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Noob here, question for those who have purchased (and liked) a desktop 3d printer

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    Noob here, question for those who have purchased (and liked) a desktop 3d printer

    I'm looking into getting a 3d printer, fingers-crossed, by summer 2015 (I'm a student, disposable income is never a guarantee). I'll print items for family and friends, and sell items online to recoup the cost of the printer/filament. The main reason for buying one is for product prototyping.

    The problem I'm facing is one of volume. There are so many printers out there! Looking through the printer list 3ders.org provides is daunting (http://www.3ders.org/pricecompare/3dprinters/). I've looked through tomsguide, makershed, and 3d-printers "best of 2014" lists, but they seem to focus mostly on the same machines (Printrbot, Makerbot, Ultimaker, Cube). Maybe those are the best printers or maybe they are the only companies that send printers in to be reviewed, idk.

    I want to know your actual experience getting a 3d printer. First off, why did you get a printer and how did you wade through all of the information out there to decide which printer to get? What printer did you get and would you recommend it? If you had to go through the process again what mistakes would you avoid? Obviously whatever I get will have its pros and cons, but this is a big investment (for me at least) so I'd like to make the most informed decision possible.

    Thanks for the help!!

    #2
    Originally posted by jackjackson1sg8 View Post
    I want to know your actual experience getting a 3d printer. First off, why did you get a printer and how did you wade through all of the information out there to decide which printer to get? What printer did you get and would you recommend it? If you had to go through the process again what mistakes would you avoid? Obviously whatever I get will have its pros and cons, but this is a big investment (for me at least) so I'd like to make the most informed decision possible.

    Thanks for the help!!
    I'm a high school student, and when I got my Robo R1 3D Printer 4 days ago, I was shocked of what it's potential will be in the future. I got a printer, because I've always been fond of creating my own 3D Models and sharing them to everyone else. I'm limited to a very small budget, and I researched a bunch of printers that ranged from $600 to $10,000. Despite the fact that there would be no way for me to afford a $10k printer, I deemed it necessary to check out how much better a printer would be at that price; therefore, when I see a printer that is $1,000 that can do what I need to, and still be reliable for the price, I know what to expect when I feel like getting another printer. Though I've only had the Robo R1 for 4 days, I strongly recommend it. The slice settings are already configured, it heats the bed and extruder in less than 6 minutes, it's very simple (you're not scrambling around the interface to find the Print button), and it's extremely easy to import an STL, AMF, ZIP, and GCODE files. If I had to redo the process of acquiring this very same printer, I'd immediately go to the Automatic Printer Leveling (after setting everything else up of course) versus printing my first design without any calibrations. The Robo team did state that they calibrated the printer, however, my first attempt involved the nozzle oozing out the PLA in midair, assuming the print bed was 2 inches higher than where it really was. I'm not going to say "Settle on this printer, or you will regret it," because I honestly think it's all in a matter of preference. As a high school student, I made a big investment in this printer. It's $800 for the printer, that comes with 300g of blue PLA spool, and I bought 1kg of black, white, and red that were $35 each. With shipping and all that, the total came out to about $1000. And from what I have experienced so far, it is very impressive machine.

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      #3
      Where did you do your research to decide upon getting the Robo R1? Also I guess it is important to distinguish what you look for in a printer? A simple Amazon search of 3d printers reveals better rated printers at lower prices than the Robo R1. So why go with the Robo R1?

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        #4
        Originally posted by jackjackson1sg8 View Post

        I want to know your actual experience getting a 3d printer. First off, why did you get a printer and how did you wade through all of the information out there to decide which printer to get? What printer did you get and would you recommend it? If you had to go through the process again what mistakes would you avoid? Obviously whatever I get will have its pros and cons, but this is a big investment (for me at least) so I'd like to make the most informed decision possible.

        Thanks for the help!!
        Hey man. I'm only "less noob" than you in that i've had my printer for 3 weeks and I'm getting the hang of it.

        Yes there are many options out there, but I would suggest focusing on printers that have the largest install base and the most active communities. There are definitely lots of smaller, more DIY printers out there...but:
        (1) the more obscure printers might leave you on your own with some problems. As a noob, I value having the community support.
        (2) there is still plenty of room for DIY even with larger-name printers. My PrintrBot has both official and third party upgrades available.

        That said, popular doesn't necessarily mean high cost. MakerBot seems to be positioned as like the "Apple of 3D printing", and their prices are high. I have a PrintrBot Simple Metal and I am enjoying it so far, except for the fact that the bed is warped and I need to have it replaced.

        I got it pre-assembled. Usually I'd prefer to build it myself, but in this instance I like that things are set up correctly already, so I have a reference point for fixes and alterations going forward (belt tension, etc)

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          #5
          Right now I'm looking at a PintrBot or a RepRap DIY kit. But I have a long time to research and make a final decision. I'm sure I'll get acquainted with the 3d printing community through forums, but besides that, is there a good user-information source other than Amazon reviews that you've used? I like reading stories of people's actual experiences with products.

          Beyond that, inertianinja, am I right in saying you like PintrBot primarily because of community support and build volume? There are so many metrics to base one's decision, I want to get a feel for what actually matters after using a printer for a while.

          Thanks for sharing!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jackjackson1sg8 View Post
            Right now I'm looking at a PintrBot or a RepRap DIY kit. But I have a long time to research and make a final decision. I'm sure I'll get acquainted with the 3d printing community through forums, but besides that, is there a good user-information source other than Amazon reviews that you've used? I like reading stories of people's actual experiences with products.

            Beyond that, inertianinja, am I right in saying you like PintrBot primarily because of community support and build volume? There are so many metrics to base one's decision, I want to get a feel for what actually matters after using a printer for a while.

