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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    Thought this may be an interesting Christmas present for my 11 year old son.

    Any recommendations for a beginner without breaking the bank??
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2020
    I'm in a rush as I have to go out. I can tell you what you are in for if you buy a cheap kit...

    About 2 years ago I purchased the cheapest 3D printer kit I could find on ebay and got an "Anet A8" for £80. Its an FDM printer and while it worked well it was a bit fiddly to set up. The gap between print head and bed is critical. The acrylic frame it had can flex causing this gap to alter when the printer is moved requiring it to be set up again.

    I've since printed numerous upgrade parts for it and purchased a metal extrusion frame kit which makes it more rigid. Now probably owes me nearer £200. I get much more repeatable result and I was able to print over 160 PPE headbands earlier this year.

    One thing you lean quickly is that you need to design parts with 3D printing in mind. This means that some things will print more easily on one type of 3D printer than others. I'd start be researching the difference between FDM and resin printers.

    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2020
    Back home after a 5 hour drive..

    If you decide to go for an FDM printer I'd perhaps avoid the cheap A8 kits like i got an look at something like an Ender 3 V2 or better from the same range. I've never researched resin printers so dont have any recommendations for one or those. I believe resin printers can produce better results but are more messy.

    Sorry if you already know what follows...

    For software I'm using Fusion 360 for designing things as it has a free license for personal use. A better program might be Solidworks but I'm not sure if you can get a free license. Students at University use Solidworks. Fusion 360 is still a very powerful program and skills learnt on fusion 360 are transferable to Solidworks.

    You also need another free program to convert your 3D design into something that the printer can use. This is called a slicer. Most 3D printers come with a slicer and config files for the specific printer. I'm using one called Cura.

    You should also show him sites like Thingiverse where you can find thousands of designs other people have published which you can load into the slicer and print. Some you can load into Fusion 360 and modify before printing.

    There are loads of YouTube videos with 3D printer reviews as well.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2020
    PS in order to get started quickly you may also need a small SD card and reader for the OC if you can't connect the printer directly to the computer by USB, perhaps because they are in different rooms.
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2020
    Posted By: CWattersif you can't connect the printer directly to the computer by USB

    Maybe a quick way around hat would be to connect the printer to an R.Pi? I know they aren't famed for their USB prowess but a Pi Zero is a cheap experiment.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeDec 6th 2020
    I think some 3D printers might come with wifi. I still use an sd card because the 20 seconds or so it takes to plug in is nothing compared to how long it takes to print something.
    Interesting pointers, I'll have to read up on what you've suggested.

    Many thanks
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2020
    PS Watch out for scams. There are some sites selling 3D printers for like £20. You cant make them for that.
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