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  1. #1

    First timer purchasing 3D printer

    I am looking for a DIY kit with decent build size (200+x200+x200+) I am wanting to make sure I don't get a crap product that I spend more time tinkering with/fixing than I do actually printing. So I'm trying to gather all the best information I can get from sites like this. One thing I have learned is to not trust youtube video reviews. And Amazon reviews have to be taken with a grain of salt also.

    So that being said, my budget is in the sub $250 range.

    I have pulled together some names and wanted to get feedback from you guys that have experience already. So I am looking into the following:

    Tevo Tarantula Pro (I think Homers Odysseus is the same thing).
    Anet A8HE3D EI3 or any other HE3D product
    and of course the Ender 3 series which I am getting the impression that it is advisable to stay clear of the Enders.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    yeah if you don't want to do a lot of tinkering avoid creality machines and the ender 3 series in particular.

    I have a he3d k200 which has been my go to workhorse printer for the last 3 years.
    I made some add-ons, but the hardware and electronics are all factory original. As is the firmware.
    I did have to replace the hotend recently, but that was my fault for unscrewig the nozzle while cold and snapping the shaft off :-)

    Haven't looked at their machines recently.

    The anet a8's are usually a good place to start as they tend to stick to the prusa i3 design: dual z motors, direct drive extruder and print bed support side rails.
    Those are the things creality threw out the window with the ender 3 series, and most of their other priunters to one extent or another.

    The best looking budget machine I've seen recently is this:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/From-UK-Gee...Cclp%3A2334524
    Basically a prusa i3.
    If you can find the same one with a plywood frame - that's better for adding mods.
    This one is like the one I bought last year - but they've done most of the upgrades I did and improved a bunch of other things as well.

    As far as other 'i3' style machines - look for the three points I mentioned above - those are what you really want in an i3.
    As far as I can see the tevo is practically an ender 3.

  3. #3
    Student 686 Shooter's Avatar
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    You have to take some of the advice you get here with a grain of salt as well. Contrary to what some believe, Creality make some very good machines that do not require endless tinkering.

    That being said some i3 clones are definitely excellent machines. If you don't want to tinker, be warned that the Geeetech machine Aardvark recommended, while a good machine from what I've read, comes in pieces and has to be put together. So that one starts with tinkering. A good starting printer in your price range that I would recommend looking at is the Anycubic i3 Mega. I had one and I really wish I wouldn't have gotten rid of it. Very little to put together to start. Screw the gantry to the base, screw on the spool holder, level the bed and your printing. One bonus of the i3 Mega is it's printing surface. It's called an Ultrabase. When heated prints stick like glue and once the bed cools prints pop right off. No messing with glues or tape. Plus print quality is excellent.

    While your searching I would also recommend you speak to folks who own printers to see what they like and don't like about their printer. It's easy for someone sit behind a computer and give info about machines they have no actual experience with. Also speak with some reputable dealers who sell multiple brands. They can give you the pros and cons of various machines. A bonus is if you buy from a reputable dealer they will be able to provide support as well if you need it.

    Good luck in your search.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by 686 Shooter View Post
    You have to take some of the advice you get here with a grain of salt as well. Contrary to what some believe, Creality make some very good machines that do not require endless tinkering.

    That being said some i3 clones are definitely excellent machines. If you don't want to tinker, be warned that the Geeetech machine Aardvark recommended, while a good machine from what I've read, comes in pieces and has to be put together. So that one starts with tinkering. A good starting printer in your price range that I would recommend looking at is the Anycubic i3 Mega. I had one and I really wish I wouldn't have gotten rid of it. Very little to put together to start. Screw the gantry to the base, screw on the spool holder, level the bed and your printing. One bonus of the i3 Mega is it's printing surface. It's called an Ultrabase. When heated prints stick like glue and once the bed cools prints pop right off. No messing with glues or tape. Plus print quality is excellent.

    While your searching I would also recommend you speak to folks who own printers to see what they like and don't like about their printer. It's easy for someone sit behind a computer and give info about machines they have no actual experience with. Also speak with some reputable dealers who sell multiple brands. They can give you the pros and cons of various machines. A bonus is if you buy from a reputable dealer they will be able to provide support as well if you need it.

