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3D printing in Nerf


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#1 JospehSquared

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 12:38 PM

What is the best program for creating nerf parts through 3D printers?

 

I've looked at several but I cannot figure out which would be the cheapest/ still able to make reliable homemade parts for nerf.

 

or

 

Is there anywhere that I can pick up premade stl files that I can just use in a 3D printer?


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#2 Meaker VI

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 05:02 PM

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What is the best program for creating nerf parts through 3D printers?
 
I've looked at several but I cannot figure out which would be the cheapest/ still able to make reliable homemade parts for nerf.

 
Autodesk Fusion 360, Sketchup (with this plugin),  probably Blender. All three are free, all make STL files which is all you need for printing. Reliability comes from your engineering/modeling skill/knowledge and printer's capabilities, the file is just a file. Any program can make bad files if you're a bad modeler with it.
 
Once you've got the STL, you need a slicer. I use Cura now, you might try others though. These are, likewise, pretty much equal and depend more on you than the program. I hear good things about the one that costs money.
 

Is there anywhere that I can pick up premade stl files that I can just use in a 3D printer?

Absolutely yes. More yes.

 

I'll be honest here though: I'm a little terrified for you if you need to ask these questions about 3d printing and somehow also have access to a printer. The things are finicky beasts at best, unless there is someone around you who can use google and then parse the results into actionable processes, you'll wind up with a hot plastic nest and a busted $hundreds-thousands machine. They aren't like regular printers where you can just send a page over and it'll work every time and then warn you if it's out of ink/paper.


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#3 Silly

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 05:49 PM

Also, less spaces in your post please. Less space is a lot better for the eyes.

Edited by Silly, 03 December 2016 - 05:50 PM.

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#4 Aeromech

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 01:43 AM

The best comparison to these solid modelling programs is a car. Whether you have an Audi, a Chevy, a Hyundai, or a BMW, the very basic function is still the same. The buttons may be in slightly different locations. One may accelerate a bit faster. One may be a bit more comfortable. But, it seems at this point, you're still just getting started, and, like a new student driver, no matter which car you take, you're gonna be going ten miles an hour below the speed limit and stopping the full 3-mississippis at the stop signs. To build off of Meaker's response, pick two or three, and research which of those have the best online help, or youtube tutorials, because that's what you'll be learning from in most cases.

 

Personally, I use Autodesk Inventor, and have been using it for almost 5 years now. The student version is free with a .edu email account if I recall correctly, and it's not a bad program. Just like the cars, once you learn to drive one, the others are 90% the same. If you do choose to go the Autodesk route, the help that I have needed from the Autodesk website has been fairly helpful.

 

While a bit dated, this is the book I used. It's pretty damn good and teaches you through step by step examples, not overly technical symbollic formulas and the like. This is just what I used, and I didn't search around for it, but figured I would throw it out there in case you choose to pursue. https://books.google...id=P5auoAEACAAJ


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#5 Meaker VI

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 05:19 PM

Personally, I use Autodesk Inventor, and have been using it for almost 5 years now. The student version is free with a .edu email account if I recall correctly, and it's not a bad program. Just like the cars, once you learn to drive one, the others are 90% the same. If you do choose to go the Autodesk route, the help that I have needed from the Autodesk website has been fairly helpful.

 

If you can really get inventor for free, it's an excellent program. 360 has some features that are kind-of similar, but what I remember of Inventor (from ten years ago when I was using it) was very positive.

 

Of the three I posted, Sketchup is far and away the easiest to use, but hard to use well. Blender is far and away the hardest of any 3d program I've ever used (I've used a huge variety). 360 is hard to wrap your mind around and I haven't figured out how to use it properly yet, but it's not bad if you stick to basics.


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#6 Maniacal Coyote

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 05:46 PM

I use Sketchup, but the Design Technology faculty at school recommend Inventor. It really depends upon how complicated you want to make your stuff.


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#7 JospehSquared

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Posted 04 December 2016 - 08:20 PM

 I'll be honest here though: I'm a little terrified for you if you need to ask these questions about 3d printing and somehow also have access to a printer. The things are finicky beasts at best, unless there is someone around you who can use google and then parse the results into actionable processes, you'll wind up with a hot plastic nest and a busted $hundreds-thousands machine. They aren't like regular printers where you can just send a page over and it'll work every time and then warn you if it's out of ink/paper.

 

Not going to lie. I laughed pretty hard at this. I recently discovered that i have access to this machine. I only have access to it for about three years so I decided to expand my horizons and try my hand at it. Thank you for the information and warning everybody! I am very much in the researching phase.


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#8 Zack the Mack

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 01:31 PM

I use OpenSCAD. It's easy to change dimensions of your model after test-fitting. You don't need to move a lot of geometry by hand.
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#9 Silly

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 02:14 PM

Its slightly different, but have you concidered stronger methods for creating nerf pieces? Like CNC or casting? They generally can be less versatile, but they can be alot stronger.
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#10 Draconis

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 05:58 PM

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Its slightly different, but have you concidered stronger methods for creating nerf pieces? Like CNC or casting? They generally can be less versatile, but they can be alot stronger.

 

This is not a useful post here.  Casting and machining are vastly more complex procedures, and far and away are overkill for anything but the most intense builds.  3D printing is effective for most internal and external components, and much more economical than CNC or casting.


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#11 JospehSquared

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 11:08 PM

Its slightly different, but have you concidered stronger methods for creating nerf pieces? Like CNC or casting? They generally can be less versatile, but they can be alot stronger.

 

 I have. I have researched some pressure casting as well. However this is easier and less costly than those options.


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