What 3d Printer do you have?

Looking for recommendations for a printer or printing software? Have a printer you recommend? Or one you strongly recommend *against*? Post it here!
ICMF
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Re: What 3d Printer do you have?

Post by ICMF » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:14 pm

I recently bought a CR-10. Pretty happy with it so far.

I debated between the Mk2S and the CR-10. The Prusa is great and if it's in your budget and is big enough for your needs, it's almost the default choice - you'd have to spend way more money to get anything that's better. (IMO, it's a tough call between the Prusa Mk2 and Mk3. I don't think the Mk3 is a massive leap over the Mk2 - the removable bed and stiffer frame are great and if you do a lot of long prints, the filament sensor could be useful... but stuff like the power panic, revised sensor and even bump detect seem more like party tricks than useful, real-world upgrades. I'd be tempted to save $150 and go with the Mk2.)

In the end, I went with the CR-10 because it has a massive build envelope that I need for a couple of projects. It produces decent prints, has room for upgrades, and is well built (the electronics won't burn my house down), and IMO gives impressive performance for its price. It isn't as good as the Prusa, but it's not a huge step down, and it's half the price.

I did briefly look at the Anet and Tevo printers, but they have a reputation for being less-well built - improper wiring, grounding hazards and just general risks of electrical fires that I didn't want to deal with. The concerns may be overstated by some, but it was a big red flag as something I didn't want to have to deal with, which took them out of the running.

That's a problem with a lot of the cheap printers - they're often not great out of the box, though you can add a bunch of upgrades to get a much better printer. So it becomes a bit of a personal choice - do you buy a cheaper printer and sink a bunch of time and money into improving it, or do you spend some extra money to get a printer that's pretty much what you want straight out of the box.

And as mentioned, be wary of Youtube reviews, and especially Youtube reviews with affiliate links. Affiliate links are more lucrative than views in most cases, so there is a definite incentive to try to sell printers. And I would also note, Gearbest (who do most of the affiliate links) are pretty terrible to begin with - their shipping times and availability are often bogus (says they're in stock and ship immediately but take weeks to 'process' and a month or two to arrive), and their customer service is mediocre. If you decide to buy a Chinese printer, check out Aliexpress, Banggood and the like as well. I bought my CR-10 on Banggood, and it was cheaper than Gearbest and arrived in about a week.

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Re: What 3d Printer do you have?

Post by RetroRocket » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:47 pm

ICMF wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:14 pm
I did briefly look at the Anet and Tevo printers, but they have a reputation for being less-well built - improper wiring, grounding hazards and just general risks of electrical fires that I didn't want to deal with. The concerns may be overstated by some, but it was a big red flag as something I didn't want to have to deal with, which took them out of the running.

That's a problem with a lot of the cheap printers - they're often not great out of the box, though you can add a bunch of upgrades to get a much better printer. So it becomes a bit of a personal choice - do you buy a cheaper printer and sink a bunch of time and money into improving it, or do you spend some extra money to get a printer that's pretty much what you want straight out of the box.

And as mentioned, be wary of Youtube reviews, and especially Youtube reviews with affiliate links. Affiliate links are more lucrative than views in most cases, so there is a definite incentive to try to sell printers. And I would also note, Gearbest (who do most of the affiliate links) are pretty terrible to begin with - their shipping times and availability are often bogus (says they're in stock and ship immediately but take weeks to 'process' and a month or two to arrive), and their customer service is mediocre. If you decide to buy a Chinese printer, check out Aliexpress, Banggood and the like as well. I bought my CR-10 on Banggood, and it was cheaper than Gearbest and arrived in about a week.
I have spoken in person with a few more makers over the past weeks at events and maker spaces. It seems I was one of the luckier ones with my A8 in that it had fairly good quality prints as soon as it was all put together. Some of my new friends are a bit more hamhanded and/or required some extra upgrades to really get going. That being said, there does seem to be a discrepancy in the quality of kits; not all parts are created equal. So whereas my initial print quality was above average, my friend Hank's was poor. The improvements that I've made basically boil down to a better fan nozzle and frame reinforcements.

Before frame braces
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After frame braces
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This red filament I got was absolute garbage, but still turned out...
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There are going to be uptight fanboys on all sides. Mine has been more than adequate to pump out parts for my clients and they've all been quite pleased with the results. I personally don't trust any video or written reviews; never know where the money trail ends, I put far more stock in personal experiences and talking directly with others.

