Best 3d printers



  • Ok I am thinking of getting a 3d printer but do not know where to start and what to stay clear of!
    What's everyone using in the way of printer and software?
    Any advice greatly appreciated!



  • 3D printing is quite a minefield at the moment. Technology is developing rapidly and new models appear all the time.

    A few thoughts I can offer as a year long 3d printer owner are as follows......

    How good are you at engineering? Are you happy taking the printer apart to clean the print head nozzle?
    What are your expectations? what are you intending to use it to print?
    What material do you want to print with? pla? abs? nylon? carbon fibre?
    What sort of 3D printing do you have in mind? There are different types with wildly varying uses (and prices!).
    How big is the biggest item you want to print?
    How strong does the print have to be? WIll it be used outdoors? Does it need to be waterproof?
    What is your budget - for the printer and the running costs including material used for printing?

    If I were you I'd spend a week looking at you tube videos on the subject and look at a few dedicated online 3d printing forums to get a feel for it.

    FWIW I went with a branded 'ready to use out the box' printer (flashforge finder) and it has given me a good introduction to 3d design and printing. There are occasions when I wish the build area was bigger, but often things can be made in sections and assembled into a larger item, but not always...



  • Thanks for the response. All good points that I will investigate. I am happy with the engineering (avionics Eng by trade) etc
    At the moment I am looking at the Ender 3 pro but still researching.
    Cheers



  • Good thread! I'm considering buying a 3D printer too. Hopefully others will provide some feedback.



  • @crumpy10 The creality CR-10 seems good for the price, but be careful which one, some are made of metal and some from acrylic (usually the cheaper ones). It has a decent build area but a few people have reported issues with the controller board.

    As you are an avionics eng you could also consider building your own from scratch. It will take longer but you will know how it all went together and how to fix/upgrade it. All the stuff is out there to buy...Stepper motors, power supply, controller board, frame extrusion, hotend etc.... So that could be an option for you.

    Another idea is to look for any 3D printing or 'maker' places near you and have a chat with them.

    Whatever you do good luck - when you start 3D printing it soon becomes addictive (and sometimes frustrating). πŸ˜‰




  • Plugin Developer

    The $100 3D printer on Gearbest sounds interesting to me.
    https://www.cnx-software.com/2019/04/22/zonestar-z6-entry-level-portable-3d-printer/



  • I bought the ender 3 (non pro) from gearbest. So far I'm very satisfied with it. For 180$ it is a very good printer.
    The bed surface I upgraded for a PEI one. This thing is awesome. Very clean bottom surface and the prints are easy to remove.
    Later I will add a bltouch for automatic bed leveling. Then I want to replace the board. In embedded stepper motor drivers are a bit to noisy. No need for in terms of quality. Mostly for silence reasons. Another great addition is a raspberry pi with octoprint. With this you can run your printer wirelessly over WiFi.
    200$ is already very cheap. I wouldn't by a cheaper one than the ender 3.
    If you need more build volume you might better go with the 10s from creality.



  • When I started with 3D printing quite a few years ago I bought an Ord Bot Hadron frame and then assembled the electronics from bits and pieces bought here and there. The printing table is 200 x 200 mm and the useful height is somewhat less but it has all functions needed. During this assembly process and years thereafter of printing I learned a lot and when the Ord Bot started to feel a bit small I began thinking about something bigger.

    So I designed from scratch a much bigger one (printing volume 450 x 450 x 500, footprint about 700 x 700 mm, two extruders and a 220V heated bed) based on the CoreXY principle and this became a really good printer which has been working well for a couple of years now. All plastic parts were printed on the Ord Bot (I attach a screen dump from the 3D design model for info)

    So my advise is much along the lines as mentioned by @skywatch - if you have the skills, time and facilities build one yourself. You will never regret it (except for during some memorable events during the process πŸ™‚ ).

    If building one yourself is out of the question do not look for the cheapest options. It will just take a few prints before realizing that a heated bed is needed, that more advanced software is a must, that network connectivity would be nice etc. etc. Well known brands like a Prusa I3 is a good choice but there are cheaper options (clones) out there as well but do not expect getting much or any at all support for the cheaper stuff.
    0_1560095969576_CoreXY.jpg



  • mbj: The architecture of the printer looks great. Did you publish the project somewhere? I would like to rebuild it some time.
    Crumpy: Back to your question: I can recommend the Anycubic i3 Mega which is some kind of Prusa clone. There any many youtube channels and guides for this printer. It is great for beginners. At the other end there are many upgrade possibilities.



  • @mbj - Just wonderful! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚



  • I have a zonestar P802QR2, it's ok, if you can assemble it yourself. I use Cura as STL converter. and I have a RPI with octoprint. http://octoprint.org/ Then I can send my Cura converted files directly to my 3D printer. I have also MQTT installed so my domoticz is aware of the percentage that have been printed, so a little script switchs on a light when 99% is printed + send me an email πŸ™‚

    My best advices:
    0) Get a Iprusa or clone (Mine is clone) (don't flame war this topic, it's an advice to a novice to get started easily. It's quite seldom your first car is the most expensive Mercedes.. Get the point...)

