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  1. #1
    Student
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    Which 3D printer should I purchase?

    We have looked at lots of 3D printers to buy for our school but can't decide. Any suggestions? I teach robotics but the art teachers would use it as well as any other teachers that want to have a cool math, etc lesson.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    what budget do you have ?

    Also bear in mind that you'd be better of buying a half dozen cheapo replicator clones or duplicator I3's than one ultimaker or 1.5 cel robox's

    If the art department is involved then you want something with dual extruders - or at lest one extruder that can handle two materials at once.
    Artistic models will require more support than engineering models - in my experience anyway.

    But at the end of the day it's down to budget.
    Give us a clue :-)

  3. #3
    Student
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    what budget do you have ?

    Also bear in mind that you'd be better of buying a half dozen cheapo replicator clones or duplicator I3's than one ultimaker or 1.5 cel robox's

    If the art department is involved then you want something with dual extruders - or at lest one extruder that can handle two materials at once.
    Artistic models will require more support than engineering models - in my experience anyway.

    But at the end of the day it's down to budget.
    Give us a clue :-)

    We are putting a proposal in for $5000. I am guessing that it will be approved.

    We aren't exactly sure how we are planning to use it but it would be fun to have one and we will figure it out.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    With that kind of budget I'd be inclined to get a couple of duplicator i3's
    A bnc3d sigma: https://www.bcn3dtechnologies.com/en...g/bcn3d-sigma/

    And a flashforge replicator pro.
    And printbite print surfaces for them all.

    The i3s are great all purpose single head machines, cheap to buy easy to mod and if a student breaks one - you won't go into the corner and cry.
    http://wanhaousa.com/products/duplicator-i3-steel-frame

    The bnc sigma - because it's simply the best dual material printer on the market. The only one that can handle two completely seperate materials with different print temps and no messing about in the slicers with wipe walls and pillars and all that crap.

    basically you can run one head with soluble pla and the other with just about anything else for really complex prints that you just throw into a sink of water to dissolve the supports.

    The flashforge pro as it's an enclosed printer so useful for engineering prints where you need to use nylon or abs.

    The printbite is handsdown the best print surface I've yet used and the only one that doesn't require a scraper, or removing to flex the print off and won't wear out.
    polycarbonate is the only material I've failed with so far - but I don't think my extruder goes high enough.

    Having fought prints that were practically glued to the bed with most other methods.
    Being able to just print, wait a few minutes and just pick the print off the bed - is wonderful :-)

    Depending on what you can get the pro and sigma for, you could probably buy another duplicator i3 as well.

    I can guarentee that no matter how many machines you have, they'll all be in use, all the time.
    All of the above printers will go anywhere and print without needing a computer. they all have sd card slots and built in control panels, so just need a single power outlet and they're good to go.


    You can use one of the i3's to build parts for a delta as a school project :-)

    If I were going to splash out on just one expensive machine - I'd seriously look at the builder range.
    http://builder3dprinters.com/shop/3d...-extruder-red/

    You could probably get one of those and still afford a couple of duplicator i3's as well.
    Not quite as good a dual material machine as the sigma, but compensates with a very large build volume
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 04-18-2016 at 03:25 PM.

  5. #5
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    Basically the Ultimaker philosophy is to create a machine that lets people print beautiful objects - that is where it excels.
    While other printers are promoted with great features, Ultimaker gets the basis right, they are customer-friendly and stable machines with the best surface quality.
    The Ultimaker 3 creates prints the most smooth surface without any zebra stripe effect created by minor inaccuracies in the mechanical assembly. This is the only consumer-level machine if you want museum quality objects. And the dual extruder is flawless. Now apart from that it is basically the same machine as the other Ultimakers, which to me does not explain the price tag.

    I have seen the Sigma and it looks like a great machine, however people weren't able to show me any prints leading me to think that it is not so straightforward to set up.
    I am now in between the UM2 or BCN3D+ for a next printer buy.

  6. #6
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    For a school I recommend a closed box printer with minimal supervision and maintenance needed. For art a great print quality and dual extruder are necessary. Stick with one brand to rapidly get to expert level with the printers.
    If you are yet unrestricted to a stock of filament in a certain size, I would go for a 1.75mm system such as the Flashforge printers.
    Put in a grand for filament and see if you can make a deal, again sticking to one brand (I recommend colorfabb, EUmakers or Formfutura)

    The BCN3D+ is also an interesting printer because it is affordable and direct drive. I am looking for people that have experience with this.

  7. #7
    Student steveprinters29's Avatar
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    You haven’t mentioned your 3D printer budget or the function it would serve. And assessing these factors, you could look for the best 3D printers on some of the good online stores.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    the op hasn't been back for 9 months.
    another satisfied customer ;-)

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