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Very close to buying my first printer

Mike1974

Diamond
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Location
Tampa area
Not familiar, but $2100 for first printer seems risky to me. To my knowledge, each machine has it's own firmware. I have 2 printers (hobby grade) and even using same slicing software they print different, temps, speed, etc so it takes some time to dial them in. And for the record, the cheaper one prints better, but has about half the volume of my other one. I have made simple functional parts using PLA, working hinges and such, but obviously not very strong.
 

Strostkovy

Stainless
Joined
Oct 29, 2017
I spent $3500 on my Raise3d E2 as my first printer and love it. You don't need to spend that much though.
In my opinion ABS is pretty much obsolete PETG is much easier to print, basically the same strength, and has better UV resistance. ABS has marginally higher temperature resistance, though I think high temperature PETG is available.
One underrated filament I'm messing with now is high durometer TPU. The impact resistance is great, cost isn't bad, UV resistance is great though certain colors will yellow, and supposedly it's one of the least flammable filaments but I haven't tested that. It should be more heat resistant than ABS, though I haven't tested that either.
PLA prints with a nice matte finish but I have no reason to use it since I get PETG cheaper and get equal quality, but glossy prints. I plan to order some matte PETG to try.
I don't really bother with carbon fiber reinforcement since I just don't need it. If I need strength I can just design the parts I make to use more material in that area. I do often print in 100% infill, which cheaper printers can have issues with. I also like to print at the max flow of my extruder. I have an RFQ in for a typhoon extruder to make parts much faster, but that's over $3k for the extruder alone.
I can list brands that I like for filament but I am omitting them as I want this to be general information on this particular post
 

GiroDyno

Aluminum
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Location
PNW
I have had a number of "economical" printers over the years. There's a bit of a learning curve with each brand and model, but I think once you spend less than $500 you'll hate it and never use it, if you spend more than $1000 on a printer you're mostly just tuning for materials rather than compensating for lousy hardware.

My $250 Anycubic was constantly having all kinds of issues to the point I scrapped it.
I then got a $500 Ender which was (mostly) reliable but I had a few bad solder/plug gremlins. I put $500 into it to make it capable of printing reinforced filament (NylonX) and upgraded the board while I was at it which seemed to fix most problems.
We use a $1500 PulseXE at the day job and we had to warranty the entire printer it after about a month, the replacement then needed a completely new hotend after another month, but the upshot is they were responsive and it was all free aside from the time lost.
Most recently I got an iFast and so far it has been great. I had some setup questions and their support got back to me in a few hours which was very surprising. It certainly "feels" a level above my first two printers, but once your settings are dialed I don't think its faster or makes "nicer" parts than my ender did. There are some quality of life improvements like wi-fi printing, integral LEDs, camera, and the vented/heated build chamber that I really like.
Just get quality filament, and take your time getting settings dialed in and you'll be fine.

And get a dryer if you're running hygroscopic materials!
 

LOTT

Hot Rolled
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
For normal FDM printers Prusa is tough to beat. They are more then the budget printers, but half the cost of that one you mentioned and are dead reliable.
 

lazz

Stainless
Joined
Feb 12, 2012
Location
The warm desert of Phoenix Arizona
As mine makes parts right now I wonder about what a good 3d printer is. I went with a Creality CR-10 V2 thinking its only a few hundred bucks.. I have wasted more than that on stuff that was a complete waste of money.
This printer is 3 or 4 years old and every problem I have had with it was of my own making.

I noticed your comment about printing ABS. FYI when printing ABS you need to maintain a high temp in the whole area. If the bed is hot and the rest cool it will curl your print.

This printer I have has made everything I needed and done a decent job. 3d prints do not come out as nice as injected.



I use it maybe once every couple months.. and it fires up with a flick of a switch.
If you are using a 3d printer OctoPrint is a great way to monitor your progress.

As always without pictures it couldnt have happened.
lead-screw-bracket.jpgoctoprint.jpg
 

PastThePoint

Plastic
Joined
Sep 28, 2022
Clough42 did a review of one not too far back. Check his YT channel. He seemed pretty happy with it, although the new Bambu Lab X1 series looks like it may be a contender as well.
 

PastThePoint

Plastic
Joined
Sep 28, 2022
For normal FDM printers Prusa is tough to beat. They are more then the budget printers, but half the cost of that one you mentioned and are dead reliable.
As an owner of a MK3SMMU2S and a Prusa Mini, I agree. To a point. Newer printers and firmwares are based on 32 but boards now. The mini has a 32bit controller, but the MK3S is still stuck with a board that has pretty much been "maxed out". I don't think there is much room left on the old 8 bit boards, so all of the newer features that are being developed everyday won't be able to be ported over. Newer features like input shaping (the patent just recently expired within the last few years) are pretty amazing.

I am in no way saying the Prusa's are bad printers. I just thought you should be aware of this stuff when considering your first printer.
 








 
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