve ?

Duane B



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I really need to replicate myself first to get a grasp of half the things I would like to do.

This could be very interesting but take a year or two of my life :-(

Does anyone have any experience of the learning curve ?

Well, here's my experience for what it's worth.  In the spring of this year Makerbot stopped producing their smaller 3D printer, the Thing-o-Matic, to focus on the Replicator.  So they were selling their unassembled remaining kits for a discount of hundreds of US dollars (basically for a little less than half of the current price of the Replicator).  I decided to get a Thing-o-Matic kit.  Even though it came to me in a complete kit with well written documentation available online, it took me a couple of two-day weekends and a few evenings after work to get it assembled and running.  Mind you, that's without any major problems and only a couple of instances of backtracking that didn't cost much more than an hour each. Once it was running the control software was fairly easy to use.
 
The Repraps brought up earlier in the thread are smaller, have less electronics to wire-up, and don’t have cases to put together.  So they’ll probably be somewhat quicker to assemble, but be prepared to invest a significant amount of free time before you can use them.

Of course if you want to make your own designs you'll probably need CAD software of some kind (as opposed to just downloading STL files made by other people).  If you're not already familiar with either paper drafting or CAD there can be a significant learning curve.  Although the interfaces and other aspects can differ quite a bit, once you get the fundamentals it usually isn't a big hassle to go from one particular CAD program to another.  There some decent free programs as well as a few commercial packages ~100 USD that would be more than adequate.  For personal use, I have ViaCAD Pro v8 (I splurged a bit, it actually cost ~250 USD but they have a 100 USD version too) as well as DesignCAD 3D Max 20 (picked the latter one up during a clearance sale for ~39 USD) either series would be a good investment if you are serious about using them.  I don’t have that much experience with free CAD software, but there seem to be some decent options currently available.
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Hi,

Thanks for the response, this is the bit I am afraid of -

Quote
If you're not already familiar with either paper drafting or CAD there can be a significant learning curve.

I am sure the device itself is an interesting build, but I am getting a bit long in the tooth to be learning new software.

Duane B
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Well, I don't want to disuade you Duane.  To be clear, by "significant learning curve" I meant you'll probably have to devote over a dozen hours total if you want to use many of the capabilities in modern consumer/non-professional grade 3D CAD systems, as opposed to just completing a half-hour tutorial that will only teach you how to draw striaght lines and simple curves.  I didn't mean to imply it would require weeks or months of study to get any use out of a CAD program!
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If you are in the south of England, you may want to look at the Thames Valley RepRap group. http://tvrrug.org.uk/
They built 15 RepRaps togther in the last build, and the new build just starting has 20 participants spread over the south of England.
I think the whole kit was around £400, and the team build makes success pretty certain.  There may be some interesting options there.
I know of tvrrug from their association with Reading Hackspace. Hackspaces are another great way to get access to 3D printing.
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I'm also interested in building a RepRap. It goes hand in hand with the Arduino open source mentality.

Plus it looks like it would be a d@mned fun and rewarding project. Especially if you like building stuff!
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