    1. When assy screws then use loctite to secure, else screws will unwind due to the stepper movements
    2. heated bed, and add a 3mm glass on top, and spray a thin layer of hairspray on top of glass plate. then you PLA will stick nicely
    3. Start to use PLA, and ONLY PLA until you are getting experienced
    4. calibrate you heatbed often. This is typically your problem if print fucks up
    5. still got printing problem, look here: https://www.simplify3d.com/support/print-quality-troubleshooting/
    6. Don't let your PLA get exposed too long to air, as it is hygroscopic and moisture will damage your PLA, so sometimes get new and fresh PLA is also helping

    Here is a 3d printing from my white PLA print motor mount for BOFU motor to use with IKEA Tupplur blinds, STL files can be found here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2878875
    3D printer, Zonestar P802QR2 – 19:20
    β€” Brian Jac



  • All great advice everyone, thanks for the input!



  • @cyberthom Thank you for the comment. No, I have not published the model anywhere and mainly because I do not have the time to support others trying to build it.

    Like with any other big 3d-model like this it is also hard to guarantee that all small changes are incorporated into the model. Also, to build the various parts a fairly good 3D printer is needed (all plastic parts are made of ABS using roughly 100 degC bed heating).



  • @skywatch Thank yo so much.



  • @mbj You are welcome - I have been thinking of this myself, but it is finding the time to do it that is a problem for me......

    @Crumpy10 - Also know that colour 3d printer are now available and likely to become the norm sometime in the future. So something to bear in mind....



  • @skywatch said in Best 3d printers:

    @mbj Also know that colour 3d printer are now available and likely to become the norm sometime in the future. So something to bear in mind....

    Doesn't matter, if you need it in the future, buy parts for it when you need it. I purchased to be "future" safe a version with dual hotends, so I during print can change and use another colour. I thought it could be nice if I print a box and embed name for input or output in another colour. I have not used it yet... as Dymo labels are easier



  • @bjacobse I mean 'full colour' printers. I know triple feed hot ends are available and with dual head you could have 6 colours, but still limited compared to current HP full colour 3D printers.

    https://www8.hp.com/us/en/printers/3d-printers/products/multi-jet-fusion-500-300.html



  • @bjacobse Dual hotends are quite nice to have. I often have ABS going to one of them and PETG to the other. I do not use this to change colors during printing (actually have just tested it a couple of times) but being able to slice for extruder 1 or 2 means that I often can print without changing the plastic because my most common choices are those two qualities.



  • @skywatch @mbj
    I think you are experienced and - and would you really recommend for a fist time use/novice as the topic poster to suggest printing in more than 1 colour? as beginner you need advice to get started and get success, and build competence, then you can later on move to a higher level, modify your printer and print with several colours



  • I'm thinking about buying the Creality CR-10 S5. Has anyone had any experience with this 3D printer or have heard any good or negative comments about it?



  • @bjacobse With two extruders you load up each with your most common filaments and thus do a filament change less frequent. Then it is a "nice-to-have" but nothing cruicial at least not for me who rarely combine materials in same print.

    In more advanced use when people want to print for example support structures in one material and the item itself with another filament this is not practically possible with less than two extruders.

    Changing colors can be done with one extruder but frequent changes for same part are of course a pain.

    So depending on use the dual (or even more complex) extruders are everything from just nice to a must. For a beginner it is not needed (and for something "home built" it is most likely possible to change to a more complex extruder after some years).



  • @mbj
    And please share you experience using 2 extruders when available, (as I agree it is a nice enhancement) after a novice have become experienced using one filament/extruder



  • Well, I didnt think this post would get so popular! but thats great, have learnt a lot just by looking suggested things up.

    So, Software....

    I am thinking of using sketchup as I already use this quite a bit for different projects and can find my way around it well.
    Has anyone else used it and think there is better? Preferably free or open source...

    What's everyone's preference?


  • Mod

    I have used SolidWorks because that’s what I learned in school. I like it.

    Fusion360 is becoming very popular.

    Both are available for free for makers.

    Both these have a engineering focus, while Sketchup has a more aesthetic design focus I think.



  • @crumpy10 For starting out I'd suggest online sites like tinkercad. It's free, you can download stl files to print and it's a good way to learn.

    It's not as fully featured as some of the paid packages, but it will give you a taste of what you need and can go from there with whatever suits your need and budget.

    I believe that sktechup also can output stl files (maybe needs a plugin, I don't know I don't use it), so maybe an option if you are happy with that.



  • I just purchased a Creality CR-10S Pro. It should arrive in a couple days. Anyone own one of these? This is my first step into the 3D making world πŸ™‚



  • @homer I think you've made a good choice - good luck with with your new source of frustration and learning! πŸ™‚

    If it turns out you don't like it, feel free to send it to me (Heeeee) πŸ˜‰

    From experience though, test out your printer with something simple from thingiverse.com and see how it goes....

    For me the following were the areas I had problems with at first.....

    1. Bed leveling - this has to be right to get the first layer the same thickness.
    2. Bed adhesion - I had 'lifting' problems that took a while to sort out.
    3. Supports - You'll get a feel for where and when to use supports, it takes a little trail and error though....


  • @crumpy10
    I use Freecad as it works on Linux/Ububntu
    Why not use the CAD program that already are using and are familiar with



  • Thanks everyone, good advice. A bit of trial and error learning, with a vertical learning curve...
    Looks like I may go for either the Creality CR10 or the Ender 3, then have a play printing some existing items to see whats possible before I do my own designs.



