Hey Guys, I just made an account here to post on it to do some research and get some advice. I really want to get into 3d printing, mainly just to mess around with some ideas that I have. I briefly looked into other posts on here, and I’m mainly just double checking on what printer to buy with my tax return, and what upgrades and whatnot I should get. Now that we’re into 2018, I’m curious if the good printers are still the same, and if anything promising has come out. Any suggestions? Im looking for preferably under the $400 mark for the printer, and I can upgrade from there (extruders, hot ends, so on and so forth). Keep in mind, I’m 100% completely new to this game, but somewhat familiar with the tech. I’m looking for thoughts and suggestions for everything even down to the nozzle and who a good supplier of filament is for the central US area is. Building is kind of out of the question though, as I have 0 programming knowledge at all. All help is welcome, and I apologize if this is a redundant post from one that I missed. Thanks!
The Creality CR-10 is probably the most printer you can get in that price range, and it’s been very popular recently so you’ll be able to find a lot of info out there for ways to upgrade it along the way. It is a kit but it is mostly pre-assembled so you don’t need to do very much to get it going. There won’t be much customer support so you’ll need to rely on DIY troubleshooting, but again there’s a lot of people that own them so it shouldn’t be too hard to find help if needed. I have not used this printer so I can’t make any guarantees but a lot of people seem to be excited about it and it has a pretty huge print area for the price.
If print area isn’t a big concern, the Monoprice Select Mini is very inexpensive and comes fully assembled and ready to go, and is pretty impressively built for the price. There is one major design flaw having to do with the way the wires under the bed are attached, there are a few workarounds people have come up with to fix this and it isn’t really necessary to do immediately, there’s just a problem with the wires rubbing against a pulley and eventually wearing down. I have used this and found it to be surprisingly nice. The print area is pretty small but I almost never print anything bigger than it can handle so it sort of depends on your needs. For electronics enclosures, figures, game pieces etc it should be good. For costume parts or sculptures you’ll want something bigger like the CR-10. The compact design of the Monoprice won’t allow for many upgrades, so it’s mostly just used as-is from what I can tell.
With the Creality CR-10 now being one of them, I’m kinda torn between 3 printers now if I must admit. In no particular order, these are them:
I’ve heard both good and bad things from them, and admittedly more research is needed on my part. I think the Monoprice might be a bit out of the
range, when it comes to bang-for-buck, it might not be a good fit when it comes to needs. Plus, while I dont necessarily plan on printing anything bigger, I would like to have that capability.
The other thing I’m trying to get a grip on is if It’d be worth buying a cheaper printer and upgrading, or saving some money in the long run, and just by an actual Prusa I3 mk2. I know that’s not in the price range I specified, but I also just want to make sure that something isn’t going to fail in say 6 months time, and require more money than what I would’ve spent on something more expensive initially.
As for Hatchbox and Zyltech, Ill keep those links Bookmarked.
Re: cheap/upgrade vs. buying an expensive but high quality printer, it seems the benefit of going the cheap route is that you really learn how the printer works, but the disadvantage is you learn this through troubleshooting problems. :lol: To me it comes down to if you’re interested in 3D printers themselves or interested in having one as a tool for other interests. Of course you can have both, but the time investment is pretty serious. If you’re not really excited about digging into how a printer works and making adjustments to maximize its performance, you might be better off saving for something that’s rock solid out of the box. That said, all of the printers you’re considering should work well enough right away, the manufacturers have gotten experienced enough that they seem to have little trouble shipping working products and replacing them if there are any issues.
This will probably never happen as fixing problems is usually a matter of ordering extremely cheap components from China, the issue is more about the time loss of diagnosing/ordering/repairing.
I consider myself a tinkerer. I’m a welder by profession, and I always enjoy figuring out what makes stuff tick. I’m always up for a challenge when it comes to finding solutions to problems as they come up, so buying a kit should be right up my alley when It comes to things like that. I know there is always going to be a little tweaking, depending on what filaments, temperature, and what the humidity is like from my understanding, though I don’t think it’ll be anything too extravagant.
So, I think i might have narrowed it down between the Creality that you linked, and then the Anycubic I3 Mega. With that being said, In your opinion, which one would you choose, and why? I still kinda like the Tronxy too, but there is something with it that I’m not to keen on, but I cant put my finger on it to save my life.
Yeah the Tronxy is pretty rickety with the acrylic/threaded rod frame, I’d stick with the other two for better rigidity with the metal frames.
There is an immediate concern with the CR-10, which is that it uses a pretty standard 12v 30a power supply to try to heat that enormous bed, so as far as I know it doesn’t really get above 75C as shipped. There are lots of mods that can be done, both insulating the bed and changing the heater/power setup, that can increase the performance. This primarily affects ABS filament, which should generally be printed on a 100C bed to ensure that it sticks. The Anycubic should be able to hit 100C out of the box. People have argued that ABS is pretty obsolete, but it is cheap, soft, and temperature resistant, so if you’re able to get a decent ABS print the results can be really nice. Pretty much all other filaments print fine with the 75C max bed, so I think Creality is just betting on the death of ABS.
I think I’m biased toward printers that use more standard replaceable parts, so the CR-10 edges out for me because it doesn’t use the proprietary touchscreen interface, it uses a standard inexpensive LCD that plenty of DIY printers use, and it uses standard 20x20mm and 20x40mm aluminium extrusions to form the frame instead of sheet metal. The extrusions accept v-slot hardware, so it’s really easy to attach accessories like lights/camera/whatever.
The Anycubic is way more space-efficient with the smaller frame and electronics being stowed under it, so if space is a concern that’s another big benefit on its side. The Anycubic looks much more mobile too because the CR-10 has the electronics box off to the side, so you can’t just grab the CR-10 by the frame and take it with you like you could with the Anycubic. Here’s a video comparing them that also has a nice size comparison in the thumbnail:
So update: I just bought the CR-10 through Gearbest for $401 shipped. While that is getting ready and being processed, is there anything I need to get? I ordered a spool of Hatchbox’s Black PLA so, I’ll be set with filament for the first little while. One thing I dont know about is people keep mentioning bed platform upgrades, and I’ve seen a few youtubers swear by a few, though they never post links to where to get the product. At the same time, I’ve also read that just getting a thicker slab of glass cut and using that for most of the commons (except PETG and its likes) works well.
The glass is for keeping things flat and easy to reapply tape/glue to help adhesion, but thicker glass does make it harder to heat. There are a few temperature upgrades, one being to insulate the bottom of the bed, one to replace the heater altogether with a mains voltage silicon heating pad, and one to create an enclosure for the printer to keep the ambient temperature high so the bed doesn’t lose too much heat, as well as to help with warping on ABS prints. The silicon heater is the best solution but also the most dangerous since it’s capable of getting very hot very fast, you’ll want to read up on safety precautions if you use it unattended.
None of these mods should be necessary to print PLA or PETG out of the box so I’d probably just start printing and see where you run into trouble, then customize from there. There’s a bunch of small mods, but looking at some of them it seems they’ve been revising the printer and even including some community mods into the shipped product, so you may find it’s in better shape than shown in some older posts.
If you think you’d be interested in wifi printing, you could look into getting a Raspberry Pi or Raspberry Pi Zero W to install Octoprint, which allows you to send files to print from a browser, as well as remote control the printer from a computer or phone. This can also be used to set up time lapse videos using an attached webcam or the Pi camera accessory.
Thank You ALL
Is wifi printing at a stage where it’s beginner friendly btw? Or does it still require quite a bit of technical knowledge to set up?