3D Printers. Tell us about your printer. The good, bad and ugly.

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MRsDNF
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3D Printers. Tell us about your printer. The good, bad and ugly.

There seems to be quite a few members here now that turn out amazing objects with their 3D printers. If you could tell us about your printer, the good and bad, consumables used and what you thought, programs used and any other information you think would be useful to novices like me and many others here.
I’ll keep tabs here about the different types of printers with a link to your post which you may want to include links to anything you have made etc.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

sedstar
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I went thru this, what your OP wants… raw infomation on 3d printing and equipment. Whats the bare bones, what the “range of the middle” for intermediate use and cost and convenience and ability, and whats the “actual” quality that gives you “x” to get some particular use you have in mind done.

its all over the map when i tried, and i really dont know THAT much more than before i asked here.

SOME guys actually “like” their 200-500 dollar unit, and can show you cool stuff they made with it.
OTHER guys explain the need or usefulness of theit 550 dollsr unit vs someone elses 300 unit.
I’m sure SOMEone here feels that anything under 1000 dollars is chinese junk, best avoided, and has the cool one.

shrugs

I am FINALLY in a position to BUY ONE, and…. i know precious little than I did befoire asking, and watching their conversations develop. I know i can LIVE without one? But… i have needs that need fulfilled with fabrication, and really this looks like the best tool for certain jobs. And why lie? There is a “toy factor” involved because i think they are simply “neato”.

===========================

i THINK, not “know”… i THINK this is like my LATHE… I went with bottom of the line chinese, a HF 7×10… because with startup tooling needed adding to the purchase cost, and my bad patch for money at the time i pulled the trigger? I had to roll with it.

now that i can reflect? The experience actually owning even my toy lathe, and actually making “real parts”, is worth it for the investment alone… even if i had to sell it and buy a big one? my education was invaluable. I am continually still amazed at what i CAN accomplish with it, rather than concentrating on what i CANT do… which is spin something over a certain size, or use a shaft thickness of TOOL too thick i get over centerline when i cant go that high for the operation, and my piece length is compromised moreso when i need the tailstock on.

my best GUESS and HUNCH is that the 3d printer world is identical in philosophy to this small lathe.But, until i start DATING a 3d printer? i cant tell you anything that means more than an opinion of a non-owner. i will watch this thread with GREAT INTEREST in case you can get information otuof them i couldnt, or, maybei got theinfo i needed, and too nooby to grasp it yet.

shrugs

With enough black coffee and cigarettes? all things are possible…

I am currently still shipping… REAL GENUINE CREE xp-g emitters, the classic… brace yourself? as low as 20 cents apiece!! Check out the SALES THREAD, everyone is happy… then PM me

SALES THREAD:
http://budgetlightforum.com/node/52528

if you are into reloading? this is my site… I inherited the remains of what was once arguably the best reloading site on the internet… its the “BLF” of reloading sites…

http://reloadbench.freeforums.net/

if you think night vision would be cool? It IS… this site i am a member of, and its basically the “BLF” of home made scratch-built digital night vision. They are at the leading forefront of advanced DIY for digital night vision, and thats gun mounted or handheld… builds rival and exceed commercial offerings…

http://nightvisionforumuk.com/

joechina
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If you are interested in 3D Printing I would check if you have a fablab or similar nearby.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FabLab

Google it or look in the list http://fablabs.io/

FmC
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If you could get along to a HackerSpace open day, you’d be able to get a bit of hands-on with a machine, & be able to discuss with other people who use them.

They have an open day on the 6th, with a 3D printing session.

Zebretta
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TONS of forums out there on 3D printers.

I remember being in the same boat a while back. Had NO CLUE what to get or why. I just kept asking and asking until I “thought” I had enough answers to make a proper decision. Ultimately I got exactly what I needed…at an excellent price. Smile

The only thing I could say is just try to get a printer with a bed that is at least 6 × 9 inches because if it’s much smaller, you’re very limited to what you can make (build)

Also, a printer that uses 1.75 filament is most common and what I have. Try to get one with a heated print bed. I think that is VERY important.

As far as print precision, mine has a precision of 100 microns. That’s fairly common but good if you print in detail (and you’ll want too).
You can get much better precision, but truthfully, it jumps the price up a good bit and you probably won’t need more precision unless you are an engineer working on commercial prototyping.

Don’t forget that anything you print needs a CAD file. You can either make your own if you can do 3D CAD modeling or there are thousands of files available for download free at thingverse.com

As far as printers…..

I know this one well and it is VERY good for the money…..
MonoPrice 3D printer

Here’s another one, lower priced, that is nearly identical in terms of specifications….
3D Printer for $363.00 US

Ultimately tho, you’ll have to do your own research and get one that seems to suit your needs and tastes best.

