|UP Plus 3D Printer|
It was incredibly easy to setup. You basically assemble a few bits with a screw driver (provided), install software and plug it in! First time you use it you'll need to calibrate which would be a fairly simple process, except the software has changed since the manual was written which added a small amount of confusion. Either way, it took less than an hour to set up so I was happy.
Now, the software has it's up sides and down sides. A few good points:
- It takes the extremely simple stl file format, which comes as standard in most 3d packages, and is easy to write code for as well.
- Very robust - I've thrown millions of polygons at it and it's never crashed
- Relatively fast. Obviously give it a few million polygons and it runs at 1fps, but its generally good enough just for positioning your model
- It automatically adds scaffolding to support your model as it's built, allowing you to create models with overhangs
So in general it does what it says on the tin. However it's not exactly a miracle of UI design. Getting the settings right for a given model does involve a little bit of guesswork, but after a few attempts you can generally get it right first time.
Here's a few models I printed in my experiments to see what it could do:
|Statue Of David|
|Some bits and bobs I printed|
These images show a few fun tests:
- A wine glass with an incredibly thin stork, to see how skinny it could print
- The oval has text on (which says Chris)
- The plastic square on the motor is modelled to perfectly fit to the axle. I did this on the basis that if I can print a perfect fitting square, I can print a perfect fitting wheel :)
- A statue of david (top) because my friend broke his
Going forwards I'm going to create MmBot 2's chassis and framework using the printer. First though, I needed to find a decent bit of CAD software, and found it very frustrating. Too many massively complex uber tools or simpler but ropey applications. So I decided to create my own small CSG tool designed for creating pieces of robot, which I'll probably write about next time.