3D Printer for home user, is it worth it ?

Soldato
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3d printer for a home user is it worth it ?
I've wanted to give 3d printers a go since it they came out, but at the time I thought they are too small to make anything useful and the cost is too hight just to play with and try out, you have the cost of the machine the the filament. even now im not sure the cost is worth it because its not something that would be used mush after the first play. im not even sure what i would do with it after the novelty.
I can see making a lot of bits I've broken, like plastic clips I've broken, a chess board of my design or silly things like that but is it cost affective in the end. I mean I use a laser printer a few times a month and it cost little to use.

Some questions
1. Are you a home user ?
2. is it worth it ?
3. Did you buy new or used ?
4. Do you use the 3d printer ?
5. what do you use you printer for ?
6. is it cost affective ?
7. what pushed you to buy one ?
8. what advice would you give someone considering getting one.
9 is it still quite expensive ?
10. how do you scan things ?
11. How did you find things ?
12. what is a good printer is a good printer to start out with ?
13. is it better to buy new or used ?
14. what is a good model and price range to look at for a first model to try out when I'm not sure ?
15. what mistake did you make when first starting out, any advice for other ?
16. How are things going so far for you with the printer, what was the learning curve, and what would you advice to do and avoid
17. Could I make large items or is it restricted to small items.
18. how much space would I need ? with a smallish house
19. For someone new, what advice would you give on getting a printer, New, used, types addons ?
 
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Soldato
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1) yes
2) in my opinion it is
3) bought a flashforge dreamer in 2020
4) yes, want to make it a bit quieter so I an use it for longer periods without it being as obtrusive
5) been a mix of upgraded for the printer, cutting jigs, dust covers, component storage bins & project boxes, a holder to stop my phone sliding about on the charge pad in the car, weird shaped desk grommets, camera and phone stands. The list really goes on and on...
Thanks, How did you find things ?
6. is it cost affective ?
7. what pushed you to buy one ?
8. what advice would you give someone considering getting one.
9 is it still quite expensive ?
10. how do you scan things ?
 
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I've never really thought It would have been useful if I had a 3d printer to print something but then again its not something that normally would come to mind even if you need something that could be printed.

if I was to jump in for just a one off to try, to see if its something that could be useful, what should I look for, what should I pay, what should I expect ?

1. Are you a home user ? Yup
2. is it worth it ? For me yes
3. Did you buy new or used ? New
4. Do you use the 3d printer ? Currently yes, but it sometimes goes for a month without being turned on, then used loads and repeat.
5. what do you use you printer for ? Making storage, custom clips/holders for things, few toys.
6. is it cost affective ? Eventually it would be but for the odd thing you can just get someone else to print it.
7. what pushed you to buy one ? Fun thing to learn and play with.
8. what advice would you give someone considering getting one? Borrow one if you can for a bit, I do think for lots of people they will sit and gather dust.
9 is it still quite expensive ? My Creality V3 SE was incredible value at about £135 from aliexpress and 2kg of plastic for around £25 means prices have dropped heavily for a simple setup.
10. how do you scan things ? I dont
11. How did you find things ? Printables/thingiverse or design on tinkercad as I havent leanrt to use a "proper" modelling tool yet.
I was thinking the same so I thought I would ask.

6. Yes, both in terms of like for like part cost and avoiding making the things by hand that I don't have the skills to do manually without having quite a few goes at it. Though as you cannsee I've printed quite a lot of stuff at this point so the amortisation rate is pretty good by this point.
7. A large part of it was I got it dirt cheap from the manufacturer when they had a flash sale and I was furloughed and looking for something to do that felt productive. I had spent a few years havijg that gadget-itch but being out off by the cost of the printer.
8. I agree that borrowing one is the best way to see if it will be worth buying. If you are only going to be printing a couple of things then it's not worth it but if you keep finding yourself in the situation where printingnitem x would have been cheaper in filament and electricity than buying one or you couldn't buy the item or it saves you a load of time then it's time to buy one. Also you need to be aware of the limitations of what you print vs loads applied (there's some good graphics for load application for FDM printers) and finish detail (high detail items like minis will be far better on a resin printer).
9. I've managed to cut the price of filament by 75% (official filament from flashforge is about £20 for 500g, the last batch I got was £12 for a 1kg spool) and the 2 rolls that came with it were mostly spent making the bits to facilitate the 1kg spools.
The last thing I designed and printed was £2.20 in electricity and filament vs £50 in a remade item and the tools to modify it to what I needed.
10. I don't, parts either come as redesigned or pre-written from thingiverse or I design them in CAD (Design Spark or OpenSCAD, looking to move away from Design Spark)
Thank you.
 