All I can say is, when you finally pull the trigger, I’m fairly certain you’ll be glad you did. 3D printers are FAR more useful than I had imagined when I was first looking at them. I’ve been able to make my own replacement parts for many household things that normally would have to be re-purchased. I’ve also made a boatload of gadgets that make everyday life just easier and more convenient. The possibilities are endless.

It’s one of things that once you have and know how to use, you’ll never want to be without one again. A fantastic tool. Not just a “toy”.

To be honest, I’ve actually made and sold enough items with my 3D printers to more than pay for them Smile

tru3s1lv3r
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I’m currently rocking a Makerfarm Prusa i3v 12“printer. It’s got the hexagon hot end set up for 1.75mm filament and uses the RUMBA controller based on the ATMega. It will print up to a 12×12×12 cube. I haven’t ever put it to that challenge, but I have made a few things over 8” wide and tall. I can tell you that having a hotend that can exceed 230°c is a benefit. Some of them have PTFE liners which can melt/deform when printing ting with higher temp materials like ABS or Nylon. I have a heated build plate with a special substrate called LokBuild. It was a Kickstarter project I saw and it works flawlessly for everything I have wanted to print. If you just want to go with a basic PLA printing, then you won’t need a heated plate and simple blue painters tape works great for printing on. I need to replace one of the linear screws on my z-axis as it’s got a slight bend and it transfers to the print as it moves vertically. Looking back I could have gotten away with a smaller printer, but it is nice every now and then to have the capability to print larger objects. As far as software goes, I tend to use Cura or Slic3r. Cura has a nicer interface, but slic3r seems to have more fine tuning and options. When I make my own designs for objects, I use 123d Design. It’s got just about the same usability as Autodesk and it’s free.

All in all, it is definitely a worthwhile investment. If you are like me, then getting a kit will teach you more about the design and operation of the printer more than you’ll ever learn by buying a prebuilt one or reading online. Just something about putting it together and programming the controller really made it click for me.

Aspiring Fhashlightaholic!

MRsDNF
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Thanks for all the info guys. So whats the advantage of the heated plate?

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

zipelgas
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Heated bed helps prints to stick. Getting things to stick to build plate is one of the first problems you encounter after assembly.

Overkill is just about enough!

joechina
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In order to build straight the lowest first layer had to stick permanently to the ground. You print with hot material, which is expanded, when it’s cooling it shrinks, that brings tension in your material.
That can result in
- separate the object from the table while printing, or
- a slanted object
- warping
- lifted edges

The bad effect s are more with ABS lesser with PLA material. There are other methods to get your stuff stick, but a heated bed is the nicest.
So in the end you want a heated bed.

MRsDNF
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Thanks for the explanation joechina. Thumbs Up

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

martook
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I’ll just add a link to what I wrote in another thread a while back in case you missed that one:

http://budgetlightforum.com/comment/1067403#comment-1067403

The Prusa mk2 is quite expensive, but the quality of the parts, the support and the capabilities are a lot better than the china copies. On the other hand, if you begin with a cheap machine you will be forced to learn a lot more, so it really depends on if you want another hobby (fixing your 3d-printer) or actually print stuff… Wink

Mr.Scott
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joechina wrote:
If you are interested in 3D Printing I would check if you have a fablab or similar nearby.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FabLab

Google it or look in the list http://fablabs.io/

+1 on Fab Lab.

You may also want to check out your local community college. Many have 3D printers, non-credit 3D printing classes, and open lab times.

WarHawk-AVG
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3D printer prices have dropped to dang near manufacture prices…it’s crazy

If I knew what I know now then…and it was available..I would have bought the Ender-3 rather than the Anet A8…
If I had the money…I would have probably gone CR-10…

LouieAtienza
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If you’re printing with PLA normally you don’t really need a hot plate. I have an inexpensive printer from MicroCenter and it works just fine. The old trick of lining the bed with blue painter’s tape works. Some folks use a glue stick to coat the tape or bed, but I never found that necessary. It’s when you get into plastics that melt with higher temps, that a hot plate helps, because if those cool off too fast they’ll warp and peel off the bed. Machines with a heated bed and enclosed build chamber are good because they keep a more even climate around the part – but again, only really necessary if you’re printing in the higher temp materials.

The newest Prusa printers are nice because they use a newer controller board with Trinamic stepper drivers – they have some great features like sensorless stall detection, and a super quiet “whisper” mode. The Prusa printers also detect when you’re out of filament and stop the machine for you to reload. They come at a steep price however, but the extrusions are far better than the flimsy lasered plywood stuff of yore.

