(Topic ID: 114357)

Wolf's Beginner Guide to 3D Printing and Pinball

By Wolfmarsh

6 years ago


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    #1 6 years ago

    There have been a lot of posts about 3D printing lately, and someone suggested it might be neat to have a little guide to 3D printing, especially how it relates to pinball.

    I'll start by saying I'm not an expert at 3D printing or modeling, so I'd love it if others could offer up their suggestions/ideas. I'll incorporate them into the post(s).

    So, let's start with the basics.

    Different 3D printing methods

    First, the most popular among home machines is "Fused Deposition Modeling" (FDM for short). FDM is where a thermoplastic filament is slightly melted, extruded through a small nozzle, and deposited in layers to build up your object. Most home printers use this method. Here is an image from wikipedia that gives the general idea. Item 1 is the extruder, Item 2 is the deposited layers of plastic, and 3 is the build platform.

    A second method, that is popular with the higher end machines, is "Selective Laser Sintering" (SLS). With SLS, a layer of powder is deposited on the build surface, then a laser melts specific areas together. The build surface lowers a fraction of a millimeter, and more powder is deposited. Repeat until the object is built. Here are a couple short videos that shows how SLS works:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sFpSxX0SzgY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-6ItiCbYFvI

    Buying a Printer vs Using a Service (Shapeways)

    Most home printers will print using plastic filament and FDM. Services like Shapeways can afford higher end printers that offer higher resolution with SLS.

    For most of what I do, FDM and home printing will cover it. If I need a full color print or some very fine details like screw threads, I will order from Shapeways.

    If you decide to order your own printer, I highly recommend reading the Make Guide to 3D printers.

    I personally chose to go with a Printrbot Simple Metal Kit with a Heated Bed upgrade.

    10671323_10153440084203569_301079759855727570_n (1).jpg

    At first I was skeptical that one of the lowest cost printers would fill my needs, but I've come to learn that you only really sacrifice speed and maximum build size. If a 6"x6"x6" bed meets your size needs, I can't say enough about the Printrbot Simple Metal. It's a fantastic printer.

    The Process of Printing an Object

    The easiest way to get into 3D printing without having to model your own objects is to download pre-made models. A great source for this is Thingiverse. Pinball parts are starting to be pushed up to Thingiverse, so there is a small library starting to grow there.

    For example, here is a shooter lane that swinks designed. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:608164

    336893-i_preview_featured.jpg

    You download a .STL file of the model you want to print. It contains the geometry for the object in a language your next program can understand.

    Once you have the .STL file, you feed it to a slicing program. A slicing program takes a 3D model and cuts it into the layers you need to feed to the 3D printer. I use Slic3r.

    Here is a quick example of how it works, you can see the model on the left, and the sliced version on the right.

    Figure2_Rapid_prototyping_slicing.jpg

    Once your object has been sliced, you can generate a G-code file, which is the common language that CNC machines use.

    A G-code file looks like this:

    G1 X52.008 Y54.121 E2.04455
    G1 X51.948 Y52.484 E2.13013
    G1 X51.969 Y52.373 E2.13608
    G1 X52.042 Y50.606 E2.22844
    G1 X52.067 Y50.514 E2.23342
    G1 X52.258 Y48.934 E2.31658
    G1 X52.708 Y48.561 E2.34712
    G1 X52.998 Y48.608 E2.36247
    G1 X54.421 Y48.632 E2.43686
    G1 X54.532 Y48.659 E2.44282

    This example is a bunch of G1 commands that tell the machine to move to a specific X position, a specific Y position, and to Extrude a specific amount of filament.

    Then the G-code file gets loaded into a printer control software, and slowly fed to the printer as it prints your object.

    I use a Raspberry PI to control my printer, running a special image called OctoPi. It gives me a web interface to my printer. You can learn more about OctoPrint and OctoPi here: http://octoprint.org/download/

    If everything worked well, you get real objects from the models:

    DSC01345 (Medium).JPG

    If things don't go well, you end up with a bunch of trash plastic. It happens. I woke up from an overnight print one night with a giant spaghetti ball of filament.

    Here is a pic of some of my failures when I first started.

    10689621_10153440084268569_1708276184856761357_n (1).jpg

    I'm sure there are a lot more that need to be added to this, so I'll continue to edit as people post and offer suggestions.

