Talk about stuff that has nothing to do with Ghostbusters!
User avatar
By Chris Brewin
#4892512
Hey all!

I've got some back-pay coming to me soonish and (other than getting out of retail debt and doing some investing) I've been thinking about getting a 3D printer. I know there's a lot to consider, but knowing that there are a few here with them, I thought I'd ask for some advise.

I know that firstly, cost is an issue. Ideally, I think my max budget might be in the $500-$700ish range.

Secondly is what I'll want to print. My first projects will include a handle and some other parts (knobs and side plates) for a ghost trap, and I'll be making a 3D printed section of the PKE meter that I can use to form some Kydex around for a custom holder. After that, I'm not sure. Maybe the belt gizmo base? Other than that, I'll likely want it for other cosplay props (maybe a custom lightsaber - non-combat) or to build cosplay prop prototypes for casting with other materials.

Any tips or specific model recommendations would be great. Thanks!
User avatar
By KingKudzu
#4892513
Chris,

I am a 3D printing engineer by trade. There are a ton of printers in the $500- $700 price range. The main problems are the quality of the machine and the quality and size of the parts you can make.

What would be the average dimensions of the size of part you would like to make, for example, what would be the size of the part you would most like to print on this machine?

Are you technically inclined? Are you familiar with DIY electronics or Arduino?

Do you have a workshop space or will the printer be in a living area?

Do you have any experience with CAD?

These will help narrow things down a bit.
User avatar
By Chris Brewin
#4892516
What would be the average dimensions of the size of part you would like to make, for example, what would be the size of the part you would most like to print on this machine?
I think a bed about 20cm x 20cm x 20cm (10"-ish) should suffice. Anything I'd want to make bigger than that I'm OK splitting into multiple smaller pieces for later gluing or casting.

Are you technically inclined? Are you familiar with DIY electronics or Arduino?
I am technically inclined, yes. However, it's more in the repair end rather than the building. As I'm looking to expand my making skills, I don't think I'll mind the challenge of assembling my own printer provided the instructions are solid.

Do you have a workshop space or will the printer be in a living area?
I don't have one at the moment, but in the fall I plan to try to give my apartment some major reorganizing with the intent to have some sort of makerspace created in the process.

Do you have any experience with CAD?
I did some in college and I've also played around with 3DS Max. I know there'll be a learning curve with the software, but to start I plan on using pre-existing files that I'll either print directly or modify as applicable.

Does that help?
By grogking
#4892518
I have a Chinese 3d printer. Cost around 200 bucks. I have made all kinds of things with it, including a full proton pack shell, which I am working on now. If you don't mind a bit of tinkering, and you want to get your feet wet with 3d printing, its not a bad way to go. Just needs some upgrades on the electrical end for safety. I have an Anet A6, it has a 220mm by 220mm by 250mm build area. There is also an excellent community on facebook in the official anet 3d printer group. I love it, one of the best purchases I ever made, and I use it all the time.
User avatar
By KingKudzu
#4892545
What would be the average dimensions of the size of part you would like to make, for example, what would be the size of the part you would most like to print on this machine?
I think a bed about 20cm x 20cm x 20cm (10"-ish) should suffice. Anything I'd want to make bigger than that I'm OK splitting into multiple smaller pieces for later gluing or casting.

Are you technically inclined? Are you familiar with DIY electronics or Arduino?
I am technically inclined, yes. However, it's more in the repair end rather than the building. As I'm looking to expand my making skills, I don't think I'll mind the challenge of assembling my own printer provided the instructions are solid.

Do you have a workshop space or will the printer be in a living area?
I don't have one at the moment, but in the fall I plan to try to give my apartment some major reorganizing with the intent to have some sort of makerspace created in the process.

Do you have any experience with CAD?
I did some in college and I've also played around with 3DS Max. I know there'll be a learning curve with the software, but to start I plan on using pre-existing files that I'll either print directly or modify as applicable.

Does that help?

Sounds like you would be comfortable with almost any manufacturer out there. Some will be more of a pain than others.
If you want real ease of use without much in the way of hassle I suggest the Dremel Idea Builder 3D20. You Should be able to find a closeout sale as they are phasing it out in favor of a larger and more expensive model.
https://www.amazon.com/Dremel-Idea-Buil ... B00NA00MWS
The downside of the Dremel is its lack of features and configurability. It does not have a heated bed which is needed forfor ABS filament. You have very little control over settings, but again it prints PLA filament well with great software and no experience needed.

