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question about choosing a 3D printer 

ok so trying to buy a and can use some advice/opinions from people who have experience with the machines in question.

Narrowed down to Adventurer 3 and duplicator i3 mini.

What I am looking for is minimal fuss (I am looking at this as a tool, not a hobby), safe (no open power units and fire hazard cable connections), quiet (living in a tiny apartment with neighbors), and in this my price range. (cont)

question about choosing a 3D printer 

Wanhao dup. i3 mini I think I can live with the bed size (I am planning for a second machine in long run and I think while I'd like 15cm it is not a disaster) and it is cheap enough I can afford to build an enclosure for it so that is not an issue

Lack of heated bed worries me through, and some comments about bed stability on "larger" prints.

it seems to have 0 problems with mats and I really like that it is an open hardware.

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question about choosing a 3D printer 

Adventurer is reported to have issues with older filaments especially and when swapping. The custom nozzle worries me (even through it will probably last longer than and finding spare parts where I live) Also cloud connection and closed firmware :/ I can live with the built in spool thing

that being said it has a heated bed, an enclosure (even PLA is better to not print in open) and looks self contained and safe. Heated bed and bed size are the 2 advantages.

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question about choosing a 3D printer 

In terms of noise level I heard both loud and quiet on both. It won't sit next to my bed, but I need it to be no louder than a fridge. So at least adventurer 3 advertises to be so, looks like i3 mini is not terrible?

I am also open to other suggestions. I don't mind some assembly, but no fire hazards please, or open power units. (wanhao and creality models are generally available unless very new. Other brands usually aren't)

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question about choosing a 3D printer 

oh to clarify, I want to print with PLA and other low temperature filament. Wood filament is especially something I want to use. Metal fill and flexible filament compatibility would be also a selling point.

Higher temperature filaments while is a nice thing to have is lesser priority for me, I can live without them as they will be tricky to print in a living environment even with the enclosure.

thanks for the help in advance. :)

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question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul

Though I suspect it's out of your price range, the Lulzbot Mini is an ideal beginner's printer. The auto-leveling feature is outstanding, and the print bed with PLA has been tremendous.

It's been perfect for my "beginner" attitude about printing.

I use it in an adjoining room, so it is audible but not irritating (filament reel squeeks and motor sounds)

question about choosing a 3D printer 

@Algot lulzbot was something I would consider trying to finance because it would be a long term option. Unfortunately if it is available locally, I have not seen it yet. (this by the way, is part of the reason why this got so tricky)

I appreciate the feedback through :)

question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul

I've only dealt with them on line.

question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul I'm a beginner myself but I have to say that I like my Original Prusa MINI - it's fairly small, and the lowest cost of the Prusa printers but once I got it working it proven itself to be a reliable workhorse. Quiet, too.

Downsides: Might be more expensive than other mini's, no enclosure and some assembly is required (though all the hard stuff is pre-assembled for you).

question about choosing a 3D printer 

@polychrome thank you very much for your feedback. prusa is on the top of the list of "I would pay more to get this but not available locally" that is kind of my problem. They seem like they are a good medium of still somewhat affordable, but is more well constructed... but yeah.. :/ (creality, wanhao with some older ultimakers is mostly what is available here :/)

question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul
I have no personal experience with any 3D printers, but maybe it's worth going for a MSLA printer? Here's a IMHO good video about one which costs about $250 (which also explains how it works): youtube.com/watch?v=5O87NZoiPT
@polychrome

question about choosing a 3D printer 

@RyuKurisu @eylul those are lovely but the resin can cost more than PLA/ABS and isn't as good for using on actual projects (more fragile, not easy to post process).

They're mostly good for artistic models, transparent objects and accurate previews of mechanical parts.

question about choosing a 3D printer 

@RyuKurisu prices are actually coming down these days, but especially the post processing and disposal of the waste makes it not a very attractive option. (make no mistake I thought they were cool too when I started my research on options)

@polychrome I didn't know about the brittleness through! Thank you for that information

question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul @RyuKurisu it depends on the resin but yes plastic has it's advantages.

question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul if you’re aiming to print PLA, you’ll want the heated bed. I know a couple of folks who found the Creality machines to be a solid choice, with a good community.

question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul oops… just did a search, and found that I was mistaken on something. I thought flashforge was one of the creality boxen!

question about choosing a 3D printer 

@urbanfuzzy heh nope, they are different companies. Creality has good printing quality, but a lot of their printers come with open power blocks, etc. Also the issue with noise, but if you have any recommendation of models that doesn't have these issues out of box (I know some newer models do, but sometimes it is advertised as such other times it isn't) I would love to hear it, because their printers are very widely available here.

question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul pinging @sungo

re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@silverseams @eylul well. Let me just say this first. Of all the "printer buying advice" threads that I get tagged into, yours is the best informed and I can dismiss a lot of my usual suggestions. :)

If you can spring up to $800, the Prusa i3 MK3S (my top recommendation these days) can handle all your needs and you can build an enclosure to keep it safe and extra quiet out of some ikea parts.

Otherwise, the Ender 3 is well reviewed in this price range. The flywheel leveling bothers me but there's a good community around the printer. It's documented to hit the temperatures necessary to print metal fill. It's a bowden tube so flexible is not impossible, just a little tricky.

The Monoprice Select Mini is a good option against Wanhao and it has a heated bed. It won't do metal or much other than PLA or ABS. Maybe PETG.

