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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:
 

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
 
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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

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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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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:
 

cjtoombs

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I have a Creality CR-10 that should fit in your budget and has been a very good printer. As far as the options you list wanting to add, I will give you my take on them based on my experience and knowledge of my printer:
1. Dual Z drive, you won't need it
2. Dual extruders, this is a nice option for printing soluble support materials. I'm not pursuing this because I generally don't print things where cosmetics are a primary requirement, so if I need to clip off support material and it leaves some blems, that's not a big problem for me.
3. Non Bowden extruder, this would probably be good if you need to print a lot of flexible filament prints. I have printed flexible filament on my Bowden extruder CR-10, you just have to play with the print speed to get it to print.
4. 110V print bed heater, havn't needed it, plan to do some printing with nylon and I think the current one will meet my needs
5. Spindle, I haven't seen a 3D printer yet that looks strong enough to do any milling in anything heavier than foam, so unless your plan is to carve foam then this is probably a waste of time
6. Laser, there are people who do this, but I would not recommend it. A laser that can do anything on a CNC machine will be non eye safe and is a danger to yourself and others without the proper enclosures and interlocks.

What I do recommend for updates is a heated enclosure (I ordered my laser cut enclosure and added a heater and thermostat) and all metal hot end (for higher temperature materials) and a hardened nozzle (for carbon and glass filled materials). I paid 385 for my CR-10 and the options have cost about 300 since then. It has a large print area and does a good job. It is a no frills printer, so no auto bed leveling, dual extruders or any of the fancy stuff. Good luck and enjoy. I've used mine to do a lot of organizing fixtures in the shop and plan on making machine parts and electrical boxes with it as well. I've also dabbled in lost PLA casting, but the burnout was not complete and the casting failed. I am going to retry it with ABS and dissolve it out with acetone before burnout and pouring. They really are a great addition to a metalworking shop.
 
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Flyinfool

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Woooooo Hoooooo!!!!!
Its here. It is still in the box untill I finish getting the bench set up where it will live. I have to finish running the electrical, for outlets and lighting. Then I can start building.
 

middle.road

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/me tosses some carrots in the general direction of Cudahy, Wisconsin. :grin:
 

Cooter Brown

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Some the biggest problems you will have 3D printing are the Filament absorbs water from the air ruining the filament, so it needs to be stored in a box full of desiccant. The angle that the filament feeds into the extruder needs to be as straight as possible or you will have feed issues. Don't buy cheap Filament its already full of water and needs to be dried in the oven at about 180 degrees for 8 hours..... I had a Tevo Tornado and sold it to a friend....
 

Flyinfool

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It will be living in my basement with all of my other shop tools, I keep it pretty dry down there. My basement is only 600 sq ft. I have a 100 pint rated dehumidifier for moisture control.
 

middle.road

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The more I follow this thread the more I am coming to the conclusion that the FlashForge that is in my possession isn't worth the time or effort. . .
 

coherent

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Personally I wouldn't make multiple extruders a priority. I have dual extruders on the Qidi Tech printer I have and I rarely use both. Maybe that's just me and others will chime in, but most of the things I print only need one color etc. Then again I don't print much that isn't a piece or fixture that's more of a part than toy or just something to look at or amuse, so color etc is rarely even a consideration. I thought of building one of the kits when I was looking, but it was nice to just order one that was pretty much plug and play so I could quickly get up and running. There's enough of a learning curve and tweaking required already to please those who enjoy the building side of hobbies to keep them happy.
 

MikeWi

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The moisture issue depends a lot on the type of fillament, and the brand. My PETG has been sitting unprotected for 4 months now and still works fine for example. It's made by Hatchbox and they claim it's not affected by humidity. This is supposed to be the opposite for PETG, but I have to say it's been fine.

+1 on no multi-extruders. That's a whole 'nuther can of worms and you want to get some skills acquired before you tackle that.
 

