Flash Forge Inventor II Spring Promotion

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  1. #21
    Yep, just trying to get information. No, I haven't checked other health care institutions, as the printer is going to be used for a lot more than just the eye care products. One good change as I see it, is that the people in India buying the printer are now thinking of getting a smaller 3D printer and learn 3D printing. After using it for a while they willl start to buy the additional equipment to eventually get what they need. I am in favor of that. It's a smaller investment now, and they can learn first hand the things you all have been telling me about.

    Someone at a university told about the "Fusion3 F400" printer ( This printer has only been available for a year, which is why I can't find reviews. My own first impression of the Fusion is that for nearly the same cost, they would be better off with a table top printer from Stratasys or 3Dsystems. The F400 can print larger parts, but so far I can't find a way to compare the quality of the parts with what the Stratasys Mojo is capable of.

    I also can't find any indication that the F400 is supported in India. Without customer support and parts availability, that sounds like a potential problem to me.

    The smaller printers I have been thinking of:
    3Dsystems Cube series, and
    Stratasys Mojo

  2. #22
    I would suggest if you are going to buy one just to learn and it will be a desktop basically throw away after learning I would consider a Lulzbot mini they are cheap and have a good reputation. If you want a resin I'd go with he Form 2 I have researched that one a bit and have fun it to b a vey good printer for the money. I am sure there are others hat are as turn key as these.

  3. #23
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    lulzbot minis are very expensive for what is basically a small volume single extruder standard printer.
    Your best bet to start with would be a replicator pro clone. Either flashforge or qidi.
    Has enclosed print volume and dual extruders. So can print with nylons and other material that need heated print volume, plus you can use soluble support materials. And they cost from $600-900
    Lulzbot mini is an open frame single extruder with smaller print volume for around $1500.

    On the hyrel - davo didn't mention it but it can be used with up to 4 extruders at once. Not sure if you could use 4 materials for one print - but davo will know. Can't think of any reason why not.
    And you can use a syringe type head to print silicone as well.

  4. #24
    I'm not sure what the purpose will be - it was suggested we buy a 3D printer to learn 3D printing, but the company involved is still thinking of buying a printer that will meet their needs (but I haven't yet been able to completely list those needs).

    I suggested they buy a dual head printer, so they can use "support material". Unless I've been completely mis-led, that seems to me to be a requirement. Watching the Stratasys Mojo video review sold me on this idea. If not needed, it just sits there, but it allows printing more complex parts.

    I passed on this information, and they wrote back with advice from someone else:

    There are a few things about dual extruder machines that are enough that I would shy away from them as a first system, unless it has a retractable second nozzle.

    Z-axis calibration between the two nozzles - if the nozzles are off at all in the Z axis two things will happen, one of the heads will always be printing a bit above what ideal is, causing more chance of delamination of the part. The second thing is that material can accidentally extrude from the part and bump onto another part of the piece where it is unwanted. An ooze tower and wipe and prime shield will take care of this, but it will also greatly increase your print time.

    The direct drive system of this will increase the ease of printing with low durometer materials, but the increased mass on the gantry makes acceleration and movements of the printer slower. Each of the NEMA 17 sized stepper motors that you put on the gantry adds ~220g to the printhead and severly reduces the top speed of printing able to be achieved by a machine.

    I'm new at this, but if the above is true for all multi-head printers, that sounds like a big concern. As I see it, for using "support material", it no longer applies. I can see how the machine might be slightly slower because of the additional mass, but without it, there are lots of parts I can think of that can't be printed at all.

    What I am still trying to get from them is:
    1. budget (so far, I think this is no more than $5,000)
    2. type of parts to print. (small machine parts and possibly prosthetic eye parts)
    3. size of parts to print. (small, I don't think there is anything even close to 10")
    4. Required print material(s). (ABS, Nylon, Rubber, "etc.")
    5. accuracy for each material
    6. print prosthetic eye parts?
    7. print parts with unsupported areas?
    8. print “assemblies” with parts that move?
    9. Technical support
    10. software
    11. Fit printing speed required?

    Last edited by; 03-11-2017 at 01:47 PM.

  5. #25
    Some sample part photos:


    If I understand things correctly, many of these parts could not be printed without support material.

  6. #26
    Staff Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Oakland, CA
    Soluble support material is something that industrial machines like the Stratasys Dimension have offered for some time now, but that the cheaper "pro-sumer" machines are still struggling with. One can support overhangs with the same material that's being printed, but this leaves a surface that needs to be cleaned up afterwards by hand, using tools like clippers and grinders. There are also various combinations of materials such as PVA and PLA or ABS and HIPS where the supports are supposed to dissolve, but these often have problems with adhesion, registration or waste disposal, as well as some of the headaches due to improperly implemented dual heads noted in your post. Some manufacturers claim to have solved these problems, but you'd be well-advised to require some proof of this before purchasing. Unfortunately, your stated budget is not enough to get you an industrial printer; the annual maintenance cost and supplies for one of those Dimensions would come pretty close to consuming the whole amount you've allotted.

    Andrew Werby

  7. #27
    'awerby', I think my quest is just as impossible as finding a "perfect camera" for under a thousand dollars.

    In my mind, it now comes down to finding the best compromise. The Mojo isn't too far beyond the budget, and has nothing but excellent reviews every place I have looked, but it only prints one type of proprietary material. The 3Dsystems "CubePro" is within the budget, prints most of the materials we need, again with proprietary material, and can print support material, but the people I'm working with heard that it may not be accurate enough.

    In the case of a camera, I would already have given up. There is no such thing as a "perfect camera". It all depends on what is needed, and one size does not fit all. Maybe what I'm asking for help with here is not possible, as you seem to be suggesting.

    The people I'm working with are considering the "Fusion3 F400", but it's too new for me to get any useful user feedback, and with only one head it cannot print support material. It does print lots of different material. It also means buying something from the USA with no support in India, while Stratasys has good support, and 3Dsystems seems to as well.

    If I could find the right printer, I think the budget can be adjusted.

  8. #28
    After a few emails, I've found out the people I'm working with have found a volunteer from the USA who will assist them with this project. He already uses a "Fusion3 F400" printer ( He suggests they buy the same printer, so he will be able to help them set it up and use it. In the future, they may buy additional printer(s) as needed.

    Base on what I've posted so far, and the advice I've gotten here, is this likely to be a good choice?


  9. #29
    Staff Engineer
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Oakland, CA
    Your volunteer, like many of us here, may not have experience with many different machines; the best we can usually say is that the particular machine we bought worked for us (or didn't) on the particular projects we attempted. I've never seen a "Fusion3 F400" printer, let alone used one. You might show him some of the parts you want to make, explain the tolerances you expect to hold, and ask him if he thinks it will work. At least it will get you started with printing, so you can get a more realistic idea of what can - and can't - be expected from a consumer-level single-head FDM 3D printer.

  10. #30
    Hmm, maybe I'm going about this all wrong.

    Since the F400 seems to be the type of 3D printer that they would like to get now, both to learn on, and to print some of their parts, maybe I should simply search for the better "Consumer-level single-head FDM 3D printer". A printer made for consumers is probably not as complicated as a "production" printer. PC Magazine did a comparison test:,2817,2470038,00.asp

    One of my friends at the hospital suggested instead of buying "another iPhone", I buy myself a 3D printer, and learn the technology. If I had more space and time, that's not a bad idea. I leave for India in a bit over 4 weeks, and return two months later. I'll do some more thinking about this.

    In the meantime, does anyone else reading this know of the F400? Any comments?

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