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3D Printers

paris_tj

Iron
Registered Member
#1
I am looking at getting/building one but wow they are a bunch. Which is the best to get now days for a person on a budget? Any suggestions or links appreciated. I have a CNC mill so if I need to machine parts that is no big deal.
 

coherent

Active Member
Active Member
#6
I rolled the dice and bought a Flashforge creator clone off of ebay by a company called Qidi Tech. I think it was about $600 over a year and a half ago. It's been great, prints well, is precise and has been trouble free. Has a full metal/plexi windows & lighted enclosure. Just make sure you get something with a heated bed and a dual extruders. Other than that the larger the print area the better of course. Prices continue to drop. They are a blast to play with and nice to have when you need a little dohickey... you can just make one!
 

Rick O'Shay

Swarf
Registered Member
#9
I am looking at getting/building one but wow they are a bunch. Which is the best to get now days for a person on a budget? Any suggestions or links appreciated. I have a CNC mill so if I need to machine parts that is no big deal.
I recently ordered this kit (~$185) from GearBest, http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_428455.html .
I have been using a Solidoodle 3 3D printer (~800 assembled) for about 4 years or so and am currently making my own approximatedly 30' by 30" by 30" printer using mostly vslot components, purchased or 3D printed from "OpenBuilds" website. I chose the $185 kit based on specs, i.e large print volume etc. Here is a tip that I chose to ignore with my 3D printer. I never worried about the filament (1.75mm) absorbing moisture. It certainly does slowly over time and you end up thinking the bed isn't level. I googled the problem and settled on
I am looking at getting/building one but wow they are a bunch. Which is the best to get now days for a person on a budget? Any suggestions or links appreciated. I have a CNC mill so if I need to machine parts that is no big deal.
I ordered http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_428455.html a week ago based on using my Solidoodle 3 (~$800) printer for about 4 years and the kit's large build volume and low price. Don't ignore caveats to keep your filament dry as I did. It's hydoscophic and will absorb water over time resulting in progressively worse prints. I build this to dry out my filament:
http://taulman3d.com/drying-materials.html
Also, I bought a ~10lb bag of dessicant (kitty litter:
) to store my filament when not in use. Hope this helps.
 

Dr_Romeo_Chaire

Ears got caught in a rice picker
Registered Member
#10
If you just want to get your "feet wet" with 3D printing, monoprice.com has a small unit for around $200 (MP Select Mini). It has a lot of nice features including a heated bed and small display. The main disadvantage is that the build volume is a 4.7" cube .. however, you can make a lot of useful things in that size, and if you decide 3D printing is for you, you'll be able to make a better decision about what kind of bigger unit to build/buy.
 

Dr_Romeo_Chaire

Ears got caught in a rice picker
Registered Member
#11
I recently ordered this kit (~$185) from GearBest, http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_428455.html .
... Don't ignore caveats to keep your filament dry as I did. It's hydoscophic and will absorb water over time resulting in progressively worse prints. I build this to dry out my filament:
http://taulman3d.com/drying-materials.html
Also, I bought a ~10lb bag of dessicant (kitty litter:
) to store my filament when not in use. Hope this helps.
Thanks for the tip on the Silica cat litter! I was starting to look for a cheap source -- the packets are expensive!

I also built the Taulman dryer out of a Home Depot "Homer" bucket. It works, but I find that a full reel gets a little too warm near the bulb (visibly alters PLA slightly), so I plan on making a bigger/better version from a medium sized galvanized garbage can (10 gal or so?) to hold more filament reels and give a little more distance from the heat source (maybe add a small fan to circulate the heated air).

I'm also eyeing my wife's foodsaver, which doesn't get much use... no point in drying out the filament only to let it re-absorb moisture. 1-Gallon Ziplock bags with dessicant are probably good enough, but as long as the foodsaver is just sitting there taking up counterspace ...
 

Dr_Romeo_Chaire

Ears got caught in a rice picker
Registered Member
#14
Check out Tevo, they have a number of different styles of printers at different price points. I bought a Tarantula and am very happy with it. The best part is that each printer has a very active Facebook group that is a great source for answering set up questions as well as upgrades.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TEVO.3dprinter.owners/
I don't do facebook, but found them online -- yeah, they look nice -- RepRap designs?. Again, I think the best way to get started and see if you even like 3D printing, is to get a low-cost machine with good community support and start there.

Personally, I've been using a printrbot simple metal (1403) for a couple of years and am pretty happy with it. The initial cost was about $700, then I started upgrading: heated bed, 250mm X axis, 250mm Z axis, gear-drive extruder, high-flow hotend... another $350 over a year or so.

Now that I know what I'm doing I'm ready to build my own (bigger) machine, maybe with some CNC/laser engraving capabilities. Looking back though, I could've gotten to this point for a *lot* less money!
 

gjmontll

Active User
Active Member
#15
Check out Tevo, they have a number of different styles of printers at different price points. I bought a Tarantula and am very happy with it. The best part is that each printer has a very active Facebook group that is a great source for answering set up questions as well as upgrades.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TEVO.3dprinter.owners/
Yes, their Facebook group is very active, I joined it last week. My Tevo Tarantula is on order and should arrive this week.
 

brav65

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#16
Great, mine is torn apart right now to add MGN rails to all axis as well as changing out all the acrylic parts for aluminum. Just been so busy with work I cannot find the time to get it back together.
 