    Please post if you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer it, or find the answer for you.

    Hope you are having a great new year!

    #7 6 years ago
    Quoted from terryb:

    Are you using ABS or PLA?

    I use both. PLA is so much easier to print with than ABS. ABS parts have more "give" to them without breaking, so they seem to be more durable in mechanical assemblies.

    Quoted from terryb:

    The reason I'm asking is that I'm curious if PLA is clear enough that it could be used with a 3D pen to repair broken ramps. Of course adhesion would be the other issue.

    Not sure. I have a spool of crystal clear on the way, should be here in the next couple of days. It's for testing lighting with swinks's shooter lanes. What material are ramps normally made out of? I might be able to suggest a solvent mixture that would complement a plastic repair from one of the 3D pens.

    Quoted from terryb:

    Also, any experience with 3D scanners?

    Not yet. I think my next purchase will be a scanner. There are a couple $500 range ones that I've had my eye on. For example: http://cubify.com/en/Products/Sense

    Quoted from Vyzer2:

    Slightly ot...I arrange for cargo from the Far East to the USA. Someday, goods that are produced overseas are going to be sent via the Internet. One could visualize large factories in the USA with massive 3d printers making everything from toys to knick knacks to whatever.
    3D printing...only now, in its earliest infancy.

    Not OT at all! I agree with your vision. The example I usually give to people is the Sears parts desk. For years, you've been able to go to a Sears parts center and order a replacement part for a mower, etc... With 3D printing, I can totally see them selling the 3D version of the model for 1/4 the price of the real one, and it feeds directly to your printer. Order the part online, feed it to the printer, and have your part inside of an hour without ever leaving the house.

    #11 6 years ago
    Quoted from BloodyCactus:

    I use ABS glue on glass with a heated bed. I've tried kapton, hairspray etc but ABS glue made all my warping go away.

    I use the purple elmer's glue stick on Kapton with both PLA and ABS. Completely eliminated my warping. I've also broken parts in half trying to get them unstuck, lol.

    I'm jealous of your build volume. 6"x6"x6" is good for 99% of what I do, but there have been a couple opportunities where I wish I had a solid 12" in at least one axis. The printrbot seems like I could upgrade the Z to a foot or two taller and still be alright, so I may explore that.

    Quoted from pinballsmith:

    I'm another advocate for 3D printing. I'm about 4-5 years into the hobby and I'm about to upgrade to something with better micron resolution. It's definitely a good skill to know now and even more so in the near future.

    What kind of printer do you use?

    #15 6 years ago
    Quoted from BloodyCactus:

    Ive heard issues of sagging arms on all printrbot versions, something to keep an eye on, I beleive its lesser in the metal but still something to be aware of.

    Hmmm, that's something for me to consider. Thanks for the heads up!

    #16 6 years ago
    Quoted from HHaase:

    Rostock Max V2 for my printer here.
    Mostly been printing ABS so far, as I use it mostly for soldering jigs right now and PLA is much less heat resistant.
    -Hans

    Those delta style printers are fascinating to watch. The math behind them must be pretty cool. Again, jealous of such a large build volume!

    #19 6 years ago
    Quoted from PhilC:

    Anyone want to help design and print some parts for a fee? I need a few EM game parts that are unobtainium and would be willing to provide samples/drawings to have them reproduced. I am not knowledgeable of 3d design at all.

    If time isn't an issue, I might be able to help toward the end of January.

    Quoted from TigerLaw:

    I would do the same with Varkon plastics...can you even print plastics with a 3D printer?

    What do you mean? Like flat clear plastics? Just want to be sure before I answer.

    #22 6 years ago
    Quoted from bpull:

    Hi wolf! How's the heated bed working for you? I just ordered one for my printer bot simple in hopes that it help with some of my larger prints from curling up.

    I love the heated bed. Granted, I've never printed without it, but there was a period where I was figuring out what bed temp works best for ABS. The bed can't reliably hold 100 degrees C, so I have it set to 90C for printing ABS, and 60C for PLA.

    What methods are you using to secure your first layer down?

