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  1. #1
    Technician
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    Post (Another) "Which Printer should I buy" post... please read!

    Hello all, I'm fairly new to 3D printing and 3D printing hardware; although I do have a completed Prusa i3v built (just haven't finishing the wiring etc).

    Since I'm currently inundated with other projects + Life, and I really, really want to start 3d printing ASAP (plus I came into some loan money I can use for hobbies ), I'd like to get a second, low-cost printer that I can start using RIGHT AWAY.

    My goals are to print miscellaneous parts under 8" inches for my robotics and other hobbyist projects (think laser stand holders, linkages, gears, wheels, sensor holders, etc).

    I would appreciate any help from the Wise Folk here at 3dprintforums on printer selection and purchasing, or alternative suggestions.

    My criteria for the 3d printer is as follows:


    • Low-cost (Under $600),
    • Heated bed for ABS/PLA printing,
    • Has (or is easy to build) an enclosure,
    • Wireless printing preferred (or ability to hack in WiFi printing)
    • Medium/Large-ish build space (At LEAST 6" on some WxDxH dimension)
    • Simple to use, pre-built (no kits, please)
    • Possibility to hack more features or upgrade/replace parts (i.e. I REALLY want to add a camera and LED strip lights)



    Now with that criteria in mind, here are some choices I found for myself, just need input on these printers:

    XYZ Da Vinci 1.0 (or 2.0 Dual Extruder?) ~ $500
    http://www.amazon.com/XYZprinting-Vi...dp/B00SO6O6TI/

    NewMatter MOD-t 3D Printer ~ $400
    http://www.newmatter.com/#!/our-product

    eBay CTC 3d Printer (FlashForge clone?) ~ $450
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/CTC-3D-Print...-/231533593514

    I like the Da Vinci because people have had success in both the default, factory version of printing (more expensive filament tradeoff) and also with hacking it. I'm concerned about the build quality and print quality (repetitiveness of good prints). Also I don't want to be tweaking the auto-leveling bed too much. Just want to PRINT.

    I like the MOD-t because it's fancy looking (I can keep it outside of my closet space and show it on my work desk), looks small and very clean. It also seems to have good customer support, but shipping is delayed for months at the moment, plus the small build area is a turn off.

    I like the eBay clone because of its modability, although it seems like a crap-shoot on build/print quality and parts. Some reviewers of miscellaneous clones have posted horror stories of broken/missing pieces, or the printer just falling apart, etc. I do like that it's a dual extruder, and comes with filament (Already have one big spool of black PLA).

    Any and all help is appreciated, thank you much!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    well if you want to print NOW. The mod-t is out. The backer models don't ship for a few months. So retial models will most likely be the middle of 2016.

    Davinci - you hear good and bad. And you will have to hack the cartridges.

    The ctc replicator dual clone - is the one I'd go for.
    Okay no auto level and you will need to print a couple of add on's: cooling duct is a must.
    And it is easy to enclose and add extras - big case, lots of room to add stuff :-)
    I would m,ention the dual extruders - but most of us only use one. It is useful to have two different filaments loaded at once, for easy switching. And it will use pretty much every single filament that is out there including most of the flexible ones.

    And once you've got it dialled in that'll be a real workhorse. Software wise - you're probably bet using makerware, unless you buy simplify 3d - which IS worth the money and will work with every printer you get in the future - including the one you're already building.
    If you do get this one I'd ignore the replicator-g software that comes with it and just start with makerware. Links to earleir versions in the flashforge section.

    I'd guess the davinci would be the easiest to enclose (small case) and because of the filament you do get a decent printer for not a lot of money.
    But you also hear a lot sob tales from owners.

    Hope that helps - and you can definitely rule the mod-t out until next year :-)
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 07-11-2015 at 08:13 AM.

  3. #3
    Engineer
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    Oct 2014
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    If you can come up with the extra $200, I would recommend taking a look into the Powerspec 3D Pro. Here's some random video review of it, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEYqyeMfoFs , I plan on picking up another printer soon and it will probably be that one. Just like my Flashforge Creator pro.

    Although that CTC look's very similar as well, and I'm not sure of how identical that is compared to the Powerspec pro, the price sound's great for it though. I'd like to look into the difference's between them myself, maybe I will go with the CTC.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    generally the 'pro' has updated guide rods and z screw and is already enlosed.
    But unless you're using a lot of abs - it really doesn't make much difference. And pla is so much better than abs - an enclosure isn't necessary.

