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  1. #1
    Join Date
    22nd February 2017
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    Glendale California
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    3D Printer Suggestion (and questions)

    With options changing so frequently and not having seen a recent thread on this, I'm hoping to get some suggestions for a 3D printer. Ideally looking for something "entry level", but that said, it would need to be suitable for rocketry part-making applications.

    For those of you who have 3D printers or are in the market for one, what do you have/are likely to buy?

    What do you make with your printers?

    Are there any specific features or specs that are essential/helpful for what we do?

    My ideal budget would be in the sub $300 range, but willing to consider higher if worth it.

    Bonus points to products avail through Amazon as I have a sizeable gift card burning a hole in my virtual pocket.

    Rob Hoegee
    "I said lunch, not launch!"
    L1 Madcow DX3 "Road Rash" 3091ft AT H135W
    KM6DXQ

  2. #2
    Join Date
    22nd February 2013
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    Garland, TX
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    I have a Prusa i3 mk2S, and I will be upgrading that to the mk2.5 in the new year. I have been nothing but impressed by the Prusa, but it is about double your preferred budget.

    I print all manner of rocket parts and jigs, random stuff for the kids ("Dad, I want a Fluffy the Three Headed Dog"...to Thingiverse!), various brackets and dodads for little projects.

    So much of my rocket building time has been diverted toward my "other hobby": Race Timing

  3. #3
    Join Date
    1st July 2011
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Did printers ever speed up? Is 10 hours or so still normal to print a fin can? I'm not that patient to buy one yet.
    Kevin Wuchevich
    Tripoli Pittsburgh
    TRA 12238

  4. #4
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    22nd February 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavecentral View Post
    Did printers ever speed up? Is 10 hours or so still normal to print a fin can? I'm not that patient to buy one yet.
    I printed a fin can for a D-motor rocket in about 4 hrs. There are a lot of variables that influence print time. The new Prusa i3 mk3 is supposed to be twice as fast as mine, but I don't know where that benchmark comes from. Is it inherently not fast to build something in 0.2 mm slices.
    So much of my rocket building time has been diverted toward my "other hobby": Race Timing

  5. #5
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    1st July 2011
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    That's what I figured. Thanks.
    Kevin Wuchevich
    Tripoli Pittsburgh
    TRA 12238

  6. #6
    Join Date
    23rd February 2014
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    Eastern Shore, MD
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    There are several printer kits on FolgerTech.com, I have the 2020 I3 and the Kossel printer both of which perform well. I am looking to get the FT5 rev2 after the new years. FolgerTech is on the east coast and I have been very pleased with the support I received when needed.

    They are kits but if you can build an avbay you should not have any problems.
    Dennis Kingsley
    NAR #97251, TRA #17554, MDRA #128
    L1 - Madcow Torrent
    L2 - Madcow Sensor
    L3 - Extended Madcow Stinger

  7. #7
    Join Date
    10th July 2007
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    1,267
    I would look at something that handled the hotter materials like ABS, and possibly Nylon.

    Whatever you buy make sure it comes with a cover to keep it nice and warm (no air drafts or temperature changes) or make one up for it yourself. Strength is very process-dependent.
    TRA 13430, Level 3

    "Everybody's simulation model is guilty until proven innocent" (Thomas H. Lawrence 1994)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    23rd January 2015
    Location
    Draper, UT
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    I have a Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer v2 (https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=13860), which is a rebadged Wanhao i3. Three of us at work bought them on the same day with a coupon, they are normally $299.99. The other two guys have had very few problems but were content to print PLA. I have paid probably another $300 to replace the extruder stepper, install an all-metal hotend, upgrade the bed, build an IKEA-based enclosure, install new bearings, and swap out for new electronics. There is a fabulous Google Group where I get support. I now print almost exclusively PETG, much stronger and less melty than PLA, and print rail buttons in Nylon, which is stronger yet. I love my printer at this point, but it was definitely a process to get here.


