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  1. #1

    Question Best 3D printer for me? Comment advice.

    I need advice on the best 3d printer to get. I have never owned one before. Can someone tell me an ideal printer for me? Give me one with unlimited budget and one under 1000. I am on a MacBook Pro.

  2. #2
    Engineer Marm's Avatar
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    Yay, you found the new thread button! grats! Welcome to the forum!

    I can't really help you with the limited budget one, as others here will be of more help in that department. But you should mention what you want to do with it. What items do you plan on printing? Games pieces and other small things would need a smaller printer, while bigger things need a bigger printer. Also, not only the sizes, but their applications. Various printers and filaments don't work together very well, and if you have a specific application in mind for a certain object that might require a very specific filament, then you'll get suggestions steering you towards printers that will do what you want.

    As for unlimited budget... well, I can't be much help here either, other than to say it's kind of a useless question. There are printers that run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's like asking what car would you get with an unlimited budget. Yeah, I'd love a Veyron, but I'll never own one.

  3. #3
    haha thanks, and sorry for the bad question formation. Okay, so I'd love to have at least a 7x7x7 inch size potential on my printer. Lets say for budget I'm going for 2500 or less. I'd like to print a variety of things from toys to figurines to cool thingiverse models to applicable everyday items like special designed containers. Don't know if it makes a big difference or not, but I use SketchUp or Fusion 360.

  4. #4
    Engineer Marm's Avatar
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    Sketchup requires a plugin to export STL, but it's not an issue to get it or use it. I'm a SU user myself.

    My printer is 8^3, and it ran about 600. There are better ones out there than mine, which is the Davinci, and has been a fairly dependable pain in the ass to run printer, but it got the job done. But if I had to buy for the first time again, I'd go another route.

    2500 would get you a very nice machine. Good machines can be found, in your size range, for under a grand.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    fusion 360 is a solid modelling cad program and you can only print solid models. So that's a good start.

    Sheesh - the number of machines in the sub $2500 category is enormous.

    I don't usually like these lists but in your case it would be worth using a 3d printer picker website. At least to start narrowing down the candidates.
    Eliminate makerbot to start with and as marm says davinci are chaep but questionable quality and utility.

    This isn't a bad list and includes some of the ones I'd recommend: https://3dforged.com/best-3d-printers/

    For my money the best machine on that list is the bnc3d sigma.
    Dual independant heads are the way to go imho.
    And having seen it in action at a couple of tct shows - had I money, I'd have already bought one.

    Here's some stuff I've learnt over the last 3 1/2 years. There are lots of things you can add or modify on any 3d printer. this is more things to look for in the description when buying a 3D printer.

    Things you absolutely need:

    Heated bed. Many printers now ship with unheated printbeds. Yes you can print pla without a heated bed - but it works much better with one and a heated bed also massively expands the variety of filaments you can sucessfully print. Also if you choose to buy an unenclosed machine and then build your own enclosure, the heated bed works as the heater to warm it up :-)

    Things that are well worth having:

    All metal hi temp hotend
    - the higher rated temperature for the hotend(s) the better.

    Enclosed print volume. Useful for the more problematical filaments and hi-temp filaments. NB: not much point having hi temp hotend on open frame printer as everything that works well on open frame machines extrudes at or below 250c. If you want to print abs - you NEED a heated enclosure.

    Things that might not be as useful as you think:


    More than one extruder. With the exception of the bcn3d sigma and a couple of the leapfrog machines that have independant extruders. These generally don't get used that much. Knowing what i know now. I would either not bother. OR get a machine with independant extruders OR two or more filaments feeding into a single extruder. These are slightly limited in that both filaments need to have the same extrusion temperature. But still a good idea.

    Auto bed calibration. It's one of those things I often think would be really useful. Then I read another post about someone having problems with the auto calibration and remember I calibrate my print bed maybe 4-5 times a year, and it takes about 5 minutes.


    So have a look through that list and see what you think :-)
    https://3dforged.com/best-3d-printers/
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 04-27-2017 at 10:07 AM.

  6. #6
    Staff Engineer Davo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    Things you absolutely need:

    Heated bed.

    Things that are well worth having:

    All metal hi temp hotend - the higher rated temperature for the hotend(s) the better.

    Enclosed print volume. Useful for the more problematical filaments and hi-temp filaments. IE not much point having hi temp hotend on open frame printer.

    Things that might not be as useful as you think:


    More than one extruder. With the exception of the bcn3d sigma and a couple of the leapfrog machines that have independant extruders. These generally don't get used that much. Knowing what i know know. I would either not bother. OR get a machine with independant extruders OR two or more filaments feeding into a single extruder.

    Auto bed calibration. It's one of those things I often think would be really useful. Then I read another post about someone having problems with the auto calibration and remember I calibrate my print bed maybe 4-5 times a year, and it takes about 5 minutes.
    Sticky this please.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Okay. Guess i can add to it as other stuff occurs to me :-)

  8. #8
    Engineer Marm's Avatar
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    As a caveat to my opinions on the Davinci. The thing has been a beast for an older budget machine. It seems to be one of the first machines to offer good print quality and build volume, in the days that it was released, for it's price point. I have had only a couple hiccups with it, and think my current issue are related to using it in an unheated garage in the winter. Before that I got about 600 pretty dependable hours out of it. It's down side is the lack of controls, the proprietary software and filaments, and the pain of retrofitting anything to it. If you want a plug and play, dirt simple machine that doesn't require fiddling with a slicer program, then I'd actually recommend it. But if you want to go beyond the simplest of settings, and you will, then look else where.

    CA, I think you recommended a dual extrusion printer a while back, enclosed, good build volume, on amazon for about $600. I've forgotten it and lost the link. Any idea what I'm talking about?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    yep it's actually number 3 or 4 in the above list qidi: https://www.amazon.com/TECHNOLOGY-3D...s=qidi+printer
    They do seem to be as good and well built as the flashforge creator pro but noticeably cheaper.

    There were actually a couple of the xyz machines on the list as well. So not all bad :-)

    Thread stuck :-)
    About time we had a: 'I want a 3d printer' thread stickied anyway - cheers Davo :-)
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 04-27-2017 at 09:59 AM.

  10. #10

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