As the title said, what’s the key point when you want to get your first 3d printer? Speed or others?
The question I asked myself was: do I want a hobby or a printer?
To me, speed is not relevant. I rarely print overnight, so whether a part takes six hours or ten, I’m only realistically going to print one per day.
What is relevant is reliability.
All the speed in the world won’t be enough if you have to spend half your print time servicing or adjusting your machine.
Don’t misunderstand, I suspect most of the people here get as much of a buzz out of tweaking their machines as I do out of producing a near perfect print first time every time without having to do that. That comes at a cost of course whether you buy a cheap machine and enjoy modding it, or simply buy a Prusa with all the good bits already there is a matter of choice and budget.
Good luck with your new journey!
If your 3D printer is a general tool that will sit unused for chunks of time, then speed is not very important. I like Peter’s “reliability” as the prime thing to value. You want to be able to fill the build plate with objects and have a high probability that the job will finish successfully instead of coming back to a giant ball of “string.” You don’t want to futz with special glues in order to get your model to stick to the build plate, or worry that your complex design will fail after 20 hours of printing.
I’d like to add a second value: community. Eventually you will have problems or need advice on specific jobs. Having a community that embraces your specific printer means there will be content and people to help you.
I was a faculty advisor for a technical college student group, and they wanted to build one, so I paid for a second set of Makerbot parts out of my own pocket. This was when they were all DIY - we wound nichrome wire and kapton tape around the hot end to make the resitance heater. When the Prusa Mendel came out we rebuilt to that form factor. I used that machine eventually to print parts for 2 Prusa i3 clones and sent one to my brother (and his kids).
Build volume is the most important option IMHO. A printer’s bed size cannot be increased or expanded in almost all cases. Bigger beginner printers are often slower and more expensive compared to smaller printers with the same motion system. Determine the largest items you think you’ll print and find the bed size closest to that.
Speaking of motion systems, the vast majority of beginner printers are going to be the typical Cartesian “bed slinger” printers like an Ender 3 or a Prusa. However, don’t overlook a Delta style printer. The are very fast, mechanically simple, inexpensive, and take up much less desk space than a Cartesian with the same build volume.
I want to not only mention some key points but also link to a printer I really like, the BIQU B1, which is available at a great price, and is a great first printer, IMHO, that checks all my boxes. I have 4 of them, plus another BIQU “big brother” to it, the BIQU B1 SE PLUS, which is a special edition that is bigger and has some more nice features added.
The BIQU B1 has reliability, very respectable strength in both the extruder, hotend, bed heating, and a great mix of all the various convenience / ease of life factors (removable magnetic flex bed, filament runout sensor, silent drivers, touch screen, etc), is made by a trusted name (BigTreeTech), and is made to be easy to enhance, e.g. port ready made to plug in a BLtouch auto bed leveling sensor, and it’s easy to upgrade to dual-Z if desired. On top all this, the price is great, at only around $229 or so on fremover.com — and it’s also the same price (though that’s a sale price) on their own site, at biqu.equipment
I mentioned its big brother, BIQU B1 SE PLUS. It’s on sale right now at their site, for only $289.
The general public in the field of printing usually exist in the way of enthusiasts, but we have their own work and life, it is impossible to spend a lot of time to adjust the electronic performance of the machine every day, for speed, in the market currently circulating hotter machines basically require quality can only lose speed, require speed can only lose quality, it seems that everyone has no other choice.
I agree with you and Peter that a stable and powerful machine is what we need in the end, and this is the claim of every maker. Instead of worrying about the machine getting a failed work after consuming up to 20 hours, we should choose a machine with high stability and high speed.
You have a team? That’s awesome! Have you been working with 3d printers for many years? Do your friends and kids use 3d printers too?
I think you mean that the most important thing is the rigidity of the structure!!! This is very important!!! Whether a machine is solid or not depends on its structure, do you know coreXY structure? More and more machines on the market have started to use this structure, many businesses use carbon fiber to save costs, but this material is not able to support the entire structure.
