Considering getting a 3D printer. Any suggestions?

LegacyAlloy227

Member
I see a lot of really good props and costumes made from 3D printing. If I do decide to get a 3D printer, how should I go down this path? What are the best printers and software programs I can get for a $1,000 budget? Thanks for the advice!
 
A lot of people will recommend the Creality 3D printers, especially the Ender 3/pro. I've got a CR-10s, which is probably bigger than I need, but maybe one day I'll print some big stuff.

But if you're looking for really fine detail (but not necessarly large prints) check out some resin printers, like the Mars ones.
 

LegacyAlloy227

Member
I'd def look into a CR-10. Get something bigger just in case. Would there be any software I should consider? Also, what plastic do you recommend?

edit: Would it be overkill to get a Mars printer for details and slap the pieces on CR10 prints?
 

Knight Knight

New Member
It depends on your needs. For smaller finer print stuff, like small working pieces like gear or miniatures, a resin printer will be a good option.

I first purchased a CR-10, and honestly, I wouldn't want any other printer over it, I did just get a Mars resin printer for small stuff but that is mostly separate from prop and costume making but I would not recommend using a CR-10 for small stuff, any time I put on a .2 nozzle and tried to do really fine detail it would just clog up and I actually had to get an entirely new extruder kit cause mine blew up. The CR-10 just has a big ole build plate, which means once you get comfortable with it, you can build big pieces at a time, which for the large builds that you assemble will help structural integrity. I would say that my only complaint is the CR-10 isn't the most user friendly, and can just have some super niche issues. It was a huge headache to get running and working, and bed leveling on the huge ass bed is also a pain. However, now that I have it where it needs to be, I love the thing and if I had a $1000 budget I would purchase it and an enclosure for it (to prevent any fire hazards). Then all the supplies I needed (IE filaments, tools, and I personally got a special glass bed for adhesion).
 

LegacyAlloy227

Member
It depends on your needs. For smaller finer print stuff, like small working pieces like gear or miniatures, a resin printer will be a good option.

I first purchased a CR-10, and honestly, I wouldn't want any other printer over it, I did just get a Mars resin printer for small stuff but that is mostly separate from prop and costume making but I would not recommend using a CR-10 for small stuff, any time I put on a .2 nozzle and tried to do really fine detail it would just clog up and I actually had to get an entirely new extruder kit cause mine blew up. The CR-10 just has a big ole build plate, which means once you get comfortable with it, you can build big pieces at a time, which for the large builds that you assemble will help structural integrity. I would say that my only complaint is the CR-10 isn't the most user friendly, and can just have some super niche issues. It was a huge headache to get running and working, and bed leveling on the huge ass bed is also a pain. However, now that I have it where it needs to be, I love the thing and if I had a $1000 budget I would purchase it and an enclosure for it (to prevent any fire hazards). Then all the supplies I needed (IE filaments, tools, and I personally got a special glass bed for adhesion).
This is really good insight! I'll take everything you've said into account.
 

tahu505

Member
I highly recommend the Creality Ender 3. It's somehow both one of the cheapest yet one of the highest quality printers I've used. Also if you're willing to go a little over your $1000 budget, Creality also has the Cr10s5, which has a 500mm x 500mm bed space. You could print a full helmet on that. Also for slicing I'd recommend Cura, which is a free slicing software and it can do tree supports which is really nice for cutting down on material when adding supports.
 

Knight Knight

New Member
Now as for the programs, it both depends on the printer you get and what it comes with. I personally use Ultimaker Cura, it's probably the best general entry-level software as in my experience, its not amazing at any one thing, but is good at most things. The ONLY 2 problems I have with it are that you can not cut an object into two different builds (Say if a piece was too big so you need to do 2 prints) and that you can't hollow prints with it (but this ONLY matters to Resin printers to save resin). Neither of these issues really affect you if you do go with a CR-10 or something with a large build plate since most people divide up files for smaller build plates, but if you are designing something yourself then my secondary program for specifically doing the things that Cura can't do is Meshmixer (it's wonky and not a very beginner-friendly program) I pretty much see most people use Cura or Meshmixer, typically a bit of both and they are both free - with Cura being the most common one cause it's super easy and quick to slap your file in, splice it and get it printing.
 

Knight Knight

New Member
Other things to consider later on is what program has the best support system, what has the best tools, and etc. Most machines run a little differently even if they are the same model so it's up to you to really dig in there and find what works best, the same goes for the brand of PLA filament you use. Some might be generally better, and a certain brand of cheaper stuff just might give you prints that you prefer. This all might sound a bit intimidating, but it's just something that comes with time. I personally have a CR-10, started using Cura, the only special addition I got was a different bed, and I just got whatever filament was recommended for me on Amazon. ( Warhorse: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CPVV64Q/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and it works for me. Might not be the best, I might try something else in the future, but you should get plenty of starting filament with whatever machine you buy to at least get stuff sorted. My first spool lasted me like a month (though now I can blow through like 2 in a week).
 

Fallen

Active Member
Depending on what you want to print on it, like others said the CR-10 or similar like the Tevo Tornado for larger prints, and something like the Prusa i3 MK3 or the Ender 3 if you don't intend to print a bunch of large prints that would warrant the CR-10 or the like.

As for resin printers, if what you think you'll print will be mostly high detail smaller items then go for it. There's a few mentioned above that are pretty decently priced. Disclaimer, I do not own a resin printer and can only speak to what I've seen on youtube as to their quality, but it looks great and am considering getting one.

Slicers being the other main piece to look into, I've used Meshmixer and somewhat Cura, but I went ahead and purchased Simplify3D back when I got my first printer and use it primarily. Quite frankly whichever slicer you pick, when you learn it and get it dialed in most any of them will be plenty for most any need.
 

ReClaimer8015

Active Member
Sorry if i chime in late, i am thinking of getting my first own personal 3d printer too and have it narrowed down to the creality ender 3 pro vs. Anycubic i3 Mega S. Both around 300€. My bugdet is 300€ - 500€, rougly up to 560$.
I would like to print smaller gadgets, probably a lot of handgun props from halo and the like and maybe a few helmets in preferrably 4-8 pieces.
A variety of materials from which to choose when printing is appreciated. Durability is key, may try longer prints with slower speed for better quality.
Has anyone experience with those two ? Which one would you recommend?
 
Sorry if i chime in late, i am thinking of getting my first own personal 3d printer too and have it narrowed down to the creality ender 3 pro vs. Anycubic i3 Mega S. Both around 300€. My bugdet is 300€ - 500€, rougly up to 560$.
I would like to print smaller gadgets, probably a lot of handgun props from halo and the like and maybe a few helmets in preferrably 4-8 pieces.
A variety of materials from which to choose when printing is appreciated. Durability is key, may try longer prints with slower speed for better quality.
Has anyone experience with those two ? Which one would you recommend?
If you're looking for durability and small details, maybe consider a resin printer (such as the Mars ones). I don't know a lot about them but they can give some REALLY nice detail. The build plate won't be as big though and it'll be more work to deal with runny resin.
 

MoeSizzlac

Active Member
Sorry if i chime in late, i am thinking of getting my first own personal 3d printer too and have it narrowed down to the creality ender 3 pro vs. Anycubic i3 Mega S. Both around 300€. My bugdet is 300€ - 500€, rougly up to 560$.
I would like to print smaller gadgets, probably a lot of handgun props from halo and the like and maybe a few helmets in preferrably 4-8 pieces.
A variety of materials from which to choose when printing is appreciated. Durability is key, may try longer prints with slower speed for better quality.
Has anyone experience with those two ? Which one would you recommend?
I don't have it but the ender 3 pro has a lot of support and help from the 3D printing community on reddit. Just youtube/google it and you'll see a bunch of entries on mods and things you should do right after you open it.
 