  • @skywatch said in Best 3d printers:

    @homer I think you've made a good choice - good luck with with your new source of frustration and learning! πŸ™‚

    If it turns out you don't like it, feel free to send it to me (Heeeee) πŸ˜‰

    From experience though, test out your printer with something simple from thingiverse.com and see how it goes....

    For me the following were the areas I had problems with at first.....

    1. Bed leveling - this has to be right to get the first layer the same thickness.
    2. Bed adhesion - I had 'lifting' problems that took a while to sort out.
    3. Supports - You'll get a feel for where and when to use supports, it takes a little trail and error though....

    Thanks mate! So far I'm liking it, so I'm sorry to say that I won't be sending it to you anytime soon haha

    So far I've printed 3 things. The first was the cat that was on the SD card, and this came out perfect. I used the filament that came with the printer. My next two models were the same, a sign for two of my kids who play Fortnite. The object was quite flat but spread across the bed. Each was printer with different filament. The first lifted very badly but not bad enough to use. The good thing was that this print was nice and easy to remove from the bed haha. The third printed perfectly but wow it was extremely difficult to get off the bed!

    I do have an issue with leveling. The bar that holds the printer head, no matter what I do in the way of adjustment, the right side is close to 3mm higher than the left. I'm in the process of having this addressed with who I bought it from, but at this stage all they are saying is to level the bed automatically, which seems to be working fine, but I don't know how it will go with taller prints.

    I would like to start making my own boxes for my Mysensors, but don't know what program to use. I've never done this sort of thing before, so at the moment I'm a little concerned about the learning curve, so if you or anyone knows of a program that is simple to use for this purpose, please share what it is!



  • @homer said in Best 3d printers:

    Thanks mate! So far I'm liking it, so I'm sorry to say that I won't be sending it to >you anytime soon haha

    Awwwww.... 😞

    I would like to start making my own boxes for my Mysensors, but don't know >what program to use. I've never done this sort of thing before, so at the moment >I'm a little concerned about the learning curve, so if you or anyone knows of a >program that is simple to use for this purpose, please share what it is!

    As I said, try tinkercad. It's a free online 3D design tool that will give you a good taste of 3D design and the features you may want/need in a full paid product.

    You probably won't stop printing now for at least 6 months! πŸ˜‰



  • I bought a PowerSpec Wanhao Duplicator Prusa i3 Plus and am quite happy with it (see https://www.microcenter.com/product/486543/wanhao-duplicator-i3-plus-3d-printer ).

    Several things to consider:

    • There are a LOT of great 3D communities for 3D printers; check out "Wanhao" on Thingiverse to see parts you can print to upgrade your printer(s) ( http://www.thingiverse.com/search?q=wanhao&dwh=995d35d8e0e03d1 ).

    • Check with your local makerspaces (Houston has 13 Makerspaces, I'd check with the major ones like TXRX Labs ( https://www.txrxlabs.org/ ) who not only can advise you on printers but may actually sell kits made by members.



  • Ok, so I got my hands on an Ender3 printer. So far so good, very impressed for the price. But could someone tell me what causes this?0_1564479120229_96D400A1-4B43-462F-8160-F1A376C13888.jpeg


  • Mod

    @crumpy10 bad adhesion to printer bed, mixed with inconsistent filament extrusion.

    See this page for 3d printer troubleshooting : https://www.simplify3d.com/support/print-quality-troubleshooting/


  • Plugin Developer

    Woule the Mirobot in theory be capable of working like a 3D printer?

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mirobot/mirobot-6-axis-mini-industrial-robot-arm/faqs



  • @crumpy10
    Looks like your skirt are fine (The round first prints) but inside your print you get to little PLA through your nozzle
    is temperature correct?
    is is a good source from PLA? or is it that came along the 3D printer, then swap and use new PLA
    If you have Bowden extruder, is it extruding correctly? maybe the gear slips
    And then maybe is your bed 100% calibrated?

    I don't think your nozzle is clogged as the skirt looks ok



  • @alowhum
    NO it can't be used as 3D printer, it's not accurate enough
    QA from their homepage:
    Would it be possible to place circuit components on circuit boards using this arm or does it not have enough precision?

    Yes, the repeatability is 0.2mm, This is enough for PCB soldering.

    My 3D printer, zonestar 802 have this accuracy:
    XY-Axis Positioning Accuracy: 0.012mm


  • Plugin Developer

    @bjacobse thanks!



  • @crumpy10
    Try FIRST to level your bed - PLA can't stick to air if you have too much distance between nozzlehead and bed.



  • I like Monoprice's Maker Select Plus, because it proves the fact that you don't need to spend a fortune to buy a good 3D printer. It has a large build area, a heated bed and can handle lots of different materials. Maybe you should also pay attention to this one.


  • Hero Member

    @Crumpy10 said in Best 3d printers:

    But could someone tell me what causes this?

    Your print head is too high: you need more "squish" on the first layer. Evidence: the print lines need to meld into one another without gaps between them and be flatter than what your picture shows. Running a calibration should fix this, though you can also do an "on the fly" adjustment if you notice it starting badly, generally when printing the skirt.

