What size print bed should I look for?

Kells

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I have worked on and almost finished probably 5 portables over a few years but I have barely put one(deadass built it out of glued together legos lmao) together as I can never figure out the case. I'm looking for a cheaper 3d printer that I can afford but I don't know how big a print bed I should be looking for. I know its all fairly subjective but any advice would be great!
 

Gabobo

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I'll be completely honest. DO NOT get the Ender 3 pro. I successfully printed out a couple of cases but, not only did I have to assemble the entire thing, I also had to purchase several upgrades so it does not become a fire hazard while printing. In case you were wondering, aside from the 3d printed parts, I also installed the SKR mini E3 board as well as the BLTouch auto level sensor and the Capricorn Bowden tube/sharp extruder combo and replacement brass bed springs. Others have used Prusa printers. I think those are pre-built with much less hassle to deal with. After adding up the costs, I'd say around $400 is pretty cheap.
Sorry edit: I'm saying the bed size of the Ender 3 works but just barely.
 

Stitches

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I'll be completely honest. DO NOT get the Ender 3 pro. I successfully printed out a couple of cases but, not only did I have to assemble the entire thing, I also had to purchase several upgrades so it does not become a fire hazard while printing. In case you were wondering, aside from the 3d printed parts, I also installed the SKR mini E3 board as well as the BLTouch auto level sensor and the Capricorn Bowden tube/sharp extruder combo and replacement brass bed springs. Others have used Prusa printers. I think those are pre-built with much less hassle to deal with. After adding up the costs, I'd say around $400 is pretty cheap.
Sorry edit: I'm saying the bed size of the Ender 3 works but just barely.
Erm wut? Prusa printers also come in kits you have to build yourself, unless you fork an extra hundred or two hundred USD over for the build service. And upgrading cheap printers like that is kinda a given due to their price. They're intended to serve the most basic users stock, and be easily upgraded by enthusiasts.

To answer the original question, a 280mm x 240mm bed is big enough for most portable applications, unless you're building a big chonker. The Creality CR-10S was a decent low-mid range platform a few years ago, I had one and it was pretty damn good, massive bed too 300mm x 300mm. Not sure if they're still worth buying nowdays, but I can attest to the Prusa MK3. Great reliable powerhouse with a really nicely tuned software suite, and the mesh bed levelling system is so nice.
 

cheese

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I've used a few printers
  • First was a printer I assembled myself from a "kit" (was terrible, no instructions, and was missing a few parts), if you're gonna go this route be prepared for a ton of hassle (unless it's something like a prusa <3)
  • Then I tried the Ender 3 (non pro) and honestly that's the easiest printer for newbies IMO since it's cheap and fairly decent print quality (and not a fire hazard, dunno what Gabobo is on about :rothink:). The bed is a touch small for portables, but if you're on #6 you could probably get away with it's smaller size (a g-wii will barely fit, but it does).
  • I've also tried out Noah's Prusa, very nice printer, but a bit pricier. Also, it comes as a kit, but you'll probably have a good amount of wait for that
  • Most recently I got a CR-10S4 (a larger CR-10S) and it's nice for cases since you can print the front and back at the same time. It's essentially a scaled up Ender 3
A big thing to point out is a lot of printers are very similar in quality (unless you go up in price by a good bit), and the biggest improvements can be had from dialing in the settings to work correctly for your particular printer/filament.
 

Gabobo

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So glad nobody else had to deal with melted rubber. So the fire hazard I was talking about ended up being Thermal Runaway where temp somehow gets trapped and exponentially increases. Luckily I pulled the plug when it started to smell and I just had some rubber goop to clean up. From other videos on Youtube, darn thing can catch fire. Upgraded firmwares have Thermal Runway protection and shuts off the machine for you in a loud, screeching manner but Ender 3/pro does not come with that. Listen to what others say though. Gwii barely fits on the bed and takes like 14 hours if you don't play with the settings.
 

Kells

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Thank you all so much for the help, I don't know too much about printing but is it viable to get something like an ender 3 and print off pieces instead of a full piece. I'm not sure how much money I can really spend on it so I'm wondering if buying a cheaper one would be the best option and just assemble them in pieces and spend more time afterward to make it look nicer. I'm working a PlayStation 2 build rn so it will be bigger than a Gwii so it defiantly won't fit.
 

cheese

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If you can't print it all in one piece, it may be better to get someone on the forums to print you something in one piece. I have seen some people assemble multiple parts together, but it makes it much more difficult, and will most likely be weak at the point you join them together.

It would probably be handy to have a printer anyway, so you can test individual parts of your design, and then send a completed design to someone to print. I can definitely recommend the Ender 3 (non pro) as both my roommates have one and neither have had any issues with them.
 

Kells

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Thank you all for the help I just bought an Ender 3 and I'm excited to finally get griding on these portables!
 

Gabobo

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You know what? Get this. Complete game changer. Then watch Teaching tech's channel for information and installation here. Good luck homie.
 

Kells

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Thanks @Gabobo, Il might have to buy that it looks like a major upgrade. Also just a quick question, what sort of filament do most people use for their portables, and where is the best place to buy it from?
 

TodorSauce

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I swear by me Ender 3 Pro. It hasn't missed a beat yet and is still 100% stock aside from some upgrades that I printed myself. In fact, I just purchased my 2nd one and its currently on its way here. Make sure to buy from a reputable source as there are a lot of fakes out there. Official Creality Amazon store is your friend. Its not a perfect printer, but its damn good for the money.

Edit: Also, if you end up going the Ender way. Look up some youtube vids on how to properly assemble it. Most of the problems people have with these printers are because of improper assembly.
 

Gabobo

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I use PLA for cases. Make sure bed is leveled. More than half the problems I encountered was the bed leveling. The slower the print, the stronger it gets. At least that's what I've gotten so far. Hatchbox has been by far the best brand I got from Amazon, second is this right here for some reason, and third I've used was Inland brand. The upgrades that can be 3D printed are my favorite parts.
 

Kells

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Thanks I just bought a spool from Hatchbox, thanks for the recommendation. Thank you all for the help its been extremely useful!
 
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