On the other hand, you can get a very nice Wanhao 3d Printer rebranded by Monoprice.com for $700 that does everything well but will require a learning curve. Heated bed for ABS, uses Cura software which will be far more configurable than the Dremel. Swappable extruder. Solid machine and a real workhorse. Again much more work in tweaking and learning the machine and software.
https://www.monoprice.com/Product?p_id= ... gQodaSIPmg
Chris Brewin liked this
By Weideman
#4892569
I second the Dremel Idea Builder. I bought mine a few months ago and couldn't be happier with it. From everything I researched, it seemed like it was least amount of set up out of the box, about one of the most reliable printers on the market, and they have a great support team that you can get on the phone with (even Skype to show them what's going on with your printer).

I have printed a number of things so far and just finished the body of my Ghost Trap (See below for a few pics). Everything fit on the print bed and everything you see (except labels and bolts) are 3d printed.

The only thing I dislike about the printer is that you are required to use the Dremel filament which is kinda pricey (Its around 20 bucks a spool on Amazon for .5kg, where I see other brands selling 1kg for roughly the same price). I've seen people mod their printer to accommodate the larger spools but I haven't gotten around to it.

Image

Image
Chris Brewin liked this
By Goodnye
#4893804
I am an Engineer for my other job.

About 4 years ago I bought a $25,000 3D printer from Stratasys. It was one of the testo max reviews entry / mid range printers that produced fairly good results. Long story short, it was an absolute nightmare. Materials cost an arm and a leg (over the already hugely inflated purchase price). It remains one of the worst mistakes I have made.
3d printing is definitely not a cheap hobby that's for sure.
Last edited by Goodnye on November 16th, 2017, 12:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
By Styrofoam_Guy
#4893901
I have a Wanhao Duplicator i3 and have been enjoying it. It has a pretty good community in case things go wrong. It is basically ready to go out of the box.

I thought about saving a bit and getting a kit but I am glad I got a ready to go printer.

For a printer to work properly there are quite a few different variables. If you are not familiar with them and know how to trouble shoot them it can get very frustrating.

A friend purchased a kit based on the Prusa i3. He is a fairly technical guy but he had loads of trouble getting it working. I think a year of on and off tinkering and it still would not work. It finally took me being there to help fine tune the little things before he is able to print anything. He is now printing things like crazy.
Chris Brewin liked this
User avatar
By WindDrake
#4893956
I run a few 3D Printers, as well as deal with big industrial sizes ones at work.

You sound like you're pretty damn competent, but 3D printers can be a huge headache if they are poorly designed or require a lot of upgrades to just get into the "Decent" territory.

At this point in the game, any FDM (filament) printer worth it's salt should include a couple of basic features (1/16 stepper drivers, geared extruder, RAMPS-compatible electronics, automatic bed leveling.) and if they don't, don't bother.

Most kit printers are a huge pain in the ass to get going if you've got no previous nuts-and-bolts level experience with 3D Printers and the underlying firmware (Marlin etc).

I did a ton of research before I bought my printer, the Robo 3D R1+. I ended up getting this one as it has a huge bed area (207x245x220) that's heated well, borosilicate glass bed, automatic bed leveling, geared extruder, and it's a very rigid H-Bot design. They can regularly be had for $599 new, and $499 refurbished.

On top of that, there's a LOT of printable extras out there for this printer (upgraded fans, spool holder, feet, LCD Controller cases, etc). It's also running RAMPS-Compatible electronics, so the stepper drivers are swappable if they fail, or you want to install upgraded (1/32) ones.

I would not recommend any printer without automatic bed leveling at this point in the life of FDM printers. It's a very basic quality-of-life feature that should be standard on all printers.
Chris Brewin liked this
User avatar
By AJ Quick
Moderator
#4894014
I am an Engineer for my other job.

About 4 years ago I bought a $25,000 3D printer from Stratasys. It was one of their entry / mid range printers that produced fairly good results. Long story short, it was an absolute nightmare. Materials cost an arm and a leg (over the already hugely inflated purchase price). It remains one of the worst mistakes I have made.

Recently. I purchased a $300 Wanhao i3 printer. It is easily the best 3D printer purchase I have ever made. It actually BEATS my Stratasys printer straight out of the box. I could not believe it. A little bit of tweaking here and there and it is rock solid. At 200 x 200 x 180mm build area, it probably would meet your requirements too.

