Second Printer Recommendations

Hello and I hope everyone is well. I am looking at getting a second printer and I could use some feedback in my decision. I currently have a Creality Ender 3 v2 that has been a lot of fun to use and customize. I am looking for a printer that is a little faster and bigger. Most of the stuff I print is starting to be things I am designing or replicating parts with some fun stuff in between. I am looking to expand on what I am doing and print more. I am not thinking of doing this as a business really more one off stuff. I am curious what you think is a good choice for a second printer to compliment my Ender 3 v2? Thank you in advance. Geoff

A good question, & I don’t really have a good suggestion, except to suggest you might want to consider an IDEX printer.

Beside the print volume I would get a printer that counters the “flaws” of the first one. So you can print more materials or improve printing of specific materials.

I have a printer used for PLA/TPU and one for printing ABS/PETG being full enclosed.

The challenge with fully enclosed 3d printers is that they become very expensive, thousands of dollars if you want a larger print size (volume). For example, the FlashForge Creator Pro 2 is an IDEX dual extruder printer and is fully enclosed but it has a print volume of 227x150x148 for about $800. For $700 you can get a JG Maker Artist D Pro, also an IDEX 3d printer, with a print volume of 310 x 310 x 350. Both of these are direct extruders 3d printers that will be faster than your current 3d printer.

The advantage of an IDEX 3d printer for most applications is not the ability to print in 2 colors, instead, it is the ability to use dissolvable supports.

I like how the Flashforge printer handles dripping filament from the currently idle nozzle better than the Artist D and it is much easier to set up. However, overall I think the Artist D is both more flexible and when properly tuned produces better prints.

So far I have only used the Flashforge printer with their slicer, FlashPrint as I cannot get it to work with Cura, but I am waiting for a profile for Simplify3d from Simplify3d and will check to see if the quality is better when it arrives.

In your case I would consider the Artist D – but watch my video first to learn about setup.

It is not required to get a printer with a build around chamber. You always can invest some money into some external enclosure.

There are so many solutions for that, which can be (ab)used with a little tinkering. Like a balcony greenhouse or some off the shelf cabinet. A friend of mine got a IKEA kitchen cabinet for his printer.

I found some old, full size cabinet in the trash which contains a work desk. The thing is massive, but has so much space inside to work on the printer and store filament, tools and UPS system. This is where my trusty old Anet A8 lives and produces fantastic ABS prints.

3D printing is all about improvising and tinkering. So don´t stop there. :smiley:

@Geit, since you’re housing the UPS in the enclosure, I assume the enclosure is not heated.

The printer is producing enough heat to keep the temperature up. 80°C from heat bed and 230°C at the nozzle are doing the job just fine. The UPS is at the bottom and the cabinet is 1800mm high and the printer at the top.

I must say, I think 80C is pretty warm for a UPS. At the very least, it can’t be good for the batteries. I doubt it’s good for the power supply either.

The printer is in there for about 2 years now with around 1000 hours of printing. I replaced the power supply by an ATX supply a long time ago, which is not even abused hard. I never replaced the original Anet Board as I feared it will fail within all the heat, but it has no issue. When I need to replace it in the future I will need a wire extender as I don’t expect a new ARM would survive the constant heat.

The UPS is in the bottom compartment, which has an opening at the back, so a lot of airflow. The heat from the top also does not get down.

Ah, if the UPS has good airflow, that would help a lot. Of course, there’s nothing like actual experience. Although I have several ATX power supplies, but I really am not sure how I would convert a 12/5V ATX PSU to provide 24V to a printer. Are you using DC/DC voltage regulators to boost the 12V to 24V?

No, all my printers are 12V from factory. The 24V agenda came up during the last two years or so and I don’t see any benefit from that. Yeah, the heat bed is more responsive, but since I preheat at least 10 minutes anyway, the heating up speed is no argument. I also don´t need such amount of heat at the nozzle, as I prefer working results and high print speeds are not required, here. The argument to be able to use thinner wires is stupid, too. Yeah, a 24V system is working at the lover amperage level, but why making the moving cables more week on purpose? This is just to make printers cheaper. I personally would always downgrade a 24V system and never upgrade to it.

The ATX power supply is also driving the raspberry pi and the raspberry pi is controlling the printers power, so it shuts down after 15 minutes/cool down down, when I am not around to start another print. The LED lights are connected to the ATX supply, too, so the camera provides a proper picture at night and without room lights.

Ah, so you don’t have any printers younger than 2 years. That won’t work for most of us, since we can no longer get 12V printers from the factory.

Nah, they are older than three years for sure. They work and I am not the guy who needs a new printer because the old one is out of tinkering options. They are tools and they work or get repaired.

My GeitPrinter is a more recent build, but it also uses 12V by design. Just 230V is used on the heat bed.

How are you doing the 230V?

I use an SSR to switch it using the normal heat bed connector. I do the same with the 12V rail on the hot end, so the small Mosfet on the main board doesn’t need to carry the heaters load at all.

Wow that went off topic quickly. Thanks for the earlier feedback.

Except that everything that’s been posted can be considered when contemplating what to do for a 2nd printer.

1st: Not my fault :smiley:
2nd: Some printers have a “loose” electronics box, which is very very very helpful when using the printer inside an enclosure. So a kind of big point for a printer selection.

We haven’t got Geit excited about IDEX yet.