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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Never fails, just about every day, I come across something that makes me think, if I had a 3D printer, I could fix/make/modify that...

So in my quest to buy everything before I retire in a few years, now in a search for a 3D Printer. Want to keep it round $1K. And something that works out of the box without days/weeks of fiddling with it. I got other things to fiddle. :) People have done some nice mods to Ender's but way to much fiddle factor for me. I'll throw $$ at it. lol.

PETG/carbon fiber capable, dual extruders would be nice. Enclosed for ABS/ASA would be nice too.

Here's a, for example. I have a PM30-MV milling machine. It's very nice and will eventually get CNC sometime. But cranking on that Z-axis is killing me. Up, down, up, down. All the time. Same with the x-axis. I could spend about $700 for a power lift and power x-axis but will end up removing them when going full CNC. Ran across a nice power x-axis using the same NEMA 34 closed loop stepper that I'd use for CNC'ing. 3D Printed in PETG/Carbon fiber. Perfect.

I've priced just the mount with various on-line 3D printing services and just that part runs $150-250, quantity one. See where I'm going. Seems a no brainer to me.

But which one, I've spent hours on google/youtube and around and around I go, trying to decide.

Thoughts ?
 

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Are you looking at the ones that do "metal"....I don't know their technical name.
I know nothing about them other than they exist.
Friend just had some antique Machine gun Fitting for the waterjacket 3d printed and was amazed .
Perfect patina.....it was some sort of bronze He called it...He knows as much as me..nothing.
For $ 25 bucks he was back in business.

Perhaps these type printers are finally affordable vs just the plastic.....curious on your thoughts.
 

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On the 3D printer section of another forum I visit, the general advice for someone looking for a machine that "just prints, out of the box" without fiddling & upgrades is to look at Prusa printers. The one most recommended is the MK3s ( Original Prusa i3 MK3S+ | Original Prusa 3D printers directly from Josef Prusa ). You are looking at about $1K for one assembled, $750 in kit form & about $50 shipping. The wait for shipment is between 3 & 5 weeks. They will print most any material you are interested in. There are even more capable turn key machines out there (think industrial), but you will be looking at a multi $K pricetag. Prusa is also doing pre-orders for a large format, COREXY machine that is going for about $2K

Full disclosure, I have a heavily modified Ender 3 & a lightly modified Creativity Elf COREXY machine, both running a modified firmware (Marlin). I also have a Qidi 6.08 resin printer, but that is a different animal from filament printing.
 

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When no hassle is required and 1k is your budget I would also recommend prusa mk3. There is also ongoing kickstarter for new printer by anker which promises to be even more out of the box ready. Another solid option that are not bad out of the box but would need a bit of tinkering are Creality Ender S1 and Anycubic Vyper
 

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Just curious, do operators that purchase these printers then have to learn to develop their own solid cad models to produce what they desire?
Do the printer manufacturers supply software for this?
 
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You can roll your own or download from various on line repositories. Many are free, some may have a fee for some models. There are free tools available if one wants to learn to do customwork.
 
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+1 on Prusa. I recently bought a Mini, and it works flawlessly out of the box. I don’t need to print anything larger than the 7” cube capacity. I also use Autodesk Fusion 360 for solid modeling.
 

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Definitely going to also recommend the Prusa. Anything else cheaper is going to cost more time in tinkering and adjustments. The Prusa i3 is the gold standard of reliability in consumer printers in my opinion. From everything I've heard from others and read...it just works. The only downside is the build volume compared to other options. It has a build volume of 250mm x 210mm x 210mm, which is good enough for most things, but if you plan on printing larger items then it could be a concern.

I'm on my second 3d printer now. First was a Monoprice clone of the Ultimaker. Current is a modified Creality CR-10 V2. Hands down the best feature to get (in my opinion) is self leveling. A lot of the troubleshooting I've had to do over the last few years in the hobby has been trying to get the first layer just right. It's the basis of the entire print and if it ain't right, the whole thing is bound to fail. Especially on prints that are hours or days long.

I will say that some level of tinkering with settings/troubleshooting is likely unavoidable. Any time a variable is changed, you're likely going to need to run a quick test print at the very least.

Sounds like OP is a little familiar already with the technology, but for others here are some of the most common not-obvious variables I've seen.

-brand of filament
-age of filament
-ambient temperature (less of an issue with an enclosed printer)
-air current (again not as much of an issue with an enclosed printer)
-bed material and condition (glass vs metal vs PEI, scratches, dusty, oils from fingers, etc)
-speed of print
-layer thickness



Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk
 
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Just curious, do operators that purchase these printers then have to learn to develop their own solid cad models to produce what they desire?
Do the printer manufacturers supply software for this?
There are tons of models publicallt available for download on the web. If a design is available, once downloaded, it's very simple to get it set up to print. Some manufacturers have their own "slicer" which will take the 3d model and turn it into coordinate code for the printer to understand. There is also a freely available slicer available for download, named Cura.

I've been really liking yeggi - 3D Printer Models Search Engine as a search engine for models.

Here's an example of something someone made for the 1025R. A different pedal. I've printed one and it's lasted about a year now with no sign of wear.

Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk
 
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There are tons of models publicallt available for download on the web. If a design is available, once downloaded, it's very simple to get it set up to print. Some manufacturers have their own "slicer" which will take the 3d model and turn it into coordinate code for the printer to understand. There is also a freely available slicer available for download, named Cura.

I've been really liking yeggi - 3D Printer Models Search Engine as a search engine for models.

Here's an example of something someone made for the 1025R. A different pedal. I've printed one and it's lasted about a year now with no sign of wear.

