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Stephen0523
05-06-2015, 07:15 AM
Hi all. the company I work for is looking into a 3D printer.
Would anyone have advise as to what would be the best choice for Lightwave in a color and mono material?

Thanks in advance!

Stephen

squarewulf
05-06-2015, 12:32 PM
I know almost nothing of 3D printers but if I were to buy one I would check this site out;

http://www.productchart.com/3d_printers/

Greenlaw
05-06-2015, 02:22 PM
That's a very broad question. It depends on how much you want to spend, what you're willing to spend on consumables, the resolution and quality you need, and just how much you're willing to fuss with maintenance and operation.

There's a long-running thread on 3D printing with Lightwave here:

3D Printing Makerbot and other home Desktop Printers (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?129505-3D-Printing-Makerbot-and-other-home-Desktop-Printers-Feedback&highlight=3D+printing)

We have a Form 1+ (http://littlegreendog.blogspot.com/2013/07/our-first-3d-print-sparklepus.html) in our studio. Great desktop stereolithographic printer and great customer support. Current resin colors are clear, black, white and gray, and they also have castable and pliable resins. It's a bit more expensive to operate than FDM printers but I like it. I use it for printing toy prototypes.

G.

spherical
05-06-2015, 06:08 PM
We have a 3D Touch. It's a great workhorse with a large build volume, solid construction (heavy), 3 extruders, 40+ colors of filament in various materials. The company that made it got Borged by 3D Systems and they cannibalized it into a CubeX. Do not buy one of those. Users are spending tons of hours getting them to print with any decent quality and reliability. That, and they made everything proprietary. Changed the file format and encrypted it, so you had to use their slicer, which is crap, only works with their filament in cartridges that cost 3X market value for the same amount of material. The cartridges have a chip that is read that "tells you how much filament is left and if there's enough to complete the job". Right.... What it really is for is that the printer won't start if it doesn't see that chip. Needless to say, workarounds have been developed to bypass all of their crap; but it's a hassle, just the same.

Also, "the best choice for Lightwave" is essentially irrelevant. The printer doesn't care. Yes LightWave has STL export, but that is only the tip of the iceberg, as regards getting a model to the printer, and there are many dedicated 3D model format translators that get that job done. LightWave does a good job, but a modeler is separated from the printer by the slicing software; at least as the predominant technology stands at present. Use whatever modeler you like. Some say parametrics are the only way to go, others say that full-on CAD software is essential. Bull. We have and use all three, but Poly modelers do just fine and accurate parts are produced here from LightWave all the time. The slicer is what makes the difference in the output. That and a lot of experience.