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TheMadface80

Looking into 3D printing

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Good morning!

Recently, I've been wanting to get into 3D printing, and I'm waiting for my tax return to buy a printer to make tools and other things. There are plenty of options on the market from what I see, and I've been looking into a few affordable options for a starter printer. I've looked at the following options:

My current budget is approximately $200 (give or take a few bux) and I was wondering which of those printers has the best quality for the price. I'm planning on working mostly with PLA, and I would really appreciate advice from people who are experts in this subject. I'd also like to know what pros and cons you have for each if you own any of these. If you have any other recommendations for other printers, that would be appreciated as well.

Thank you for reading this, and any help would be appreciated.

UPDATE: I'm aware that filament will increase my price. I don't include it in my budget because I have a separate budget for that already (about $100). I also already included tax and stuff. All ~$200 is purely for the printer.

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I much prefer the design of the Creality. I've never had much luck with suspended arm printers like the Monoprice Select, although I'm not sure about the Monoprice Delta. The Creality also includes a hot bed, which the others don't. It might be worth looking up reviews of the different models online.


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dont bother with monoprice, they're just rebrands, most of them wanhao. if you want a monoprice, find the original manufacturer and buy from them, chances are they're even more widely available.

 

also, dont bother with printers with a print bed smaller than 200x200, they're absolutely useless for anything other than silly widgets.

 

that said, given the price of a roll of PLA, and lessons learned on my own.. in short $200 isnt a good budget. any money you save goes into time spent making the thing do decent prints. also, over the past, lets say about 4kg of fillament (about 6 spools), i've spent more than your budget on replacement parts, and quality of life upgrades, on top of the price of the fillament itself.

 

a 3D printer isnt a toy or gadget, it's a piece of machinery that requires maintenance, and is expected to have a certain amount of upkeep to stay within quality expectations.

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We just got a cr10 a pro at work and it's amazing. Didn't expect the crealities to perform so well out of the box. I would go for a cr10 as they are well known, and hella fine. 


I used to have guides here

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1 minute ago, Hackentosher said:

We just got a cr10 a pro at work and it's amazing. Didn't expect the crealities to perform so well out of the box. I would go for a cr10 as they are well known, and hella fine. 

I have a CR10-S and it's pretty amazing once dialed in in my opinion. Mine still has some tweaking room left to achieve perfect prints, but it's pretty good so far already.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
15 hours ago, BobVonBob said:

I much prefer the design of the Creality. I've never had much luck with suspended arm printers like the Monoprice Select, although I'm not sure about the Monoprice Delta. The Creality also includes a hot bed, which the others don't. It might be worth looking up reviews of the different models online.

It seems like the Monoprice Select does have a heated bed, but I think I agree with you. Crality's printer not only has the heated bed, but has plenty of printing space. The only reason I considered the other one (the Monoprice Delta) is because of the auto-level and it's mostly assembled outside the box, but I don't mind assembling the Creality if I get more space. I've also heard that replacing the bed with glass is beneficial

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The build volume's of the monoprice ones will leave you wanting more pretty quick. I don't strongly like the Ender 3 but it's definitely a good deal and the community has many upgrades available for it. Other similar machines to consider would be the Tronxy XY-2 and XVico Pioneer - I've tested em all, all have strengths and weaknesses. Don't bother with the ender 3 pro though - it's basically identical with just a better PSU and slight frame changes, still a kit and not at all 'pro'.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
On 2/17/2019 at 5:09 AM, makersmuse said:

The build volume's of the monoprice ones will leave you wanting more pretty quick. I don't strongly like the Ender 3 but it's definitely a good deal and the community has many upgrades available for it. Other similar machines to consider would be the Tronxy XY-2 and XVico Pioneer - I've tested em all, all have strengths and weaknesses. Don't bother with the ender 3 pro though - it's basically identical with just a better PSU and slight frame changes, still a kit and not at all 'pro'.

I'll definitely look into your suggestions. They seem like fine printers. I appreciate your input

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I think the ender 3 is the best bang for the buck at the moment. It needs a teeny bit of modification for reliability (push to connect fittings, bowden tube) but after that its an amazing little machine for the price. Being able to get it next-day from Amazon is a nice perk as well. 

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On 2/16/2019 at 12:34 PM, manikyath said:

dont bother with monoprice, they're just rebrands, most of them wanhao. if you want a monoprice, find the original manufacturer and buy from them, chances are they're even more widely available.

 

also, dont bother with printers with a print bed smaller than 200x200, they're absolutely useless for anything other than silly widgets.

 

that said, given the price of a roll of PLA, and lessons learned on my own.. in short $200 isnt a good budget. any money you save goes into time spent making the thing do decent prints. also, over the past, lets say about 4kg of fillament (about 6 spools), i've spent more than your budget on replacement parts, and quality of life upgrades, on top of the price of the fillament itself.

 

a 3D printer isnt a toy or gadget, it's a piece of machinery that requires maintenance, and is expected to have a certain amount of upkeep to stay within quality expectations.

Yes. I agree. I went for my £190 AnyCubic Kossel Delta (triangular cylinder shaped printer) because I wanted a bargain *and* a project. But I've had to find (took weeks) opensource firmware, as the (based on open source) original was buggy and broken, refit some parts, replace the PSU, etc.

