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  1. #1

    Question First 3D Printer Suggestions

    I currently buy a lot of 3D printed parts for my FPV racing drones. Most of these parts are fairly small. The biggest being a GoPro Session 5 mount. All of these parts are made out of TPU. This is a MUST as TPU is flexible enough to withstand crashes. I don't necesarrily have a budget, because I am not sure what exactly I need. I would like to get something that will give me room to grow. Here are the following machines I have looked at:

    Lulzbot Mini
    Lulzbot Taz6
    Raise3D N2 (this is getting a bit pricey for a newbie like me)
    Prusa i3 MK2S (great price!)

    Remember I need to be able to print with TPU filament.
    Here is an example of some of the parts I am currently buying that I would like to be able to print myself:
    Last edited by CC268; 02-14-2018 at 12:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Our local library makerspace has a Prusa i3 Mk2.5 and has been able to print NinjaFlex with little difficulty. The newer Mk3 model has an improved extruder/filament drive and would be no more likely to have problems, perhaps even less trouble to print flexible filament.

    I did a quick read for compatibility of the Prusa i3 Mk3 with these filaments and it is suggested to slow the print speed to about 30 percent (or slower) than one would use for PLA. It is also suggested to use glue stick on the PEI bed for easier removal. The Mk3 does not use a PEI bed, but the glue stick provides a thin layer allowing easier removal, not necessarily better adhesion.

    Consider that the Prusa in kit form also provides you with a solid understanding of the works and makes troubleshooting that much easier. The Mk3 is more easily constructed from a kit than the Mk2.5 and provides additional features not to be overlooked. I assisted in the assembly of the library printer and would have loved to have had the Mk3 in place of the Mk2.5 for all those features as well as easier assembly.

    I think you'll find you can't go wrong with a Prusa.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    also you probably want flexible pla - not the rubber materials.
    At least as tough - but generally noticeably stiffer.
    Recently did a minor modification on my flashforge creator and I can now print flexible pla at 40mm/s - which is pretty quick.

    Ideally you're looking for a direct drive extruder.
    Yet to hear anything bad about the prusa mk3 - out of that list that's probably the one I'd go for.
    The lulzbots are supposed to be good - but I think you pay an awful lot for what you actully get.

    mind you even prusa make daft statements on the machine description page: 'It detects power interruption and shuts down the heatbed and extruder heating. '

    Well yes, if there's no power then the heatbed and extruder will shut off automatically.

    As kits go it's pricey - but you get what you pay for.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 02-15-2018 at 06:07 AM.

  4. #4
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Tilburg, the Netherlands
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    I work for a Lulzbot and Ultimaker reseller on a freelance basis.
    Lulzbot is recommended for flexible materials and will do a wonderful job. The price is elevated but what you get is a very reliable machine that can handle more materials than most printers.

    That being said, I have seen Prusa MK3's at work last year in professional settings (design studios and medium series fabrication) and have to say the prints are fantastic. It is the best I have seen for a good budget that can even handle Filaflex.

    If you are looking at printing FlexPLA (will be perfect for drones) also check out the Wanhao Duplicator 5S mini, it has a large printbed and wider Bowden so with less friction it can print flexible materials quite fast (60mm/s) and increase printing output 4x with a 0.8mm nozzle.

    Let us know what you go for!

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