Would be so kind as to suggest a printer for me? I have no experience at all with 3D printers or 3D modeling. But I am super interested and have electronics and coding knowledge. I would like to print things like brackets, enclosures for custom circuit boards, organizers, keyboard plates, etc. Ideally I would like to spend around $300USD, but I am open to going as high as $500USD if it would save me headaches and make the experience more enjoyable and streamlined.

Please suggest something for me and let me know if I didn’t provide enough information. One final note, I live in range of a microcenter if that is a factor.

  • capably8341@sh.itjust.works
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    1 month ago

    As other people have mentioned, Prusa and Bambu make the most reliable printers on the market. The plus side to Bambu is the price. They are definitely cheaper than prusa printers.

    However, I would make sure to be aware of the controversies surrounding Bambu. This is not a deal breaker for many people, but it wouldn’t be right not to at least take a glance at them. Especially considering you are on Lemmy.

    This is where Prusa shines. They have not had nearly the same amount of controversies. Their hardware, firmware, and software are all open source. They also have amazing customer support. As others said, a used Prusa can be found within your price range.

    This is just something to know of. I know a lot of people who are happy with both brands, and you can’t really go wrong either way. I just think this is another thing to consider.

      • Dijon@sh.itjust.works
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        1 month ago

        I’m not fully in the loop, but I believe Bambu is pretty blatant about taking everything from the open source community and never giving back. And Josef Prusa even claims that Bambu Labs intentionally uploaded stolen models to Prusa’s site, Printables, in order to see how Prusa handles it - so Bambu can reverse engineer Prusa’s internal processes and clone them to Bambu’s new website, MakerWorld

        Reddit comment link from Josef Prusa

        • capably8341@sh.itjust.works
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          1 month ago

          In addition

          • They have filed some controversial/anti-innovative patents.

          • Their printers phone home with encrypted information. Last I checked, there were speculated security and privacy issues with it, though someone should correct me if this was resolved.

          • They only open source their slicer because of the GPL licence, but they don’t open source anything else (firmware, hardware, etc).

          Again, I just recommend people look into these things before they buy a printer. Do your own research and come to your own conclusions :)

      • rugburn@lemmynsfw.com
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        1 month ago

        Bambu firmware is closed source. I’m 100% happy with my Bambu, but that being said, Prusa makes amazing printers. However, like everything else, it comes with a price. Buying used is an option, just note you’ll ideally want to see it in person and printing before plunking down cash. As good as their printers are, you could still be buying someone else’s problem.

  • HewlettHackard@lemmy.ca
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    1 month ago

    Do you want the printer to be a tool, or a hobby (i.e. you don’t mind fiddling with the printer itself to improve the results, you don’t mind spending more to upgrade components, etc)?

    If the printer itself is a hobby you can go cheap, but if you want something reliable you don’t have to mess with or upgrade, I’d suggest getting something as nice as you can afford, maybe a Prusa mini or Bambu A1 mini if you don’t care about open source. Also consider something like a used Prusa Mk3.x.

    • iconic_admin@lemmy.worldOP
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      1 month ago

      Definitely more in the tool side. I want to print stuff that works. Thank you for the suggestions. Are used printers easy to find? How well do they hold up? I’m assuming I would be buying one from someone who is upgrading to something better.

      • huginn@feddit.it
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        1 month ago

        Prusa mini or bambu are definitely common. Mk3(s/s+) will also be common, maybe even more so.

        Steer away from Creality if you want consistent and easy printing: it’s a tinker machine.

      • Nighed@feddit.uk
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        1 month ago

        I love my prusa mini, but if your using it for practical stuff, the size of it’s build area can be limiting.

      • HewlettHackard@lemmy.ca
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        1 month ago

        I haven’t bought used myself, but based on my own experiences with my printer (MK4; I love it) I don’t think there’s a ton to worry about buying a used quality printer. I would not buy a used low-end printer because the odds are much higher that the seller found it frustrating.

        A used Prusa MK3S is probably an excellent choice if a Prusa MK4 kit is out of your budget and a Bambu printer is out of your budget or doesn’t meet your other requirements. The seller probably either realized they don’t actually print often, or upgraded to a MK4 (or XL if they had the budget). While you can upgrade a MK3S to MK4 with Prusa’s upgrade kit, the cost of the kit is so close to just buying an MK4 that it’s not worth doing (and Prusa admits this; they only offer it because of the flak they got for not doing such a kit in the past). The MK3.5 or 3.9 upgrade kits could make sense for some people…but in many cases someone looking to upgrade would likely leave the MK3S untouched and just buy an MK4.