    Real Soon Now, Monoprice is supposed to be shipping their little Delta printer for $159.99:


    https://mpminidelta.monoprice.com/


    It's anyone's guess how nice of a printer it will be, the print area is pretty small.
    Let us create vessels and sails adapted to the heavenly ether, and there will be those who will not shrink from even that vast expanse. - Kepler to Galileo in 1610

    NAR 86500
    Level 2

  9. #9
    Join Date
    23rd January 2009
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    New York
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dugway View Post
    I have a Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer v2 (https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=13860), which is a rebadged Wanhao i3. Three of us at work bought them on the same day with a coupon, they are normally $299.99. The other two guys have had very few problems but were content to print PLA. I have paid probably another $300 to replace the extruder stepper, install an all-metal hotend, upgrade the bed, build an IKEA-based enclosure, install new bearings, and swap out for new electronics. There is a fabulous Google Group where I get support. I now print almost exclusively PETG, much stronger and less melty than PLA, and print rail buttons in Nylon, which is stronger yet. I love my printer at this point, but it was definitely a process to get here.


    Real Soon Now, Monoprice is supposed to be shipping their little Delta printer for $159.99:


    https://mpminidelta.monoprice.com/


    It's anyone's guess how nice of a printer it will be, the print area is pretty small.
    Be aware that any of that will void the warranty. Just had an awful experience with Monoprice where they had me ship my printer in, only to have them reject it and send it back unfixed. The issue was an unrelated issue with the bed heating circuit. Thatís faulty because it doesnít use a MOSFET and runs the bed through the main circuit board. Mine started burning, so Iíd recommend you install a mosfet on it before it does the same to you.

    Be done with it and buy a Creailty CR-10. Mine comes tomorrow. Monoprice sucks.
    Dan Patell
    TRA 10904 L3

    Easy Research Rocketry
    29mm Research Hardware Has Returned!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    23rd October 2015
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    69
    The FlashForge Creator Pro is a very nice 3D printer. One of our rocketry group members has one and has made numerous bits for club members. Also, one of my work colleagues has one and uses it professionally. They are a well made, sturdy and fully enclosed dual extruder printer. They are about AU$1500, but would be much cheaper in the US.

    http://www.flashforge.com/creator-pro-3d-printer/
    John
    TRA #14574 L2

  11. #11
    Join Date
    22nd February 2017
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    Glendale California
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    Quote Originally Posted by patelldp View Post
    Be aware that any of that will void the warranty. Just had an awful experience with Monoprice where they had me ship my printer in, only to have them reject it and send it back unfixed. The issue was an unrelated issue with the bed heating circuit. That’s faulty because it doesn’t use a MOSFET and runs the bed through the main circuit board. Mine started burning, so I’d recommend you install a mosfet on it before it does the same to you.

    Be done with it and buy a Creailty CR-10. Mine comes tomorrow. Monoprice sucks.
    Looking on Amazon, they seem to have a dozen different versions of this at varying prices. Are all of those knock-offs? Rebranded? Any concerns about it not having an enclosure?

    Thanks for the insight.
    Rob Hoegee
    "I said lunch, not launch!"
    L1 Madcow DX3 "Road Rash" 3091ft AT H135W
    KM6DXQ

  12. #12
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    23rd October 2015
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    Canberra, Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faroutspacenut View Post

    My ideal budget would be in the sub $300 range, but willing to consider higher if worth it.
    I recently purchased a Duinotech TL4076 Mini 3D printer. I was originally a bit dubious about it being so cheap, but itís mechanically solid. It is limited to 90 x 90 x 90 mm, but at AU$300 it is good value. The print quality is fine for that price.
    John
    TRA #14574 L2

  13. #13
    Join Date
    23rd January 2009
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    New York
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faroutspacenut View Post
    Looking on Amazon, they seem to have a dozen different versions of this at varying prices. Are all of those knock-offs? Rebranded? Any concerns about it not having an enclosure?

    Thanks for the insight.
    https://m.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3...pp_441282.html
    Dan Patell
    TRA 10904 L3

    Easy Research Rocketry
    29mm Research Hardware Has Returned!!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    13th December 2011
    Location
    Edmonton,Alberta
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    I have the Qidi Tech 1, great printer! Duel extruders, this is nice so you can have both ABS and PLA ready for printing.
    Itís extremely well built. Components are high quality and being that itís enclosed and has a heated bed itís great for printing ABS.

