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JonnyAlpha
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3D Printer

Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:13 pm

Hi;

I may be in the market to buy a 3D printer, it will be used mainly for making robotics project type parts and Pi Cases of course :-)

I have been looking for a while, focusing on the Ultimaker series, either the Ultimaker Original or the Ultimaker 2, but at £1500 its about £500 over budget. I do however want to get something that offers a good construction size and future proofing.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks
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Re: 3D Printer

Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:33 am

I would imagine that your buying choices are going to be dictated by how much you're prepared to tinker. For half of your budget (or possibly even less) you could get a reprap kit, or some kind of derivative, that will probably do the job just as well as machines twice the cost... provided that you're prepared to put a lot of time into building it and regularly tweaking it.

Your budget sounds fairly reasonable for a pre-built machine; in that sort of range you probably won't have to tweak it nearly as much as you would with a cheaper kit. But I'm afraid I've no recommendations in that sort of price bracket, all the machines I've been looking at are less than £400 (some less than £300 even).

Of course you could always wait for Mattel's $300 ThingMaker :D http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/15/matt ... d-printer/. (I joke, but I am interested to see what implications this has on the 3D printer market once it's actually released. This is a device aimed at children for making toys, if you can make an easy to use consumer oriented 3D printer for $300 then the rest of the market is going to have to respond).

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Re: 3D Printer

Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:41 am

I understand that there are some patents that will expire next year for some of the printing processes that are above the basic level, and this will allow Chinese manufacturers to get in on the market and bring prices down .

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Re: 3D Printer

Tue Feb 23, 2016 9:51 am

CubePro Duo 3D Printer
Controlled climate chamber ensures improved accuracy and reliability of print for effortless, professional quality every time
Dual extruder prints in 2 colors and multiple materials, including PLA, ABS, Infinity Rinse-Away support material, and Nylon
Allows printing of designs up to 9.56"(w) x 10.6"(d) x 9.06"(h) or 24.29cm(w) x 27.04cm(d) x 23cm(h)
Fast, easy set up with an integrated color touch screen that guides you through the set up and printing process, and you can send your prints from your desktop to printer in workshop, wirelessly
Prints in three resolutions: 70 microns for high resolution, 200 microns for standard resolution or 300 microns for draft resolution

Mod Edit: Removed link spam. It's not a bad printer though.

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Re: 3D Printer

Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:13 am


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Re: 3D Printer

Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:51 am

I will soon receive my kickstarter Tiko 3D printer for $179.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ti ... 3d-printer

They seem to be about 6 months late from schedule. But according to the latest news the first shipments will start next month :o

I have been using Ultimaker 2 for about a year now. PLA has been the only material.

The printer is good at "normal" settings. The "fast" settings produce only crap. The "ultimate" settings makes no difference to "normal".

imho the Ultimaker 2 is a good 3D printer. If I had not taken the chance with Tiko I might have ended up saving for Ultimaker 2.

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Re: 3D Printer

Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:07 pm

mr.ammy wrote:CubePro Duo 3D Printer
Controlled climate chamber ensures improved accuracy and reliability of print for effortless, professional quality every time
Dual extruder prints in 2 colors and multiple materials, including PLA, ABS, Infinity Rinse-Away support material, and Nylon
Allows printing of designs up to 9.56"(w) x 10.6"(d) x 9.06"(h) or 24.29cm(w) x 27.04cm(d) x 23cm(h)
Fast, easy set up with an integrated color touch screen that guides you through the set up and printing process, and you can send your prints from your desktop to printer in workshop, wirelessly bikram singh majithia
Prints in three resolutions: 70 microns for high resolution, 200 microns for standard resolution or 300 microns for draft resolution
Please be careful when posting - this is spammy.
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Re: 3D Printer

Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:15 pm

karrika wrote:I will soon receive my kickstarter Tiko 3D printer for $179.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ti ... 3d-printer

They seem to be about 6 months late from schedule. But according to the latest news the first shipments will start next month :o

I have been using Ultimaker 2 for about a year now. PLA has been the only material.

