Long shot: Suggest a 3D printer
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  1. #1
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    Default Long shot: Suggest a 3D printer

    I bought a $300 Monoprice Maker Select (basically a toy) to prototype a product and thinking I might play around with it a little bit. I'll be damned if I'm not using the thing every other day to make actually useful things for the shop! Desk organizers, brackets for washdown hoses, hangers for air guns, work stops for the vision system, jigs for assembly work, just all kinds of things that help our productivity.

    I'm looking for a better quality, larger printer now. Budget is around $1500 or so. I'm wanting to use from .6mm to 1.2mm nozzles because I like my stuff to be clean looking and fairly accurate, but I'm not making artsy type things. And I'm getting pretty tired of 30+ hour prints.

    The goal is to buy a printer that works as-is. I don't want another hobby, I just want a tool that works. I had Tiny Machines quote me a custom CR-10 V2 Pro, and to reliably print with the bigger nozzles, it was going to be about $1000. So they recommended a Formbot Raptor 2.0, which looks like a great machine on paper, geared more toward pro-am type users like me. BUT, it has very little information on it online, no real reviews, no communities, and nobody talking about them on forums, which scares me a little.

    Any advise on the Formbot machine? Or any suggestions for another machine? I think I can get away with 300 x 300mm, but the 400mm beds look very handy.

    Here's the desk organizer I made for the vision system desk and a couple work stops: 20200109_085036.jpg

    EDIT: Thought I'd add a picture of the cutter-of-guaranteed-death I printed to prototype some thick rubber doughnut shaped parts. The look on people's faces was way more fun than actually using it: 20191104_084657.jpg
    Last edited by [email protected]; 01-09-2020 at 02:22 PM.

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  3. #2
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    I've been happy with my Makergear M2 (might be slightly higher than $1500). I've never had an issue going on 4 years. I don't print all the time but when I do, it works well.

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    EDIT: Thought I'd add a picture of the cutter-of-guaranteed-death I printed to prototype some thick rubber doughnut shaped parts. The look on people's faces was way more fun than actually using it: 20191104_084657.jpg[/QUOTE]

    Did you put that in a machine? I suppose as long as you printed up the tool holder it would be ok


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Prusa i3 mk3 with the Multi Material Upgrade 2S (MMU2S). Hits your price point. Everyone I work with that has a 3D printer says this is the best in that range. I will be ordering one when they catch up thier backlog.

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    I should have been more clear. I need 300x300mm build plate minimum, and wouldn't mind 400x400 if the bed doesn't take 3 hours to heat up.

    Quote Originally Posted by ripperj View Post
    Did you put that in a machine? I suppose as long as you printed up the tool holder it would be ok
    Drill press. I almost never wear safety gear, but I had a face shield on for this one. Worked great though. 20191104_110611.jpg

    These printers are amazing for proof of concepts and prototyping certain things. 20200109_161231.jpg

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  9. #6
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    These printers are amazing for proof of concepts and prototyping certain things. 20200109_161231.jpg[/QUOTE]

    I have seen this time and time again , here and mostly elsewhere. Not sure why I don’t have a couple . This thread might put me over the edge



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    I have a Prusa Mk3 and it is excellent, never a problem. they are going to be introducing a XL size version soon, I'm sure there are details out there somewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripperj View Post

    I have seen this time and time again , here and mostly elsewhere. Not sure why I don’t have a couple . This thread might put me over the edge
    Honestly 3D printing services are so cheap that unless you really think you have volume, you should just pay someone else to print it for you.

    I've probably had a hundred parts printed this year, and I could maybe buy the CR-10S that's in my basement for what I spent. Meanwhile I spent zero minutes setting up a printer for any of those jobs. From a dollars stand point I think it's really a no brainer.

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    I ended up buying a Prusa. It's smaller than I would like at 250 x 210 x 210mm build volume, but I was more attracted to the apparent overall quality of the printer itself, and mainly the software implementation. Filament runout sensor and runout routine that actually work, etc. If I need larger parts, I'll bolt or glue smaller parts together for now. That and there are a ton of people printing with .8mm nozzles in this printer so I know it will work fine in that range.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pariel View Post
    Honestly 3D printing services are so cheap that unless you really think you have volume, you should just pay someone else to print it for you.

    I've probably had a hundred parts printed this year, and I could maybe buy the CR-10S that's in my basement for what I spent. Meanwhile I spent zero minutes setting up a printer for any of those jobs. From a dollars stand point I think it's really a no brainer.
    You're probably right, but I have my parts the same or next day, and I can do iterations super quickly. Just this morning I tried 7 different versions of a printed part (that will actually be part of a new product for us). I can buy filament that exactly matches a color. I can alter the direction or shape of face lines if I'm being picky, which I always am. Etc.

