3d printing clamps, etc

Thinking about picking up a new 3d printer to play around with. I’m interested in making things likes clamps, jigs, etc. to use for work holding.

Just wondering what filament type people typically use for this? There’s so many options I’m finding it hard to figure out. Just wanted to make sure whichever printer I get supports the appropriate filaments.

So far the vast majority of my 3d printing experience has been with a resin printer, which is kind of a different animal.

PETG and PLA will get you pretty much all you need.

Some printers can print things like Polycarbonate or Nylon, but these are overkill for most shop applications.

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Thanks, very helpful.

Do you have a 3d printer, or any recommendations on which one to get?

I’m looking at the Bambu printers, as they seem to be plug and play. Slightly more expensive than similar choices but possibly worth it?

I have prusa that has served me well for many years but hear good things about Bambu from previous prusa owners.

PTEG is the way to go.

I have an older prusa. I really love it. No messing around or fidling with the machine to make it print.

I hear the same for Bambu labs, except their machines will be tougher to repair, so I would never get one.

I too have a Prusa (Mk4) and it runs flawless. PETG or PLA should work fine for what you are wanting to print. I’ve printed a bunch of L brackets using PETG that are holding up quite well.

It seems that the appeal of Prusa is the ability to repair / modify / upgrade / mess around with it on your own?

Whereas the Bambu is more ‘closed’, but also (possibly) a little more plug and play?

Looks like the Prusa MK4 with the enclosure kit is the same price as the Bambu X1 Carbon, give or take a few bucks.

The Prusa can be pretty much plug and play as well. The ability to upgrade and or repair it was the appeal to me.

You can build an enclosure with your cnc if you are wanting one. :wink:

But I’d say that you can’t go wrong with either one.

I was reading the Prusa forum and it appears that Prusa printers will now be made and sold in the USA as well. this should be a benefit to Prusa owners now.


Bambu Lab X1C owner here, have not owned any 3d printer before, but have borrowed one once.

The Bambu printers are called the iPhone of 3D printers and are mostly plug and play, but they do require maintenance once in a while (they will tell you when it is time to do so)

For Bambu Lab filaments there are presets in the Bambi slicer, but from my experience you will need to tweak parameters to get perfect results, as with any other 3d printer.

I am very happy with my X1C, and most of the problems I have had are wet filament and inexperienced user errors.

I have had one breakage so far due to a tangled spool of filament, it caused a feed motor in the AMS(multi material feeder) to stop working. Did some back and forth emailing with customer support, had to make a video of the problem and they sent me the replacement part.

Luckily I had ordered spares along with the printer, read on a forum that support and shipping of parts coul take a while, so I could get back up and running immediately and not have to wait.

PETG or PET-GF/CF seems good for clamps.

I’ve been FDM 3D printing for about 10 years, and I’m a long time customer and fan of Prusa and have owned Prusa printers since the i3 MK2. However, for the last year and a half I’ve been using Bambu printers and I’ve been blown away by the speed, reliability and ease of use of the machines.

Maintaining, tinkering, and upgrading 3D printers can easily become “the hobby” rather than making useful objects with the machine. For a lot of people that’s enjoyable but I simply don’t have the time anymore. I decided several years ago that I’d much prefer to have a machine that doesn’t require constant tinkering and both of the Bambu machines have been excellent in that regard. Every machine is going to require regular maintenance, but the maintenance on the Bambu printers is fairly painless and straightforward.

Both of my printers are in my garage workshop. Despite my best efforts to keep the air clean and free of sawdust, sawdust makes its way to the printers on occasion. The enclosures of the Bambu X1C and P1S are not airtight but they do a great job of keeping the dust out and I blast them with some compressed air to clean them off on a regular basis.

I’m really happy with my Bambu machines, but my rule of thumb for a lot of tools is to try and buy the cheapest version of the tool and use it until it breaks or no longer works for my needs. That gives me a chance to learn what features of the tool I really like and dislike and can help me make a more informed purchase of a nicer version of the tool later down the road. You could take that approach and buy an inexpensive printer on Amazon and make a lot of functional things from just PLA and then upgrade later down the road if you’re really enjoying the world of 3D printing.

Hope that helps!

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Thanks to everyone who responded, I really like hearing about people’s experiences, particularly from people who have had both Prusa and Bambu.

At this point I think I’m going to pick up the Bambu Labs P1S. Looks like it costs $599, or if I get the package with the AMS it’s $849.

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Too bad you just missed out on the anniversary sale Bambu had going.

You won’t be disappointed in the P1S! I love mine and the quality is every bit as good as my X1C. If you have questions when you get a printer feel free to send me a message!

:smiley: “Man, that’s harder than I’d slam a door!” :smiley:

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Yeah, that was a bit brutal.
There usually is a sale around black Friday.

I’m late here, but my input:

I’ve been 3D Printing for around 12 years now. I’ve seen or ran them all. :smiley: The Bambu Labs P/X Series are in-vogue at the moment and for good reason. We have 2 X1C’s with AMS at work and they are awesome.

As far as materials for clamps:

A - The C3D clamps really are great. Cost effective and strong. I have TONS of them and love them from the newer Essentials to the Crush-its. For the price you pay, you get a lot. The Essentials being fiber reinforced and injection molded are much stronger than 3D printed clamps, but if you hit one while machining, it’s not the end of your cutter.

That said, if you have something custom you need, I would go PETG. It is a bit more flexible, but more durable and better in a hot shop. I still employ a custom designed 3DP clamp when needed and can make some jobs easier.

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I have a Creality K1 Max. It is a good modern printer and they have OpenSource firmware available unlike Bambu Labs who lock their boards and AMS stuff down. If you get a K1 Max make sure it is one of the later revisions as the earlier ones have problems. Even then I had to do two mods to it. First I replaced the fixed bed with adjustment screws. That took buying some silicone bumpers and some M4 bolts. This allowed me to correct the bed tilt. Second I adjusted the extruder motor current. It is set higher than it needs to be for some reason and that causes the extruder to get hot which leads to jams when there are a lot of retracts in a print. Neither of these mods were particularly hard.

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I have a K1Max as well. Luckily it came with the newer extruder. I have also rooted it, done the bed leveling silicone springs, PEI bed, glass top spacers with vents, moved the filament path to be straighter, have a filament dryer/feeder box, and maybe a few other things done that I can’t recall. Typical Creality buy it, then modify it to make it work correctly routine. But I needed the 300 cubed volume. I know Bambu is locked down, but honestly if I factored in my time as money, the Bambu X1C/P1S are cheaper, faster, and get better results.

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Another vote for the Bambu series. They are repairable in the sense that you can buy plenty of spare parts from them, but the parts aren’t “print it yourself” in the way that the Prusas are. We have close to a dozen Bambus at work now after having a bunch of Prusas and Enders, and unless you really love tinkering the ability to set-and-forget and just focus on the modeling and working with the end result is well worth it.

You’ll find plenty more to create beyond workholding once you get going… And w/r/t workholding, I agree that the C3D pieces are affordable and do the job well, so if that’s truly all you’re after I’d recommend just buying up enough to well cover your projects and not worry about the 3D printing. If you do see the need for other little brackets/adapters/containers/whatever-ers, then it’s a good complementary skill/capability to have.

You’ll probably want to work with something like PLA-CF if you’re making “structural-ish” parts like a workholding piece. Look into filament driers while you’re at it - the new Eibos Polyphemus is spendy, but appears to have the best temerature control and heat distribution of what is available in 2024.

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