  • player2@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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    1 month ago

    My vote is for Bambu printers. I started with a super cheap Ender 3 V2 in 2020 and recently we got a Bambu X1 at work and it’s so much easier, faster, and better. No more hours of troubleshooting issues, it just calibrates itself and goes.

    The P1P is cheaper and might be a good option to look at. These printers are highly recommended on the reddit community too.

    https://store.bambulab.com/collections/3d-printer

    • iconic_admin@lemmy.worldOP
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      1 month ago

      I like the look of the A1 and the P1P. They claim to run right out of the box, is that not common for a 3D printer?

      • stealth_cookies@lemmy.ca
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        1 month ago

        Not uncommon but lots of printers on the market (especially hobbyist ones) are kits that you need to assemble. Bambu printers are pretty much remove the printer from the box, remove some brackets, tape and protective packaging before installing the build plate and spool holder and turning it on.

        I’d recommend going for the P1S if you can swing it over the P1P for the enclosure.

      • ShepherdPie@midwest.social
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        1 month ago

        Most will work right out of the box (after assembly) but the cheaper printers like the Ender will require periodic tinkering and upgrades to keep it working and make it perform better. I just retired my Artillery Sidewinder X2 (which is similar to the Ender CR10) for the Bambu X1C and don’t regret it one bit. Prints just work all the time now and I haven’t had to tinker with anything. My X2 has been upgraded quite a bit and yet still frequently gave me (solvable) issues that would be so frustrating when I just wanted to get something printed out.

        I would also recommend the A1 mini if you’re not looking to tinker and can deal with the bed size. Bambu Labs has done a great job on their lineup, MakerWorld, and by offering filament as well. They’ve really simplified the whole process.

        • rugburn@lemmynsfw.com
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          1 month ago

          I second Bambu printers. My P1S was as simple as taking it out of the box, pulling out the included accessories, take out three screws that keep the bed from moving during shipping, plug in cord. During setup it will run a self-calibration routine and you’re all set. I thought I liked tinkering with my Ender 3v2, but when I needed to print, a failure would cost me time, effort and money. Stick with the better printers if you can afford it.

          • ShepherdPie@midwest.social
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            1 month ago

            The P1S/P1P would definitely be worth it over the A1 mini as the CoreXY construction is a complete game changer. I don’t think I’ll ever buy another bed slinger printer. The whole design just doesn’t make sense outside of being economical, which was fantastic 5+ years ago in order to get everyone into the hobby, but is really limiting now.

            Bambu has really changed the landscape and elevated the hobby as a whole, which will be awesome for everyone once some competitors start trying to copy what they’ve done.

            • rugburn@lemmynsfw.com
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              1 month ago

              Totally agree on the core xy printers, I think OP was trying to keep cost under $500, so that would limit to P1P, but still a great printer, you can add the enclosure kit later if you want. I’m interested in the Sovol SV08, basically a Voron clone for $579 USD. I just don’t want to be the 1st on to try it 🤣

      • player2@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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        1 month ago

        There’s a rabbit hole of things that can go wrong and things that need to be calibrated and upgraded. I had to assemble the Ender 3 and ensure that everything was perfectly straight, level, and 90 degrees. Calibrate the z-offset so it knows where the nozzle is.

        I added an auto bed leveling sensor to my Ender 3, and that required custom firmware, and I replaced the bed springs because it wasn’t staying level.

        I calibrated the e-steps because it wasn’t extruding consistently, then ended up replacing the extruder because it was cheap and unreliable.

        Humidity was ruining my filament on the spools and making it brittle and snapping so I built a dry box that could feed the printer, similar to the clear boxes on some Bambu models.

        The Bambu really was as simple as unboxing and turning it on. It comes pre-assembled and includes a lot more sensors that are able to keep it working smoothly.

        • iconic_admin@lemmy.worldOP
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          1 month ago

          The P1P, on the sales page, lists the hot end as an accessory? Is that the nozzle where the plastic comes out and is that usually sold separately?

          • player2@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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            1 month ago

            Yes the hotend heats up and has molten plastic inside it and it gets pushed out the nozzle. I’m honestly not sure why they offer all those different versions as accessories. It includes a hotend and 0.4mm nozzle.

            If you have a catastrophic issue it’s possible for the hotend to be clogged completely, but that’s never happened to me. It comes with a declogging tool which is just a long pokey wire to push up through the nozzle while it’s hot to clear it.