The printer is good at "normal" settings. The "fast" settings produce only crap. The "ultimate" settings makes no difference to "normal".

imho the Ultimaker 2 is a good 3D printer. If I had not taken the chance with Tiko I might have ended up saving for Ultimaker 2.
I'm also waiting for a Tiko, their intended retail price of $179 once the kickstarter is complete will be more of a game changer than Mattel's $300 ThingMaker.

It's just a shame about the Troll in the comments section.
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Re: 3D Printer

Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:39 am

jamesh wrote:Please be careful when posting - this is spammy.
It *is* spam. See the hidden URL (already reported)

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Re: 3D Printer

Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:52 am

Thanks DirkS. All sorted, including the other post with the link spam. Although why he would want to risk that just to promote a Twitter page is anyone's guess.

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Re: 3D Printer

Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:31 pm

rurwin wrote:Thanks DirkS. All sorted, including the other post with the link spam. Although why he would want to risk that just to promote a Twitter page is anyone's guess.
Looks like an attempt to manipulate search engines.
You have been very lenient. I would have removed + banned...

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Re: 3D Printer

Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:13 pm

blc wrote:I would imagine that your buying choices are going to be dictated by how much you're prepared to tinker. For half of your budget (or possibly even less) you could get a reprap kit, or some kind of derivative, that will probably do the job just as well as machines twice the cost... provided that you're prepared to put a lot of time into building it and regularly tweaking it.

Your budget sounds fairly reasonable for a pre-built machine; in that sort of range you probably won't have to tweak it nearly as much as you would with a cheaper kit. But I'm afraid I've no recommendations in that sort of price bracket, all the machines I've been looking at are less than £400 (some less than £300 even).

Of course you could always wait for Mattel's $300 ThingMaker :D http://www.engadget.com/2016/02/15/matt ... d-printer/. (I joke, but I am interested to see what implications this has on the 3D printer market once it's actually released. This is a device aimed at children for making toys, if you can make an easy to use consumer oriented 3D printer for $300 then the rest of the market is going to have to respond).
What's a reprap kit?

I would have budgeted around £800 as I was looking at some of the Ultimakers (Original and Ultimaker 2) however since asking questions such as here I am now finding cheaper options:

I found another version of a Prusa i3 on Amazon sold by a company called HICTOP for £255.99, a comment on the advert warning of knockoffs seemed a bit unprofessional and has made me a little dubious.
Here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B015OEC5IG/r ... 1e32580c_S

TBH I am not sure what I am looking for having never used one before!! But I guess I want one that does small detail and has a large output and uses a range of materiel (if that is an advantage)?
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Re: 3D Printer

Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:34 pm

JonnyAlpha wrote:What's a reprap kit?
RepRap is and was the open source hardware and software that kicked off cheap 3D printing. It's gone through several generations now but I think RepRap as a name is the family as a whole. Prusa, for instance, is one of them. If you can get it as a kit, it will be a RepRap. For more info ask Wikipedia, I'm sure they've got a very full page about it.

I get the feeling that one can survive using only PLA or ABS but the option to choose the material helps. The exotics such as wood- or metal-loaded, or rubbery filaments would be nice to have but of less importance.

I failed badly yesterday. I put in an order for a SeeMeCNC Orion Delta without asking She Who Must Be Obeyed. Then I confessed and had to defend myself against accusations of buying stuff we've got no space for etc. (Honestly I want a full-size delta; I chose the Orion because it's small and won't take up so much room. But the tiny ones are a whole lot less capable and produce rubbish prints.) Then I read my email and the order had been cancelled due to no stock being available. I've got an uphill struggle now and only myself to blame.

