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Best printer type?

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I wonder what technology is best

Between the one ultimaker using and prusa i3 for example with its X moving bed.

Good and bad? Best precision and reliability? More or less parts?

Edited by Guest

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Well, that really depends on what your definition of good is. What do you want a 3D printer to do?

Does it depend on reliability? Price? Perhaps there are features you really value and someone else doesn't.

When you talk about precision, do you also take speed into account, or on what values do you define precision?

Some more information would help to put together an answer.

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Well I mean just in general. But

Speeds below 70 mm/s.

Lets say both machines have equal hardware and software .

And a complex item is printed with same settings. Can any difference be seen between those technologies?

X moving bed is worse at high speeds I suppose.

Precision I refer to how square and round it turns out. Also measures.

If we compare two printers for 500 dollar should any of them perform better just by technology?

Edited by Guest

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I've seen a lot of good Prusa i3's and I've see a lot of kits for sale cheap that never work right. For myself I don't like the bed moving in the x way, doesn't mean it doesn't work.

The right question is what are you going to do with your printer? Material? Budget?

And how soon you need it to work.

Your skill level with building computer stuff. If not high I wouldn't do a kit.

The good news there will be a lot of used UM2s for sale as guys up grade.

I own a UM and a makerbot rep2x they both came out of the box working.


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SLS printers. You get the finest resolution, some are even color.

Our Objet500 blows anything else out of the water. But there's a price to pay. Seriously... it's insanely expensive :)

As for traditional FFF printers, i say something like the Ultimaker's. Combination of high quality parts, enclosed system, it all adds up at the end.

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I guess the gantry that only moves the head around and not the entire print (when the bed moves in X for example) results in a more accurate print with a better surface quality. With a heavy printhead it could lead to other disruptions in the surface quality like ringing, but the Ultimaker is equipped with a fairly light printhead too.

Downside is, for example printing with flexible materials is more complex (not impossible though). But that depends on what you need as a user, if this something you care about.

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I run Ultiamker 2s and Printrbot Metal Plusses at the office. I have some other Prusa style printers at home and on loan to schools as well as a Printrbot Simple-Metal with the cantilever arm.

I have found that any of the printers are capable of achieving amazing results with experience, calibration, maintenance, and more experience. Here's my impression of the two machines and their differences, this is just my personal observations of their abilities and limitations:

Core X-Y Bowden Printers (UM2) seem to be able to achieve better results at faster print speeds. I have always attributed this to the lesser mass moving in the print head than the entire bed and the printer with the Prusa style printers. Also, they seem to handle being moved from place to place and re-set up easier. I have always attributed this to the fact that the Core X-Y demands a solid frame.

On the downside, bowden extruders tend to be a little more finicky than direct drive extruders. Anyone here who has ever had under-extrusion or extruder knock issues can attest to that. Anyone here who has never had these issues has probably wandered into the wrong forum. The extrusion issues do tend to become easier to avoid with experience. As noted above, exotic filaments such as flexibles can be trickier to print with bowden setups. Core X-Y printers do tend to be more expensive.

Prusa-style printers (and I include cantilever arms in this category) are simple, cheap, and easy to repair. They can create amazing results, probably just as good as the best Core X-Ys, but they have to do it slower.

The downside of the Prusa style is of course speed. It seems that even my tightest printer shows reverberations from reversing all that mass if I try to get close to speeds my Ultimaker hits. Being that I print slow on all my models, this is not a really bad thing, just something to be aware of. Also, with Prusa style printers, you have to be careful what you buy. There are tons and tons of cheap kits out there that will never make you happy without throwing away and replacing half the parts right out of the box.

As far as FFF printers go, I've found that you can go either way as long as you are willing to learn the quirks for your style printer (and your individual printer, I have three different Printrbots with post-its calling out three different extrusion rates!). The key is to experiment, fail some prints, note what happened, and do it again. I don't know how many hundreds of cubes and Benchys I have printed and glued to post it notes with settings written on them, but I can now safely say I can print three models on three of my printers, and you would never be able to tell me which came from which.

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