By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Forum House Ad Zone

Have You considered getting a 3D printer


All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Q: Have you ever considered getting a 3D printer for your workshop?

Y - already have  


Y - but cost  


Y but quality  


No - got no use  


No - just toys  


No - got no interest  


Yes - but other tool  


yes, this year  


Yes - in future  


(155 votes)

Hollowpoint12/12/2020 10:32:43
471 forum posts
58 photos

I bought an ender 3 pro about 18 months ago. I don't use it that much but when I have found a use for it, it has been invaluable. Pinting small items like electronics enclosures and one-off brackets and mounts has been the main use for me. I certainly couldn't see myself without one now!

Howard Lewis12/12/2020 10:43:57
6032 forum posts
14 photos

Seems like a good idea, since 3D printing can produce parts that would be difficult or impossible using normal machining methods.

But can't think of an immediate need for one at present. No doubt, once having bone, all sorts of uses would come to mind.

Just need to be finally persuaded!


Gordon Tarling12/12/2020 12:56:09
181 forum posts
4 photos

I'd considered getting one for quite some time before I finally bought a Creality Ender 5 back in the summer. I've been impressed with the print quality from such a low priced printer, but found some tuning was required for better results - takes a little while, but usually worth it. I've also bought a couple of upgrades for it, as well as 3D printed one or two. It hasn't had much rest since I bought it and I'm finding it very useful for my hobbies; being able to now print stuff I never knew I needed previously! I did wonder about the requirement to be familiar with CAD before I bought it, as I've never been terribly au fait with any CAD package, but there's millions of 'things' on various websites that have been well designed by others and it's often easy to adapt or modify those to suit your own requirements. I've also managed to get to partial grips with Tinkercad and been able to draw a few simple parts for myself. Print failures are to be expected now and then, but usually only cost a bit of time and a few feet of filament. - my biggest to date was caused by a power cut around halfway through a 2 day print, so my printer now is powered via an Uninterruptable Power Supply which will run it for about an hour. Overall, well worthwhile getting it!

Another JohnS12/12/2020 13:41:25
832 forum posts
56 photos

I have one, from 2014 which is not very good. It's been sitting collecting dust for a couple of years now.

At work, I had the use of a Stratasys, but that lab's closed down. Every once in a while I think of picking another one up for home, but... (have CNC metalworking machines and a lack of time for *those*...)

Here's a picture of my Printrbot Simple - laser cut wood, Dremel sanding disks and fishing line for axis drives... Was High Tech at the time!



Neil Wyatt12/12/2020 14:30:53
18994 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles
Posted by Brian G on 11/12/2020 17:39:38:

I suspect in a few years time the question "Have you ever considered getting a 3D printer for your workshop?" will seem as obvious as "Have you ever considered getting a lathe". I suffer episodes of paralysis and mine are ideal for my situation as they mean I can keep modelling or printing when I cannot safely use other tools.

Brian G

I realise that responses may be skewed towards people who have an interest in 3D printing, but despite their still being some people who are sceptical of their value it's clear that they are now a commonplace tool in our workshops.

I suspect it would be fair to say that owning a 3D printer is probably more common in the hobby than owning a mill was thirty or forty years ago.

I must say I am more than a little surprised that none of the regular suppliers to the hobby have decided to stock 'mid range' machines for a price comparable to a small lathe.

Keep voting folks - the picture could change...


Roger Best12/12/2020 14:55:18
369 forum posts
56 photos

smiley I will be looking hard at them when I am sure the heat resistance is where I need it, and that means stability not just melting temperature. I know that materials with 150-170C are out there now so its pretty close.

Off course metal additive manufacture is available but that costs money as the machines are very expensive.

Generally I am waiting for the technology to make live steam, detailed models fast, for example printing a traction engine wheel set in a weekend rather than slaving for weeks. Those awkward little brackets that you can't see from a couple of feet away etc.

John Shepherd12/12/2020 14:59:08
222 forum posts
7 photos

I see my 3D printer as another workshop tool. For those that doubt their usefulness, here is a list of some of the things I have made for the workshop:

  1. Brackets for DRO on mill
  2. Ring light for mill
  3. Rotary laser centre finder
  4. Lathe QCTP mount for DTI
  5. Tool centre height gauge
  6. Case for lathe DRO
  7. Dremel bench stand
  8. Small screw cut to length jig for Dremel
  9. Dremel drum sander attachment
  10. Rotary Laser centre finder
  11. Cases for test equipment
  12. Misc knobs and levers

These are in addition to various things for the home and printing parts for my much modified Prusa style printer.


