Cheap 3d printer kits – Experiences?

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  • Cheap 3d printer kits – Experiences?
  • This seems cheap enough to take a punt on : http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_461280.html?currency=GBP&vip=1379827&gclid=CjwKEAjwtJzLBRC7z43vr63nr3wSJABjJDgJ4sP3L_iSFvzOofhuw6Qsio5GbQKqVEMYV1-ipfxqlRoCVJXw_wcB

    Anyone got any experiences of this model or similar. I seem to remember Northwind saying he had a cheap Chinese 3d printer.

    How easy is it to get up and running?

    I guess pre-existing models are easy to just download and print but do you need to be an artist / computer bod to modify them or create your own?

    Any other thoughts or comments?

    Milkie
    Member

    I have a Chinese 3D printer, Wanhao D5S and it is really good, prints reasonably quickly and doesn’t need configuring every print.

    I would recommend the Wanhao Duplicator i3, cheap but good for the money as it comes with heated build plate and MK10 extruder. When I looked into it, you buy a cheap printer, get into it and realise that you need to improve this n that and then you’ve spent double the money..

    I use Fusion 360 to design things which can be printed. Again loads of tutorials on that. There are loads of websites that you can download designs and effectively print them. Thingiverse is the most well known.

    How easy is it to get up and running?
    Pretty easy, the hard bit is learning the effects of changing settings as one thing usually affects another, but you won’t be able to learn this until you have a printer.

    Thoughts
    Do not get hung up on specs such as layer height. You will rarely printer lower than 0.2mm layer height due to the amount of time it will take, reducing to 0.1mm will double the print time. My printer goes to 0.05mm layer height, I have only ever printed at that height once, due to the stupid amount of time it takes to print.
    Same goes for build plate area, you will rarely print something as big as your build plate due to the print time. I have a giant lego batman head to print which is about 160mm diameter and 180mm tall, it says it may take 24hours to print! I have yet to build up the courage to print while I’m out or in bed and need to buy a smoke alarm for the room the printer is in.

    Once you get your printer I’ll be happy to give you pointers. 😉

    Premier Icon tthew
    Subscriber

    Interesting. I quite fancy a 3D printer, but the biggest sticking point I can see is not having anything remotely useful to print on it.

    Do those of you who have invested regularly print anything other than keyrings or batman heads??

    allthepies
    Member

    I’ve got a Wanhao Duplicator i3 as mentioned above, cheap and cheerful! They are notorious for bed leveling issues though. Once it’s dialed in and a few mods applied then it’s a good entry level option.

    Milkie
    Member

    Do those of you who have invested regularly print anything other than keyrings or batman heads??

    Yea!!!! Giant Lego body, legs, arms feet, when finished he will be nearly 2ft tall 😆
    I have also printed EVIL Wreckoning Cable Clips < I need to slightly re-design
    GoPro cases and mounts
    top ring for a cup holder in the car.
    Stormtrooper valve caps

    Aeropress Tamper
    Darth Vader Fader
    Gear Knob for lawn mower
    DJI Mavic Feet, Sensor & controller protector
    Case for my Pi Touchscreen 3D printer interface
    & Loads of little helpful things

    My first 3 months were spent printing models, things that had no function and I did not need. I’m always building a project or something in my spare time, so it does come in quite handy.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    No experience but this looks impressive for the money (£217 on Amazon, probably cheaper elsewhere)
    This video also answers some of the “what do you print” questions.

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ispolAHB4jA[/video]

    And DIY Perks (who seems like a decent chap) likes the Anet A8 Desktop 3D which you can get for £124 from GearBest:

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_TYzy5YQTI[/video]

    Premier Icon MikeG
    Subscriber

    I’ve had a mini fabrikator for a couple of years and have just got an anet a8 as I was frustrated with only having a 80mm3 build volume.
    The fabrikator was pretty perfect out of the box, other than adjusting the stepper voltages, and doesn’t show any z wobble even on ‘big’ prints.
    The anet is only about 3 weeks old now and I’m still tweeking it, it’s not awful out of the box but you can tell it’s built to a price. I’ve needed to enlarge the holes the zaxis steppers screw through to align the z rods, one of the acrylic parts hadn’t had all the holes laser cut in it so I had to drill about 4 holes while building it and even with an auto level sensor and firmware upgrade the first layer is occasionally uneven causing the print to fail quite quickly.
    If you’re not a confident tinkerer I think you’d have real problems getting it working to an acceptable level.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I have a Tevo Tarantula, which I think is the Prusa ripoff that the Anet has ripped off. Good wee unit but really stands out from the competition because of the community- I’m in the middle of a dual Z axis rebuild of mine, I could mount the bed on solid rails, expand it in size pretty much indefinitely…

    It’s on sale here http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_628790.html.