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Re: 3D Printer

Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:35 am

rurwin wrote:
JonnyAlpha wrote:What's a reprap kit?
RepRap is and was the open source hardware and software that kicked off cheap 3D printing. It's gone through several generations now but I think RepRap as a name is the family as a whole. Prusa, for instance, is one of them. If you can get it as a kit, it will be a RepRap. For more info ask Wikipedia, I'm sure they've got a very full page about it.
What he said. :)

In fact this kit...
JonnyAlpha wrote:I found another version of a Prusa i3 on Amazon sold by a company called HICTOP for £255.99, a comment on the advert warning of knockoffs seemed a bit unprofessional and has made me a little dubious.
Here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B015OEC5IG/r ... 1e32580c_S
...Is a RepRap. Chances are that the vast majority of 3D printers - or at least the low-cost ones - use some elements of earlier RepRap designs. Yay for open source :).

FWIW I've also been looking at Hictop kits - they reviewed well on one of rurwin's links back further up the page. I'd rather one with an aluminium frame so I managed to find this slightly more expensive version: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B015OF7JI6/r ... N4U2&psc=1

I think I'd rather go a cheaper DIY kit personally. Things are going to need tweaking anyway, so I'd rather learn as much as possible along the way; if I've built a kit from the ground up then I'll probably have a better idea of where to look when things go wrong. Of course that takes a lot more time and effort - there's always a tradeoff.

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Re: 3D Printer

Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:22 am

blc wrote: In fact this kit...
JonnyAlpha wrote:I found another version of a Prusa i3 on Amazon sold by a company called HICTOP for £255.99, a comment on the advert warning of knockoffs seemed a bit unprofessional and has made me a little dubious.
Here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B015OEC5IG/r ... 1e32580c_S
...Is a RepRap. Chances are that the vast majority of 3D printers - or at least the low-cost ones - use some elements of earlier RepRap designs. Yay for open source :).
Yes, the Prusa is one of the RepRap designs, which makes the HICTOP comment about knockoffs very strange, there are a wide selection of Prusa kits available on amazon.

AIUI RepRap is all about making 3d printer kits available to as many people as possible, the concept being that the 3d printers can print the parts needed for other 3d printers and so Reproduce.

When my Tiko comes I'll be printing parts to make a RepRap printer.
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Re: 3D Printer

Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:07 am

And of course RepRap isn't only kits. The aformentioned Orion Delta is a RepRap Rostock Mini, supplied (almost) fully assembled. I could probably make a kit up if I needed to, but twenty hours of fiddling with bits of metal is not my idea of fun. By buying an open source design I benefit from (and can contribute to) the community but without the initial hard work. It costs three times as much so I'm paying something over $700 for being lazy.

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Re: 3D Printer

Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:24 pm

BMS Doug wrote:
blc wrote: In fact this kit...
JonnyAlpha wrote:I found another version of a Prusa i3 on Amazon sold by a company called HICTOP for £255.99, a comment on the advert warning of knockoffs seemed a bit unprofessional and has made me a little dubious.
Here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B015OEC5IG/r ... 1e32580c_S
...Is a RepRap. Chances are that the vast majority of 3D printers - or at least the low-cost ones - use some elements of earlier RepRap designs. Yay for open source :).
Yes, the Prusa is one of the RepRap designs, which makes the HICTOP comment about knockoffs very strange, there are a wide selection of Prusa kits available on amazon.

AIUI RepRap is all about making 3d printer kits available to as many people as possible, the concept being that the 3d printers can print the parts needed for other 3d printers and so Reproduce.

When my Tiko comes I'll be printing parts to make a RepRap printer.
I have found another Prusa on eBay for £159!
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2015-Upgraded ... SwJkJWlZ5A
Looking at the specs these look identical, even down to the spelling mistakes?

Not sure which one is the best?
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Re: 3D Printer

Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:35 pm

JonnyAlpha wrote:I have found another Prusa on eBay for £159!
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2015-Upgraded ... SwJkJWlZ5A
Looking at the specs these look identical, even down to the spelling mistakes?

Not sure which one is the best?
I'm not sure which one would be objectively "better", but if I do end up getting a kit then I'll probably go via Amazon; at least I should be able to get some measure of after-sales service (I'm hoping anyway).

