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Fellers, still stewing over a 3D printer and see so many options. I see many claiming the Ender 3 is a good way to go and like I get on amazon and there are so many options just on that. I really don't even know where to start to make an informed decision. You know, like I read stuff like, "I got the yellow springs". Heck if I know about any of that. So what say you guys out there printing away?

Doug
 

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Doug,
I think that the reply as to which printer is a difficult one.
Those of us who use a particular printer will swear by it, as we haven't perhaps tried anything else.
Then there are resin printers that give incredible quality results, but right now for fairly small volume parts.
But, some do use nasty chemicals, and care must be taken.
So, really you need to decide what it is that you envision printing.
Are you going to be able to draw the parts in the computer, or just print what you can find on the internet?
For a filament printer, probably any of the newer ones will give you similar good results.
The resulting print will NOT be as smooth as the equivalent injection molded part, and work will be required to make it look better.
The common filament used is PLA, BUT that does not always do well outside on a hot sunny day, which is why I now use a filament called PETG.
There are so many filament choices these days that you may find yourself testing all kinds to find the 'right' one for you and your printer.
For myself, my need was to be able to print 1/32 scale passenger cars, but without joints, so I had to modify a printer to do that as there was nothing on the market that could accommodate the nearly 31" length. I actually print 'on end' so needed that in height.
Now there are 'belt' printers that 'may' allow successful printing in any length. Again new technology, which continues to change for 3D printing.
Perhaps you can find someone 'local' that can show you printing in person and describe the processes required.
I have found that it takes a lot of time to enjoy 3D printing and that it can be very frustrating, but also very rewarding when you get to print something which is just what you wanted.
Good luck.
Cheers,
David Leech, Canada
Gas Composite material Rectangle Flooring Wood
 

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I bought the stock Ender 3 and use ABS filament. No mods, no special boards, just plain vanilla. I last adjusted my print bed about 4 months ago and have not touched it since. My only addition was Octaprint which is a Raspberry Pi that connects to the printer with a USB cable. It lets you drop files into your printer from your desktop computer over wifi. I also have a resin printer. The Halot One, another Creality machine. It has built-in wifi. Resin is not as bad as they say but it is messy and you have to wash the finished parts in alcohol and then expose the part to UV light to 'cure' it. But the detail is quite amazing. I used the Ender 3 to make things like steel plates with rivets, coupler jigs, switch machines, structural sorts of parts. ABS is quite strong. For figures and details, I use the resin printer.
 

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Doug,
I think that the reply as to which printer is a difficult one.
Those of us who use a particular printer will swear by it, as we haven't perhaps tried anything else.
Then there are resin printers that give incredible quality results, but right now for fairly small volume parts.
But, some do use nasty chemicals, and care must be taken.
So, really you need to decide what it is that you envision printing.
Are you going to be able to draw the parts in the computer, or just print what you can find on the internet?
For a filament printer, probably any of the newer ones will give you similar good results.
The resulting print will NOT be as smooth as the equivalent injection molded part, and work will be required to make it look better.
The common filament used is PLA, BUT that does not always do well outside on a hot sunny day, which is why I now use a filament called PETG.
There are so many filament choices these days that you may find yourself testing all kinds to find the 'right' one for you and your printer.
For myself, my need was to be able to print 1/32 scale passenger cars, but without joints, so I had to modify a printer to do that as there was nothing on the market that could accommodate the nearly 31" length. I actually print 'on end' so needed that in height.
Now there are 'belt' printers that 'may' allow successful printing in any length. Again new technology, which continues to change for 3D printing.
Perhaps you can find someone 'local' that can show you printing in person and describe the processes required.
I have found that it takes a lot of time to enjoy 3D printing and that it can be very frustrating, but also very rewarding when you get to print something which is just what you wanted.
Good luck.
Cheers,
David Leech, Canada
View attachment 63606

David, that is very cool. Thank you for sharing, gives me another long term project idea
 

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1/10th Scale 1875 Locomotive completly 3D printed.
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I have used a Snapmaker A350T 3D printer for our complete project. It's an 1875 2-4-2T Baldwin locomotive. When finished will be 100% 3D printed. I have had to farm out detailed parts to be resin printed, but the bulk of the entire model has been done in house.
Locomotive Project Album
You do have to do quite a bit of post print work and brush work, but that would be a part of any kind of static display, which this model will be for the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum.
 

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I also use an Ender 3 Pro printing ABS and have had pretty good luck with it. It takes some experimentation to get used to printing different materials (PLA, PETG, ABS) because they have different characteristics, but with some experience it can become pretty routine. I print ABS now because its very durable and my railroad parts need to go outside. I'm currently printing a "skeleton log battery car" to use behind my smaller logging locomotives. All of the white parts were done on my Ender 3 Pro. I also use Octoprint and a Raspberry Pi 4 so that I can send jobs to the printer from my computer (otherwise you need to load your files onto a SD card and insert it into the printer.) There's also a Ender 3 group on Facebook you an join in order to get ideas and tips, or try to solve problems.
Wood Electrical wiring Electronic instrument Gas Engineering
 

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I ran an Anet A8 for years, upgrading it continuously, before it tried to burn my house down a little over a month ago. So now I have another because it was free and I'm learning to make it more fire-proof.

