Close



Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Student alexwalters08's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    4

    Help Me Choose Which 3D Printer to Buy (Around $500 USD)

    Hello 3D Printer Forums! I am currently looking to purchase a 3D printer for around $500 USD. I could go up to $600 if there is a printer that is truly worth the extra $100, however I'd rather stay around or below $500. I am currently a senior in high school and have been taking CAD classes, as well as learning Fusion360 and SolidWorks on my own time at home. I am planning on going to college for engineering and I feel that being able to print and hold my 3D creations in real life would be beneficial to me (Also a 3D printer is just freaking cool). I have been watching video reviews and reading articles and I have narrowed down my choices to four printers. I am not limiting my choices to these four, but this is what I have been hearing are the best. I am open to any and all suggestions.


    • Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus - $450

    - I don't have many questions about this printer. I haven't heard anything bad about it yet. Please let me know of any cons regarding this printer compared to the others.
    - I like the price coming in below $500

    • Creality3D cr-10 - $350

    - I like the large printing area and low price of this one
    - How is the quality? Does having only one z motor/z rod affect quality?
    - I really like the price, so long as it preforms well

    • Creality3D cr-10s - $625??

    - I could only find one price for this online. It is actual almost $300 more than the cr-10?
    - What is different on the "s" than the normal cr-10? The only thing I read about was the filament run out detection. That alone doesn't justify the price jump for me. Please let me know if there are other improvements.
    • Original Prusa i3 Mk2 - $599

    - I have heard many good things about this printer and Prusa printers in general. Is it worth the price jump over the cr-10 or Wanhao?
    - What does is offer for its higher price tag that other printers don't?


    Thank you,

    Alex Walters

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    5,607
    from what I've heard of the new original prusa - yes it is worth the money, not sure if the new model is out yet though.

    Also it will require a lot less modding and fettling before it's of real use, than the other two.

    You might want to consider a delta as well.
    faster, better quality and much easier to build and maintain and just way more fun to watch :-)
    Actually have alook at the tevo's in general - good prices, good components: https://tevo3dprinterstore.com/

  3. #3
    Student alexwalters08's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    from what I've heard of the new original prusa - yes it is worth the money, not sure if the new model is out yet though.

    Also it will require a lot less modding and fettling before it's of real use, than the other two.

    You might want to consider a delta as well.
    faster, better quality and much easier to build and maintain and just way more fun to watch :-)
    Actually have alook at the tevo's in general - good prices, good components: https://tevo3dprinterstore.com/
    Thank you for your reply,

    I have heard many good things about the new Prusa i3 mk3. My only two complaints about this printer is the current price of $750 USD and a quote from their website, "New orders to be shipped in January 2018!" I would prefer to have this printer sooner than sometime in January at best. I looked at Tevo printers as you suggested and I only saw one delta printer that came in at $825 USD which is comfortably out of my price range. I also looked at some of their cartesian printers and was interested in their Tarantula (https://goo.gl/UaFLnr) and their Black Widow (https://goo.gl/ZTndFh). How do they compare against each other, and against the others I have listed. I like how the Tarantula has dual extrusion, but is that really helpful or is it just a gimmick? (This is my first 3D printer and I just learned what extrusion meant in 3D printing terms two days ago so bear with me.)

    I was also wondering if there are any good delta printers in the $500 price range? They definitely look cooler when they print, and if they have better quality and a faster print speed I see no reason not to buy one....so long as they are available for around $500. Is there any downside to going with a delta instead of a cartesian? Are the delta printers less reliable?


    Thank you,

    Alex Walters

  4. #4
    Technician
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    79
    The main thing the prusa i3 (or any reputable company) can offer over the chinese kits is after sales service. If a part is bent, broken or dead on arrival they will replace it. A chinese manufacturer is less likely to do so, and even if they do they will be slower to do it. They also offer other after sales service like troubleshooting, better assembly instructions and so on. Chinese kits though tend to have big communities around them due to the price so the community can offer a lot of support for assembly and troubleshooting (though not for parts that need to be replaced).

