Cheap 3d printer kits – Experiences?

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  • Cheap 3d printer kits – Experiences?
  • stumpy01
    Member

    papamountain

    Member
    Thanks for the fang details Stumpy. Let us know how you get on with it.

    Will do. A friend has sent me some fairly complex parts to print for his work, so I’ll be making some tweaks & then giving those a bash.
    I’m sure I set-up pronterface on my laptop (need to check) which should give me the ability to send code to the printer to turn the cooling fan on & off to check where the duct is actually blowing.

    That control box fan thing was what I was looking at too. Would be nice if it actually screwed to
    the box, I think the box just sits on top.

    I initially thought this, but then in reality I figured it probably isn’t a problem. I was going to re-model it, but it’s a lot of work for small changes. I’ll probably just run some hot melt glue around the edge if it seems too unstable.
    I’ll probably wire the fans directly into the PSU.

    spursn17
    Member

    Thread resurrection alert! 😀

    What’s the current thinking on a good value beginners 3D printer?
    I fancy getting one.

    stumpy01
    Member

    One of the most important considerations is print bed size…how big do you think you’ll need?

    The Creality Ender3 is a very popular choice and is dirt cheap. But has a limited print bed – I think it’s 200x200x300 off the top of my head.
    I went for a Creality CR10-Mini as I thought a square print are (in X and y) might be limiting. The Mini is 210x300x300 high and I use a decent amount of that area regularly. The Z height to me is less important…

    A lot of this will depends on your budget. A colleague at work has just bought the latest Prusa. It prints well, but cost him getting on for a grand.

    spursn17
    Member

    stumpy01 a grand!!! I’m going full on cheapskate as I don’t know if I’ll find it useful or not 😃

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    spursn17

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    What’s the current thinking on a good value beginners 3D printer?

    Ender 3 and a glass bed. It’s not the best, but it’s great value and has fantastic user and aftermarket support.

    It’s probably more or less time for something else to knock it off its perch mind but right now it’s probably the best choice. As long as you don’t want to print huge things, it’s limited to 235x235x250.

    I’ve gone through a few printers over the years and I love my Ender 3 Pro, enough that I bought another one in the creality sale. It doesn’t really have many upgrades over the standard Ender 3 (the magnetic bed should be an upgrade but the Enders <always> have warped beds which are best fixed with a glass bed) but it’s also not that much more expensive.

    If you want to do resin stuff- minatures and whatnot- then the Elegoo Mars looks shit hot, very tempted.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
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    I bought a Prusa mk3 about 10 months ago (£700 ish for the kit which if you can do a Lego technic set you can put together no bother). It’s the only printer I’ve got experience with but I’d certainly recommend it – it’s been going virtually every day since I got it, no problems at all except the occasional self-inflicted user error!

    I basically bought mine for work & wasn’t expecting to get into it as a hobby, but I’m totally addicted now! It’s so interesting & useful. Latest print, some vent things for my parents’ roof that they’re having done at the moment:

    stumpy01
    Member

    I made these bits for a broken clip on our Vax…

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2hr64yp]IMG_20190914_103756[/url] by STW stumpy01, on Flickr

    Broken Clip with surfaces sanded to key them

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2hr64zg]IMG_20190925_211633[/url] by STW stumpy01, on Flickr

    Fitted and hopefully good for a couple more years…

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2hr64yu]IMG_20190925_212639[/url] by STW stumpy01, on Flickr

    Premier Icon zilog6128
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    Awesome, love seeing functional prints 👍

    stumpy01
    Member

    zilog6128

    Awesome, love seeing functional prints

    Yeah, I have to say most of the novelty stuff people print leaves me cold. Don’t get me wrong; there’s some impressive stuff out there and some real skill involved in the design, printing and finishing of these parts.

    I really like the prints where people have solved a problem to a specific issue they’ve had. Or, produced your own version of something available because it’s available and convenient.

    spursn17
    Member

    I have to say most of the novelty stuff people print leaves me cold.

    This

    Just got to think of something to print that will justify buying it.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    Going by the facebook groups I’m on, most owners just use them to print little statues of sexy ladies.

    stumpy01
    Member

    spursn17

    Just got to think of something to print that will justify buying it.

    Are you looking to design and print? Or just print stuff you find online?
    If you are intending to design and print, I think you’ll constantly find new uses for it. I’ve got a list of projects I just don’t have time to fit in.

