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  1. #1

    What dual extruder printer to get?


    Currently running a Prusa i3 mk2s with MMU I came to the conclusion that:

    - it's a great printer

    - the waste on the purge tower is gigantic (I lose more material than that's used on my model) and slows the prints big time. Since I am not a shop mass producing objects (then again, mass production with a 3d printer would be a bit silly ...) I can really use the "multiple copies use the same purge tower" argument.

    - I don't really use 4 color mode (except to play around, which is not really a use case I wouldn't miss it tbh)

    So I was contemplating selling the printer and replacing it with something that adheres to the following specs (in order of importance):

    - Dual Extruders (real extruders, not MMU a la Prusa)

    - 1.75mm filament support (I have lots of filament, not going to throw it away)

    - Support for different material types (PETG, PLA, XT, BVOH, flexibles ... no ABS)

    - Heated bed

    - Automatic or super easy bed leveling (if the manual states "use a piece of paper", that printer is definitely ruled out. I hate it.)

    - Build surface of around 20x20cm (8x8 inch). Can be less, but no 4x4 inch or something along those lines. The Prusa has a 21cmx25cm surface and that's more than enough for me. I don't plan on printing masks or huge cosplay objects.

    - Hardened steel and/or Ruby nozzle supported, and different nozzle sizes.

    - Enclosure.

    - Connectivity to Octoprint / support for standard slicers. My printer is in another room and I don't want to constantly run back and forward (or more precisely, up and down the stairs)

    I don't have a fixed budget, but an $8K printer is out of the question

    I found a few printers that nearly meet my requirements (notably the BCN3D Technologies Sigma R17 or the Ultimaker 3), but they all require 2.85mm filament so they are ruled out.

    It seems the Flashforge Creator Pro might be ok, but it's a printer that's nearly 3 years old and I can't imagine that there aren't any newer, better, printers on the market in the mean time.

    Any suggestions?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    It's unfortunate that you're rejected the BCN3D Technologies Sigma. I have the 16 model and it's been a workhorse. Heated glass bed, semi-automatic leveling, dual independent extruders, but you know that. The newer models are even better than mine and I don't regret buying it, even though I had crate loads of 1.75 mm filament when I bought it. It is only semi-enclosed, but I've been printing ABS with occasional delamination issues, now that the hobby room has cooled about 15F for the winter. I've used Octoprint on a Pi to check a few things and to change stepper settings, but rarely use that feature. Of course, the web cam option for Octoprint makes it useful. One negative aspect in my opinion is the expensive nozzle swap-outs for the '16 model. I haven't checked to see if that's something improved on the '17 model. I have a set of E3DV6 hot-ends to swap in someday, but I hate to change a straight-forward working system to a botch job if I start pulling parts and putting stuff in. I should have more confidence in doing it, though, as I've already swapped in a set of Bondtech extruders and replaced one x-axis stepper motor. They made the printer pretty easy to work on. Good luck with your search.

  3. #3
    I have about 20 rolls of filament here, including PVA and BVOH (quite expensive stuff) which would become unusable as the only multimaterial printer I would have left is this one.

    It seems that all the "pro" printers stick to 2.85mm filament.
    Could you chime in a bit on the expensive nozzle swaps?

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    that's it then. get the bnc sigma and mod it for 1.75 :-)

    creator pro and clones use purge columns and walls - so no advantage there.

  6. #6
    Yeah that's what I discovered too when checking out Ultimaker 3 reviews. It's not much more efficient than my Prusa. Pretty disappointing for such an expensive piece of kit.
    Last edited by ir_fuel; 12-30-2017 at 10:34 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    The ultimaker doesn't have a purge column so much as a priming tower. It's much smaller and is really only there so the hotend that's been idle gets a chance to extrude a bit to get consistent flow before it goes to the model, similar to how people use a skirt to prime the hotend before starting a print. The ultimaker does however have completely automated bed leveling.

    The BCN sigma I believe has an assisted bed leveling program, which does involve bits of paper, but I hear it's really well done. Overall I'd go for the sigma. The way the dual extrusion is done seems a bit more solid to me, the mechanic the ultimaker uses seems like it would introduce some slop. On top of that it can be used for batch printing. Other things are the fact it uses linear rails, has a full color touch screen as opposed to lcd and clickwheel and is properly open source.

    Machines like the flashforge with two hotends mounted rigidly right next to each other are most definately going to involve a peice of paper, as you'll have to manually tune and adjust the nozzles so they are physically at the same height.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    looks interesting, you substitute print speed for build size with the moving bed, but certainly looks interesting !

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