  5. #5
    Technician
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    well if you want to print NOW. The mod-t is out. The backer models don't ship for a few months. So retial models will most likely be the middle of 2016.

    Davinci - you hear good and bad. And you will have to hack the cartridges.

    The ctc replicator dual clone - is the one I'd go for.
    Okay no auto level and you will need to print a couple of add on's: cooling duct is a must.
    And it is easy to enclose and add extras - big case, lots of room to add stuff :-)
    I would m,ention the dual extruders - but most of us only use one. It is useful to have two different filaments loaded at once, for easy switching. And it will use pretty much every single filament that is out there including most of the flexible ones.

    And once you've got it dialled in that'll be a real workhorse. Software wise - you're probably bet using makerware, unless you buy simplify 3d - which IS worth the money and will work with every printer you get in the future - including the one you're already building.
    If you do get this one I'd ignore the replicator-g software that comes with it and just start with makerware. Links to earleir versions in the flashforge section.

    I'd guess the davinci would be the easiest to enclose (small case) and because of the filament you do get a decent printer for not a lot of money.
    But you also hear a lot sob tales from owners.

    Hope that helps - and you can definitely rule the mod-t out until next year :-)
    My thoughts exactly on all the listed printers. I DO like the idea of Dual extrusion, if only for using a second nozzle for bracing material or for some other mix of exotic printing material (flex, carbon, etc). Although I don't know how well the CTC OR Da Vinci would handle these exotic materials, either (heard the CTC might fair better with some mods). I've seen the Da Vinci used on eBay for around ~$250... which seems like a GREAT deal, IF the condition of the printer is in top shape.

    So far though I am leaning toward the CTC 3D... I'm still really concerned about QC from these eBay sellers. I have Amazon Prime so it's easier for me to buy Da Vinci from there though... and have fast shipping and hassle free returns (vs eBay returns).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bassna View Post
    If you can come up with the extra $200, I would recommend taking a look into the Powerspec 3D Pro. Here's some random video review of it, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEYqyeMfoFs , I plan on picking up another printer soon and it will probably be that one. Just like my Flashforge Creator pro.

    Although that CTC look's very similar as well, and I'm not sure of how identical that is compared to the Powerspec pro, the price sound's great for it though. I'd like to look into the difference's between them myself, maybe I will go with the CTC.
    Did some research on the Powerspec 3D Pro... it looks very nice. I like that it already includes LED lighting (which changes color as the temp rises!) and the all solid metal construction is very nice as well. Not sure if I can justify spending $800 on a 3D printer at the moment though... since my budget is very tight and only goes to $600 truly. Plus with the CTC I can add most of the features that the Powerspec has (LED lighting, Webcam for monitoring) with easy drilling into the wood (I believe it's composite wood based build, at least the model I posted from eBay). Can't really do that as easily with a solid steel frame like the Powerspec has.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    doesn't matter where you buy it from, it's the same box you get delivered.

    Likewise there's nothing on these machines that isn't easy to get at or fix - so company suport is not a necessity.

    The powerspc one sounds like my klic-n-print. The main advantage I've seen in the metal case is lack of noise. It's a lot quieter than the flashforge cretor when printing. But the creator has the better extruder. The knp won't even handle polyflex pla - whereas the ff loves it.

    And yeah the wooden case is great for mods. We've fitted a power switch at the front of my creator. Reaching round the back is a pain and cutting a hole for the switch was a doddle.

    On the other hand I love the led lights on the knp and the buttons and screen are also a lot better.
    But the the extruder and nozzles on the ff are better for some stuff.

    On the whole if I had to give one up I'd actually keep the flashforge creator - the cheaper of the two. It's just always done everything I've asked of it.
    And i do like the whole stempunk vibe of a plywood framed machine that's essentially an entire plastics factory condensed to a desktop box.

  8. #8
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    I just took the plunge and bought the CTC 3D from eBay! Hopefully there won't be any problems getting it setup; will start posting to the CTC forum on my progress and any hacks I work on for it Thank you everyone for your input.

  9. #9
    Staff Engineer LambdaFF's Avatar
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    Buy a Printrbot Simple metal : it's in your range, there are a few refurbs offer at the moment and it's a great reliable product.

  10. #10
    Engineer
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjalas View Post
    I just took the plunge and bought the CTC 3D from eBay! Hopefully there won't be any problems getting it setup; will start posting to the CTC forum on my progress and any hacks I work on for it Thank you everyone for your input.
    I'd love to hear back on how good that printer work's for ya!

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