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  1. #1

    Talking 2 days to decide to keep or return for a dual extruder...

    First an apology for what might be construed as adding yet another hapless newbie "what do I buy!?!" thread. I'll sheepishly admit that desperation is motivating me.

    By way of introduction I have loved the idea of 3d printing since I first learned of it and have been determined to possess one since it became obvious they would become affordable. This motivation can leave defining my requirements extremely vague however.

    Generally, I need this first printer to stay around the $500 or slightly above range to maintain the cooperation and tolerance of the hobby by my wife. I want sufficient detail to be able to replace broken plastic parts with functional equivalents. I also do not want to find projects constantly limited by low build volume. I do not require multi color support, being content to paint or otherwise re-color monochromatic prints.

    When my wife unexpectedly dropped opposition to adding up to $500 expense to the household budget to buy a printer I felt I had to engage in a crash course to identify the right printer before she would change her mind. I was bewildered by all of the options (FDM, SLA, DLP, etc) let alone the variety within the options (independent dual extruder vs fixed dual extruder) and soon gave up on trying to independently follow each and every one of these rabbit holes to the bottom and opted instead to try to find some sort of consensus among review sites for beginners at my price range. This led me to eventually settle on a monoprice voxel which I have since received and used for a number of prints.

    I am quite happy with almost everything, especially the smooth detail in "hyper mode" about the voxel except for dealing with supports. I am so frustrated with removing the supports from some areas of prints and with predicting when supports must be numerous and robust to avoid a spaghetti nest result that I am more than willing to put up with the hassle of returning the voxel, buying a QIDI Tech X-pro (or other budget ranged multi-material printer) and finding a way to continually dry out and store PVA if it would mean being able to at least a large fraction of time have a way to dodge this problem.

    I'm also looking for information on just how important an enclosed build volume really is in terms of weighing these options. Many commentators explain that an enclosed build volume adds safety, limits noise, and improves consistency and quality of the resulting prints. I can live with a lot of noise and odor but I don't want to sacrifice print quality. How viable would it be to build my own enclosure on an open framed printer?

    Speaking of DIY alterations I get the clear impression that several kit based single extruder entry level fdm printers have multi-material upgrade paths. Does anybody know a good viable cheap PVA support capable printer (even if only through upgrade) that might be out there they might want to recommend as a replacement for the voxel?

    Finally, If I replace the voxel with a qidi tech xpro is there likely anything I might miss or regret? I see that layer resolution is supposedly twice as good for the voxel as for the xpro but does that actually mean anything for the user?

    Another thought I've had is that perhaps I should return the voxel and get a resin printer now and a large build area no-cover multi-material FDM printer later, possibly through a kit. would this be a best of both world's approach? in that case is there a clear favorite for a budget resin printer that could accomplish a lot of my general 3d printing needs until I can budget for a 250x250x250 mm minimum build volume multi material PVA support capable FDM printer of some kind?

    I would be eternally grateful for any guidance from anyone in this community to help me replace the voxel or realize that returning it would not really solve any of these issues. Thank you so much in advance!
    Last edited by minneapolis-matt; 04-28-2021 at 10:11 PM. Reason: elaboration

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    well from the 'is an encosed printer' necessary point of view.

    In the last few years filament manufacturers have come up with so many different materials that you can usually find something with the properties you want, that will print happily on an open frame machine.

    My current favourite near-industrial filament is PET (NOT pet-g). It's almost as hard as pla while being almost as flexible and tough as nylon and pet-g.
    Prints well if not at pla speeds. No odour and - as long as you can find a supplier - as cheap as pla.

    And if you do 'need' an enclosure - well some cheap expanded polysteryne sheets will do the job quite nicely.

    From a dual extruder point of view - in this day and age - go with idex.
    I have a couple traditional dual extruders - and in 8 years I have printed exactly two dual extrusion things.
    It's a major hassle - you use as much filament in the purge walls as in the actual print and it more than doubles the print times.

    I just design stuff that doesn't need supports - so much easier.
    Having two different filament loaded can occasionally be useful. But not enough to justify dual extruders on a single print carriage.
    Idex changes all that.