            Thanks for sharing!
            Well to be clear its not like I have tried lots of printers, but I have done a lot of tinkering with other stuff over the years.
            In my research for this one, I had read that wood DIY kits tend to be more prone to wobble and warp - so I definitely wanted metal.
            There are lots of people with this printer, which means you can find advice specific to this printer (as opposed to general issues).

            IMO sometimes it pays to start with the popular thing and go from there. For example, I don't know much about printers, but I do know a lot about headphones and bikes. People ask me for recommendations pretty often, and they have the same issues - too many choices out there! The truth is, you won't know what the "perfect" one is for you until you have your own experience. So you start with something popular - safe investment - and go from there.

            For road bikes, that's the Cannondale CAAD10. For headphones, that's the ATH-M50. Some people are content with them forever, some want something a little different. If you ride a CAAD10 and tell me you want something stiffer, or lighter, or more aero, or more aggressive, I can recommend from there.

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              #7
              Please contact me by email . I have good quality and affordable 3d printers . Specialist discount to students. Www.digitmakers.ca

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by digitmakers View Post
                Please contact me by email . I have good quality and affordable 3d printers . Specialist discount to students. Www.digitmakers.ca
                Hi Digitmakers, welcome to the forum. If you could provide some more information relevant to the thread, that would would be great.

                If you would like to promote you business, you can add a free advertisement to each of your posts. Simply fill out the ad details in your profile settings.
                You can learn more about doing this here: http://www.3dprintingforum.org/threa...e-On-The-Forum

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jackjackson1sg8 View Post
                  .

                  I want to know your actual experience getting a 3d printer. First off, why did you get a printer and how did you wade through all of the information out there to decide which printer to get? What printer did you get and would you recommend it? If you had to go through the process again what mistakes would you avoid? Obviously whatever I get will have its pros and cons, but this is a big investment (for me at least) so I'd like to make the most informed decision possible.

                  Thanks for the help!!
                  Hopefully I'm not too late to the show. I've been gone a while, still printing though. I'd love to help you out Jack.

                  To start out, I have owned a Solidoodle 2 for probably close to a year now. My first printer experience was with makible and their makibox. It seemed like a good idea, but after I ordered it back in Nov of 2013 I have yet to receive a printer or a refund. So after a month or two after my failed ETA I received my Solidoodle on time. Now I purchased my Solidoodle 2 as an outdated model because they had just put out the SD4 (Solidoodle 4) for a couple of grand. So that's how my experience was getting the printer.

                  Why I purchased a printer and why the SD2? Well I purchased my printer for my own learning and building needs. I don't own a business or have an awesome job like some of our forum members have. I'm a huge DIY/hobby guy. I blacksmith, fiddle with electronics, build things, and just generally love learning and applying my knowledge. I came up with tons of reasons to get it, like prototyping, repair of household goods, custom electronic assemblies, and many other things you probably already know about. The reason why I decided on the SD2 was because at the time of purchase it was $100 off for a holiday (from its original $599) so I could pick up a solid framed, enclosed, heated bed, large community supported, big company built, mod-able 3D printer for only $500! I was sold, considering all my other options (collected through this forum, magazines, and many hours/days of online researching) where only $100 - $200 cheaper but where not nearly as solid or well tested by the community. SD2 had already been around for a while so I had things to look forward to having done for me. Lawlsy (an amazing solidoodle master online and on thingiverse) already had fully tested upgrades/replacement parts for the SD2 and I found a blog-thing (maybe by lawlsy? IDK) that told me how to zero in my SD2 like a pro, step by step.

                  Your second question:
                  I have the Solidoodle 2 and I would indeed recommend it, I always do. That being said there's a catch, to be explained later.

                  What would I do if I had to do it again? Not order a makibox and loose almost $500 bucks for one. That being said. If my solidoodle got eaten by my new puppy (a Great Pyrenees named Appa, as in the sky bison) I would probably get a ton of help from Solidoodle because they are wonderfully helpful, but if they couldn't replace it I would by that SD4 that was out of my reach a year ago. That catch I was telling you about, there is no more SD2, at least not any new ones. With the Press and the Workbench or whatever their new models are, they discontinued SD3 through SD1. one of their Workbenches, or Workshops I can't remember, is like $750 and the other is more expensive, and the Press, their newest, most fancy box is also expensive. However, good news for you, the SD4 is in the same spot as the SD2 when I got it. Its been tested and tried with a good sized following with plenty of mods to keep you interested, all for $599! If you can find it on sale even better.

                  The only thing I'm jealous of you for not having a printer is that the SD4 is so much better than mine:
                  Standard Features:
                  • Creates plastic parts up to 8" x 8" x 8" (mine is 6" cubed)
                  • Uses 1.75mm plastic*filament*(ABS/PLA)
                  •*Heated Build Platform*Heated Build Platform
                  • Resolution up to .1mm
                  • 13.5" x 14" x 15" case footprint (L x W x H)
                  • Internal Steel frame
                  • Powder coated steel enclosure (mines a weird tan, this is cool matte black)
                  • Easy-open lid for quick access
                  • Internal case fan with air filter to vent build chamber (totally wish I had that, maybe I'll make one)
                  • Electronics mounted internally and thermally isolated from build chamber (mine are exposed)
                  • Thumbwheel calibration of platform height - no wrench required (Z-tab)
                  • Easy snap-in filament spool holder (mine is made of PVC)
                  • Fully Assembled & Tested

                  So you're getting a lot of bang for your buck. I'm glad you're doing a lot of research like I did. I know you're a student, but take it from a guy who is married and is the sole contributor, money matters, and I don't regret my purchase at all.
                  Last edited by ARKtest; 02-17-2015, 02:39 PM.

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