If you want super high resolution and surface quality, and are not printing large things, an SLA printer maybe the way to go. But it requires expensive UV curing resins, a UV “oven” and an ultrasonic cleaner and isopropyl alcohol to clean excess resin. But the parts look almost as good as injection-molded parts.

ecotack
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I recently bought an Anet A8, but after all the safety mods I’d have been better going for an Ender-3. Although the A8 does a good job.
Not done much printing yet. I’m still learning the software to make my own stuff. I also have the CT data from a scan of my sternum and would like to print my rib cage at some point.

prototype3a
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I’ve used an Ultimaker 2 a lot, a few monoprice printers, a prusa and had some parts printed on $$$$$$ Stratasys machines.

Honestly, they all seem to require tinkering, kicking, swearing at and loads of frustration. Though, I suspect some of the really cheap ones are just REALLY bad.

IMHO, a heated build plate is a required “feature”. I don’t really have a preference on 2.85mm or 1.75mm filament. I’ve heard that the larger is better for really big and fast printing but then again, I don’t think the Ultimaker can really handle that type of use.

A friend of mine designed and built his own that has hardware with more in common to a cnc router than a 3d printer and honestly, it shows but most people aren’t willing to plunk down $6k for a 12×12×12 print volume machine. He also had two print heads which enables the machine to use dissolvable support interface material which can be a pain as it basically requires a heated ultrasonic cleaner and NaOH to remove but it does result in some really nice parts.

I forgot that I used to deal with parts that came off SLA machines and while the parts did look pretty good, even those weren’t dimensionally perfect. They typically came out smaller than drawn in the vertical axis.

joechina
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My local Fab Lab has a collection of Ultimaker 2+ and one 3.
A bunch of the hard core users bought Ender3 kits for 175€. They are very satisfied with the results from the cheap printer. They say Ender3 prints on par and better as the Ultis.
Built time of a kit is 1 hour and easy.

strayz
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I have been working with a Ender 3 for the last 8 months. It is super affordable and if you are a little handy or feel the need to upgrade in the future there are a lot things you can do with it. Mine was $220 and I have been super happy with it. I did have adheason issues until I went to plane glass.

(Order on Amazon to get a good price and so if something is messed up from the factory you can return.)

I am still making basic things. One thing that you have to learn to do is calibrate your build surface each time. If you don’t want to calibrate look in to getting a BLTouch, I don’t have one as I am still learning all about my printer. Think about what you are printing and don’t be afraid to just go for it.

Most printers from the factory will need to have some things printed out so the printer can / will function better after you are up and running. Filament guides, tool trays, spool holders, shrouds, ect…

mrheosuper
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i bought Anycubic kossel plus few months ago. it’s a great machine, large print volume, great linear movement, wire management is good

but there is some drawback, the biggest one is the fan, there are 2 fan, 1 fan for cooling the print, and it’s too underpower, and 1 fan to cool the e3d extruder, and it’s way over power and noisy, but after few mods, i’m please now

another drawback is it uses a4988 as stock driver, so it’s very noisy when printing, but after changing it to TMC2208, i can finally sleep in peace

Forgot my pen

Adamaster
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I have a Kossel Plus too. Apart from minor adjustment, printing with it is a charm. It provides a great price/performance ratio. It isn’t my first printer, that’s why I decided to buy this kit. However, it easy assembly process makes it ideal even for rookies.

I mainly use it to 3D print figures and car models with PLA, wood filaments and even HIPS. It comes with an automatic leveling system that grants optimum results at any time, a killer-feature considering its price.

I agree with mrheosuper, the Kossel Plus is a little bit noisy. I suggest installing it in a workshop rather than in living areas. However, moving to TMC2208 stock driver is a valuable solution, considering the price of the printer.

alpg88
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cr10s, at first it was PITA, but as i got a hang of it, i like it, it is pretty simple, thou has some limitations, but so far prints pretty good, as many know, i build my contest light with this printer. i did not modify it much, just build enclosure, and added some minor things.

jp9mm
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I’m still waiting for good quality and cheap price. Every year we get closer

alpg88
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…………..

jp9mm
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alpg88 wrote:
jp9mm wrote:
Nice try from spam bot above ^ I’m still waiting for good quality and cheap price. Every year we get closer

spam bot??? you’re gonna have to back that up shthead

Easy there fella, the spam post was removed (it was after yours FYI). i’ve edited mine as well

alpg88
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jp9mm wrote:
alpg88 wrote:
jp9mm wrote:
Nice try from spam bot above ^ I’m still waiting for good quality and cheap price. Every year we get closer

spam bot??? you’re gonna have to back that up shthead

Easy there fella, the spam post was removed (it was after yours FYI). i’ve edited mine as well


lol, apologies, i’ll remove mine too.

