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First time printer purchaser asking for advice and guidance

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    First time printer purchaser asking for advice and guidance

    I'm completely new to the world of 3d printers but have been doing research on the subject and have come to the point I really need to focus on what printer I should get and it's obvious I need some people with actual experience to give some advice and feedback.

    I'm looking for a printer to expand my hobby projects( mainly miniature war game related and prop making) along with making household repair parts. There will most likely bit of print jobbing for friends as well to pay for supplies. With that said the ability to print ABS is a must meaning I'd need a heated bed and a fully enclosed printer will probably be more practical than an open machine. I'm looking for a printer with a nominal 6"x6"x6" print volume or slightly larger to accommodate my predicted prints. I want a printer that is upgradable and modifiable both on the hardware side as well as the software/firmware side so it can retain functionality as long as possible before I would have to move on to a "new" printer. A removable build plate of some sort is preferable as stock but not mandatory. Proprietary filaments or other supplies is a non starter I don't like to be locked into only one source for anything. A printer that has a reputable US based distributor/retailer is greatly preferred. For price range I'm thinking of $800 to $1200 preferably less than $1000 so I can swing getting Simplify 3d right off the bat.

    Ok with that said my list of possible choices so far are:

    Flashforge Creator Pro

    Wanahao Duplicator 4S

    Powerspec Ultra Pro

    QIDI dual extruder printer

    From my research the Flashforge seems to be a solid choice but on the high end of my price range.

    The Wanahao looks really good based on it's specs and coming with a number of what would be considered upgrades as stock. But I've read they have some issues with firmware and have had some quality issues in the past.

    THe PowerSpec has a good price but in my research it seems the previous model was actually better and this one has issues with firmware upgradeability. One saving grace is I have a Microcenter close so issues would be easier to deal with.

    I really can't find much info on the QIDI printer outside of Amazon and a few small retailers. It's on my list because it's in the price range and meets my specs. I would have to have more info on it before I did more than consider it.

    So here I am asking for your advice to narrow things down and consider printers that have slipped by my researching or if there is something I missed on figuring my own specs. I'm not planning on pulling the trigger until after the holidays so I have time to consider all my options and see what current users think.


    I would look at the online reviews. Customer service should be high on your list as well. You will need support. Bank on it.


      I just purchased a Printrbot Simple Metal for reasons stated here:

      I have been very impressed so far, though I'm not sure these or the FDM printers you list above will work for your miniature prints. Most people in that vertical are using SLA machines like those from Formlabs to get the required detail. They are relatively expensive though, compared to FDM. It really depends on the detail level you are looking for.

      The Printrbots aren't enclosed, which didn't matter for me as I am only printing in PLA. Haven't tried ABS on it, even though I could put a box over the top for an enclosure and the extruder will heat up enough. I don't know how the customer service is as I haven't had any issues... yet.


        Imaker has the delta wasp 20x40 on sale $1600!!!!!


          And the turbo for 2000!!! Normally 2800 for the regular one and 3500 for the turbo.


            New Printer Considerations

            Hi Striker8

            You need to consider your future needs. People have bought printers only to find out that their new printer won't work with many of the filaments that are available today. I am listing some options to consider for working with specialty filament

            1. Dual extruder - Useful when using Conductive Filament on an ABS or PLA base.
            2. Hardened Nozzle - Are hardened nozzles (high lubricity) available for your extruder. These are recommended when using Carbon Fiber, Magnetic Iron, or Stainless Steel PLAs
            3. Bowden Tube - Bowden Tube can make printing Material like NinjaFlex more complicated
            4. Heated Build Plate - This is recommended when printing nylon, PETT, other High strength filaments, and ABS
            5. Can your Printer reach the Higher temps required for Nylon, PETT (238-245 C)
            6. Does the printer accept an 8" spool. This spool size is very common with non-proprietary filaments

            The Flashforge Creator Pro meets many of the above options. Harden nozzles are readily available for the Flashforge MK10 extruder.

            Create With Quality

            Monarch 3D Warehouse


              I'd recommend Flashforge Creator Pro and Printrbot Metal Plus. They are great printers with great quality prints and incredible customer support.


                Hi Striker8. I'm also new to 3D printing and initially purchased a Chinese copy of a dual extrude Makebot printer.
                After two weeks of sorting faults out I returned it and got a refund. I now have a Malyan M180 which I purchased through HobbyKing.
                This is also has dual extruders. The build quality is great, all metal constuction and good bearings. It comes with ReplicatorG and driver.
                I know HobbyKing have a outlet in the US, check it out:
                They also have a range PLA/ABS filament at a good price.


                  I am a HobbyKing fan. The only caviate is that the entire order must come from the same warehouse.


                    Thanks folks, I'm slowly evaluating the suggestions but please keep them coming.


                      I use the UK warehouse whenever I can but they do not hold all the items Hobbyking sell.
                      when they have lots of items on back order, I then use the europe warehouse.
                      I don't know what the situation is in the US.


                        There are two US warehouses, but there are just somethings that only come from the international warehouse... a real bummer.