3D scanners + 3D printer for small part duplication?

Old 11-21-19, 05:28 AM
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3D scanners + 3D printer for small part duplication?

I'm curious about plastic parts that are a pain to find - window clips, kitchen drawer runner clips, the remote control battery flap that always breaks...

I see that 3D printers and scanners are now available in the $200 per-unit range in kit-form (all assembly and some soldering required); while iPad/Desktop computer connected versions of scanners and printers are available in that $500-$1,000 range.
And then the "all assembly required" options of the LEGO 3D scanner

Anybody have any experience using with 3D scanning to 3D printing to duplicate small plastic parts? I ask because 3D printers are getting cheaper and more common e.g. they are now showing up in high school science labs and tech schools; not just college engineering labs.

Should mention the LEGO 3D printer

Separate from that, anybody tried a 3D scanner and then CNC something out of a raw block?

Again, for all assembly required side you've got the LEGO CNC cutter
and the brilliant LEGO CNC mill.

Last edited by Hal_S; 11-21-19 at 05:50 AM.
Old 11-21-19, 06:06 AM
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As an owner and user of a 3D printer (but not a scanner), they will become a house hold item within the next 10 years. Just as personal computers did.

That being said, you won't be saving money or able to make things cheaper than buying them vs making them with a 3D printer. But you can be innovated and creative. But you need to be knowledgeable and know how to use a cad type program. You need to know how to design something. That is my short coming. I use Tinkercad which is nothing more than taking shapes and putting them together. No real design work there. Cad is a must to make real good use of a 3D printer.

But if you have a particular need that can't be had in a more conventional way then its a good "toy" to get. For example...I use mine mainly to make custom corners to repair screens and windows (often these corners are no longer available or I don't have the where with all to buy them). I have become a minor celebrity in our store chain and am refereed to as the guru of screen repair.

But because I have the printer, I find other reasons to make gadgets or tools to help build things or fix house hold items or things for the car.

In the home printer area, it is mainly a way to make toys and figurines. That is about 90% of what is made. Unless you have a yen to learn and the disposable income to buy (price pretty much dictates quality) think twice about it.

If you want to get started right out of the box, then I'll suggest XYZ Printers. They are not the best but they are considered on the high end of the mid-range units and are reasonable price. It's what I have, but I also have on order a new printer that will do three color (not XYZ).

The other big thing is what kind if filament (FDM being the most common type of media) do you want to use. There is a big variety but the two most common is ABS and PLA. ABS is more brittle and resistant to high temp while PLA is a bit more flexible but not tolerant of heat. The other big issue is a heat vs a non heated bed plate. ABS will most certainly require a heated bed plate. And that can be a problem because that requires frequent calibration. And that is a hassle.

On the subject of scanners. Unless you pay BIG $ for a scanner, they don't work! you can use a simple phone cam to scan items. Don't waste your money. I would love a scanner but not a $1000 and up price tag.

Last but not least, take my comments with a grain of salt. I'm user not a designer. I like to make useful items, not toys or figurines. I'm not real educated on 3D printing. There is a plethora of information out there and lots of forums and web sites to help you. If you have the fire in you and to want to learn and create then go for it. But if you think it's going to replace buying the proper part or item, then no.

If I can be of any other help please feel free to post or PM me.

edit...Hal I did not realize it was you posting. I'm betting you have what it takes (both knowledge, creativity and the money) to make this happen. I'll be asking you for help.

Last edited by Norm201; 11-21-19 at 06:47 AM.
Old 11-21-19, 06:28 AM
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So I work in a shop that extensively uses various RP components including several small FDM maker BOT printers on site that we use to make small fixtures and templates.

The industry has changed dramatically over the last 5 years with materials that are finally to a point that can actually survive days to day use.

What I see as the challenge to the hobbies is taking an existing part and designing in math so it can be printed!

We have very sophisticated scanners but they simply do not produce a math model that is ready to print without some level of manual intervention.

Getting even a cheap CAD software is still expensive and time consuming to master!

Until that obstacle is resolved, I'll just continue to dabble here at work for the few parts a year that are needed!
Old 11-21-19, 06:46 AM
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Actually the current array of free cad ware is very good. I've seen some very intricate and impressive 3D printed items rendered in even the low end programs. It's all a matter of one's ability to "design" and problem solve. For my part, I'm too old and too lazy to learn any of the many free CAD programs. Just go to THINGYVERSE and look at the tool category to see some very impressive design. All done with the many free CAD programs.
Old 11-21-19, 06:55 AM
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The other thing I forgot to mention is the time factor. 3D printing takes time! Lots of time. Not meant for the big lot of items. It can take up to 3 hours if i decide to print a set of 4 screen corners. If I can buy them, that would be better. And lots of filament waste when printing first iteration of a part. Almost invariably you will need to print several versions before you get the the proper part you need.

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