Discussion Affordable 3d printers

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I think I'm going to buy reprap guru's prusa i3 it seems to be the easiest and most reliable of the three builds for a beginner. Would have loved to get the Folgertech FT-5 but it's a little over my price range... I'll let you guys know of the results!

3D printing (in my opinion, at least) is the easiest way to make a case and ergo a good portable. Hot glue and frankencasing aren't worth the time if you have access to a printer (and even if you don't there are people and companies who are willing to print for some monies!) In the end you'd wind up have a nicely assembled unit that is as close to "professionally made and assembled" as anyone in this community will probably get for a long time.
Definitely! I got tired of the hours of sanding and waiting for the epoxy to settle. I mean it's a lot of fun and very satisfying to handcraft a case don't get me wrong... frankencasing is turning a pile of plastic, epoxy and bondo into an awesome case. And the results aren't half bad. But from a production point of view, 3d printing is so much more efficient. You design your case once and then you can print it as many times as you want. Plus you can customize your design a lot more with 3d printing. You don't need to adjust the electronics to your case, you adjust the design of your case to the electronics!
 
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xyz da vinci...
is not the best.. but with repetier 0.92 firmware improves a lot the quality of prints
 
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I like that the ft-5 will also be able to have the cnc capabilities as well with an addon. I've been thinking about this but it won't be on my shortlist until next year lol
 

Doom

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This is the greatest gif I've ever seen.
http://giphy.com/gifs/WIawdWFjxgm0U

Regarding first printers, I usually suggest the DaVinci 1.0 model, now that the firmware has been updated to allow aftermarket filament. The use case is different here of course since we build stuff, but I still don't recommend a kit for someones first printer. Better to learn some ins and outs about general printing and maintenance before trying to build your own. The frong print on that whanho one looks pretty good though.

There's also a magazine apparently that gives you a handful of parts and the magazine explains what they are and how to build it, stuff like that but it's really a bad investment because with that money (2 years it would take to finish it iirc) you could get a way better printer for that cost, and the printer itself would be completely out of date in features by the time you finish.

There is a lot of 3D printers out now as you mentioned so with some proper research you should be happy with your purchase. Of course it's impossible to test every 3D printer, the only one I wouldn't recommend is the Printrbot Simple. A good idea of a basic printer with addon abilities, but poor execution with a weak balsa base and shoddy extruders and other parts.

I've also heard good things about the Monoprice Printer after a few tweaks; glass buildplate, better extruder etc. and at ~$200 not a bad price to get into printing.
 
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Doom

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3D printing (in my opinion, at least) is the easiest way to make a case and ergo a good portable. Hot glue and frankencasing aren't worth the time if you have access to a printer (and even if you don't there are people and companies who are willing to print for some monies!) In the end you'd wind up have a nicely assembled unit that is as close to "professionally made and assembled" as anyone in this community will probably get for a long time.
From my experience it works out to be the same amount of time due to modeling, model errors, failed prints, print times, etc. YMMV of course depending on the case design but it really depends on what you like more. I'd rather spend 100 hours modeling, printing, and tweaking a case than doing even 1 hour of frankencasing because that's what I enjoy.
 
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This is the greatest gif I've ever seen.
http://giphy.com/gifs/WIawdWFjxgm0U

Regarding first printers, I usually suggest the DaVinci 1.0 model, now that the firmware has been updated to allow aftermarket filament. The use case is different here of course since we build stuff, but I still don't recommend a kit for someones first printer. Better to learn some ins and outs about general printing and maintenance before trying to build your own. The frong print on that whanho one looks pretty good though.

There's also a magazine apparently that gives you a handful of parts and the magazine explains what they are and how to build it, stuff like that but it's really a bad investment because with that money (2 years it would take to finish it iirc) you could get a way better printer for that cost, and the printer itself would be completely out of date in features by the time you finish.

There is a lot of 3D printers out now as you mentioned so with some proper research you should be happy with your purchase. Of course it's impossible to test every 3D printer, the only one I wouldn't recommend is the Printrbot Simple. A good idea of a basic printer with addon abilities, but poor execution with a weak balsa base and shoddy extruders and other parts.