    #24 6 years ago
    Quoted from bpull:

    So far I have only printed PLA. I'm using mostly default print settings and configurations from the printrbot website. I've messed around a bit with putting down the first layer a little hotter then the rest on masking tape secured to the bed. I've found that some of my PLA filament colors run better at different temps so I'm trying to keep a log of those. For example the clear and glow in the dark filament print better near 200 while my black and blues print better at 205 to 208. I just got my machine around thanksgiving and I'm trying to learn and soak up as much info as I can to make good successful prints.
    What a cool and exciting machine though. I'm having a blast with it!

    The thing that ended all of my warping was using Elmer's purple glue stick over the tape/kapton.

    I bought big sticks from amazon: amazon.com link »

    With the tape instead of kapton, you'll probably have to replace it after each print. With the kapton, I just wipe the bed off with alcohol to remove any glue residue, then run the glue stick over it again. I do it in a cross-hatch pattern.

    A friend of mine swears by aqua net hairspray, but I'm not interested in the overspray going everywhere. I like the glue sticks a lot. Give it a try if you haven't already!

    #27 6 years ago
    Quoted from PhilC:

    Time is most certainly not an issue. I most importantly need a turret knob for a midway flying turns, thats not going to be produced. Ever.

    Cool. Message me around the end of January to remind me and we will see what I can do.

    1 week later
    #29 6 years ago
    Quoted from CraZyMuffin:

    The one issue I am running into is wrapping my head around how to calibrate/set the layer WIDTH. I found some calibration objects for making a 1 layer wall, so you can use a micrometer to check the layer width, and also some "plug" objects to test how well 2 objects fit together. When I print the plugs, they don't fit together (the objects were printed too big).

    I forgot what the measured width of the 1 layer wall was, but it was also bigger then I was expecting.

    I guess my question is, with the simple metal and .040" extruder, what is the width SUPPOSED to be on a normal print? I guess I just assumed it would be around .040 with default settings. (extruder multiplier at 1.0x)

    I see in another post you mentioned: "When the printer lays down a layer, it usually squishes out a bead of filament that is 0.6mm wide." So is that the normal width and what I should be aiming for?

    I don't use Repetier, but I can give you the info on how it works in Slic3r, I bet it's pretty similar. Slic3r does some math based on your layer height to determine the best width to extrude at.

    The nozzle actually has a flat part that is wider than the hole the filament comes out of. Reference my horrible MSPaint drawing below. The red filament is coming out of the 0.4mm hole, but the head of the extruder is actually like 1.5mm wide, so it squishes it flat.

    When you print the wall calibration object, you want to manually set it to extrude 0.4mm wide so you can measure the width of the single wall object to make sure its 0.4mm. That's basically testing that you are extruding the amount of filament that the computer thinks it's telling the printer to do. Another good test is the 100mm extrude test. Google it for a better description than I could ever type up.

    I normally leave the thickness set to automatically be determined by Slic3r, which is what I recommend unless you have a specific need to print a certain wall thickness. Bear in mind that the number of perimeters/shells * the extrude thickness for perimeters will be your final "shell" thickness. So if you set it to extrude .4mm and have 3 perimeters, you will typically expect to have a 1.2mm thick shell.

    For the parts fitting, I've seen them recommend to change the extrusion width on the external perimeters to something less than 0.4mm, but I felt that made the problem worse. What that is doing is not only changing the math for the gcode, but also forcing it to slightly under-extrude, making the outer perimeter thinner, and thus making the parts fit.

    tl;dr - let it be automatic.

    nozzle.jpg

    #31 6 years ago
    Quoted from CraZyMuffin:

    being percetages it threw me off.. but now I know what to play with here! Thanks!

    Hah, totally slipped my mind that Repetier uses Slic3r. Yeah, that's the area to mess with. I've got all of mine set to 0.

    #41 6 years ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    Is it cool if I put this info on the Pinball Makers wiki?

    Of course!

    3 weeks later
    #45 6 years ago

    Saw a good article today that compares one of the more expensive printers against the cheap king, Printrbot Metal Simple.

    http://makezine.com/2015/02/06/can-a-600-3d-printer-beat-a-20000-machine/

    The comparison isn't 100% fair, because the more expensive printer would have a much easier job of printing specific objects, but it summarizes what I've found out.

