Author Topic: Which 3D printer?  (Read 4131 times)

Offline AdeV

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Which 3D printer?
« on: July 12, 2019, 06:32:08 AM »
The time has come, I think, to finally bite the bullet and buy a 3D printer. Naturally, there's a few choices.... so I figured I'd ask here to see what people recommend. This post was triggered by a couple of emails I got this morning....

So.. first possibility, a Creality "Ender 3". Seems to be available for as little as about £140 (I assume that's without any filament), as a partial-self-assembly kit. Having put a CNC3016 Pro together, this holds no fear for me. It comes with a heated bed, 0.4mm nozzle, decent sized build area, and I believe they're very upgradable.

Second option would be the same machine in "Pro" form, available for around £190. I'm not totally sure what the upgrade is between the normal and the "pro" versions - any thoughts gratefully received.


The other option, according to an e-mail I received this morning, why not by an "industrial grade 3d printer, without the price tag"? Sounds great! I don't mind paying a bit more for a proper industrial machine. Apparently it's faster than a hobby machine too....  Well, I finally found the price tag: £10,999.  :lol: Yeah, I think I'll pass on that... It's a Stratasys F120, in case anyone has very deep pockets and wants to know more...


So.... returning to the Creality (and similar) offerings - any advice would be appreciated. As usual, I'm happy to jump straight in at the deep end...
Cheers!
Ade.
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Offline Ben

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 07:03:42 AM »
I have a tronxy p802ma been ok for pla after i added mosfets for the hot end and headed bed, motherboard could not handle the headed bed,  wish i had gone for the tronxy x5s now, I think boxing any of these in would help hold the heat to get better prints
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 03:15:58 PM by Ben »

Offline Country Bubba

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 08:18:34 AM »
I have a Tronxy X%S-400 and found it to be a typical far east "Kit". While I like the large build volume and over all design of the machine, I have found it absolutely necessary to practically rebuild the machine.
First off, the wire for the heated bed is to small and when I tried it, the wire became extremely warm to touch so that was the first replacement.
We read the mosfet on the main board was marginal for application so an outboard mosfet was added to control the heated bed.
In order to achieve any bed temp above about 50įC it was necessary to insulate the bottom of the bed and we also added a 24V power supply to have adequate power for the higher temps.

The original design of using washers for guides on the idler pulley's sucks so tires were printed to make them fully functional pulley's.  While we were at this up grade, all the bearings were replaced as many of them felt like they had sand in them. Pure junk bearings. We also had to correct some of the belt alignment when replacing the bearings/idlers as it was not proper from the factory assembly.  A few 5mm flat washers took care of that.

The wheels on the X axis carriage wore out within about 4 rolls of filament.  We were able to replace the top two with polycarbonate ones, but at the time didn't want to tear the whole carriage apart to get to the bottom one. That helped for a roll or so, but it was obvious the bottom one was wearing even faster. So we have just finished a mod to install a linear rail on the X axis. (haven't had a chance to try it yet)

When working right, it is a fantastic large volume printer. But realize it is a "kit" and you will have to do a lot of rebuild to make it acceptable in the long run.  :hammer:

As stated to begin with, I like the overall design, but the implementation is not that great of quality.  It must also be noted the instructions for the build were to my mind excellent and it went together quite easily.  If you don't mind modding the machine, I would recommend it to you. If you want an out of the box put it together and never worry about it machine, I would not recommend it to you. But as your on the MadModder board, I would imagine you like to tinker like me :proj:

   
Art
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Offline Jonfb64

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2019, 08:29:06 AM »
I have an Ender 3 which i am very happy with.
I suggest you checkout "Teaching Tech"  on YouTube as he has lots of reviews and upgrade suggestions.
By all accounts  its seemed to be the best value for money when i purchased mine in in January (£190) the pro version was still £250 then.
The hardest part is getting to grips with Fusion 360 so i have mainly printed other peoples stuff.

Jon

Offline awemawson

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2019, 08:56:19 AM »
My Cetus 3D has been superb and worked out of the box, and has been accurate. I bought the taller version and fitted the 'anti drop' Z carriage balancer

There is a thread on the forum about it here:

https://madmodder.net/index.php/topic,12104.0.html
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Muzzerboy

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2019, 10:14:03 AM »
+1 for the Cetus 3D. Really pleased with it. Having previously used an Ultimaker 2 extensively, I can't see any obvious downside and it's £320 including filament etc.
https://shop.tiertime.com/product/cetus-3d-printer-mk3/#

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2019, 01:48:47 PM »
...
So.. first possibility, a Creality "Ender 3". Seems to be available for as little as about £140 (I assume that's without any filament), as a partial-self-assembly kit. Having put a CNC3016 Pro together, this holds no fear for me. It comes with a heated bed, 0.4mm nozzle, decent sized build area, and I believe they're very upgradable.

....

I have an ender 3 and I love it. It prints better than printers costing many times as much. It is very moddable... Plenty of printer to get started with.