 

The Banggood Tronxy x5s (a present, technically, not my choice) was more expensive, but still a chinese Reprap rebrand/patterned build. Needed a new control/power board (presents, that cost you money! lol), and is rather annoying to setup and trim.

 

But for making little toys, a pre-setup Delta printer is fun. I really really like mine. I hear the CR10s are great too, I would have got that to supplement my Delta, if I had not been given the reprap style one. But I'd recommend a self leveling version whatever anyone buys! A heated bed is also helpful. 

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3 hours ago, TechyBen said:

 But I'd recommend a self leveling version whatever anyone buys! A heated bed is also helpful. 

eh.. i'm not seeing self-leveling as much of a necessity.. if i level properly once, i can print a good 100 hours before it even starts to shift out of leveling. that said.. this only really holds true if your base is rock freaking solid.

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1 hour ago, manikyath said:

eh.. i'm not seeing self-leveling as much of a necessity.. if i level properly once, i can print a good 100 hours before it even starts to shift out of leveling. that said.. this only really holds true if your base is rock freaking solid.

Right but once you get used to not having to do it, you never want to manually level again. 


I used to have guides here

CPU: 4670k 4.4ghz GPU: GTX 970 G.1 1534mhz

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2 hours ago, manikyath said:

eh.. i'm not seeing self-leveling as much of a necessity.. if i level properly once, i can print a good 100 hours before it even starts to shift out of leveling. that said.. this only really holds true if your base is rock freaking solid.

I suppose it depends on what type, and how much effort you are putting into the setup. Self levelling meant I could print on day 1. Doing it yourself (again, depending on the type of printer, quality of the bed, ease of adjustment) and it might take some time to learn it all. The x5s is easier, as it is adjustable plate (the Kossel I have has no screw adjustment, everything is done in software, or 3 motor points, where as the x5s has software, motor and bed adjustments). But took more test prints to get right (the Kossel took weeks... but that was a bug in the firmware, and should have taken 15 mins LOL 🤣 ).

 

So just depends on the design.

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2 minutes ago, Hackentosher said:

Right but once you get used to not having to do it, you never want to manually level again. 

except that in a sense, you do, because auto bed leveling doesnt do the same thing.

 

all that auto bed leveling does, is adjust the height of the nozzle above the print bed accordingly when putting down the first few layers, so if your print bed is off, your print will also be off. if you're just printing some widget it's fine, but i often use my printer for stuff where 0.2mm off means either sanding until it fits, or tossing and printing again.

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6 minutes ago, manikyath said:

except that in a sense, you do, because auto bed leveling doesnt do the same thing.

 

all that auto bed leveling does, is adjust the height of the nozzle above the print bed accordingly when putting down the first few layers, so if your print bed is off, your print will also be off. if you're just printing some widget it's fine, but i often use my printer for stuff where 0.2mm off means either sanding until it fits, or tossing and printing again.

Yep. But even then, there are no perfections in most designs... so auto levelling gives you that second point, in software, of the printers awareness of it's print locations/shape. Just helps IMO. Marlin also offers print leveling "fade" so any fraction of a mm offset for the base of the print, is removed in the rest of the print. So the entire thing should not be out of shape/skewed, just the first couple of layers.

 

Again, just depends on if a hobbiest, or a pro. A pro won't need it as can put the time sink and cost sink into a heavy, strong level bed. I got a glass plate for my Kossel, so the autolevel is less needed, and it just means I don't have to perfect the 3 motor screws for the limit switches... I can let software fix any hand made limits in my measurements (no one is gonna get fraction of a mm perfect).

 

It takes 15 mins to autolevel. It takes 30 or more with a bit of paper if I want to do the 15 points the kossel can do. The x5s I can check 6 or so by hand, and adjust the screws/bars before I get bored. XD

 

This might not be needed in a pre-built or production class printer though! Just one made by hand, where I know I might be a fraction or two of a mm off in shape/squareness etc.

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Just now, TechyBen said:

the printers awareness of it's print locations/shape

not a defense against your argument, just an FYI: a printer has no idea what it's doing, it may as well be peeling an orange using Gcode. all the sensor does is provide "calibration data" for the Z axis compared to the actual bed, rather than a theoretical point on the frame of the printer.

 

but then as for the point of "only the first couple layers", it just so happens that when doing complicated prints that may be in multiple parts, the underside is the best place to make that "multiple part" slice, and when both sides are off, you'll be sanding the afternoon away.

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8 minutes ago, manikyath said:

not a defense against your argument, just an FYI: a printer has no idea what it's doing, it may as well be peeling an orange using Gcode. all the sensor does is provide "calibration data" for the Z axis compared to the actual bed, rather than a theoretical point on the frame of the printer.

 

but then as for the point of "only the first couple layers", it just so happens that when doing complicated prints that may be in multiple parts, the underside is the best place to make that "multiple part" slice, and when both sides are off, you'll be sanding the afternoon away.

Yes. It does. The "calibration data" sets the software safety limits also. Though it does not have "awareness" like a cat with live sensory input does. The mesh will apply a transform to the print locations when applying the g-code. So if the base plate is say, 0.1mm skewed, and my hands are not steady enough, my tools not accurate enough, and my patience out the window, the software/hardware auto levelling will help.

 

I could just use more glue... You know, multiple ways to skin a cat.

 

PS, some people like to use them:

 

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