    Plus, the printer gives me a creative outlet that I don't get with repeat production jobs out in the shop. It has actually helped me mentally in that regard. Plus I can make stuff for my wife and not have to bother a setup in one of the mills. She even has her own sparkly filament that I use for her stuff. So clearly, 3d printers are the key to world peace.

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    I have an older JG Aurora A5 just about 12" cube volume. I print different things every week it seems. Have one customer that is working out some new designs, super easy to whip one out on the printer that he can actually use and find issues with before committing to aluminum. Then add organizer stuff, some cheap replacement parts etc, and the big one custom press brake tooling and the machine has paid for itself many times over.

    I just use a .4mm nozzle as most of the prototype stuff I print needs the better detail then what a larger nozzle can do. The big stuff I do print is usually just decorative so then I can up the speed and reduce infill to save time.

    I would like to find a CoreXY type machine of similar build volume capable of dual filaments (water soluble support interface type stuff), higher extrusion temps for stuff like nylon and just better quality at higher speeds. Of course I'm too cheap to spend very much on it, maybe do a build kit or something.

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    I have been using the Monoprice Ultimate 2 ($549 sale price), and for the money it has many nice features - glass heated build plate (removable) and auto-leveling, easily replaceable nozzles and easy feed/retract to change materials. I really like the fully enclosed cabinet too. My feeling is that the technology is moving so fast I will use this one until I see new features that I "need" and then donate this one. I absolutely agree that these can be way more useful than just "a toy" for prototypes, fixtures, etc.

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    Bit of an old thread but wondering if [email protected] could update us on how the Prusa is working out?
    Considering one of these myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonymor View Post
    Bit of an old thread but wondering if [email protected] could update us on how the Prusa is working out?
    Considering one of these myself.
    Hi Tony. I liked the one I bought enough to buy two more! We ended up with a 3D printed product that we sell, and are also getting in to printing custom packaging for some of our more delicate machined parts (PETG box with TPU liner). It's way less expensive than having custom foam packaging made for low volume stuff.

    At this point, I wouldn't buy anything other than a Prusa. You can get in to higher end printers in the $2500 - $6000 range, but for our uses, the added functionality (mainly just useless frills in my opinion) are not even close to enough to justify the price hike.

    I have tested the thermal runaway, crash and filament runout software features multiple times, and they work great. I am 100% confident in letting these guys print unattended. That's not to say we always have good prints waiting for us in the morning, but the shop didn't burn down!

    The magnetic build plates are the shit. No fucking around with glue or hair spray or packing tape or painters tape or any other ridiculous thing. Use the smooth PEI sheet for PLA and the powdercoated sheet for everything else.

    The one downside I can think of is that the hotend is limited to 11.5 mm3/s in reality. They claim 15mm3/s, but no. That equates to roughly 30mm/s with a .8mm nozzle, .5mm layer heights. On the other hand, these printers will actually print accurately (+/-.010" or so) at 150mm/s with smaller nozzles and layer heights.

    Any specific questions, please email me. I don't log on here much anymore. matt (at) rfrcustomfab (dot) com

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    I have a Prusa MK3, kit built, and am more than pleased. Best assembly manual of anything I've ever bought. I've actually never even had a failed print, except for one time that I tried to print without enough of the print in contact with the bed, which was easily fixed next go around using the brim option in the slicer program. That said I only use PLA, and that on the smooth PEI build plate. Accurate enough that I can easily make snap together, threaded parts, and gears. It will however merrily continue printing if you do screw up like I did without enough bed contact, which will end up a big glob if the print detaches from the bed. If you keep an eye for a few initial minutes you will be fine as I've never had a detachment once a few layers are down.

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    Thanks for the detailed responses. I will be going ahead with purchasing one of these.

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    Get a Prusa, yup.

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    I've got an Ender 5 pro at work and a Prusa MK3S at home. The Prusa is a nice printer, works reliably, some small complaints on a few things on it but for the money I think its about the best option out there. If your planning on running big nozzles on it I'd just put a Volcano hot end on it from the get go, you'll get lots more done. But having a printer is just super handy.

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  23. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Hi Tony. I liked the one I bought enough to buy two more!
    Since all you ever see of 3D printing is some nerd in his mom's basement, or a million dollar pipe dream, I thought I'd shoot a quick video of 3 printers working in a real shop. Our tiny print farm - YouTube

    The farthest one is printing a flexible liner for some custom packaging for an aluminum part we machine. The middle one is making the box that the liner goes in. And the closest printer is making a part that will expand a current product line of ours... Sliding screen door handles. And this one's flower shaped. Pretty manly, ehh?

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