To all Vex U participants, I hope you had a lot of fun in the Worlds competition.
As the topic says, what 3D Printer do you guys use to print your custom 3D parts? What’s your preferred filament material? Software?
I have an Einstart 3D Printer I won from one of the online challenge and it’s great! PLA parts comes out very nicely but the software is a little limited.
We use a Lulzbot TAZ 5. It has worked well for the most part, but there is a known issue with the way the extruder is designed that causes the filament to jam, so the uptime on our printer this year has been pretty poor. If you can afford a TAZ 6, it seems to have fixed all of the issues that were found in the TAZ 5 while keeping the positive aspects of the TAZ series.
For filament material, we use either ABS or PLA, depending on the application. For parts that will experience a lot of stress and need to bend some without snapping, we’ll use ABS. PLA is best for pretty much everything else though, since its lower printing temp prevents warping and allows for more precise pieces.
For software, we make designs in Autodesk Inventor (shameless plug for our CAD Library here: https://vexforum.com/t/purdue-sigbots-cad-library-release/40344/1) and then use Cura to create the .gcode file for the printer.
We use an Ultimaker 2+ for 3d printing. It works really nicely.
We mainly print with PLA from colorfabb, however the temperature settings for each color vary slightly, so we were getting a bit of warping on the bottom of our parts when printing with certain colors. Putting a brim around the parts appeared to fix this.
For slicing we use both Cura and Simplify3d, Simplify3d gives us more control over supports and other options, but Cura usually gives better estimates of print time.