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Open Lab Idaho Forums - View topic - State of the printer world

 




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State of the printer world 
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Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:12 pm
Posts: 17
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Hey team.

tl,dr: Please tell me what to build!

I am finally ready to take the plunge into the world of 3D printers but I am a bit confused about which I should build, given the HUGE range of options in the world right now. I talked with TheCase yesterday (Wednesday 17th July) and he recommended the printrbot simple (http://printrbot.com/shop/printrbot-simple/) but that might have been mostly governed by my statement of "inexpensive". After so nearly buying that last night then thinking about it more today I thought I would offer you folks the chance to scream at me about some things you would like to have known before you built your first printer. Please?

A few notes about my intent:

I would like to keep this build under ~$500. If a strong case can be made to go more expensive I will save up my project cash and make whatever responsible choice is advised.
I can follow instructions and know my way around a toolbox. In other words build > buy.
As much as I like to be special, this is not exactly my area of expertise in the world and having something that is similar enough to what the people around me are using that I can ask questions (and expect answers) would be preferential to trying an alpha build of something and having to make it up as I go along.
Doing it right the first time > really wishing I had just spent $100 more for this better thing.

Can anyone spare some time to help me here? It is also acceptable to yell that this was already covered in <x> post and that I am a noob and that I need to do better research before I post. I checked posts a bit before I submitted this and didn't really see this question out there... but I have been wrong before.

Thank you to anyone that took the time to read this!

Fallible (Shane)

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Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:34 pm
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If you can spare a few minutes, I'd advise a visit to Hack Night tomorrow, as there will be at least one (if not two) Printrbot Simples there tomorrow.

At the very least, Printrbot is offering that hardware kit (without frame) for the most reasonable price I've seen for everything you'd need (minus wood, plastic or frame parts) to build a printer. If you were doing anything other than a printrbot simple, you'd need to add another $100-$150 in frame parts, in addition to some belts and pulleys to accommodate a bigger frame (if you were thinking Prusa, MendelMax or otherwise). Either way I think it is a good starting point, if saving money is the target.

3D printer design has taken quite a turn of late. It seems last year's hotness switch from the Prusa Mendel (iteration 2) to the MendelMax 1.5 builds have turned to the Prusa Iteration 3 and MendelMax 2. Both of which have moved from the plastic/metal dual-triangle to a squared (nearly) all-metal frame design.

http://reprap.org/wiki/Prusa_i3/

http://www.mendelmax.com/2012/12/27/ann ... elmax-2-0/


Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:05 pm
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:29 pm
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I am also in the market for a new printer. I'm totally up for building it myself. I've looked at the Mendel90 and the Prusa i3. The MendelMax 2.0 looks interesting. I like larger build volumes and I would love be able to print at high speeds (200mm/s+) because I'm not a very patient man. I already have a Makerbot Cupcake and would be willing to scavenge parts from it if needed. Ideally I'd like a dual extruder system, or at least have the option.

If others are looking to upgrade their printer, or buy their first, I'd love to get in on some sort of group buy. Like the OP, I think there is a huge benefit in sharing experiences and would jump in on whatever others are wanting to purchase, as long as it wasn't too far from what I'm wanting.

I'm not really interested in the Printrbots because I'd like a little more structure to be able to handle high print speeds. I'd prefer to spend around $500 but could go higher if needed. I'd also rather source parts locally and save some dough than buy a kit from someone like MakerFarm. Although that's just a preference.

So, are there any group buys in the near future? Is there a preferred latest-generation printer in the community?

TheRooster


Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:42 pm
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The MendelMax 1.5 is the current popular one as well as the printer bot simple.

Not sure about group buys in the near future, but there may be some in the group able to help. I may need to make a heated bed order again in the future, but it may be a little way out.

Definitely stop by on a hack night if you are able and there are usually several there to talk about it.

My son is currently building a traditional Prusa based on parts i have, so I know of at least 2 more Prusas that will be built soon (the 8 mm threaded rod style)

Most folks are using the ramps boards now, they can support dual extruders.