    Definitely worth springing for a heated bed (Tarantula has it as standard, it’s usually an add-on). I went for the big 200×280 bed and tbh I’ve never made any use of that.

    I’ve not printed an awful lot of real value- in fact msotly I’ve printed parts for the printer 🙂 Some parts for my other silly hobby, tuned up nerf guns, which will pay for the printer sooner or later. I’ve had a lot of fun with it but I’ll be honest, I suck at the printer software side (not design and slicing, but the actual firmware) and that’s limited me a bit.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    they’re a novelty tbh but alright, interesting enough, if you can waste a couple of hundred quid go for it. I’ve got a prusa variant. glass hot bed(any toughened glass will do, I got a bit made and holes drilled for screws and some) and hair spray stick most things and easy to get off.

    I have ordered a Tevo Tarantula so let’s see what it is like when it turns up. 10 days and counting

    stumpy01
    Member

    Nice one WCA. I have just been looking at these since this thread popped up.

    I’m sure that the last time I looked they were nearer the £300 mark.

    I can’t believe what you get for <£200!

    I am tempted by that MP Select Mini Printer as it comes pre-built and looks pretty much ready to go, but then I also quite fancy the challenge of building one of the kits; kinda like the task of building a Tamiya RC car….

    Similar thoughts to tthew though – I am not sure what I would use it for. I can see it getting a months worth of enthusiastic use while I print Batman heads & cogs etc. but then what……hmmmm.

    Premier Icon ajantom
    Subscriber

    I’m currently playing around with a couple of Mini Fabikator V2s from Hobbyking. Bought for school, but I’ve got them at home over the summer so I can make sure they’re up to scratch.
    Can’t really go wrong for £160 each!
    100x100x100 print area, heated bed, will print in all plastic types, and it’s got a tiny footprint, so truly a ‘desktop’ printer.
    Mini Fabrikator V2

    Printing so far seems pretty good. At least as good as the prints from a £1500 Up! printer.

    joshvegas
    Member

    I want a 3d printer.

    Damn it what useful things can I print.

    If anyone wants to see what the results are like, I will be posting pictures when it arrives.

    If anyone wants something specific printing then if you send me the file I will probably print it and post it to you for cost (at least for the first couple of people).

    Anyone got links to good libraries of existing designs?

    Anyone got links to free design software to create my own designs?

    Anyone got a link to any good English speaking Tevo Tarantula user groups I should join?

    DrP
    Member

    Sooo…anyone here with a 3d printer fancy printong something for me??!!!

    I’m looking to make a mount (like a pump holder) to be able to strap a JBL flip speaker to my frame, so I can be uber annoying at charity/fun race events!!!

    DrP

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    fusion360 is as good as anything.

    DrP – You design it, send me the file and I will print it. you can pick it up at the BBB if you are there this year or I can post it.

    PS You will only get it on the last day of the BBB as you are annoying enough already without that 🙂

    DrP
    Member

    I wanted it FOR the BBB!!!!!!!

    Will see if I can wrangle up a design 🙂

    DrP

    allthepies
    Member

    https://www.thingiverse.com/ for lots of designs.

    One of my favorite prints has been this Carabiner.

    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1819242

    Great design, two pieces just snap together and the result is very strong. I wouldn’t go abseiling with it though 🙂

    For Raspberry Pi owners, this is a great case.

    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1810943

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    A quick look for the Monoprice Select Mini in the UK brings up the Malyan M200 and Prima Creator P120. All look identical, but worth checking. (also note that a v2 of the monoprice is out).

    Anyway – it’s £180.11 + £10.81 shipping from the Netherlands here:
    https://hobbyking.com/en_us/malyan-metal-3d-printer-m200.html

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Can’t offer any advice on cheap printers, I have an Ultimaker 2+
    extended for work and TBH it just works, after reading forums it does seem like the extra £2.5k is basically buying you much higher resolution and a bug free easy to use product. Important for work, but maybe less important if all you want to do is make adapters and mounts for bike stuff.

    The flip side is cheap printers actually print pretty quickly because lower resolutions usually mean higher flow rates!

    Anyone got links to free design software to create my own designs?

    I use FreeCAD, because it feels like a free version of solidworks, but that means you need a quite specific way of thinking to do anything, you have to spend a few minutes thinking how best to describe the shape you want to make and that lets you draw it in the smallest number of steps. To put it another way, it’s not sketchup, you can do much better models, but it takes longer to learn.