    Good luck in your search.
    Thank you so much for the input!

    Funny you should bring the Anycubic i3 Mega. I am looking at the Mega Pro currently as I have decided to up my budget a bit. Also the Mega Pro has the laser engraver attachment which I find very interesting.

    My assumption would be that the Mega Pro would be very similar to the Mega in build quality, firmware and output quality. Do you agree? Also, do you think the laser engraving feature is worth trying or maybe more gimicky than useful?

    Thanks again for the input!

  5. #5
    Student 686 Shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TreeTolber View Post
    Thank you so much for the input!

    Funny you should bring the Anycubic i3 Mega. I am looking at the Mega Pro currently as I have decided to up my budget a bit. Also the Mega Pro has the laser engraver attachment which I find very interesting.

    My assumption would be that the Mega Pro would be very similar to the Mega in build quality, firmware and output quality. Do you agree? Also, do you think the laser engraving feature is worth trying or maybe more gimicky than useful?

    Thanks again for the input!
    I would think the quality would be the same between the two. They look very similar. As for the laser, I don't have any experience with laser engravers so I cant really comment on it. Given my experience with my Anycubic machine though I would think their laser would be decent too.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    bear in mind that diode lasers are weak and quite specific in what they can do.
    usually with an all in one the output is between 500mw (almost useless) to 1500 mw (useful for certain things).

    A diode laser is actualy very good for marking things. Due to the wavelength of the laser, it will burn most materials.
    So marking things like leather, wood, some plastics (some release toxic fumes - so avoid them - vinyl, is the BIG no burn material).
    A doide laser can also cut thin card.
    It will not cut anything else and it will not engrave on acrylic or glass.

    What is good fun is to print something from a filament with wood in it and then engrave it. That actually works really well:
    This is a stand I made with wood filament. Couldn't engrave the stand itself so i made and engraved an insert.
    I believe this was done with my very first laser - a 1000mw neje type with all of a 2.5 inch cutting area !

    These days I've worked up to a 40wat co2 laser.
    Man that thing is a proper deathray !

    But is the laer comes as a freebie - you'll have some fun with it :-)

    As far as the forum members who refuse to understand m,y objection to creality machines.
    It's based purely on the mechanics and engineering used.
    2 z axis motors are better than one.
    A direct drive extruder is better for almost everything than a bowden extruder - I own machines with both.
    And the more stable your print bed the fewer issues you will have.
    So side support rails are always going to make a more reliable machine that a single central rail.

    That's it.
    Here's the thing a proper prusa design can print - with a direct drive extruder - at 200mm's. Yes I have done this and while a little rough the prints were dimensionally accurate.

    People with ender 3's think that 60-70mm/s is fast.

    So you pays your money and makes your choice.
    The more information you have, the better.

  7. #7
    Student 686 Shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    As far as the forum members who refuse to understand m,y objection to creality machines.
    It's based purely on the mechanics and engineering used.
    2 z axis motors are better than one.
    A direct drive extruder is better for almost everything than a bowden extruder - I own machines with both.
    And the more stable your print bed the fewer issues you will have.
    So side support rails are always going to make a more reliable machine that a single central rail.

    That's it.
    Here's the thing a proper prusa design can print - with a direct drive extruder - at 200mm's. Yes I have done this and while a little rough the prints were dimensionally accurate.

    People with ender 3's think that 60-70mm/s is fast.

    So you pays your money and makes your choice.
    The more information you have, the better.
    So you are basing your opinion of all Creality printers on the Ender 3 is what you are saying? There are literally tens of thousands of satisfied Ender 3 owners who would disagree with you. But your engineering knowledge invalidates their experience and opinions of course.

    Yes a direct drive extruder is an improvement over a Bowden setup. Is it a absolute must to achieve good quality prints? No, it is not. And most people do not need, or want to print at 200mm/s. 3D printing isn't a race for most people, other than yourself and perhaps a few others. The speed a printer can operate at is absolutely no indication as to its ability to produce great prints.

    Your not doing anyone here a favor by denigrating their choice of printer or by steering them away from some very capable printers based on your personally assumed knowledge of 3D printer engineering.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    on the contrary - making people aware of the flaws or benefits of a particular way of building or doing something - always helps.

