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Newbie alert - I want to buy a printer and have many questions

Brian H

Super User
Hey all,
I have been toying with the purchase of a 3D printer for a while now. I have been looking at the Creality Ender 3, and, from the research I have done it looks like a pretty decent printer to start with.
I would like to hear from anyone that has one before I purchase it.

My second question is how much filament does one need to do printing? My first project will be a set of change gears for my mini lathe (I don't have a complete set with mine)
My other intention is to make molds for casting. I have begun to create scale madel engines and due to the lack of availability for material where I am, I need to start casting the pieces I need from scrap. I have seen a few different options for software for design, however, I am "technologically challenged" so it needs to be pretty user friendly (tinkercad and fusion 360 are the current options I've found)

Thingiverse has many pre-programmed parts I can start with to learn the printing part, but, at some point I will want to design my own stuff. I'm totally relying on you guys with experience to help me with stuff I may have overlooked.
 

Janger

(John)
Vendor
Premium Member
Brian - @Jwest7788 Josh and I bought Prusa MK25 printers. I had some initial trouble with the power supply but that was sorted under warranty and now it prints and prints. I have lots of posts in here on printing all kinds of stuff. I want to design stuff and print it - not fool around with printers. So I spent more money and got this one on Josh's recommendation. He had a low end one and bought a prusa to upgrade. There is a thread on this somewhere in here. I had the same questions. If on the other hand you want to spend less, and mucking with printers is fine with you then there are other choices for less money. @kevin.decelles Kevin has a printer he has extensively upgraded and tweaked. @Alexander has a lower end one he's successfully working with too. I'm not sure they are the Creality.

How much filament do you need? Well I bought a 6 pack of different colours recently making the number of spools under the desk about 10 I'd say. Different materials and colours. Else where in the threads I posted about a vise speed handle. It uses about 20m of filament and a spool is about +300m long. 6% of a spool at a cost of $1.75. That's a fairly big print for me. Lots of stuff is under a buck. Fusion 360 works well for this if you're willing to put in the time and effort to learn it.
 

Janger

(John)
Vendor
Premium Member
Some key things you want: heated bed, auto leveling, removable bed so you can clean it. A quality device that is not over loaded and potentially a fire hazard. These things get really hot so you don't want them to burn your house down if something screws up. It's happened. That creality ender looks pretty good for the money but it does not seem to have auto bed levelling. you really want that feature. At least I think so. I see prusa has a new mini printer for less. Could look at that one too.
 

Janger

(John)
Vendor
Premium Member

Watch this vid. Good printers have all this stuff standard.

I don't leave the house when running prints. Kevin built an all metal enclosure for his - it can catch fire with no consequences.
 

Brent H

Ultra Member
So John,

What would be the cost of a basic printer that could do small parts? knob, handles, switches or adapter items...seems the sky id the limit now. Watched a "Blondie-hacks" vid and she is making parts for vacuum attachments..... very cool but what is the investment?
 

YYCHM

(Craig)
Premium Member
Seems to me, I looked at having a gear printed for my mill and canned that idea due to a lack of suitable printable filiment. Had to be Nylon or something to that effect?
 

Alexander

Ultra Member
Administrator
I have a whanaho duplicator I3. It has a heated bed so I can print PLA or ABS. It isn't fancy but it cost me about $350 (kijiji) and I have put 508 hours of printing time on it so far.
 

Janger

(John)
Vendor
Premium Member
I'm not that familiar with all the different makes and models. So hard for me to recommend anything else other than what I have. The Prusa MK3 I have cost about $1200 with GST and shipping and some filament. So kinda pricey. I bought the kit and assembled it. I see the Prusa mini printer would be big enough to do knobs and handles etc. It's $350USD plus shipping etc. I imagine under $600CAD landed. It's on back order - people must like it. Checking out the specs it looks very good. It has better features than the one I have.

@Colten Edwards If you see this can you chime in on this? Colten builds his own printers.

@YYCHobbyMachinist - If you want to buy a spool of nylon I'll try printing your gears. I've printed a number of gears for my first CNC mill that @kevin.decelles now has. I just used the usual filament. We could try PETG too. PM me if you want.
 

Tom O

Ultra Member
Mine is a Makerbot Replicator 2 that I bought years ago when they were starting to be more popular.
 

kevin.decelles

Jack of all trades -- Master of none
Premium Member
I’ve been watching the market again too and I think the creality ender pro 3 is one of the better bang for buck printers out there

I spoke with the guys at spool3d in Calgary over the Xmas break and that is there #1 seller. Key reasons being ease of install and out of the box print quality

A friend of mine just bought one (creality ender pro) and his print quality out of the box is on par/ahead of mine and I’ve put 100s of hours into tweaking mine . They have come a long way in 3 years

I’ve been told that the creality is running a Marlin firmware and if so then I suspect you can add bed levelling easily

I may replace my Frankenstein printer with this soon




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Bofobo

M,Mizera(BOFOBO)
Not that this is close by comparison but I just picked up one of those 3-D pens, and after a few hours I am very happy with what I have been able to make, mostly just a camera mount for an oddball style of camera but at half the cost of the pen per mount I just had it pay for itself in a couple hours. It’s free hand controlled but I’m printing with it while my CnC 3Dp sits collecting dust.
 

Brian H

Super User
Thank you to everyone for their advice. I have ordered an Ender 3 Pro printer. I will most likely be asking for some advice going forward. My plan is to start with some items on "thingiverse" to get to know the printing side first. I have played a bit with Tinkercad and will likely try to wrap my brain around Fusion 360.
I have question about slicing, is this done after you have designed something or can you simply put the drawing on the SD card and print it? I'm not sure how much information will come with the printer
 

Johnwa

Ultra Member
Adding to Jangers response, you load up the stl file from thingiverse into your slicer.
Cura is pretty good, I use Slic3r because that’s what I’m used to. Cura will create the necessary gcode for the printer. It can also be used to send the gcode to the printer if you leave your computer connected. Prints can take hours so that does tie up your computer. Alternatively you can load the gcode file on the SD card and print without your computer connected. I can’t help you there as I’ve always used the computer method.
 

Brian H

Super User
So a quick update. I received my printer on Friday. I had it assembled and printing in 3 hours. I have 7 parts printed so far with no issues. Just started printing the first gear I drew on Fusion360.
Thanks to everyone for their help figuring this all out.
 

YYCHM

(Craig)
Premium Member
So a quick update. I received my printer on Friday. I had it assembled and printing in 3 hours. I have 7 parts printed so far with no issues. Just started printing the first gear I drew on Fusion360.
Thanks to everyone for their help figuring this all out.

WOW! You got that up and running pretty fast. I've been tempted to get one of those things, but don't think I have the patience for 2-3 day prints LOL.
 

Brian H

Super User
WOW! You got that up and running pretty fast. I've been tempted to get one of those things, but don't think I have the patience for 2-3 day prints LOL.
I was really impressed with the quality and tolerances of this kit. It was quick and easy to assemble. Virtually perfect prints (keeping in mind I have absolutely no experience) right out of the box. I was quite happy how easy Fusion360 has been to get a handle on. I found some really good tutorials on YouTube tho. I have 3 change gears printed so far. The longest print so far was the 105 tooth gear, it was about 3 hrs. I'm hoping to have a full set (plus a couple extras) by the end of next week. I started with the PLA, but, I did get a roll of nylon filament as well.
 
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