Update: (Few more notes for interested readers)
– THe fumes from ABS are hardly noticeable at all
– You can print multiples at a time, the problem is, if one of them is inaccurate, it will slip and screw up the others
– STL files are not easily converted into STEP files which are needed for tooling and mass production. While there are converters, they don’t work very well (especially on Macs) and it is almost easier to rebuild from scratch at that point.
One of the more exciting things I have going on is that of the Maven Adapter , which we are about to sell out again (I think there are 1 or 2 left). Having gotten a lot of feedback, I’ve tweaked the design but you wont be able to see the changes here. Suffice it to say, that I’ve added 3 major new features that were light bulb moments for me when I thought of them and they will greatly improve the utility of the Adapter for DSLR users.
I am learning a ton about the manufacturing process & 3D Printing. There is a very, very good chance the Adapter will see full scale production by a professional manufacturer, preferably in the US initially. This would allow me to get the product stocked and allow for more marketing push sales, but it is still quite a gamble.
Here are some things I wanted to share:
– While it isn’t idea, the 3D printer itself can produce quite a few of these things per day
– The ABS plastic is stronger than I thought
– If you want to have something mass produced by a factory, the initial tooling cost is very expensive, but the more you make the more the cost per unit goes down. Once the tooling is finished, reorders are much easier.
– There are a range of materials available for mass production and changing to a different material could greatly increase the strength of the adapter.
– There are straightforward ways to introduce metal into the design that we are looking at now.
– Using a 3D printer for manufacturing has very powerful prototyping and design advantages, in that the design can change literally several times the same day and you can print it up, test it, and print it up again.
– Mass production tooling requires that you absolutely get the final design correct and there are problems with variation and the manufacturing process to get it right between each unit.
– The more I use my 3D printer, the more tempted I am to buy a second, much more affordable printer to see what the differences in print quality are.
– 2 Extruders are useless at this point, you only really need one, and I spent a lot of extra money on that second extruder. It messes up the print when the second head is running.
– I like the ABS plastic that Makerbot makes, the colors are vibrant and quality is very good. Though, there are many colors they do not have, like tan, olive, etc. Ive found several ABS filament suppliers on EBay, but the price works out to be within $10 a roll depedning on how much they charge for shipping.
– The ABS quality from Ebay suppliers seems to be absolutely fine, so far
– Makerbot has management problems with shipping things. I have had some kind of problem with every single order I have made with them. From the unit itself, to the cover (took 3 months) to every time I order ABS (this last time I ordered a few rolls of plastic for rush delivery and it took 13 days before they even set it out.
Im hoping that when we get the new Adapters made, I will probably leave the option open for those who have the ABS 3D printed ones to upgrade to the new adapter for the cost of shipping and handling only.
I have a lot of comparison & review videos coming soon!