    The Flashforge Creator Pro is pretty much the same machine just a few hundred $$ more in Canada over the QIDI. I use the same slicing software with the same settings that the Flashforge Pro uses.

    We started out with a Prusa I3 and after the hours of assembly only to get 20 min of printing before the printer bed bearings seized due to the poor quality, we disassembled it again and sent it back and purchased the QIDI Tech 1.
    No regrets on this printer.



    Sent from my iPhone using Rocketry Forum

  15. #15
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    23rd January 2015
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    Draper, UT
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    Quote Originally Posted by patelldp View Post
    Be aware that any of that will void the warranty. Just had an awful experience with Monoprice where they had me ship my printer in, only to have them reject it and send it back unfixed. The issue was an unrelated issue with the bed heating circuit. Thatís faulty because it doesnít use a MOSFET and runs the bed through the main circuit board. Mine started burning, so Iíd recommend you install a mosfet on it before it does the same to you.

    Be done with it and buy a Creailty CR-10. Mine comes tomorrow. Monoprice sucks.
    Like I said, I replaced the electronics (RAMPS 1.4, $5-$10) and moved the MOSFET to a separate board (again, $5-$10), among other inexpensive mods. I figured out early on that for $300 you don't get a toaster that you can plug in and it just works for years. Voiding the warranty never was a concern to me. I'm just glad I have a machine that I understand and that works well.


    Last edited by Dugway; 7th December 2017 at 06:17 PM. Reason: adding pics
    Let us create vessels and sails adapted to the heavenly ether, and there will be those who will not shrink from even that vast expanse. - Kepler to Galileo in 1610

    NAR 86500
    Level 2

  16. #16
    Join Date
    5th February 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Qweebec
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    3,402
    https://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2470038,00.asp
    https://www.3dhubs.com/best-3d-printer-guide
    https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-3d...view-2236.html
    https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-t...t-3d-printers/

    Taz, Lulzbot, Prusa are usually the top 3..

    Personally, I wouldn't pay less than a thousand.. Schools, some libraries, and the trendy 'maker lab/ shop' will have one for your needs.. and you don't need to maintain it, listen to it 'sing', and after a few dozen parts printed, the novelty kinda wears off.

    I have two at work I use & maintain (Makergear II & Fusion360). We have the budget for a third, but are looking at a mill instead.. We use them for prototypes & 'show off' samples for clients & such.. There are a handful of items I want to print, and I probably will in the future. But now, I can make 4 ply fins in the about the same time it'll take to design, model / slice, and start a 3D print..
    -paul

    NAR# 101258 - L1
    www.CRMRC.org
    I don't know the same things you don't know..

  17. #17
    Join Date
    18th October 2016
    Posts
    497
    Spend the extra money for a Prusa (Mk2 or 3) from http://www.prusa3d.com/ and never look back.
    TRA L2. I-class record: "Vanish 29" with an I224, 14,596ft, Mach 1.92. Video here.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    25th June 2014
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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	333758I've got a Lulzbot Taz 6 which is 2500 bucks, but it does print nice stuff. Depending on what you are doing/looking to print the 150mm version at 899 may be ok. Creality CR-10S is also good.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    3rd February 2010
    Posts
    121
    Another vote for Prusa even though it's way more expensive than you were thinking. Every review I have ever seen, plus my (limited) experience with them at my work and the maker space associated with my work has them pegged with the best all around machine for the money. It seems like it need no mods, and the software is dialed enough that it needs less fiddling to get good prints.

    Getting a $300 rep rap clone thing that needs mods plus a ton of tweaking is the cheaper route to go, but also more time consuming and potentially frustrating. Depends what you are after.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    23rd January 2009
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    First print off the Creality CR-10.

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    Dan Patell
    TRA 10904 L3

    Easy Research Rocketry
    29mm Research Hardware Has Returned!!!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by patelldp View Post
    First print off the Creality CR-10.
    Nice!
    Rob Hoegee
    "I said lunch, not launch!"
    L1 Madcow DX3 "Road Rash" 3091ft AT H135W
    KM6DXQ

  22. #22
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    23rd January 2009
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    And another. Really nice layer quality.

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    Dan Patell
    TRA 10904 L3

    Easy Research Rocketry
    29mm Research Hardware Has Returned!!!

