Do 3D printer's size matters a lot?

Alukard2540

New Member
Soon i'll be buying my first 3D printer. For quite some time i was sure that it will be Artillery Sidewinder X2 but now i'm wondering if it's the right choice.
The stuff i intend to use 3D printing for is mainly stuff like wearable helmet and armour pieces from Halo, Star Wars, LOTR, weapon replicas etc. (besides that toys, figures and other small fun projects)

As i see Artillery Genius 2 Pro has basically all the same features that Sidewinder X2 does so should i pay more just for bigger printing space? Or would you recommend me to buy Genius Pro and spend extra money left on 3D models to print and/or additional filament?

Would having smaller printer complicate process of armour/helmet printing? From what i saw quite a lot of people here use printers with dimensions of 220 x 220 x 250 mm for example but as of 2023 - do you still think it's good enough or would your rather save up a bit more cash and get a bigger one?
(Since prices may vary depending on the country i should probably add that here the prices between the two differ by something around 200PLN or 50$)

Here are specifications of the two compared:
https://compare.themachinebros.com/compare/Artillery_Sidewinder_X2_vs_Artillery_Genius_Pro?_lang=en
 
Sweed is right that it's up to you. I can give you my personal choice that I like larger printers to have fewer parts that need to be piece together and filled. At the same time bigger prints mean longer print times and more chances things can go wrong. Nothing quite like waking up the morning of day 3 on a 3 day print to find the part separated from the bed and the last several hours were just spaghetti.

To help you decide what's best for you here's a few questions to consider:
1) What types of prints do you want this for? (you've answered this already)
2) Do you mind spending more time gluing and filling seams if you have to break down parts more to fit your printer?
3) Would multi-day print jobs make you anxious?
4) Is the larger printer in your budget for this purchase?
 
Sweed is right that it's up to you. I can give you my personal choice that I like larger printers to have fewer parts that need to be piece together and filled. At the same time bigger prints mean longer print times and more chances things can go wrong. Nothing quite like waking up the morning of day 3 on a 3 day print to find the part separated from the bed and the last several hours were just spaghetti.

To help you decide what's best for you here's a few questions to consider:
1) What types of prints do you want this for? (you've answered this already)
2) Do you mind spending more time gluing and filling seams if you have to break down parts more to fit your printer?
3) Would multi-day print jobs make you anxious?
4) Is the larger printer in your budget for this purchase?

2) I guess that wouldn't be too much of a problem.
3) Most likely.
4) Yes although if i bought the smaller one i could use the money left on 3D model of a helmet i want and filament instead.
 
2) I guess that wouldn't be too much of a problem.
3) Most likely.
4) Yes although if i bought the smaller one i could use the money left on 3D model of a helmet i want and filament instead.
Filament cost is going to be an ongoing thing. I mean, I suppose if you saved 200$ on a printer you could buy filament in bulk and not have to buy it again for a long time but what if you don't like that brand or want to use a different type of plastic? My main point is that 3d printing has chronic cost associated with it. You should spend the money you have on a printer that you like and buy plastic as needed. I have often thought it would be nice to have a bigger build volume but also, it's nice that my printer fits in my office easily. I wouldn't want to print a whole suit on my ender 3 pro but I know some people have done it, so it's really your call.

If you print a big pice of armor in one go it's gonna take several days. That means you could have a failure 3 days into a print and that would really suck. By contrast I have printed really cool things in parts that needed a lot of reworking and finishing because the edges didn't line up perfectly and that can also be really annoying.

You might say, "it's not the size of the printer that matters but rather how you use it."
 
As someone running a printer on the smaller end of print size, I would say it definitely matters but only to a certain point. You don't need a massive printer to make armor and helmets, but it certainly helps. I have a Super Racer and I've been regretting not having an extra 100mm or so of print area. However, like the others mentioned, with big prints come the risk of big failures. The longer your print goes the more you're tempting fate. If you get something in the range of 300x300x300 or so you'd have more than enough area to work with. A Kobra Max is huge but isn't really all that necessary, especially when many files available to print are pre sliced for Ender sized printers anyway. If you're new, take the money you'd spend on getting a bigger printer and put that towards a smaller printer with more features. Auto bed leveling, first layer checking, that sort of thing. Honestly I'd consider auto leveling almost mandatory at this point, it'll save you so much time in the end.

Kind of rambling but to answer your initial question more direct, no I don't think size matters that much. Get a printer with better features even if it's a bit smaller, less risk of failures and the added features will be extremely helpful if you're just getting started with printing.
 
ive had big printers and smaller printers.. its all in what you want.. i could print a helmet in one shot but its takes days and changing filaments. but my smaller one prints cleaner and faster.. its all in what you are looking for..
 
I would always recommend smaller printers, like Ender 3 Pros, when your first starting out. The main issue with using a large format printer is that if you have a printer failure, which you will have tons of when you are just starting out, you can lose days of progress and hundreds of grams of filament instead of a few hours and far less filament on a smaller printer. I use a CR10 S5, 500x500x500, for printing helmets in one go and my GUNGNIR helmet took 11 days to print on the successful attempt. It had 2 failures at 3 days, one at 4 days, and one at 2 days. The successful print took almost a kilo of filament and all of the failures added up to an additional kilo of filament. This was the 3rd helmet I printed this way as well, showing that you never really know what's going to go wrong until it does.

I also recommend using a small format to begin with as it teaches you the techniques, like seam joining, which you may need to use because your can't get a part to print in one piece without failures, my printers hate starting with upside-down pyramids on prints. Also some people find out after owning a 3D printer that they hate this method of making props, I think its better to invest a small amount to see if you can learn to enjoy all of the processes involved in certain forms of prop building before you go all in!

What ever you choose I wish you the best of luck with your builds! If you need help we are all here for you if you have any questions!
 
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