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A good entry level 3D printer?

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  • A good entry level 3D printer?

    I am presently in the market for a good entry level 3D printer for hobby related items. I have some experience with Makerbot Replicators and some day I hope to acquire a Dremel 3D45 setup. But for now, I am looking for something in the 5-700,00 range that represents the best value etc. I have had my eye on one of the DaVinci Pro series but the reviews have been all over the place. Any recommendations or feedback would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Within that price range it's going to be FDM or DLP resin cure machines. They both have their pros and cons. If you want to make anything over two or three inches in size it's a one horse race- FDM.
    If you're happy to mainly print in PLA, then the Creality ender 3 is a great machine at a low price. I have an Ender 2, which is essentially two thirds of an Ender 3- smaller, but sufficient for my tinkering.
    DIVE IN! Go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON! http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk

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    • #3
      I was researching the Tevo Tornado 2018 version this afternoon. Apparently, its the close of a Creality unit but at a cheaper cost. It handles large projects and the resolution appears really good. At 388.00 it seems like a bargain and there are add-ons to improve performance and versatility. Any insights? Ill check out the Ender 3 too.

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      • #4
        You're right. I just checked out the Creality Ender 3 and it seems like a great value and the price is terrific. It doesn't do projects quite as large as the Tevo but Im not sure whether or not that will be a problem. Decisions decisions...

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        • #5
          Ray Mason and I are having success with the Monoprice Voxel.

          On sale now....and I think it's even lower with an online coupon

          Full disclosure, it is our first, so I'm recommending as a beginner.

          Monoprice MP Voxel 3D Printer

          Absolutely Loving the Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer

          The parts below are combination PLA and ABS.

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          v/r "Sub" Ed

          Silent Service "Cold War" Veteran (The good years!)
          NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.
          USS ULYSSES S GRANT-USS SHARK-USS NAUTILUS-USS KEY WEST-SSRN SEAVIEW-PROTEUS-NAUTILUS

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          • #6
            I've never heard of them (not surprising!). Next questions, what design software are you using? I wish I could afford Solidworks and Sketchup has a steep learning curve but Bob Martin makes using Sketchup look so damn easy. Learning how to design is one of my biggest motivations for investing in a 3D printer in the first place.

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            • #7
              The Voxel, a fairly new product, is actually a rebranded Flashforge Adventurer. So I buy my filament from them. Monoprice's filament in .5kg seemed "stringy". Most people seem to use Sketchup. Ray and I are using Tinkercad, which is meant for a 5 yo but it's good enough for what we do. Both are free. I'm also going to look at Fusion 360 based on a YouTube recommendation I saw.
              Give all three a "Google". YouTube is a great source for instructional videos.
              v/r "Sub" Ed

              Silent Service "Cold War" Veteran (The good years!)
              NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.
              USS ULYSSES S GRANT-USS SHARK-USS NAUTILUS-USS KEY WEST-SSRN SEAVIEW-PROTEUS-NAUTILUS

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              • #8
                The maker space I joined, (River City Labs), uses Fusion 360 software which is free for small business or individuals. They have Lutzbot Taz 3d printers but I have much more experience with the laser cutter.

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                • #9
                  Most of the Chinese printers need a bit of a tweak here and there to get the best out of them. I don't see much in the more expensive 3d printers that justifies their price tag.

                  Most are basically a 3-axis Cartesian rig, with an extruder, the clever stuff goes into the software that controls things. It's a long learning curve, which I'm still on.
                  DIVE IN! Go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON! http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk

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                  • #10
                    Some links.....

                    Top 3 FREE 3D Design Software 2019

                    Tinkercad

                    Fusion 360
                    v/r "Sub" Ed

                    Silent Service "Cold War" Veteran (The good years!)
                    NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.
                    USS ULYSSES S GRANT-USS SHARK-USS NAUTILUS-USS KEY WEST-SSRN SEAVIEW-PROTEUS-NAUTILUS

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                    • #11
                      Great suggestions and definitely gives me the starting point I needed. I've order the TEVO Tornado (newest version) and will start working on learning Tinkercad and Fusion 360. Cant wait. thanks for your input!

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                      • #12
                        Sketchup can't be beat for quick and dirty parts. When you start getting into engineering "real" parts or assemblies, I highly recommend Fusion 360. I'm still learning it, and tend to default to Sketchup, but Fusion is pretty intuitive and very powerful.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks Bob for the input. My first few forays with Sketchup were not successful and I found the learning curve to be fairly steep. Then, I watched one of your terrific tutorials on making bulkheads with Sketchup and 3D printing and immediately felt like an idiot. I have already downloaded Fusion 36) which does look impressive at first glance and will probably give Sketchup another chance at some point.

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