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CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH PRINTER TO BUY


ronniecruisin
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Posted · CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH PRINTER TO BUY

Hi. Looking to buy a large capacity lower priced Printer. Currently have a ANET kit printer that has a poor extruder and hot end. Nothing but trouble.(am waiting for better parts to fix this). I am looking at a couple of possible printers that sound ok on the surface..Some positive reviews... Models are JG Aurora......Anycubic Mega x...and Tronxy x5saPro. The problem is the horror stories on user forums re. problems with all of them. Is there actually a model that is really reliable in these price ranges????? I have hundreds of components to make to complete my 30 foot model of the Titanic Steamship and I need a machine thats not going to crash not long after I purchase it. The largest component I'm hoping to make are the Lifeboats which are approx 12 inches long. I'm assuming these would need to be printed standing vetically (basically a blown out U shape). So I would need a height capacity to suit. But even then I have read reports that some of these machines can't handle tall structures so another confusing issue for me. Any help in choosing the right machine would be appreciated. My budget is around $500 Australian. All other components could be handled  by a smaller build size so maybe the lifeboats could be built in two halves and joined together. Don't know if this would work but if it did maybe there is a reliable machine that would be a better choice for similar money..ie Better quality smaller machine with less problems. Thank you in advance and Merry Xmas to all...Regards...Ronnie.

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    Posted · CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH PRINTER TO BUY

    In your price range what you have seen is what you can get.  Most of the frames and stepper motors are pretty good.  After that things start to go downhill.  There is a reason they are cheap.  Just look at the fans on some of the bottom end machines...they are junk.

    A bed slinger model isn't good with tall parts.  I get by with dropping the Y acceleration to 150 at around layer 450 and that keeps the print from tearing itself off.

    The Creality CR-10 has a large bed but the same type of hot end as the one you are already having trouble with.  Creality is not good at firmware either.

    The folks who come in here are having trouble.  It's rare for a poster to come in talking about how wonderful their printer is.  Mostly it's horror stories but that's why they show up.  For $500 you can get a printer.  Will it be a good reliable printer?  That depends in a large part on how good of a technical person you are and what "upgrades" you decide to go with.  I have an Ender 3 Pro.  It's acceptable.  I have it dialed in and it produces very good parts with very good finishes.

    It took a year to get there.  It's on it's 3rd mother board, second set of fans (all 4) and third hot end (when you clone a POS you should not be surprised to get another POS.)  Now with the ball bearing fans, Micro-Swiss hot end, it hums merrily along.  Not maintenance free mind you, but it's acceptable.

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    Posted · CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH PRINTER TO BUY

    Hi. Greg. Thanks for the quick reply. Since my last post I've had a thought. The lifeboats may actually be easier to print in two vertical parts. ie. cut a boat through the middle so you have back half and front half) and join them together. I'm thinking then the printer could be a smaller model and maybe still spending my $500 might get me a better quality machine. What do you think??? regards...Ronnie.

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    Posted · CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH PRINTER TO BUY

    Sorry @ronniecruisin but I don't think that at your price point "Quality" comes into it.  They are what they are.

    I was making custom hats for a while and decided it would be a good idea to put an MP3 player and speakers into some of them.  I could get the circuit boards from China for like $1.00 each.  I quickly learned that I had to buy 3 so that I would get at least one that worked.

    It isn't that bad with the printers, but it isn't great either.  I've been looking (still) for a printer for my son and it will probably end up being a Creality CR-10.  It's the "devil I know" so (if) when there are issues I'll at least be familiar with them.  It will get an aluminum extruder, Micro-Swiss hot end, and replacement fans right from the get go.

     

    The TronXY's aren't a bad choice.  The AnyCubic printers have a following.  The Creality printers are an option as well.  The Geeetech printers are interesting but there are really a lot of complaints about them over on Reddit (but like I say, it's the complainers that put up posts).

