This new 3D printer has not been letting me down. After all the headaches I had with the duplicator 4, I have to say I had become rather untrusting of 3D printers. It sometimes felt like the machine would just wait for me to leave the room before going wrong! The Wanhao Duplicator 6, although not totally infallible, has restored my trust.
After completing an important prototyping job for a client (for reasons of intellectual property I can’t show you those prints at this time) I decided to go back and reprint some old models that for the reasons I shall explain never came out right, and some new ones that before would just not have worked out:
Swing Dancers Cookie Cutter
This was the first thing I ever designed for 3D printing! The original very nearly came out perfect, but there was a big problem that affected the function of the item. The plastic cutting blade would separate at points on the old D4, so making the item difficult to clean. On the Duplicator 6 this problem resolved, with a perfectly clean edge all round, printed at 0.2mm.
Gears and Mechanical Parts
On my old 3D Printer the machine would never print with enough accuracy, even on the highest settings to allow for ‘straight off the machine moving parts’. With the Duplicator 6 this workes just fine! See the video I uploaded of this Thingiverse file I printed at 0.06mm. Worked the moment I took it off the print bed!
A character I recently drew on Blender as a base to make a number of figurines in different positions, with clothes, armor, weapons etc. for a clients boardgame. I printed this creature to test the quality at the high setting of 60 microns. Although I did have to make a small adjustment on the CAD image to strengthen the ankles, which were so thin they snapped on the first print, after said adjustment I was very pleased with the printing result. Removing the supports left the hands a touch messy. However, the fingers are 1mm wide each with less that a 0.5 gapmm between them. Frankly I was amazed removing the supports did not bust them. So, I give the print a 95%!
This button, designed for a customer (that’s about all I am permitted to say about it) was something I wanted to print to test for two reasons. One, to see how well logo’s come out at 100 microns, and two, how easily and cleanly a wide mesh of supports is to remove. As you can see the supports pulled away from the item easily in one piece. On the old D4 this would have taken considerable time, effort and mess. The large part of the logo came out fine, but the smaller writing did not. This may have been better on a higher setting.
In conclusion, I’m really happy with all these results. I know I can confidently leave the Duplicator 6 printing while I attend to other things, and the quality is a defined step up from the D4.
On a final note, all this quality means I can now resume experiments for a business idea I once had. Want to know what it is? Well for now I would be crazy to tell you. But rest assured I shall post something cool for you all again soon!
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