    I have a Prusa 3 modded to use an all copper heatpath so that it can print faster than the stock version. An Ender 3 seems perfectly good though, and for the same money you can own more than one and parallel print. πŸ‘

    If I were to upgrade further I'd build an enclosure to make it quieter and run some kind of hepa carbon air filter on it to minimize emissions, regardless of what brand I owned. The last I checked (around a year or so ago) there weren't any good kits for that except for one that was priced sky high for schools or corporate use.


  • Plugin Developer

    @alowhum said in Best 3d printers:

    https://www.cnx-software.com/2019/04/22/zonestar-z6-entry-level-portable-3d-printer/

    I bought the Ender 3 (non-pro). It's my first 3D printer. So far it's great. I'm going to add an Mini E3 board to decrease the high-pitched noise from the stepper motors. I also bought a $9 3D Touch, a fake BLTouch, for auto bed levelling. Although it's not really needed? The bed has remained stable. Then I'll install that following this guide.

    I've also used a Pi Zero W I had lying around to install Octoprint. No more hassle with SD cards. There's even a plugin called "Spaghetti Detective" that uses machine learning to watch webcam images of your print being made. If your print goes wrong, it automatically stops it.



  • MySensors Friends,

    I also plan to finally purchase a 3D printer.

    What do you recommend for a beginner right now?

    What do I want to make?
    Enclosures for sensors.
    small parts .
    and who knows what else in the future.

    So I am looking for a 3D printer that I can gain experience with as a beginner.
    Β  not too small, maintenance friendly, but that does not mean that I do not want to carry out maintenance.

    I don't really know yet what material I want to print with, what is the best and most versatile material to start with?

    Thank you in advance for your advice and thinking along.

    dzjr



  • @dzjr it depends what do you need it for. This is my 2 cents on 3d printing at the moment.

    If you need to print something small with high detail, get an SLA printer like Elegoo Mars. It is cheap, easy to understand and resolution is amazing. Prints out of the box, but it is messy and smelly.

    Otherwise:

    1. You are a complete noob, you have no clue how that stuff works, you just want to print. Get Prusa and print PLA. Basic printer, not great but reliable and great company support and great community.
    2. You are a complete noob on a budget but willing to learn. Get Ender 3 and print PLA. It is basic, cheap, but gets a job done. Community support is great, but expect you will have to tinker with the printer.
    3. You are a moderately experienced in tech and you need a workhorse. Get FlashForge Creator Pro or similar and print PLA, PETG or even ABS. Community support is great, that thing is an older design but it just works.
    4. You are moderately experienced, with special (tinkering) demands. Here it gets very personal. There is a bunch of RepRap style printers with a moving bed (which I hate). There are some deltas (why??) and there is growing number of CoreXY printers of various sizes (Two Tree, Elf, Tronxy...). I would probably go that route. Stick with PLA and PETG.
    5. Geek with time, resources, and curiosity. Build your own CoreXY printer. Voron, Railcore, etc. Print what you want.

    I skipped 1) and 2) and went through 3) - 5). I personally own Elegoo, FlashForge CP, Elf, and CoreXY of my own design.


  • Plugin Developer

    @dzjr have a look here:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/3Dprinting/comments/gdbu1o/purchase_advice_megathread_what_to_buy_who_to_buy/

    I think the 'consensus' is that these are the beginner printers to go for currently:

    Under $200
    Ender 3. It's recommended as a cheap beginners machine. This does not have any automation features though, such as automatic bed levelling, detecting if your fillament runs out, etc. Although you can add those if you want. It's also quite noisy.

    Above $200
    For a more hassle free experience I believe the Prusa i3 Mk3S is the recommended one to go for. It's more expensive of course, but you get a lot of that automation.

    It also depends on what material you want to print. Woodgrain filament cannot be used with the Ender's default extruder, for example, it will damage it. Something worth checking before purchase is it it can print flexible filament. That stuff is amazing! In general it seems ABS filament has become very unpopular.

    Don't worry too much about things like touch screens. You'll likely want to get a Raspberry Pi and install Octoprint on it. That way you can send prints to your printer and monitor its progress without having to babysit it. You don't want to be sitting next to those fumes and the noise all the time.

    Also don't worry about flexible removable magnetic printer beds. From what I can tell glass beds offer the best quality for things like PLA, which is what you'll most likely be printing in generally.

    Whatever you do, go for a printer that has a large community of users. If you go on websites like Thingiverse you'll immediately notice which printers are popular. If you look at the most popular new 3D print designs you'll currently find a lot of Ender specific creations.



  • Im using the Monoprice 3D Printer the price is below $200. I bought it a few months ago so Im not sure what its price today. 3d printing is a really fun hobby. If you need more 3d printer options, you should check out this website.



  • @pptacek
    Thank you for your response to my message,
    It took a little longer on this side because my work took a lot of time this week.

    1 & 2 will not apply to me either, I may not have 3D printing experience, but I have enough technical skills to adjust and assemble something, but I don't want to be able to print something first. half an hour to adjust everything.

    So if I see your message like this, it would end up on the Ender 3 (Pro?) Or the Flashforge Creator Pro.
    I was thinking of max € 500 myself, but is it worth the price difference of about € 400?

    Ender 3 = € 180
    Ender 3-Pro = € 235
    Flashforge Creater Pro = 625



  • @alowhum

    Thank you for your response to my message,
    It took a little longer on this side because my work took a lot of time this week.

    I have read through part of the link, and keep reading that the Ender-3 (pro) would be the best choice?