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Re: 3D Printer

Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:44 pm

blc wrote:
JonnyAlpha wrote:I have found another Prusa on eBay for £159!
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2015-Upgraded ... SwJkJWlZ5A
Looking at the specs these look identical, even down to the spelling mistakes?

Not sure which one is the best?
I'm not sure which one would be objectively "better", but if I do end up getting a kit then I'll probably go via Amazon; at least I should be able to get some measure of after-sales service (I'm hoping anyway).
Although around £100 more, I was thinking along the same lines :-)
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Re: 3D Printer

Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:02 pm

Tiny fun RepRap/UK computing history factlet: one half of the original RepRap developers used to be a hardware type at Amstrad. Vik Olliver is also responsible for making PLA popular for 3D printing. He now runs Diamond Age Solutions, developing and selling 3D printers and filament in New Zealand.
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Re: 3D Printer

Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:20 am

Hi,
I built a kossel clear delta printer about 12 months ago and I have never looked back. Owning a 3D printer is a liberating experience for want to be inventors and makers. It is just awesome being able to dream stuff up in my head, turn it into a 3D model and then being able to create a functional part in a matter of hours.
It was also an extremely enjoyable experience building my machine from a kit.
I think the kossel clear kit is unavailable at the moment.

However there are lots of different sorts of 3D printer you can buy so you have to decide what you want to do and buy an appropriate printer. You can also print stuff by sending your design off to a 3D print bureau which is much more expensive, but you can get your things printed in loads of different materials, including metal.

The most common sort of printer to be found in the home is the fused filament printer.
The fused filament printer creates objects by extruding molten plastic filament to build up a model layer by layer.

You have two basic sorts of printers cartesian such as the rep rap mendle, and delta printers.

Cartesians generally do smaller builds and use more motors and move the print bed around which can cause the thing your are printing to fall over if the bed movement is too fast and the part has not stuck to the print bed properyly. However the last statement was a generalisation and there are cartesians printers with fixed beds ,that are big enough to print houses from concrete.Cartesian printers are robust and accurate, and capable of having more than one or two hot ends so you can print in multi colours or multi materials. I am not bothered about multi coloured printing as it is easy enough to paint the plastic object afterwards.
I am bothered about multi material printing as it is possible to use one material as a support material and to chemically remove it afterwards.

Delta printers have a fixed bed and can print at a faster pace than a cartesian. They can print large objects especially in the vertical direction. They are quieter to operate than a cartesian. Delta's are much harder to calibrate than a cartesian printer and they don't commonly come with multiple hot ends as it is hard to balance dual delta hotends leading to disaster due to the hot ends being at slightly different heights above the print bed. There are several commercial models of the market which have multiple extruders, but they cost about £2000.

Another consideration is which material do you wish to print with. The two main types of plastic filaments are PLA and ABS plastic filaments. There are lots of other exotic filaments on the market.

PLA is easier to print with than ABS, but it has a lower melting point than ABS so it's not good for use with things that might get hot such as electronic circuits. PLA also absorbs water from the atmosphere readily, which can lead to the water being driven out when printing leading to sputtering. If you plan to keep your printer in a damp shed as I do I think ABS is the best option.
PLA is biodegradable whereas ABS isn't.

To print with ABS you need a heated bed on the printer, and even better if you can afford it a heated chamber. ABS is difficult to print with as it shrinks considerably whilst cooling which can lead to cracking and warping when it cools down.

With fused filament printing the time to print the object is proportional to the volume or a better way of thinking about it is the cube of the scaling factor of the model that you are printing.

So if a one inch cube takes 20 minutes to print, scaling the model by a factor of two will give a new volume of 2*2*2 inches = 8 cubic inches. So the new 2" cube model will now take approximately 160 minutes to print at the new size and uses 8 times as much filament. The amount of time it takes to print out a model increase the probability of a model failing to print properly due to an unforseen disaster such as a power cut or a kink in the filament or software error.