    The other thing to remember is a single extruder head means no big hollow parts or overhangs. For that you need either a dual extruder head (second being PVA) or accept that the finished object will need a lot of sanding/finishing to remove any solid support you added to keep the part stable during printing. And on that note, you have to bear in mind how the printer will print it during the design phase, start with a big flat surface that will adhere to the buildplate, and try to keep any overhangs small/gradual and any thin areas as short as possible.

    And PLA is much better than ABS for occasional use as ABS absorbs moisture from the air which messes with the printing, and it warps more. Better ABS printers are fully enclosed so the whole print is maintained at ~90C. PLA doesn’t shrink anywhere near as much, I’ve built objects with 1.5mm thick flat walls ~100mm tall with no problems, ABS would warp doing that.

    Milkie
    Member

    When designing for 3D printing, there are certain things you need to consider such as your printer limitations. Here are a few:

    Top 10 3D Print Design Tips

    Search for 3D objects on yeggi.com, they search loads of sites.

    You’ll need this print quality troubleshooting:
    https://www.simplify3d.com/support/print-quality-troubleshooting/
    http://support.3dverkstan.se/article/23-a-visual-ultimaker-troubleshooting-guide

    I use 3M blue painters tape for sticking the first layer to the bed. A set of calipers will come in handy when configuring your printer, so when you tell it to print a 20mm cube, it doesn’t print 18x19mm. Tweezers & a 1″ & 2″ scraper for getting prints off the bed.

    I use vacuum bags for keeping filament in as the filament is hydroscopic, along with silica gels. Make sure you buy a high quality filament for your first few rolls. You don’t want to be chasing your settings as the filament is inconsistent. ColorFabb is pretty good for me and not too expensive.

    km79
    Member

    These seem like something I should want but I can’t think of a single useful thing I would print that I couldn’t already buy for a couple of quid. I need to work on my imagination.

    stumpy01
    Member

    WorldClassAccident – Member

    Anyone got links to good libraries of existing designs?

    Anyone got links to free design software to create my own designs?

    thingiverse for pre-designed stuff.

    Design software – fusion 360 or onshape

    and for slicing the design up – Cura from the Ultimaker website.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    km79 – Member

    These seem like something I should want but I can’t think of a single useful thing I would print that I couldn’t already buy for a couple of quid. I need to work on my imagination. This is exactly my problem too.
    Whereas a cnc router or laser cutter – I can think of an endless amount of things to make. But they require a lot of space and are still too expensive.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I quite fancy one on the vague justification that the kids quite like 3D printed stuff and it is something they should probably learn about as they will only get more prolific in their lifetime.

    The other option is to check what Make/Hack spaces are available locally as they will likely have 3D printers as well as lasercutters and/or CNC routers.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    I quite fancy one on the vague justification that the kids quite like 3D printed stuff and it is something they should probably learn about as they will only get more prolific in their lifetime.

    I can kinda see the logic, but people talk about them as if the inkjet printer killed off the printed novel. You don’t log onto amazon and download the PDF of 50 shades of gray to print out at home.

    And CAD design is a useful skill only if you’re a CAD designer.

    They’re great if you want to make something (adapters, mounts, functional rather than pretty stuff). however actually printing stuff is a painfully slow process let alone the time spent designing the part. It’s never going to replace the fact you can buy a new garmin (that works and has smooth edges, and doesn’t crack, etc, etc) mount for £0.99 of ebay.

    It’s never going to replace the fact you can buy a new garmin (that works and has smooth edges, and doesn’t crack, etc, etc) mount for £0.99 of ebay.

    I basically agree with you but don’t tell MrsWCA. My man-maths argument went like this:

    The coffee maker handle has melted where someone(not me!) left the hob on with the handle carefully placed above it. Either we buy a new coffee maker or 3D print one myself. (£30 https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=coffee+percolator&oq=coffee+perculator&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l5.5834j0j2&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#safe=off&tbm=shop&q=hob+coffee+maker&spd=16671110192835810924)

    I need 2 pairs of custom made badges for the car I designed. To get them made there for me involves minimum order qty etc but basically about £50-100 per pair or 3D print them myself. (http://www.carbadgeuk.co.uk/custom-made-car-badges_bespoke).

    The plastic bracket that my desk lamp slots into has cracked so I need a new desk lamp for about £150 or 3D print one myself. (https://www.johnlewis.com/anglepoise-original-1227-extendable-wall-light/p2707691?colour=Black)

    So that PROVES that buying the printer makes sense. It is cheaper than the lamp alone and I get to repair the coffee pot she burned and car badges for free.

    Everyone’s a winner*!

