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Best beginners buy in 2018

What is the best buy for a beginner

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Ian Skeldon 220/06/2018 09:46:36
541 forum posts
54 photos

Hi,

I apologise as I know there are similar threads elsewhere in the forums, however I do have some specific questions which will help m eto choose which printer to buy.

Q1, Which of the most commonly used filaments gives the strongest finished component pla/abs? (or other)?

Q2, Which of the current range of 3D printers up to £800 is most capable in respect of, (a) print quality, (b) using both filaments equally successfully, (c) complete package with any required software in the bundle.

Q3, I have looked at the factory 3D website, it looks easy enough to buy their printer, but I couldn't find largest print size it can do, none of the links for support, spares etc worked so it doesn't instill confidence and put me off buying from them, any advice for alternatives?

Q4, Is there a dedicated 3D printer, help webpage offering generic advice such as temperatures, feed rates etc for particular filaments?

I have started to get good results with Fusion now and feel that buying a printer is the next logical step but I want to get it right.

Thanks,

Ian

Robin20/06/2018 10:10:45
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571 forum posts

I have 3 the same so nothing to compare.

ABS is much trickier to print with than PLA.

ABS has a higher melting point and is prone to lifting from the print bed. However it is not biodegradeable. OTOH none of my PLA prints have degraded, yet.

I think printer rigidity is the key, you want something rigid so it doesn't go out of alignment every time the cat sneezes in the same room.

Getting the print head from point A to point B, without the nozzle stringing, requires violent accelerations. Need a printer that won't shake itself apart.

Every printer has several Facebook Groups dedicated to it. Have a sticky beak why not?

I was almost tempted by the notion of a dual extruder to print dissolvable supports, but after only a few years of stabbing my fingers with sharp objects I have become a dab hand at removing it.

Edited By Robin on 20/06/2018 10:15:48

Journeyman20/06/2018 10:28:04
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1174 forum posts
236 photos

Ian, probably no definative answers but based on my limited experience (see JWS 3D Printer):-

Q1 - PLA is a good beginers filament easy to use and cheap. ABS is stronger as it's stickiness makes for a better layer bond. PETG is half and half. The stronger print filaments tend to need higher temperatures and possibly enclosed print area. Very roughly the stronger filaments need more precise control and are more difficult to print. Start with PLA and work up. It is also necessary to bear in mind that the prints are rather like wood stronger in the long grain but break more easily across the grain. Careful part design can help and it may be necessary to make an object from several fitted parts to get maximum strength.

Q2 Can't really answer (a) or (b) as I only have the one Factory 3D printer. The latest Prusa is reported to be very good and just in your price range, you will have to wait a few weeks though. (c) Most of the printers use free software for the slicer (the program that turns STL files into g-code for the printer) which comes with the kit/machine I use Cura which is free and downloaded from Ultimaker who also make printers. Slicr is also free and if you want paid software Simplify3D is reported to be very good. Fusion 360 will easily produce the STL files needed to feed into your slicer of choice

Q3 Best thing to do to get hold of Factory3D is to e-mail them. Basically they sell out as soon as they make a batch of printers. Seem to keep improving things as I notice a few changes since I bought mine.

Q4 You could do worse than rummage about the Ultimaker site (link above). Have a look at Thingiverse for inspiration or try the Ultimate Beginners Guide.

Good luck, enjoy the new printer.

John

Edit: typos

Edited By Journeyman on 20/06/2018 10:50:09

Graham Wintersgill20/06/2018 10:59:26
2 forum posts
2 photos

Ian

I bought a printer from Factory 3D after reading comments on this site and Journeymans blog. I have been extremely impressed with the support I have received from Mike - even answering emails on a Holiday weekend. Any parts that I have needed have been dispatched the same day and his advice has been excellent.

Regards

Graham

Robin20/06/2018 11:07:37
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571 forum posts

It is a curious question, is ABS "better" than PLA?

If you don't buy ABS+ then you may be buying regrind.

To get a good stick between layers of ABS I think you need to get it down before the previous layer has chilled, so close the fan shutter and print tall and thin perhaps.

If the ABS cooling contraction lifts a corner from the bed you can never recover.

PLA seems to stay pliable until cold. No real thermal stability but you can print it 99.9% solid without problem, a surefire distortion in ABS.

ABS dissolves in acetone, PLA doesn't seem to dissolve in anything.

I don't know laugh

Journeyman20/06/2018 11:22:50
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1174 forum posts
236 photos
Posted by Robin on 20/06/2018 11:07:37:

It is a curious question, is ABS "better" than PLA?

If you don't buy ABS+ then you may be buying regrind.

I don't know about better, just different. Two different plastics with different uses. Both can apparently be heat treated after printing to improve strength and layer cohesion. Have never tried this I don't think SWMBO would appreciate me using the ovenwink I think regrind is a problem with all the filaments, find a make that does what you want and stick with it.

I quite like PETG once you get past the stringing problems although the filament tends to be on the soft/springy side and I have had it coil up between the drive wheel and the feed tube, have got the printer in bits at the moment trying to fix this.

John

Edited By Journeyman on 20/06/2018 11:23:37

Robin20/06/2018 11:40:18
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571 forum posts

Also ABS can supposedly be fumed over hot acetone to smooth out the surface. I am very nearly tooled up to try that. I have bought gas jars, need to print a support structure in PLA cool

Forgot to mention... when comparing printers white plastic hides surface imperfections that would stand out like a sore thumb in black.