Eric
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Offline jim

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2019, 01:52:55 PM »
I've had great results with the one from Aldi.
!0 minutes from opening the box, I was printing.
Done around 300 hours so f\ar with no problems.

Jim
if i'd thought it through, i'd have never tried it

Offline DICKEYBIRD

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2019, 03:10:11 PM »
I am continually amazed by what this one does for its price point: https://www.3dprintersbay.com/anycubic-auto-leveling-kossel?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIpLnSh4mw4wIVSv_jBx0W7wjmEAQYBCABEgLi2fD_BwE  A good friend has one and does great things with it.  I want one & can afford it but don't have the time to learn Fusion or one of the other 3D CAD programs.  It'll have to be a project for my retirement.
Milton in Tennesee

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Offline ddmckee54

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2019, 05:15:03 PM »
I started with the Sunhokey Prusa I3 clone.  It's a nice little machine but it needed a lot of TLC to get it working properly and reliably.  Then Tin Falcon clued me into a site for re-furbished Monoprice Ulltimates', I liked the look of them and got one.  I believe, they are Wanhoo D6 clones.  I am impressed with this machine.  Because it's a 24V machine it heats up,  and moves much faster than my other 12V printer.  It's also a welded metal frame instead of bolt together acrylic like the Sunhokey.  The 24V and the more rigid frame allow me to print at nearly twice the speed of the Sunhokey so my print times are cut nearly in half.

I don't regret getting the Sunhokey, building that kit and making the upgrades to get it to work properly taught me a lot about 3D printing and 3D printers.  It was kind of like building a Gingery machine tool.  You don't build them expecting to get a high precision machine tool, because when it's all said and done - they're not.  You build them for the learning experiences that occur along the way.

Don
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Offline efrench

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2019, 01:07:18 AM »
I designed and built my delta printer from scratch using aluminum extrusions and plate.  No printed parts.  Cost of the parts was about $500.  A coreXY style printer will print as fast as a delta which generally can print quite a bit faster than machines like the Prusa. 

I'd say get the cheap printer, learn how to print, then build one with the lessons learned.

Offline nickle

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2019, 06:35:54 AM »
I cracked and bought an Enders 3 early this year. As long as you keep the bed levelled and make a few mods to keep filament and wires snagging it performs pretty well.

Things to keep in mind are the very different strengths in different axes because of the layers.

Pla has pretty woeful performance as it gets warmer. An ender 3 can print petg. I have a spool and am working through another roll of pla before I get to it.

As mentioned earlier teaching tech is a useful YouTube channel as are makers muse and Thomas sanlanderer.

The best thing is if you leave it over night you wakeup and the prints are done. It wonít mill itself to bits like my homemade CNc might. Having said that I am a bit wary of the potential fire hazard.


Offline Muzzerboy

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2019, 08:51:43 AM »
It's worth looking into annealing your printed parts.

It's not always necessary or possible to use fancy materials rather than PLA.

Offline nickle

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2019, 09:51:36 AM »
The temp performance is an issue for me as we managed to hit 46 degrees Celsius in the shade 3 days last summer where I am in Australia . Pla in the car will wilt and I am a bit doubtful about it holding shape or any load in my corrugated iron shed!on s summers day.


Probably not such s big issue for Ade in the uk though.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2019, 10:50:37 AM »
Oh I don't know - I believe you can experience some quite 'hot' nights in Wallesley  :lol:
Andrew Mawson
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Offline Muzzerboy

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2019, 02:44:42 PM »
If you watch the video, that sounds like an ideal application for annealing. A post-annealing softening temp of around 120-140C would be enough surely.

Offline AdeV

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2019, 04:28:27 AM »
Thanks all for the great input! So, unusually for me, I did actually go look at several of the types of printer mentioned here; in particular the Cetus 3D..... but eventually I plumped for the Ender-3 (not the Pro edition).

The reasoning is thus: The Ender-3 machine was cheap: £185 includes next-day deliver (that's today, Sunday, it'll be showing up...), some spare nozzles of different sizes and a glass bed. Also, as it seems there are issues with the teflon tube/fittings going between the extruder an the hot end, I bought a set of replacements "on spec", as it was only an extra few quid.

So.... hopefully later today, I'll be doing my first print :) Yes.... I bought some extra filament too...
Cheers!
Ade.
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Or: Zhengzhou, China. An even longer way from anywhere...
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Offline AdeV

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2019, 03:35:17 AM »
 :D :) :D :D :)  :headbang:

Well, it arrived... and after a bit of head-scratching trying to follow the crossbeam assembly instructions (I only had to dismantle it 3 or 4 times before I got everything right!), it works  :thumbup:

Now, I'll be honest, I haven't taken any pictures. There's loads of pictures of an Ender-3 out there, and mine currently looks exactly the same. However, I expect there will, in due course, be pictures of parts that I print. So far.... the regulation Creality Dog, and the first *actual* print, some parts to guide the filament better, and clips to hold the LED ribbon cable tidy - all from Thingiverse and as-seen on Youtube videos.

