I have been researching different 3D printers but can't find a concrete solution to

I have been researching different 3D printers but can’t find a concrete solution to my question:
Which is the best 3D printer I can get within a feasible budget (less than 3000 dollars) that can print large objects (as in as large as possible)

and are there 3D printers that can paint the object it prints as well?

What is the best car under $20k?

There are many answers based on what you care most about.

Start here for raw pricing and build volume comparison: http://www.3ders.org/pricecompare/3dprinters/

Then research the industry and user reviews of the models that fit your parameters.

“Large” is a relative term but most likely will eliminate anything but a filament-based printer. That forces you to a thicker layer thickness than a DLP method and so a coarser model. There are many trade offs like this. Material. Speed. Accuracy. Multiple materials. Open vs closed source. Adaptability, etc.

You might try identifying a specialty user group that has similar goals as your own. They will have informed opinions on the specific hardware to get the best result.

You want to print big? Get a Rostock max http://shop.seemecnc.com/

That’s easy, there’s the Sumpod mega: 600x600x600mm, $3000 available under 4 weeks and the re3D Gigabot also 600x600x600mm, ≥$2500 and available I don’t know when (funded kickstarter project)

I have no “out of the box” answer for you, I can tell you that I was having the same Issue. I needed a much larger print area. So instead of looking for a “boxed” solution, I upscaled the relatively cheap to assemble Mendel/prusa Hybrid type
design and built it for a U.S. Standard 30" cubic volume print.
Over all I’ll have just over One Thousand dollars invested in this DIY Project.

Interesting, well since size was my primary concern this seems plausible

@Chris_Bigpaws_Chambe Interesting, how large do you think one can make it?

But to narrow it down:
What I’ll be printing:
Things that require high durability such as mechanical parts (cogwheels and assorted other pieces)
Computer towers
Cosplay props, preferably durable ones capable of surviving live action roleplaying.
Other misc. things that require high temperature resistance and durability that cannot or shouldn’t be assembled from multiple pieces

well using parametric parts, the scale is limited to the area you build it. HOWEVER, if you’re planning on a heated bed, this is one of the hurdles you will have to find a solution too.
I am still working on attaching a total of 9 in a 3x3 grid of 10x10 heatbeds. The physical attachment is relatively easy,
the power supply & even power regulation… is a bit trickier.
While working on this problem, I also thought of specifying heating zones, in case I only wanted to print a single narrow Item using only 3 of the available 9 (Typically Center Row in either X or Y orientation)
Obviously this upgrade, is still under construction.

Interesting, that shouldn’t be too hard to solve though ^^; (Well, having some engineering skills and friends who are actual engineers helps)

@Daniel_Keegan I am a backer of the RigidBot Big with a 12x16x10" build volume. It met my needs of low cost, large volume, open source, expandable design. I’ll let the world know how it goes when I get my kit in October. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1650950769/rigidbot-3d-printer

I assume you’re aware that with an increase in part sizes you get a corresponding increase in print time? You should expect large parts to take days to print if you want them to be resilient and maintain a good surface quality. I’d suggest you got something with a dual extruder head, with one head with a large orifice (0.75mm say) and a second one with a smaller orifice (0.35mm). That way the small nozzle handles the detailed perimeters and the big nozzle looks after the infill you want to do in large volumes and very quickly. Also worth noting that the larger the bot, the lower the accuracy (in general).

You can slice the models later and print a puzzle to assemble.

The things I have heard.
Ultimaker: nice, but noisy
Printerbot: cheap but a massive headache
Roestock:depends on vendor, there is a bit of tinkering required to get it working well. Accuracy is best in the center speed is best on the edges.
Bukobot: pain to assemble but after it is together it is a nice machine.
Prusa: get reviews from your vendor as there are bad eggs out there. If you get a good one they are great.

If you are making parts that you want to be strong you want a heated bed as you could print more plastic types, some have higher yeild strength others are more ridged. For the LARP gear you will want to use ABS as it can be smoothed with acetone making it look better and increasing bond strength.

For your purpose you DO NOT want a Rosen printer. The material cost is too high.

With every pro there is a con. You can get the printers with objective set to build with a large area, but there are so many things that make it harder to maintain and get good results when you expect it to do more.
Keep in mind many pieces will fail from time to time.
Printing is going to take x amount of time per material regardless of size, so days for large pieces. Quality will become questionable when you try to scale up. A large machine has a lot more issues than a small controlled one.
What I like to advise people to consider is keep it open sourced and hackable. I like the bukobot (200x200x200 with dual extrusion) because it is simple enough that if you want a bigger frame or other adjustment, you can change it yourself without any complex re-engineering of the whole bot.
The Ultimaker and large named closed-system printers will work easily and reliably out of the box no doubt, but you cant expect anything more than what you buy.

@Steve_Sharp I see, the time increase is expected and accounted for (aka I have more time on my hands than I know what to do with)

I do prefer open source and hackability (DIY hacks are too good to resist) so that was something I kept in mind.

@Camerin_hahn My main issue with slicing them up is durability though, surely there must be a loss in durability if it is two pieces compared to it being one piece?

anyway, from your recommendations:
Ultimaker, printerbot and bukobot stand out to me, are they open source? How hackable are they (aka has anyone succeeded in modifying any of them to any extent)

The bukobot will have somewhat of a long wait time as they have a long back order right now. As for the printerbot, i havent used one yet and I hear they break down easily and constantly- but I follow Jerril who makes experimental nozzles with and for printerbot, he is getting extremely amazing quality prints for high resolution. (small with high detail)

@Steve_Sharp I see, well I have a lot of time so a long wait time doesn’t necessarily stop me from getting a bukobot.

I’ll just strike the printerbot from my list then, I don’t have the time for a machine that would constantly break down.

It will take anywhere from a weekend to a week to build from the box of parts to a working machine. If you are in the SoCal area, they are one of few with a retail store front to visit for questions, updates or replacement parts. There have been a lot of new updates since I made mine, its a lot better than even the one I have. They just launched the bokito kickstarter too, a small portable sized printer. I’ve seen it firsthand and will add that its an extremely nice one.

Intriguing, the bukobot v8 duo seems to be good enough, my only concern is how much the durability is decreased from printing in many pieces and if the durability decrease isn’t major what way would be optimal for attaching the pieces to each other?