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  1. #1
    Engineer-in-Training
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    Why are almost all of 3D printers made in China?

    Why are almost all of 3D printers made in China? I'm looking for a 3D printer with large build volume like this: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/tron...6.4.JXFb5s&s=p but I'm afraid to buy anything from Chinese companies. I prefer to buy from USA stores like Amazon.

  2. #2
    Staff Engineer
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    Amazon is the one selling all those Chinese-made machines, it seems to me. If you looked elsewhere, you'd find printers made all over the world, even in the USA. Your question could be asked about all sorts of manufactured products, not just 3D printers. There are a lot of advantages that manufacturers in China enjoy, such as low labor rates, cheap access to supplies and raw materials, inexpensive real estate (although that's changing, especially in the big cities) and a lack of all those pesky regulations on their emissions, labor practices, consumer relations and intellectual property violations.

    Actually, though, there are lots of companies making 3D printers elsewhere, despite all that. Here are a few made in the USA: https://printrbot.com/ https://www.alephobjects.com/ https://www.seemecnc.com/ https://store.typeamachines.com/

  3. #3
    Student
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    Nov 2016
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    Earth
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    Buy a genuine Prussa made i3.

    Thing is, people don't look beyond the price of the printer when making a decision. Most of the Chinese printers, even the good ones will have variable quality. Some will be outright junk.

    I bought a cheap Chinese printer with a relatively good reputation and I'm replacing some parts right out of the box because the quality is just not there. It works for me because I have not problem fiddling to make things work and when done, I will have a $2,000+ printer at half the price.

    You get what you pay for and you have to be prepared for the extra work to bring a cheap Chinese printer up to good working order.

  4. #4
    Engineer-in-Training
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    Looking at what you found, I notice that it doesn't have a heated bed as far as I can see. That means PLA only, forget the other filament types. And difficult to keep it firmly on the print bed, especially with large objects.

    Also, you will need to make some upgrades for stability. The larger the print volume, the bigger the problem will be. Those mounting corners on the uprights are the weakest part of the design. Also it will most likely be shipped with very dated (and poorly performing) freeware to slice/print.

    Do you really need such a build volume? Larger dimensions means more warp (even with PLA) and thus much more difficult to print with many failures along the way. Unless you have a lot of experience, you will most likely fail when trying to print really large objects that utilize most of that volume.

    Very large volume also means very long print time. If the extruder is not of good quality, you most likely will find that it gives uneven or clogged extrusion, usually 20+ hours during the print thus wasting a lot of time and filament and creating another piece of plastic waste.

    I agree with the above that the new MK2 Prusa i3 is a very good choice. Very high quality, very user friendly, great results and it is Czech (EU) made, not chinese if you have a problem with the latter. See http://toms3d.org/2016/09/19/review-...-prusa-i3-mk2/ for a good review. Knowing what i know now after many years of 3D printing, it is indeed a very good choice for a first printer.
    You can also upgrade it later to do multi-color printing. The multi-color technique is very precise but slow. But then again a failed print also takes up a lot of time.

    Having said that, all my 5 printers bar one are chinese made and perform very well (Qidi tech). But I tend to do ABS/polycarbonate and thus need a heated and enclosed chamber. Two of those chinese printers I upgraded with chamber heating/regulation for that purpose alone.
    Last edited by Alibert; 01-04-2017 at 01:02 AM.

  5. #5
    Engineer-in-Training
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    You're seeing a lot of printers made in China because of two reasons. 1) Is the low price point that you're looking at. Most of the technology is open source clone and it is not worth the a US company to get involved it those low cost machines. 2) The availability of components in the Pacific rim.

    When your price point goes up you start looking at Ultimakers, Makerfarm and others you get product out of the states and EU.

  6. #6
    Staff Engineer Davo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd-67 View Post
    You're seeing a lot of printers made in China because of two reasons. 1) Is the low price point that you're looking at. Most of the technology is open source clone and it is not worth the a US company to get involved it those low cost machines. 2) The availability of components in the Pacific rim.

    When your price point goes up you start looking at Ultimakers, Makerfarm and others you get product out of the states and EU.
    This answers your question perfectly.

  7. #7
    Technician
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    I really don't think all chinese printer is bad!
    this printer http://www.reprapmall.com/index.php?...product_id=117
    it is large buid size 280X280X600, and it is with heat bed!
    The heat bed can supply the temperature 110 degree
    so it can satify the two request , large buid size and printing almost all the material

  8. #8
    Engineer-in-Training
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    I really don't think all chinese printer is bad!
    this printer http://www.reprapmall.com/index.php?...product_id=117
    it is large buid size 280X280X600, and it is with heat bed!
    The heat bed can supply the temperature 110 degree
    so it can satify the two request , large buid size and printing almost all the material
    I hope I didn't come across as implying that the Chinese printers were bad. I was just trying to answer his question as to why a good portion of the companies making printers on that level are made over there. I have dealt with China for over 20 years and been there actually. I have confidence dealing with a foreign country but there are a great deal of people that feel uneasy about it.

  9. #9
    Engineer-in-Training
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    Jan 2016
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    I ordered new heating block assembly and stepper motor wires from the company that makes Flashforge and PowerSpec printers and the parts are stuck at customs for two days.

  10. #10
    Student
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    Jan 2017
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    St Paul Park Minnestota
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    Hi, kind of related to your discussion, I'm starting a new company to make large 3D printers in the U.S.

    Have a look at what I'm doing. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/f...nters-design#/

    My printers will be strong, heated beds, & all high quality materials.

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