I've also heard good things about the Monoprice Printer after a few tweaks; glass buildplate, better extruder etc. and at ~$200 not a bad price to get into printing.
Would a kit really be that hard to get started with? The difference in price between a pre-assembled unit and a kit is huge. I understand that the kits require a lot more tweaking and maintenance but I cant justify paying 200-300$ more to save some time. And after all, this is a forum of tinkerers and builders so shouldn't we of all people have the skills to assemble a printer?
 

cheese

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I've personally assembled a kit, though I got a CHEAP ASS pile of shit (imho $350 shipped for a late 2014 printer was dirt cheap) it was a nightmare to assemble. In total, I spent around 70-80 hrs on assembly (although that was partially because it didn't come with assembly instructions) and around 100ish hrs on calibration, and it's still eh to ok quality at best... Definitely read up reviews before buying, and make sure to allot a good 30-50 hrs for assembly and calibration of a decent kit, most of that will be calibration.
 
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I'm still waiting for it to come by mail but I'll give you an update when I get it.
 
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Got the printer today. I have to say I am very impressed. Very sturdy build. No wire mess. Took 6 screws to assemble it. Was ready to print in 30 mins. This is one of the sample prints included in the sd card. I haven't tweaked the settings or upgraded anything yet it looks amazing. Now we just have to see if it stands the test of time. If it does i would say this a real steal at 330USD.
20161108_192141.jpg
20161108_192931.jpg
 

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Very jealous. I have a Folger tech i3 which I bought for about the same price and it doesn't seem nearly as high quality with it's acrylic frame and Home Depot glass print bed.
I'm on the fence about upgrading to the FT-5.
 

Matthew

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What's your build space on that baby? The quality of that printed piece right out of the box completely surprised me. I think I may get one now...
 
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7.9" x 7.9" x 7.1" so it's rather small, but you should be okay as long as you don't do cases with screens bigger than 5".
 
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Madmorda

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How's the monoprice? Considering it myself
I also have the same one as Pinotte. I paid I think around $340 shipped for it. It was very easy to set up, it can load from micro sd or a mini usb connection (haven't tested that, I only use the sd card method for convenience). The print quality is amazing, the bed is easy to level, it comes almost completely assembled (you have to screw in <10 bolts), and the interface is very intuitive. Monoprice also has amazing customer service. Another bonus is that since it's basically an upgraded off-brand wanhao i3, there is lots of support for it online.

The only con is that I was sent one that had an iffy thermistor. Easy fix, but inconvenient. I contacted Monoprice, and they immediately agreed to replace the entire printer for free. I sent it back and received a new one, however the new one had a bad power supply. Since they didn't have any single power cables, they replaced the whole unit again. Since then, it has been working perfectly. 3d printers by nature require some maintenance/ troubleshooting, but Monoprice is willing to replace any unit that has any issue, as well as to troubleshoot with you online or over the phone. This says a lot about them, and I'm sure both issues were easily fixable by anyone here, but why do it yourself when you can let the warranty take care of it? Seriously good customer service.

Because of those two small issues, I would rate it like a 4/5, except that Monoprice more than makes up for it, as does the price. Getting a fully functional decent-sized 3d printer almost entirely assembled shipped to you for ~340 is a fantastic deal. 5/5 would recommend.
 
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I use an XYZ AiO 3 and 1 and for the price and for newer types of printing and learning I would strongly suggest this for the price. I got mine from a local computer shop, and has a built in heated bed, the abs/pla cartridges are propiotory but I just printed some spoiler holders and now can use whatever I want as a filament. Comes already assembled with glass cover, auto heat, heated bed (even on outside) and auto clean the head. Very easy interface and even easier software. I bet the other ones are just as good, I just like the fact I didn't have to build it to get t started rather than plug it in and hit print.

XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 AiO All-in-One 3D Printer (Scan/Edit/Print) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OCG91IK/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_c_api_vENEyb4GTF6CF

I have printed 40 things and not one came out bad
 
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