Looking for 3d Printers

(Craig Cole) #1

As I know virtually nada about 3D printers I am asking anyone with some experience in 3d Printers to point me in the right direction. I am looking to add a 3d printer to my shop that is affordable and most importantly , one that is not a kit. Looking for plug and play. without breaking the bank. Thank you in advance!!

(Anthony Waltz) #2

I’m new to 3D printing as well. I bought a Creality Ender 3 about 6 months ago and I love it. Decent build volume, reliable, easy for beginners starting out. $240 on Amazon with Prime plus another ~$150 in accessories and consumables. I had issues with bed adhesion at first, but then I bought the borosilicate glass and that took care of it. 9/10, would buy again.

(William Adams) #3

I was gifted an Ordbot a while back, and enjoyed getting it up and running. Put my general notes on 3D printing up at:


and also converted my SO2 into a 3D printer: https://wiki.shapeoko.com/index.php/RepStrapOko (Note that I do not recommend such a conversion, esp. for an SO3)

I keep thinking about getting a replacement (I gave the Ordbot away to one of my daughter’s friends and sold the SO2 to make room for the SO3) — need to find time to use the machines I have more instead though.

(Griff Carpenter) #4

No expert here, first 3D printer a few months ago.

Absolute killer support, machine ready to print out of the box, truly plug and play, customized slicer software that is constantly improving, very supportive community.

Not to mention open source hardware AND software so eminately hackable if you desire.

Made my selection after 6 months on/off research.

(William Adams) #5

To expand on my previous comment, I’m seriously considering getting another 3D printer (probably a delta this time). Reasons:

  • quicker projects — no need to consider workholding, fixturing, endmills, &c. It’s a lot easier to buy some filament than it is to source wood or metal
  • less waste — one drawback to the pre-finished bamboo flooring I’ve been buying — it’s not something I feel comfortable about tossing in the compost pile, so has to go into the garbage — failed PLA prints go in the compost bin
  • less expensive material — I don’t feel bad about making a sacrificial jig out of PLA (really need to revisit the sectional spoilboard for the Nomad which was going to be discrete, replaceable sections which where machined in situ to tram them when replaced
  • quieter — I didn’t mind reading while monitoring the printer, but can’t quite get comfortable doing that with either CNC

(Neil Ferreri) #6

I operate & maintain several 3D printers and have experience with dozens of types ranging from $200 - >$10,000. With all that experience, I will be going with a Prusa that @Griff linked above for our next one. The cheap ones are inconsistent…two of the same model, built by the same person will yield different results.

(Julien Heyman) #7

While it is probably not relevant for the original question, I happened to buy a Delta printer kit (Anycubic Kossel Linear Plus) after following @aaI3D’s advice from this thread, and I could not be happier with the incredible value for money.

This is probably not a good recommandation for someone looking for a “just works out of the box” printer to support a business, it’s a kit and yes it comes with a cr***ppy firmware by default, but for a hobbyist usage and for someone who is willing to put a little effort into understanding how it must be configured/calibrated, it has proved to be an excellent cheap investment.

In case you are interested I documented my initial experience with it here, (kind of like I did when I got my Shapeoko :slight_smile: )

(Aaron Allen) #8

For a first printer, I always recommend people go with a kit so they can understand how the printer works.
I have found when you build something you tend to me more comfortable taking it apart.
With 3D printers you will sooner or later have to troubleshoot and disassemble the printer.
For a complete printer it is tough to find one under $1000 that will print reliably, the Prusa print is a great choice.
If you are wanting to save money a kit is the best way to go, the Ender 3 is a great kit for under $200 and it doesn’t take much time to assemble.
For a little more the Anycubic Delta is a great printer, it is my current workhorse.

My current printers are listed below:
MakerBot Replicator 2X [My first printer]
AnyCubic Delta [most used]
Ender 3 [2nd most used printer]
Pursa MK3 [3rd most used printer]
Raise3D Pro2 [newest printer, only have done a few test prints]

(Terry Morris) #9

I have been 3D printing for 8 years and the first thing is “what do you want to print”. Here is why I ask. Most people use FDM machines (like Prusa, TAZ, Ultimaker…) and they print using spools of filament.