Sent from my SM-G996U using Tapatalk
You beat me to the punch, I was just getting ready to post this link to yeggi with that and other 1025r items.
 
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+1 on the Prusa MK3s. We use them at work to make all of our enclosures for test electronics, etc. They are great.

I was an "early adopter" of 3d printers, and I made my first back in 2010, back when you needed to source all the components yourself. They've come a heck of a long way since then.


Check out "Lost PLA casting" if you want to make durable replacement parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Non-metal printing. I figure I have a milling machine for anything else that needs the strength/rigidity of a metal piece. The x-axis power feed mount is a good example. A PETG/Carbon fiber printed part, while not the ideal material long term, it should last long enough before the mill gets CNC'ed.

I'd just CNC the mill now but that means complete disassembly to replace the lead screws with double ball screws. And some grinder action on the saddle to carve out a pocket for the x-axis double ball screw. And more electronics. Trying to push that until till later while I get some things done (485 backhoe quick coupler).

Other items for 3D printing. Electronics enclosures and mounts. And those damn plastic end caps on the Husky tool box drawers. They are alway popping off at the slightest touch. I'd just glue them and make a mess or 3D print something that really stays put. :)

The prusa mk3 is high on list. Lead time is not too bad. I can spend a few weeks easy on other projects. :)

Any thought about the FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro2 ?
 

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Seems a little weird to me that folks would buy these printers and have to adapt or use someone else's design to create their part.
To be of true value in my opinion the user should be able to model the part they need to produce. I think above, a gun part was mentioned that was likely produced before the age of models. Did the guy get lucky and find it on line or did he have to reverse engineer and make his own model?
If you decided to get creative and wanted to add a feature to a part you wanted to copy to enhance it's function then you are the one with the design in your head and you won't find the model on the internet.

I never used a printer, even though I have been in manufacturing 45 years. I figured maybe the machine builders had built in some kind of design interface for them.
 

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The Mk3 Prusa is a great machine, and well worth the cost. Prints very well out of the box, and is a standard workhorse. I have also been experimenting with a dual extruder machine, a Tenlog TL-3D, which is an open dual extruder machine at around $500. For the price, I am very pleased with it. It has taken some "playing with" in order to get everything leveled, but for an inexpensive dual extruder printer it does a fine job.

Dual extruders are somewhat more difficult to work with, and the standard advice is to get a single extruder machine first...the duals can be a bit finicky and can definitely make leveling the bed more challenging. For my needs, I wanted the 300mm build capability as I tend to want to print larger things.
 

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3D printers are like pallet forks, you don't realize how useful they are until you have one. At least that is how it was for me, I am a huge nerd and jump on stuff like this all the time but held off on getting a printer cause I just did not see how much I would use it. Got one last fall and gotta say not sure how i managed without it. Even for stupid junk like I wanted my security cam to mount to the rounded topside of a oil tank via magnets. No problem jump on to Fusion3D made a design in about 20 minutes and then printed it.

I went with the Prusa Mk3 but the kit because I wanted to understand more how it worked before it broke ;). It is a great machine and I have not made any changes to it yet. BUT I will still say these things are not foul proof nor ready for everyone to use. Example I would not get one for my mom. But if you can make a milling machine function and operate these things are by far much easier.

Whatever you get a self-leveling feature in my book is the most critical (Mk3 has it).

Also note carbon fiber filaments it is strongly recommended to have a hardened nozzle I do not think any stock printer comes with such a nozzle. But for ones like the Mk3 swapping the nozzle is pretty simple, worse part is you have to zero the machine again. Basically the carbon fiber will chew up the stock nozzles fairly fast.
 

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My local library has several 3d printers hooked up. Sometimes I've gone in and one or two are working. You can send a project in online, it gets printed and you pick it up in a day or two.

I've never done it, but you can get your feet wet, try a few projects at very little cost. These are all filament printers.

I looked at resin printers too a few months ago. There's alot to like about them.

resin print review:
Wow! Elegoo Mars 2 Pro Review - Why it is the best. - YouTube
 

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My local library has several 3d printers hooked up. Sometimes I've gone in and one or two are working. You can send a project in online, it gets printed and you pick it up in a day or two.

I've never done it, but you can get your feet wet, try a few projects at very little cost. These are all filament printers.

I looked at resin printers too a few months ago. There's alot to like about them.

resin print review:
Wow! Elegoo Mars 2 Pro Review - Why it is the best. - YouTube
This is good to get started but once you start doing your own designs you will find out quickly that you need a faster turn around for fine tuning your design. Nice part about 3D printing is for doing this type of trial and error in the design. I mean that is what its initial purpose was for, quick prototypes.
 

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At the budget that you are talking about, I second the Prusa printers. They are very extendable. You can get some amazing prints off of them & then as your needs grow, they are very expandable. The community has some amazing modifications/enhancements for them. I personally have a heavy-modified Marker Gear, but it was in the $2500 range.
 

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At the budget that you are talking about, I second the Prusa printers. They are very extendable. You can get some amazing prints off of them & then as your needs grow, they are very expandable. The community has some amazing modifications/enhancements for them. I personally have a heavy-modified Marker Gear, but it was in the $2500 range.
Also if you want to move beyond the Prusa, you can dive into a DIY printer using the Prusa to print the parts for it. Plus I have already wished i had more then one printer. I may build a CoreXY printer over the winter. I save indoor projects for the winter, too much to do in our short summers here to waste on stuff I can do inside. Wife already knows I dont paint inside rooms in the summer, she wanted the bathroom painted but did not pick out the paint before the weather turned so now she waits.
 
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