Flyinfool

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It will be a while before I delve into the multi head. As I learn to use what I have I might just decide there is no need for it. But it is nice to know that there is a feasible upgrade path if I do need it. I have no plan for multi color, but would like to do multi material. Such as the water soluable support material, Or the effect of a softer over molded compound for things to held in the hand.

I am hopping to assemble and get it running this weekend.
 

GunsOfNavarone

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As I have been researching printers the last week....I came across this video from the infamous Mr. Clough. I'm pretty confident there are other ways to pull off the 2 tone text...but this has got to be easier/faster? I just see talk in here that it's really not needed, for me, whatever James is using in the video my sparks my imagination. How much more work/time is it with a single nozzle (extruder)? This is MOSTLY for my wife, but I'd like to be able to make some me stuff on it..
Clough 2 tone
 
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acruxksa

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You can adapt the prusa mmu to other printers as well, just takes a little more work. I've had 2 prusa printers (a mk2 and mk2.5 that's now a totally modded haribo) as well as an mmu. It's great for somethings, but you'll find that printing multiple colors/materials is nice but rarely needed. I sold my original MK2 and bought a creality cr-x it's a slightly larger printer that prints 2 different colors, but not very good for multi material. Having a prusa mmu and a dual cr-x, I find I rarely use more than one color. The purge towers slow things way down and waste material. There are other mods that can be done to help (purge bucket and assoc. Gcode mods), but it still takes more time and material than a one color/material print. The only thing I use multi material for now is When I need to print something with a lot of supports and use pva for the supports. Temps are on the high end for pla but it works. I dismantled the mmu and used the steppers for my mpcnc last year, then 4 month ago, dismantled the mpcnc and everything is sitting in boxes in my garage waiting to become an mmu again, just haven't needed it. Just an FYI.
 

GunsOfNavarone

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Like the 5 colors ready to go..9-10 weeks out though and I saw "VAT" which leads me to think overseas... but I'll do some research. Thanks man!
 

acruxksa

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Like the 5 colors ready to go..9-10 weeks out though and I saw "VAT" which leads me to think overseas... but I'll do some research. Thanks man!
Everything prusa takes time. :) I waited 6months for my mmu. I love prusa, but have out grown them and if I ever do another 3d printer, it will be a scratch built. At the moment, my haribo is setup for petg and my crx for pla, works for %99 of my needs, but I've also got the haribo for softer materials and the cr-x for pva supports when needed.
 

GunsOfNavarone

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I'm looking at the creality CR-10s for$ 449 right now, again....I've no idea WTH im looking at.
 

acruxksa

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I'm looking at the creality CR-10s for$ 449 right now, again....I've no idea WTH im looking at.
If it's your first printer, the community around the printer is far more important than the printer. Buy one with a very active owner/mod community and there will always be someone to help you.
 

acruxksa

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Uhh....I'm sorry, isn't that what you guys are here for??:p
I've got a heavily modded prusa mk2.5 that has maybe 10 parts from the original and a cr-x that has a very small user base. When people ask me what's a good first printer I used to always say prusa mk 2,2.5,3..... But now I usually say creality ender 3 and now ender 3 pro. They're cheap, there are tons of after market parts that are also cheap and most importantly, there are thousands and thousands of them out there. They print good out of the box and with some simple mods can be made to print even better. I've never owned one, but do loosely follow the hobby. However, there may be other better options since I don't follow as closley as I used to, but it's hard to beat their community for the price.
 

Aaron_W

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I'm looking at the creality CR-10s for$ 449 right now, again....I've no idea WTH im looking at.

Join the club, I've been following 3D printers for 10 years and the only thing them getting cheaper has done is make what I don't know more obvious as it becomes more of a reality that I could actually get one.


The two I keep looking at are the Ender 3 (cheap) and Prusa Mk3 (not cheap but supposedly very user friendly). I figure if I wait long enough a 3rd go to printer for noobs will be released and make the choice that much more difficult for me. :grin:
 
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