I’m a fresher of 3dprinting for one year and I’m 22. Nice to meet all friends
Welcome to the forum, Glad you found us, what type of 3D printer do you have and what type of things do you print?
Thanks so much. We have Star one and ER-20.
Whats a fresher.
Hi , i am also new in 3dprinting . I was talking with a colleague who was exasperated about the most common usage of large-scale 3D printers, the sort that are being used to print houses out of concrete/cement blends. Originally it was just food for thought because relative to the way houses have been constructed for the past 100 years the way 3D printers are being used is pretty innovative, but I wonder what their use could be down the line.
I had originally imagined any of these printers that could print in ice or use some sort of wildly abundant resource as an aggregate for the printing slurry. I don’t really know what it’s use or value would be, if anything. Curious what people would do in this hypothetical situation.
Hello All! I am trying to educate myself as to which type and brand of 3D printer to purchase.
Family has a business that can use 3D printer for prototyping and want to get kids involved in designing things as well.
Looking for a material I can use as a prototype pattern for my casting business that is smooth and can be drilled and take a screw for mounting.
I have experience with 2D drafting old school but never got into the 3D much so easy software and user interface is important.
Essentially looking for a beginner model that is easy to use and reliable.
HI, @IronMatt Thanks for posting and I’m glad you found us. You and @disc91 posted interesting questions. Personally for me what I recommend if you want to get your “feet wet” with printing is an Ender 3V2 or similar. It’s simple and easy to use, there is a ton of community support out there and realistically it’s not that expensive.
I try and be as authentic as possible. It’s a Sub $400 printer. It will require some maintenance and changing of parts if they break but most parts on it are between $5 and $20. Upgrades can cost a little more. but those are of your choosing. If you don’t want a touch on it you don’t have to install it. the manual method does work.
If it’s not a hobby you want to continue with you can sell it used and get a good chunk of your $$ back. so it’s not a total wash. If you don’t want to invest much in it, Check out the buy and sell section of the forum there are always options popping up there. Used, Upgraded or rented.
As for materials, there seems to be a limitless selection out there. PLA or PETG are the most common options., Both are easy to print on an open-frame printer and have little to no work required for post-processing.
@Jason has some good advice about the printer but I wanted to add my two cents about designing models.
If you’ve done pencil and paper engineering/architectural drawings then you have a surprisingly solid base from which to start. For doing some basic 3D model designs, I recommend:
It’s quite easy and fun to get into designing models and, from there, you can try out different things with a printer.
For inspiration and fun models to print you will, of course, spend hours at
Just remember that for a lot of the models put up there, people have spent years developing the skills and may be spending thousands of dollars a year in licensing fees to be able to design what you see there.
Have fun and keep watching here!
I have a Ender 3V2 printer, modded some what and it works well. I have made patterns for casting which is done by a friend of mine. I solid model the patterns in CAD, draft and other necessities included and print them out just like any other part and they are just plastic versions of the “old school” wood patterns. You mold them up like you would wood patterns and cast the parts as you always did. Even at 20 % infill they seem to be strong enough to have sand rammed on them. If the print bed isn’t big enough (9 X 9) then print out sections of the pattern and glue them together. If the pattern is curved you can end up with visible layer lines, I fill with something like bondo or plastic wood and sand smooth. The layer lines on vertical surfaces don’t seem to show up in the castings.
If you are using lost wax casting then it should be possible to print out molds for wax parts but layers lines will be visible even on the finest print settings. Some people are now using the lost PLA casting method, just like lost wax but you cast the plastic pattern in refractory and burn it out as you would wax. This is an up and coming process.
As far as adding screws you can model bosses into the patterns or add brass inserts for bolts and screws.
PLA+/ Pro is good for this.
Jason has good points but he’s skipping over a huge question that should be asked first: what aspect of 3d printing are you really interested in?
At this stage in the hobby, there are really two separate streams. The first stream, the stream Jason is defaulting to, is the person to whom the idea of building and modifying the 3d printer itself is fun. This is, I’m sure, because until relatively recently in order to have a 3d printer at all you had to build it yourself. And there are still a lot of people who enjoy the act of building and fiddling with the printers. If you’re one of those people, everything Jason said is perfectly true.
However, there is a rapidly growing second stream, people who just want the damn thing to work and are no more interested in tinkering with it than they are with rebuilding their belt sander. People who want to be able to imagine things, create them in CAD, and then turn them into physical objects. I’m one of those people, and my personal experience with an Ender-5 (mostly the same machine as the Ender 3v2 Jason recommends) was far from ideal.
