I love my M3D!
At first I could not really see what I was going to use the printer for, except from printing knobs. Now i have got loads of ideas for things related to this project I can print.
The first thing I printed was the knobs for the Overhead. My printer is a second hand printer and came with a roll of ABS fillament. The first thing I noticed was that the ABS would not stick to the printers bed. I started to put a thin layer of glue on the bed and got it to stick enough to get the print done without the object moving through the process.
The next problem I discovered was that the ABS were bending upwards as the prints got a bit wider. This did not affect the knobs I was printing, but the moment I tried to print the Fire handles it was a problem that had to be solved. Since the M3D bed is not heated, there were really no workaround for that problem.
After printing a test version of the firepanels i suddenly discovered that the ABS cracked between 2 layers. I tried to repair it bu using clue without any success. I then decided to order PLA.
I have done a couple of tests, and I have to say the PLA looks much better than the ABS. No bending, cracking or letting go of the bed. I'm printing out a fire handle as we speek and so far it looks pretty good.
I also printed some anounciateors for the firepanels and they look quite good for version one - I think. I also have started the design for holders of the PCB's in the overhead so I can get those secured inside my metal overhead frame. I'm also thinking of using led strips for the backliting of the panels. I think I will try to come up with some kind of bracket that could be fasten behind the panels.
So if you ask me - you will need a 3D printer if you start a project that is not verry common. By choosing the M3D, the printer will cost you about 300 dollars and you get decent results even if the printer i quite slow.
Hope this helps for those of you playing with the thought of making your own project real.