3D printers shouldn't be left unattended for long periods of time and really need about the same level of supervision as a pan on a stove does. To illustrate my point on this I tried printing out a twenty sided icosahedron die in ABS plastic on my printer, and due to the geometry of the icosahedron, the ABS plastic warped as the die was coolling; the die's edges curled upwards and it stuck itself to the hotend. Consequetly this lead to a huge blob of molten plastic being stuck to the printer hot end, which was operating at 235 deg C. If I had not been checking on my printer regulary this could have lead to a fire.

If you need to print very accurately or extreamely small details less than 1mm consider getting a DLP printer rather than a fused filament printer. DLP printers use a photsensitive chemical that turns from a liquid to a solid when exposed to UV light. The major draw back of DLP printers is that the 3D printing resin costs a lot, and you have to handle and work with chemicals. I would like a DLP printer for priting off small parts which are too small to be printed accurately using the fused filament method.

There are lots of other sorts of 3D printer, but these industrial printers are expensive and you would probably only find them in a light industrial setting.

Anyway I hope this helps you to decide what sort of printer to buy.

Why do I always find errors after I have posted my post ?

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Re: 3D Printer

Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:35 pm

zog wrote:Hi,
I built a kossel clear delta printer about 12 months ago and I have never looked back. Owning a 3D printer is a liberating experience for want to be inventors and makers. It is just awesome being able to dream stuff up in my head, turn it into a 3D model and then being able to create a functional part in a matter of hours.
It was also an extremely enjoyable experience building my machine from a kit.
I think the kossel clear kit is unavailable at the moment.

However there are lots of different sorts of 3D printer you can buy so you have to decide what you want to do and buy an appropriate printer. You can also print stuff by sending your design off to a 3D print bureau which is much more expensive, but you can get your things printed in loads of different materials, including metal.

The most common sort of printer to be found in the home is the fused filament printer.
The fused filament printer creates objects by extruding molten plastic filament to build up a model layer by layer.

You have two basic sorts of printers cartesian such as the rep rap mendle, and delta printers.

Cartesians generally do smaller builds and use more motors and move the print bed around which can cause the thing your are printing to fall over if the bed movement is too fast and the part has not stuck to the print bed properyly. However the last statement was a generalisation and there are cartesians printers with fixed beds ,that are big enough to print houses from concrete.Cartesian printers are robust and accurate, and capable of having more than one or two hot ends so you can print in multi colours or multi materials. I am not bothered about multi coloured printing as it is easy enough to paint the plastic object afterwards.
I am bothered about multi material printing as it is possible to use one material as a support material and to chemically remove it afterwards.

Delta printers have a fixed bed and can print at a faster pace than a cartesian. They can print large objects especially in the vertical direction. They are quieter to operate than a cartesian. Delta's are much harder to calibrate than a cartesian printer and they don't commonly come with multiple hot ends as it is hard to balance dual delta hotends leading to disaster due to the hot ends being at slightly different heights above the print bed. There are several commercial models of the market which have multiple extruders, but they cost about £2000.

Another consideration is which material do you wish to print with. The two main types of plastic filaments are PLA and ABS plastic filaments. There are lots of other exotic filaments on the market.

PLA is easier to print with than ABS, but it has a lower melting point than ABS so it's not good for use with things that might get hot such as electronic circuits. PLA also absorbs water from the atmosphere readily, which can lead to the water being driven out when printing leading to sputtering. If you plan to keep your printer in a damp shed as I do I think ABS is the best option.
PLA is biodegradable whereas ABS isn't.

To print with ABS you need a heated bed on the printer, and even better if you can afford it a heated chamber. ABS is difficult to print with as it shrinks considerably whilst cooling which can lead to cracking and warping when it cools down.

Anyway I hope this helps you to decide what sort of printer to buy.
Zog;

thank you very much for the info above, it has helped me gain a better understanding regarding how 3D printers differ in operation and build type.

