To help the forum with the vast world of 3D printing I am staring this thread to have ANY ONE ask and get answers . got a bad failed print of a prop Hopefully with the fine folks on here we can help each other out. And also help the new folks not repeat the stuff that does not work. NO point in wasting time and plastic on things that don't work. ill be editing this top part to have links to the Q's and failures and links to solutions . Some helpful Software for the steps of printing: http://www.123dapp.com/ A set of programs made by AutoDesk. These are the folks who make some of the best CAD programs in the world. Most useful is " Design " . It's as basic as MS paint but more then enough to get you in to the world of Mech CAD. It Runs on both windows and mac OS'es. The 123D Apps are free for personal and edu use! Commercial use is 10USD a month. http://www.meshmixer.com/ Also from AutoDesk Meshmixer lets you scale ,Dice and work with STL's and OBJ's, With MM you can fit props to your print bed and find flaws. Remove and add polys, And use it as a means to add some shaders to visualize your project. Runs on both windows and mac OS'es. https://www.blender.org/ Blender is VERY powerful. While not really a true Mech CAD program, It's vast tool array for working with pre made assets makes it a great tool to use for the Mesh to Solid conversion that is the cornerstone of 3D printing . Blender also does a very good job with poly Up conversion to take a raw asset and let you make then worth printing. It runs on *Nix Windows and mac OS'es. There are 3Dprinting plug-ins for Blender but I've yet to use them. https://www.netfabb.com/ Netfabb is the industry standard for repair of soon to be printed models. Got a hole in a print Netfabb Will fix that! Here is the version you will wanna download . https://www.netfabb.com/blog/netfabb-basic-now-just-netfabb Sadly its Windows only ... I hope with the massive budget that AutoDesk has that they will port it over soon, In the last few years AutoDesk has become mac friendly. While I own W7 for CAD and games . Most macs are more then able to handle the hardware load and with makers on many kinds of OSes Its smart to reach all of them. Here is a Netfabb Alternitive that reemaj3D has found https://makeprintable.com/ Ive not yet tried it but its Web based and that means any Desktop OS can use it , ( likely android and Chome OS too! ) Buying 3D Printed parts from others: PerniciousDuke Has done a VERY good write-up on what to look for when buying 3D printed parts or full props. http://www.405th.com/showthread.php?t=48387&p=770784&viewfull=1#post770784 Buying a pritner : its gonna be updated to be MUCH bigger soon but here is a Great list from https://www.3dhubs.com/trends Also here are the trends to what is hot and not . To be blunt : Here is a shure fire list of a few machines Ive used that I Can vouch for Under a grand and want a VERY good box to start on and have for a few years . Prusa I3 and its GOOD quality clones. $400-600 https://www.3dhubs.com/3d-printers/prusa-steel Want to go big and blow 2200 USD? Then the Luzbot TAZ is the top of the class. https://www.3dhubs.com/3d-printers/lulzbot-taz-5 Want a box that is a good over all value and can be a armor work horse in the shop? The flashforge Dreamer and Creator Pro are great! https://www.3dhubs.com/3d-printers/flashforge-creator-pro and https://www.3dhubs.com/3d-printers/flashforge-dreamer The two have the same internal frame and same hot ends and same qualty the dreamer has a onboard ARM proc ( like a rasperryPi) with WiFI and a touch screen that makes it in stand alone mode a snap to use with NO PC near by. the creator uses more open software BUT is more complicated . Ill add more Good machines as I get time. but My list reflects the industrys stats Got one you use PM!! me and Il add it ! I have at my lab both a Flashforge Dreamer and I have a Rostock MAX https://www.3dhubs.com/3d-printers/rostock-max What to avoid at ALL costs... and I do mean costs... The * currrent gen* makerbots are $2500 ish and cant do ABS... the I3 can and its WAY cheaper https://www.3dhubs.com/3d-printers/makerbot-replicator-5th-gen The XYZ besides the $700 pro MUST use there DRM MicroChipped plastic . at 28 USD for 600 grams. https://www.3dhubs.com/3d-printers/da-vinci-1-0 * at $ 700 bucks you can get a I3 and buy tons of plastic ! * Please read the reviws and how nasty they are. 99% of the consumer 3Dp world is not Ok with Chipped DRM consumables What works for your inkjet is not OK in Our book for 3Dp. Yea you gotta * pay up* to play but once you are in, the filiment world is yours ! The Avg market rate is around $25 bucks a KG for Mid and good grade plastic ( 19-35 is the range you can find from Plastic trash to over priced ) Now on to plastic and why a heated bed is a MUST. http://www.protoparadigm.com/news-updates/the-difference-between-abs-and-pla-for-3d-printing/ More to come .