And for full disclosure. I just signed an agreement with Wanhao to be one of the official US distributors for their printers. I won't have them for a couple of weeks, but will be offering the i3 on Amazon for around $299.99. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about them. Soon I'll have a comparison between my i3 and my Stratasys showing how much better the quality is on the i3. It certainly changed my opinion on 3d printing as a whole.

And a word of caution: Never buy a 3D printer that has DRM or requires you to use special proprietary filament. You will be paying extra for lower quality filament. The proprietary stuff never advances as quickly as the stuff on the open market.
Chris Brewin liked this
By lexenluis
#4906250
I am an Engineer for my other job.

About 4 years ago I bought a $25,000 3D printer from Stratasys. It was one of the testo max reviews entry / mid range printers that produced fairly good results. Long story short, it was an absolute nightmare. Materials cost an arm and a leg (over the already hugely inflated purchase price). It remains one of the worst mistakes I have made.
3d printing is definitely not a cheap hobby that's for sure.
Yes that's true, 3d printinting definitely not a cheap hobby
User avatar
By Jairus
#4907344
I recently added a Creality Ender 3 to my 3D printer collection when it went on sale for $175 and, coupled with cheap no-name $10 filament from Amazon (and a TON of tweaking), have been turning out prints on it that rival an Ultimaker.

Still not necessarily cheap, but it's definitely possible now to get a serviceable printer below $200.
By Coover5
#4909362
I have a question about the cost of printing items. I just joined the world of 3d printing. I have yet to print anything though. I'm using my software to figure out what different items will cost me to print but i'm kinda struggling to believes the numbers. Could a TNG phaser (hollow for electronics) really only cost $2.50? Are things printed with ABS/PLA really so cheap?
User avatar
By WindDrake
#4909434
Printed objects really are that cheap. With 100% Infill, the 1-Piece wand gunbody I designed costs $4.75.
By Rober Harper
#4909810
I am an Engineer for my other job.

About 4 years ago I bought a $25,000 3D printer from Stratasys. It was one of the testo max reviews entry / mid range printers that produced fairly good results. Long story short, it was an absolute nightmare. Materials cost an arm and a leg (over the already hugely inflated purchase price). It remains one of the worst mistakes I have made.
3d printing is definitely not a cheap hobby that's for sure.
What other option do we have? When you have to go with 3D, you have to it regardless of the budget constraints.
User avatar
By NotSabbat
Supporting Member
#4909818
I have a creality CR10 and an Ender 3. You have to be OK with tinkering a bit (but I feel like you should be ok with that if you want to use 3d printers regardless), but they have both been solid printers for me. I have especially enjoyed the Ender3.
By daina sun
#4910200
I have a Chinese 3d printer. Cost around 200 bucks. I have made all kinds of things with it, including a full proton pack shell, which I am working on now. If you don't mind a bit of tinkering, and you want to get your feet wet with 3d printing, its not a bad way to go clenbuterol australia. Just needs some upgrades on the electrical end for safety. I have an Anet A6, it has a 220mm by 220mm by 250mm build area. There is also an excellent community on facebook in the official anet 3d printer group. I love it, one of the best purchases I ever made, and I use it all the time.
I will surely go this cheap and good chinese 3d printer.
User avatar
By timeware
#4910223
After much research and help from this community (You guys are God Send) I've decided on the Jgaurora A5 as my first 3d printer. As soon as I get it you can expect me to start posting some projects and time lapse videos of the machine printing.
NotSabbat liked this
By Krypton_Son
#4910522
I've been looking into them for a while. I'm really going to try to find a good Black Friday deal on one. Unfortunately I'm going to have to go extremely cheap on one. If anyone finds a good deal throw me a link.
User avatar
By timeware
#4910690
Gearbest has a sale on the JG right now. They also have their own 3d printer called the Alfawise U20 under $300.
By ManuelJeffrey
#4916867
Chris,

I am a 3D printing engineer by trade. There are a ton of printers in the $500- $700 price range. The main problems are the quality of the machine and the quality and size of the parts you can make.

What would be the average dimensions of the size of part you would like to make, for example, what would be the size of the part you would most like to print on this machine?

Are you technically inclined? Are you familiar with DIY electronics or Arduino?

Do you have a workshop space or will the printer be in a living area?

Do you have any experience with CAD?

These will help narrow things down a bit.
I thought I was going to love this printer.
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