    If it’s more a case of finding ‘cool’ stuff to print that someone else has designed…I can’t help but feel it won’t be long before you are either printing stuff for the sake of it, or it just ends up sitting idle.

    Could be wrong, but that’s my take on it….

    spursn17
    Member

    Definitely design and print. I need about 6 different size hose adapters to fit different tools for my garage vacuum, so that’ll be a starting point.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
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    I wouldn’t rule anything out… you might find you enjoy downloading & printing random crap! Sometimes it’s helpful to see what design techniques people have used, and if nothing else they make good gifts/giveaways! I have lost count now of the number of little articulated lizards I have printed & given out as everyone loves them! 😃

    Probably print 50/50 my designs/downloaded ones. I like to keep my machine running all the time so it provides a bit of visual interest as it’s at work, so if I’ve got nothing “useful” to print I’ll just go online and find something cool to rattle off.

    Premier Icon swanny853
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    The results one of the guys I work with is getting with an ender three that’s near stock compare surprisingly well to the fortus 400 we have at work, for simpler parts at least. I want one, but for the moment I wouldn’t use it often enough so I pay him in beer. Last print was a seatstay mudguard brace for my cross bike.

    I’d say there’s no point buying an expensive one until you’ve had one of the cheap ones that’s ‘good enough’ and found you actually use it.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
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    Anyone on the fence and yet to buy a 3D printer, Prusa have just announced a mini version! Just ordered one myself, £288 (+Vat if you’re buying it privately). If it’s as good as their other printers it is a steal at that price! Get in quick if you want it this side of Xmas as I suspect they have had a LOT of pre-orders already (and they are notoriously bad at sticking to their shipping schedules too!)

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    That looks pretty awesome, the mk3S has just always been a bit too far above my price range but that could tempt me… Though I’ll wait till the community’s had at it, if I do

    Having said all that I’ve got the Ender crapping out ABS parts with no fuss at the moment, if I could just get my overhangs a wee bit more dialled and the tree support bed adhesion just slightly better I could call myself completely happy with it. I say it a lot, but, it really is incredible how far these have come… It took more effort than this just to get my Tarantula to print anything, never mind anything good. And Cura’s pretty awesome now as well.

    Should really sell the Ender 2 I have in bits 🙂

    Premier Icon slackman99
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    If anyone is after an Ender 3 Pro then mine will be up for sale. Sat on my desk not getting much use.

    Premier Icon swanny853
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    I wish you hadn’t said that as I might have to think about eating my words. Roughly how much would you want?

    timnoyce
    Member

    I was a bit fed up with my Wahoo bar mount rotating on the bars so I designed a steerer tube spacer mount that is angled up enough to clear the top of my stem. This should keep it nicely protected by the bars as I don’t think that the road ‘out front’ mount is very good on a mountain bike as it’s quite exposed.

    Designed in SolidWorks:

    Printed on a Markforged Mark Two:

    Fitted to Bike:

    timnoyce
    Member

    Also, I’m forever losing stuff at home so I’ve created some mounts for my lights and my wahoo which I will screw to a mounting plate somewhere in the kitchen so that I can pop my tech on there when they’re not on the bike.

    I’ll get another pic once they are installed.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    Anyone tried the UV resin printers like the Elegoo Mars? We had an uktimaker at work which was great, but kept running into limitations of what we could make it do.

    Now that I no longer work there I quite fancy a printer for use at home (and tbh I reckon if it made better prints I could sell them back to my old boss).

    Premier Icon njee20
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    I’ve had an Anycubic Photon for a couple of months. Much smaller build volume than these FDM printers, but way better finish. Been using it for model railway stuff, pleased with results thus far.

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2htoQMe]Untitled[/url] by njee20, on Flickr

    coppice
    Member

    So for a complete noob who just wants to tinker,

    For £140
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Creality-Ender-3-3D-Printer-220X220X250mm-1-75mm-PLA-DC-24V-New-Version-UK/283517931121?hash=item4202fc4e71:g:ZBQAAOSwOdldOQhK

    Glass Bed £10
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Creality-3D-thick-Surface-Glass-Plate-235x235mm-for-Ender-3-3D-Printer-C5A9/254390730768?epid=21033808437&hash=item3b3ade8010:g:c98AAOSweNpdo-VM

    and some filament?? I shouldn’t need anything else to get me going? I know the glass bed is an optional/recommended upgrade. Any other recommended bits?

    stumpy01
    Member

    timnoyce – dunno if it’s just me, but your pics aren’t appearing.

    coppice – The Ender3 is considered a very good starter machine. slackman99 up there is selling one. Might be worth sending a message?
    Have a think about whether the build volume & whether it will be big enough – it should be for most tasks. I went for a CR10-Mini with a rectangular bed to give me a ‘longer’ axis.