    I did post my suggestion after your other post :
    300*300*350mm /11.8''x11.8''x13.8''
    IDEX, silent steppers - linear rails and just the best specced I3 around at the moment.
    Yes, you're wife won't be happy - but find the extra $ from somewhere and tell her it cost $500 :-)

    As far as resolution goes -the tenlog should be more than a match for the voxel.
    And like everything else that uses electronic components - it's just going to get more expensive in the near future. So really buying it now, is going to SAVE you money.

  3. #3
    OMG thank you.

    The amazon reviews seem a bit ambivalent. Does anybody here have any experience with Tenlog customer support? I'd be willing to risk putting up with receiving a lemon from them if the prospects for fixing it up to advertised performance at a reasonable price were good but not if the risk of being saddled with an expensive crate of e-waste through no fault of my own were any greater than almost non-existent.
    Last edited by minneapolis-matt; 04-29-2021 at 10:25 AM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    we do have a forum member who's just bought one - name currently escapes me.
    I do know he's got it and there's a thead around with a 2 colour frog lol
    And it's working well.

    Found it !
    drop frierson22 a pm :-)

  5. #5

    Message sent.

    Additionally I suppose I'm looking for the overall odds of a lemon being received and being unable to be fixed, but if I understand correctly, these things use off the shelf higher quality parts that should make that less likely and easier to handle if it did. Maybe the purchase is low risk in that regard.

  6. #6


    well...I am now awaiting the arrival from Amazon (seller Amazon Warehouse) of a:

    TENLOG TL-D3 Pro Independent Dual Extruder 3D Printer, 300 Degree High Temperature Nozzle,Silent Mainboards TMC2208 Drive,600W Power Supply,Support PVA TPU ABS PLA Nylon,11.8''x11.8''x13.8''
    Sold by: Services LLC

    Condition: Used - Acceptable - Large cosmetic imperfection(s) on top, front or sides of item. Accessories may have cosmetic damage. Item will come repackaged.

    I am naturally worried about the "Large Cosmetic imperfection" turning out to somehow be more than "cosmetic" but I couldn't care less about purely cosmetic damage and I definitely needed to hold costs down to avoid provoking my wife. Here is hoping the replacement has enough superior functionality vs the voxel that I have no regrets about the hopefully purely cosmetic issues and the extra $41 and change in expense.
    Last edited by minneapolis-matt; 04-29-2021 at 10:28 PM.

  7. #7
    actually looks like the tenlog is cheapest directly from their site $10 shipping to USA brings the total to $534
    Last edited by minneapolis-matt; 05-01-2021 at 05:01 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    I went to amazon and like you say the reviews are not great for customer support. I would have no problem if something mechanical went wrong but it seems a few people are having electronic issues. That's scary to me.

    While I was browsing amazon I just looked at all printers with 4 or more stars and how many reviews it had. One of the top rated machines was the creality cr 10 v2 or v3. Creality seems to take a bashing on these printing sites. Why is that? I too am looking for my first printer so will be following.

  9. #9
    Also, in addition to these Amazon reviewer concerns, I could really use help understanding the difference to a first time user (besides almost $100) in buying from amazon

    for $639

    vs buying

    for $545 also on Amazon

    Both seem to have the same essential feature and model names. but clearly they are not identical.

  10. #10
    I got word from Amazon that my Tenlog TL-D3 Pro was delivered while I was at work.

    Given its "used" and "acceptable" as rated by Amazon Warehouse condition, and especially given my noob 3d printer status, what especially should I be on the lookout for as I attempt to see if it is a keeper?

    Assuming I can find my way through setting it up are there certain torture tests I should download and run?

    If it doesn't work, and I send it back, does it matter which of the various "Tenlog TL-D3 Pro" versions I order? is it ok to just go with the cheapest? If my wife make crossing the $500 budget barrier unwise, what is the very best sub $500 option? maybe just be patient and hope for a slightly less trashed TL-D3 pro to eventually appear from Amazon Warehouse if I keep my eyes open long enough?

    Thanks again for any (further) help!

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