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Thanks Every one it is helpful. I see a few people got them during corvid (to pass the time ?)
I've seen a some people make some cool stuff online but I come back to my questions

12. what is a good printer is a good printer to start out with ?
13. is it better to buy new or used ?
14. what is a good model and price range to look at for a first model to try out when I'm not sure ?
15. what mistake did you make when first starting out, any advice for other ?
16. How are things going so far for you with the printer, what was the learning curve, and what would you advice to do and avoid
17. Could I make large items or is it restricted to small items.
18. how much space would I need ? with a smallish house and other family member inc younger ones, sometime wondering around everywhere.

19. For someone new, what advice would you give on getting a printer, New, used, types addons ?

Is Creality one of the better model to get get it looks like a lot of you have them.

at the moment I'm not sure if its worth jumping in yet I'm leaning toward leaving it a little longer or till I know more and can get something cheap to try out. at the moment im not sure if cost effective to buy something that could cost £100+ just to try out and to make something that would only cost a few quid just because I want to try it out.
I'm a home user, as to whether it is worth it that is mixed - I don't use it that often, mostly due to lack of a proper place to have it setup but it is great being able to print out custom bits and pieces and/or prototypes for projects, etc. that side in its own way is invaluable. Personally I picked up a relatively cheap Monoprice (they are also sold under other brands like Malyan but no idea if they are the same quality) 3D printer which is largely plug and play other than messing about a bit with the bed.

Personally I create the 3D models from scratch for the most part using either basic CAD or basic 3D modelling software. Amongst the stuff I've printed includes custom front panels for electronic projects, custom mounting plates for routers and stuff like that and have messed about with custom chess pieces, etc.

You have to be aware of the limits though - average filament especially PLA doesn't tend to like exposure to the elements much, will eventually breakdown if exposed to water and warp in warmer weather in direct sunlight, printed parts can be brittle depending on filament used so not good for stuff like latches and clips especially if intended for repeated use - though some filaments work better towards that kind of use than others.


As an aside on the chess piece topic - I actually printed out a placeholder 3D model of a chess piece from a set of placeholders I'd done for an old video game years ago, so not optimised for 3D printing, and was gob smacked when it printed it without supports on the overhanging bits - I really didn't think that would come off:

Fce27wx.jpg

(On the left is the 3D model cut out from the modelling program)
The left one looks good, but I assume it due to filament used and the printer ?

1. Are you a home user ? Yup
2. is it worth it ? For me yes
3. Did you buy new or used ? New
4. Do you use the 3d printer ? Currently yes, but it sometimes goes for a month without being turned on, then used loads and repeat.
5. what do you use you printer for ? Making storage, custom clips/holders for things, few toys.
6. is it cost affective ? Eventually it would be but for the odd thing you can just get someone else to print it.
7. what pushed you to buy one ? Fun thing to learn and play with.
8. what advice would you give someone considering getting one? Borrow one if you can for a bit, I do think for lots of people they will sit and gather dust.
9 is it still quite expensive ? My Creality V3 SE was incredible value at about £135 from aliexpress and 2kg of plastic for around £25 means prices have dropped heavily for a simple setup.
10. how do you scan things ? I dont
11. How did you find things ? Printables/thingiverse or design on tinkercad as I havent leanrt to use a "proper" modelling tool yet.
5. Making storage, custom clips/holders for things, few toys.
What kind of storage could you make, I assume they would only be little, also what type of toys ?
6. is it cost affective ? Eventually it would be but for the odd thing you can just get someone else to print it.
This is one reason for this post, if its not really cost effective in the long run after the first few hours play, it will just get neglected.
7. what pushed you to buy one ? Fun thing to learn and play with.
8. what advice would you give someone considering getting one? Borrow one if you can for a bit, I do think for lots of people they will sit and gather dust.
I'm unable to borrow one because I don't know anyone that has one.
8. what advice would you give someone considering getting one.
Decide on whether a resin or filament printer is best for your needs
What is the difference between the two and do they both do they both come on roles and print the same way on most printers ??
5. what do you use you printer for ?
All sorts, organisation, silly fun things for family, electronics enclosures

6. is it cost affective ?
Whether it covers the full investment I can't say, but I definitely print things that I would have possibly bought previously

7. what pushed you to buy one ?
Being able to get the E3P for ~£130 and see what the fuss was about end of 2020

8. what advice would you give someone considering getting one.
Decide if you are interested in being able to print things, or want something to tinker with - a lot of the modern mid price printers are very close to fire and forget now

9 is it still quite expensive ?
Like with many hobbies there can be a big rabbit hole to fall down, but once you have a reasonable printer (or a well setup cheap one) the material cost is fairly minimal