    As for the delta vs cartesian, cartesians are more straight forward. If something goes wrong or isn't doing what it should, troubleshooting is straight forward. Everything is decoupled and works individually (except in corexy, but they are coupled in a very straight forward and simple way so it's not much harder to troubleshoot). If something goes wrong in a delta or isn't doing what it should, like a straight line turns out curved or undersized, there are a million and one possible causes with no real way to know which ones the right cause without trying them all. Most 3d printers also segmentize delta movements which can lead to lower resolution at higher speeds. There is much more to it but long story short, they are more complicated and can be troublesome. There is a reason industrial machines are all cartesian.

    I'd have to disagree with CA on the fact they are faster and better quality. The "deltas are faster" mentality seems to stem from the fact most deltas are bowden drive and most cartesians are direct drive, it's the difference in moving mass from the extruder choice that lets them go faster not the delta design. You could put a bowden on a cartesian and make it go fast, or put a direct drive on a delta and watch it shake itself apart. And the quality part of it depends more on the printer than the motion system. You get good and bad deltas and cartesians, the motion system has very little to do with it.

    They have upsides. They are the second coolest looking printer (GUS Simpson #1) and can sometimes be more simple mechanically, so they can be easier to assembly. They also tend to be cheaper for a larger printer. I quite like them and find they're more fun to design than cartesian printers, but if I needed something simple and rock solid, I'd go for cartesian.

    Sorry for the long post, initially replied to the OP but accidentally deleted that when I went to edit to reply to the newer posts.

  5. #5
    Student alexwalters08's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by Trakyan View Post
    The main thing the prusa i3 (or any reputable company) can offer over the chinese kits is after sales service. If a part is bent, broken or dead on arrival they will replace it. A chinese manufacturer is less likely to do so, and even if they do they will be slower to do it. They also offer other after sales service like troubleshooting, better assembly instructions and so on. Chinese kits though tend to have big communities around them due to the price so the community can offer a lot of support for assembly and troubleshooting (though not for parts that need to be replaced).

    As for the delta vs cartesian, cartesians are more straight forward. If something goes wrong or isn't doing what it should, troubleshooting is straight forward. Everything is decoupled and works individually (except in corexy, but they are coupled in a very straight forward and simple way so it's not much harder to troubleshoot). If something goes wrong in a delta or isn't doing what it should, like a straight line turns out curved or undersized, there are a million and one possible causes with no real way to know which ones the right cause without trying them all. Most 3d printers also segmentize delta movements which can lead to lower resolution at higher speeds. There is much more to it but long story short, they are more complicated and can be troublesome. There is a reason industrial machines are all cartesian.

    I'd have to disagree with CA on the fact they are faster and better quality. The "deltas are faster" mentality seems to stem from the fact most deltas are bowden drive and most cartesians are direct drive, it's the difference in moving mass from the extruder choice that lets them go faster not the delta design. You could put a bowden on a cartesian and make it go fast, or put a direct drive on a delta and watch it shake itself apart. And the quality part of it depends more on the printer than the motion system. You get good and bad deltas and cartesians, the motion system has very little to do with it.

    They have upsides. They are the second coolest looking printer (GUS Simpson #1) and can sometimes be more simple mechanically, so they can be easier to assembly. They also tend to be cheaper for a larger printer. I quite like them and find they're more fun to design than cartesian printers, but if I needed something simple and rock solid, I'd go for cartesian.

    Sorry for the long post, initially replied to the OP but accidentally deleted that when I went to edit to reply to the newer posts.

    Thank you for your reply,

    I do not mind going with a printer from a Chinese company that may not offer the best in regard to customer service. I am one who doesn't mind if everything isn't polished and simplistic out of the box. I am going into the 3D printing world expecting to have to troubleshoot a few things here and there, as well as modifying my printer to my liking. If I had to choose between a large community and decent customer service, I would choose the large community. I have found that large communities offer faster support and as good, if not better advice than many customer service representatives (but maybe this is because I generally go with cheap Chinese brands when buying products...). As for parts arriving dead on arrival, I generally just hope that I am not the unlucky fellow. Of course all of what I have said in this paragraph is from someone whose mind-set is "there isn't a cheap 3D printer around $500 that includes BOTH a large community and good customer service." If this is false, please inform me otherwise; I am just learning about all these brands.

