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  1. #1

    Best 3D Printer With Large Build Volume


    I am new to the forum, so I apologize if I break any forum rules or post this in the wrong area.

    I am new to 3D printing and I am trying to decide what 3D printer would be the best option for me. I would like to be able to print an object that is roughly 300 x 250 x 20 mm (L x W x H). This object will be a tray used to hold small cylindrical parts. These cylindrical parts will be sitting down in vees that will be built into the actual model. There will be roughly 100 of these vees in the tray model, as well. The tray itself will most likely wear out overtime, simply because of the volume of parts that I would like to send through them.

    One of my goals for this print is to have the tray actually sit flat. I would like to be able to stack multiple of these trays on top of each other and have them be relatively flat with each other. I know that I will never be able to have all of the trays be perfectly flat, but I would like to have them be flat as possible.

    I have done some research on the internet for larger volume 3D printers, but I have found no consistent "best" 3D printer. I am assuming this is because everyone has their own preference on 3D printers, much like how people have preferences on what kind/make of vehicle they drive. With that being said, if I could get some feedback from the people on this forum on what 3D printer would give me a print of these dimensions, that is relatively flat, that would be greatly appreciated. Also, if I could get some recommendations on what material may give the best results, that would be great as well.

    I would also like to keep the cost of the printer on the lower end of things for the time being. Maybe eventually I can purchase a more expensive printer, but just starting out, I would like to keep the cost down.
    Last edited by hjl5181; 10-04-2022 at 05:50 AM.

  2. #2
    Staff Engineer
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    You have provided a foundation on which to base your purchase. This is a good start. You have an objective and can more easily determine which device will suit your needs.

    Roughly 300x200 mm is an interesting description. My X-Max printer has a 300x250 mm bed, but I've never tried to print to the edges of the build plate. I believe I would have good results, as the current build plate has presented consistently good adhesion for the parts I've printed.

    You suggest that you don't expect to have perfectly flat trays as a result, but I suggest that it is an achievable goal. The thickness of the base will determine part of the rigidity, of course, and the vees you've described will help in that respect. As long as the part is allowed to cool to the point of release from the bed, you would not get warping from a PLA print. I've peeled some prints off early and managed to put substantial curves in what would otherwise be a flat part, but those were failed prints destined for the rubbish bin anyway.

    Stacking the trays will be part of the design process and the best results will involve avoiding overhangs which would require supports. I envision that the top rim of the tray would be an inverted V and the underside would have a corresponding shape to engage the lower tray. As long as angles are kept at or below 45°, no supports will be necessary.

    "... would like to keep the cost down."

    That's a difficult description to address. The X-Max I have is a pretty expensive printer, but I was able to purchase it used at a much lower price. As I am not providing specific numbers, you can't determine if you would consider it something that would keep the cost down. A range of prices you would consider would be more helpful, of course.

    Regarding materials for use: PLA should perform well enough for your needs as described. It is not prone to warping, prints easily over a wide range of temperatures. It is likely strong enough for your project. Both ABS and PETG can warp under the right/wrong conditions and both can be a bit of a trick to get a good print.

  3. #3
    Thank you very much for all of that information. It will be very beneficial to keep this information in the back of my mind.

    With regards to the cost of the unit, I would like to keep it under $1000. I am not sure what kind of overall quality that I may get with this budget. Thoughts on this?

    Also, just out of curiosity, has anyone tried printing to the edge of their build volume before? If so, what kind of results did you see?

  4. #4
    Staff Engineer
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    I have seen videos and photos posted by people who have printed to the edge. It would appear that it works. I have a smaller glass bed on a Sigma R16 and have had edge-of-bed prints (PLA) with zero problems.

    One thing you'll want to do is pick a printer model to fit your requirements, then find a forum in which that model is the focus. Reddit is a good source of printer-specific commenting but there are many others as well. By reading those comments, you'll find how other owners have fared with assembly, calibration, operation.

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