Enders and other “budget” printers will work “well enough,” most of the time. But then something will fail and instead of relaxing after a long day at work by building the thing I was printing parts for, I would instead spend a frustrating evening trying to figure out what went wrong with the damn printer this time. Eventually, I did get the printer to the point where it would generally do what I wanted it to every time. But the learning curve was very, very steep, and very, very frustrating, and I’m not exaggerating when I say I wish I’d never bought the damn thing.
I picked up the Ender-5 because it was inexpensive, and I thought I had the mechanical and electrical skills to deal with the upgrades and maintenance. I knew I’d want to upgrade it because I knew I wanted to learn to print ABS for my projects. Well, I was right about having the skills but wrong about how much time and work it would take to not only upgrade the machine but to keep it running.
To recap: if the idea of tinkering with and building a 3d printer appeals to you, then an Ender is a good place to start - it will mostly work out of the box, it has lots of community support, it’s fairly simple to modify, and it will need enough work that it will teach you the basic skills and help you level up to the point where tackling a Voron or the like is possible.
If the idea of faffing about with the machine just to get it to go sounds exhausting, my advice is to spend more money and save on frustration. Prussa printers have solid reputations for being reliable and very good customer support, and are from a long established company. Upgrade to a REVO hotend and you’ve dealt with the most common failure point right there. A Prussa Mk.3 is very low risk.
I personally have a Bambu Labs X1C, and I’ll tell you, this printer saved my interest in 3d printing at all. There’s still a little bit of a learning curve, of course, but this machine just works. No screwing around trying to tram the bed, no screwing around trying to seat the nozzle. Nozzle swaps aren’t quite as clean as the REVOs seem to be, but it’s still only 2 screws and 3 wires and it’s easy enough that I’m using different nozzles for different materials because it’s simpler to swap nozzles than purge one (and it’s not hard to purge a nozzle on any printer). Mechanical accuracy on this is so much better than the Ender that I can literally see the difference. For things I want to be perfectly smooth I’m spending, about a quarter of the time sanding parts from the X1C, compared to the parts from the Ender-5. And even with me printing at about half the default speed it’s still almost 3 times faster than the Ender-5 (which, admittedly, I ran at about 75% of the default speed to improve accuracy).
The X1C has two major downsides: first, it’s expensive; and second, for the most part you’ll need to buy parts from Bambu themselves. The spare parts are comperable to other companies, they aren’t exploiting that, but Bambu isn’t yet a full year old (as a publicly known company) so there’s a bit of risk associated with them. If you’re not trying to print high-temperature filaments (ABS or hotter), they also have the new P1P. This is an open-frame machine more suitable to PLA and PETG, and costs a bit over half what the X1C costs.
So. In my opinion, if you don’t want to learn to build a 3d printer and would rather have something that just works, Prussa is the slightly-more-work-but-low-overall-risk option, and Bambu is the we-don’t-know-what-will-happen-next-year-but-right-now-its-amazing option.
Everything fails eventually, it all comes down to “can you fix it”.
@VagabondElf I truly appreciate your point, and you are right I do tend to talk about the “entry” printers a fair bit, and sometimes I forget there are others.
Most of my day is usually working on the commercial printers that we carry (and do not carry) I have seen a bit of a range of what is out there. Now granted I really only see the ones that are broken… but, I have seen printers ranging up to $250,000, Trust me they all break sometimes. I unfortunately never get the phone call “hey my printer is running great can you come out and mess it up for me.” Sorry just being a bit of a smarty pants this morning.
On the serious side, I agree there are printers out there that are less prone to repairs than others. The real question I help customers decide every day is how much is it worth to do less maintenance. and I truly belive everyone has a tipping point.
If you are a tinker then that tipping point may be $500, If you are someone who wants to try and make it a small revenue stream, Maybe that is 2K, If you are a large company and has lots of $$ then a support contract may be in your future. But I think you can see where I am coming from. Its 100% the consumer and what the expectations are.
I do have customers come here all the time and ask about the Ender 3V2. I often compare it to a toaster, Early toasters you had to manually insert the bread and when it was done to your liking, manually remove your toast with a fork or a “lifter” of some sort.
Now you insert the bread, Select a bunch of buttons and switches and poof, 3 mins your toast slowly rises itself out of the toaster and “pings” the app on your phone to tell you that it’s ready to have Nutella applied.
most of the 3D printers on the market today are very similar to the early toasters, I truly in my heart do not believe that there is really any printer on the market today that is a true modern toaster equivalent. There are ones that are close don’t get me wrong, but truly Click and print just does not exist.