    There's no need to wait for a $3,000 super tech-y, scanner, laser equipped beast. The $600 printrbot simple metal is fantastic, especially for the price.

    1 month later
    #48 6 years ago

    Thanks a ton bpull! I put in my order for the free insulator.

    1 week later
    #51 6 years ago

    Thought I would post this here to share my experience with an issue on the Printrbot Printrboard, and also show that repairing surface mount components isn't too bad.

    After the last print I ran a couple of weeks ago, my Z-stop was showing always triggered, even if the probe wasn't sensing the print bed.

    A bunch of searching led me to this post:

    http://help.printrbot.com/Answers/View/14719/Z-Axis+only+moves+up%2C+Z-stop+always+triggered#answer14720

    Turns out, mine failed much more spectacularly. My z probe had an internal failure that also blew the transistor it drove, causing a dead short that blew a trace on the PCB as well.

    I was being a little lazy and didn't pull out the hot air station, so this repair was done with just a pencil soldering iron. You'll have to excuse it being a little crooked.

    Here is the replaced transistor:

    ReplacedTransistor.jpg

    Here is the 12V trace repair, not too different from pinball:

    12VRepair.jpg

    I took a couple of other steps in the repair as well. I replaced the z probe with a new one. I also added a 220 Ohm resistor inline in the red sensor line in the Z-Probe cable. Based on some of the reading in that post I linked from the printrbot site, I agree with their assessment that the z-probe can fail and feedback to the transistor. I used a beefier part but also added the resistor to give a little protection to the line if the new probe fails internally like the old one did.

    The printer is back up and running and already printing stuff again.

    tl;dr - If you have a printrbot simple metal, consider adding a resistor on the red sensor line on the z-probe connection. Also, repairing surface mount is not as scary as everyone makes it out to be, even with a standard pencil iron.

    EDIT - I also added the free heated bed insulator kit, and I confirmed my bed can sit at 100 degrees now, but that's about it.

    3 months later
    #55 6 years ago
    Quoted from radium:

    We just got a printrbot simple at the office. I don't know why. Maybe I'll have some use for it.
    Thanks for the great writeup. Hadn't heard about OctoPi. Going to suggest we consider that since it will be in a shared environment (this will end well).

    OctoPi is definitely the way to go for a printrbot, IMO. In the past 6 months it's gotten a lot of feature upgrades.

    Enjoy your printer! If you want something cool to print to test it out, check out this T-REX skull. It's one of my favorite prints. It was designed to be optimized for a 3D printer with proper curves and overhangs. It prints fantastic.

    http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:308335

    1 month later
    #58 6 years ago
    Quoted from Jackster:

    Tips on getting a really nice first layer? I've got a robo3d printer, and the first layer is always a little rough. I have a heated bed, using pla 70c on the bed 215 on the pla. Using hairspray to make it stick better. First layer always seems to have skips in it and doesnt seem to adhear well. I do skirts around the object which has helped a lot. Right now I'm printing some add ons for the printer itself, so I'm not that concerned, but I'd like to get it fine tuned...

    Can you post a pic of your first layer? I can probably help, but the visual helps tremendously.

    #60 6 years ago

    What are your M212 values?

    #62 6 years ago

    If you have a connection to it, you should be able to do M501 and get a list of the values.

    #64 6 years ago

    Haven't used any exotics yet. Haven't really had a project to use them on yet.

    1 week later
    #67 6 years ago

    I hadn't seen those! That's pretty awesome, I think I might be ordering the X one at least.

    Thanks for posting!

    1 week later
    #73 6 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    Wolf are you still printing PLA and ABS directly to Kapton with purple glue stick? I hadn't seen this method before and I like the simplicity and cleanliness of it. I think I have developed a slight levelling issue to compound the problem, but the new Kapton I recently applied seems to be worse at bonding than the kapton my printer first came with.

    Yes, for 99% of my pieces I print on Kapton with a layer of purple glue stick. It works beautifully, sometimes too well. I've learned to adjust the "thickness" of the glue stick layer. I put more layers for smaller pieces that are easier to pop off, and thinner layers of glue for large pieces that have a lot of surface area touching the table.

    Sometimes I will use the straight kapton with no glue, but if I do that I use naptha to make sure the kapton is 100% clean of any oils and contaminants, that seems to help.

