As the title said, what’s the key point when you want to get your first 3d printer? Speed or others?
This kind of depends on what you want to use your 3D printer for. If you want to print miniatures for playing D&D or blanks for making jewelry for instance, you want an SLA (resin) printer. They’re kings at doing detail work, but require more care as the resin is UV sensitive and you need gloves when working with it.
Don’t worry about speed much. You’ll be waiting for parts no matter what you do and in general any increase in speed equates to a decrease in quality
I print miniatures mostly and due to allergies: no resin printer. Speed is not an issue, but detail, a decent helpdesk and good reviews do the trick.
I would say the most important thing would be the help you can get here for the brand of 3D printer you buy. There are dozens of printers, but if no one knows about the printer enough to be a valuable help then you can only take the information from their experience with their printer to work out your problem.
I have been 3D printing about 18 months now. I am on my second printer. The first was probably a very fine printer, but no one here had one, therefore only generic help. The other, there were several people here, but no one liked this one, so it was abandoned by them early on.
I have to agree that support is on the top of the list and seeing how most companies customer support leave much to be desired looking at community support is a good idea.
I’d rather have a machine that has both speed and quality, in fact the current machines are ditching speed!!!
What brand are you using? I recently saw a machine that was advertised as being particularly exaggerated, supposedly capable of 500mm/s idle speed, have you heard of Elyarchi?
@Amaya My first printer is/was a Geeeteck A20. My current is a JG Maker Artist Pro. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. It is good you ask what people here have and draw your information from that. As far as the Elarchi, I have not heard of it until now and I looked on line and seems interesting.
You can also check the Made with Tech Youtube channel Irv has many reviews on 3D printers.
I think the most critical factor in selecting a 3d printer is the size of the community of users and the availability of parts. I have used many different 3d printers, done many printer modifications, and keep returning to two brands that I find cost-effective with good communities and good part availability. Creality and FLSUN. Unfortunately, since Creality has so many different machines, you have to be careful. Some are excellent. Some are overpriced and perform poorly.
IDEX printers are excellent in principle but tricky to align and support. So I would only recommend them if you have a specific need.
Right now, the printers I use the most is Ender 3 S1 Pro (for high quality and higher temperatures) and a FLSUN Super Racer for fast prints.
Cura and PrusaSlicers’ latest version has created a new dynamic for selecting 3d printers. The Arachne variable line width engine focuses on extruder accuracy and flow control. In my opinion, this makes a direct extruder which by design has less “slop” in the system, a new requirement. Additionally, with new, much smaller direct extruders, the advantages of Bowden configurations are minimized.
In the Creality line, this pushes you towards an Ender 3 S1 since the Ender 3 Ero, a solid printer, is a Bowden configuration if you need the very best quality.
I have multiple lower prices direct extruder printers I will be reviewing in the next few months to see if there is a better entry point for people new to the hobby.
P.S. Yes, the FLSUN Super Racer is a Bowden still of the printer, but I use it for SPEED not for quality. For quality, I use the Ender 3 S1 Pro.
I said this a few times already here in the forum: I would get a kit. A real kit not a two parts and 4 screw assembly. This way you learn everything about your printer and printing itself.
At first it may look like a waste of time, but as soon as you stumble on a problem this previously invested time pays back. Instead of fishing in the dark or asking on forums getting four different solutions, you already know every part of your printer and know what it does.
This saves time. More time then you invested in building the printer in the first place.
I know several guys who gave up 3D printing, because after 6-12 month their out of the box working printer failed and the problem finding frustration took over.
If this message is in the wrong forum, sorry. It can be moved.
I’m totally new to 3D printing.
I’m trying to determine which printer would best meet my needs.
I see 3D printer as a tool. The kind of print that I intend to achieve
is utilitarian. My first experience was great, I needed a spacer with a particular shape.
I drew the shape in 3D with Solidworks and I contacted someone who had a 3D printer,
and the result was excellent.
I plan to print tools, replace pieces of broken plastic, designing and printing fairings
for airplane (experimental) that sort of thing.
I focus a lot on quality. The price is not a big issue but at the same time I live in Canada
and with the exchange rate, customs and other, it is more expensive. Also I don’t want to pay
anything for functions which I will not use.
