Lets talk about 3D Printers

I’ve been interested for a while about 3D printers. but i have next to no knowledge of them. I’m a complete newb. Are there any videos out there or discussion boards like hifiguides that discuss it?

I was interested in the Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer V2. Its nice and cheap and seems to have all the bells and whistles at 219$ Ive also heard the Prusa Mini is great 350$ both these print at 7X7 area.

But I was thinking i would like to get the best bang for the buck. Is 7X7 enough or should i go for a bigger print area? Lol i dont even know what i want to print on it. Is there a Sundara of 3D printers out there? What are the key features i should be looking for?

The Prusa stuff is really well thought out, I’d recommend something you can get support with if you don’t have someone who can help diagnose issues. It’s not overly complex, but if you’ve not worked through it before determining what’s causing an issue can be frustrating.
Personally if you don’t have a friend that can help, buy the Prusa and get used to using it.

There are a LOT of Chinese printers available, some of them are quite good, but it’s not unusual to get them DOA, requiring some debugging to get them working. It’s easier to make a good small format printer cheaply, but there are some OK cheaper large format printers I have a 12x12 creality printer that is OK, I did replace the bed and sensor on it to make it reliable though.

Most of the active forums are manufacturer specific, forums.reprap.org, is pretty active, but it’s more about design and modding.

FWIW I’ve been into 3D printers for a long time, I own probably 10 of them, some I designed and built from scratch.

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Awesome! thanks for the info. What do you think of the Monoprice MP Voxel printer? ive been hearing good things about it? only 450$ Do you recommend buying used? Ive been into computers for a long time and i used to do technical support. Can i start out with a more complex unit or do you recommend i start out with something more for beginners? Are the units you put together yourself better quality?

As I said, if you don’t have someone who can help out, buy the Prusa, I’ll pretty much guarantee you’ll get prints out of it.
The issue with debugging 3D printers is the issues can be in anyone of configuration, software, electronics, the physical mechanism or the plastic being extruded, if you’ve never seen the failure before it can be difficult to isolate even where to look.

I don’t want to frighten you, even most of the cheap printers will produce good prints now, there are some good YouTube reviewers if you want opinions on printers.

I predominantly use an E3D toolchanger these days but that’s >$3K and a build process that’s not intended for someone with no experience, and an Up Mini ($400) if I want to print ABS reliably.
I do own several cheaper Chinese printers, and they all work and all produce good prints, though few of them are as they came from the manufacturer at this point.

What do you think of the Ender 3 3D printer? comes well recommended and is only 219$ has a large print size at 8.6 inches

Or this one:

The Creality printers come recommended and they seem really cheap. are they good for a beginer though?

I don’t own an ender, I have a CR10 pro, but the Creality printers are fine. Like most of the cheap printer manufacturers QC can be a bit of a crap shoot.

I know they used to not enable the safety features in the firmware, which in extreme cases can lead to thermal run away and a fire, but you can fix that by updating the firmware, and it’s relatively unlikely to actually happen anyway.

I don’t like the BuildTak like beds they ship with, I’ll pretty much guarantee you’ll destroy it pretty quickly, but they are cheap and there are other option available.

That printer requires manual calibration, and that’s not inherently bad, but it is the most common error when beginners start trying to print.

Just go into it expecting to spend time messing with the printer and not necessarily printing parts.