    Quoted from winteriscoming:

    One issue I have with many of the prints is the finish.

    I personally don't think the finish is that big of a deal. If you get your printer dialed in, it's almost invisible from more than a foot away.

    #75 6 years ago

    How did you attach your glass? What thickness did you get?

    #80 6 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    Whatever thickness you use you make an identical 3D printed 'stopper' for the z-axis to prevent the heads from running into the bed.

    Oh man, it's like you can see the big gouges in my metal bed or something....

    My Z sensor failed a while back.

    gouges.jpg

    #81 6 years ago
    Quoted from Law:

    Any input on this? I'm pretty much looking for a way to save/export complex curves using lower-resolution meshes. I've not had much luck finding an appropriate and available tool to date.

    I don't know enough about 3D modeling to have needed a tool like this, so I've got nothin.

    #82 6 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    The metal spatula is awesome for breaking parts free from the bed

    This is what I use, not joking.

    71wiAXXM2FL._SL1500_.jpg

    #86 6 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    Wolf have you ever done any work on your extruder(s)? I feel like I've been lucky enough to not have to touch mine. If it ain't broke don't fix it is my motto and so far... it ain't broke.

    Unfortunately, yes.

    My prints started going downhill about 3 months ago. I was having to run the temp up to 210C-215C to print with PLA and even then, my extruder was jamming and having extrusion problems.

    I was on an older version of the Printrbot extruder. Even after changing the feed gear and the extruder tip, I was still having issues. I ended up just buying one of their new Ubis 13 metal hot ends and swapping out the entire thing. While I was doing that, I changed the belts, the Z-nut and threaded rod, and just generally tightened and adjusted everything.

    It prints better now than it did when I first bought it. I've always read that extruder nozzles, belts, etc... are items that wear and should be replaced on a schedule, but I guess I thought it would manifest differently.

    In the end, I've learned that next time I have extruder jams and I'm starting to have to raise the temp to print, just go ahead and replace the extruder hot end and use that as my schedule for doing the other maintenance on the machine as well.

    #90 6 years ago

    I use slic3r exclusively, and I use an Octopi setup to run the machine over wifi.

    It's even accessible from the internet so I can control and monitor it remotely.

    My machine accepts straight gcode though, so I don't have to do the post processing conversion.

    #94 6 years ago
    Quoted from sd_tom:

    Just almost finished my dual extruders (e3d v6) upgrade (mods arent just for pinball) w/ auto bed leveling (well tramming).

    Very nice!! The auto leveling is critical, and one reason I've stayed away from the glass bed. I don't have to use rafts at all because of it.

    #99 6 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    Also: I tried out the gluestick on kapton last night with a quick PLA test print. Very impressive results. I also just ordered a glass sheet after claiming how I didn't "need" one... apparently I love spending hobby money

    Glad you like the glue stick.

    I'm still iffy on the glass. I'm not having any problems with kapton and glue stick, so I'm hesitant to change anything. I'm also about to upgrade my X-axis to add a couple more inches.

    #102 6 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    With the glue stick I can't wait to try out some ABS prints that used to curl up over time

    ABS is what really made me try the glue stick in the first place. It fixed my ABS problems. Let us know how it goes with both the glass and the kapton/glue on the ABS!

    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    I would contest that the cleanup and application of the glue is easier than blue tape

    If you are willing to wait 30 seconds, it's even easier. I typically wet a paper towel and lay it on the kapton/glue for 30 seconds. Use that paper towel to wipe it up, then a dry towel and some alcohol to do the final clean.

    I've tried medical alcohol wipes, they work great but they don't pull up a lot of glue, just kinda smears it around.

    #106 6 years ago
    Quoted from BloodyCactus:

    if you have not, check out Repetier host. its free (windows/linux/mac).
    http://www.repetier.com/

    I run mine off of a Raspberry Pi running Octopi/Octoprint.

    It's got a lot of cool features that let you remotely access the printer from the web, etc...

    http://octoprint.org/

    1 week later
    #115 6 years ago

    What did you end up using for the z-sensor shim?

    1 month later
    #131 5 years ago
    Quoted from nerbflong:

    I want to see the Stargate 3D printed!

    Gimme just a minute to take a video, it's all working now.