I didn't realise that the Prusa i3 was a 'cartesian' printer however I have seen a few youtube videos and some of them still seem pretty smooth / stable.
The Prusa's that I had been looking at were Acrylic frame so: i started to look for Aluminium ones and they are available.
I like the Ooznest one but its a little more expensive at £475:
http://ooznest.co.uk/3D-Printer-CNC-Kit ... usa-i3-Kit

I notice on some of these kits the fillament is mounted on top of the frame, does this cause problems? I have also noticed that on some the Filament Spool is loose on the workbench, does this affect feed in anyway?
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Re: 3D Printer

Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:11 pm

I had an i3, something I made myself. The main issue with i3 is the upright frame is not securely attached. Any forces acting on it will cause a wobble which really hits your print.
I've since acquired a MendelMax from a contact. This is made from extruded alloy and so is very rigid.

Regarding the filliment, my set-up is to have the spools on a bit of threaded rod with some gaffa tape over it (I found the spools moved as they where rotated). The main thing to worry about is high friction, most extruders have a low of Torque and so it's not an issues. The worst case would be the fillament being too tight to pull off. There are a lot of options (see Thinguniverse).

What else..

Most Reprap use Arduino based controller. This works pretty well but is limited in performance. I found on complicated shapes, the Serial Buffer couldn't keep up and the printer kept pausing mid-print. Printing directly from an SD Card fixed that.

I'd love a Delta Printer, but there are limitations in these.

If you're printing ABS, you'll need a heated bed, and ideally enclose the printer. There is/was a patent on enclosing a 3D printer to improve print quality. I experimented with bits of cardboard+bluetak and could see a benifit.

The firmware has thermal runaway feature, but it's usually disabled by default. Remember to enable this. Printers run at 210C and hotter... If the sensor falls off, there is a real risk of a meltdown (and so fire).

Raspberry Pi can be used as a print server. I've installed this, but not actually hooked it up. You'll then get a nice web interface to upload print files to, check status and even hook the Pi camera to see what is going on.

The cheap(er) commercial printers may not have heated beds, so you can only print in PLA. PLA is fairly brittle, but is biodegradable and fairly easy to print with. ABS is a bit harder to print with (see enclosure around your printer comments) but is generally more compliant.
Some cheap commercial printers make you use their filament. They're trying to use the same model as InkJet printers.... Cheap printer, higher cost of consumables.


There is a RepRap group on Facebook.

My plan is to build another Mendel, make the extruder easily removable and fit a flexable dremmel head and run it as a low speed etch/cutter. Being belt drive, it won't be cutting metal, but thin plastics should be ok if I move slowly.

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Re: 3D Printer

Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:10 pm

Some considerations you should have before buying.
Actual print size.
Ratings from users or builders.
Your technical ability.

The table size does not equal the print size. Very discouraging to find that what you want to print is too big for your printer!

You can save yourself a lot of heartache/wasted money by looking for kit or product reviews.

If you go the kit route you need to be decent with your hands, able to visualize the finished assembly. Most of the kits directions, that I have built or instructions reviewed, have missing pieces in them that you have to get past. This can be very frustrating when you have to take steps back to go forward.

Stay away from the plywood kits. Why? They swell and shrink due to humidity. Bolts become loose. Belt tension changes because everything else is changing. You can stabilize the plywood with sealers. You can strengthen screw and bolt holes with super glue. Or you can a buy plastic or metal kit and not go through constant maintenance and adjusting.

I know this from experience with a Printrbot Simple Makers kit. Moved the electronics it into a Printrbot Play upgrade and was much happier. My Printrbot Simple Metal was bought preassembled and it prints even better. The Play is my experimental printer!
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scruss
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Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:25 pm
Location: Toronto, ON
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Re: 3D Printer

Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:48 pm

Lob0426 wrote:… My Printrbot Simple Metal was bought preassembled and it prints even better. The Play is my experimental printer!
Yeah, I'm using a Printrbot Simple Metal at my local makerspace, and it's pretty solid. The cast rail guide is a nice touch. It does have a few boneheaded features, though: stability (lack of it), wire path (rubs on the table), that ^*%*^%**%$&%ing microSD slot position …
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