  23. #23
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    3.72Ē 4:1 Ogive on the Creality. 25% infill took 24 hours.

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    Dan Patell
    TRA 10904 L3

    Easy Research Rocketry
    29mm Research Hardware Has Returned!!!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    3rd February 2010
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    121
    The more I read the more it seems like the Creality CR-10 might be the best bang for the buck and a(the only real?) viable option in the "less than the cost of a Prusa" category. But being a chinese unit with comparatively poor vendor support and the occasional issue, I don't know if it's worth it compared to the Prusa. I am close to pulling the trigger but may just save some more money.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kclo4 View Post
    The more I read the more it seems like the Creality CR-10 might be the best bang for the buck and a(the only real?) viable option in the "less than the cost of a Prusa" category. But being a chinese unit with comparatively poor vendor support and the occasional issue, I don't know if it's worth it compared to the Prusa. I am close to pulling the trigger but may just save some more money.
    Itís funny, I actually think the Prusa is a rip off. The Creality takes 15-30 minutes to assemble and then youíre off and running. The Prusa is susceptible to the same issues as any other printer. Remember that most of these printers are all based on the same technology and troubleshooting guides online apply to all of them.

    The CR-10 is half the price and much larger. This cone used all but 5-10mm of the z-axis and came out flawlessly.
    Dan Patell
    TRA 10904 L3

    Easy Research Rocketry
    29mm Research Hardware Has Returned!!!

  26. #26
    Join Date
    3rd February 2010
    Posts
    121
    Prusa tends to pack quite a bit more technology and new features into their printers in addition to supporting those feature with improved software to make the package just work. They do a way better job of removing guesswork and tinkering from the equation to get better parts faster. The support around the product and company is way better than hoping gearbest or whatever other "cheap junk from china" site will take care of business. You pay a premium for that. Is it worth it? Depends.

    Like I said, the Creality seems to be the most dialed of the "cheap chinese" printers but you can't exactly call anybody up to get help. You better hope your kit is perfect out of the box. It may be worth the gamble and if you have the time and knowledge to tinker and fix and mod it's no problem.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    11th April 2009
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    SF Bay Area
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    I also have a Monoprice Maker Select 3D Printer v2. At a little over $200 it is fairly good deal. I had to return the first one because of some problems. Monoprice set me a new and it has working quite well. I finished printing Kirby Downey's AT-AT from Star Wars. The overall print time was over 80 hours for all the parts with one part taking about 20 hours. Not one problem.

    I bought this printer to see if this was something I would enjoy doing (both the designing and printing). So, a couple of hundred bucks was not much of a risk. I am going to buy a nicer printer, most likely a
    Prusa because I am having a lot of fun with this.

    Personally, I would not spend a bunch of $ to upgrade the MP I would use those dollars towards a nicer printer. However, I do understand the want to make something better even if the expense does not make sense.

    For an entry level printer I am happy with my purchase. There are a lot of reviews and a Wiki that has a lot of information. Also, Monoprice has great support.

    That CR-10 does look interesting. There is a great youtube review.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    23rd January 2009
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    New York
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    3D Printer Suggestion (and questions)

    My Maker Select V2 died after 1000 hrs. Appears to be a bed short, and Monoprice did nothing to help.


    Sent from my iPhone using Rocketry Forum
    Dan Patell
    TRA 10904 L3

    Easy Research Rocketry
    29mm Research Hardware Has Returned!!!

  29. #29
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    22nd February 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by patelldp View Post
    3.72” 4:1 Ogive on the Creality. 25% infill took 24 hours.
    That's really impressive. Can you print it with the shoulder or does that need to be attached separately?
    Rob Hoegee
    "I said lunch, not launch!"
    L1 Madcow DX3 "Road Rash" 3091ft AT H135W
    KM6DXQ

  30. #30
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    23rd January 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faroutspacenut View Post
    That's really impressive. Can you print it with the shoulder or does that need to be attached separately?
    You could, but would require support as the lip would be an overhang. I also planned on using a coupler for the shoulder as the PLA can bind.

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    Dan Patell
    TRA 10904 L3

    Easy Research Rocketry
    29mm Research Hardware Has Returned!!!

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