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Journeyman Lunatic
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Discussion Starter #1
I just ran across this printer, only $366:

http://www.banggood.com/Geeetech-Al...it-Support-5-Filament-p-998030.html?utmid=205

Heated bed, supports multiple filament types, and has a 7.9 x 7.9 x 7.1 build volume.

No 2nd print head, but I'd used it for stuff I'd paint (or cast with), so dual colors isn't important. True, it would be neat to use a second water-soluble material for supports.

Anyone see any big pitfalls to this? Or better alternatives? I couldn't, but I'm not as versed as Dave B. and others here on the printer specs. The software looks pretty good, freeware, but seems reputable enough,

http://www.repetier.com/documentation/repetier-host/
 

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Cliffy - just looked it over and can't see anything that isn't acceptable - It doesn't go into much detail about the software but it is likely to operate from some of the open source programs that generate appropriate code.

I might wait a few weeks and see if anyone goes into detail on the web or YouTube about the software.

Interesting find!

dave

UPDATE - more info (and a better price?) here: http://www.geeetech.com/geeetech-aluminum-prusa-i3-3d-printer-kit-p-944.html

Amazon has one, too - no comments yet http://www.amazon.com/Geeetech-Aluminum-filament-Printer-materials/dp/B014KAL4DW
 

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Journeyman Lunatic
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for hunting with me Dave.

Indeed, a better price. But, they're quoting $95 for shipping, whereas Bangood is free. But yes, I'd save about $15, so thanks for that tip!

They also have a dual-extruder, but it's in the acrylic version (vs. aluminum, which I like). Amazing price for their simplest unit, $216!

Geetech also has a support forum (in English), that's nice,

http://www.geeetech.com/forum/

[edit]
They say you can get free filament if you "share" with 3 friends (and submit their email addresses). I have 3 older sisters, hmmm...

http://www.geeetech.com/specialpage/christmas2015/christmas_2015.html
 

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My nephew recently bought this printer from Amazon. I saw a few of the test prints he did and for well under $300 it's pretty impressive. An FDM machine is never going to match the output you get from stereo lithography, but then again, the cheapest SL machine are in the tens of thousands of dollars.

The print area is small and reviews are mixed. But the support appears to be handled in the U.S. and since you're buying from Amazon if you wind up with a DOA returns are simple. It's also pre-assembled, not a kit.

I may use my Christmas bonus (if any) to pick one of these up when they're back in stock.
 

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Journeyman Lunatic
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks Jerry, hadn't seen that. I like its bigger build volume. But I still like the idea of an all-aluminum machine (I believe that black ones are acrylic panels), and free shipping (this one needs $90 to ship).

About your assembly concerns, to quote from one of their product pages,

. said:
To maintain the garage-built feel and the handmade charms, Geeetech I3 pro C is also a build-it-yourself kit, which provide you an unforgettable step-by-step learning experience of 3D printer.
I'm not sure I want an unforgettable learning experience... or the printer appearance having "handmade charms." Hopefully something's getting lost in the translation :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm sorely tempted, good buddy....

And same back at ya! Happy Hollerdays!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Good catch Beddhist, wow, lots of issues there. However, one of the posts mentioned Folger Tech, so I'm looking into their version of the Prusa I3.

http://folgertech.com/products/folger-tech-reprap-prusa-i3-clear-frame-full-3d-printer-kit-ramps-gt2

Though that frame is acrylic, here's one based on aluminum channel:

http://folgertech.com/collections/3...ap-2020-prusa-i3-full-aluminum-3d-printer-kit

Seems to me that the quality & QA would be far better. FT is US-based, has been selling since '05, and have a weekday support line to call in on.

Resolution is .05mm, vs Geeetech .1-.3mm. Similar build volume (8 x 8 x 7). Comes with the heated base. They also sell all the individual bits and pieces, when something breaks.

The price is nice: $270, +$10 for LCD/SD reader, +$16 for shipping (in my case). So, $296 for a US-made & backed kit.

They have other printer kits as well, looking at those too...


[edit] One prob with FT is that they charge $99 for email support (unlimited duration). So I can't even email them to ask a couple questions. Odd.