So... now the search begins for things to design and print  :lol: I've got a few things in mind - e.g. a nice box for my Raspberry Pi that lives under the TV doing media player duties - but I'll wait until I've got some black plastic before I print that... I think it'll look a bit shonky in grey.

Meanwhile - don't worry! Just because I have a new toy, doesn't mean the old Boxford has been forgotten, there's an update (with pics) coming on that soon.
Cheers!
Ade.
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Or: Zhengzhou, China. An even longer way from anywhere...
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Offline tom osselton

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2019, 04:44:07 PM »
Thatís why they made paint! Although I never have. They can be a lot of fun till it gets knocked off its perch and you have to start over! Base adhesion is key with these depending on the parts footprint.

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2019, 11:44:17 PM »
Congratulations Ade!

A few things I would do right away...

1. Get a glass bed. I ordered my Ender 3 with it and have had no issues with adhesion. Glassplate
2. Get the microSD extension cable. Easy to print a mount to move the miniSD to a normal SD where it is easy to get to. MicroSD Exstension
3. Splurge a little and get better bed springs. There are "enhancement" kits on Amazon or similar for these that are fairly cheap Upgrades
4. Aluminum Extruder feed Extruder Feed

Thingiverse has a ton of printable mods for the ender3 (and a lot of other things to print)

This Guy has some videos on printing with the Ender 3 plus some decent profiles for Cura.

Have a ton more info... Let me know if you are interested.

FYI... all the links are US Amazon... but I am sure you can find the same over there.

Eric

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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2019, 11:47:47 PM »
Oh.... it is easy to fall into the modify the hell out of it hole...

I am there right now myself. Already added a BLTouch for auto bed leveling. Reflashed the firmware on the current mother board... However, I have a 32bit board and touch screen ready to go in as soon as the new housing is done printing...
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Offline AdeV

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2019, 01:15:29 AM »
Hi Eric,

Mine came with a glass bed, although I haven't used it yet, it also came with the sandpapery bed, but not the flexible version  :scratch: So far I've just used that, and it's been OK so long as I use a raft. Auto-bed levelling is definitely on the want list, but I'll get to know the machine a bit better before I go crazy on the updates... As it's Amazon Prime Day (*2), I've gone a little bit mad and bought a pile of pla filament in various colours, I'm going to try my hand at designing a nice "media centre" box for my Raspberry Pi - there's lots of boxes out there already, but none which do what I want them to do (i.e. all the cables on the back, any LEDs on the front).

BTW, I presume your "32 bit board" is a Raspberry Pi running Octaprint? I've heard this mentioned a couple of times, also something I'd like to look into... but not with any serious designs on using it just yet.

Tom - paint.... for some things maybe.... but IMHO it's a lot easier to just print it in black plastic & have it immediately match the rest of the stuff in the cabinet :)
Cheers!
Ade.
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Or: Zhengzhou, China. An even longer way from anywhere...
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Offline awemawson

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2019, 02:48:49 AM »
I rarely get stuff off Tingyverse - I tend to draw what I want in Fusion 360

Here is an example that's been printing over night - a rack insert module for VDI 40 tooling. I have had a pair of racks for year that had Morse Taper 4 inserts, so it was a relatively easy job to copy the inserts in Fusion but slightly modified!

 . . .only another eight to go at 5 hours each  :bugeye:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline AdeV

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2019, 03:31:31 AM »
Like you Andrew - I'll probably design stuff. I use Solidworks, apparently there's a plug-in for Cura which means I won't need to convert to STL before printing... but I've yet to find it.

Printed off a little "prop adapter" I drew up ages ago for my long-in-the-build drone.... it worked surprisingly well after a bit of sandpapering... and MUCH easier than turning it on the manual machine out of Ali  :thumbup:
Cheers!
Ade.
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Or: Zhengzhou, China. An even longer way from anywhere...
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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: Which 3D printer?
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2019, 03:22:22 PM »
Hi Eric,

Mine came with a glass bed, although I haven't used it yet,...

BTW, I presume your "32 bit board" is a Raspberry Pi running Octaprint? I've heard this mentioned a couple of times, also something I'd like to look into... but not with any serious designs on using it just yet.
...

Use the glass bed. So much better than the other that is supplied.

Nope. By 32 bit board, I mean mainboard. Replace the 8 bit board with built in drivers with a 32 bit SKR 1.3 mainboard and drive modules. Octaprint is a future item...

This Guy has a lot of interesting videos about upgrading the firmware on the existing 8 bit mainboard to a vanilla Marlin plus videos on replacing the mainboard with something that has bit more power and memory. You will find that as you add on to he Stock ender 3 board, it starts to run out of memory...

Thinigverse is nice for the "toy" stuff I print for my kid. He is into table top gaming so we print miniatures and such for D&D. everything else I design in Alibre.
Science is fun.

We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.