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.

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.

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.

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.

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: CyberPower UPSes Contain Conductive Yellow Glue of Death (+ Bonus Rev. 2 Dim LCD Fix) - YouTube

Sorry to hear of your issues with your CyberPower. I have never had a problem with the PFC line of CyberPower UPS’.

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?

Irv Shapiro has a vid about that. Should You Buy a Prusa 3d Printer? - YouTube

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.

I print with TPU, Tenaflex and PLA. Mostly PLA though.

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.

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.

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.

@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.

@Ender5r​, I just wanted to chime in :wink:

You are really very professional, what I want to know is which is the highest and most stable machine you have used? What is the speed of the prusa and I’m exhausted from having to repair and adjust it from time to time.

This is a hard question for me to answer as I do not use my 3d printers in a true production environment. Right now, my goto printers are an Ender 3 S1 pro and a Flsun Super Racer. Both have been very reliable for me. I use the S1 when I want better quality and/or I print with high-temperate filament. I use the Flsun anytime I want to print fast.