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  1. #1

    I'm looking to buy a 3D Printer at $500 or under, what are your suggestions?

    Hi, my budget is up to $500 and I live in the USA.

    I don't have a preference between kit or prebuilt, and I have a very basic level of experience with electronic maintenance and construction (I have built computers, cleaned them, diagnosed hardware issues, and built a PiGRRL 2).

    My printer will mostly be used for figurines and for designing plastic solutions to problems.

    An enclosure is needed for my printer as we have four cats in this house who would probably hurt themselves on an open printer, and because ABS looks useful.

    I was looking at the Maker Ultimate because it already has an enclosure, and safety-wise, the only mod I'd need to apply would be an ABS fan to improve its cooling ability. It's $480, which also meets my budget. I don't know anything else about it though, and I don't know what other sub-$500 printers exist that also have an enclosure.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    couple of things.
    1) abs is not particularly useful. As an injection moulded plastic it's amazing. as a 3d printed plastic, it's pretty poor. Pla is better in most cases and well printed pet-g in all others.

    2) a really good cooling fan, would make printing abs a lot worse :-) But is better for pla :-)
    The box type printers don't really get up to enough speed to need a really powerful cooling fan - so stock is generally absolutely fine.

    It's an older model, have a look at the monoprice voxel instead. Slightly smaller build volume, but newer screen, electronice, removeable build platforn etc. https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-133...gateway&sr=8-3

    The other thing you should look at is the qidi tech x-smart. Very similiar to the voxel, but larger print volume and - in all honesty - a much better manufacturer for support and build quality: https://www.amazon.com/TECHNOLOGY-Pr...gateway&sr=8-7

    qidi are one of two chinese companies (flashforge being the other) who have always put the emphasis on quality components and superior customer support and build quality.

    For figurines a second extruder for soluble support is also a good idea, so have a look at the qidi dual extruder as well. Yes it's a more oney, but worth the extra and you won't regret it.
    https://www.amazon.com/TECHNOLOGY-3D...gateway&sr=8-8

    Both qidi's are fully enclosed, which means they will easily print abs - even though there really isn't any point :-)
    But they will also print nylon, polycarbonate and more of the more problematical filaments.

    If I were you I'd throw a few more bucks into the ring and go for the qidi x-pro: https://www.amazon.com/QIDI-TECHNOLO...gateway&sr=8-4

    Probably the best dual extruder around that isn't an IDEX (independant dual extruder) setup.

  3. #3
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    Hello. I have 4 3d printers that range in build size from my Monoprice select mini to my Tevo Black Widow. While I commonly suggest others to choose their printer by it's frame another really good point is to pick the right size printer. I know a lot of people think bigger is better but bigger is also sloppier. And if you are going to print something requiring the accuracy of a finely printed small face then maybe having large spanses across gantries and a large heat bed with sections that have warped slightly are gonna hurt you. If you are printing small figurines then maybe a small printer like the monoprice select mini would bring you the best possible results. Your printer should only be as big as it needs to be for the best results in accuracy of your prints. Especially if you are printing small finely detailed things.

    For figurines you should use a small printer, a gear reduced extruder, and a 0.2mm nozzle with ~0.05mm layer height. Or that is how i would try to print my accurate little figurine, anyways.

    Also ABS releases a toxic gas when it melts and for this reason is much better suited for commercial or industrial uses rather than home and hobby. Most I think are going with the petg today for the higher melting temp filaments. It is safer to work with in your home.

  4. #4
    Engineer-in-Training
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    Also if you are going to be printing the figurines then it might benefit you to look into Prusa's MMU 2.0. This is a novel way of feeding 5 different filaments into just one hotend. No slop. Full color prints. For me, I can source an upgrade kit with files to print and hardware to assemble the printed parts with and rework my own marlin. Take a look at this:https://www.prusa3d.com/original-pru...-material-2-0/

  5. #5

    LCD 3D Printer Maybe Another Machine To Protect Your Work And Pets

    Well, there is LCD 3D printer may help you to avoid problems when printing for it has cover.
    I could show you Yidimu machine Panther LCD printer as attached picture and more details if you hope to make clearly view.
    It is recommended for dental and jewelry cartoon dolls application for smooth appearance on printing and fine-detail processing.
    Whatever, $500 is good to choose your printer on Amazon or Aliexpress with coupons to save more.
    Good luck!

    Quote Originally Posted by Minty View Post
    Hi, my budget is up to $500 and I live in the USA.

    I don't have a preference between kit or prebuilt, and I have a very basic level of experience with electronic maintenance and construction (I have built computers, cleaned them, diagnosed hardware issues, and built a PiGRRL 2).

    My printer will mostly be used for figurines and for designing plastic solutions to problems.

    An enclosure is needed for my printer as we have four cats in this house who would probably hurt themselves on an open printer, and because ABS looks useful.

    I was looking at the Maker Ultimate because it already has an enclosure, and safety-wise, the only mod I'd need to apply would be an ABS fan to improve its cooling ability. It's $480, which also meets my budget. I don't know anything else about it though, and I don't know what other sub-$500 printers exist that also have an enclosure.

    Thanks in advance!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6

    Right, PLA is better.

    We print moon lamps by FDM 3D printers in PLA filaments for quite a long time.
    You could take more materials to test printing and join a team with makers nearby.

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