Ready to buy tonight but ... questions

I’m just about ready to commit my hard earned cash for lulzbot mini printer. Can’t turn down free shipping :wink: Just have a few question before I do.
Done some research on the technology however I’m still not clear about a few things. How smooth of a surface and finish can I expect on a model from the mini and what is the best material to achieve this? I will be printing a master then making a mould of it and I really loth sanding. Most models I have in mind are rather simple yet I have very limited CAD/CAM experience. Additionally, I have a Mac computer. Are there programs I can use on my Mac? One more thing. Is there software that will let me import existing images files and render it to a printable file?

If you print parts using ABS you can do this:

Regarding Mac’s - click here:
You’ll see everything you need to work with Macs there.

yes - you can download other people’s stl files and print them. That’s what this place is all about:

There is a lot of good free software that also works on mac. 123d design is very good for free software (from autodesk) that has a mac version for example. FreeCAD and blender are also good free software with mac versions. All of these have TONS of youtube instructional videos. I just wish they had good manuals.

You will want to do cleanup before using a 3d printed part to make a mold. The surface imperfections will carry over to the mold process. You can fix a lot of this by printing at .1 mm layer height if you don’t mind a slow print. For making a master mold part you probably don’t mind that extra startup time.

I find that flat tops are about the worst for surface quality (assuming you don’t do bridging or steep overhangs) but they are also easy to smooth.

Vapor smoothing as shown by the other poster is amazing, but limits you to ABS filament. For master mold parts, this should not be a problem. Just realize that vapor smoothing is a tradeoff of detail for surface finish, but really any form of sanding/smoothing is a tradeoff.

Thanks you both for your replies. Indeed the vapour trick is impressive. I just thinking my budget limits me to the small xyz axis. Something I may regret down the road. :confused:
Thanks again :slight_smile:

Bought it. Took a real kicking on the CDN dollar exchanged rate :open_mouth:

Went to the post office. Parcel in!!! Yes!!! To my disappointment it was just the 2 rolls of filament I order with the printer. :frowning:
Maybe tomorrow…

Lol…Canadian dollar :frowning: Waiting to here back from a few design competitions hosted in the US, pays to win money at times likes this :stuck_out_tongue: Not to buy.

Lol…Canadian dollar :frowning: Waiting to here back from a few design competitions hosted in the US, pays to win money at times likes this :stuck_out_tongue: Not to buy.

congrats on your purchase, great choice!

Thanks! Wasn’t that long ago the dollar was at par. At least they have a Canadian presence so I didn’t get nailed with duty.
Had a few stumbles out of the gate but I’m very happy with the mini. My biggest regret is size ( Thats what she said :unamused: )
As soon as the Taz 5 or 6 has the auto level I’m buying one. Hopefully by then the the dollar will be at $1.15 :wink:

Yep. But it’s not made to be a large printer. The ultimate combo is a mini and a Taz, all you need unless you’re doing production work.

Canadian dollar was on par for so long, like a year or two, got too pampered, it honestly hurts now looking at the final checkout tallies… I actually have to cut back on US orders.