3D printing -how has it progressed in the last 10 years?

3D printing -how has it progressed in the last 10 years?

3D printing -how has it progressed in the last 10 years? Well to answer that I have put aside my crowd funded MDF bodied 3D printer called  ‘Sumpod’ which was made from thick MDF.

Over 10 years ago I put my toe into the interesting and exciting (I don’t get out a lot)world of 3D printing. The hardware in the form of stepper motors,  and control boards was well understood.  However, that cannot be said of extruders, hot end, filament AND SOFTWARE. They were nowhere near the same stage of development.

I became involved at that time with the further development of hot ends. The owner of Sumpod asked for some machining assistance, since not many even managed to get the kit to work.

I watched some of these start ups grow to be market leaders today. Alas, Sumpod fell by the wayside.  So it was with a little apprehension that I saw a 3D printer for sale on Amazon for the princely sum of £136 including shipping! However, they quickly sold out.  Now they have added an S to the name and the price has jumped to over £200.

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Progress to date

At the time of writing (18th September 2021) the answer I believe is a massive yes.  The Elegoo Neptune 2. It felt like a bit of a risk because of previous experience but it has been nothing but successful. The onboard software is a pleasure to use. Setting the bed level is easy enough as well.

I’ve now had the opportunity to print several items and This will be discussed soon.  In the meantime if you have any questions then as always please feel free to email me. I always answer questions as soon as I can so feel free to contact me.

Next up I will cover the prints so far and a couple of tips I’ve found out regarding print quality. In the mean time Elegoo also make a 2 colour printer based around the Neptune 2 and Amazon stock those at the time of writing (18th September 2021).

I’ll be back….’

Experiences to date and some examples of prints: 1st October 2021

I have now had the opportunity to go past the printing anything phase to useful printing.  The initial use of the printers was located ‘indoors’. Allowing the printing large items to be monitored. None failed which would never have happened 10 plus years ago. Now it has been relocated to its permanent home in my metal workshop (fortunate to have a large wood workshop outside).

Like many model engineers/woodworkers, I have several projects on the go at the same time. At the moment I have just finished a ‘river’ table for my bedside which will be posted here soon. In the metal shop I am at last turning and milling metal. My true passion.

I have a 2″ scale Fowler Traction engine and have trialled making templates and drill guides for the water tender as shown below.  The accuracy of the printed items never fails to amaze me! And using Fusion 360 t00k very little time to produce the *.stl file.

3D printed solder iron cleaner copper mesh
3D printed soldering iron cleaner holder
Mesh fitted
My printed holder for the spare copper mesh I had
Hot iron and plastic….Hmmm…..





More images of items printed coming soon/please call back….

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