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  1. #1
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    Question Buying my first 3D printer. Australia. On a budget but looking for good quality

    Hi guys.

    So I'm in need for a 3D printer. (engineering prototypes IC engine pistons infact) So they need to be somewhat dimensionally accurate.

    I'm really not interested in spending thousands for an elegant brand name machine. Something practical, high quality prints, reliable, good customer support and not a rip off. Tall order eh

    So I originally was looking at an aluminium Prusa i3 from Geeetech. Though I think the moving table (y axis) isn't ideal for speed and accuracy. Also I think they're just using generic threaded rod for z axis which are coupled to the stepper motor visa grub screws. I'm pretty sure these will induce x axis wobble.

    http://www.geeetech.com/geeetech-alu...kit-p-944.html

    So I then started to consider the MeCreator 2. Not a bad price. table only moves in the z plane... however I don't think I'm a fan of how much its cantilevered. Plus the vertical guide rails look rather close which I don't think is the brightest idea.

    http://www.geeetech.com/mecreator-2-...ter-p-999.html

    I contacted their sales team via email... I can't say its been the best experience. Quite a bit of miss communication and they just seemed a bit pushy for me to make a purchase. (they actually sent me a paypal invoice when I was just making a general inquiry!)

    So for that kind of price, are there any better alternatives? If I can save on cost, I'm happy to build a kit and I'm not fussed at all if I have to do some soldering. Maybe a shopping list of all the best bits so I don't waste my time with poor quality kits?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Technician postmahomeson's Avatar
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    I would recommend a FLSun 3Dprinter its under than $300 usd & comes w/ auto leveling,
    Thats 1 of the best deals for tight budgets
    The disadvantage is the bed temp which goes up 2 100c which is best for PLA rather than ABS or HIPs

  3. #3
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    Sorry but i dont think that kind of design is suitable for my purposes. It might be a good deal for those who don't need fine dimensional tolerances... but I can see that there will be a lot of play in those pivot joints as they wear over time.

  4. #4
    Technician postmahomeson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoroKoro View Post
    Sorry but i dont think that kind of design is suitable for my purposes. It might be a good deal for those who don't need fine dimensional tolerances... but I can see that there will be a lot of play in those pivot joints as they wear over time.
    •then im out

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by KoroKoro View Post
    however I don't think I'm a fan of how much its cantilevered. Plus the vertical guide rails look rather close which I don't think is the brightest idea.
    The whole cantilever thing is given far too much attention. The bed is trammed to be parallel to the XY axis; it really doesn't matter if the arms aren't perpendicular to the rods. The prints themselves are very light and not enough to make make the bed droop.

    That said I prefer the setup where the the extruder carriage does the X & Z movements and the bed the Y movement. I have seen this setup on many CNC machines and consider it to be the better option provided the bed runs on fix rods beneath the it.


  6. #6
    Engineer-in-Training
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    It would help to know what your budget actually is.

    If you need precision, you have to pay for it.

  7. #7
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    Have a look at Tech2c on you tube.He,s just built a core xy,which might suit you better,seeing as you can buy the frame material in oz.
    Though I don,t know how much accuracy you,re going to get from even the best 3d printer,I doubt it would be good enough for something as critical as a piston.
    You might be better off with a small lathe.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    and probably best to avoid geetech - they don't get consistent reviews.

    I would have thought by now that there would be native australian manufacturers.

    Anything where you don't have to pay international postage and import tax and can actually get hold of the manufacturers - is always a good idea :-)

    Some indication of budget would be good.

  9. #9
    Student
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    my budget is around 650~700 AUD delivered... so I might start looking at local over priced ones.

    Locally, I can get a Da Vinci 1.0 for $699
    http://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/o...ter-mmdvin1jnr

    Though on specs alone... the Geeetech MeCreator2 for $568 delivered seems like the better deal.

    I have searched online, and I couldn't find anything in Sydney. There was an importer in QLD whos gone out of business and a guy in VIC who just on sells the expensive stuff.

    As for tolerances, something +/- 0.3mm would be adequate. For anything finer I would modify with hand tools anyway. Things like bore size, pin size etc aren't that critical. However the oddly shaped dome on top (3D contours) need to be somewhat accurate. Its just for a starting point as I can modify with hand tools. Piston to valve clearance at this stage is not critical, as that will be set exactly on the mill when its in metal. Unfortunately without a lathe and a cnc mill, it would be too hard to make a prototype out of metal.

    I haven't had the best experience buying electronics from china as they tend to be made absurdly cheap. I've previously bought stuff that broke within a few days of normal use... and was more expensive to ship back (at my expense too) so thats left a bad taste in my mouth... Unfortunately, there isn't much option where I live.

    Though I guess you get what you pay for... but still $700 isn't chump change.

    p.s. Sebastian, your axis confuse me haha. i much prefer using the metric system where Z axis is up/down. Is this going to stuff up my models? I intend to draw in Autodesk Inventor... I have the CAM addon, though this is for reductive machining... And the G-code is probably not going to work with the printer. Though I really like the idea of fitting a dremel with a carbide burr for some plastic CNC machining... but I'm not sure if the cantilever bed type would be ideal for this... which is also why I found that aluminium geetech one attractive... though again, I don't like those wonky threaded rods.

    Thoughts?

  10. #10
    Student
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    Though with some modification, could a better lead screw system be made to eliminate wobble?

    $497 AUD delivered with the "better" MK8 extruder.

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Reprap-3d...wAAOSwGotWqHYu

    If the bed is light weight enough, higher feed rates wont be a problem? This is supposed to be the advantage of the raising bed style, yeah?

    For the price and materials, it seems pretty tempting... though I don't have any idea about its electronics and controls. I'm guessing at that price, it has the cheapest + nastiest arduino knock offs.

    I'm just worried I've overlooked something important. For that kind of money, its a lot to waste on potential junk.
    Last edited by KoroKoro; 08-28-2016 at 09:45 AM.

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