    What you said about Cartesian printers being simpler and therefore more reliable makes sense to me. However, I have one question about drive mechanisms. What is the difference between a bowden drive and direct drive? I don't understand what you mean by, "it's the difference in moving mass from the extruder choice that makes them [bowden drives] go faster." Would you or someone else mind explaining that a bit more to me?

    I'd also like to ask one more question to people on this forum, "If you had $500 to spend on a printer, which printer would you buy, and why would you buy it?" Maybe this question will help me hear about what printers the community likes and why so I can then research them and see if they are best for me too.


    Thank you,

    Alex Walters

  6. #6
    Student alexwalters08's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    4
    I think I am going to pull the trigger on the Creality CR-10S (the upgraded version with the dual z motors, filament detection, and power loss protection). I am able to get it for $469.99 with free shipping on gear best using a promo code. If anyone has any objections speak now or forever hold your piece :P

  7. #7
    Technician
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    79
    Sorry, i mustve put it out wrong, i wasnt saying the original prusa (good customer service) had a small community. The prusa design is one of the most common, if not the most common so the community is massive. What i meant was the chinese kits that dont have good customer support only really have the community for support.

    As for bowden vs direct. The heaviest part of an extruder system is the stepper motor. On a direct system this is mounted on thr print head and moves along with the print head, on a bowden system the motor is mounted on the frame and doesn't move. This means the print head has more mass with direct drive, and is harder to move around. Think about pushing around a fuller (heavier) cart vs pushing around an emptier (lighter) cart. Its easier to accelerate and stop the lighter cart, same with your printer. The lighter your moving mass on the print head, the easier it is to move around. I hopr that made sense, if not let me know and I'll try take two of explaining things. A lighter print head is good because it lets you reach higher speeds easier and reduces the percision lost because of large moving masses (i can try explain this too if it's not clear).

  8. #8
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    5,607
    me I'd have gone for the tevo tornado.
    has more clever bits that the cr10.

    As far as printspeed goes. Bowden does help. But deltas print faster mainly because there is almost no vibration and the printhead moves a lot more smoothly and in a quite different manner that generates a lot less shake in the printer in general. Which in turn allows you to lay down more filament, faster and cleaner.
    With a cartesian there are so many things in motion that you can't remove the vibration and with the bed generally moving up and down, that's always an issue.
    In an i3 style machine - like the cr10, you have the entire mass of the bed constantly in motion, so at any sensible speed, the mass of the print is also moved about. This will give lower quality in tall or thin prints.

    Personally I find delta a lot simpler than cartesians. There are only three moving parts, the print head can move in all three dimensions equally.

    Yes people do seem to have a lot of problems, but most of those problems result from unnecessarily messing about with firmware and not having a print bed you can physically level.

    The number of times I've seen people mucking about with the firmware BEFORE they've even built the machine and tested it, is crazy.

    Anyway, that's by the by :-)

  9. #9
    Technician
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    79
    To print a circle, the print head is gonna move in a circle whether you have a delta or cartesian. Moving the bed up and down is not an issue in a cartesian printer, it moves very rarely, slowly and in small increments, might as well be stationary. A delta printer has just as many (if not more) components in motion as a cartesian. For XY movement a cartesian moves the x gantry and x carriage (in an h configuration like coreXY and replicators), while a delta moves three sets of diagonal rods, three carriages and the print head.

    I think you're underestimating what a difference bowden makes, try putting a direct drive on your delta and using the same settings, it will shake itself apart. Diagonal rods on a delta are more flimsy than the x gantry on a cartesian, it's part of the reason the majority of deltas use bowden, because they shake themselves apart with direct drives.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •