Looking to get a 3D printer soon.

Flyinfool

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I am looking to get a 3D printer in the very near future, likely this month yet.
I have been watching many reviews on YouTube. The common theme is that everyone praises whatever they spent their money on.
I am looking to spend up to $400 for the base machine, and will get upgrades over time.
Some of the upgrades I will plan for in no particular order are; Dual Z screws, Dual (or more) extruders, drive for filament on the head, not away on the frame, 110VAC bed heater, ability to replace extruder with a small spindle, be able to replace extruder with a laser diode.

Some of these options I may have in the initial purchase.

I was about ready to pull the trigger on the Tevo Tornado, but I have tried to contact them with some questions and not received an answer or even acknowledgement of being contacted. If they will not respond to make the sale, what communication will there be when I have issues down the road.

I did not really have a second choice lined up. There are so many different brands, So many are clones of something, and many are clones of clones. I do not know that that is a bad thing as the clones all seen to have open source firmware based on either an Arduino or a Raspberry PI, while the originals do not.

I am so cornfused.
 

middle.road

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There he goes down the wabbit hole - Quick someone throw him a line!

:grin:
 

Flyinfool

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Dat pesky wabbit........ Leaving holes all over for me to fall into.
 

Chewy

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Here are links to some latest threads.

The first is me asking about 3d programs for the printer. The second is the post that caught my attention. I am planning to get $800 Prusa and I was told about the $400 Prusa. Looking forward to reply's about this. From my research the Prusa is the way to go. $400 and upgrade along the time or $800 and get it all right out of the box and then maybe add multi spool capability later on. Am playing with Tinkercad and Fusion360 right now. Have a big bunch of things I want to make. As soona as I can getting the files made up, I will get the printer. Charles
 
Last edited:

brino

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Yep, 3D printing is a big world......I spent months in "analysis paralysis" mode.

Then finally realized that if I did not just jump in:
1) the landscape of printers would change (rendering all my research "out of date") ,
2) I could be in that state for a year, and
3) the bonus I got that I decided to spend on it would be spent on something else.

So I jumped in.

I had the budget for a high-end, pre-assembled unit.
We were printing within an hour after opening the box.
I do NOT regret the decision.
https://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/finally-made-the-jump-to-3d-printing.62834/post-517849

-brino
 

Pierre52

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Having been living down this rabbit hole for 3 years now, I am having some difficulty in understanding how you arrived at some of your upgrade options.

Affordable 3D printing can be sheeted back to one person. In 2005 Adrian Bowyer came up with the concept of REPRAP (a self replicating 3d machine) and the concept of making his designs and ideas freely available to anyone who wanted them (Open Source) For anyone wanting to get into the world of 3D printing I would strongly recommend watching a couple of excellent interviews with Adrian on You Tube (One by Tom Sanladerer and one by "The 3d Printing Nerd").

There are a number of companies in the world that embrace the concept of Open Source such as Prusa research, E3D Online, Octoprint, Marlin, Duet 3D and more recently Creality. There are also a number of companies that take the original open source designs, modify them slightly and then sell them to the world as closed source designs mostly Chinese such as companies like Tevo and Anet.

Going further down the rabbit hole I would recommend doing some research on Joe Prusa and the products of E3D Online.

An effective 3D printer design is all about rigidity, and repeatability (sound familiar). The print nozzle/s need/s to be constantly moved in 3D space with a precision greater than 0.01mm. Unlike metal machining though it is an additive process that means machines can be built from much lighter materials. Your concept of adding a spindle is one that many have tried but with less than stellar success through this very factor of structural rigidity.

One of your upgrades mentioned moving the extruder to the print head. While this makes it much easier to print flexible materials such as nylon it adds considerable mass and inertia to the print head that then requires a stronger structure and slower move speeds. 3D printing is a slow process and this slows it down a lot more.
In the same area you mention dual Z screws as an upgrade. I would suggest that this is simply a machine design consideration/compromise and definitely not an upgrade. Moving 2 stepper motors in perfect synch is relatively easy but getting the hardware to follow suit can be problematic.

Many consumer level 3D printers have a bed size typically about 8" square and a heated bed powered from a 12v DC supply with a current draw of about 10-15amps. Larger beds require more power and when you get up to about 12" square you get into the realm of needing a mains power supplied heater element. However, this again is a function of initial machine design (bed size) and not an upgrade. Like buying a mill or a lathe you need to have a careful think about the size of things that you plan to make and then purchase a machine that matches your requirements. If you think in terms of print time, a 7" x 3" x 1" block is going to take about 7 hours to print. Some people are printing stuff that take several days.

Welcome to the rabbit hole :eek:.

I would suggest that you have a look at the Ender3, Prusa Mini and Prusa I3 Mk3s.
 

middle.road

Granite Stoopid...
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"analysis paralysis" mode <--- LMAO, I like that line. Ain't it the truth? You ought to trademark that.

Yep, 3D printing is a big world......I spent months in "analysis paralysis" mode.

Then finally realized that if I did not just jump in:
1) the landscape of printers would change (rendering all my research "out of date") ,
2) I could be in that state for a year, and
3) the bonus I got that I decided to spend on it would be spent on something else.

So I jumped in.

I had the budget for a high-end, pre-assembled unit.
We were printing within an hour after opening the box.
I do NOT regret the decision.
https://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/finally-made-the-jump-to-3d-printing.62834/post-517849

-brino
 

MikeWi

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Jan 21, 2013
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Yeah, you have to consider the source with some of these reviews. Teaching Tech is pretty good at calling it like it is. If there's a problem with a printer, he'll say so, and he's reviewed quite a few.

One of your upgrades mentioned moving the extruder to the print head. While this makes it much easier to print flexible materials such as nylon it adds considerable mass and inertia to the print head that then requires a stronger structure and slower move speeds. 3D printing is a slow process and this slows it down a lot more.
I can not disagree more. There are many options for direct extrusion out there, and it does not need to slow you down. I personally can print at 200mm/s with PETG (which is darn fast) and others on my forum have gone up to 400mm/s. It's all about tuning, and working within the machine's capabilities. Note that speed is dependent on both your acceleration, and the size of the print, and to really get those high speeds, you'll need a 32bit mainboard, and different firmware, namely Klipper.

In the same area you mention dual Z screws as an upgrade. I would suggest that this is simply a machine design consideration/compromise and definitely not an upgrade. Moving 2 stepper motors in perfect synch is relatively easy but getting the hardware to follow suit can be problematic.
This is not that bad either. In fact, one of the top printer designs out there, the Voron2 uses 4 Z stepper motors, one at each corner! That said, there are many designs, and after-market kits to that use one stepper and a belt to drive both Z screws.

Many consumer level 3D printers have a bed size typically about 8" square and a heated bed powered from a 12v DC supply with a current draw of about 10-15amps. Larger beds require more power and when you get up to about 12" square you get into the realm of needing a mains power supplied heater element. However, this again is a function of initial machine design (bed size) and not an upgrade. Like buying a mill or a lathe you need to have a careful think about the size of things that you plan to make and then purchase a machine that matches your requirements. If you think in terms of print time, a 7" x 3" x 1" block is going to take about 7 hours to print. Some people are printing stuff that take several days.
10" is becoming more typical and some go larger. Also 12V is largely considered under-powered now. Too slow to heat up. 24V is what I would look for and while an mains heated bed will be faster, it also requires additional hardware such as an SSR. Meanwhile, my 250mm square 24V bed can get up to 245C in 3 min.s Plenty fast.

Welcome to the rabbit hole :eek:.
I would suggest that you have a look at the Ender3, Prusa Mini and Prusa I3 Mk3s.
Yeah, like he said. :) Lots of options out there. Prusa is nice no question about it, but I consider it to be over-priced. OTH, if you don't want to spend time fiddling with the printer, and learning how to upgrade, it could be a good choice, and it already has a system ready for multi-material printing.
 

Flyinfool

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OK some of the thoughts on my choices. There are parts I want to make that are 10.5 x 11 inches (266.7mm x 279.4mm) . This is why I was looking at the 300 x 300 bed size.

Some of the reviews that I have been watching mention the the Z with a single drive is fine when the machine is new, but it will loosen up over time and the dual Z will help. I have not decided if I will go with dual steppers or a belt drive system, I can see advantages and disadvantages to both.

The Tevo is a clone of the CR10 which is a clone of the Prusa. It uses a common motherboard, the MKS Gen L 1.0, there are a lot of different firmware's that can be loaded onto it, It has plug in drivers for future upgrades, and has an empty channel for future upgrades. Like the dual extruder.

I will be after a dual extruder eventually so that I can print solvable supports.

I am not after the spindle attachment to try to make a milling machine out of it, More for light engraving to make PCBs without the nasty chemicals. It only has to push a .062 or 1mm end mill thru copper that is .001 inch thick.

The laser attachment was to make reed valves out of .005 thick spring steel by using the laser to remove etch resist and then chemically milling the parts.

3D design software I am not worried about, I am a design engineer and have been using Inventor at work for around 15 years. I will just have to learn some slicing software.

I am sure there are a lot of variables that I have not even thought of yet, but that gaping wabbit hole is calling my name.
 

Flyinfool

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HELP ME I'M FALLING............

Dat wabbit hole done caught me and I'm falling right in.........

I just pushed the buy button and a printer should be here early next week.

:oops::oops2::laughing::bang head:
 
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