    Yes the crealituy machiunes work.
    Or even people like you would not buy them.

    Could they work better - absolutely.
    With the original prusa design could they print better quality, faster ?
    Absolutely.

    Are there people in the world who use their 3d printers for making practical items, and don't want to spend 30 hours printin g a basic model ?
    People who sell the items they make - where time =cost=profit ?
    Or who use their printers for commercial purposes and have time constraints ?
    Absolutely. Most people in fact.
    Should they know about the printers they can buy and the advantages and disadvantages of the different designs and models ?
    Definitely.

    So what - apart from personal pique - is your actual objection to explaining to people why different printers work differently ?

    Nobody pays me to recommend their printers. I own two deltas, two rep clones a dirt cheap i3 and a corexy printer.
    I have upgraded, dismantled and built them all.
    I have been going to the largest 3d computer show in europe since it's conception and seen a massive variety of machines and talked to the designers and manufacturers.

    I am not some trendy youtuber getting paid to extoll the virtues of whatever kit they get sent for free.

    I make nothing up, the vast majority of advice is based on trial and error and personal experience.

    So I'm wondering who is paying you ?

    Nobody jumped on me when I was pointing out the flaws in the 5th gen makerbots.
    Or that ultimakers are almost unchanged from heir original design - but cost ridiculous amounts of money for what you actually get.

    So why is it that as soon as someone starts pointing out the FACTUAL design flaws in many creality machines, that people like you crawl out of the woodwork - and without any practical and sensible objections refuse to see reality ?
    Hmm - weird eh ?
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 08-09-2020 at 11:08 AM.

  9. #9
    Thanks for all the input everyone!

    So the Prusa MK3 is way out of my price range but the original i3 is in my budget.

    Is that probably the best for a first printer?

  10. #10
    Student 686 Shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curious aardvark View Post
    on the contrary - making people aware of the flaws or benefits of a particular way of building or doing something - always helps.

    Yes the crealituy machiunes work.
    Or even people like you would not buy them.

    Could they work better - absolutely.
    With the original prusa design could they print better quality, faster ?
    Absolutely.

    Are there people in the world who use their 3d printers for making practical items, and don't want to spend 30 hours printin g a basic model ?
    People who sell the items they make - where time =cost=profit ?
    Or who use their printers for commercial purposes and have time constraints ?
    Absolutely. Most people in fact.
    Should they know about the printers they can buy and the advantages and disadvantages of the different designs and models ?
    Definitely.

    So what - apart from personal pique - is your actual objection to explaining to people why different printers work differently ?

    Nobody pays me to recommend their printers. I own two deltas, two rep clones a dirt cheap i3 and a corexy printer.
    I have upgraded, dismantled and built them all.
    I have been going to the largest 3d computer show in europe since it's conception and seen a massive variety of machines and talked to the designers and manufacturers.

    I am not some trendy youtuber getting paid to extoll the virtues of whatever kit they get sent for free.

    I make nothing up, the vast majority of advice is based on trial and error and personal experience.

    So I'm wondering who is paying you ?

    Nobody jumped on me when I was pointing out the flaws in the 5th gen makerbots.
    Or that ultimakers are almost unchanged from heir original design - but cost ridiculous amounts of money for what you actually get.

    So why is it that as soon as someone starts pointing out the FACTUAL design flaws in many creality machines, that people like you crawl out of the woodwork - and without any practical and sensible objections refuse to see reality ?
    Hmm - weird eh ?
    No one is paying me. I'm just calling out someone who thinks he is more of an expert than he really is. And I will continue to do this so new people on here will know what you are about. Once you start being realistic I will stop.

    And your comment about seeing reality? The reality is obvious. You suffer from an issue where you need to try to make yourself feel superior to others. You're an accomplished engineer (apparently) and your opinion is the word of God. Anyone who disagrees is wrong. Even if that is thousands of people. This need for superiority perfectly explains your "Super Moderator" title as well as the majority of your posts where you rehash the same arguments over and over to prove your superior knowledge. It is fairly common to see folks with this issue on the internet. I would strongly recommend speaking to a therapist.

    Stop the BS and I will stop calling you out on it.

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