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Best Buy 3D Printer
Earl Pancoast, Salem, N.J.: “My Creality Ender 3 v2 3D printer and Autodesk Fusion 360 software are real best buys. I’ve used the printer to make parts that I can’t find elsewhere, and the software lets me design them for 3D printing and for custom metal work I can’t do myself.
  “This spring I used the software to design seed stop covers to create different row spacing so I can use my older IH drill to plant soybeans. Seed stop covers are available for other drills, and I know farmers who get by with duct tape. The covers weren’t available for my drill, and I wanted a fix that would last, unlike duct tape.
  “There’s a free version of the software, but I’ve purchased the upgrade as I use it for both farm equipment and my combat robot building hobby.
  “Once I had the files ready (it exports either OBJ or STL file formats read by most 3D printing software), I used the Ender 3 to print them in IH red.
  “Seed stop covers for other older drills are available online for around $2 each. That’s about what it cost me for the plastic for each of mine.
  “I’ve used the Autodesk Fusion 360 to draw up files that I can send out for laser cutting of steel and aluminum parts. I send them to either OSH Cut in Orem, Utah, or SendCutSend in Reno, Nev. They each provide instant quotes and usually a 3-day turnaround.
  “When I first tried 3D printing, I borrowed printers from friends. However, my dad always said, ‘If you have to borrow a tool three times, you better buy it.’ I bought the Ender 3 for around $259. It was ready to go with everything I needed.”

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #5