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  • I gave away 12 printers ...

    After running out of room in my lab for any new equipment I just gave away 12 3d printers to local schools and kept 3 in my primary lab and still have a few at my kid's houses.

    Many of the 3d printers I have reviewed are solid, work well, but do not delight me after a while. I just find I do not use them often. Either they are a bit slow, the print area is too small, maybe they are hard to maintain (all of my fully enclosed 3d printers) or they are just not special.

    I have kept 3 printers and here is why:

    FLSun Super Racer -- this printer is an absolute speed demon and just seems to always work. My only complaint is that the print bed is not removable and I have to use a fan to cool off the portable print surface so I can get my prints off.

    Ender 3 S1 Pro -- I absolutely think this printer is every bit as good as my Pruse i3 Mk3. The only advantage of the Prusa is the fantastic Prusa support and frequent firmware upgrades. However, Creality is clearly stepping up their game.

    JG Maker Artist D -- while the extruders are far from perfect I kept this printer to continue to experiment with IDEX prints when used with dissolvable filaments.

    At my kids (grandchildren's homes):

    Ender 3 -- the original Ender 3 is still a great printer and in some ways, it is better than the Ender 3 V2 (I like the display better). The Ender 3 is my recommended first printer for many people.

    Prusa i3 MK3 -- I do not think an assembled MK3 is worth the money but this is a great printer with outstanding support.

    Ender 3 S1 -- the regular S1 is one of the best printers available for the price and if you do not need the higher temperature and you can afford the difference between the Ender 3 V2 and this S1 I would go with the S1.

  • #2
    I agree about an assembled MK3S+, but I think the kit version is still a viable option, although the Bambu X1 Carbon is in the same price range.


    • akc
      akc commented
      Editing a comment
      Interesting that you mention the Bambu Lab X1-Carbon as I theoretically have one currently in transit (kickstarter reward). Hopefully irvshapiro will get an X1 for review and test it's ludicrous speed setting as it is supposed to be a true speed demon although rather noisy.

    • Ender5r
      Ender5r commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes. Nero3D has a preview unit that he's been putting through its paces. Seems to work really well, except for the noise.

  • #3
    So kind of you! I was a part-time teacher once and a part-time school computer park responsible in that school. We had the worst old junk at school, so I know first hand how amazing getting decent stuff is!

    That said, I started out with an Elegoo Neptune 2. It was great as a starter. I had no idea yet if I would be able to handle a 3D printer. Sure, I watched a humongous amount of vids before buying one, but the theory had to be tested out in reality. Being disabled, I always have strict budgetary rules.

    Unfortunately, I live among many farmers, who clean their stables by spraying water and some forget that their fuse box is inside ... not my words, but the electricity provider told me so. We don't have over-surges, but power outages often. Still, the printers were on an over-surge protector anyway. After the 6th power outage, the Elegoo was completely broken, after accumulating more and more problems after each. The list was so long, that Amazon decided to refund me and not even offer a replacement.

    Hub saw how much I loved having a 3D printer, so he offered to spend a bit more, so an Ender 3 S1 was it. 3 power outages later, and it kept forgetting at which height it was at during a print. It started the same previously tested gcodes at various heights too and changed heights during prints, knocking models off or printing in mid air all of a sudden. Their helpdesk was utterly useless, said things like "set the retraction to 5mm" and Amazon intervened by refunding me.

    A Prusa i3 MK3+ would be next, despite the cost. Both the Elegoo and Ender took a lot of problem solving from the start, and frankly, I was fed up with all that constant hassle. Being disabled, the easy bed leveling and filament change are wonderful. We did go for an assembled one. Hub is an IT'er too and he assembled the first 2 perfectly, but since we live in the EU, warranty rules seem to be in favor of companies. We will always buy an assembled one if available.

    The Prusa has been a relief compared to the 2 previous printers, wew!

    To prevent disaster with outages, we put the Prusa on an APC battery. That offers the choice to stop the print in a decent way, and in a spot where the print can possibly be restarted properly, either by cutting the model in pieces, or just continue. Plus, it offers a chance to park the extruder, so the print can be secured with tape on the printbed when I use my PEI. Tested, and that works.


    • #4
      Glad to hear you got a UPS Pigjes. I put my printers on a UPS right from the start. In fact, all my vulnerable electronics are on UPS'. If, at some point, you are looking for a new UPS, I recommend CyberPower PFC units. They put out true sinewave AC.


      • #5
        Originally posted by Ender5r View Post
        all my vulnerable electronics are on UPS'. If, at some point, you are looking for a new UPS, I recommend CyberPower PFC units. They put out true sinewave AC.
        I should have done it sooner, as all our computers and TV are on an APC as well. Regarding CyberPower batteries: we have one, but regret it. No answer from their helpdesk when we asked a question, several efforts done to ask, and then there is their use of the conductive yellow glue of death:


        • #6
          Sorry to hear of your issues with your CyberPower. I have never had a problem with the PFC line of CyberPower UPS'.


          • #7
            Love your videos and I just joined. I have two ender 3s. Bought my second to help print PPE during COVID. I wanted to print a stronger print able to take some heat. I was looking at Ender 5pro with adding the Micro Swiss Direct Drive Extruder. Or the Prusa MK3. Probably I would get the kit. What are your thoughts given the price difference?


            • #8
              Originally posted by jderienzo View Post
              What are your thoughts given the price difference?
              Irv Shapiro has a vid about that.

              Personally, after having 2 printers which each died within months after purchase, non fixable, I decided I was fed up and bought a Prusa. I might just only be a hobbyist, but the frustration level of different and varied daily issues nearly ruined the hobby for me.

              One of them was an Ender3 S1. Very disappointed in their help center not even being able to give a correct answer and even telling absolute nonsense, like "put the retraction on 50" for a completely different problem, rofl.

              My Prusa has been bliss. It's the difference between daily firefighting to fix the next issue and pushing a knob to make it go without hassle. I am pretty sure my hair became a lot more grey from printers before the Prusa, lol. I only have 2 minor issues with the Prusa: the magnetic bed snapping on causes the "adapt live z" funtion to be used from time to time, and their smooth PEI bed is not the best, I have better PEI beds than that. That's it. Impressive.


              • jderienzo
                jderienzo commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for the feedback. Have you printed flex filaments, PETG, ABS or anything along those lines?

            • #9
              Originally posted by jderienzo View Post
              .Have you printed flex filaments, PETG, ABS or anything along those lines?​
              I print with TPU, Tenaflex and PLA. Mostly PLA though.


              • #10
                I have had very good luck with an Ender 3 S1 and an Ender 3 S1 Pro however I am also very comfortable with turning 3d printers and adjusting and calibrating printers. There is no question you get a higher-end experience with a Prusa printer -- and you pay for it. That is a tradeoff that is right for some people and not necessary for others. I think both printers can do an excellent job.


                • #11
                  I have to say, though, that the Prusa i3 printers do work more reliably overall. What I mean by that is, Irv Shapiro gets his printers to work well because he can tune & calibrate them well, but the Prusa i3's don't need much tuning or calibration. Prusa has tuned their firmware so well that it basically calibrates itself. And yes, you do pay for that but, for many, that's a tradeoff they're willing to make.
                  Last edited by Ender5r; 10-06-2022, 11:18 AM.


                  • irvshapiro
                    irvshapiro commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Everyone discussing this is correct. It is a tradeoff between doing more work yourself, which includes learning more skills and paying Prusa to do it for you.

                    If you can afford it, the Prusa printers are like Apple computers. The HW and SW are made by the same company, which tunes it all to work together. However, many home users may not be able to spend what, in some cases, is double for a machine they use a few times a month or even once or twice a week.

                • #12
                  I can tune a printer fairly well too, after having 2 printers which had daily different issues. Indeed, for me personally, being disabled, it's a blessing to have something which does not add to the stress, lol. But, it comes with a hefty price tag.


                  • #13
                    Pigjes Just to be clear, my post was not aimed at you. It was more a generic comment about the differences between cheapo China printers and printers from companies like Prusa. They do come with a higher price tag, but Prusa's prices are low compared to many others such as Ultimaker.


                    • #14
                      @Ender5r​, I just wanted to chime in