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  1. #1

    Sorry, another new "which printer", need opinions

    Greeting folks,
    Don't want to construct a 2 page boring post about "which printer" but i'll try to keep this quick, simple and on point. I'm new to 3D printing. Bottom line out of all the research i've done on a potential new purchased item, 3D printers is by FAR the most confusing and inconclusive as to what exactly will suit my needs. I STILL don't know what model suits me best. My quick hits:

    My quick background : CNC Machinist , knowledgable with Solidworks , Autocad Inventor , Mastercam . Advanced mechanical skills, hobbies are 1/5 scale gas RC's , guns , and motorcycles. Been an advanced tinkerer for the past 35+ years. I'm a novice with the "soft" end of electronics and software formatting on computers .

    My prioritized printer needs.

    1) 250+mm cubed is about perfect. Budget $650ish ,

    2) heated bed, and the capability for producing Nylon parts down the road after I gain experience

    3) Easily upgradable with better components as my experience grows.

    4) easily available replacement / spare parts support. I'm going to make mistakes, going to break things, and want parts easily purchased and available.

    5) I would have no problem with purchasing a quality un-assembled "kit"

    So after a week of research and watching vids, I seem to keep coming back to the Creality CR-10 models ? I think the CR-10 V2 is best but I also like the CR-10S Pro , but i'm reading a lot of negatives with respect to the poor "auto level" system . Not sure the Pro would be a good choice for me where i'm new. I would love your opinions on a purchase, by all means suggest another brand/ model and thanks so much in advance for your help !

    The CR-10 V2
    https://www.creality3d.shop/collecti...-v2-3d-printer


    CR-10S Pro
    https://www.creality3d.shop/collecti...400-3d-printer
    Last edited by Road_Clam; 02-16-2020 at 09:05 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Bottom line out of all the research i've done on a potential new purchased item, 3D printers is by FAR the most confusing and inconclusive as to what exactly will suit my needs
    Yes :-)

    1) This is partly because the 3d printing market changes week on week. I don't think any other tehnical tool has ever had the evolutionary speed of 3d printing.
    2) price point. The cheaper machines change faster as they are all pretty much standard parts and can be chopped and changed almost on a daily basis.

    So the only thing that stands out is that you want to do nylon - presumably also polycarbonate (perfect for rc parts).
    For that you NEED an enclosed and heated print volume.
    With a large I3 - it's possible, but won't ever be ideal.

    Also creality refuse to use direct drive extruders on their i3 designs. Nobody knows why.

    Why that matters.
    With a large i3 a bowden tube will actually be as long as on a decent sized delta. But when you are printing close to the extruder motor, you have a ridiculously tight set of angles to push the filament round - worse than you ever get on a delta - this drastically cuts down on the ability to print flexible filaments and also reduces overall print speed.

    So the first thing I would do if buying a cr-10 (which I would not do lol) is to convert it to a direct drive extruder, mounted on the carriage itself.
    This will significantly speed up your printing and also improve the range of materials you print easily.
    I'd also add side supports for the printbed - fairly easy to do.

    There are some large i3's out there that have the 3 critical prusa i3 design features:
    1) side support rails for the print bed
    2) dual z axis motors
    3) direct drive extruder.
    The cr10 only has dual z-motors.

    Prusa printers win an AWFUL lot of printing awards.
    It's not by accident.

    If you are looking for a decent machine to tinker with, then at least start with those 3 design features: https://www.amazon.com/ADIMLab-Assem...%2C395&sr=8-39

    That's one of the very few decent sized i3's that has them.

    The other way to go, would be a slightly bigger budget and an enclosed machine. The qidi x-plus is about the largest enclosed 'budget' machine around.
    qidi have an excellent reputation, both for build quality and customer service.
    https://www.amazon.com/Intelligent-I...s%2C282&sr=8-5

    Why you want a direct drive extruder.
    Flexible PLA.

    Flexible pla is stiffer than tpu ('rubber') filaments and less elastic. But it is very easy to print, stupidly tough and wear resistant and virtually indestructible.
    And it's cheap :-)

    So you can make fairly rigid items from it - crashproof rc body parts for example.
    For any flexible material the shorter the distance and the straighter the path between the extruder and the hotend - the better and faster it will print.
    Nylon is also a very floppy filament.

    Now you can print flexibles with a bowden tube - I do so on my delta. But you have to print really reallly slowly and it's never as good as from a direct drive extruder.

    So in your place I would approach this from an engineering and design point of view - rather than just staring at youtube videos by people who have been paid to give a machine good reviews.

    Despite being offered printers to review by 3 companies so far - none have ever showed up.
    So I am unbiased.

    My opinions are based mainly:
    1) on the design and components of a machine.
    2) on how many people come to this forum with problems with a particular printer.

    Creality are currently so far ahead on the problems front, that even if this forum is still around in 10 years, I can't see anyone else ever coming close.
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 02-17-2020 at 06:56 AM.

  3. #3
    curious aardvark, REALLY appreciate the "direct drive" education and feedback. I was literally going to buy the CR-10S Pro V2 today as I was thinking just pay all the money up front and be running / learning reliably well for at least a few years. Now my buying is on hold, and you've got me thinking in a different initial purchase direction long term. Sounds like you NEED a heated and humidity controlled environment to successfully print Nylon. That being said i'm thinking about cancelling the Nylon requirement short term just buy a standard CR-10 type unit and just buy an additional smaller enclosed unit specifically better suited towards Nylon down the road when i'm ready ?

    I'm diving into 3D printing not only for the design / manufacturing passion at the hobby level, but also to learn this technology from my employment standpoint. This will help me advance my personal experience and I hope to encourage my employer to consider 3D printing in the future. I CNC machine a lot of composites on a weekly basis. I think a large 300mm bed will teach me efficient "gang" printing of small , more flat types of parts.