Yes, but some things will fail “eventually” and some things will fail “routinely” and in my opinion it takes a lot of work to move a Creality printer (at least, the older generation which is what I’m familiar with) from the latter category to the former.
Emphatically… I could not agree more
I do love the spiritual Deep conversations we have here…
(thinks quietly in my head, “Wonder if we could make this a church somehow?”)
I’d agree with this. Although, I’d say and Ender is closer to a toaster oven than an actual toaster. With a toaster oven there is much less margin for error and so one must have much more skill to produce toast rather than either warm bread, or charcoal.
I used to repair 2d printers for a living. In my opinion, the Ender is like an old radio shack off-brand printer that mostly did what you wanted it to most of the time but would jam every four pages if you didn’t carefully keep the paper static free and replace the pickup rollers every ream. Whereas the X1 is like an HP office printer where most of the moving parts get replaced without you ever knowing it every time you change the toner cart, and the little things like pickup rollers can be swapped by the end user with no skill after watching a five minute video. The downside is that when the main motion system fails you need to call a tech, whereas with that old off-brand if you were handy with a screwdriver you could probably fix it yourself.
And here is where Bambu falls down. HP has a huge world-wide network of technicians; it’s very easy to get someone in the same day and if you have the money, the same hour. Bambu doesn’t yet.
However, my main point is less about the specific machines and more about the new reality: before recommending a 3d printer, we all need to step back and first ask “do you want to build a printer, or do you want a tool to make your imagination reality?”
Both are valid hobbies and of course there’s going to be blurring between the lines - but there’s still a tendancy to assume any new printor is interested in building a printer. This has never been true - which is why so many Ender-3s are gathering dust in closets - but now, there are reasonable options for those folks who aren’t tinkerers. And we owe it to the entire community to find out which “stream” a newbie is interested in before we start pitching printers.
3DPNero has a great video on this very subject:
I think you worded that perfectly,
In the store, it’s very easy to ask that exact question, and truth be told I generally do, I generally ask it as do you want to print “looking at stuff” or do you want to print “doing with stuff”. It generally gets the conversation going so I can see what they really want. Sometimes I forget to “go back to basics” when I am here typing my answers.
You are correct in a major way, at home you cannot use a pipe wrench to drive in a nail. BUT, when you are 5 miles back in the bush and the only tool you have is a pipe wrench, It will drive a nail just fine.
I have had my E3V2 for a couple of years now and the only repair I have had to make is a broken belt. Easy fix and I have spares in hand to do it. Yes there is maintenance and adjustments to do to keep it running well but that is the same with any printer or it WILL fail. The big difference between an Ender and a lot of the more expensive printers is, as I have previously stated on other threads, that an Ender is infinitely repairable and infinitely upgradedable. Most other more “refined” printers are not always. It will fail at some point and if you can’t get spares then what. An Enders frame, steppers, wheels, belts, fans and power supply are simple off the shelf easily sourced parts and only the motherboard and display are proprietary. They can and are replaced with other brands. I can also mod my printer, actually I have a great deal, to be something a lot more then it was ever intended to be including the size of the print area, convert to direct drive extruder and a more potent hot end. All for much less then one of the more fancier printers. I get great prints on my lowly Ender and I know that it will become obsolete by newer tech but it does what I need and I will keep it running forevveeeeeeerrrrr!!!
I think a big reason that this happens is that people buy a printer with out knowing what they want it for, realize there is a learning curve to 3D printing, with any brand of printer and just give up.
On a site I sometimes frequent, these are commercial printers, they went into this with a quote from some years ago that “every house would have a printer and people would just print out what they needed instead of ordering it”. The point they made was it will never happen. Printers need to be maintained and repaired and you need to understand how to run it right. Most people just don’t want to put the effort into doing that and the printers go into the closet.
Interesting discussion but I don’t think you’re looking realistically at current 3D technology nor where it will be in the next 5+ years. If somebody wants to use a 3D printer for whatever reason, they have to be able to understand the technology to the point where they can build one. If they’re not going into 3D printing with that expectation, they will not be successful.
Today’s users have to understand how to:
- Load and unload filament (this is NOT analogous to loading a computer printer toner or ink-jet cartridge - I don’t think it’s analogous to loading a ribbon into something like an old Epson MX-80).
- Maintain their filament (ie keeping it dry when not in use). It’s not like a computer printer that when you’re out you buy a new cartridge that handles many different colours.
