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  1. #1
    Student
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    On choosing a printer. Which of this ones would you choose?

    Hi guys. I'm going to purchase my 1st 3D printer which I'm going to use for printing game figures and cosplay stuff.

    I don't know too much about the topic so I looked for TOP best cheap printers and found this post: https://all3dp.com/diy-3d-printer-kit/

    I looked at the options and chose this 3 printers which look good under my oppinion because they are all 200X200X200 or bigger. They all use ABS.

    E3D BigBox Pro
    : 300mm x 200mm x 280mm, Resolution = 50m+, ABS, Auto calibration = 1000$
    Original Prusa i3 MK2: 250x210x200mm, Resolution = 50+, ABS, Auto calibration = 845$
    helloBEEprusa:
    185 x 200 x 190mm, Resolution = 20+, ABS, Semi auto calibration = 601$

    1st. if you think you know a different option which costs about 1000$ or a bit more I would be happy to know about it and add it to my list.

    I also have a few doubts. Do you believe that for making good detail figures 20mm would be way better than 50mm or it's not such a big deal?
    On the other hand I don't know what speed I can expect from them because it isn't written anywhere. So maybe that's an important detail I can't evaluate.
    Finally, related to the resolution question. Should I sacrifice build volume for resolution choosing the HelloBee model instead of the other 2?
    If you know this models and can give me tips I'd be really grateful!

    Thank you for your help!

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Resolution wise the lower the number the better, but that increases time. so a 0.40mm will make a sharper print then a 0.50mm (but the 0.50mm will complete the print the print faster). Speed is also determined by your printer / extruder.

    Should I sacrifice build volume for resolution


    No reason to, the nozzle should be changeable, I bought a Makerfarm 12" (Kit) for under $800 and it came with a build volume of 11.5"x 12"x 12.5" (roughly 300x300x300mm) and a 0.40mm and I could go smaller if i wanted to.. although I hear that the smaller nozzle can have problems with clogging.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
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    I have no experience with two of the printers on your list but I do have a prusa MK2 which I got as a kit. This is a solid printer with a good support community. they actively work on the firmware and supply a modified version of Slic3r with some tested presets which does a nice job.

    Some things to think about. If you want something other than PLA you will need an enclosed chamber of some type to hold heat and stabilize the temps. Many build their own for the Prusa style printers.

    On resolution. Many claim great resolutions of .05-.02 but will never actually achieve them so be realistic. I print at .1 and it can be a challenge on first layer etc. not to mention time. For instance I did a print at .2 that took 22 hours and at .1 would have taken 56 hours according to the estimate from the slicer. I would google on resolutions to get some insight.

    Two printers to consider that I like are the QIDI Tech-1 and the Flashforge Creator Pro. Both solid printers.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    the replicator clones (what wirlky recommended at the bottom of his post), while excellent machines - don't have that great a build volume. 225x150x150 (pretty much any printer with that build volume is likely to be a replicator clone)
    Of the three printers you listed I'd go with the original prusa i3 mk2 - for the same reasons wirlybird mentioned.

    As far as printing faster with a larger nozzle goes, not neccessarily. It depends entirely on layer height and print speed. All the nozzle diameter does is determine the minimum width of the bead. So for finer horizontal detail a smaller diameter is usually better.
    Like all things - up to a point :-)
    My advice is to start with the 0.4, it's easy to change and buy different diameter nozzles. So start witht he industry standard 0.4 and change when you feel confident in the printer and how it works.
    Also there are temperature and cooling issues with printing with large beads.

    As has been mentioned, unless you have an enclosed build volume, abs will not only be a real pita to print, but weaker then pet-g or pla. Unless the whole model cools at the same time there will always be serious layer adhesion issues.

  5. #5
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
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    I know a good option for just over 1k: the XYZprinting Nobel SLA printer.
    Slow printing, but far superior detail over FDM printers especially for action figures.

    If you opt for plastic extrusion, I recommend buying a starter model like a Micromake or Wanhao.
    The detail is very comparable to many more expensive model printers.

    I switch occassionally to a 0.8mm nozzle and it makes a great difference in printing speed (almost twice) with relatively little loss of detail, especially with vase-like geometries.

  6. #6
    Student
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    Hi again guys! Thank you for all the info!

    I have a question about the temperature and cooling issues. That means that if the printer doesn't have a built box I need to build my own one, right? Is it an easy task or it might be more challenging than it looks like?

    Once they are isolated from the exterior that problems should be forgotten. And that would also solve the ABS issue. Is that the right assumption?

    With the info I have I'm about to choose the Prusa model over the Big Box one. But If building the box will be hard i might choose the Big Box because it's already built to that model.

    Do you believe Prusa is the wisest choice?

    Thank you for your help!!

    Cheers guys!

  7. #7
    Super Moderator
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    Building the "box" is more a matter of your imagination. Essentially you just want to enclose the printer so temps can be more stable (and eliminate drafts) and preferably increased compared to room temp. For PLA it is not an issue for the most part unless your room is drafty and colder. There are plenty of creative example on line, for instance search for Prusa i3 MK2 enclosure.

    This does not solve the ABS issues but will help reduce things. Mainly ABS wants a stable higher temp environment so it cools slowly to help reduce wrapping. A printer with the enclosure already is convenient but not mandatory.

    I have the original Prusa i3 MK2 so my choice is obvious! I have not been disappointed. You can order kit or pre-built. there is a pretty long wait now because they are so popular.

    There is a facebook group for this printer where you could ask questions (everyone may be a bit biased!). I'll try to post the name later when I can get it.

    I might not worry to much about ABS to start with and first get used to PLA which is fairly straight forward to print. Get the fundamentals down and get used to the printer and how to solve issues. Working with ABS will just be changing what you have learned to fix issues. It is all doable!!

  8. #8
    Technologist
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    you really don't need to buid a box outside the printer!
    If you want to printer ABS, you just need to choose the printer with heat bed
    That will be OK!
    www.reprapmall.com

  9. #9
    Staff Engineer Davo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    you really don't need to buid a box outside the printer!
    If you want to printer ABS, you just need to choose the printer with heat bed
    That will be OK!
    www.reprapmall.com
    Actually, for anything in ABS over 30mm in length, you WILL want a heated enclosure.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    yep, this is true :-)

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