10. how do you scan things ?
Although I have a scanner, I haven't got round to properly using it yet

11. How did you find things ?
Printables is my main source, but Thangs/Thingiverse/many more sources exist - plus getting into designing things yourself is very rewarding (I am still only just starting here)
5. This similar to why im considering one, i see a lot of fun stuff people made online and start to wonder what I could do with one, just for the sake of it.
8. I'm interested in being able to print things, but at the same time I want to tinker to see what's possible and if its for me.
example a few weeks ago I needed a car emblem and the price was stupidly high for something so small, I wondered if it would have been possible to print a custom one.
10. are they expensive and are any of the scanning apps any good ??
You may get completely different advice from someone with more experience, but I'd say you can't really go wrong with the Ender 3 V3 series - I've had no major issues with mine, and it was easy to set up and get going.

I went for the SE at ~£170, but to be honest, having used it for a few weeks, I wish I'd spent slightly more and gone for the KE. While it's ~£50 more, I've already spent half that on the PEI bed that the KE comes with, and it seems to have quite a few other improvements as well.
Thanks, this has been really helpful, I'm still getting confused with all the different models and options, like beds addons, I even get confused with the different types of printing material.
I have this crazy thought that at some point in the future every house will have a 3d printer, a bit "Star Trek" maybe...

Recently I had an issue with a bathroom sink not staying full when the plug was down, made some adjustments to it and left the plug on the stairs while I did something else... Then the dog ate it. The plastic hair-catcher was destroyed, but I just downloaded a model of a new one, adjusted the scale, and it's working fine now. Except for the initial printer cost, it saved me the price of the part and the journey to the shop to get a new one, for only a few pennies of filament.
Would the initial cost not out weigh the cost of the parts you made by a long shot ?
 
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Soldato
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By current standards, for something like that, absolutely.... I use mine for tabletop gaming terrain, and the cost of the printer has pretty much been saved if I was to buy all the stuff I have printed from the manufacturers..... Gaming is expensive.
Well if you use it for something like that, I can see how it would save you a lot of money over time. but I was assuming that's not the case for most people.
 
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How can I know, which printers would good for me ?
would it be worth considering a used Creality Ender 3 - V2 ?
 
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First thing to look at it the size, what are you trying to print and will it fit on the build plate.

After that, each has their own features and flaws.
1. I would be looking at something that has the possibility to print larger items, It would be a little restricting if I can only print tiny items.

2. I'm not sure what I would print yet but mostly what other have been printing (clips, chess pieces and board, I would like to see what's possible, I've seen some make swords, masks, figures), but I'm assuming I would want something that would give me solid prints that will look solid but i would need to know what type I would need and what material it would need to use.
 
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I purchased a pre-owned Ultimaker S3 with a dozen or so new rolls of Ultimaker filament to sweeten the deal. I opted for pre-owned high quality 3d printer, but not invest too much on a hobby that may not last, however I found owning a 3D printer that's extremely easy to use as a beginner, got me addicted to the hobby almost immediately. I suppose the idea of being able to print literally anything that will fit on the build plate was too good to pass up.

It's not until one runs out of other people's 3d designs, does one realise designing 3D models from scratch is somewhat more difficult, time consuming and sadly where most home enthusiasts tend to lose interest and their 3D printer gathers dust.

Patience is a big factor when learning the differences between 3D printers and how they perform, studying YouTube reviews helped me decide what make/model and features I'd find most suitable and adaptable to my low volume, high quality needs.

I factored in what replacement parts and consumables would cost over time too, that's where the expense can soon mount up on some makes and models. Limited space was also a big factor for me personally and the smaller form factor of the Ultimaker S3 suited my needs perfectly.

In conclusion, I would recommend looking at the sizes and volumes you intend to produce and the types of printer/s that would most suit those needs. I found the Ultimaker S3's dual nozzle/filament option was the main deciding factor in my purchase. Nowadays all the latest gadgetry is sold with highly inflated prices, buying pre-owned equipment keeps it out of landfills longer and I found in many cases new doesn't necessarily mean good, or reliable, especially with cheap Chinese 3D printers.


This is my opinion, I could be wrong.
I purchased a pre-owned Ultimaker S3 with a dozen or so new rolls of Ultimaker filament to sweeten the deal. I opted for pre-owned high quality 3d printer, but not invest too much on a hobby that may not last, however I found owning a 3D printer that's extremely easy to use as a beginner, got me addicted to the hobby almost immediately. I suppose the idea of being able to print literally anything that will fit on the build plate was too good to pass up.