since i had to post i might as well tell my recent experience with cr10, which is not good, i started having an issue with one axis not moving to one side, as if the 0 was where the hot end was right after turning the printer on, i blamed my extensions at first, removed them, issue went away, than after putting everything together with no extensions, same thing happened again, at this point it looks like cable issues, there is a break somewhere, for now it sits in a closet, i’ll fix it one day, will have to replace all wires, but 1 thing i see now as a downside, lose cables like in cr10. if they were special braided cables made to be bent and twisted it would be one thing, but regular wires, and small plugs do not take bending and twisting well, in a few years they will cause issues, fortunately not many printers today have those noodles all around them like cr10, so if you picking one today, look for ones with no noodles. also i’m pretty sure my next 3d printer will not be the type that uses filament, it will be resin SLA printer, my buddy got one and and it is pretty good, resolution is like 10x better,. and printing is done a lot simpler, no worries about temp, feed rate, speed, and many other thing that you need to adjust and balance with filament type printer, however it is slower, and massier process,

strayz
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alpg88 wrote:
jp9mm wrote:
alpg88 wrote:
jp9mm wrote:
Nice try from spam bot above ^ I’m still waiting for good quality and cheap price. Every year we get closer

spam bot??? you’re gonna have to back that up shthead

Easy there fella, the spam post was removed (it was after yours FYI). i’ve edited mine as well


lol, apologies, i’ll remove mine too.

since i had to post i might as well tell my recent experience with cr10, which is not good, i started having an issue with one axis not moving to one side, as if the 0 was where the hot end was right after turning the printer on, i blamed my extensions at first, removed them, issue went away, than after putting everything together with no extensions, same thing happened again, at this point it looks like cable issues, there is a break somewhere, for now it sits in a closet, i’ll fix it one day, will have to replace all wires, but 1 thing i see now as a downside, lose cables like in cr10. if they were special braided cables made to be bent and twisted it would be one thing, but regular wires, and small plugs do not take bending and twisting well, in a few years they will cause issues, fortunately not many printers today have those noodles all around them like cr10, so if you picking one today, look for ones with no noodles. also i’m pretty sure my next 3d printer will not be the type that uses filament, it will be resin SLA printer, my buddy got one and and it is pretty good, resolution is like 10x better,. and printing is done a lot simpler, no worries about temp, feed rate, speed, and many other thing that you need to adjust and balance with filament type printer, however it is slower, and massier process,

Since 3d printing is still in the developmental stages and not in everyone’s home, They do take a bit of tweaking. I am now up to 3 ender 3’s and I am looking at a possible resin printer. the bigest issue I have is single print volume. I always want to print it full size and not in pieces. No one wants to have a 89% life sized Darth Vader helm…

Pipermania
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I’m just a beginner in this area, so so far I have only had one printer – Anycubic 4Max Pro. First of all, I chose this model because of its closed case. Its working area is not very large, but the heating temperature allows you to work with high-temperature plastic. He also has a very high printing accuracy (I don’t remember the exact figure). A friend of mine bought himself a TEVO Tornado. I can’t say much about this printer, but overall my friend is happy with it. If you asked about conventional laser printers, then I could tell you a lot more information. For example, I even know where is the best place to buy cartridges, since I tried a lot of different services and ended up settling on https://www.mrdepot.ca/collections/canon-toner-cartridges. I can also easily find a repair service in your city. We have a large network of offices throughout the country, so we have to constantly solve various problems related to equipment and printers is one of the most popular problems.

azj
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I’ve gone through a few different printers. A couple discount/cheapo ones that aren’t worth mentioning, then later a “Monoprice Maker Select V2” which actually worked quite well. Sometimes it’s on sale but it’s normal price is about $300 so it’s not bad.

Later I decided to get a printer that performed a little better, had auto-bed levelling, was easily upgradable/moddable, etc. Since all the open-source printers like that seemed to be based off a prusa variant, I went straight to the source and got a Prusa I3 that I’m very happy with.

I’ve also participated in a few Kickstarter campaigns for stuff, and because of that I have 2 other printers: One is a Promega Quad M3D that can print 4 different colors/spools in any ratios. This beast has a steep learning curve that I have not yet mastered. RL keeps getting in the way.
The Second is a Snapmaker 2, which I got more for the CNC and Laser etching than the 3D Printing. I literally just received it and havent even unboxed it.

Sample print from Prusa: 3D Photo Lithophane Unlit Sample
Sample print from Promega: Color Cube Test