which 3d printer

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collinlueb

New Member
Hello i don't know if this is the right section but this is my best guess. I was wondering whats a good 3d printer for making general props and stuff. I wanna learn 3d modeling soon and being able to print the stuff I model would be really nice. I was wondering whats a good 3d printer for doing regular sized prints. I was thinking the Prusa i3 mk3 but that's a little expensive. Any recommendations of printer, filament, slicer program, or really and tips would be helpful. I have had one 3d printer before, the mono-price select mini but it was a little small and it broke recently ( I dont think it was my fault.)
 

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MangyDog

Well-Known Member
If youre on freenode IRC i would say come to #reprap loads of printer users and developers there...

But the Creality Ender series of printers seems to be very popular now for a budget end printer (ive seen some great prints off that thing) However like most off the shelf printers its not enclosed. You would need to make an enclosure for it if you want to print ABS (if your doing props you want abs not pla, pla warps on hot days)

As for slicers..... well thats a tough one, theres loads of really good free ones. My two favorite are Cura and Ideamaker... Ideamaker is the slicer that goes with the raise3D printers (very high end fmd printers) and has tons of tools inside. But a few missing features. (like suport interface layers) Personally I really love how ideamaker organises its print, printer and material profiles. Whereas i HATE curas profile system...

Curas come a LONG way this last year as well... and if your doing dual nozzel even has support interface support.... However Cura also does not have manual support placement... Where ideamaker does.

I have 2 main issues with ideamaker currently. It doesnt play very well with my new corexy machine. Not only does it not have support interface layer suport, it also adds some strange code the beginning of the gcode file that makes my printer behave oddly and very slow... If they fixed these two issues ideamaker will be back being my main slicer again...

People still like prusa edition of slic3r now called prusa slicer... Personally unless you have an actual prusa printer... Its crap. And doesnt support dual nozzle. Im also not a fan of the guy as well... Too much ego, and often taking lots of credit for other peoples work...

You will hear a lot about simplify 3d... well it used to be the king of slicers... and in some ways it might still be but at the price point compared to the free slicers its just not worth it any more... Avoid it at all costs, unless its given to you freely...
 

propmaster2000

Sr Member
Hi collinlueb, Welcome to the RPF.
.
3D printing has come along way and as mentioned, the slicer is a very important part of the process.
A good gcode and well assemble machine, will give the printer the best chance of printing a fairly "clean" item
and usually by running a few prints is the best way to see if the slicer you choose will be the best choice for you.
I have found CURA works best for me and my needs.
.
Having a well designed model for the printing process (FDM) is also very important.
As an example:
*What is the best way for the item to be printed (it's orientation, vertical or horizontal and in how many parts).
.
Due to it's very nature, FDM printing will always leave evidence it was 3D printed (it can not compete with mold injection).
Many times however, a model is printed and then cleaned up for casting. That way many parts can be made quicker then if you printed them all.
.
There are many members here that have been printing along time and have seen the advancements made in the process.
That being said and as mentioned earlier, the ENDER 3 printer by Creality is a good choice for someone getting into "hobby" for the
first time. I am know different.
.
The CR10S was my first printer (I cut my teeth on it, so to speak) and I found I needed another which fit my budget.
Since my CR10S worked so well for me, I decided on the ENDER 3 as my 2nd printer. It has a small foot print, fairly compact and
uses virtually the same components as the larger printer (accept runs with 24V power supply).
.
When I got the ENDER 3 sometime ago, it came as a partially assembled kit and took a bit more time to set up.
But as an "open frame" style, it gave me a chance to learn about the "machine" and how to maintain it.
A 3D printer is just another tool in the arsenal and it has no clue what it is printing or how well it is doing.
The user makes those decisions before each print and sets it up in such a way, so that it can "trowel down" the filament
on each layer to end up with a thing of beauty. :)
.
We are looking forward to finding out what you decide and what you ultimately print.
Below are a few links to items I have done and shared here with other members and hope it gives you some idea of how
the ENDER 3 does as the choice in printers. These are just examples and I hope it shows what the potential is.
For me, the print quality is good and suits my needs and may have room for improvement in my settings.
.
 