Simon036220/06/2018 11:45:10
219 forum posts
77 photos
Posted by Robin on 20/06/2018 10:10:45:

ABS has a higher melting point and is prone to lifting from the print bed. However it is not biodegradeable. OTOH none of my PLA prints have degraded, yet.

ABS doesn't distort in a dishwasher, PLA definitely does.

I have a small PLA panel stuck onto our pool robot that has been theer for nearly 3 years with no signs of degrading, bio or otherwise and several other items permenantly outdoors that are not showing any signs of change either. Not sure what PLA's degrade period is but it looks to be quite long!

Simon

Muzzer20/06/2018 12:46:17
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2904 forum posts
448 photos

Been a few years since I had access to a 3D printer (Ultimaker 2) but I found (as mentioned above) that ABS was more tricky, being prone to distortion and peeling off the bed as it cooled in the middle of the job. Although not directly mentioned here, I think the conclusion was that you need a heated bed for ABS and similar. The Prusa seems to have a heated bed but just check for that if / when you look at alternatives.

Murray

Ian Skeldon 220/06/2018 19:15:11
541 forum posts
54 photos

Gentlemen, many thanks for all the help.

From the sound of it, PLA is likely to be good enough for what I want and isn't going to degrade within 3 months etc. It seems as though the factory 3d printer is reliable (based on feedback on this forum) and support seems to be good, must be something you only get access to once you have bought the printer?

Once again many thanks for your advice gents.

Neil Wyatt20/06/2018 19:40:06
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Moderator
19076 forum posts
736 photos
80 articles

My factory 3D printer has a build volume roughly a 6" cube.

Nylon is tough and flexible, even a thin 3d printed sheet of nylon is impossible to tear or break by hand. It is trickier to print, needing higher temperatures and not being very good at adhesion.

PETG (the same stuff as mylar and high pressure drinks bottles, but slightly tweaked to print better) is also more demanding to print and is incredibly tough.

I suggest emailing or calling Factory3D, I had no trouble getting advice from them when setting up my machine.

There's my book 3D Printing for Model Engineers coming out soon from Crowood that gives guidance of different materials, use of cooling fans etc. but be aware that you will still need to experiment.

Neil

Ian Skeldon 220/06/2018 19:47:11
541 forum posts
54 photos

Thanks Neil.

Neil Wyatt20/06/2018 20:14:42
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Moderator
19076 forum posts
736 photos
80 articles
Posted by Journeyman on 20/06/2018 11:22:50:

I quite like PETG once you get past the stringing problems although the filament tends to be on the soft/springy side and I have had it coil up between the drive wheel and the feed tube, have got the printer in bits at the moment trying to fix this.

A guide with a central hole worked wonders for me with flexible filament which is much wobblier than PETG

Look for flexible filament guide on thingiverse, I plan to machine an aluminium one.

I.M. OUTAHERE20/06/2018 20:30:25
1468 forum posts
3 photos

Ian,

Have a look at these youtube channels , i have found them most useful and informative .

Thomas sanladerer

Makers muse

Cnc kitchen

The main issue with abs is its shrinkage rate that can see the print litterally rip itself apart as it cools especiall on taller prints , it also tends to lift off the print bed more than pla once again caused by shrinkage .

I started out with abs and learned the hard way about all that and now mostly use pla as my printer doesn't have a heated enclosure which is better for abs , you can turn the heated bed up flat out but once the print gets built up a little off the bed the heating effect from the bed is diminished so the higher the print the quicker those layers cool increasing warpage / shrinkage .

On the youtube channels i have listed you will find everything from machine tests , info on most of the filaments you are ever likely to use and some scientific testing of various filaments - mostly tensile strength comparisons etc .

I have no affiliation to them , just a happy veiwer !

Journeyman20/06/2018 20:58:33
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1174 forum posts
236 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 20/06/2018 20:14:42:
Posted by Journeyman on 20/06/2018 11:22:50:

I quite like PETG once you get past the stringing problems although the filament tends to be on the soft/springy side and I have had it coil up between the drive wheel and the feed tube, have got the printer in bits at the moment trying to fix this.

A guide with a central hole worked wonders for me with flexible filament which is much wobblier than PETG

Look for flexible filament guide on thingiverse, I plan to machine an aluminium one.

Thanks Neil doing something similar, trying a 40mm stainless tube instead of the 30mm one it came with. Means the tube can go right through the bottom section of the mk8 and right up close to the drive wheel and roller. Needs the Z microswitch adjusting a bit.

John

Ian Skeldon 220/06/2018 21:21:17
541 forum posts
54 photos

Thank you XD, will check them out.

Ian Skeldon 224/06/2018 16:57:56
541 forum posts
54 photos

After lots of hmming and arrring and checking youtube reviews I checked out the Factory 3d printer, Wanhao I3, Teva Tornado and a couple of Creality printers.

In the end I went for the Creality Ender (latest model).

Deciding factors being 24 volt heated bed, printable volume, ease of assembly, support available from tinterweb peeps, oh yeah and the price £200.

Hopefully it should arrive on Tuesday (as promised by the supplier)

Does anyone here use this make/model of printer?

Thanks to everyone for all the help and advice so far.

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