Nothing is going to beat the quality of a preassembled rig, but if you're on a pb&j budget, My wholehearted advice is that the $160 would be adequate until you can afford a Cadillac.
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Re: What 3d Printer do you have?

Post by Holydohnut » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:25 am

I recently bought a da vinci jr. It's a fully assembled printer which you literally take out of the box, attach the feed tube, and print! This was important to me as if I'd bought a kit, it'd still BE a kit next March! The quality of the prints at its price point, (I paid £179) just cannot be beaten. There are 2 major downsides to it however.

1. It only has a 15cm3 build area. And there's not much you can do about that.

2. The printer is cheap because you have to buy xyz filament. (Like HP with printer ink) The spools contain NFC tags which contain information such as the temp to build at etc. The filament is more expensive than some, at around £23 per 600g (200m) But the biggest issue is they have hardly any colours available in PLA! So one of the first things I did was to purchase an NFC tag emulator to fool the printer into thinking 3rd party filament was real. This was only £38 and has already paid for itself!

I know the Jr isn't for everyone, but it's meeting my current needs very well. When I win the lottery I'll get a set up like wermy's!

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Re: What 3d Printer do you have?

Post by matt » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:51 am

Is the Tevo Tarantula 2017 a good starter printer? Been looking at their alibaba store page

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Re: What 3d Printer do you have?

Post by ICMF » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:33 pm

Tevo has a reputation for very sketchy, fire-hazard-ey electronics and occasionally difficult or problematic builds. If you're looking for an inexpensive i3-style printer, I'd take a look at the Monoprice MakerSelect line instead.

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Re: What 3d Printer do you have?

Post by Jace055 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:50 pm

The decision boils down to your money and what time you can spend with your printer.
Example...
Why buy a old Ford Escort when you can buy a Cadillac and be happier? It's all about money. Sure the Cadillac will run great and work exactly like it should. When it does break down, you can call and get and live person to help you with it. But, that old Ford Escort, it's going to need a little work which you will have to learn to do yourself. Eventually you will get to a point where you never worry about it breaking because you know exactly how it works and how to fix it. You might even be able to hot rod it out or build another one completely.

Bottom line. Driving something is better than nothing and you might learn a few things along the way.

I own a modified (by me) A8. It's not as fancy as a MK2s or MK3 but I can print. My next printer will be a Prusa when I'm ready to spend the money.

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Re: What 3d Printer do you have?

Post by ICMF » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:55 pm

I find it hilarious that people keep referring to Cadillacs as though they're the pinnacle of automotive greatness, when in reality they're fairly mediocre cars. :)

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Re: What 3d Printer do you have?

Post by RetroRocket » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:07 pm

ICMF wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:55 pm
I find it hilarious that people keep referring to Cadillacs as though they're the pinnacle of automotive greatness, when in reality they're fairly mediocre cars. :)
True, though I think the idiom stems from the history of the inclusion of bells and whistles. Cadillacs weren't really ever the best made automobiles, but they were notable for having opulent extras like velvet seats, front and back air conditioning and reading lights in the back seats, among others.

As it relates to 3D printers, Cadillac-esque features that aren't really necessary and don't improve build quality would be along the lines of app connectivity, built in webcam, LED lighting and the like.
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Re: What 3d Printer do you have?

Post by matt » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:58 am

Jace055 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:50 pm
Bottom line. Driving something is better than nothing and you might learn a few things along the way.
Thank you!

I am looking at starting off with this, if I actually use it a fair amount in 12-18 months I will look at getting a decent machine, but at this moment in time I just need something that will teach me the ropes and give me some useful technical knowledge.

I don't see the point of jumping into the deep-end with £500+ for something I don't really know how to use, ~£150 is a much more attractive price point.

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Re: What 3d Printer do you have?

Post by Jace055 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:43 am

matt wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:58 am
Jace055 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:50 pm
Bottom line. Driving something is better than nothing and you might learn a few things along the way.
Thank you!

I am looking at starting off with this, if I actually use it a fair amount in 12-18 months I will look at getting a decent machine, but at this moment in time I just need something that will teach me the ropes and give me some useful technical knowledge.

I don't see the point of jumping into the deep-end with £500+ for something I don't really know how to use, ~£150 is a much more attractive price point.
Whichever cheap print you choose, make sure you look into the safety hazards with that model. Most cheap printers have "issues" that can and should be corrected for a few dollars to make it a safe experience. I.e. fuses, power switches, MOSFETs, proper grounding, etc.

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