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collinlueb

New Member
thanks so much for the info i was using cura for my last printer and liked it so i think ill stick to that. as for the printer both of the people who replied so far said to use a ender printer and i looked and its in my prefered price range so ill proboably be getting that. The stuff you made looks like about the stuff that i wanna (atleast in size and basic geometry) so this seems like a great fit.
 

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TazMan2000

Master Member
I would think the best printer is something that can accommodate all or most of your needs. "General props and stuff" is a bit vague. The Ender is a great printer and a good price but has a smaller bed which limits the side of what you want to print. Its good choice if that is what you need, but if you have to print larger items, you may want to consider a Creality 10S or larger. Segmenting your larger prints and gluing them together later is ok, but adds on to the post processing work especially if you have to print helmets or something bigger than the Ender bed.

TazMan2000
 

Kokanee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm a huge fan of my Ultimaker 3; it is precise enough to do small parts/bits and bobs, but also a workhorse that can kick out larger items as well. Might be a bit pricey but $$$ = quality. I super appreciate that when I print at 100 microns layer height, the precision of the UM 3 means I have very little post processing work to do. Especially since I normally print in PLA which is harder to sand

Examples of props I have made with the UM 3 would be Malcolm Reynold's pistol from Firefly, various hand phasers from Star Trek, and the magnifying binocular viewer from the last Blade Runner movie.
 

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propmaster2000

Sr Member
Like you collinlueb, I don't mind a little "hands on" work when it comes to this hobby.
It's kind of the reason I started prop making back in the late 90's.
Back then I made a lot of my props from found items and the work mostly involved modifications to the original look
and exterior finish (priming, sanding, painting and will always be a part of this hobby).
So when I print with a .4mm nozzle, it is mostly to balance out print time and quality and still has minimal FDM print lines to contend with.
.
Even with a .4mm nozzle the final finish of the ENDER 3 (when set up, tuned well and with the proper gcode), prints pretty darn nice.
Any finish work that needs to be done, for me is just part of the process as I have always done it (whether injection molded or 3D printed).
At the end of the day, all the machine does is take a roll of filament, feed it into a moving heated nozzle, trowel it down to moving
table using a decent gcode, to get the best results required for any give item. Great fun :)
To help with getting more done for any given time slot in a day, I just bought 2 extra printers for the cost and usability.
 
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Helix6187

Active Member
If you can spare some more money go for an ender 5, better structure than the 3.

I had a flashforge creator pro, an ender 3 and for the moment I'm printing on an ender 5.

Like propmaster said the tune and set up of the printer is what will give you good print. Calibrating the extruder is essential on entry level printer.
 

DiggsBarklightr

Sr Member
ps. why do machines printing in abs have to have an enclosure. is there smoke when its working?
The fumes generated from the printing and "melting" of the plastic are toxic and shouldn't be inhaled.

As propmaster2000 pointed out, the print quality of the Ender is a great beginner and with setting changes in slicers you can get some really fine tuned prints. I'm pretty new to this as well and I chose the Ender 3 Pro for my first printer mainly because of the size and ease of use. Check out my Dredd helmet build thread I have currently when you get a chance and you can see some of the print quality. It just shows that even with a smaller print bed you can end up building a larger prop.
 

collinlueb

New Member
oh wow that looks great! if you wouldn't mind posting a picture of your settings so i can see about what i should have or copy them that would be awesome.
 

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DiggsBarklightr

Sr Member
oh wow that looks great! if you wouldn't mind posting a picture of your settings so i can see about what i should have or copy them that would be awesome.
Just keep in mind these settings are what works for this file. I had to play around with it to get what I wanted. Print with overhangs and arches are going to need supports most likely. Even the infill density might need a higher percentage but I really don’t need it here.

7D6AC950-B575-4B32-958D-22233CB98FCD.jpeg
 

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