TurboCharizard

Division PR, RMO and BCO
Division Staff
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
I don't have it but the ender 3 pro has a lot of support and help from the 3D printing community on reddit. Just youtube/google it and you'll see a bunch of entries on mods and things you should do right after you open it.
Also ENDER EXTENDER for when the machine gets too small for your liking.

Right now I'd say if you need a printer whatever is available is your best bet. Supply lines are all kinds of janky right now so new machines may be able to be shipped to you, some might not depending on warehouse stock and locations. If you have a local area site for reselling things like Craigslist/Kijiji/Used______/Facebook Marketplace the folks that snapped up printers to supplement PPE production in March/April are starting to sell off their excess machines and you might be able to get a deal that way. Yes it'll be used but printers in general a tinkerers paradise so if there is an issue, repairs are also fairly simple once identified.

For a specific machine suggestion, the Tevo/Homers Tornado. It's a larger format FDM machine that's on the cheaper side of the spectrum but not lacking major features. If there is anything that you want added onto the printer for features it's easy enough to slap it on DIY style with the help of the support community which is very active. I have two Tornados that I run almost non-stop and they're absolute champs. Homers recently bought out or rebranded Tevo (weird story, don't worry about it) and some shipping times have gone up due to timing of warehouse moves + COVID outbreaks but they seem to be back on track. For SLA machines I'd say wait until you can get your hands on the Elegoo Saturn (just released, sold out most everywhere) for it's bit print volume and low price.
 

ReClaimer8015

Active Member
Thanks for the feedback guys, appreciate it.
TurboCharizard
Shipping times aren`t that much of a problem here in northern Germany due to relatively low numbers of Covid cases.
There is only a small delay, i can order things pretty much like i used to.....luckily.
The printer would be bought exactly for the purpose of tinkering with it, i can`t do that at work or university as much as i want to, especially now.
 

he4thbar

Well-Known Member
For a specific machine suggestion, the Tevo/Homers Tornado. It's a larger format FDM machine that's on the cheaper side of the spectrum but not lacking major features. If there is anything that you want added onto the printer for features it's easy enough to slap it on DIY style with the help of the support community which is very active. I have two Tornados that I run almost non-stop and they're absolute champs. Homers recently bought out or rebranded Tevo (weird story, don't worry about it) and some shipping times have gone up due to timing of warehouse moves + COVID outbreaks but they seem to be back on track. For SLA machines I'd say wait until you can get your hands on the Elegoo Saturn (just released, sold out most everywhere) for it's bit print volume and low price.
Shipping times are extended. Mine should be shipping in the next couple days. And I think I ordered mine 2-3 weeks ago. it's ok though I am fine with the wait.
 

MDBDesigns

Member
In my 5 years of 3d printing I've gone through a couple printers.

Monoprice mini 4" x 4" x 4" ~$100
Anycubic i3 Mega 8" x 8" x 8" ~$300
CR 10 12" x 12" x 12" ~ $400
CR10 MAX 15" x 15" x 15" ~ $1k

Out of all of them the CR10 has been my favorite to work with. It's been a tried and true workhorse and gets what I need done. Most, if not all, models I've needed through school and general work have been able to fit on this printer and come out great. Of course it's all about how well you maintain your printers and how well you understand and tweak your slicer settings to run it as optimal as possible. But like I said the CR 10 has been a great printer for the price for me, and I highly recommend it if you're looking to have an adaptable printer to grow with you as a designer/printing nerd like the rest of us lol
 

LegacyAlloy227

Member
It took a few weeks, but I ordered a CR-10 S5 a while ago, and it arrived this week. I think I should've gotten a smaller printer for way cheaper knowing I can just glue pieces together, but there will be a day where I need half a cubic meter of printing space.
 
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