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Discussion Starter #1
every once in a while I will visit makerbot or one of their competitors and look at the printers.

I found this unit:


http://www.bestbuy.com/site/xyz-printing-da-vinci-1-0-all-in-one-3d-printer-dark-blue/2503878.p?id=1219547719659&skuId=2503878

dont know much about these things.
Other than the micron spec determines the smothness and detail and the overall build size can be very limiting.

considering the printer at best buy seems to have a decent print size and is well under $1000.
It maybe time to start learning more about these things
I figure I am not the only one here looking at these. Thought I'd ask what other features or specs should be scrutinized?

can they all use files from thingverese?

anyone have a 3d printer care to coment on the pros and cons?
 

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I actually own that printer, Dont bother with the AiO model though, the scanner is worthless. You can pickup the standard DaVinci model for $300 ish on sale ( what I paid). If you switch out the firmware to repetier, you can use any filament instead of xyz ripoff filament and it makes the machine do a much finer print.


Yes you can use thingiverse files but you may have to reslice them with whatever program your printer is setup to use.
 

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I've been pretty heavily into 3D printing for the last year and a half. I started with a Printrbot Simple and recently made a reworked Prusa i3.

IMO, the Printrbots are a very good starting point. Build areas can sometimes be on the small side, but you should jump in and start somewhere to learn the technology.

For sure, none of this stuff is plug and play, and you'll find yourself having to dig into the details of configuring and maintaining any printer you get. You'll have filament jams and the need for periodic calibration.

Regarding tommytrub's question of what could you do with it...it's more like what can't you do. Here are some of my example prints:

Coasters.jpg

EddiethEd.jpg

Jack-iphone5 case.jpg
 

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I backed one on Kickstarter (Tiko), which I should have by the end of the year. Sadly too late to do anything for this haunt season, but next year...

I know some models come with a heated print bed, which is supposed to make it easier to remove the completed print. Some also have multiple print heads to allow you to print multiple colors at once. And, as untillater alluded to, some require you to use expensive, proprietary material spools while others use universal spools. There are also different kinds of plastic, although I don't recall off the top of my head which one is supposed to be better than which.
 

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3D Printing Forum is a great place for information on 3D printing:
3D Print board

There's a large number of 3D printers represented there - the RepRap printer has a huge representation, but keep in mind that it's an open-source, make it yourself kind of printer (the RepRap is designed to be make-able by another 3D printer...essentially, someone with a 3D printer can print the parts for a RepRap, which can be assembled, and then print parts for another RepRap, and so on...)

I have a FlashForge Creator Pro on order, and am looking forward to what I'll be able to make (I like it due to the larger build envelope (about 9.5" x 5.5" x 6"), that it has dual extruders, is built on dependable tech, handles a large variety of material filaments, and I got it for one hell of a good price).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I actually own that printer, Dont bother with the AiO model though, the scanner is worthless. You can pickup the standard DaVinci model for $300 ish on sale ( what I paid). If you switch out the firmware to repetier, you can use any filament instead of xyz ripoff filament and it makes the machine do a much finer print.


Yes you can use thingiverse files but you may have to reslice them with whatever program your printer is setup to use.

"reslice" the files , you say. I can see i will need to familaraize myself with the terminology.
can you describe this process?
so you recomend that printer?
 

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"reslice" the files , you say. I can see i will need to familaraize myself with the terminology.
can you describe this process?
so you recomend that printer?
Iceman, this is why I always tell people to just take the plunge and go for it. You'll learn a ton in a short amount of time.

Slicing is the process where models are put through this process to create the xyz coordinates for the travel path when moving the print head when printing.
When you download models to print, you'll set various parameters in the software such as for the speed, layer height, wall thickness, and infill. This information is then used to slice the model.

Slicing is like putting the model through a bread slicer that will simply create horizontal layers. The resulting file has the movement instructions for the printer as it goes through the print process.

The slicing part is easy, but it's the calibration of the printer that can drive you nuts. When you think about it, you might be printing with a layer height of .2mm. So there needs to be a fair amount of precision with the printer's movements. Print bed leveling and getting the movement across all 3 axis has to be down to the mm. So you find yourself having to learn about stepper motors and inserting values for the stepper count within the slicing software.

All of this stuff isn't difficult, but it is a vertical learning curve for the first few weeks of owning your printer.
 

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Of all aspects, I hate leveling the bed the most. It's not that bad in terms of plowing the print head into the bed (I've done it once or twice). But for the most part the manual process deals with sliding a business card between the bed and nozzle to set the right height (with a slight drag). Over time you'll learn what works and what doesn't. The auto level would be nice and I have a sensor sitting on my desk that needs to be wired up and attached to my Prusa.

I can't say enough about Printrbot in that Brook is a stand-up guy and their products (I think) are pretty good. The Simple metal is highly rated and a really good starting point IMO. I started with the wood version of the Simple and modified it extensively. It's an excellent learning platform.
 
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