I highly recommend reading up on the fire risks inherent with all the FDM printers. It's eye-opening.

To answer your question, I tend to go cheap and improve the physical plant over time. I spent two weeks printing upgrades for the printer. ;] Then I upgrades the bed and motherboard so I had 220x275x240 build volume. Eventually the upgraded motherboard's hot-end transistor shorted causing the extruder to get hot enough to set the filament ablaze, which then took out most of the garage before the firemen arrived.

Now that it died the nasty death, I'm working on building a new, larger-format printer to replace it based on an open-source design called the Dbot.

I also own a Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K and can't speak highly enough of the detail level it produces. Between thr two I've build many F-scale railcars

Mostly FDM printed, not including the stirrup:

Train Wheel Motor vehicle Automotive design Vehicle


Printed on the Sonic Mini in one piece, lens from .04 acrylic:
Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Bumper


F-scale Standard gauge cars, printed to have a backdrop to compare the Fn3 stuff against:

Train Rolling stock Track freight car Mode of transport

Just be careful with the technology.... it isn't quite mature yet, one transistor stands between normal operation and chaos, and most ot the components come from China.

Later,
Trot, the smoke-triggered, fox...
 

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Doug,
I think that the reply as to which printer is a difficult one.
Those of us who use a particular printer will swear by it, as we haven't perhaps tried anything else.
Then there are resin printers that give incredible quality results, but right now for fairly small volume parts.
But, some do use nasty chemicals, and care must be taken.
So, really you need to decide what it is that you envision printing.
Are you going to be able to draw the parts in the computer, or just print what you can find on the internet?
For a filament printer, probably any of the newer ones will give you similar good results.
The resulting print will NOT be as smooth as the equivalent injection molded part, and work will be required to make it look better.
The common filament used is PLA, BUT that does not always do well outside on a hot sunny day, which is why I now use a filament called PETG.
There are so many filament choices these days that you may find yourself testing all kinds to find the 'right' one for you and your printer.
For myself, my need was to be able to print 1/32 scale passenger cars, but without joints, so I had to modify a printer to do that as there was nothing on the market that could accommodate the nearly 31" length. I actually print 'on end' so needed that in height.
Now there are 'belt' printers that 'may' allow successful printing in any length. Again new technology, which continues to change for 3D printing.
Perhaps you can find someone 'local' that can show you printing in person and describe the processes required.
I have found that it takes a lot of time to enjoy 3D printing and that it can be very frustrating, but also very rewarding when you get to print something which is just what you wanted.
Good luck.
Cheers,
David Leech, Canada
View attachment 63606
so what printer is the one you use?
 

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Doug,
I think that the reply as to which printer is a difficult one.
Those of us who use a particular printer will swear by it, as we haven't perhaps tried anything else.
Then there are resin printers that give incredible quality results, but right now for fairly small volume parts.
But, some do use nasty chemicals, and care must be taken.
So, really you need to decide what it is that you envision printing.
Are you going to be able to draw the parts in the computer, or just print what you can find on the internet?
For a filament printer, probably any of the newer ones will give you similar good results.
The resulting print will NOT be as smooth as the equivalent injection molded part, and work will be required to make it look better.
The common filament used is PLA, BUT that does not always do well outside on a hot sunny day, which is why I now use a filament called PETG.
There are so many filament choices these days that you may find yourself testing all kinds to find the 'right' one for you and your printer.
For myself, my need was to be able to print 1/32 scale passenger cars, but without joints, so I had to modify a printer to do that as there was nothing on the market that could accommodate the nearly 31" length. I actually print 'on end' so needed that in height.
Now there are 'belt' printers that 'may' allow successful printing in any length. Again new technology, which continues to change for 3D printing.
Perhaps you can find someone 'local' that can show you printing in person and describe the processes required.
I have found that it takes a lot of time to enjoy 3D printing and that it can be very frustrating, but also very rewarding when you get to print something which is just what you wanted.
Good luck.
Cheers,
David Leech, Canada
View attachment 63606
So this is a non-answer. I'll ship you a case of Budweiser, eh
 

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Fellers, still stewing over a 3D printer and see so many options. I see many claiming the Ender 3 is a good way to go and like I get on amazon and there are so many options just on that. I really don't even know where to start to make an informed decision. You know, like I read stuff like, "I got the yellow springs". Heck if I know about any of that. So what say you guys out there printing away?

Doug
This may help you decide. If you have a MicroCenter store near you, You can get an Ender 3 pro for $100. $100 Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer | New Customer Exclusive
 

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