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  1. #1

    New to 3D Printers/Printing

    I have quickly gone through the forum and there seems to be so much info I am not sure where to start. Let me start by introducing myself. I am an IT nerd with more hobbies than I should probably have and see a need for a 3D printer in a few things that I do. I don't need anything huge but I do have access to used computer parts. I would like to build cheap, use what computer parts I can, and buy whatever else I need. I currently have a Chinese Arduino Uno that I would like to utilize for this project but I am open to other possibilities.

    I guess I don't even know where to start. What is a good 3D printer project that would be affordable (under $100), easy to build and learn from, possibly expandable, and will turn out quality parts. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for all the help

  2. #2
    Staff Engineer LambdaFF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    France, Aix en Provence
    Hi, I think the cheapest 3D printer kit was in the 250$ range and the company went under. You could probably find something starting 300$.

    It's nice if you have computer part lying around but that barely helps as a 3D printer is a lot of mechanical hardware. For instance for FDM machines :
    - minimum 4 motors
    - belts, bearings and rods
    - a print bed
    - a feed gear
    - a hot end

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Yep, in the UK, you can still get a Makibox for £100 but please, don't!

    I have had one of these machines for the past year and although it's a great way of learning about 3D printing, the end results are never going to be great, there are simply too many design flaws with the basic machine:
    1. Hot end is not up to the task and will fail.
    2. Extruder will break
    3. Wobbles in all axis
    4. Dodgy firmware and very hot running stepper motors

    Have a look on the various forums and make / create websites and you will find quite a few designs that use parts from paper printers - plus a wood or aluminium frame to create a quite usable printer. The only bits you may need to buy specifically might include the hot end and extruder. Pretty much everything else can be scavenged and repurposed.

    If you do want to by ready made, £200 / $250 is where the market starts really.

  4. #4
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Tilburg, the Netherlands
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    I recommend investing a bit more and going with trusted brands like Makerbot or Ultimaker - it will save you a lot of time in maintenance, there is wide online community support, easy to find replaceable parts/upgrades/mods and they last much longer. If you just do occassional prints I recommend using services like 3D hubs.

  5. #5
    Staff Engineer LambdaFF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    France, Aix en Provence
    Quote Originally Posted by ralphzoontjens View Post
    I recommend investing a bit more and going with trusted brands like Makerbot or Ultimaker
    Makerbot ? Seriously, tell him to throw money out the window it'll hurt less. The OP requested a cheap do it yourself solution not an over-hyped machine that doesn't work.

    I've thought about your question. Have a look at the Printrbot library : they've posted online all the chassis and build of their machines. If you start from scratch you can get inspiration there. They also made a starter kit where you have to do it all yourself :

  6. #6
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Look on ebay, kits for basic prusa i3's are down to the $200 mark and possibly below.

    For a full recycled build the man you want to talk to is geoff.
    He's recycled no end of bits from office equipment.

    But yep do not buy makerbot, unless it's an old replica
    tor 1 or2.

  7. #7
    Prusa i3 could be fit for you.

  8. #8
    I went with the xyzprinting da vinci 1.0 for my first setup and was very happy (still using it on occasion today) - still a nice chunk of cash though I think i got it for around $500.

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