    *No need to point out I could get cheaper lamps and coffee makers, Man-Match rules apply for these calculations

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    My advice, in that case, would be download FreeCAD and get to grips with the design side first then, that’s probably 90% of the time and 99% of the effort involved in making something so if you can do that then the printing bit is fairly straightforward (and people can troubleshoot problems with it, it’s harder to explain how to do CAD design over a forum).

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    And CAD design is a useful skill only if you’re a CAD designer.

    True perhaps, but the more general skill of thinking about a problem and designing a solution is a pretty good lifeskill.

    I can get my head around most design ideas and think things through. I have a bit of previous form having designed a cabin with sauna and hydrotherapy pool, car, festivals and a few art creations. The cabin is probably closest to this as I used sketch up and properly designed it before building it.

    I just want something better than sketch up if I am doing things like complex curves, gears and interconnecting bits. I have downloaded fusion360 and will also get free cad. I will try to design the coffee pot handle in both and see which I prefer.

    Thanks

    joshvegas
    Member

    I hadn’t reallyappreciated how strong the finished product could be.

    I need some buckles for a rucksack…

    That’s justification enough right?

    Premier Icon ajantom
    Subscriber

    I hadn’t reallyappreciated how strong the finished product could be.

    I need some buckles for a rucksack…

    That’s justification enough right?

    To give an idea of longevity, I printed in ABS some extra fixings for a Monkii cage.
    Rather than screwing onto a bottle boss, the ones I designed/printed clip around the frame tube and have zip-tie slots.
    They’ve been on the frame and in use in all weathers for about 3 years now. So, yes, pretty resilient!

    joshvegas
    Member

    So some some buckles and ladder locks.

    And a comical pair of testicals for the saddle…

    Premier Icon ajantom
    Subscriber

    I just want something better than sketch up if I am doing things like complex curves, gears and interconnecting bits.

    If you’re just using the basic tools in Sketchup then there are limitations. However, there are a lot of 3rd party plugins that give great extra functionality.

    For example, there are plugins from a guy called Libfredo6 that let you easily produce curved/rounded/chamfered edges on objects, create lofted junctions between different shapes, skin wire-framed models, and the ability to extrude/push into a curved surface.

    Libfrdeo6 Plugins

    Premier Icon bigdean
    Subscriber

    3d printing is as usefull as you make it. I think things have moved on since i got/ made mine and misf come pre set up. You dont need a dual extruded if the slicer is good it should snap off and cleaned up with some sanding.

    Choose your slicer and learn how to use it properly, i use slic3r because its free and lets me set up a custom size printer bed (my zero point is off the bed) unlike mesh mixer.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    3d printing is as usefull as you make it.

    Go on then – humour me. How useful can I make it?
    I’m struggling to think of many doodads I need made out of slightly shonky plastic. I certainly don’t need any figureens or executive toys.

    I’m a product designer, so there are some things I’d like to prototype. I design a couple of Remote Controls a year and it would be really useful for that, but at the same time, the modelling is fantastically complex and normally I leave that to the factory, so my version would be crude – just to get the button positions or body feel correct.

    But my main motivation would be to teach my sons to go through the design/CAD/CAM process, but even they must prefer the thought of a cnc router, or laser cutter!

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    This list gave me a couple of ideas.
    https://all3dp.com/1/useful-cool-things-3d-print-ideas-3d-printer-projects-stuff/
    I have a pegboard that I’d like to make some better hooks for.
    The plywood chair joints sparked an idea too.

    As for the plastic wrench/hammer/door bolt/bottle opener/etc – ugh.

    I can imagine my boys wanting the coin sorter though.

    Premier Icon ajantom
    Subscriber

    But my main motivation would be to teach my sons to go through the design/CAD/CAM process, but even they must prefer the thought of a cnc router, or laser cutter!

    Pretty much why/how we use them on school.
    Designing process > Use of CAD to develop and model > Use of CAM (CNC router and 3D printer)

    I have had some GCSE and A-Level students use it for components in projects – handles, locks/catches, knobs, armatures, feet, etc.

    It’s also really good for making shapes/models to then sand cast from.

    Milkie
    Member

    Go on then – humour me. How useful can I make it?

    I guess if you can’t think of anything that will help you, then it probably won’t be very useful.

    It is a great way to learn design/CAD as you get to see a finished product rather than a technical drawing at the end of the day. They are a great tool for helping you with projects but I wouldn’t buy one without knowing what I want to use it for.

    Although on the flip side I didn’t need to print anything at the weekend, but something needed C size batteries. Half an hour later I had printed some AA t C battery adaptors, the shop did not have C size batteries!

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