    I wanted to post my recommendation for printer. I haven't tested any of the other ones mentioned here, but I have to put in a really good word for my Printrbot Simple Metal. It's a damn beast. It's not the fastest printer out there, and it's not the most feature loaded, but if you want a solid printer that will let you print day #1 and continue to work for thousands of hours, consider a Simple Metal.

    It's a great entry printer with a heated bed, and auto z-probe. That prevents you from having to level the bed by hand.

    They've also recently released axis extensions that make it larger than 6" cube.

    Seriously consider it, it's given me a lot of great life. I've printed for 2500+ hours now, and I've only had to do one rebuild. It's served me really well. Plus, I know enough about it to help you tune it to be a really accurate printing machine.

    #132 5 years ago

    Ok, the Stargate. This is the model I used: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:571853

    Here is a pic of the base printing, it is pretty elaborate:

    printing_base.jpg

    Then came the tons of parts that needed to be printed. After I printed and got the main track together, I slacked and didn't take any more pictures. Suffice it to say it took the better part of a week to print the dozens of pieces for the wholething.

    track.jpg

    assembled_track.jpg

    After I got it all together I tried the code linked to from that thingiverse link above, but their code didn't use a micro stepping mode and made the whole thing chatter really bad. I slowed the stepper down and put it in microstepping mode to smooth out the dialing. I ended up really liking how slow it goes through the dialing sequence, taking minutes in some cases. It makes it a more interesting piece that way I think.

    Here is a video of it booting up, cycling the RGB leds, and then starting to dial. My workbench is a little embarrassing right now, I'm rearranging the garage, so it's become littered with crap.

    PS - Enjoy the funk.

    #134 5 years ago
    Quoted from swinks:

    would make a awesome topper

    It's going to go up there on my Stargate once I figure out a good way to mount it. It also occasionally gets stuck. If I had to do it again I would slightly modify some of the files to give them beveled edges.

    3 months later
    #146 5 years ago

    Congrats on getting the printer!

    What's the coolest thing you've printed so far?

    2 months later
    #158 5 years ago

    My 360 Kinect works great with Skanect. I'm on Win 10.

    1 month later
    #175 5 years ago

    Aluminum bed with kapton film and gluestick is what I use.

    I rely on the autoleveling probe to detect the bed, so I can't use a glass plate without modifying some things.

    2 months later
    #182 5 years ago

    Looks like its Kapton sheet.

    I prefer Kapton over anything, especially for a printrbot.

    https://printrbot.com/shop/kapton-tape-squares/

    #184 5 years ago

    The kapton sheets last a very long time. It will last as long as you don't damage it by cutting it or something.

    My trick for amazing prints on it is to clean the kapton with alcohol to get all the oils off.

    Then, if it's a part with a lot of surface area touching the kapton I will just print from there. If it's a part with a lot of details touching the build plate, or any kind of support material, I will take a regular purple glue stick and run it over the kapton in a cross hatch pattern to get a little extra hold power.

    After a few prints I clean the old glue stick off with alcohol and repeat.

    #186 5 years ago

    If you don't put the glue stick on the kapton, the print should just pop right off.

    With the glue stick it is possible to stick it down too hard, heh. I have a pair of channel lock pliers with strips of rag around them to torque pieces off the plate if need be.

    7 months later
    #190 4 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    This instructable is great because they start with two cheap ikea tables that are only $8 a piece. Add some polycarbonate walls and a door on hinges, and you have something very practical and cheap..

    I really like that.

    1 month later
    #198 4 years ago
    Quoted from Half_Life:

    Any suggestions on 3D modeling software? I've goofed around with SketchUp but it was not for 3D printing purposes.

    Fusion 360. Free and awesome.

    #202 4 years ago

    Also check this one out:

    #204 4 years ago
    Quoted from herg:

    Is it actually free? I've been using Sketchup, but after watching tutorial videos on Fusion 360, I'm ready to migrate. It keeps talking about "trial" and "30 days", though. I also see $300 per year on one page. Is there a stripped down version that you're using?

    It is free for hobbyists or companies that make less than $100,000 with the software under the Startup license, or used to be. I can research more when I get back. It looks like they had some changes in Nov 2016, but they still reference the Startup license on their site in a bunch of places.

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