Randy


Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:50 pm
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Thanks for the info. I think I'm wanting one of the newer designs that has more structure in the x-direction for super fast print speed. Will probably use a bowden extruder for the same reason. Neither the Mendel, Prusa, or MendelMax have much structure in that direction. That's why I'm intrigued by the Mendel90, Prusa i3, and possible the MendelMax 2.0, although it doesn't look as stiff in the x-direction as those other two.

I do like the build size of the MendelMax though.

I may be able to stop by Wednesday night. Depends on if I have to work late and if I have an appointment at 7:30. Wednesdays aren't great for me typically. We'll see.

Brian


Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:48 pm
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Good seeing everyone down there tonight!

Shane, congrats on getting your Printrbot Simple up and running! I'm becoming increasingly convinced that the Simple is the absolute best "first printer" out there. Unfortunately you can't quite print a MendelMax 1.5 on it, but you could probably get quite a few of the parts done! We should study that to find out for sure. I know for a fact that printing a Printrbot Original is totally doable if you wanted to upgrade to a 6x6 heated bed.

Speaking of heated beds, I found for about $15! Add $10 for thermistor/wires/other materials, $6 for a couple pieces of picture frame glass from a craft store, and a cheap/free 300-watt ATX power supply, and you could easily upgrade your Simple with a heated bed.

You could even just use blue painter's tape on the glass if you need portability and have to leave the large power supply at home. I'm going to continue to experiment with blue painter's tape, but this is a pretty attractive-looking option.


Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:35 pm
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I'd like some help sourcing the parts for a 3D printer, and getting an idea on how much it'll cost. If there are established local sources for things like laser-cutting, T-slot extruded aluminum, hardware, etc. I'd love to hear about them. I think I've narrowed down my printers to the Mendel90 (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:17826), the Prusa i3 with either the aluminum plates (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:119616) or possibly the modified wood frame by sgraber (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:40465) or twelvepro (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:39889), or the MendelMax 2.0 (http://www.mendelmax.com/2012/12/27/ann ... elmax-2-0/).

All are similar in their overall design and I like that design. I'm still a bit skeptical about the rigidity in the X direction of the MendelMax 2.0, but maybe my fears are unfounded.

I understand there are others who would like to dive into the world of 3D printing, and if you guys are interested in a very basic 3D printer, it sounds like Printrbot simple would be a good choice. If you want something more, maybe we can all work together and possibly make some group purchases to save a little money in shipping as well as share our experiences with the build. I think there were four people at the hack night who were interested in purchasing a 3D printer. If you want something more than a Printrbot, please let me know and I can coordinate.

I have done some research and have found a couple places with good reviews and good products. www.reprapdiscount.com and www.makerfarm.com. MakerFarm has a Prusa i3 8" kit for ~$600, which is decent, but I think we could do better with some local sources. I'd also like the MendelMax's increased build volume. The Mendel90 has OpenSCAD files so it can be relatively easily resized (if someone knows how to work OpenSCAD, which I don't.) The MendelMax obviously starts out with the larger build volume. I think expanding the i3 to the MendelMax build volume would be the most difficult.

I'm leaning towards purchasing the electronics from reprapdiscount, but maybe there is a better solution? $209 for controller board, LCD, endstops, heated bed, pulleys and belts seems to be a pretty good deal. I could be very very wrong, so feel free to provide alternative solutions.

In conclusion, contact me or reply to this thread if you are wanting to build a 3D printer and not going the printrbot route. If you know how to work with OpenSCAD and can modify the Mendel90 to use a larger bed, please let me know. If you know of local sources for any of these parts, please share your knowledge. I'd like to get rolling before the end of the month if possible.

Brian


Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:28 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:40 am
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I also am interested in group purchases--I have just gotten my milling machine conversion working, so I'm pretty comfortable with creating my own XYZ platform, but would need to buy hot-end, feeder, heated bed--the 3D printer specific stuff.

Bob


Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:06 am
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This looks very interesting too. Similar to the MendelMax 2.0, but bigger and uses larger rods for less flex. I'm curious how they hold the bed in place with nothing around the sides or over the top.

http://www.isis3d.net/


Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:31 am
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Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:34 am
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