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Should I or shouldn't I?

Discussion in '3D Printing' started by Andy, Jul 20, 2020.

  1. Andy

    Andy Member

    I thought I would dip my toe in the 3d printer water and have spent some time looking at what is available for £300-£400. I have changed my mind more times than I care to mention but the money is burning a hole in my pocket so if I don't spend it soon it will disappear.
    So, I have arrived (sort of) at the decision to throw my hard earned cash to Prusa for a Mini, the basis of this decision is that there seems to be fewer people being negative about it than other printers and their slicer seems to be OK. Also as a nubee to the sport I thought a European manufacturer would have better instructions and customer service. Then I read the Trustpilot review on Prusa and although there was good and bad there are a good number of recent 1 star reports of bad service. I thought, I wonder if they are all the same but Creality's recent reviews are 5 star.


    So, should I or shouldn't I, throw my money at Prusa ....... or Creality or somewhere else!!
    I would really appreciate any views or experiences any of you have had that could help me decide.
    dlaery likes this.
  2. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    I have pm'd you.
  3. gtz01

    gtz01 Member

    There's not been anyone posting to this but since you mentioned creality I'd like to mention that since you posted they have released the Ender 3 V2.

    The V2 is on-par, if not better, than most of their earlier professional offerings out of the box excluding the build area. But this is to be expected. It also ships with their silent board, thermal runaway protection, and with a firmware update supports auto bed leveling.

    I own one. I picked it up for under 250 USD landed. The printer out of the box requires significant adjustment but after adjustment the stock printer is capable of printing within the stated tolerances (+/- 0.05mm). These tolerances are more than acceptable coming in at just under 2 thou for us yanks. Not bad for budget!

    I've since upgraded it significantly with TH3D parts. In particular dual z-axis, all metal hotend and nozzle, strong PTFE tubing, improved couplings, better bed springs, nicer lead screw, auto bed leveler, new external MOSFETs (for improved heating times), and a metal extruder. These upgrades altogether ran me approximately $450 dollars putting the total cost of ownership to around $700. Still cheaper than comparable offerings with the improved performance! With these upgrades you will be seeing better results than many printers worth $1000+.

    After configuration and careful adjustment (lots of really, really annoying test prints and measurements) I am now getting tolerances +/- 0.01mm (3 tenths or so in inches) in most cases using PLA and several other materials. Thermal expansion can throws these off but that's FDM with PLA for you. It's absolutely incredible how dimensionally accurate I can produce things. With around $50 more dollars I could upgrade the build area to a much larger build area if I wanted, but it's unnecessary for what I do. My next plan is to design and build a vented and closed enclosure for printing harder materials like nylon for more functional parts and robust, usable parts.

    My only complaints are really minor. The display could be better even if it marginally increased the price. The viewing angles really suck (I use an octoprint so it doesnt bother me so much). Moreover there are some weird idiosyncracies with updating firmware, losing stored z-offsets/extruder steps, etc. This is remedied relatively easily by just putting the changes into your slicer gcode preamble.

    Though their customer service is still pretty terrible they are pretty amicable to fixing problems you have and trying to help you through it. It's definitely a DIY printer, and you will work at it a little. But the price is right and you can upgrade as you see fit. That, to me, is worth it alone. It can go from a really, really solid hobby printer to a printer capable of professional level prints. I cannot say enough good things about it if you spend the time and put in the work.

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