Laptop for 3d printing

Jeremy A.K.
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9/6/2022 9:06am Edited Date/Time 9/7/2022 9:04am
After some helpful information from my other thread I've realized my old acer just doesn't have what it takes to run either program. I was hoping if I posted the specs from the softwares website that someone could guide me in the right direction. Of course cost is something I'm trying to work around as well. I'd like to stick with windows based version as well. If you have time to look and have some advice thank you in advance ,I know how precious time is these days.



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JM485
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9/6/2022 12:00pm
I would recommend looking for some refurbished Dell laptops either on the Dell Refurbished site or on Ebay. I have an almost 10 year old Dell Latitude brick of a laptop that I got a few years ago for around $200, it's not state of the art but it's got a powerful i7 processor and 16Gb of RAM. It's enough to run Fusion 360 and other CAD programs pretty easily, but not setting the world on fire compared to today's performance. I wouldn't go any lower than the specs that I have, or your CAD experience may suffer a bit.

Most of the refurbished laptops just come from large companies that lease them from Dell, then when the lease is up Dell will refurbish them and sell them for a pretty deep discount. You can get great deals on machines that are pretty much good as new functionally, but may have some minor cosmetic defects from normal wear and tear. Obviously as you look at the newer generation laptops the prices begin to go up, but if you're not worried about having the latest model you can get a very capable machine without breaking the bank.

If you look through the link below you can set the search parameters however you'd like, I would just select anything with an i7+ processor, 16GB ram, etc to narrow the search and go from there.

https://www.dell.com/en-us/dfh/shop/dell-refurbished/cp/outlet
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TeamGreen
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Thru-out, CA US
9/6/2022 2:22pm
JM485 wrote:
I would recommend looking for some refurbished Dell laptops either on the Dell Refurbished site or on Ebay. I have an almost 10 year old Dell...
I would recommend looking for some refurbished Dell laptops either on the Dell Refurbished site or on Ebay. I have an almost 10 year old Dell Latitude brick of a laptop that I got a few years ago for around $200, it's not state of the art but it's got a powerful i7 processor and 16Gb of RAM. It's enough to run Fusion 360 and other CAD programs pretty easily, but not setting the world on fire compared to today's performance. I wouldn't go any lower than the specs that I have, or your CAD experience may suffer a bit.

Most of the refurbished laptops just come from large companies that lease them from Dell, then when the lease is up Dell will refurbish them and sell them for a pretty deep discount. You can get great deals on machines that are pretty much good as new functionally, but may have some minor cosmetic defects from normal wear and tear. Obviously as you look at the newer generation laptops the prices begin to go up, but if you're not worried about having the latest model you can get a very capable machine without breaking the bank.

If you look through the link below you can set the search parameters however you'd like, I would just select anything with an i7+ processor, 16GB ram, etc to narrow the search and go from there.

https://www.dell.com/en-us/dfh/shop/dell-refurbished/cp/outlet
Another “Refurb” recommendation…

Get something “fairly current” with an extended warranty and get a fair amount of RAM and a decent hard drive/solid state storage for your files. All of these things will makes sense when you start working with ridiculously huge SW files.
Grinning
JM485
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9/6/2022 8:22pm
I would have two gripes with that one:

1. 10 key is a must for me. When I’m doing CAD work and typing in dimensions I absolutely have to have a number keypad, trying to find them up on the top row of the keyboard only is a no-go for me.

2. I swear everything HP that I use is garbage. That may not be everyone’s experience, but I won’t touch their laptops for that reason, your opinion may vary though that’s just my personal deal haha.

Aside from that it will work for what you want, unless you’re planning on doing some huge files like TG alluded to then you may want something better. A great way to compare different laptops is to look up the benchmark score of the processor. If you google “CPU benchmark comparison” a number of options should pop up, you can search for the processor in various laptops you find and compare how they rank. The higher the score the better.
2

The Shop

philG
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9/7/2022 1:53am
I am using CAD based measurement software all day long and its a big +1 on the 10 pad.


A good friend of mine started printing stuff for fun, about 5 years ago, and we did some airbox boots to convert an MX airbox to use a big cone filter for SM. Printed 3hp , but took 5 attempts to get it right, there were others but ours was the only one that had a air temp sensor mount in the right place.