    A quick question back on Nylon, would it be adequate to take the "i3" type machine , construct a simple laminate sealed enclosure and internally circulate hot air (such as a hairdryer) and maintain a stable internal atmosphere environment for printing Nylon ? Meanwhile I will spend some time researching direct drive. Thanks !!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    right this is where it gets complicated :-)
    There are possibly hundreds of types and formulations of 'nylon'.

    I have found 2 that work reasonably well in an unenclosed printer.
    MyMat nylon from spain and taulman 645 https://taulman3d.com/645-features.html
    http://www.mymatsolutions.com/

    Every other nylon I have tried has been an abject failure.
    Hell every other taulman filament I've tried has been impossible to use outside a heated enclosure.
    But nylon 645, is pretty good.

    So while the heated enclosure would help - it's not strictly necessary with the right material.
    And yes, the hairdryer and enclosure should work quite well.
    Throw in a thermostatically controlled switch for the dryer and you've got a temperature controlled build volume :-)

    Obviously everything else inside the volume is getting heated, so that can throw up issues if you have it too hot - so personally I'd always go the thermostat route.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    Yes :-)1) This is partly because the 3d printing market changes week on week. I don't think any other tehnical tool has ever had the evolutionary speed of 3d printing. 2) price point. The cheaper machines change faster as they are all pretty much standard parts and can be chopped and changed almost on a daily basis. So the only thing that stands out is that you want to do nylon - presumably also polycarbonate (perfect for rc parts). For that you NEED an enclosed and heated print volume. With a large I3 - it's possible, but won't ever be ideal. Also creality refuse to use direct drive extruders on their i3 designs. Nobody knows why. Why that matters. With a large i3 a bowden tube will actually be as long as on a decent sized delta. But when you are printing close to the extruder motor, you have a ridiculously tight set of angles to push the filament round - worse than you ever get on a delta - this drastically cuts down on the ability to print flexible filaments and also reduces overall print speed. So the first thing I would do if buying a cr-10 (which I would not do lol) is to convert it to a direct drive extruder, mounted on the carriage itself. This will significantly speed up your printing and also improve the range of materials you print easily. I'd also add side supports for the printbed - fairly easy to do.There are some large i3's out there that have the 3 critical prusa i3 design features:1) side support rails for the print bed2) dual z axis motors3) direct drive extruder. The cr10 only has dual z-motors. Prusa printers win an AWFUL lot of printing awards. It's not by accident.If you are looking for a decent machine to tinker with, then at least start with those 3 design features: https://www.amazon.com/ADIMLab-Assem...%2C395&sr=8-39That's one of the very few decent sized i3's that has them. The other way to go, would be a slightly bigger budget and an enclosed machine. The qidi x-plus is about the largest enclosed 'budget' machine around. qidi have an excellent reputation, both for build quality and customer service. https://www.amazon.com/Intelligent-I...s%2C282&sr=8-5Why you want a direct drive extruder. Flexible PLA.Flexible pla is stiffer than tpu ('rubber') filaments and less elastic. But it is very easy to print, stupidly tough and wear resistant and virtually indestructible. And it's cheap :-)So you can make fairly rigid items from it - crashproof rc body parts for example. For any flexible material the shorter the distance and the straighter the path between the extruder and the hotend - the better and faster it will print. Nylon is also a very floppy filament. Now you can print flexibles with a bowden tube - I do so on my delta. But you have to print really reallly slowly and it's never as good as from a direct drive extruder. So in your place I would approach this from an engineering and design point of view - rather than just staring at youtube videos by people who have been paid to give a machine good reviews.Despite being offered printers to review by 3 companies so far - none have ever showed up. So I am unbiased. My opinions are based mainly:1) on the design and components of a machine.2) on how many people come to this forum with problems with a particular printer.Creality are currently so far ahead on the problems front, that even if this forum is still around in 10 years, I can't see anyone else ever coming close.
    Well an update, my eyes are bloodshot from reading and watching vids, and my brain is burnt. I went ahead and bought the ADIMLab Gantry Pro as suggested. I think it will be a good choice for me now and moving forward. The only "possible" issue I've read with a direct drive is the potential for Z axis "wobble" . Probably won't apply to me as my primary usage will be smaller and flatter parts. I'm guessing the Z wobble become more of an issue when you are printing at near max heights. Maybe i'll design a hypotenuse type frame brace. Again thanks for the guidance !

  6. #6
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    the z axis wobble is reserved for machnes with just the one z axis motor - you know, like creality invented :-)
    Or is that x-axis wobble ?

    It really is not an issue with a dual motor machine.
    Both ends of the gantry are securely anchored.


    As far as tall thin things go - any wobble created by the bed moving - you simply slow things down at height. Most slicers let you adjust the speed at different heights.
    Tall flexible filament prints can be an issue as it tends to bend under it's own weight. But you can add supports if necessary.

    If you run things really fast and the frame wobbles - aluminium extrusion is great stuff to attach things to - like reinforcing struts.

    But, it's the first I've heard of it - and logically it's one of the reasons josef prusa invented the i3 with dual z motors :-)

    Of all the problems you are likely to have - z wobble is the one I would worry about least .

  7. #7
    Engineer-in-Training
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    right this is where it gets complicated :-)And yes, the hairdryer and enclosure should work quite well. Throw in a thermostatically controlled switch for the dryer and you've got a temperature controlled build volume :-)
    I heat my enclosure just like this, and I and attest it works great... just make sure the hair dryer is not pointing at the build area.

    I also agree that you should look for a printer with a direct drive extruder: better precision and can print flexible materials (nylon is semi-flexible).Also look for a printer with an all-metal hotend, so you can print over 240C without problems.

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