    I am not sure about the glass bed compared to just using what it comes with. I use a glass bed as that’s what came with my printers. These ‘flexi build plates’ weren’t that wide spread around 18 months or so ago.
    If you want a glass bed, you can always just get a local glazier to cut you some mirror glass or borosilicate glass to size.
    The printer should come with a small roll of filament to get you started, but it can’t hurt to have more. I’ve had good results with PLA from Hobbyking, Ziro (via Amazon) & Technology Outlet.

    If you do end up with a glass, you will probably want something to help bed adhesion. I started off with a glue stick, but you end up with a lumpy bottom surface.
    3DLac works well, but is quite pricey (we use it at work on our Ultimaker).
    I have lately been mixing a fairly thick PVA/water mix (bottles of PVA are dead cheap) and just spreading it on the bed with a finger. It dries nice & flat & you can get several prints out of it before you need to wash it clean (warm water) and start again.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    “know the glass bed is an optional/recommended upgrade”

    Aye, it’s not always but the Enders have pretty reliably bent heated beds so a glass bed is an easy fix for that. Annoying but no biggie.

    The ender actually works pretty damn well as standard, but I would 100% recommend the followign:

    Metal extruder. This isn’t an “upgrade”, it’s just a metal equivalent of the stock plastic one, as it tends to break the tensioning arm.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ender-3-Metal-Extruder-MK8-CR-10-10S-Upgrade-All-Creality-3D-Printer-Parts-UK/312579958343?epid=0&hash=item48c737a647:g:8KYAAOSwupBcjOVS

    Rubber spring replacements. This is for the 4 springs that hold the bed. Most people say “get the yellow springs”, and they are pretty good but this is just better. You lose a lot of the movement of the bed but you don’t need it.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FM-4pcs-Silicone-Buffers-Dampers-for-3D-Printers-Creality-CR-10-10s-Ender-2-3-O/274046488885?hash=item3fce719135:g:2k8AAOSw5PRdbqo-

    And a bunch of cheap spare nozzles, because they do block up. And that’s it, for starters anyway. And some PLA- I tend to suggest esun PLA+ for your first roll, just because it’s super easy to print with. It’s also too expensive, but that’s worth paying when you’re starting out.

    And stumpy mentioned 3dlac. I’m a big fan of this, it’s literally just a hairspray variant designed for printing, £9 is kind of expensive but the can lasts a very long time. You can print on plain glass with no treatments at all but, this is easy mode.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=3dlac&client=firefox-b-d&source=lnms&tbm=shop&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigjLC9kqHlAhUOHcAKHY5rCY8Q_AUIESgB&biw=1920&bih=916#spd=5479070400422301343

    stumpy01
    Member

    Good post Northwind.

    I’ve not seen those rubber bumpers before. Are they just to firm up the bed? I have to say, I haven’t had any loosening of the springs or issue with bed levelling wandering off but I do see the springs as a source of movement. I might give them a try.

    Nozzles – I have to say, in almost 2 years of owning my printer I am yet to block a nozzle. i do think I should probably replace it, as it probably isn’t 0.4 anymore.
    A colleague recently gave me a 0.6 nozzle to try – you get quite a nice reduction in print speed for parts that don’t require tons of detail. I’ve not actually used it yet, because I’m wary of fiddling with the printer – if it ain’t broke etc.

    3DLac – last time I looked it was £14 a can – £9 is a much better price point – although I’d still love to find out what hairspray it is, as I bet it is much cheaper!

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    stumpy01

    Member

    I’ve not seen those rubber bumpers before. Are they just to firm up the bed?

    Yeah, they just add more tension to the spring setup and more stability to the bed overall. It’s not a massive difference but worth it.