    Of the Prusa i3, I read on the Dutch platform Tweakers.net that there are some safety aspects, so would the power supply not be fireproof?

    So if I see your message like this it would end up on the Ender 3 (Pro?)
    Also thanks to @pptacek's response

    How did you mean the touch screen? do you mean that you actually have to replace the controller with a Raspberry pi?


  • Plugin Developer

    Of the Prusa i3, I read on the Dutch platform Tweakers.net that there are some safety aspects, so would the power supply not be fireproof?

    I haven't read that, but I haven't looked into the Prusa deeply. I bought the Ender 3 because of its price to performance ratio.

    I wondered if I should get the Ender 3 pro. The only thing it really added that I wanted is a better power supply. But since it doesn't really impact anything, and you can always upgrade later, I decided to go with the normal Ender.

    How did you mean the touch screen? do you mean that you actually have to replace the controller with a Raspberry pi?

    No, I mean that some 3D printers come with fancy touch screen interfaces. The way you normally use them is that you put a file on an SD card, put that SD card in the printer, and then use the on device interface to start the print.

    But you can also connect a Raspberry Pi to your printer (it has a USB port), and then it can control the printer. Once you do that, you can start, stop and follow prints through a web interface. No more hassle with SD cards. It's something you will want.

    I use a 10 euro Raspberry Pi Zero W for this.



  • @alowhum

    I also think I'm going to buy an Ender-3,
    The difference between the 3 and the 3-Pro turns out not to be very big, in this video they tell the differences.

    If I would like to have a larger / other later, the costs are manageable, I think ....
    Or is the Flashforge Creator really worth the extra money (my dad wants to contribute too)?

    Thank you for explaining the Raspberry Pi addition,
    I have already seen a tutorial how it works, I still have a Pi-3 and Pi-2, which I can use nicely, also in combination with a camera.


  • Plugin Developer

    Go for the Ender. It has wide support. You'll love it. Later you can always sell it second hand - precisely because it's such a popular machine.



  • @dzjr difference between Ender & FFCP is huge. Let me point out the most important once:

    1. Enclosed build volume. You can print ABS, ASA, HIPS, PC, or any other "engineering" materials which shrink a lot and they WILL delaminate if printed on something like Ender.
    2. Two extruders mean you can print support structures using soluble filaments. That will give you an advantage in printing complex parts.
    3. Z only moves up. Let it sink for a bit. On the Ender, you are moving the entire mass of the print with every Y move. It is a terrible concept and only works for tiny printers.

    I understand why people like small RepRap printers (Ender). They are cheap, simple, easy to understand, and easy to fix. But they have serious limits which some people are underplaying. RepRap printers, in general, can never achieve higher print quality than gantry or corexy printers. It is simple physics. Enclosed, they take prohibitive amounts of space compare to their build volume, etc ...

    I'm not saying they are bad. Just know your limits. Ender is great if you are on a budget.
    Good luck!

    Edit: It is also important to mention, that getting "a printer" to where you want it to be, usually costs at least the same amount as the printer itself. So if you buy € 235 printer, expect to spend another ~€ 250 to do upgrades (PEI build surface, better extruder, better hotend, BL-touch, stiffening brackets, ... list never ends). This is not a cheap hobby, really.



  • @pptacek Thank you,

    Clear explanation, it certainly has an important difference.

    Do you think I have to pay a significant amount for the FFCP to improve it?

    I had more or less opted for the Ender-3, but I can still opt for the FFCP ...

    I understand that it is not a cheap hobby, hence the question of what is the best buy for me as a start.



  • @dzjr To be completely fair, there is one big downside of the FFCP and it is the control board. FFCP is running an 8-bit MightyBoard (MakerBot board) clone which is running Sailfish firmware. That FW is great for what it does on 8-bit UC, but that era is now gone. I still have it, I still use it, but there is and won't be any new development. So sooner or later, you would likely have to replace it with something else.

    So, unless you really need to print ABS, ASA, PC, Nylon, or other "hard" stuff, my suggestion is to go with Ender with an open mind (and side budget) that you will do updates. This will get you into the 3d printing quickly and you will learn some valuable lessons without wasting much money. If you find out you like it and you "need some more", I strongly suggest you go for good CoreXY experience.

    If you know you need to print for outdoors (ASA) or you will be doing some engineering parts from ABS, PC, or Nylon, forget about Ender and start saving for something better.



  • @pptacek

    Than i will order the Ender-3!

    maybe when i will buy another printer later, but we will see.



  • Well, so I bought the Ender3, but can't say it's a good buy ....

    To be honest, I regret it very much and am thinking about getting rid of it.

    I have had the printer for over two weeks now, and have been leveling the bed every night for two weeks.

    I have already taken the printer apart and reassembled it with a square hook, but that does not help.

    If I think that the bed has been leveled correctly and again prints a test print from here, the second print does not go well ....

    Yes, I heated bed (45 degrees C) before leveling.
    and I already have several youtube videos where they say, leveling is an easy job ...

    Does anyone have a tip?
    Or is choosing a different 3D printer a better idea?



  • If they ship the Ender 3 with the same bed as they did when it was still in "Public Beta", there's a good chance that it isn't flat at all. Mine had a wide and deep dip in the center that warped inconsistently when heated. Creality was kind enough to send a free replacement heat bed and build surface which was level.