I really like the idea of the Adventurer. But as you noted, most of the models of that sort have weird cloud connections, closed firmware, proprietary nozzles, and/or proprietary filament spools. The good ones also tend to be super duper expensive.

I can prattle on all day about this stuff. Let me know if I should prattle further :)

re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@sungo @silverseams ok wow. thanks for the information, and now comes the fun part. My main issue is access to models. none of prusa are available locally (and for a variety of reasons I am trying to avoid importing a printer) same with most monoprice models (I really REALLY wish I had bought this thing back when it was Malyan M200). Creality is generally findable, so is wanhao and ultimaker (which is sorely out of my price range) (cont)

re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@sungo @silverseams In terms of Ender 3/Ender 3 pro. My main concern is electronics out in open, and safety issues like no thermal runaway out of the box. I am really looking for something that will work out of box, and especially not require me to fix the electronics. (printing a better spool holder is less of an issue). But I can consider slightly higher price range items if they will be worth it (e.g. CR-10s Pro, CP-01, CR-X is the limit)

re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@sungo @silverseams feel free to reply (time permitting) it is actually helpful, Also primary use of this printer will be to print lens adapters and threads, parts for Pi etc

(also some technical questions teflon tube vs plastic, how much of a change it does in clogging/print quality. and how much of a quality loss does direct extruder would cause - that's my biggest worry with the 3-in-ones)

Thanks again!

re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul @silverseams we might should talk parts. My bet is that, given how much research you've done, parts and kit will help you narrow down your list more than me opining on the printer :)

In my opinion, a direct extruder is better and higher quality than a bowden tube. Retractions are faster and more precise and there's way less stringing. An immense amount of my print quality issues just disappear with direct drive. I tend to equate a bowden tube to trying to write with a pen on the end of a long stick. It can be done but it's a lot trickier.

As for teflon vs plastic, I'm not sure what you mean.

For electronics, almost all 3d printers, outside of units like the ultimaker, have exposed bits. In most cases, there are mods you can print to cover them but most at least have a partially exposed control board.

Yes, absolutely avoid a printer without thermal runaway support.

Sadly, almost every printer requires some bit of fiddling when you open the box. Even if the hardware is perfect, you'll probably have to fiddle a bit in the slicer to get it right. Every printer is different and everyone's print environment is different. Even differences in the air flow of the room might require tweaking. Leveling and what not are also required.

I would make sure that the printer also takes an E3D nozzle. Not that you have to buy them from E3D but it's a standard size at this point.

re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@sungo @silverseams oh I am ok fiddling with the slicer, printing parts. Its electronics work, 3rd party firmware and required part upgrades to buy (locally available parts are very limited) are the deal breakers for me. (cont)

re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@sungo I think after all this I will either go for Creality CP-01 3-in-one (which has a direct extruder) or ender3 v2 (which I was told is arriving next month to local distributor - that I didn't even realize was an option) depending on how the price difference between the two ends up being.

Thanks for the helpful advice!!

@silverseams thanks for connecting us! :)

re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul @silverseams the CP-01 can do laser engraving and CNC? I am suddenly interested.

re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@sungo @silverseams I wouldn't see it as a dedicated CNC and laser engraver, but this issue of very limited usefulness is same for all 3-in-one machines that I can see.

re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul @silverseams Indeed. I've seen some larger deltas with similar features but "experimental" doesn't begin to summarize it. I worry about a print head that's so easy to detach. I'm sure the magnets or whatever are really strong but I worry.

CW: yt link - re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@sungo @silverseams it looks like creality is copying snapmaker designs so they are screwed in place, but I guess that is something to be very careful about. (youtube.com/watch?v=s__H_bcFvd is a good overview btw)

but definite issues with lack of settings on cura by default. Also while it comes with safety glasses, I cannot imagine using the CNC beyond brief carefully supervised uses the engrave/cut outlines on thin materials.

re: CW: yt link - re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul @silverseams I'm using PrusaSlicer these days but I'm pretty used to not having settings in my slicer. My MK3S is the only printer I own that has built-in slicer profiles :)

And yeah, totally agree on the safety issues of the CNC and laser heads working in an open frame.

re: CW: yt link - re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul @silverseams The Ender 5 Pro is really tempting me which is your fault because I had to go look at the Creality site :)

re: CW: yt link - re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@sungo sorry!!!! :D Do you actually need the features or just new cool item case? :D

(Also I am beginning to feel like the only person who actually does NOT want a larger printer and is trying to find something smaller than is available :D )

@silverseams by the way I hope we are not spamming you. :)

re: CW: yt link - re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul you are far from the only one. I'd call it the usual use case, in fact. I am just well stocked on smaller printers :)

Specifically for the Ender 5 Pro, I had an Ender 5 for a while but the bed construction and leveling processes led me to return it. They fixed those issues in the Pro, along with some other annoyances I had.


@silverseams

re: CW: yt link - re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@eylul @sungo Nah, I'm following along. I have a Monoprice printer I need to get up and running myself (and an old MendelMax 2 that needs a new part printed because somehow spares were not the first thing we printed with it, whoops).

Annnnd I'm currently distracted-boyfriend-meme with something like sainsmart.com/products/sainsma because despite printers, embroidery machine, and cutting plotter I don't have enough cartesian devices around here.

re: CW: yt link - re: question about choosing a 3D printer 

@silverseams I think I will eventually invest in one even if I end up not going for a 3-in-one so no stones to throw there. (I might end up opting out through depending on where the linux support is next month when I will commit to a decision -and the price)

@sungo

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