Cheap 3D Printers?

Discussion in 'Hobby Engineering' started by Aussiejuggalo, Apr 25, 2015.

  1. Aussiejuggalo

    Aussiejuggalo Member

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    Been keeping an eye on 3D printers for a couple of years now (want one to play around with) and seen some cheap ones that are coming out or already out, Tiko, OneUp, Simple Metal etc but the Aus prices for these things are sometimes 2 or 3x more expensive than US :( (cheapest I've seen the Simple Makers Kit in Aus is about $700 + shipping :mad:)

    I was considering the TwoUp because its got a decent work space and can have a heat bed and isn't stupidly expensive but cant find it in Aus

    Just wondering if anyone knows of any < $500 printers available in Aus or that can be imported for around that?
     
  2. digamma

    digamma Member

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    I know you said you have seen the tiko, it's on kickstarter for $179+shipping. Even if it ends up being $300, that is still cheap for a (yet to be confirmed, but looks awesome on the specs) 3d printer. Downside is that it will be AT LEAST next February before it will delivered. But it looks awesome :)
     
  3. Menthu_Rae

    Menthu_Rae Member

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    I would just get the Printrbot Simple Metal. It's cheap (enough) - simple (as the name suggests), reliable, etc.

    Not going to win any awards for speed or resolution but it is a proven little unit IMO.

    If you can stretch your budget to $800 I think that's the way to go.

    I laugh at the Tiko. I'll come back to this thread in 12-18 months once the reviews come in. I bet it's rubbish.
     
  4. OP
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    Aussiejuggalo

    Aussiejuggalo Member

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    Yeah that the one really got me interested but its so far away (if it gets off the ground at all :p)

    Where have you seen the Printrbot for that price? cheapest I've seen is $1200 :shock:

    Why do you say that?
     
  5. Menthu_Rae

    Menthu_Rae Member

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    Oh so many reasons.

    • Accelerometers for "calibration"? I am very dubious about the achievable accuracy from any "cents on the dollar" accelerometer unit they put into this thing (or even more expensive accelerometer chips/IMUs). Exactly how are they using an accelerometer for calibration anyway?

      In the bed? Well, the "unibody" is attached to the bed, so it's a single reference frame in operation...

      In the head? Well, then the accuracy of the accelerometer comes into play like I said. If you are trying to ensure tens or even hundreds of microns of alignment between the head and the bed - an accelerometer is not how you do it.
    • Extruded aluminium "unibody" - please. Congratulations - you have latched on to a marketing buzzword. You've now made it a pain in the arse to perform any maintenance on the thing. It's not something you can just go and buy (or print).
    • Direct drive along the rails (with a stepper motor attached!). This to me just means slow. I'd also be curious about wear, since the extrusion is anodised - so what's the wear surface/bearing? In the carriage hauling the freaking stepper motor up and down? You're fighting against gravity in one direction and you're using a delta mechanism (that requires up/down Z positioning repeatedly for X/Y positioning - across all 3 drives)
    • Titanium nozzle and passive cooling. Using titanium where it's not needed. They are pointing out "how quickly the temperature drops off" and also claiming "the reduced heat flux results in a nozzle that requires very little energy to maintain its temperature, making it exceptionally energy efficient".

      WTF does that even mean? The very low thermal conductivity of titanium basically just means the nozzle is going to be significantly cooler than the melt chamber, which isn't a good thing. Likewise the specific heat capacity - whilst higher than copper per kg - when combined with the density, means that your nozzle won't actually stay as hot as a copper/brass nozzle of the same dimensions. I don't know what the radiative cooling differences are, but yeah...

      Then we get to the passively cooled melt chamber. In the sealed enclosure. I may be missing something with their design - but if you are dumping in 25-40W of heat into your little couple-of-litres sealed enclosure, then you are going to have a problem after a while. Maybe the "aluminium unibody" helps re-radiate heat from inside, but I would be dubious about how long the unit could print for before the temperature started getting silly.

      Having *everything* inside that sealed enclosure will be an issue above about 60 degrees. Especially the stepper motors, which will be heavily, heavily used in the delta configuration.

    In summary - I feel like they have Engineered themselves a lot of impossible to overcome issues due to their selling point of the unibody. I predict when the printer comes out it will be:

    * Slow
    * Suffer from print warpage in the base layers
    * Have issues with print quality on anything that requires bridges/islands.
    * Be extremely difficult to maintain, and suffer from component failure due to thermal effects.