FDM is good for general use and making structural parts and fairly large parts but the surface will always have layer lines and small defects. However if you are wanting small intricate detailed parts you might want an resin printer like an Anycubic Photon. These make small to medium prints that can look like molded parts with clean surfaces and no layer lines but they are a bit fragile and not strong, they are great though for small figures, jewelry and items you want to make a mold of where an FDM print would need a lot of sanding and filling to get that surface quality.

I have both types of machines. I love my TAZ printer but I also hear a ton of good stuff about the Prusa machines as well (and he is a great guy).

I suggest you go check out a few YouTube channels starting with 3D Printing Nerd, Make Anything, RCLifeOn, Thomas Sanladerer & Maker’s Muse. There is a ton of good information and a huge variety of machines shown on those channels (and they are entertaining at the same time).

(Neil Ferreri) #10

That will also determine the size of printer you want. Bigger might sound better, but that is not the case if you’ll ever use the build volume. And build volume is nice until you realize it’ll take 40hrs to print that full sized storm trooper helmet.

(Terry Morris) #11

Exactly, my TAZ printer is 300 x 300 x 300 and 90% of the stuff I print is less than 100mm

(Dan Nelson) #12

I really enjoyed building my first machine (Rostock Max V2 delta). I learned a ton and it really improved my troubleshooting skills. Prior to that I ran a big behemoth machine for work, and when it’d die we’d call support, many $$$ later and it’d run again…until it needed service again. After the Rostock I bought a Powerspec and it’s ran pretty flawlessly for around $700. Any issues I’ve had I was able to fix on my own. A couple years ago my day job asked me to find them a large volume machine, and we bought a big 1mx1mx0.5m machine(yes, that’s meter x meter x 1/2 meter). With my earlier experience we’ve pretty much been able to keep it running well without any tech support visits. If you’re somewhat mechanically inclined and have a little patience I strongly suggest building from a kit, the knowledge is invaluable. One other thing that I always suggest is good slicer software. I absolutely love Simplify3D software. It’s like $150, but totally worth it. We even run our big machine at work from Simplify. It’s just a fantastic piece of software.


(Craig Cole) #13

Thank you all!! I think im going to roll with the Prusa3D

(Neil Ferreri) #14

Free shipping this weekend!

(Craig Cole) #15

I saw that !! I will be taking advantage of that 4 sure!!

(Tito) #16

I’m a 3d printing noob, but I have to say I’m super impressed with my (kit) Prusa mk3. The prints were very disappointing until I found that the Y gear grub screws were loose. Printing a 20x20x20 mm diagnostic cube made the issue crystal clear. Since then, it’s been awesome (at least in printing PLA–the only material I’ve used so far).

(Nathaniel Klumb) #17

I’m not that big a 3D printer person, but I do so like mine (which isn’t a slick Prusa or anything special). It’s really proven itself far more useful than I would’ve expected when I picked it up. (I mostly use it for functional bits and bobs.)

Just this Monday, my Suckit Dust Boot arrived, and I discovered that it and my Beaver CNC Easy-Tram didn’t get along. I took the stock spacer from the Suckit, whipped up a simple sketch in Fusion 360, extruded it to 10mm, sliced with with Simplify 3D (which is wonderful), and sent it to print. It took longer to run off to get some 35mm screws than it did to model and print the spacers. (Note to self: maybe pick up a stock of various size screws one of these days.)

(William Adams) #18

I have always regretted not buying a plastic organizer of M5 hardware which an auto store had in stock ages ago for some reason — would’ve saved me many trips such as you describe.

Since then, I’ve pretty much put together my own assortment of various hardware in various plastic organizers — it’s a huge time saver, and I need to extend that sort of organization to everything else in my life.

(Adam Albert) #19

I just asked for an Easy-Tram for Christmas. Since I use a Suckit Dust Boot, I am now concerned that I will have problems :frowning:. Do you mind sharing your modification as either a model or as gcode?

(ryan harrison) #20

I have many machines and would recommend the the Prusa3D to anyone starting out or seasoned. It’s is great machine, fairly low cost, lots of support, and continued updates…

For a slightly higher price tag I can also highly recommend a Zortrax M200, Very much plug and play with excellent results out of the box.

The CR-10 series is great for larger prints, low entry price, and fairly decent quality once dialed in. Plus there are lots of people upgrading them so lots of forum support as well.