- How to slice a file and transfer the gcode into the printer (Yes, Cura has a link to Octoprint but that’s somewhat unusual) as well as understand the different slicer parameters (at the least layer height and infill)
- How to update the software/firmware on the printer. @Jason, I’m still freaked out at the idea you would tell somebody to pull apart a connector and rewire it rather than change a single character in a file. To be fair, when I did a Google search, I found that was the most popular recommendation to people who find that a stepper is moving in the wrong direction, but that perpetuates the concept (and myth) that 3D printer software is “hard” and is outside the realm of ordinary people. This isn’t to say that it is trivial in terms of Marlin or RepRap firmware (in Klipper it is trivial), but I think I saw here a service where the firmware parameters could be entered into a web page and a custom firmware image was spit back at the user.
The idea of basic maintenance can be discussed, but thermistor wires break, belts stretch, steppers (and their drivers) burn out and a healthy percentage of people will have to be able to make these fixes otherwise people like @Jason will be inundated and will have to charge for what was complementary service to tell people what the problem is (and “bring the printer into the store and I’ll take a look at it”).
The concept that the Bambu X1 is more like a home computer printer is fatally flawed. It’s not the first and I have experience with two other printers that worked on the same premise. My Zortrax Inventure is a two nozzle printer extruding filament and water soluble support material with the idea that this support material would allow for true 3D printing (no need for a flat surface for starting to build) and the filament was in cartridges to make loading and unloading filament trivial - I can’t tell you how many times I had to take apart the printer because of material jams or something breaking internally (the biggest frustration I had was that there were multiple filament movement sensors inside the printer that could indicate when there was a filament had a problem and could be retracted but they were never accessed by the firmware). The other is the Dremel Idea Builder with its guided filament capability and it generally required an hour of fiddling before you can get a print going (note that this was with the filament already in place). Rather than take what they learned and create improved products, Zortrax no longer sells or supports the Inventure and Dremel sold off the 3D printer business - I have not seen any indication that the X1 is better designed or implemented than the Zortrax or Dremel offerings. I know there are a lot of Bambu fanbois out there but their numbers seem to be going down as more printers get out there.
For 3D printers to reach the point where you can ask “Do you want to print things?” or “Do you want to play around with your printer?” there needs to be a completely new approach/technology to 3D printing/additive manufacturing and then it needs to be proven out in commercial settings. I would believe that the right technology exists when a car dealership has one and prints parts rather than stock them or a home appliance repairman has one in their van and can print the required parts without having to go back to the shop.
What’s needed for this technology is:
- Fast printing. At least 100x what we have today (ie I’m printing a Benchy to test out my new printer right now and it will take 140 minutes or 8,400 seconds - for a successful technology, that time needs to be a minute and a half or less).
- Full colour. I’m actually quite impressed by the Palette 2 and what a number of people are doing to provide colour FDM printing, but these technologies are increasing print time and producing more waste.
- Mean Time Between Failure of 10,000 hours or more. Actually, things like home electronics have an MTBF of at least 40,000 hours (roughly five years continuous use). Current best in class 3D printer technology is probably around 1,000 hours MTBF.
- Integrate with users everyday devices as easily as connecting an iPhone into your home network. To be fair, there has been some pretty good strides in creating 3D printer interfaces that work with home/office PCs and users smartphones but the process requires a certain amount of skill and knowledge.
- Eliminate any knowledge the user needs to have about what they’re producing. Customers don’t need to worry about infill, temperatures, supports, adhesion options. At most they have the option to print without colour to minimize their cost and need to refill/replace the coloured material.
- Cost needs to be inline with paper printers. That doesn’t mean the el cheapo loss leaders that hose customers with ink/toner refills but ones with realistic up front printer and ongoing material costs. I have a Brother SoHo printer that I bought 10+ years ago that cost me around $900 and it’s not given me a second’s worth of trouble and prints at around $0.10 for black and white and $0.50 for colour - I think user 3D printer costs should be in line with what it costs to buy a plastic part of the same size/volume/mass from Dollarama.
- Parts will have to be more durable than what is typically moulded. Nothing will kill a new product like people referring to its prints as “Junk from the … printer. Better to get a genuine part.”
When you have that, then you can start asking people what they want to do with their printer. Right now, you have to be honest and tell them they’re going to be learning how to configure their prints and printer as well as maintain and debug followed by fixing their printer when something goes wrong.
When I outline what I consider to be the ideal printer above, I’m not saying it isn’t possible - I’m actually quite bullish on something like this coming out. I just don’t think it will use existing 3D printing/additive manufacturing technologies, somebody is going to have to come out with something new for there to be the ability for casual users to own and operate them.
Very well said Myke
I am pondering your last statement most,
This is almost the beginning of a thought experiment, Interesting take on the thread, I have to say I do not disagree with you.