    I still added a glass plate (IKEA LOTS mirror tile, 8 EUR for a 4-pack) on top, because I think it is a better print surface than this rough and grippy BuildTak stuff. Prints are super shiny on the bottom side, they adhere well and come off with just a gentle touch if you allow them to cool down after the print has finished - just clean it regularly with soap and water. I didn't even need to level the bed again in years of regular use.

    Another solution might be to get a bed leveling sensor like the BLTouch and flashing a suitable firmware like Marlin on the Ender. It'll detect any tilt in the bed or uneven surfaces and compensate for that in software.


  • Hero Member

    @dzjr I don't think you mentioned exactly which problem you're having, but maybe try a different (better) print filament. They're not all the same, and maybe you got unlucky with whichever one you picked. The good news is that whatever problem you're having, there are known solutions on how to fix it.

    The learning curve can be pretty steep if it's your first 3D printer. AFAIK, none of them are yet at the level of just unbox and print and never have any problems. Maybe that's why the big companies like Xerox, Canon, HP, and the rest aren't yet offering much in the way of consumer level 3D printers? I've been curious as to why they haven't jumped in to the market. I would think that professional level design from someone like, say, HP, would utterly blow away the mom and pop products that currently dominant. I have a Prusia printer, and, no offense, it looks like it was designed by sophomore college students who had only pocket change to pay for supplies. It works, but I have no doubt that a good team of engineers could design something better, faster, cheaper, more accurate, more reliable, more elegant, and easy to manufacture in volume.



  • @BearWithBeard Thank you for your response,

    I do notice that the print nozzle runs free on the sides, and gets stuck in the middle ....

    and that the back seems more stable than the front, the springs behind are much tighter.

    I will visit IKEA next week and purchase the LOTS.



  • @NeverDie
    The main "problem" is that I just cannot get the bed stable, I will get an IKEA LOTS first, and I will take the printer out and assemble it again.

    I understand that the printer needs to be adjusted, but I am a little disappointed that the YouTube videos pretend that it is a job of 5 to 10 minutes, but it takes more than 10 days for me ...
    Apparently I put something wrong together, I will watch the CHEP video again.

    I'm going to take the printer completely apart and then reassemble it piece by piece, and then I'll post the result.


  • Hero Member

    @dzjr Your build surface needs to be as flat as possible. You can easily check it with a straightedge: if you can see daylight under the straight edge in any orientation, then it's not flat enough. I don't know how Ender 3 does it, but on the Prusia there are extremely strong magnets that grab the build surface and flatten it against a fairly thick (and very flat) PCB (which is where the heating elements are).

    In theory you could also overcome the problem with very extensive bed leveling (as is common in CNC'ing PCBs), but that's a slow process, and you're better off not having to resort to that.

    Good luck!



  • @NeverDie

    i have checked the bed, it looks like it is not flat, also the horizontal profile is not flat.

    i am now trying to sell it.....

    ![alt text](IMG_20200622_145639_4.jpg image url)

    IMG_20200622_145543_4.jpg


  • Hero Member

    @dzjr Looks as though you've found the source of your pain.



  • Like many, I have been mulling about getting a 3D printer for years. Finally it seems they are getting to at least decent quality (maybe?). Well, certainly a lot of the trail blazing has been done, and prices come down a lot... So maybe it is time finally.

    @BearWithBeard said in Best 3d printers:

    I still added a glass plate (IKEA LOTS mirror tile, 8 EUR for a 4-pack) on top, because I think it is a better print surface than this rough and grippy BuildTak stuff. Prints are super shiny on the bottom side, they adhere well and come off with just a gentle touch if you allow them to cool down after the print has finished - just clean it regularly with soap and water. I didn't even need to level the bed again in years of regular use.

    This is very interesting. One of biggest features of Prusa i3 mk3 I have seen is that very clever spring steel bed that you just pop off and bend and the piece comes right off. I have read all sorts of stuff about hairspray, etc. and it all seems like such a hassle and mess to me. But it sounds like you have really found the solution to this particular problem.

    @NeverDie,

    Wanted to ask you how you were getting on with your Prusa i3 mk 3 by now? I read some threads going back years where you were comparing options and then decided to purchase that one.

    I think your thought process is a lot like mine (not just in this, but also other comments of yours I have read). I specifically recall you saying how you noticed a pattern in all these review videos where people bought "ready to go out of box" which is really just a kit and then they spend a lot of time dickering with it and then finally end up with something nice. πŸ˜„ I have noticed the same thing!

    I know you said you bought Prusa largely because family reasons (ease of use, etc.) but I am thinking now of building my own from scratch, maybe one of big cube designs as they seem more stable, and no matter what it seems that you end up tinkering a lot anyway, doing upgrades over time, etc... So the way I see it, if you are doing to do all that effort anyway, might as well save yourself some money...

    That nifty bed release thing though was one of last remaining things left in favor of Prusa for me, but now if @BearWithBeard is saying a simple glass plate can work just as well, then... πŸ€”


  • Hero Member

    @TRS-80 said in Best 3d printers:

    Wanted to ask you how you were getting on with your Prusa i3 mk 3 by now?