Qdeathstar

Iron
Registered Member
#17
For your first printer, I would recommend a kit from replikeo. It is a cheap printer, like around 300, you will have to built it yourself, you will need to upgrade the hot end to an e3d v6... but, you will get a lot of learning experience and troubleshooting expereince. I got some good prints from that machine...

But, it only lasted about a year before the acme screws wore out. That will be enough time for you to decide if you like 3d printing. It's not plug and print no matter how much money you spend for an fdm printer, there are just too many variables and it requires massive amounts of troubleshooting. I think for you to enjoy 3d printing, you will need to enjoy troubleshooting.

After that printer I got a seemecnc v2. It is a very nice, well thought out printer. It has a large build volume and is able to produce high quality prints without the need for upgrades out of the box, it costs 999. It took me about 30 hours to build, though the new v3 is supposed to take much less time.

Once you get that printer dialed in the first thing I recommend upgrading is the electronics. I highly recommend the DuetWifi from David Crocker. It is the single best upgrade I have made to any of my printers. It instantly makes the steppers quiet, it has a lovely web interface, a nice autocalibration feature for deltas, and can support larger steppers with higher currents than most other controllers.

Right now I am building a custom coreXY machine. I had it partially completed using just a drill press and a table saw before I decided to get a mill... but now that I have a mill I will redo a lot of the components taking advantage of the precision a mill allows.
 

brino

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#18
For your first printer, I would recommend a kit from replikeo. It is a cheap printer, like around 300, you will have to built it yourself, you will need to upgrade the hot end to an e3d v6... but, you will get a lot of learning experience and troubleshooting expereince. I got some good prints from that machine...
...............
After that printer I got a seemecnc v2. It is a very nice, well thought out printer. It has a large build volume and is able to produce high quality prints without the need for upgrades out of the box, it costs 999. It took me about 30 hours to build, though the new v3 is supposed to take much less time.
...............
Right now I am building a custom coreXY machine. I had it partially completed using just a drill press and a table saw before I decided to get a mill... but now that I have a mill I will redo a lot of the components taking advantage of the precision a mill allows.
Hi @Qdeathstar

First I want to say welcome to the group!

Second, Thanks for sharing your direct experiences with multiple 3D printers.

I am kinda stuck in a circle of indecision. I don't know enough about them to know what I want, and there's too many to choose from. I have even contacted a couple vendors and had many back-and-forth discussions but still don't feel that I know enough to pull the trigger.

Analysis paralysis!

-brino

EDIT too bad replikeo doesn't list prices for their units.
 
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Qdeathstar

Iron
Registered Member
#19
It looks like they closed shop. I would get an prussa i3 for my first printer. They are a lot easier to calibrate than deltas.

This looks like an interesting i3 kit

https://www.3dprintersonlinestore.com/flsun-3d-metal-frame-prusa-i3-diy-kit

They are using acrylic for some bracing; you'll have to get rid of that almost immediately with aluminum, but its a workable kit overall. Should last at least a year, and then you still have the extrusions and steppers than can be reused. The good thing about cheap kits is they let you see if you like 3D printing before you drop a lot of money on it. People get frustrated because they spend a lot of money on a printer and still have to troubleshoot and upgrade... no way around that.
 

Dr_Romeo_Chaire

Ears got caught in a rice picker
Registered Member
#21
I know quite a few guys into the 3d stuff. Most went with the Monoprice MP Select Mini 3D Printer, V1 and some got the V2. Very good reviews from all my buds on that one, especially for the price.
+1 on this recommendation.

I am kinda stuck in a circle of indecision. I don't know enough about them to know what I want, and there's too many to choose from.
IMO, spend as little as possible to get your feet wet and see if you like 3D printing or not (just saw a monoprice email advertising a refurb version of this model on sale for $143). That way you don't have to overthink it too much and you have some money left over to buy a better machine later when you know more.

Whatever you buy, keep in mind they all need some degree of tuning, and that is an ongoing process. There's definitely some art to getting good prints and patience/perseverance is required (of course, that's where you learn something!)

Also, its good to get a popular unit for your first printer since you can find answers online in the support communities. Good luck!
 

cs900

maker of chips
Active Member
#22
+1 on this recommendation.

IMO, spend as little as possible to get your feet wet and see if you like 3D printing or not (just saw a monoprice email advertising a refurb version of this model on sale for $143). That way you don't have to overthink it too much and you have some money left over to buy a better machine later when you know more.

Whatever you buy, keep in mind they all need some degree of tuning, and that is an ongoing process. There's definitely some art to getting good prints and patience/perseverance is required (of course, that's where you learn something!)

Also, its good to get a popular unit for your first printer since you can find answers online in the support communities. Good luck!
+2 on the MP mini. My brother, who is sole purpose on earth is to master 3d printing, has one and is very happy with it for the price.

But as Dr pointed out, and it's especially true on the cheaper printers, things need a good calibration when you get them and as routine maintenance.