    I’m pretty sure 3dlac isn’t just hairspray- though I think it’s pretty much hairspray with some stuff taken out. It’s made by a cosmetics company 🙂

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    thisisnotaspoon – did you see Tomas Sanladerer’s video from last week?

    Looks great if you can cope with the mess and safety issues of working with resin. Even the prices of the Elegoo resin look reasonable on Amazon UK.

    —–

    I haven’t posted many updates recently, but basically my 3D printer has done exactly what I wanted it to do, in that it’s become a part of my thought process for designing and making and I use it whenever helpful to achieve my goals alongside my CNC router and other tools.

    Not sure I’ve got many photos, but we’ve used it in a campervan build for a few things and also making board games, fixing things around the house, my son’s school projects and a couple of aspects of furniture design.

    Window frame in van (hidden, but couldn’t fit square corners)

    Van seat catch, adjustable feet insert and box section end caps

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    The Mars does look the absolute bollocks tbh. I’ve done a few prints where there’s one or two parts that’d be much better done in resin and it irks me. So tempting.

    Premier Icon njee20
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    Like I said up there I’ve had an Anycubic Photon resin printer for a couple of months, and I love it.

    I wash prints in an ultrasonic bath of 99% IPA, then rinse under the tap, then cure in a UV lamp thing designed for drying nails. Still can’t quite get to grips with the curing times, I think I overcure stuff, which makes it brittle. For what I want FDM just wouldn’t cut it.

    Elegoo are about to release a water-rinsable resin, which will be interesting. Wanhao do one already but it’s expensive.

    Resin is expensive, and Anycubic stuff has suddenly leapt in price; I bought a litre for £30 about a month ago, it’s now £38+ everywhere, but it does last quite well.

    They do smell, mrs njee20 finds it quite offensive, but some resins are better than others. I’d not want to use mine in the house, but it’s fine in the garage.

    The resin isn’t particularly nice, there are horror stories of people needing skin grafts. I wear disposable gloves (must be nitrile, latex don’t cut it), and wash my hands thoroughly and I’ve had no ill effects.

    The Photon is about £230. There’s a massive user community out there, I’d get the standard photon over the more expensive Photon S all day long – the advantages of the S are minimal and there are various disadvantages.

    These were all printed on my Photon:

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2hxSpdJ]Untitled[/url] by njee20, on Flickr

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2hxW8LC]Untitled[/url] by njee20, on Flickr

    The lines on the base of these are 0.1mm:

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2h9g5TF]Untitled[/url] by njee20, on Flickr

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    I really like the idea of crisp details like those njee, but at the same time I know I’d be careless with the resin and probably suffer because of it.

    Great looking prints!

    Premier Icon zilog6128
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    Was suffering from resin-envy so I ordered a Prusa SL1 resin printer last week. There is a long, well publicised, waiting list for these & I was hoping to get it before Christmas maybe. It has just turned up this morning! Feel slightly guilty as I seem to have jumped the queue somehow. Oh well, sure I will cope. 😂 Excited to get it up & running.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    Look forward to seeing some prints zilog!

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
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    Resin is expensive, and Anycubic stuff has suddenly leapt in price; I bought a litre for £30 about a month ago, it’s now £38+ everywhere, but it does last quite well.

    Potentially stupid question, is it 100% resin, or is there a solvent? i.e. does 1000ml of resin make a 100x100x100mm cube?

    And presumably with better mechanical properties it’s possible to be a lot more economical with the material anyway (wall thicknesses ~1mm rather than 3mm)?

    Premier Icon zilog6128
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    quick print of a file that was pre-loaded onto the printer (so no idea about the settings!) Really impressed though! Cannot see the layer lines. 2p for scale!

    Premier Icon swanny853
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    Well, I bought slackman’s ender3 pro in the end, so hopefully I’ll have some interesting things to share before long.

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    Just on the subject of resin printers, there’s a revised Mars about to launch and it’s supposedly aiming at the same price point, looks like it could be pretty awesome

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
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    must not be jealous of resin prints
    must not be jealous of resin prints
    must not be jealous of resin prints
    must not be jealous of resin prints

    Premier Icon zilog6128
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    resin is definitely a faff (got a decent workflow sorted now but I am so glad I didn’t get one of these printers first before an FDM one as it would’ve put me right off I’m sure 😂) – I’m loving the detail though and the fact you can do stuff that’s just not possible in FDM (such as dimensionally accurate Lego accessories 😀)

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