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  1. #1
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    Another damn newby asking dumb questions

    Well...youi go to start somewhere!

    I have done more research than I care to mention, and tried posting on a few other forums, but some of them seem pretty dead and replies hard to come by. This place seems much more alive!

    Basically, I am about to take my first steps in the worls of 3D printing. I have a budget, I have a good idea what I want to do with the printer and what sort of things are important to me. What I don't have is the luxury of enough diospoable income to buy something that won;t work, as I literally can only take one shot at this over hte next year or so. Makes me a little nervous!

    As far as what I wish to print goes, I want to print custom RC parts for 1/16 rc tanks and 1/72-1:35 model kits, non structural RC parts and parts for small projects at home. Would also be nice to turn some of my 3d modelling projects into desk ornaments That would mean PLA and ABS capability up to a max of 150mm x 150mm by 100mm. 100 micron 'resolution' should be fine, but as I am not printing huge sized models, a finer 50 micron print would be a nice option but not essential. If the printer can't cope with the finer detail to start with..being able to upgrade it would be a nice option when funds allow.

    I have no problem building a kit, as I have tools aplenty and experience building models/machines at all scales, can solder and know when NOT to use a big hammer... but I do worry about setting up and getting printing as it's virgin territory, and some of the manuals can be a little bit....vague....I hear. Have had to cope with a few clone chinese manuals put together by people who did not speak any language I recognise.

    I don't want a printer that uses 'proprietary' cartridges for filament, and don't need multi-colour printing as all the bits would get primed and painted anyway.

    Budgetwise, I can spend up to around 400 and maybe squeeze a bit more if the benefits are there, but would much rather spend less if I can. I am distrustful of the build quality of the sub 200 kits flooding out of China, but have heard better things said about some of them like the Anet A8 and Anycubic I3. I know they are all clones of the Prusa I3, but the budget won't stetch to a 'genuine' one. I presume they save costs using cheaper electronics ( something I know well from RC electronics ) but as long as you don't push them to the limits, they can be OK. They can also be utter rubbish.....

    I have read some good reports on Qidi here, and they do a 'mini' printer that is in budget, but they are all shipped from China, so there is the fear of ...c.u.s.t.o.m.s....

    Any thoughts or advice to help me choose?

  2. #2
    Engineer Marm's Avatar
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    Add Marm on Thingiverse
    I'm in the US, so my POV may be a bit different, but here tech stuff coming from China barely gets looked at by customs it seems. Unless you have import duties and............

    Holy crap... I live in the middle of nowhere, on a country high way... and an ice cream truck just went by doing about 30 blaring it's music.... too fast for any kids to catch it but way slow for the road... almost immediately followed by 3 sheriffs cars and and ambulance all seemingly trying to pull it over........

    Ok....where was I...... I forgot now....

  3. #3
    Student
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    Sadly...I live in a country with a cash starved economy desperate for every penny it can claw out of you. Not in the middle of nowhere, but in a large city with a thriving Chinatown receiving regular illegal shipments of Chinese cigarettes, tiger claws and counterfeit merchandise for the market stalls. Means I have a 50/50 chance of being charged, especially if the box is big and easy to spot. Such is life.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    you will get charged import tax if shipped from china.

    That said my he3d k200 delta kit was 193 including the heat bed and about 18 import tax. 10 of that is the charge for the privilege of paying import tax.

    It's taken a little nurturing - but got to say, amazing machine.
    I could send you the extra bits you need for a few quid and postage.

    If you look around you can find most printers shipping form within the uk - particularly on ebay.

    Got to say for the money - currently 368 inc delivery from uk warehouse - the qidi x-one is hard to beat.
    It would also be easy to enclose if you wanted to do awkward stuff like nylon or abs.

  5. #5
    Student
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    Well..I have taken the plunge and have my first printer

    I ended up going for a Wanhao duplicator I3,

    It was an all metal frame, heated bed, and comes pretty much preassembled, so no kit build to stress over. I am now busy getting my head around levelling the bed, and getting set up ready to try my first bit of actual printing...

  6. #6
    Student
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    With typical precision, the bed will not level and with it would fully up on the left front, that corner is fine...but fully down, the head is hitting the bed on the right corner.

    The manual says nothing, but another pdf version indicates you need to turn the part above the motors on the low side to crank it up the thread a bit to level the horizontal axis bars, so I will look at that tomorrow. I suppose once the thing is trued up, the levelling will be simple. At least the V2.1 I have has ditched the wing nuts of the old version (which the manual refers to) and has proper captured threads and nice knurled adjustors. They also have coloured pics rather than B&W which several reviewers had issues with.

    Tomorrow.....I expect to print something!

    Seems like a pretty solid piece of kit

  7. #7
    Student
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    Jul 2017
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    Thanks number40Fan, I'll keep that in mind.

    Did the sensible thing, and REALLY read the manual, not the quickstart, and it states:

    "With the printer powered off, check the Z axis level. The X rail should be parallel to the Heated
    Print Bed. If it is not, manually rotate the right hand side Z axis stepper motor to level it"

    Which looks like it's sorted the issue. I will break out the spirit level, check the frame is level, check the bed is level, then check that I have the horizontal rods level......then I will level the bed as instructed.

    I must say, though, WanHao have actually included some decent instructions with the kit for assembly and setup. You only have to screw a few bits together as it's not a kit....and then connect up some wires. All the wires were clearly labelled 'A' - 'D' and the plugs marked the same. They supplied the tools to bolt it up too, as well as a few other allen keys, a scraper and such. There were a few reviews that moaned about tiny B&W pictures, but the current manual is in full colour on glossy paper, and there is a larger quick start sheet.

    I was expecting issues getting things up and running, but so far, the documentation has been OK ( a bit outdated in a few places where they have upgraded parts in the design ) but certainly fit for purpose. At 295 it wasn't the cheapest option I looked at....but it hasn't felt cheap.

    Tonight, I must heat up the extruder, load the filament, and get going.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    lol
    coughpiratecough

    yeah the wanhao is a good bit of kit.
    massive user base so any propblems will have already been solved by someone.
    Some stuff to look at :-)
    https://www.thingiverse.com/search?q...459662b8071167

  9. #9
    Student
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    @curious aardvark ... wow ...loads of things to print and add! The braces and cooling stuff look handy! In fact the only thing I won;t need is the thumbwheels for the wingnuts as Wanhoa have now replaced the wing nuts with thumbwheels themselves. The userbase and level of knowledge was one thing that tipped me in favour of it, that and the fat I could buy it from a UK supplier.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    And take number40fan up on his offer :-)

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