    I'm most familiar with the Creality machines so I'll use them as examples:

    For ease-of-use get a single extruder printer.  If you are daring and want to try multi-extruder then something like a Geeetech A30T is interesting with it's 3 in 1 out hot end.  I'd expect high-maintenance though.  Build volume is up to you as going bigger only means a larger footprint and is no more complicated than a smaller printer.  A fixed bed printer (Ender 5 or Ender 6) is better at tall things as the Y isn't slamming back and forth.

     

    When I need to split a part in order to print it (or to eliminate a lot of support structure) I put matching 2.2mm holes 6mm deep into the mating surfaces.  At assembly, I super-glue pieces of filament into the holes and use them as locating pins so the other part goes where I want it to.  I've used lap joints, mortises, tongue and groove, but the filament trick is the simplest and dependent on the surface area of the mate surfaces, can be very strong.  No matter how big a printer you end up with, some things won't fit, or would be much easier to print in sections.

     

     

     

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    Posted · CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH PRINTER TO BUY

    Thanks Greg. Ill take all your info into consideration and eventually i will pick a printer. Might try to scrape up a few more Dollars if One is better than others but not a lot dearer. If I can stretch to it I am thinking Direct Drive. They seem to be more reliable by most accounts....Regards to you and Have a happy New year. Ronnie.

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    Posted · CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH PRINTER TO BUY

    "Never upgrade an operating system"

    "K.I.S.S."

    "When yer dumb - ya suffer"

     

    It doesn't matter what printer you buy - it must be assembled correctly and tuned mechanically.  Just because some things come pre-assembled in the box doesn't mean they were assembled right.  Assume nothing.

    Cura (and Prusaslicer, IdeaMaker, et al) are complicated, full featured pieces of software.  It takes time to learn them as it would take time to learn to use any tool.

    The printer has its own computer and operating system.  The only thing that goes between the slicer and the printer is a gcode text file.  Taking time to learn at least the most common gcode commands is necessary so you know what's going on and how your printer will act (or not act) when it sees certain commands.

    When the printer is assembled correctly with each axis at exactly 90° to the others and has all the bogie wheels adjusted properly, all the screws and nuts are tightened, the bowden tube (or DD) are adjusted correctly, the Esteps/mm are calibrated, and the slicer knows your printer dimensions and limits - only then is it ready to deliver good prints.

     

    A Direct Drive printer takes the bowden tube out of the retraction/prime equation.  For most materials that doesn't matter a whole lot.  For soft materials like TPU it can matter a great deal.  When I print TPU (excellent choice for custom gaskets for old motorcycles) I have the printer crawl along with no retractions and the TPU must be dried before I start printing with it.  The prints are sloppy because of no retraction but it's a gasket and as long as it doesn't leak I don't care if it never wins a beauty contest.  Direct Drives add weight to the print head which moves back and forth in the X.  That added weight means you can easily lose quality if things aren't adjusted just right.  Limiting the X acceleration is usually necessary in order to get smooth starts and stops of the print head.  If you are printing mainly "harder" filaments then I don't think there is much (if any) advantage to a Direct Drive system (but that's just one man's opinion).

     

    And then there is ABL.

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    Posted · CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH PRINTER TO BUY

    I think I may have found a machine that may suit. I have been looking at the KYWOO Printers. They seem to be getting good general reviews. Also they sport a direct drive system so I would prefer that too. They look well built and from reports I have read users seem very happy with the resulting Prints. has anyone here tried one yet?

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    Posted · CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH PRINTER TO BUY

    I hadn't heard about those.  Assuming that the frame is accurate (and robust) it will boil down to the capabilities of the mainboard and firmware because it always does.

    The claim that they can print ABS is a stretch to say the least.

     

    There is this version of the Creality CR-10 V3.  It's a big machine with direct drive.

     

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    Posted · CONFUSED ABOUT WHICH PRINTER TO BUY

    Thanks Greg. I'll check to CR-10 out.

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