Andy_C12/12/2020 17:37:03
47 forum posts
10 photos

John if available I would be interested in whether the STL files are publicly available for 4, 5, 7 and 8.

Anthony Knights12/12/2020 17:38:16
621 forum posts
242 photos

I have considered getting one, but at the moment I have too many other things to do.

John Shepherd13/12/2020 15:46:19
222 forum posts
7 photos

Andy C

I have sent you a PM

Baz13/12/2020 16:41:51
713 forum posts
2 photos

I would most probably purchase one if the well known model engineering suppliers stocked them and they were reviewed in one of the magazines. I purchased Alibre Atom 3D purely because of the articles in MEW a couple of years ago, I am struggling a bit but only because I spent many years on 2d Autocad and have to learn a totally new way of doing things. My next purchase though must be some version of 3D CAM, no point in having the CAD if I cannot get the G code for the mill, perhaps then thoughts will turn to the 3D printer.

Martin King 213/12/2020 16:56:55
996 forum posts
451 photos

Andy C, I have done a QCTP Dial Gauge holder, search it on EBay just to have a look then private message me for the file if suitable.

David Noble13/12/2020 17:25:19
313 forum posts
18 photos

Just supposing, I was to show an interest in a printer, not that I do at the moment! which would you recommend?


not done it yet13/12/2020 18:28:49
6744 forum posts
20 photos
Posted by David Noble on 13/12/2020 17:25:19:

Just supposing, I was to show an interest in a printer, not that I do at the moment! which would you recommend?


The Creality Ender something (whatever number they are now up to) is probably the most popular at the cheap end of the market.

I would recommend the Sovol SVO1 - but only because that is the one I bought (after very careful consideration, mind).

My recommendation is already well out of date, as these things move on at a pace, and may not be suitable for what you would need.

Neil Wyatt14/12/2020 12:01:42
18994 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles
Posted by Roger Best on 12/12/2020 14:55:18:

smiley I will be looking hard at them when I am sure the heat resistance is where I need it, and that means stability not just melting temperature. I know that materials with 150-170C are out there now so its pretty close.

Heat resistance is never going to be particularly good with fused filament deposition as by definition it uses thermoplastics.


Emgee14/12/2020 12:11:53
2409 forum posts
287 photos

Anyone printed a connection box with lid to fit on a NEMA23 stepper to allow connection to the incoming 4 core cable ?


mgnbuk14/12/2020 12:25:41
1179 forum posts
71 photos

Anyone printed a connection box with lid to fit on a NEMA23 stepper to allow connection to the incoming 4 core cable ?

I have printed one from Thingiverse - if you search "Nema 23" there are several, though most seem to be designed to take a 4 pole circular connector. I intend to print an adapter to change the connector hole to an M12 or M16 conduit thread to use a cable gland - don't like using un-necessary connectors if I can avoid it.

Nigel B.

Jeff Dayman14/12/2020 12:30:27
2223 forum posts
47 photos

Hi Neil, about 3D printing by FDM and heat resistant materials: for several years Stratasys and other firms have offered service bureau printing of both Ultem PEI and PEEK polymers. I had some valve parts for a steam sterilizer made in 2011 in Ultem in my day job, and they withstood the heat OK but were a bit porous. A recent article about the various machines is below. The technology exists and is actively being developed.!

Parts FDM'd in both these resins can operate at over 100 deg C. The nozzle temps on some machines reach 470 deg C for PEEK.Just to be clear, these are multi million dollar commercial machines, and 3D printed parts in these materials are far more expensive than regular service polymers like PLA,ABS,etc. As far as I know no one is offering a home type low cost machine to 3D print Ultem or PEEK in the home shop. They may, someday.

Edited By Jeff Dayman on 14/12/2020 12:31:05

Henry Brown14/12/2020 13:10:29
548 forum posts
117 photos

Just bought one! Creality Ender 3 Pro @ £152.20 Banggood - UK based so free 3 day delivery...

Ady114/12/2020 13:12:20
5069 forum posts
734 photos

That NZ spaceship operation print their own rocket engines

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric Engineering
Rapid RC
Eccentric July 5 2018
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest