Re: Trip to Lee Valley manufacturing

That is where we get that thing where we can say the American worker is the most productive in the world... Because he can push a button on a machine.

I have to say I really enjoy my 3D printer. I design a part sometimes it only takes a few minutes, then I really do just push a button, after I have the machine set up, and mine did work from the box/build. The XY dimensions are normally perfect, and the Z axis will have a little sag for height, but nothing noticeable. It really is great. Mostly they make small parts. At first I wanted, as with lathes, a larger one. But then I realized just how long it takes to print bigger parts. But the little parts are often very useful, and contribute to finish. Like I had one of those lever to tighten my easel jaw. The kind that turn a screw, but can be adjusted to any point of rotation. You find them on a lot of stuff like fences. The screws on these things come out in different lengths and they would be a hassle to adjust the length in the lathe. So I just made a little collar that fits between the wood and the hand screw, and it gives a great finished look. In the end I made a dozen or more parts for the easel, from pulleys to odd custom pieces that hold weights, or act as the jaws of the easel to hold panels in odd ways. I often got to stages where some daunting piece would need to be machined, and then I realized I could make a better looking one in a few minutes on the printer. It's great.

Eventually I designed landscape easels that were basically entirely made on the 3D printer.

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