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  1. #1

    Red face Need Help choosing a 3D Printer

    Hey Everybody,

    My First Post.

    I am just about to buy an Ender 3. I am new to the 3D Printing topic and I would love to have some help by choosing an Ender for me.
    I thought about buying the Ender 3 Pro because I have seen that there is not a big price difference anymore. But then I stumbled upon a deal that includes the Ender 3 X, with a Glass Plate Platform and the V1.1.5 Super Silent mainboard.
    Now I don't know if I should get the 3X or the Pro Version.
    Could someone please help me out? Thanks a lot in advance.

    To the prices:
    - Ender 3 is 209 USD
    - Ender 3X withe a Glass Plate and three extra Nozzles is 219 USD
    - Ender 3 X, with the Glass Plate Platform and the V1.1.5 Super Silent mainboard for 229 USD
    - Ender 3 Pro for 239 USD

  2. #2
    Before you do that, search Ender 3 in this and the other related forums.. I highly recommend raising the bar a bit .. you are asking for trouble, Prusa Mini would be what I would buy.. yes it is more money. I am sure you saw a million videos on YouTube where they say the ender is great.. And Trump is the smartest guy in the world.. You have been warned, remember this when you buy the Ender anyway and are asking for help :-)

  3. #3
    I did not expect an answer like that
    Thanks a lot for your honesty
    I read that there is a lot to do until you get nice prints of the Ender. But I really do like the challenge behind it and I am really looking for a Bergen

  4. #4
    Seems kind of silly to say I want to beat my head against the wall for 4 weeks, spend another $200 in upgrades to get the junk to work rather than buying something that is built and supported and of good working order .. but to each his own..

  5. #5
    So I assume you already did make some experiences with an Ender

  6. #6
    Nope, been around and read about all the problems. almost daily here.. ender ender ender ender. I am also someone who know that it is better to wait and save to get a good piece of equipment that will do what I want and be reliable than to save a few buck and get junk with no support or recourse. As I said, do what you want, but you asked for opinions, and mine is buy a Prusa you get more than just a machine, you get a slicer that is supported and actively being developed, you customer support and a quality product.. Have fun with whatever you end up with!

  7. #7
    Tanks for that. I will take it in consideration.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    See now I was being good and not just saying: 'for christ's sake GET SOMETHING ELSE !'

    Here's the reasons they are so bad. At this point I think my keyboard can pretty much type this by itself :-)

    The original prusa I3 design has:
    1) dual z axis stepper motors - for even and smooth raising and lowering of the large and heavy z/x-gantry.

    2) the print bed has dual guide rails at either side of the bed - this gives you a stable bed that will stay level and can move fast and smoothly.

    3) A direct drive extruder - this gives you faster, nore precise printing and makes using flexible filaments a breeze.

    Creality decided to throw all those out the window and make a machine with an uneven bed, jerky z axis and a bowden extruder (only necessary because they removed the right side z-motor) that makes printing any filament a random shot in the dark.

    Add to this creality's famous lack of customer support and their cost cutting excesses where quality is concerned and you have one of the worst printer designs on the planet.

    The ender 3 is responsible for MORE 'problem with...' threads on this forum than ALL OTHER PRINTERS IN THE WORLD added together.

    So no, I would not recommend you buy one :-)

    Those are the fundamental reasons.

    So why do you think it's a decent machine - it's an interesting question.
    And the reason is simple: marketing.
    Creality spend more money on marketing than on components.
    pretty much all the positive reviews on youtube have been paid for. Even if it's just being paid with a 'free' printer and the promise of more printers to review in the future - if you post a good review.
    And yes I have been contacted by creality to do a review and they very quickly went away when I said I'd do an honest review :-)

    So because the ender 3 sells so many units and it's very cheap to make. Lots of other manufacturers decided to adopt the creality design.
    So most current i3's on the market have all the worst bits of the i3 and few if any of the good aspects.

    There are a couple around I can recommend.
    The sovol 01 has both dual z axis motors and a direct drive extruder.
    Okay it's still got the central bed rail - but they have used 20x40 extrusion so it' a bit more stable than most and bed levelling doesn't seem to be an issue.
    Sovol small, young company who currently still have a customer focussed approach. Also a very good facebook group.

    The weird thing is that the very cheapest i3 ever sold - actually HAS/HAD all three key prusa design aspects.
    I know, I've got one - it cost £85 and would blow an ender 3 off the planet. Okay the frame is made of plywood and you need to bolt the whole thing to a rigid surface to stop frame movement between the y and z/x axis.
    But it's a great little machine. And it can genuinely be called a Prusa I3 - well as far as mechanical design goes - NOT for any other reason.
    The motherboard is the cheapest ramps board around and the extruder doesn't even have spring grip drive wheels (weirdly it's an amazing little extruder that can push pla through fast enough to do 200mm/s at 0.3mm layer height and flexible filament at 40mm/s).
    But because the mechanics are sound - it will outperfom any creality design around.

    If you could still buy them for sensible money I'd recommend one, it does need tinkering with but nowhere near as much as a non-prusa i3 design. And bolting thing to plywood is actually easier than with aluminium extrusion.
    Oh yeah and the screen sucks :-)

    You can still buy them in the uk:

    And from normal ebay in the states a swell:

    I've spent about £15 on mine - but it desperately needs a better screen and a board that you can improve the firmware on.

    So my advice would be to buy one of those and spend $100 on: a solid base, good motherboard, touch screen and - maybe - a better extruder. Oh and a sheet of pei for the bed :-)

    It's a perfect for tinkering while being cheaper and better than the ender design.

    ACTUALLY this one has already got better board and screen and proper z-screw connectors AND aspring loaded extruder - bolt it to a sheet of plywood and you're done :-)(mine came with some dodgy silicon tubing to conect the stepper to the z screws):
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 04-22-2020 at 06:56 AM.

  10. #10
    Engineer ralphzoontjens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Tilburg, the Netherlands
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    Thanks for the advice, I am also thinking of taking a large leap over all the Chinese brands to land in Prusa-land. Unless there's a brand that can meet some reliability standards (anyone? Is Anycubic or TEVO better?).
    I also found myself disappointed with motherboard issues coming up in Wanhao systems after two years of moderate-use printing.

    I am also wondering if there's a printer brand that can be modded to handle either 2.85 or 1.75mm filament - so I can print up my 2.85mm inventory first before making the switch to 1.75.

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