Subscribe
  1. CJFett's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    17
    Sep 16, 2016, 4:58 AM - 3D printing advice #1

    Hi all - gonna get my feet wet and have a play at printing a few things. I'm starting from the ground up with this and was just hoping some of you with 3d printing experience could give some general advice to a newbie. I've not even bought a printer yet so guess that would be a good place to start Is there a certain model you all use for home? a price range to definitely not go below in the interest of quality? etc. etc. As you can see this is a real broad question so anything you feel like chipping in would be welcomed - even if it sounds basic to yourselves !!



    Thanks
  2. Become a member for 90 days and create 50 posts and you won't see these ads.Register now!
  3. le1120's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    791
    Sep 16, 2016, 8:38 PM - Re: 3D printing advice #2

    No problem man, this is what we're all here for! I personally own the now discontinued Printrbot simple 1405 kit, which has been a challenging experience to own. It was, however, only about $350, which for a printer is about as cheap as it gets. It prints as well or better than many much more expensive printers, once you get it running right. Unfortunately at this stage, no matter what printer you get, you will have to get to know it inside and out if you want it running smoothly consistently. The Printrbot Simple is nearly the same printer except prebuilt and more expensive, but with better parts. The downside to this particular model is the limiting 4"x4"x4" print area, but you can modify it to make it larger (something I've been planning for awhile now), or learn to live with it and slice your prints to fit the bed and then glue them together (which is what I've been doing haha). With most 3D printers it seems that you'll run into technical glitches sooner or later, either with the software or the printer itself, so its really not for the impatient; however it can yield amazing results when you put in the effort, or doesn't break. I'm sure other people have their own experience to share which might be different, but I've also worked and talked with several other 3D printing enthusiasts and owners who have agreed with me on this general experience. Printrbot has some recent offerings such as the Printrbot Play, which may be worth checking out too. I'll be more than happy to answer any questions! Hope this was helpful.
  4. alexrep's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    40
    Sep 17, 2016, 4:11 AM - Re: 3D printing advice #3

    Similar to le1120, I am using a Printrbot as my workhorse, a plus for me, at $1200 its a bit pricier than the $750 Simple, but the heated bed for more advanced filaments (other than PLA), and the larger build size (which I have used to print a couple impressively large pieces, its build volume is roughly 10"x10"x10", so diagonally you can print things up to about 14". As he mentioned NO printer (aside from ones that cost 100k+) will be a hassle-free lifetime experience. you WILL have issues, things will break, prints just wont work, and you WILL have to learn your machine, and the art of 3dprinting in general.

    Every printer is not the same, and I would STRONGLY advise the weak of heart to stand clear of sub $400 cheap chinese printers, I owned one of these as my first machine but it broke CONSTANTLY, and I got extremely close to giving up on printing in general due to its inability to work for two weeks in a row. Other options that I would recommend, someone who has been printing for 2 years, and worked for Printrbot building and manufacturing printers, is any of the Printrbot offerings (except for the play in this case as its small build volume is less than optimal for prop work), as well as the Ultimaker 2 (about $2500), Ultimaker 2 Go (about $1500), The TAZ Lulzbot Mini ($1250), and the TAZ 6 ($2500).

    As for lower priced options, I have heard good things about the SeeMeCNC Eris (A delta style printer, $550), and HIGHLY reccomend the Prusa i3 MK2 (Kit is $700, built is 900).

    I know its tempting to jump for the cheapest printers you can find, but you will end up with a cheap printer built with a knockoff hotend and extruder, and sub-optimal electronics and hardware. If you must go the cheapest route, always avoid printers off of alibaba.com, and anything that has an acrylic frame (either it gets broken in shipping or at home accidentally.)
  5. le1120's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    791
    Sep 17, 2016, 8:38 AM - Re: 3D printing advice #4

    I think if you just want to get your feet wet beginning with a smaller, and thus cheaper printer, may be a good option. Printrbot's offerings are solid, but by all means explore other options. The printers that alexrep mentioned are all quality offerings, albeit expensive, and do be wary of Chinese knockoffs. Those are terrible.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. shenphong's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    323
    Sep 17, 2016, 2:29 PM - Re: 3D printing advice #5

    I would have to give the opposite opinion of those voiced here. Copying this from another post I made on therpf:

    Worth of value can be hard to judge, what is the price point YOU want to spend? I help maintain about 30 or so 3d printers at work and have 6 currently running at home.

    My equipment list that I've owned with * marks next to the ones I still have:

    Dremel Idea 3d printer *free gift to me
    Makerbot Replicator 2x $2000
    Wanhao i3 (my first and very recommended printer for folks starting in the hobby)* $400 but canbe found now for 350
    Flashforge Creator Pro* $1400
    Flashforge Creator X $800
    Lulzbot Taz Mini $1500 - got this as a gift
    Lulzbot Taz6* $2500
    Monoprice Mini Select* $200
    Folgertech Ft-5 (currently being built though have used it at work)* $500
    Custom 200x300mm Core XY build* $500

    All of them have their merits, the FT5 is a kit and not one I would suggest to a beginner. The Dremel is limited in materials and has no heated bed, avoid the Makerbot Replicator 2x like the plague, in fact, avoid Makerbot all together and get one of their clones like the Flashforge machines, which have always been workhorses for me. The Mini is a fun printer and easy/cheap to start with. The Wanhao i3 or its rebranded clones are great beginner/tinkerer printers and the Lulzbot printers are great, though they are pricey. Frankly I would have probably not purchased them if it weren't for my work discount. The Wanhao i3/Monoselect printer can be had for about $350 and I recommend that one as a starter. Tons of folks run them in the bb8 builders group and We have about 20 of them at my job (one of the largest search engines in the world in Mountain View, CA hint hint) so I can attest to the reliability, affordability, and quality of it.
  7. alexrep's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    40
    Sep 18, 2016, 2:44 AM - Re: 3D printing advice #6

    Quote shenphong said: View Post
    I would have to give the opposite opinion of those voiced here. Copying this from another post I made on therpf:

    Worth of value can be hard to judge, what is the price point YOU want to spend? I help maintain about 30 or so 3d printers at work and have 6 currently running at home.

