I had the intention to buy myself a 3D printer ages ago. However, this project failed until the end due to bad reviews I had to read about various models and their price-performance ratio.
This changed when I discovered the Anycubic I3 Mega at Amazon. This is rated almost completely positive and was reduced from 499,- to 399,- EUR (actually at Amazon.com it costs only 329,- USD / Date: 2019-01-12). In addition there was an Anycubic discount campaign of 20% so that I only had to pay around 320,- Euro for this printer.
From my point of view it is also pleasing about this model that it is already delivered pre-assembled in 2 parts. The whole thing then only needs to be screwed with 8 screws and you can print. Other almost identical models cost considerably less, but have to be completely assembled by yourself, which according to many forum contributions on this topic can be quite a weekend, depending on how much time and motivation you spend.
The I3 Mega comes with the printer itself and 3.5 inch TFT touchscreen as well as all the tools and accessories you need to get started: Key, screwdriver, side cutter, tweezers, gloves, spatula, power and USB cable, SD card, 1kg black PLA filament , a filament dispenser and even an extra hotend.
The SD card contains a demo file for the first test print. This takes about 45 minutes and the result is 2 funny owl figures.
The result is quite respectable, not only if you consider the low price of the printer. I have removed the small fringes later, the picture shows the figures as they come out of the printer. But here and there you can still play with the printing speed as well as the temperature for print and heating bed to get an even better result.
Who is interested in children's toys from the 3D printer can get some suggestions here: Actually german only: Spielzeug und Ikea Hacks aus dem 3D-Drucker.
My first project from the 3D printer: mobile phone holder / iPhone docking station
To create and print your own designs for the 3D printer you need two tools. On the one hand a 3D program to set the objects, here I use Blender (OpenSource 3D Creation).
There is also a nice browser-based application called Tinkercad, with which you can quickly and easily create your own templates for printing without much prior knowledge. Here you are suggested different objects that you can place as you like, edit and export as object or STL file. You should have a look at it, but you need a registration with e-mail address to be able to use the whole thing.
Then you need the also free program Ultimaker Cura which is available for Linux, MacOS and Windows, and supports several 3D printers, as well as the Anycubic I3 Mega. With Cura you can align your object design, scale it, edit the filling or density of the structure and, among other things, copy it to an SD card in the appropriate format or send it to the printer via USB.
So I built and printed a small docking station for my iPhone 6s+ (the small 6 iPhone also fits very well in the holder) in the Blender on the fast one. The phone fits vertically as well as horizontally into the holder.
If you want to see the whole thing in Blender or even print it out, you can download my design here in STL format. Its nothing special...
Since the measurements were apparently not taken over during the export, the object must be scaled with Cura on X-axis 80mm before printing. The rest is then scaled to fit so that everything is right!
Product recommendation - Anycubic I3 Mega - 3D Printer
Anycubic AC-3D614,AC-3D615 I3 Mega - Anycubic I3 Mega 3D Drucker Kit mit größerer Druckgröße und 3,5 Zoll TFT Touchscreen PLA ABS 1.75mm Filament (I3 Mega)
- Large Build Volume :210 x 210 x 205mm.
- Plug and Play with User Friendly Screen :Complete the assembling with 8 screws ,then start to play through a 3.5-inch TFT touch screen.
- ANYCUBIC UltraBase: ANYCUBIC patented heatbed,super adhesion,smoothy lattice bottom surface. Easier to take off model by hands, so you won't need masking tape and glue stickers any more.
- Filament Detection: Automatic printing pause when filament runs out, resume after filament re-load with just one click.
- Anycubic Advantage:We take care of all parts of unartificial quality-related issues with a replacement for 3 months after the purchase date,and provide lifetime technical support.
- 3D Printing & Digitization > 3D Printers
Certifications: All Anycubic i3 Mega 3D printers are CE, FCC, RoHS and EN certified
3D printer housing made of Ikea side table
As already mentioned, I bought myself a new toy (Anycubic I3 Mega). Since the part isn't necessarily small and was first temporarily parked on the desk in the study (next to the rest of the technology such as computers and monitors), an acceptable solution had to be found quickly!
After some extensive research at Google & Co. where the rest of the world probably puts its 3D printers, I stumbled across a simple, ingenious and cost-effective solution.
You can simply make a great closed case for the 3D printer out of two Ikea lacquer side tables (cost: 5,- Euro each at Ikea) by stacking the two tables on top of each other and if necessary covering the sides with glass or acrylic glass . Some people place LED-Strips or LED-Spots and much more. So build it yourself!
Since the tables or the table legs are only 40cm high, at least the I3 Mega (46cm high) or identical 3D printer doesn't fit in there. But luckily you have a 3D printer! So you simply search on pages for 3D printer templates like Thingiverse.com for Ikea Lack Raiser and find suitable elevations for the table legs.
In addition, depending on the version, lateral brackets are fitted to prevent slipping, so that it is not even necessary to glue or drill. Stackers and raisers with holders for acrylic panes are also available.
It should be mentioned that it is recommended to print the raiser with at least 30% filling to achieve the necessary stability.
I also recommend to increase the layer thickness, e.g. depending on the extruder from 0.2mm to 0.3mm. This accelerates the pressure per leg from over 8 to just over 4 hours. This can be done without any problems, because there is no need for such exaggerated precision in printing. I printed the sockets with PLA Filament .
I have decided here to a still somewhat modified variant, namely I have taken instead of twice the small Ikea Lack (55x55x45cm) only one of it - and a bigger one (Ikea Lack 90x55x45cm).
So I have space on the case but also next to the printer and underneath. I personally think it's great, but that's a matter of taste. The result looks like this:
In order to fix the upper small table now reasonably on the larger lower table I printed out 2 standard Raiser for the left side, which I had found likewise with Thingiverse. I then modified these in the 3D-Tool Blender so that the holder around the edge of the table no longer has an L-shape but an I-shape.
I printed these 2 times for the right side as well. On this page I fixed the whole thing from below on the legs with some hot glue and finished is the place for the 3D printer .
For now, I have completely renounced glasses, extra lighting and other gadgets. I am so satisfied with this solution. *at least for now...* 😉
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