    Well, for me, the main value in a 3D printer turned out to be building custom enclosures, because the effort/reward ratio is favorable. However, getting to the point where it's easy to do that takes quite a lot of time, and so I can't say I would recommend it. Also, the fumes and the noise are negatives that don't really get as much consideration as they should. The solutions for that still seem to be all DIY, unless you want to spend a small fortune for something aimed at schools or big business.

    I found that a CNC machine is far more useful, because I could make PCB's with it rather than having to wait for delivery from JLPCB or whomever. However, I haven't tried chemical etching, and, maybe all things considered, that would have been a better/easier approach, so I can't strongly recommend a CNC either.

    Thee was a time when Ender 3's were considered pretty good bang/buck. Seeing what happened to dzjr though, I do wonder whether the mfg. decided to cash out that reputation by sacrificing quality.

    Building your own from scratch? Maybe in the end it's the same amount of effort. I can't say, because I haven't tried it. I can say, though, that I've built and re-built the Prusia enough times now that maybe I may as well have. If you have "the knack," I think building something from scratch using better quality parts (such as high quality linear bearings and not the cheap stuff) could make a lot of sense:
    Dilbert - The Knack full - YouTube.flv – 01:45
    β€” sgispider

    The main advantage of a kit is risk mitigation. If you put it together according to the directions, then it should work, at least nominally. i.e. "No thinking required." Dzjr's case seems more the exception than the rule.

    Even so, I wouldn't recommend a 3D printer if you don't have "the knack." And if you have "the knack," then you know you have it.



  • @NeverDie said in Best 3d printers:

    I've built and re-built the Prusia enough times now that maybe I may as well have

    See, now this surprises me. The whole thing about the Prusa is that it is supposed to be "ready to go / well engineered solution." And IMO you are paying a premium for that.

    I think you are confirming my suspicions to build my own.

    In fact I came to same conclusion in almost all areas (IT, vehicles, building, etc.) and pretty much do all my own work. I suppose that is what drew me to MySensors as well (and OpenHAB, and GNU/Linux, etc...).

    And yes, I have "The Knack" LOL! I got a great kick out of that, and shared it already to my family. My wife calls it "bedtime stories" when I start talking about my projects. πŸ˜„ She mostly humors me though, bless her heart.


  • Hero Member

    @TRS-80 said in Best 3d printers:

    See, now this surprises me. The whole thing about the Prusa is that it is supposed to be "ready to go / well engineered solution." And IMO you are paying a premium for that.

    The reality is more like this plumber's advice about bronze pipe. "It's great, until something goes wrong. And something always goes wrong":
    Moonstruck - Copper Pipes.avi – 01:11
    β€” Rafi Vasserman

    For example, if the sensor that tracks whether the filament is jammed goes bad, then you have a lot of disassembly and re-assembly ahead of you in order to replace it. You can probably guess how I might know this.



  • I obviously can't speak for everyone, but I'm happy with the Ender 3 and have no need nor desire for another (filament) printer. The print area is large enough for my needs - custom electronics enclosures, spare parts / repairs, little mechanical tools and gadgets, etc. Print resolution and detail is fine, I generally have no noteworthy quality complaints aside from the occasional stringing (which is easy to remove with a lighter or hot air gun). Maintenance is as minimal as it gets: keep the v-groove wheels, belts and lead screw dust free, clean the glass bed. Talking about the glass plate: I fixate it with two regular metal binder clips to the original print surface. It sits tight in place and it's removable within seconds. I don't use hairspray, glue (I tried once - oh boy, what a mess) or anything else, I just rinse it with warm water and soap after a couple of prints. That's it. Keeping it in a good temperature window seems to be key for proper adhesion. I generally start the print with a bed temperature of 65Β°C for the first (few) layers and drop it to 50Β°C afterwards for PLA.

    Now this doesn't mean that I want to persuade anyone to buy an Ender 3. I don't know if they are still recommended nowadays or if Creality may have started milking the cow. Honestly, I stopped following the 3D printer communities and news once I got my Ender 3 dialed in and achieved pleasing results. I really don't know which printer one should buy today.

    But in the end, I don't think it matters much which printer you get. You can achieve good quality prints with most of them and in a lot of cases you'd have a hard time telling if something has been printed on a budget or high-end printer. It is much more important to learn how to use a (as in any) filament printer. How to use a slicer properly, learning what implications different temperatures, speeds and feed rates have, layer heights, how much infill is needed, which distances can be bridged, how steep overhangs and arches can be, retraction speed and distance, to-z-hop-or-not, finding the optimal extruder and bed temperatures for a specific filament, acceleration and jerk limits, cooling,... Knowing the basics of G-code is also very helpful to understand why a printer is doing something or even modify the print. Actually, it already starts with the design process in a CAD program - choosing a proper wall thickness, keeping the structure of the model in mind, avoiding supports if possible, etc.

    No matter how expensive or pre-built and -tuned your printer is, those are things you need to get behind either way. The learning curve with a preconfigured, factory-calibrated printer might be less steep compared to a budget kit, because you are more likely to simply adopt the recommended settings from the manufacturer or other community members.

    In this regard: if you're a tinkerer and like some challenges, you may as well build one yourself and have a great time! I'm looking forward to build a custom CNC (>1m² of surface area, for woodworking and occasional soft metal milling) soon - hopefully before the end of the year - rather because I'm interested in the build than having an urgent need for one. 😊



  • @BearWithBeard said in Best 3d printers:

    I'm happy with the Ender 3 and have no need nor desire for another (filament) printer. The print area is large enough for my needs, [...] Print resolution and detail is fine, I generally have no noteworthy quality complaints aside from the occasional stringing [...] Maintenance is as minimal

    Yeah, then I keep waffling back and forth to this. Seems there are quite a number of quite decent "ready to go" units available these days for not too much money.

    @BearWithBeard said in Best 3d printers:

    But in the end, I don't think it matters much which printer you get...

    This point is also well taken. Sounds there is going to be a learning curve no matter what. Maybe a little less so with a widely deployed model...

    I dunno, I think... I will keep thinking (for now). πŸ™‚ Thanks for the feedback, guys.

    EDIT: Those CNC are something I keep looking at, too...


  • Hero Member

    @TRS-80 A while back Tom Sanlanderer did a video series on how to build a inexpensive clone of a Prusa printer from scratch. That would seem like an easy starting point if you wanted to dIY.
    Building the cheapest possible Prusa i3 MK2 clone: [02] Frame and motion! – 13:38
    β€” Thomas Sanladerer



  • @NeverDie said in Best 3d printers:

    a video series on how to build a inexpensive clone of a Prusa printer from scratch

    I actually saw that! The wood frame made me cringe! First think I was thinking, have my buddy the metal fabricator cut me something out of some off-cut flat stock he likely has lying around...

    But then I thought, well, why stop there... (also having The Knack, I suspect you know where this leads πŸ™‚ )...

    So then I start thinking about one of these very stable cube designs out of aluminium T-bar (or whatever it's called) some pics were posted by @mbj further up thread.

    In fact all of these "simple, cheap" designs with the hot end just dangling out there at the end of some arm into space just make me shudder! I cannot imagine that staying stable...

    But then I hear feedback like from @BearWithBeard along the lines that they are "good enough" for all the sort of similar things I also plan on doing with it, which gives me pause.

    And then I start thinking about these combination CNC + 3d printer (+ other?) combination devices, and then I think "well, maybe that is the way to go..." <-- Maybe this is where I am at currently? It's all still in "planning / research" phase, for foreseeable future, anyway.

    Thanks for the link though! Perhaps a solution meeting someone else's needs.


  • Hero Member

    @TRS-80 said in Best 3d printers:

    In fact all of these "simple, cheap" designs with the hot end just dangling out there at the end of some arm into space just make me shudder! I cannot imagine that staying stable...

    You should see this then:
    Cheap 3D printer with 3 linear rails - How the Cetus changed my mind – 06:25
    β€” Marco Reps

    With these types of rails, the tolerances can be so tight that if you had rails on both sides they'd likely be binding quite a lot. So, though I agree it seems counterintuitive, there can be an advantage to having the support on just one side.



  • Linear rails! Yes! Now we are talking!

    Entertaining video! πŸ˜„ Thanks, one more on to the list of only a few YouTubers worth paying any attention to...

    @NeverDie said in Best 3d printers:

    With these types of rails, the tolerances can be so tight that if you had rails on both sides they'd likely be binding quite a lot. So, though I agree it seems counterintuitive, there can be an advantage to having the support on just one side.

    Well, with linear rails, yes... But, it's almost... cheating, compared to what I was talking about! πŸ˜„

    All jokes aside, actual design / engineering considerations, bla bla... Of course you are correct.

    Anyway, this looks like the "out of the box, ready to go" solution I thought that the Prusa i3 was, I wonder what these go for? After quick search on Internet, wow, comparable in price but far superior design, IMO. Would need to do more research of course, but very impressed initially. I guess these were not available when you bought your Prusa? πŸ™‚


  • Hero Member

    @TRS-80 I didn't know it existed back when I made my purchase. Even if I had, I might have erroneously dismissed it for the reason you mentioned because, like I mentioned, it's counterintuitive. Videos like this one demonstrate why it can be better.

    Marco Reps has a wicked sense of humor. His videos are both informative and entertaining (if you happen to like his brand of humor, and I certainly do).



  • @NeverDie
    I got the IKEA LOTS, and the results seem a little better, but still not stable.

    Sometimes slightly up, then down again.

    if I do the trick with the piece of paper and make sure that the piece of paper is just attached, so making a line of the filament, I have to adjust some wheels again every time.

    Unfortunately, the supplier of the printer did not respond, so I have no support for that, unfortunately.

    As a last option I will place the nuts, and possibly remove the springs completely from the print bed.

    I probably do something very stupid wrong and it turns out to be a menu error somewhere deep in the settings or something.

    I now have a raspberryPi with octoprint attached to the printer.


  • Hero Member

    @dzjr On some printers (maybe yours?) there are some adjustment screws/wheels (or similar) intended to help you flatten the surface by pushing up the low points.


  • Plugin Developer

    Sorry to hear about your troubles. With my Ender I never have to adjust anything. It worked great out of the box and has continued to do so.

    Perhaps you could try moving the whole build plate up to a higher point, where the springs are more compressed? There are also people who replace the springs for stiffer versions. Maybe that could help here.


  • Hero Member

    I'm one of those who upgraded to stiffer springs. You can buy ten or a dozen or so for cheap on Aliexpress.


Log in to reply
 

Suggested Topics

249
Online

9.7k
Users

10.3k
Topics

106.4k
Posts