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  1. #1

    Any recommendations for 3D printer below $2000USD?

    Hey all,

    Im currently interested in finding a 3D printer to print hobby statues, cosplay armors, etc.

    The categories that are most important to me consists of:

    - Printing bay dimensions
    - Printing resolution
    - Material compatibility (Primarily: Polystone [polyurethane resin mixed/stone], metal [aluminum, etc])
    - Brand quality (tech support, printer depandability [don't want the printer breaking a month in])

    I'm not concern about the time it takes for an item to print since the print files I plan to print are gonna be highly detailed and very accurate digitally.

    Any hobbyists out there have any recommendations? Any brand recommendations? Would love to hear what you all think?

    Thanks for reading

    The.Boyfriend VY
    Last edited by The.Boyfriend; 02-16-2018 at 02:17 PM. Reason: Typo

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Is polystone an actual filament that exists ?
    There are filaments that have stone dust included - but I've not seen a polyurethane one.
    Ninjatek seem to be doing the most with polyurethane based filament.
    What you probably would be better off using is laybrick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOkt9o4h6C8
    Most specialist filaments with included non-plastics are pla based.

    Also you can get filament that is coloured with aluminium powder - but it is still plastic.
    To actually print metal you'll need to up your starting budget to around $100,000.

    The important question - does it need to be fully built or could you handle some basic construction. The more expensive 'kits' tend towards simply bolting a few pieces together rather than a complete build - and with that type of kit you will get considerably more bang for your buck.

    There are some truly amazing 'kit' machines in your price category.
    What would you consider to be the minimum and realistic maximum build volumes you'd like ?
    for $2000 you won't get a metre cube - but you could probably get 600mm

    At the smaller end you'll have to go a long way to beat the new prusa mk3: https://www.prusa3d.com/original-prusa-i3-mk3/

    Unfortunately prusa don't make larger machines.

    worth looking at a delta as well. Not so much for width, but awesome for height: https://tevo3dprinterstore.com/produ...3d-printer-kit
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 02-16-2018 at 03:28 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    Is polystone an actual filament that exists ?
    There are filaments that have stone dust included - but I've not seen a polyurethane one.
    Ninjatek seem to be doing the most with polyurethane based filament.
    What you probably would be better off using is laybrick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOkt9o4h6C8
    Most specialist filaments with included non-plastics are pla based.

    Also you can get filament that is coloured with aluminium powder - but it is still plastic.
    To actually print metal you'll need to up your starting budget to around $100,000.

    The important question - does it need to be fully built or could you handle some basic construction. The more expensive 'kits' tend towards simply bolting a few pieces together rather than a complete build - and with that type of kit you will get considerably more bang for your buck.

    There are some truly amazing 'kit' machines in your price category.
    What would you consider to be the minimum and realistic maximum build volumes you'd like ?
    for $2000 you won't get a metre cube - but you could probably get 600mm

    At the smaller end you'll have to go a long way to beat the new prusa mk3: https://www.prusa3d.com/original-prusa-i3-mk3/

    Unfortunately prusa don't make larger machines.

    worth looking at a delta as well. Not so much for width, but awesome for height: https://tevo3dprinterstore.com/produ...3d-printer-kit
    Thanks for the information. As far as metal goes: I want to print customize rings here and there or metal parts for certain things - small (palm sized), nothing bigger then that.

    And for printer material - polyurethane resin/mixed with some sort of stone for hardening and quality when it comes to statue/part printing. I definitely understand the different plastic elements but I want my finished product to not be composed primarily of plastic, PVC, etc. What I'm trying to print are some custom statues of figures from files I've made myself etc - similar to sideshow collectibles. https://www.sideshowtoy.com/?urlprom...gaAslnEALw_wcB.

    As far as construction of the printer; I can definitely construct one, fully assembled or assembly needed doesn't matter - I'm pretty tech savvy and have built my own computers.

  4. #4
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    CA is right, if you want to print in metal, and not just plastic with some meta dust in it, your budget is much too low. It's not the size of the metal printer that's going to make it expensive it's the technology itself, and there are no sub $2000 printers that will print metal. Most printers can print metal filled plastics, but you might find that underwhelming.

    Secondly, you will not find a large format resin printer, even if you did it would cost you over $2000 just for the resin to put in the printer.

    Lastly, adding particles in filament (stone, metal, carbon fibre) will make it weaker and more brittle. The particles are effectively impurities in the plastic and make it weaker, the plastic doesn't bond to the particles the same way it does to itself. As far as print quality, all they really do is give you a more matte finish and erode your nozzle.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    what you can do is print in a wax like material and make the rings from actual metal in a 'lost wax/plastic' process. That's your best bet for a 'printed' metal ring.

    Same kind of thing as far as the statues go. Print a plastic statue and make a silicon mould from it that you can use resin in.
    Or print a flexibe plastic mould directly.
    That's pretty simple to do.

    So while you can't use those materials direct for your models, 3d printing can help make them easier to make.

    Sounds like a delta could be your best bet. They tend towards taller prints than cartesian machines.
    They are also much easier to build.