    My equipment list that I've owned with * marks next to the ones I still have:

    Dremel Idea 3d printer *free gift to me
    Makerbot Replicator 2x $2000
    Wanhao i3 (my first and very recommended printer for folks starting in the hobby)* $400 but canbe found now for 350
    Flashforge Creator Pro* $1400
    Flashforge Creator X $800
    Lulzbot Taz Mini $1500 - got this as a gift
    Lulzbot Taz6* $2500
    Monoprice Mini Select* $200
    Folgertech Ft-5 (currently being built though have used it at work)* $500
    Custom 200x300mm Core XY build* $500

    All of them have their merits, the FT5 is a kit and not one I would suggest to a beginner. The Dremel is limited in materials and has no heated bed, avoid the Makerbot Replicator 2x like the plague, in fact, avoid Makerbot all together and get one of their clones like the Flashforge machines, which have always been workhorses for me. The Mini is a fun printer and easy/cheap to start with. The Wanhao i3 or its rebranded clones are great beginner/tinkerer printers and the Lulzbot printers are great, though they are pricey. Frankly I would have probably not purchased them if it weren't for my work discount. The Wanhao i3/Monoselect printer can be had for about $350 and I recommend that one as a starter. Tons of folks run them in the bb8 builders group and We have about 20 of them at my job (one of the largest search engines in the world in Mountain View, CA hint hint) so I can attest to the reliability, affordability, and quality of it.
    My first printer was a Wanhao, one of the first ones, maybe my negative experience is related to that, however lulzbot printers are EXCELLENT. Also, I didnt know that Yahoo had such a big interest in 3dprinting!
  8. CJFett's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    17
    Sep 18, 2016, 3:58 AM - Re: 3D printing advice #7

    Wow thanks everybody! More than enough recommends across a wide range of budgets to get me going and the ever important real life experience factors too. Really appreciate this, off to make coffee now and enjoy a nice little online research session ;D
  9. shenphong's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    323
    Sep 18, 2016, 9:22 AM - Re: 3D printing advice #8

    Quote alexrep said: View Post
    My first printer was a Wanhao, one of the first ones, maybe my negative experience is related to that, however lulzbot printers are EXCELLENT. Also, I didnt know that Yahoo had such a big interest in 3dprinting!
    The Wanhao i3 is more difficult to use vs some others, but thats true of the i3 design in general. I think its a good printer to learn on and understand the basics of 3d printing At its current price point as well, its hard to beat. Lulzbots are nice, thats why I own them but the $2500 vs $350 pricepoint is pretty stark and to be frank, I just purchased it due to the build size. Also, the Lulzbot printers use 2.85/3mm filament not something specifically bad but 1.75mm is looking to be the standard in the industry and will make life easier in 2 ways: often cheaper options and more options with 1.75mm filament. Sure 4-point leveling is a pia, but once nailed down and as long as you don't wrench at the print off the bed, you're generally pretty set as well. It really comes down to how much you want to learn and how in depth you want to get with the mechanics of it. Once that's decided, then you have the price point you need to figure out. After that, THEN you need to decide which slicer/program you want to use to print, Cura vs. Simplify3d vs. anything else seems to be the basic setup. Some are free, Simplify3d is paid and so on. Here are some shots of my Wanhao and some badges I printed with them recently as well as a 40mm cube and "benchy" the tugboat, everyone uses to print/test their settings and printer. You can see the cube is pretty much 40mm, its a digital caliper so its probably the caliper's fault that its off and everything else looks clean. Not saying the other options aren't great either, if you have the funds to sink into the hobby, go big though I've found a good mix has been worthwhile. Lulzbot for larger items and my flashforge and wanhao for small detailed items work well together as a combo.

    Either purchases should be good, just ask questions! I've met a lot of folks with any version printer who gave up after a few frustrations.





  10. Jc27's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2,675
    Sep 18, 2016, 12:15 PM - Re: 3D printing advice #9

    I have an early xyz davinci 1.0, and for what I paid for it, it does the job. I know the software sucks and it doesn't print as nice as other printers, but they can be had for under $300 if you look for them and it will teach you the basics and also help with understanding how printers work because it is not a "out of the box and print'" machine.
  11. Member Since
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    20
    Dec 6, 2016, 6:30 AM - Re: 3D printing advice #10

    With most 3D printers it seems that you'll run into technical glitches sooner or later, either with the software or the printer itself, so its really not for the impatient; however it can yield amazing results when you put in the effort, or doesn't break.

Similar Threads

  1. Custom Mandalorian 3D Printing Mando Helmet
    By lerxstrulz in forum Expanded Universe Bounty Hunters
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: Aug 7, 2016, 8:36 PM
  2. Blaster: 3D printing Fett
    By markbass in forum Boba Fett Costume
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: May 5, 2016, 11:24 PM
  3. 3D Printing
    By Tatooinetako in forum Star Wars Costumes
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Mar 6, 2016, 2:49 AM
  4. 3d printing
    By SNate in forum Boba Fett Helmet
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: Feb 15, 2011, 7:16 PM
  5. O/T, Screen printing: anybody do your own????
    By Jangos kid in forum The Sarlacc Pit
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: Feb 25, 2009, 12:46 PM