Currently I feel like the Bambu X1 Carbon is the printer of choice but it is not yet available,
and that may be too much for a first printer.
Great praise for the Prusa but seem outdated and expensive for what it is.
I’m looking for the Ender 3 S1 Pro or the Ender 5 S1. Maybe buying the Creality Pad with Kliper.
I wonder if for the same speed the ender 5 S1 is able to do everything the Ender 3 S1 Pro can?
About the ender 5 S1, reading the comments, we seem to be at the stage where the correct parameters of the slicer are not very well known,
or that there is still improvement to be done…
Also for the ender, I find it complicated where to buy…
Ender parts quality seems to be arbitrary. (Warp bed…)
The official Creality store in Canada seems to have very poor customer service based on reviews.
Amazon is great for the return but after the period, we fall under the support of the reseller and the after sales support is unknown
There are shops (spool3d.ca, Digimakers.ca…) but you have to find one that has them in stock and has good customer service.
Feel free to comment, I try to figured out, what is the best decision to make.
@Geit, I completely understand your point and agree with you if the person can build a kit. If they do not have those skills, another, perhaps less threatening approach is to purchase a unit that is 90% assembled and then start adding even minor upgrades to learn about the components.
This is why I do not love fully enclosed 3d printers and do not like Prusa. They are too hard to work on. In the case of enclosed devices, it is just too hard to get to stuff. In the case of the Prusa Mk3 style printers, all of the tiny 3d printed parts make maintenance difficult.
The Creality Ender printers have pluses and minuses, but they are generally easy to work on, and parts are readily available. I also like my relatively new Solvol SX06, a Prusa clone, but much easier to work on at 1/3 of the price. The Solvol has a uniquely easy-to-access control board. To be fair, the Prusa components, such as stepper motors, are of higher quality, but for a beginner, the Solvol is quite lovely.
After the issues I had with my SV04 right out of the box and their customer service giving me the run around until I got PayPal involved. I would never buy another Soval printer now matter the price or how good the reviewers said it was. I have 3 Creality printers and have not needed to contact CS for any of them. Creality CS might be as bad as Soval I don’t know.
@Gramps . Everyone ships lemons. However, there is no excuse for poor customer service. An alternative in the USA is to buy from Amazon. Then, if it does not work, you can send it back.
Generally, the support you get from most consumer-grade 3d printer manufacturers is poor. I used to think Prusa was an exception, but people recently reported issues with Prusa support.
The challenge from a commercial point of few is when you sell a product for just a few hundred dollars at low margins; there is no money to pay for support staff. Third parties cannot afford to sell you a support contract because no one will pay much for a product that was priced relatively low.
That is why “professional” 3d printers, similar to consumer 3d printers, sell for thousands of dollars more. You are paying for the support.
However, manufacturers still need to find a way to stand behind their products.
I can vouch for that and am deeply disappointed. It’s broken since half of October and I still don’t have it back. It’s new, preassembled and they just insult people by telling fibs/copy/paste answers. At least the reseller helped to get it fixed. Well, I hope it’s fixed, we’ll see when it ever comes back.
Figure out your mission (ie what you think you’ll be using the printer for) and go from there. If you are like I was when I bought my printer and had some mission ideas but mainly just want to get started you don’t need a printer marketed as a speed demon and if you like to tinker you’ll learn a ton about the science of 3d printing tuning any printer (not to mention the slicer) to maximize its inherent speed potential.
Several good suggestions in this topic. But as everybody is different and their needs/wants for a 3D printer and what they can afford can vary wildly, there really is no perfect set of specs ro look for when shopping for a 3D printer.
In my opinion, every hobbyist/consumer grade 3D printer has its flaws as well as its desirable features.
With DIY skills, I bought the Ender 5 Plus kit, as I bought it as a tool to solve running to the hardware store to get things they don’t have for my particular situation (a tinker-er’s life long problem). So I bought a BIG one that has the ability to print accurate parts. It has good reviews - but maybe too big for the average user. Good luck and I hope it serves you well!
2) Find good support in an online community (Like Here!)
3) Read lots of reviews for any you may be drawn to.