My friend wants to buy a printer and park it at my place so I agreed as long as he promised to take away all the production because I have nightmares about drowning in what one printer can produce when you run it continually.
Sounds like this thread is about production machines and I’m strictly a hobbyist but will leave my comment anyway. I’m all of 3 weeks into 3d printing so not much knowledge base yet but it seems to me that a big part (and maybe the largest part) of the hardware decision is in how much and what kind of support you’ll need and where do you want to get that support. I made my hardware decision knowing full well that no support would come from the manufacturer but as I contemplate buying a machine for niece/nephews 2,000 miles away from me manufacturer or seller support is as important as print quality in the decision making.
There’s a lot of choices out there. I think we would need to know what it will be used for, hobby stuff like most of us here or make prints to sell. Does he want one to tinker with or one that will just work out of the box and has all the normal upgrades already installed. His price range would also be usefull.
I decided early that IDEX was the way to go. I did not know the term IDEX so my first was a three extruder, one hot end. I discovered this forum since I do not have facebook and will not join. Here I discovered the term IDEX and noticed that several had the Artist-D. So I ordered one. It has been a real learning curve and have since discovered the good and the bad of several IDEX printers. Still the individual support of the forum is the to choosing along the money I could afford at the time of purchase. Money and potential support from people using and discovering good and bad points of a printer is the key!
I’m like you @Lowteck I looked at some water soluble filament was on the pricey side too. I have heard that one type of filament will not stick to the other. If that’s true you could use something like PETG for supports on PLA. Can’t remember where I heard it and not sure it as a good source.
I’m not sure that’s true @Gramps. I don’t have any evidence whether it is or not; it just doesn’t seem reasonable somehow. It would be interesting if it is true. As far as soluble filament goes, that’s where Simplify3D can pay for itself. It has a feature where it will only use the soluble filament for the last 2mm of a support. I think it would only really work, at least efficiently, with IDEX printers.