it all depends on your budget, technical experience and what you want to get out of it. the TEVO flash or Ender 3 are good choices with minimal construction and low cost. A few years ago an Anet A8 or Tevo tarnantula were good choices but the above and better and easier to construct. With a bigger budget I’d consider a Prusa i3 or even a ultimaker. A no name ebay kit may be cheap, but will need a lot of work to get printing well abd it may not be worth the cost saving considering the time and upgrades you may end up doing
My first printer was Prusa i3 MK2. I bought prebuilt version rather than a kit. I didn’t want to mess it up by trying to build it by myself. Then I started to have some issues; that’s where magic happens
You start learning how your 3d printer is working when you have problems with it. You start reading manuals, asking your friends, posting your issue on social platforms, forums and so on. Then you realise that there might be more than one thing actually causes the problem you have. So you start looking into those ones, and then you realised you’ve been reading articles, watching youtube videos for hours and hours to find out, let’s say; "how to print with copper-filled filament".
I have 4 printers on my desk and I keep fixing and upgrading them constantly.
Anyway, back to your question, here are some suggestions from me, another humble 3d printer owner:
– Don’t go cheap: never go for unbranded aliexpress, ebay printers. Most of them are not safe, not accurate and hard to build. You are a beginner, you need to encourage yourself with something actually works before fixing already broken products.
– Make your research: there are infinite resources when you look which brand you should buy, like here, 3d printer chat. or youtube channels, honest reviews, technical datasheets. Read them all!
– Ask community: Ask people what they have and how long they have been using their printers. But stay away from fanboys, they are dangerous! Prusa printers are great for price/performance comparison but their fanboys are not very good when you need an objective review (they usually answer your questions like, "if something’s wrong, it’s your fault, your printer work just fine dammit!".
– Give it a demo run: If you have anyone has a 3D printer, just visit them and see how it works yourself. Or visit fairs, trade shows, workshops. I like in London, UK and honestly, I’m the only one who has 3D printer around me and there are maybe 1-2 trade shows with a 3d Print booth in it. If you’re in US, you have tons of chances to see any 3D printer in action before you buy.
– Think about what you want: It’s all about what you want to 3D print; is it jewellery, or fanart models, or spare parts for your car? Give a time to think about it, you may end up buying a resin 3d printer rather than FDM one depends on what you need. Also size matters when it comes to 3D Printer. Smaller ones are cheaper if you think that 120mm x 120mm print bed size would be big enough for your needs, so think about it!
- Finally, go for expensive one if you have a budget; I would buy Ultimaker 3 over Prusa i3 MK3.Its price is more than double of MK3 but comes with better features, less need for tinkering and fixing and also, lets say, VIP support Again, this is my personal comment, it’s all about how much ambition, skills, patience and spare time you have
Hope this helps!
Please login or Register to submit your answer