3D Printer Recommendation?

Having just read an interesting "What I did with my 3D printer" thread, I wondered which 3D printers DIYers used, and why.
A quick look online seems to show printers in the £200-£400 range so there would have to be a significant saving to cost in for making one off parts.
I can understand the "Uh, duh, because 3d printing!". Just wondering if anyone has cost justified a purchase on the savings over buying stuff or throwing away something as unrepairable.
Cheers
Dave R
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On 25/04/2018 14:23, David wrote:

It is interesting in that unlike turning which is a subtractive process 3D printing is an additive process so you can make curious intricate objects limited only by your imagination.
If you want to dip your toe in the water using high end kit on a time and materials basis find your local hack space (likewise laser cutting).
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On 25/04/18 14:23, David wrote:

A friend has one as she is an inveterate 'inventor' and has lots of uses for rapspberry PI cases, knobs, etc etc.
Has done a few jobs for me too.
400 quid hers cost.
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On Wednesday, 25 April 2018 14:56:20 UTC+1, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

I

ange so there

ts.

r
rapspberry PI cases can cost as little as £5.

They are fun but whether a home users can make a profit out of them I'm not yet convinced. If it's just a hobby fine, who cares if it takes 3 hours to design the box and 2 hours to print it with £10 worth of materials.

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On 25/04/18 16:30, whisky-dave wrote:

Exactly.

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On Wednesday, 25 April 2018 14:56:20 UTC+1, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

I

ange so there

ts.

r
I thought that said invertebrate inventor at first.
NT
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A mate, liking the idea of one, conscripted his Mrs to do the research and along the way asked me two things:
1) Could I give them any advice re what to get and:
2) Whatever they got, could I help them build it (they wouldn't get one if I said no).
As I hadn't even used one and only seen them on the telly or at Engineering shows *, I did a bit of Googling and found several things I understood to be important and fitted 'our' prerequisites.
a) It needed to be a kit (none of us had the time or experience to source all the bits individually).
b) It needed to be rigid.
c) It needed to be RepRap / open source as much as possible.
d) It needed to come from the Uk (for support / spares etc).
e) It needed to have a good rep.
She ended up with a MendelMax 1.5 (kit) and we (he and I) built it up in our spare time and I'd have to say we were very pleased with it. The very first real test print, a 20mm cube turned out to be just that. ;-)
I was then worked hard every day (often 10 - 6) printing all sorts of stuff for all 3 of us and also bits for others, as the mood / need took us. It's very much like this:
https://www.ultibots.com/mendelmax-1-5-kit/
It's also printed all the plastic parts for two more printers now. ;-)

That didn't even come into it for us.

;-)

I haven't ... as that wasn't (as you say), 'the point'.
More the point though, some of the practical uses we have put it to have allowed us to do stuff that would have been very expensive or very difficult to have done without and so we consider it to have paid for itself (in time and convenience, if not in cost etc).
Cheers, T i m
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On Wed, 25 Apr 2018 17:22:17 +0100, T i m wrote:

What are you finding to print? That keeps the printer so busy?
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On 26/04/18 16:55, Dave Liquorice wrote:

since a teeny weeny bust can take 6 hours to print, it doesnt take much to 'keep a printer busy'
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On Thu, 26 Apr 2018 16:55:46 +0100 (BST), "Dave Liquorice"

The biggest item / longest print time was the PIR lantern corner bracket because printed on it's side it was nearly size of the bed (in an 'L' shape) and quite a bit of the maximum print height.
Also, because it needed to be reasonably strong we printed it at a fairly high density.
We would also often print multiple items at once (like more printer parts) and the limit would be how long the job would take (to ensure it fitted into a working day). Nothing worse than having to abandon a 8 hour print job on 99% because mate had to shut shop and we didn't want to risk leaving it on unattended. ;-(
To be fair we also had the speed settings set to 'conservative' as that proved both more reliable and gave a better finish.
So, it wasn't really what we were finding to print but what we needed to print.
I would often design something in the evening that I needed (or would like) to use the next day (like a drilling template or part for something), I would Dropbox it to my mate and pick it up printed at lunchtime, assuming he wasn't printing something for himself or his Mrs (like a tool, bracket or storage for her vape stuff or the 3D object scanner he printed for himself).
Cheers, T i m
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On 25/04/2018 14:23, David wrote:

