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  1. #1
    Student
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    Don't hate me - Buying 1st Printer

    Hello, I know this gets asked a million times. I would like to get into 3D Printing... I have no idea what to get. I've been searching online "What printer is right for me" and such and I am getting options but would like some expert feedback / advice. The printer I'm looking at is the "Original Prusa i3 MK3".. that was at the top of one of the lists. I seem to be okay with this one but I'm concerned about print height. I guess you can print half and glue them together. I kinda like the idea of buying the upgrade to load the multiple colors of filament. I don't know anything at this moment though. I have a few weeks before I will buy anything so I'm just looking to get some units and start my research. One main question I see alot, "What are you going to be printing" and the answer to that is I have no idea... I simply think this could be cool and alot of fun. I could see myself going around finding random files and just making random things.. I kinda like the idea of replica guns, small scale and actual 1:1 handpews. So maybe I'm looking for something thats good with detail. I'd like my price to be same or less then the Prusa unless its very close to same price with noticeable differences. If their is a cheaper printer that has similar features for lower price with same detail ofc Ill go for that its just this is the first printer I've really started looking at. Sorry if this is confusing or all over the place. Ask away if you have questions for me.

  2. #2
    Engineer-in-Training
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    382
    You are the first person to come here and ask about a printer that is really the best you can buy for the money. You have a ton of stuff to lean, don't worry about colors.. get the printer and really lean the prusa slicer software, then pick a CAD program and learn how to model your own thing. If you buy cheap you will have another can of worms to deal with, get the Prusa. I was in the same boat as you in 2016 and waited and saved and I watched what was best, got a printer on the same level as the MK3 in 2018 and have been very happy.. Had no idea what I would use it for.. if you are a hobbyist you will find uses.. if you are a handy man DIY type, you will find uses.. I have not had much need for a larger build volume, the bigger the part the more plastic it takes and the longer it takes to print.. as in days.. and then it is just plastic.. so unless you are making bobbles and vases.. not a lot of use for that.. Right this second I am printing Bias Tape Jigs for making straps for cloth masks... Good luck and you get what you pay for when buying a machine that needs to be accurately repeatable!

  3. #3
    Student
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    Quote Originally Posted by airscapes View Post
    You are the first person to come here and ask about a printer that is really the best you can buy for the money. You have a ton of stuff to lean, don't worry about colors.. get the printer and really lean the prusa slicer software, then pick a CAD program and learn how to model your own thing. If you buy cheap you will have another can of worms to deal with, get the Prusa. I was in the same boat as you in 2016 and waited and saved and I watched what was best, got a printer on the same level as the MK3 in 2018 and have been very happy.. Had no idea what I would use it for.. if you are a hobbyist you will find uses.. if you are a handy man DIY type, you will find uses.. I have not had much need for a larger build volume, the bigger the part the more plastic it takes and the longer it takes to print.. as in days.. and then it is just plastic.. so unless you are making bobbles and vases.. not a lot of use for that.. Right this second I am printing Bias Tape Jigs for making straps for cloth masks... Good luck and you get what you pay for when buying a machine that needs to be accurately repeatable!
    This is reassuring. I also don't think I will need anything bigger. Could you tell me if different units actually make a noticable difference in detail? Some of the files I've been looking around for fun at are 1/4 scale replica guns. They are decently small and I'm unsure if "Printer A" would do better then "Printer B" with detail. Do you have a suggested program for making my own files? Is it possible to hop on in now without a printer and see play around so I can get the hang of it or is that pointless without a printer to test my files on.

    Thank you for your response!

  4. #4
    Engineer-in-Training
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    382
    Detail is determined by the size of the nozzle and FFF printing is not injection molding.. I printed a lot of 23mm DD models for a coworker when I got my printer using a .25mm nozzle. 3D printing is not like desktop publishing it is some science and some art and takes a lot of time to get good at all the parts. I believe you will have no issue making the types of models you are talking about. Just remember there is always post processing work needed.. in fact google post processing 3D printed parts.. it will help you temper you expectations. Yes you can start researching a CAD program and start modeling without a printer, it is a completely different skill set and or hobby in itself. Most of the photos of the D&D stuff are on another PC but I may have one I can attache to give you an idea of the detail. This link will take you to a chess set I recently finished.. game pieces, board bottome (black part) and all the tiles were 3D printed, box is wood scraps https://misc.airscapesart.com/chessset/index.html
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Student
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    Apr 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by airscapes View Post
    Detail is determined by the size of the nozzle and FFF printing is not injection molding.. I printed a lot of 23mm DD models for a coworker when I got my printer using a .25mm nozzle. 3D printing is not like desktop publishing it is some science and some art and takes a lot of time to get good at all the parts. I believe you will have no issue making the types of models you are talking about. Just remember there is always post processing work needed.. in fact google post processing 3D printed parts.. it will help you temper you expectations. Yes you can start researching a CAD program and start modeling without a printer, it is a completely different skill set and or hobby in itself. Most of the photos of the D&D stuff are on another PC but I may have one I can attache to give you an idea of the detail. This link will take you to a chess set I recently finished.. game pieces, board bottome (black part) and all the tiles were 3D printed, box is wood scraps https://misc.airscapesart.com/chessset/index.html
    Wow that looks fantastic! For my models I will most likely pull from websites. I will obviously mess around and try to make things maybe like a cube or something very basic and try to figure out how it all works. How did the DD characters turn out? Good detail?

  6. #6
    Engineer-in-Training
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    May 2018
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    382
    The attached image in my previous post of the lizard folks were some of the D&D models

  7. #7
    Student
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    Apr 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by airscapes View Post
    The attached image in my previous post of the lizard folks were some of the D&D models
    Yeah thats my bad I saw the attachment but my dad called so I couldn't edit haha.

    So looks like Ill start diving into that Prusa, and some kind of program to make my own files!

  8. #8
    Student
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    Apr 2020
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    Minnesota
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    What about the CR-10S Pro?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
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    for a beginner looking for quality over fuss ? A big i3 with very definite issues - not a good idea.

    The prusa mini might be a good idea though - much cheaper than the mk3 and actually more advanced electronics. Well so josef prusa says :-)

  10. #10
    Engineer-in-Training
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    May 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    for a beginner looking for quality over fuss ? A big i3 with very definite issues - not a good idea.

    The prusa mini might be a good idea though - much cheaper than the mk3 and actually more advanced electronics. Well so josef prusa says :-)
    Hey, I was unaware of said ssues, what issues are you referring to? Seems odd that prusa would continue to make new models and leave outstanding issues with something that has been around for a long time? Is it really an issue or just a learning curve? Some would say that setting starting height and yearly bed leveling of my M2 was an issue but it is just part of the learning curve. I was just so excited to see someone looking at a NON entry level pile of junk :-)

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