Advice needed...Where would be the best places to buy a 3D Printer?

Advice needed…Where would be the best places to buy a 3D Printer? What brands do you all recommend? Looking to do some medium scale printing and I’m trying to decide what would be best for my interest. I’m an architecture student but I also have interior and industrial design ideas that I would like to create. Any help is much appreciated!!!

What print volume and resolution are you looking for. That will start narrowing the field, and then what is you budget? You aren’t going to get a Stratasys printer with a 1m X 1m x 50cm print volume for $300.

My budget is about $2500. As far as volume and resolution, I’m unsure of these at the current moment.

Sounds like for that budget you should be looking at the hobbyist style printers. Possibly a RepRap or a derivative of that design.

I’ll look into those. Thanks for your help.

My personal advice at that price point would be a Mendel90, Bukabot, or Lulzbot. They’re actually cheaper than your budget, but unless you go into 5 figures you don’t get much better than that.

I think sells a very nice machine for the money. They are also a great example of opensource in a for-profit company.

Thanks for the recommendation Miles

Thanks for the info also Scott

MakerBot is very popular as well, with a strong user community. If you are in NYC, you can walk in and look at the printer, and walk out with one if you want.

That being said, there are many good printers. Choosing between printers depends on details of what you are looking for. Do you care most about size, speed, range of materials, ability to use multiple materials, portability, professional appearance, things for display vs. heavy usage, etc.? All would guide a different recommendation.

If you can wait a few months for delivery, the Rigidbot on is about to close (3 days remaining) and you can get a large or extra large printer for a great deal.

@Laird_Popkin MakerBot is not popular in these communities. Their quality is quite poor for the price and they aren’t contributing anything back to the open source movement.

@Wylie_Hilliard I wouldn’t suggest anything off kickstarter for a first printer. Build an i3 or a mendel90 or basically any decent design that’s already popular. The path from a decent printer with lots of documentation to a great printer is far shorter than the path from a good printer you got off kickstarter to a great printer. By path I mean the amount of time you’ll spend tuning the thing to get great prints.

What about the solidoodle? it has a decent print resolution and print size and comes in a sturdy frame

I agree with @Nick_Parker , kickstarter stuff is not the way to go if you don’t already know a lot about this stuff and don’t mind waiting for a while.
I think it’s important to understand that sub US$3000 3d printers are all somewhat experimental, and those that offer themselves as “Appliances” fall short for being less hackable.
A Printer that can print itself is an awesome thing and can sustain itself. Generally low cost 3d printers work really well and a lot has been learned and the momentum is awesome, but you will need to learn a lot as well to get the most out of it.
I certainly don’t mean to discourage, but it’s not a microwave.
Not yet.

Replicator 2x for 2700 from Makerbot

Don’t buy a Makerbot. They’re remarkably crappy for their price. The 2x has issues I fixed on my Sells mendel 2 years ago.

What issues?
I’m curious as I have one on order.
I have the BFB 3000 and I can’t say enough bad things about it.

All of this talk over what not to get makes all of this seem very disappointing. It would seem there is a bit of bias against some brands… What would really be the reason for it? Other than the quickly given “problems” or “crappy” etc? It probably depends quite a bit on what the designs are for whether you’ll be satisfied with any particular printer from what I would gather.

Are some of you saying that there are open source designs for 3D printers? Would this be something you’d recommend? Then maybe one could be had much cheaper if one builds it himself?

In another building at the institute I work at holds a 20k dimension printer that they keep in a closet while I’m stuck fiddling around with DIY kits… Something’s wrong with that equation.