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Message started by Curious Aardvark on May 28th, 2019 at 8:00am

Title: what do you think ?
Post by Curious Aardvark on May 28th, 2019 at 8:00am
The computer business has more or less dried up. haven't had a new customer for weeks. The small amount of work from existing customers is barely breaking even.

So Had an idea this morning.
Hands on courses in 3d printing for beginners or people just curious about the technology.

I've currently got 4 working machines and one that needs repair.
Should have another on the way, as a chinese company sovol contacted me recently to sedn me their new machine for review and promotional purposes.

I have all the basic fdm types of printer.

So, you lot are as mixed a bag of individuals as I can think of, reckon it's a good idea ?
 

Title: Re: what do you think ?
Post by perpetualstudent on May 28th, 2019 at 11:48am
I don't know how big the "maker" movement is over in the UK. Here in the states you could probably do workshops like that if you were near a yuppie enough city center. You'd probably max out about 80 bucks a head. More than that would be too expensive. I don't know if that would come close to giving you the post tax income you want.

Personally, I'd be much more likely to take a course on foundry work or a machining course or blacksmithing. But I'm also skeptical about 3d printers.

Title: Re: what do you think ?
Post by Curious Aardvark on May 28th, 2019 at 12:40pm
skeptical in what way ?

Title: Re: what do you think ?
Post by perpetualstudent on May 28th, 2019 at 1:31pm
that they're a worthwhile addition to my toolshop. There's some really interesting stuff done with the metal sintering tech at the industrial level and the new wax printing to then be cast is somewhat interesting but I haven't been impressed with the 3d printer objects I've held.

Title: Re: what do you think ?
Post by vetryan15 on May 29th, 2019 at 6:06am
I think it would be worthwhile to try it. I know back before I moved in my area, the local library had a small free course with 3d printing.  Might want to check your local library to see if they offer a course like that. You might do better if you start up a small etsy shop just making little trinkets from the printers.

Title: Re: what do you think ?
Post by Kick on May 29th, 2019 at 10:07am
I think it could work. Finland loves its technology and Helsinki particularly with the huge new library building that opened this year having a lot of "maker" resources. Everything from 3D printers to large screen printers to sewing machines to tablet screens for drawing. All free to use if you book the times. They have a few instructional courses I think but if your area doesn't have anything similar it could be a gap in the market. You could even rent out a printer or two.

Title: Re: what do you think ?
Post by Rat Man on May 29th, 2019 at 12:57pm
   It sounds like a good idea to me. I know next to nothing about 3D printing.  I would like to know more. If you lived closer I'd take your course.

Title: Re: what do you think ?
Post by perpetualstudent on May 29th, 2019 at 1:15pm
Renting out (with option to buy?) Now that's a solid idea Kick. I would be willing to rent a 3d printer see how it works, and talk to somebody more knowledgable than myself. Try out a few. I'd be willing to pay for that.

Title: Re: what do you think ?
Post by Camo-sling on May 31st, 2019 at 11:23pm
Great idea.

There's clearly a market for 3D printing judging by the amount of online classes available. But perhaps there aren't enough hands on experiences or print centres to nurture the demand.

We have a large office supply chain in Australia who has combined the two in-store.

Title: Re: what do you think ?
Post by Curious Aardvark on Jun 3rd, 2019 at 5:58am

perpetualstudent wrote on May 28th, 2019 at 1:31pm:
that they're a worthwhile addition to my toolshop. There's some really interesting stuff done with the metal sintering tech at the industrial level and the new wax printing to then be cast is somewhat interesting but I haven't been impressed with the 3d printer objects I've held.


well it's plastic versus metal.
A lot of it depends who printed the object and what settings they used.

The hinged moulds I'm making are really solid. I'm using a much thicker skin, denser infill and a solid layer every 10 layers. This makes them really strong and solid feeling while still retaining the anti-shatter effect of a mesh infill.

My usual settings tend to produce much lighter objects.

It also depends what materials were used.

The brackets on my slinging target are made from a fairly stiff - but flexible - plastic. It's pretty much indestructible, incredibly tough, to the point that sanding it just doesn't work.
While being rigid enough to hold shape, but flex when necessary.

The metal sintering processes are almost as expensive as the laser sintering machines.

But again there are some seriously tough plastics around. The current bad boy is a material called PEEK.
Poly Ethylene, Ether Ketone.
It's frequently used as a direct metal replacement.
You do need a specialist machine to print with it. But if you bear in mind that peek can be used to make fully working injection moulds - then it comes back in perspective.

A really nice PEEK capable machine can be had for under $10,000 - when you consider that a machined aluminium mould can cost a few thousand bucks a pop - then the benefits are pretty clear.

For basic desktop printers, there are polyurethane plastics that produce parts easily lighter and stronger than injection moulded.

The thing is that 90% of people with 3d printers, haven't done any research, don't have a clue about anything beyond pla. pet-g and (spits) abs and don't really know how to print those properly either.


Title: Re: what do you think ?
Post by NooneOfConsequence on Jun 3rd, 2019 at 11:36pm
Well...  speaking as someone who started an e-commerce business on the side 3 years ago, itís a risky thing if you have to put food on the table with an untested venture.  You need to provide way more value to your customers than it costs them to hire you, and it takes time to build a reputation as a teacher. Do you enjoy teaching others? Is it something youíre good at and comfortable doing? How much money do you want to make and how many potential customers are in your area? What about teaching  online courses?

For reference, I looked up ď3D printingĒ on Skillshare.com, and there are 60 different courses but lots of gaps in what is being taught. None of them use OpenSCAD, so you might have a niche there. OpenSCAD is not something most people go looking for, so you would have to first explain why itís worth learning. Either way you could probably bring your own unique style and make compelling content around 3D printing or design for 3D prints (or printer repair) if you wanted to do online courses, but it would probably take a while to build up a customer base and start earning real money from it. If you donít need the money right away then you can grow slowly and have more fun with it.


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