    I am happy to eat my words and be proven wrong (when it eventually comes out) - but for that price - and based around that design. You are not going to win any awards for print speed, quality or reliability.

    Edit: Here's a sample picture which shows how rubbish the print quality is:

    http://3dprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/t3.png

    My apologies - I thought they were around that price. You are right, cheapest I can find is $1,100 from BilbyCNC.

    https://www.bilbycnc.com.au/DispProd.asp?CatID=9&SubCatID=87&ProdID=3DPPBS2BlackKit

    I think at this price it still represents a good option. Unfortunately well above your budget.

    I would ask - what 3 things do you want from the printer (including what do you plan to print?) and what is your utmost priority?
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  6. OP
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    Aussiejuggalo

    Aussiejuggalo Member

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    I was actually thinking about this, in all the videos I seen they seem to have a small desk fan blowing on the printer

    Yeah that's about as cheap as I've seen it, you actually cant even order it from there website, Australia's the only country not in the list :confused: unless I'm going really blind

    3 things would be well cheap, relatively small (size of the ones I linked in the op) & I dunno what else, I suppose decent prints as well

    Don't know exactly what I'd print, mostly it would just be playing around and seeing how they work etc

    Priority would be price but seeing we live in Aus that's kinda already out the window :rolleyes:
     
  7. Menthu_Rae

    Menthu_Rae Member

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    I think that is to promote that the fan doesn't affect the prints... but hey you might be onto something :p

    When I click "Checkout" - Australia is already pre-selected. I guess make sure you're not using NoScript/Adblock or something...

    Interestingly, Bilby3D (BilbyCNC's 3D printer-focused spin-off) list it but at a higher price:

    https://www.bilby3d.com.au/DispProd.asp?CatID=9&SubCatID=87&ProdID=3DPPBS2Black

    Might pay to call them - they are pretty helpful - and try to see if you can get it at the BilbyCNC price if you are having issues checking out.

    Well how much are you willing to sacrifice cost for quality and time?

    There is the Printrbot Makers Kit - which is made of wood but essentially gives you the same printer in the end:

    https://www.bilby3d.com.au/Printrbot/SimpleMakers.asp

    About half the price. So long as you have the patience to build it all and spend time calibrating it, etc - it could work out for you.

    Unfortunately there's no silver bullet at the moment. You might be better off investing your time in learning how to design parts to 3D print using CAD software and then printing them somewhere like Shapeways.

    $500 can buy quite a lot of 3D printed parts! :lol:
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  8. OP
    OP
    Aussiejuggalo

    Aussiejuggalo Member

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    ;) I wouldn't be surprised really, it would basically be an oven in the thing

    Oh maybe that's why I run Adblock 24/7 :Paranoid:

    Maybe

    I did see that one but its all wood and apparently a massive pain in the ass to build and maintain but I wouldn't have to much of a problem build, calibrating I'm not to sure on tho

    Then again it may not be to hard to just er... print out another body

    I am slowly starting to learn CAD, very slowly

    Should just build my own damn printer for the price of the ones in Aus!

    Why are the printers here so expensive anyway?
     
  9. Menthu_Rae

    Menthu_Rae Member

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    I am building a printer with a friend at the moment and it is nearly at $10,000. We have gone for quality and precision everything though.

    If you really wanted to you could build a decent printer for a couple of hundred - though I would use an existing design so you don't need to manufacture your own parts.

    Something like the older MendelMax 1.5 might be the way to go on the cheap:

    http://www.mendelmax.com/wp-content...5e5ca43a35b3196138e4505d482dd5f96fbaa5d9.jpeg

    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:20355

    The reason printers are expensive here is they arrive as kits, which are heavy (postage/shipping) and the manufacturers/designers are making profit on the parts (and the time spend doing the design and development).
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Aussiejuggalo

    Aussiejuggalo Member

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    Hmm that's interesting, I was looking at eBay and seen parts for frames but didn't think of making one from scratch, would it be even harder than a kit or would it be kinda the same just more calibrating?

    How hard is it to get the motors and crap or would it just be easier ordering them from other manufactures like Printrbot?

    Still we get hit with at least 2x the "normal" price that's a bit over the top even for us
     
  11. Menthu_Rae

    Menthu_Rae Member

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    Well, I was suggesting to essentially make your own kit. It might take a while to source all of the parts but you could (in theory make) it cheaper than a kit.

    As for the difficulty - if you go with a nice design - like the mendel max - where there aren't too many fiddly bits and where you can use off the shelf parts (extruded aluminium rail, bearings, etc) then it wouldn't be too bad.