Here's another Chinese vendor, larger build volume, and good ratings on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00YWOUTHE/ref=s9_dcbhz_bw_d0_g328_i1_sh


Cliff
 

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If you are looking for a good complete 3d printer that requires no assembly, the XYZ Printing Davinci's are a good place to start. I use it to print parts and entire locomotives and rolling stock. I am currently printing a tender for a 0-8-0 as well as a SW1500 both in 1/29th scale. This intro model is about 500 dollars on amazon and has a very similar build size. I have put in a lot of time on this printer. Their customer service is also very good.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the tip WC. I looked into these a year ago, but forgot about them; but will look into them again. Definitely a better appearance as a developed product, vs. a collection of off-the-shelf parts.
 

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Don't know if this is useful, but there is an article in the latest Popular mag where plastic bottles are used as the supply for the printer. It will not reduce the cost of the initial outlay, but may help in future projects. LG
 

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For what it is worth, before you buy a printer make sure you know a little about 3D modeling and 3D printing materials. Anything in the neighborhood of 500 USD is not going to give you great resolution, but if all you want is a rough part to scale and are willing to put in some time cleaning the finished print up you do not worry about resolution but focus on
1. Availability of materials
2. Cost of materials
3. Strength of materials
4. Software included with the printer
5. Support
in that order.
Materials can be costly and depending on the printer hard to find as some printers use a proprietary method of feeding the material into the printer heads while others just use spools. The spools have the advantage that you don't need to pay extra for cartridges or worry about being tied to expensive materials sold by the manufacturer because they only work with a specific cartridge.
Not all printers come with 3D software that is user friendly and some times you need to pay extra. This is just the software that actually runs the printer and not the software you need to build the models. Some software only accepts files in the stl format. If you don't have a 3D modeling program that exports to stl do not worry there are plenty of free stuff on the internet that will help you convert.
3D printing is still in it's infancy much like 2D printing was a couple of decades ago. Consider that no matter what you get today, it will be like a dot matrix printer in comparison to what we have now.
I predict that cannon will be the one of the first to get into the game with a multifunction 3D printer offering scanning, printing and network printing within the next 10 years. So if you can hold on for that long, just use Shapeways. Takes longer to get your product, costs more, but they are getting better and better at quality and consistency.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
All great points Richard, and helpful as a good overview of the complex nature of the "art".

Though I don't have a printer yet, and am pretty green on their care and feeding, I've been 3d modeling for many moons, and have used various printing houses (Shapeways in recent years) for a lot of 3d prints. But since Shapeways has hiked up their prices so much, I'm in need of a process to make larger prints, because I can't afford to do otherwise.

For example, a stationary steam engine model of mine that seemed expensive at $75 two years ago is now $160. So for the price of 2 or 3 of those engines, I hope to get a low-end printer that will perform adequately for at least the larger parts. And for the smaller / more detailed bits, I can always use Shapeways.

All your points are well taken though, especially on materials and support. I've been avoiding those that don't accept generic spools (which I think disqualifies the DaVinci printers, hard to tell...). Support is tougher, and that's why Folger Tech caught my eye.

Thanks,
Cliff
 

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Did you ever have a steam engine printed from Shapeways?
What was the resolution for this project..... Chosen by you I assume...

If your even doing close to quality parts...and you have to do the fine finish work...you'll spend a great deal of your labor..to clean up a part before it matches that which comes from shapeways. Time.... Yours..is money also... Trying to do fine hand work on such small detailed parts will drive ya KraZy I'd think....you can only get in so close to a corner...by hand!
...

Ideas for discussion buddy...
 

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Last summer, I went to our local Maker Faire.
I was surprised by how many local 3D printing groups were around me.
There were 3D clubs, where you pay a monthly fee and get to use their printers and have other people to help you with your projects.
Anyone considering 3D printing might want to check around in case there are similar groups near you that you can learn from before making a purchase of equipment.
Understanding exactly what a printer is capable of doing, and therefor how best to create your 3D files is all important.
Regards,
David Leech, Delta, Canada
 

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1. Availability of materials
2. Cost of materials
3. Strength of materials
4. Software included with the printer
5. Support
in that order.

i would think the order should be different.

1. Support
2. Support
3. Support

...and then the other points.
i bought a da Vinci scanner and printer recently. but the "800..." - support phone number does not work from south america.
so i am stuck and trying to find a forum, where somebody has written about my problems.
specially, because 3D printing is a new game in town, help and interaction are the most important points.

who cares about costs, when playing with a new toy?
(specially, when the alternative is as "affordable", as shapeway is?)

to find out, what goes, and what not, is the interesting part now.
 
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