Yes. I have built a CoreXY Voron. CoreXY is a very efficient motion system, not a structure. There are budget, beginner(ish) CoreXY printers but they lack the acceleration to reach their advertised speeds and are more expensive than their Cartesian counter parts.
The new Bambu Labs printer (which is pretty pricey) is where I think you’re getting the carbon rods from but it has yet to be seen how those hold up in the longer term. Most printers using carbon on the XY gantry are square tubes with linear rails attached and these are enthusiast modifications - not beginner friendly stuff.
Structure is important but, again, a wobbly machine can be fixed or adjusted for. A printer’s framing is designed around a bed size. You can make it smaller but making it larger is often impossible. Yes there are kits for some printers but they often cost more that the printer itself.
I didn’t make a suggestion for a printer last time but if the original poster just wants a printer to get started get a Prusa Mini. I don’t have one but it checks all the boxes for what I would tell a beginner to look for.
I think there are a lot of good points here but without knowing what you are trying to make we will all project our goals into our recommendations.
If you aren’t sure what to do with it start basic with something like and ender 3 or if you have the $$$ a Prussia. Both will do a good job and are well documented machines with large communities of users. They aren’t super fast but are pretty reliable and flexible.
For me I still use my ender after 40-50 spools of filament and it still works for my needs. If my needs change I can sell it and expect to get most of my $200 back and upgrade.
This is a good point. If you find you don’t like 3D printing you’d benefit from having machine you can offload close to what you paid for it. From what I know, a Prusa has a pretty good resale value.
I recommended a prusa to a friend who scoffed at the price (he originally wanted to borrow my machine). He ended up getting an ender 3 and said something like, “I see now what you mean about the tuning”. I haven’t heard anything else about it (This has reminded me to reach out, I should help him).
With lower expectations and higher patience, an ender or btt entry level machine can be amazing. But if you have a project and you want it done, then a prusa is worth the money.
I totally agree with what Jeff mentioned. When I started the same question ended up in discussions about the i3 vs anet a8. The i3 was the ‘get nice parts tomorrow’ printer, but of course cost more. The a8 was the ‘buy this one if you enjoy tinkering and want to learn how to tune 3d printers’. Those discussions were always followed up with talking up the importance of learning how to tune/tweak. A popular sarcastic comment of the day went something like… every i3 will at some point need an a8 operator to fix it and get it printing good again. All I know is I went the a8 road and don’t regret it at all.
I think that’s a good sum of how to think about purchasing a first printer; start with big community for support, then figure out where you budget/learning/business needs lay in the matrix, and go from there. These days it’s the ender3 genre for the tinkerers, and it seems the i3 is still a staple for business startup types. There’s some crazy new corexy stuff that some businesses like, but that’s too advanced for a first IMHO.
Personally I just bought the cheapest one I could find at the time with a reasonable print size, anet a8! Worked like a charm ever since, except a few blow-up bearings and a heated bed that didn’t work for a while, that self healed though so it barely counts as a problem
I have a voron that prints very well in the early stage. This is a printing speed that ender cannot compare with. However, because the machine is too large and inconvenient to carry, I chose to buy two other machines. I got a lot of good results by using the materials given by bambu in the early stage. model, but after I changed the material, none of the prints were correct, and then it got worse and worse within a month. It could not print filaments other than its own brand, and even the carbon fiber tube began to drop slag (powder granular) structure It is no longer stable, it is too light and cannot support high-speed printing at all. Now that I have purchased the Elyarchi, I will continue to test this machine, after all, it claims to have an idle speed of 500mm/s.
I have three machines and I’ve never considered ender, it has no speed to speak of, and I wouldn’t bring myself to buy a cheap machine and keep tinkering, that wasn’t what I created it for in the first place, and it’s had mixed reviews, we Why not just buy a perfect and standard machine?
In fact, we all have a consistent understanding that products such as ender or btt can only keep beginners at the stage of fiddling. If we need to do some delicate projects, these machines cannot do it.
As far as I know, the current coreXY technology is more outstanding than professional-level machines such as voron or Elyarchi. Its principle is to make the printing process more stable. On this basis, the printing speed can break through that other ordinary machines cannot break through. high speed.