My former work, we were 3D printing in Titanium, and had the biggest plastic printer in the UK, which they seemed to think was well used printing plastic pineapples...

My buddy said ' do stuff that has to work', rather than printing tat that you can buy for $1. He made all sorts of things to learn the techniques, and ended up doing stuff for a few race teams , even though he was a hobby guy.

He also said that buying used stuff off someone who is further down the rabbit hole than you are can save a ton of money, because the biggest problem home printers have is room.


Obviously a 3D forum will give you more answers, but some times , you just need a steer , not a bit by bit decode .

2
Not-a-Fan
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UpMeOwnBum, CA US
9/7/2022 9:04am
JM485 wrote:
I would have two gripes with that one: 1. 10 key is a must for me. When I’m doing CAD work and typing in dimensions I...
I would have two gripes with that one:

1. 10 key is a must for me. When I’m doing CAD work and typing in dimensions I absolutely have to have a number keypad, trying to find them up on the top row of the keyboard only is a no-go for me.

2. I swear everything HP that I use is garbage. That may not be everyone’s experience, but I won’t touch their laptops for that reason, your opinion may vary though that’s just my personal deal haha.

Aside from that it will work for what you want, unless you’re planning on doing some huge files like TG alluded to then you may want something better. A great way to compare different laptops is to look up the benchmark score of the processor. If you google “CPU benchmark comparison” a number of options should pop up, you can search for the processor in various laptops you find and compare how they rank. The higher the score the better.
Same here on points 1 and 2. My HP laptop didn't last long at all either. Makes it hard to want to try another one.
1
Luxon MX
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9/7/2022 6:37pm
Most modern laptops $350 or more will be adequate for CAD work from a memory and RAM standpoint, but will fail miserably in the graphics department. The vast majority of SolidWorks crashes are caused by graphics issues, and the best way around that is by making sure you're getting a good graphics card. Unfortunately, that usually means a $1300+ laptop to get a proper dedicated Open GL graphics card.

Those are brand new prices, though, and you can get refurbished or used laptops for a good deal if you look around. The Dell Precision line is great and what we've been using for 15+ years now. So long as you're getting an Open GL card (Nvidia Quadro typically), 8+ Gb of RAM, an i7 or so processor, and ideally a SSD, then it will work really well for SolidWorks and whatever software you use for your 3D printer. An older generation Precision laptop will work just fine, even one three or four generations old. Those can be had for less than $500. The Dell 75XX series is a 17" screen with the number keypad. Here's one for only $360:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/304588154786

(I only looked for 2 minutes for an example, there may be much better ones available!)
1
Jeremy A.K.
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North Tonawanda, NY US
9/18/2022 1:45pm
Luxon MX wrote:
Most modern laptops $350 or more will be adequate for CAD work from a memory and RAM standpoint, but will fail miserably in the graphics department...
Most modern laptops $350 or more will be adequate for CAD work from a memory and RAM standpoint, but will fail miserably in the graphics department. The vast majority of SolidWorks crashes are caused by graphics issues, and the best way around that is by making sure you're getting a good graphics card. Unfortunately, that usually means a $1300+ laptop to get a proper dedicated Open GL graphics card.

Those are brand new prices, though, and you can get refurbished or used laptops for a good deal if you look around. The Dell Precision line is great and what we've been using for 15+ years now. So long as you're getting an Open GL card (Nvidia Quadro typically), 8+ Gb of RAM, an i7 or so processor, and ideally a SSD, then it will work really well for SolidWorks and whatever software you use for your 3D printer. An older generation Precision laptop will work just fine, even one three or four generations old. Those can be had for less than $500. The Dell 75XX series is a 17" screen with the number keypad. Here's one for only $360:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/304588154786

(I only looked for 2 minutes for an example, there may be much better ones available!)
Laptop arrived yesterday, I drew a few things on fusion 360 after the kids went to bed . My first project is a choke lever for my buddies 2004 proXR..
Thanks again guys.
2
Jeremy A.K.
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9/20/2022 1:38pm

I got to mess around with fusion 360 a little but, I was messing around with the canvas insert . I think I'm gonna like this software.

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