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ALDI 3D Balco printer

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Rik Shaw20/11/2018 10:33:41
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1266 forum posts
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ALDI email tells me that one of this weeks online specials is this:

**LINK**

I have no experience of 3D printers so any comments regarding this item would be appreciated. Hopefully one of these could be on its way down the chimney in a few weeks time . gift

Rik

Barnaby Wilde20/11/2018 11:18:41
326 forum posts
1 photos

That is a rebadged Wanhao i3Plus Duplicator & £300 is a competetive price for what it is.

If you have no specific need for a printer & have the time to learn the basics & experiment then it might be a good buy.

In the early days of computers I used to shout out loud to anyone who would listen that EVERY child should have one in the family. I feel exactly the same about 3D printers.

Beware though, there isn't much of a market for good 3d printers with little use & if you find it's not for you then you may be chucking £250 away if you cannot offload it.

Mark Rand20/11/2018 12:12:58
691 forum posts

So, should one be getting one to make lost PLA patterns for foundry work? With the design being done via Alibre Atom, of course.

JasonB20/11/2018 12:21:38
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15323 forum posts
1576 photos

I think pattern would be the main use I would have for a printer if I get round to buying. I would only go for lost PLA if the part was shaped such that it could not be pulled from a sand mould.

Mark Rand20/11/2018 14:19:01
691 forum posts

Good point, and one that eventually crossed my mind later while out in the shed. Maybe next year.

Martin of Wick20/11/2018 14:37:20
53 forum posts
4 photos

hmm, I have one (Wanhao) and in my view the mechanics are very poor and difficult to retrofix and the firmware not easy to upgrade without a great deal of faff.

That being said it turns out reasonable prints provided you are content to be constrained to 'not quite' engineering plastics.

Secondly, seems rather expensive, so unless you have a burning desire to unload 300 notes do a quick search for Creality Ender 3, should be sub 200 and possibly less (got mine for 160) from a UK supplier. Mechanics much better and upgradeable, but same problems with firmware upgrades. Your expectations need to be along the line of Chinese mini lathes, they will work reasonably well after you have spent some time fettling and retrofitting the junk components with ones that actually work.

If you only want a machine for pattern making then you wont need to print high temperature material like PC and POM so firmware changes not an issue. BTW, I have seen low temp wax filament becoming available if you wanted to use total loss moulding.

Rik Shaw20/11/2018 16:55:37
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1266 forum posts
347 photos

I suppose I should have asked already but better late then never. How smelly - or not - are these things when they are running and is the noise - if any - likely to disturb at night as it would be operating in my study next to our bedroom.

Rik

Barnaby Wilde20/11/2018 17:18:57
326 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Rik Shaw on 20/11/2018 16:55:37:

I suppose I should have asked already but better late then never. How smelly - or not - are these things when they are running and is the noise - if any - likely to disturb at night as it would be operating in my study next to our bedroom.

Rik

I've heard say that ABS can smell & is possibly bad for your health in a small poorly ventilated office.

I'm a heavy smoker & have an industrial sized carbon air freshener rigged up courtesy of our local cannabis farmer.

I'm happy to leave mine overnight but the noise can be as loud as the old dot matrix printers. Mine is also well isolated for vibration which was a bigger problem than noise or smell for us.

Neil Wyatt20/11/2018 17:51:39
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Posted by Martin of Wick on 20/11/2018 14:37:20:

That being said it turns out reasonable prints provided you are content to be constrained to 'not quite' engineering plastics.

Secondly, seems rather expensive, so unless you have a burning desire to unload 300 notes do a quick search for Creality Ender 3, should be sub 200 and possibly less (got mine for 160) from a UK supplier.

The Aldio one has a heated bed which opens the door to PETG and Nylon 6 which certainly are 'engineering' plastics.

As far as I know the Creality doesn't have a heated bed.

(I had the chance of keeping the Dremel printer I reviewed for half price - I decided not to entirely because of the lack of a heated bed and inability to print other than PLA.)

Neil

Neil

Neil Wyatt20/11/2018 17:53:34
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Posted by Rik Shaw on 20/11/2018 16:55:37:

I suppose I should have asked already but better late then never. How smelly - or not - are these things when they are running and is the noise - if any - likely to disturb at night as it would be operating in my study next to our bedroom.

Rik

Pla is almost smell-free, noise depends largely on not putting it on a 'drum like' surface. You can also slow down to reduce noise.

Martin of Wick20/11/2018 19:25:24
53 forum posts
4 photos

As far as I know the Creality doesn't have a heated bed.

I agree that heated bed is a minimum requirement for printing useful materials, Ender3 (and 2) have a heated bed. PETG Hmmm... = quite hard to print well and overly brittle - maybe there is a good variety or I need to persevere.

The problem (as with most budget printers) is the stock crummy hotends cant cope with the temperatures around 250 as the liner starts to distort and caused extruder flow problems (at least it did for me) Considering fitting all metal hotend replacement,

Delighted to be made aware by anyone in the know of a cheap (circa £300) 3d printer that will as supplied go reliably to 300c on the hotend and has a fully configured bootloader already installed so the firmware can be tweaked as required without the risk of bricking the mainboard.

Neil Wyatt20/11/2018 20:15:23
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I stand corrected.

I haven't had any issues printing PETG with my prusa i3 clone, and it is less brittle than PLA. Bog standard Mk 8 hot end.

Lainchy29/05/2019 07:46:08
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18 forum posts

I have the Ender 3, and it's superb. It has a heated bed, allegedly going to 100 degree's... after 230 minutes (exaggerated) and needs a certain amount of fettling to get it to work right. The Alloy beds are often warped, but this can be overcome with a sheet of glass/mirror. Hotend and extruder also are not without issues, but there is a huge community to help if needed.

For CAD I use Fusion 360 and I highly recommend this, and a chap on YouTube called Lars Christensen. It's a steep learning curve, but following his beginner series, it gives you the ability very quickly to understand how it works, and start modelling.

**LINK**

Michael Cox 129/05/2019 10:24:04
506 forum posts
27 photos

I bought the Balco printer from Aldi before Christmas 2018. It worked straight out of the box and I have used it to make various workshop related items such as gears, vee beltpulleys, timing belt pulleys etc as well as some household items such as sonic tooth brush stand, camera lens cap, a small bin to fit the cupholder in the car, sat-nav holder etc.

I find it a very useful addition to my collection of workshop tools.

Mike

Neil Wyatt29/05/2019 18:23:36
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15947 forum posts
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> sonic tooth brush stand

Snap!

Rik Shaw29/05/2019 18:39:10
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1266 forum posts
347 photos

I ended up buying one of these some months ago. I'd like to tell everyone how good it was but sadly the poor thing was dead on arrival - would not even power up. I had a full refund after taking the matter up with a very good technical support team who diagnosed a faulty PSU.

Rik crying

jimmy b29/05/2019 18:43:23
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470 forum posts
27 photos

I got one a few weeks ago.

Really pleased with it, done around 40+ prints, most over 3 hours and the only failure has been old filament.

Jim

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