            The nozzle itself can unscrew from the hot end and be replaced because it wears out over time from filament chipping away at it.

            Also, you might want different nozzle diameters depending on what you’re printing. You can just buy spare nozzles without an entire hotend.

            It comes with 0.4mm and they offer a range from like 0.2-1.0mm. The smaller nozzles print slower and more detailed while the larger nozzles are faster with lower resolution.

  • ArtieShaw@fedia.io
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    1 month ago

    Speaking as a new hobbyist (2 months), I went with an Creality Ender 3 V3 KE. The cost was in the $250-300 USD range and it had a decent range of features.

    I’ve used it almost every day since unpacking it. It’s pretty easy to get to know. The Creality cloud slicing tool is good enough for me (for now), and can be run via a browser or app.

    Microcenter has a variety of display models that you can check out. If I had known about it I probably would have gone prior to making my selection. I’m not sure my choice would have been different, but a little extra knowledge never hurts.

  • huginn@feddit.it
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    1 month ago

    Looking at random Facebook marketplace postings I’d say you should go with a mk3s from Prusa. In NYC I’m seeing them for $350-$500 used and they’re fantastic printers. Very much on the tool end of the tool:hobby spectrum.

  • nickwitha_k (he/him)@lemmy.sdf.org
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    1 month ago

    I don’t have any experience with resin printers yet but have been poking around at FDM for the better part of a decade. In that price range (for FDM), I’d likely suggest a Creality K1C. It is not going to likely match the BambuLab printers but it’s a great departure from previous by Creality, requiring little to no tinkering to make it work. If you can spare around $1k, and don’t care about proprietary stuff, BambuLab X1 series is about the most turnkey that I know of. But, again, the Creality is (surprisingly) right there too with the K1C.

    Note: It is probably possible to get similar results with mods to a K1 or K1Max - the nozzle brush seems to be critical to the K1C’s reliability.

  • the16bitgamer@lemmy.world
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    1 month ago

    Right, lots of suggestions for Bambu and Prusa and rightfully so. But their prices are high and while they are worth it, they wouldn’t be what I’d suggest for a first time printer.

    The Ender 3 is what I’d suggest, though not the V1. The S1 or the v3 and good starting points for being in budget and having some modern features.

    This isn’t like the mid 2010’s where it was hit or miss and the printers will have a slight chance of burning your house down. Hictop anyone? But these days even a $200 printer is good enough to start printing.

    That said software is going to be your biggest pain point.

    For the slicer make sure its compatible with PrusaSlicr or Cura. Preferability the former. This makes the models to print, and some cheep third party slicers makes their own with questionable quality and support.

    For modeling, you have some options. Blender if you are looking to design 3d shapes like clay. Fusion360 is a cheap and free (while limited) solution for parametric cad design. With TinkerCAD is a good in between. But like Photoshop is to gimp, Fusion 360 is to FreeCAD and it may be worth learning how FreeCAD works since its an extremely flexible tool.

    TL:DR Ender 3 V3/S1, Prusa Slicer, Cura, Blender, TinkerCAD, Fusion360, FreeCAD and you should be too to start printing and making brackets.

  • jf0314@lemmy.world
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    1 month ago

    I’m late to the party and brand new, but I just went through what you’re going through. I ended up buying an A1 based on the potential ability to add AMS later on and potentially print ABS/ASA.

    I was heavily considering an Ender 3 V3 KE, but a few mentioned they just wished they would’ve gone Bambu, even though they had success with their KE. I just don’t have as much time to futz with stuff as I’d like right now, and I want something that’s relatively easy for my kids to use.

    If you’re tight on budget and like the tinkering aspect, I saw an eBay store oddly enough named SovolOfficial, that sells unrepaired and/or refurbished Enders for extremely cheap prices. Like around $50usd for Ender 3’s. If it went for the time and kiddo aspect, I’d be all over that, modding along the way.

    • iconic_admin@lemmy.worldOP
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      1 month ago

      Thanks for the input. I am leaning towards the A1. I don’t have prusa money for my first printer and I’m iffy on getting a used one because I don’t know what to look for to make sure it’s ok. If I went with the ender, based on what everyone has been saying, it might just become another in a long line of complex projects I start and never finish. I’d like to start printing things right away to get solidified in the hobby/craft.

  • MrQuallzin@lemmy.world
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    1 month ago

    Lots of different ways to get into it. I personally love my Elegoo printers (An older Neptune 2S and a Neptune 3 Pro)