The Pros and Cons of Rapid Prototyping

ImageI was able to design and print fifteen or twenty different ring types and sizes per day on my last project; but things are much slower now. Each 10 cm length of thread that I print takes just over 2.25 hours to print compared to the 8 minutes per ring. Today has been spent sitting around for over 7 hours waiting for three pieces to print, and I am less than half way there. It is a little bit frustrating knowing that I could easily buy a threaded rod for pretty cheap and get similar if not better results in a LOT less time.

What I can’t buy at a store is a nut that fits perfectly on it that I can customize to fit multiple purposes, which this project requires. I can also make the rod the exact size I want it rather than buying large and then figuring out some way to cut it down. By 3d printing all of the pieces, it also allows anybody who wants to build this to simply print out the parts rather than needing to find the exact piece that I bought. I love my 3d printer, and all of these new technologies, but I am really eager to BUILD, and yet today and probably most of tomorrow will be sit around and wait days.


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