    Keep in mind you are trading your time, for money. So you might end up saving, say, $200-400 compared to a kit - but it might take you... 4-6 weeks to source all of the parts.

    Yeah but the importers have to make their margin, too. The other option is to look for a complete printer second hand.
     
  12. OP
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    Aussiejuggalo

    Aussiejuggalo Member

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    Isn't that the same as doing it from scratch? :p

    Thats true, pretty much going old school how people use to do it back when 3D printers first came out

    Are there any smaller designs that wouldn't be to hard to do?

    Still better spending 4-6 weeks finding everything than spending what $1000+ on a kit that may or may not be better

    Edit, sourcing parts shouldn't be to hard BilbyCNC has pretty much everything to build a printer from scratch, even use parts from major manufactures to build a Frankenstein printer... if that's even possible

    Yeah I suppose, still its annoying, that could be an option maybe, I don't really like second hand but I'll have to see

    I'm that cheap I might see how much it is to build myself a printer
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  13. OP
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    Aussiejuggalo

    Aussiejuggalo Member

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    I've spent the better part of the day learning how 3D printers run, how to build them etc and aside from the electronics and programming they seem kinda easy...ish

    I was looking at eBay for full printers and I found a couple, Folger Tech Prusa i3 & RepRap Prusa i3, would these be good options for a cheap bastard like me? :D
     
  14. OP
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    Aussiejuggalo

    Aussiejuggalo Member

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    Ended up spending pretty much 2 days sourcing all the parts (mostly eBay) and it comes to around $450 - $500 which is pretty damn good I think, but...

    Then I seen this kit *facepalm* SINTRON 3D-Printer full complete Kit Reprap Prusa i3 MK3 LCD MK8 extruder, it comes with everything I was sourcing (obviously) plus a heated bed and LCD controller (which I was eventually going to get)

    The whole kits $500 AU & free shipping... so now the question is do you guys think this kit is worth the price?

    Thinking of buying within the next month or so
     
  15. kronikabis

    kronikabis Member

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    Just saw this, was gong to suggest sourcing parts for an i3.
    I just build a Wilson TS for $450 + a few spare parts

    Some parts have room for improvement. but they do well for a beginner.

    The printed parts are rough but cheap from a Chinese place.

    But it gets you up and running cheaply. My Prusa i2 was more expensive (more printed parts and rods and things and bits)



    If you don't want the mucking around Printbot simple metal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  16. OP
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    Aussiejuggalo

    Aussiejuggalo Member

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    That was kinda my plan once I seen how expensive most printers were in Aus but the kit just makes it easier, also the parts I sourced came to pretty much $500 anyway

    Looking at the parts in the pics they don't look bad to me (than again I am a n00b :p), I'm more curious to see if there ABS or PLA, I suppose if there that crappy I can just print my own out of ABS and rebuild it anyway (perks of having a 3D printer right?) Just realised it says the plastic is PLA so I guess I'd be reprinting with ABS

    I wanted to go the Printbot Simple Metal but I cant justify spending $1200 on something I may or may not use a lot, although it is a very nice looking printer
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  17. OP
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    Aussiejuggalo

    Aussiejuggalo Member

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    Thinking of ordering a printer maybe in the next week or so :leet:

    At the moment I'm stuck on picking between the Sintron Prusa i3 $500 or Replikeo Prusa i3 Rework $450 - $500?

    I'm thinking the Sintron because it has the LCD (which I can apparently change to the 12864 LCD for free) & MK3 heated bed I'm just not sure seeing its from eBay
     
  18. metropilot

    metropilot Member

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    I emailed printrbot about the ridiculous markup of the printrbot simple metal at bilby and the have added australia back on the list.

    It cost me $940 delivered aud ($599 + $108 shipping usd)

    everything else was significantly more expensive, and then the shipping and exchange rate on top of that as well. i think its still an ok deal.
     
  19. OP
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    Aussiejuggalo

    Aussiejuggalo Member

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    That's not bad, few hundred cheaper than here

    I think I'm gonna get the Prusa i3 still, probably the Sintron version :leet:
     
  20. metropilot

    metropilot Member

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    it may even yield better results, but i feel like with more dialling in, and a bit more effort.

    I have a couple of cnc machines, and they work great now but there was a lot of dialling in, as with my friends reprap. i didn't want to spend all my available time calibrating and or repairing, i may well upgrade to a prusa or other reprap.
     

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