  6. #6
    Thanks for all the information guys.

    I think after consideration and contemplating the process of how to go about with the finished product - I'll probably go with the process of creating via some sort of plastic/poly and casting a mold; then pouring high quality polystone via the finished cast to create my finale product. Although it sounds quite moderate as far as tasking goes - itll probably be the best course of action with the type of quality I'm looking for in the finished product.

    With that being said, any recommendations on 3D printer brands? Currently looking at Prusa & Delta. I really like Prusa - the brand itself seems like an easy to work with brand; analogy of simplicity with "working with Windows over Apple." Delta on the other hand has the printing bay volume thats more catered to what I'm planning to use the printer for.

    Any recommendations on anything specific? Any other brands?

    Preferences to consider:

    - Printer bay volume (Increased Height volume)
    - Multiple filaments compatibility
    - User friendly DIY kit building process

    Thanks again for all the advice and information; greatly appreciate it guys & gals!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    what you can do is print in a wax like material and make the rings from actual metal in a 'lost wax/plastic' process. That's your best bet for a 'printed' metal ring.

    Same kind of thing as far as the statues go. Print a plastic statue and make a silicon mould from it that you can use resin in.
    Or print a flexibe plastic mould directly.
    That's pretty simple to do.

    So while you can't use those materials direct for your models, 3d printing can help make them easier to make.

    Sounds like a delta could be your best bet. They tend towards taller prints than cartesian machines.
    They are also much easier to build.
    So how about the: HE3d K280 Big Delta? Has anyone ever have any experience with this one? Would you guys recommend it?

    https://www.3dprintersbay.com/he3d-k...3d-printer-kit
    http://www.reprapmall.com/index.php?...product_id=117

    Are these market places reputable? Similar to purchasing computer parts from: Newegg.com/ Are these sites reputable like that?

  8. #8
    Staff Engineer
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    Delta printers are fun to watch when they are working, but they are a huge pain to deal with when they aren't. Since no single axial move happens on a single axis, but requires a combination of moves, it's difficult to track down errors and fix them. I bought a delta printer (not that one, though) and it's been a nightmare from day one. Maybe you'll have better luck.

    A silicone rubber mold will faithfully reproduce all the lamination lines in your original prints, so if you want smooth surfaces you'll have to fill and sand the models before molding. That's doable for medium-sized sculptures that don't have a lot of detail; it's less effective with jewelry. Most people casting jewelry from printed models use different sorts of machines, either resin printers or ones that print in wax.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    yeah - swings and roundabouts.
    I bought a delta kit and i love it to bits.
    Haven't had any real issues, prints fast and quality.
    And as I haven't bothered with topographical levelling (I level it physically) or changing the firmware - I've had zero issues. If you look at delta groups and forums - 90% of the problems are to do with people messing with the firmware or non-physical bed levelling.
    Often they change the firmware before even testing the printer. And then wonder why they've got problems.

    If I were getting a larger kit the tevo little monster is a cracking bit of kit - loads of youtube videos.
    There was another someone mentioned a short while back, that I can't seem to track down. cost a bit more but looked pretty good.

    Here's a few, mostly in your budget. https://www.3dnatives.com/en/xxl-3d-printer/
    In particular look at the 'builder'. They do an interesting two into on print nozzle. So you can - for example - use soluble supports without the hassle of dual nozzles. https://www.3dnatives.com/en/3D-comp...te/big-builder
    good print volume too.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    oh yeah, I wouldn't recommend the he3d k280 as a first machine.
    Good build volume and cheap. But No autolevelling and none of the cool stuff you get with the tevo little monster.

    So depending on final budget, if I were you I'd either get the little monster or the builder I linked to.

    Lots of support for the tevo and with it's floating extruder design it'll print flexible filaments - something the k280 will not do.
    The dual filament printig of the builder would probably swing it for me though. 2 into 1 nozzles aren't as versatile as a dual extruder.

    Oh yeah - then there's this little beauty: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3D-P...813561868.html
    Independant dual extruder, huge build volume. And laser engraver add on as well.

    Now the advantage of dual independant extruders is that you can print with two fialments with different temperature and printing requirements at the same time. Plus you don't get the hassle of a dual extruder setup where they are on the same carriage.
    Formbot home page: http://www.formbot3d.com/formbot-lar...ize_p0018.html
    As far as options for the trex go - heated bed is essential. Hi-temp nozzle - well not much point really as you'd need a heated bed enclosure to use any of the really hi-temp filaments.

    Unless you specifically design your statues for 3d printing - you will end up using a lot of supports. And IDEX (independant dual extruder) system will waste less material in supports as well as printing much faster.

    So for me it would be between the trex and the builder for the top end of your budget and the tevo little monster at the lower end.

    I would also recommend investing in simplify3d for your slicer. It's just better and much easier to use than all the free ones.
    I'm not a big fan of buying software, preferrign to use opensource. But as the only software I;ve bought in the last 20 years - I have to say simplify3d was more than worth the money. And it just keeps getting better.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 02-20-2018 at 06:04 AM.

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