Should I be scared of buying a 3d printer like Replica because it does

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(Tim Odell) #1

Should I be scared of buying a 3d printer like Replica because it does not accept GCode directlly? PrintrBot does accept Gcode directly which would allow more easy integration with tools such as Octoprint. I am very new to this 3d print world and want to avoid buying a Betamax. Thanks for any guidance.

(ThantiK) #2

@Tim_Odell , yes - you should be scared of any 3D printer which does not allow you to run your own gcode. The 3D printing landscape is improving by leaps and bounds in the software world. Just as far as slicers go, there is Skeinforge, Slic3r, Cura, Netfabb, Simplify3D, KISSlicer, MatterControl, and others I’m sure I’ve failed to mention.

Additionally, there are software packages now that are starting to do contoured layer printing that results in an increase in strength and possibly an increase in top layer shallow curve fidelity. These are just simply things that are not going to be added to things like the replicator.

You want to have your freedom to choose - it’s overwhelming at first, but the payoff is substantial.

(Rob Taylor) #3

Tim although I’m not one to say one thing is better than another, I would say there is definitely tangible advantage to staying with something that has a large compatibility base. Most printers these days are able to accept gcode either via memory card, serial or USB interface. Much development is going into slicers that produce gcode output. OctoPrint uses gcode. I think if you look at something that does not at lease have a promise of future gcode compatibility, you are greatly limiting yourself right out of the gate.

(ThantiK) #4

@Nerf_Herder , yep - 3D printers use pretty standard gcode. G1/G0 for rapid moves, etc. Most software just generates the toolpaths for you though.

(Paul Eberhart) #5

@Nerf_Herder The CAD/CAM process on printers is pretty similar to subtractive machines, but the preferred interchange format is .stl, and the CAM situation for FFF type printers is a lot friendlier than for machining. The “Slicers” that @ThantiK listed in the first reply are the CAM tools, they tend to be much simpler (in interface and in function) and more pleasant to work with than any subtractive CAM software I’ve ever used, and the g-code that gets used with printers tends to be enormous but very simple compared to what one would feed into a subtractive machine, especially compared to things you might hand write.

(Neil Darlow) #6

@Nerf_Herder ​ To add to what @ThantiK ​ said. 3D printers do use GCode but it is extended with additional M codes. It is a little beyond the basic GCode used with CNC milling and drilling machines.

(Tim Odell) #7

@ThantiK I think that is very helpful and inline with my instincts. I think I’ll stick with something like PrintrBot instead of Replicator clone offered by monoprice.

(Robert Gorman (GoGoCharlie)) #8

My Dremel 3D Idea Builder doesn’t allow me to fiddle with any code. I just load the stl into it’s program, change some settings for things like shells, layer heights, temp, and speed, then it converts it into a proprietary format file that I select in the machines built in menu.

I love this machine, my prints turn out gorgeous every time. The only issues I ever have are when I try to get creative with meshmixer’s support material. lol

(Tim Odell) #9

Actually I think I’ll stick with the MonoProce Replica clone. The price was way hard to beat so I’ll give it a whirl.