It's not until one runs out of other people's 3d designs, does one realise designing 3D models from scratch is somewhat more difficult, time consuming and sadly where most home enthusiasts tend to lose interest and their 3D printer gathers dust.

Patience is a big factor when learning the differences between 3D printers and how they perform, studying YouTube reviews helped me decide what make/model and features I'd find most suitable and adaptable to my low volume, high quality needs.

I factored in what replacement parts and consumables would cost over time too, that's where the expense can soon mount up on some makes and models. Limited space was also a big factor for me personally and the smaller form factor of the Ultimaker S3 suited my needs perfectly.

In conclusion, I would recommend looking at the sizes and volumes you intend to produce and the types of printer/s that would most suit those needs. I found the Ultimaker S3's dual nozzle/filament option was the main deciding factor in my purchase. Nowadays all the latest gadgetry is sold with highly inflated prices, buying pre-owned equipment keeps it out of landfills longer and I found in many cases new doesn't necessarily mean good, or reliable, especially with cheap Chinese 3D printers.


This is my opinion, I could be wrong.
1. I think my route I would most likely would be a used model or a cheap new model mostly because I don't want to splash out on a new models and only uses it a few time to make something that would likely cost a few quid each, I cant seem to find many below £150 at the moment for used locally, I will consider looking on the bay and other places once I have a better idea of what I need,

2. You do make some good points, Ive always thought the biggest issue would be difficult designing 3D models from scratch, depending on the software mostly because ive never done anything similar, I also think it would be one of the most fun parts.

3. I would need to look at YouTube, my first and only thought was ask on here.

4. I never thought about the replacement parts outside the filament.

5. I would want something a little flexible on size, I dont want to be pringing something small most of the time, but im assuming a lot of modern printers to offer the option to print large items unlike the past. My big reason for considering one is curiosity, because I just want to know what they are capable of doing and would they be useful, I think it would be fun to have one but I dont think its something I would need, I think its just a want. just to see what my imagination could build, A few weeks ago i needed a car emblem and the cost was very high, I'm assuming I could have printed a custom one for lot less, Ive also always wanted a custom chess set and other custom items, that would be fun to create, ive also seen so fun things others have done. but I dont have enough knowledge yet to jump in head first.
 
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Looking at some YouTube videos getting some more info.

I think something like a Creality Ender 3 V3, Kobra 2
or similar would be a good starting point, If i was to get something new its seam to have most of the basic feature you could want and the price is good.
for the filament the Standard PETG or PLA seam to be the best all round option.


Your thoughts
 
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Soldato
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Ive had an ender 3v2 for a few years now. It was a cheap printer to buy and theres upgrades galore for it.
Ive added a raspberry pi with touchscreen to run octoprint. PLA filament is cheaper these days.
I used it constantly for the first 6 months selling bits on the bay. This paid for the printer and all the upgrades.

Since then ive been printing stuff that i need. Today i needed a kitchen kickboard joiner, jumped on tickercad. Designed one and its
now printing.

Once you've purchased one your soon find how useful they are and you'll be printing all sorts for around the house.
Thanks
what's the difference between the ender 3v2 and the v3 ?
Selling on the bay may not be for me, Im not a fan of selling on the bay.
 
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The v3 has auto levelling which the V2 didn't, I had buy a bltouch for this. To be honest I haven't looked at the specs much for the v3.
Mriscoc professional firmware makes the V2. His firmware is superb and takes away a lot of the hassle setting up and printing. I'm not sure if the v3 can upgrade it's firmware to this
Thanks.
 
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I'm a Bambu fan, so I'd suggest saving for the A1 mini and getting that..... They just work, pretty much out of the box without any tinkering.

Only issue with it may be the build plate size.
I assume you have a Bambulabs, how have you found it compared to the others ?

180 x 180 x 180 mm³ Is a chunk smaller, I assumed it was a similar size.
Have you found it restricting due to the size ?

What is the repairability like ? I assume it also needs the same repair and maintenance.
 
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Thank you both.
So the newer printer are mostly low maintenance, easier to use with all the basics inc auto levelling and will advise when something is needed.

it maybe aa an option to save a little longer and get a new one.
 
Soldato
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The Arcade Machine, looks like a fun idea.
As for the printer, I I did look at a few option and short listed the following, I still need to reduce it.

Creality Ender-3 V2 (maybe a used option)​

Creality Ender-3 V3 SE​

I've seen Creality models used by and for sale a few. So I assumed it would be a good option.
Bambu Lab A1 mini (a little smaller than others)
Anycubic Kobra 2
Artillery Sidewinder
ELEGOO Neptune 4

I still have time, I'm now considering getting a new one (need to save up more), useless a cheap used one comes along with no issues but it seam unlikely .
 
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