Anything I've seen in that price range seems to have quite poor resolution. I would put them in the because I love gadgets category.
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On 26/04/2018 12:34, Nightjar wrote:

My view too. But if you know what you are doing (as Andrew Mawson's fluorescent tube thread shows) they are beginning to get useful for some DIY. (I know someone who's lad has one, but AFAIK he's only done "art" with it).
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Should be ideal if you have little kids that are obsessed with stuff like dinosaurs and cars etc, easy to make them more of them cheaply.
Havent worked out if they pay for themselves in that situation tho.
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On 26/04/2018 12:34, Nightjar wrote:

The ~£99 ones ebay have the same resolution as the £1000 ones in general. You only get a significantly better resolution when you go for a resin printer using a laser and UV resins.
I would expect a 0.4mm nozzle and 0.2mm layer height even from a £99 printer and you can probably replace the nozzle with a 0.25mm one.
The £99 will probably require more tuning to get the best results.
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On 26/04/2018 16:16, dennis@home wrote:

I was thinking more of something like the Ultimaker 2+, which is nearer two grand.

I've not seen any that offer better than 350-400 microns layer height. The Ultimaker 2+ can get down to 20 microns and includes a 0.8mm nozzle. It will also work with much more useful materials than PLA, such as ABS, nylon and polypropylene.
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On 26/04/2018 17:01, Nightjar wrote:

Which is similar resolutions to the £99 one.

I would hope you mean something smaller than that. 0.8mm is like the volcano nozzles you can buy for ~£30 that are used to print thick layers more quickly rather than print fine detail at higher resolutions.
Both my sub £200 printers go down to 100 micron layers, there isn't much point in going lower with FFF printers as it would take days to print anything. Its where resin printers take over and they start at about £500 these days (unless you want a kit).

You need a £20 upgrade to make the £99 printer work with those materials. One of mine will print those and a few others like carbon fibre filled stuff, the other will only do stuff that doesn't need a heated bed so PLA, PTG, etc.
All you need is a heated bed and an all metal hotend which cost very little from china.
I have just bought the equivalent of a microswiss hotend for £4 to fit my mk9 extruder but I need to drill the heater block out to 6MM and tap it 7mm which I haven't got around to yet.
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On 26/04/2018 23:19, dennis@home wrote:

I missed out a zero. It should have read 0.08mm

That is my main reason for not buying one. I would need a high resolution for any of the applications I have been considering.

Looking online, engineering resins are around £200 a litre and none seem to be WRAS approved.

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On Thursday, 26 April 2018 17:01:18 UTC+1, Nightjar wrote:

range so

if

or

in general.

99

yes that's more like it, glad someone knows a little more about 3D printers as most don't seem to realise the number of differnt plastics and their pr operties and then compare the stated 'accuracies' and what is actually achi evable. Wil a £99 printer you'd get reasonble results printing out low quality christmass cracker toys and the like, won't even achieve the quality of £1 shop stuff. But 3D printers are fun and they will get cheaper it's similar to how colou r printers were back in the mid 90s you';d need to spend quite a few £ 100 to get a decent photo printer now they can be brought for £30 and are better quality.
3D printers are fun if you have the time and patience. I'd want one with at least 2 heads if not 3 and the ability to print more t han just one type of plastic, and presntly I'd expect to pay between ? ?600 & £1,500 but as yet I don't really have a good use for one.
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On 27/04/2018 12:28, whisky-dave wrote:

More rubbish from whiskey I see. He sure knows a lot about stuff he has never tried.
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On Friday, 27 April 2018 12:46:55 UTC+1, dennis@home wrote:

00 range so

g if

ff or

es in general.

r
n
?99

e.

S,

ters as most don't seem to realise the number of differnt plastics and thei r properties and then compare the stated 'accuracies' and what is actually achievable.

lity christmass cracker toys and the like, won't even achieve the quality o f £1 shop stuff.

olour printers were back in the mid 90s you';d need to spend quite a few £100 to get a decent photo printer now they can be brought for £3 0 and are better quality.

re than just one type of plastic, and presntly I'd expect to pay between £600 & £1,500

I've had enough studetns here doing it 24/7 and we have two 3D printers in the lab. if I'd brought them I wouldn't be too happy paying a grand for the m athough they have two nozzles and can take two types of plastic. The printer we have downstairs is about 40K and another in SEMS is about 1/ 4 million now that is impressive.
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