I'm getting a 3D printer; which one  would you recommend?

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discussion
(Sean Lennon) #1

I’m getting a 3D printer; which one would you recommend? Specs and websites would help a lot as well as information on your personal experience. I don’t have any experience with 3D printers.

(Andrew Plumb) #2

If you have no experience with 3D printers, Step Zero is to get yourself a copy of Make’s Ultimate Guide: http://blog.makezine.com/volume/make-ultimate-guide-to-3d-printing/

Once you’ve done that and read thru it at least three times from cover to cover, ask yourself again why are you getting a 3D printer?

How you answer that question will depend on (among other things) your budget, technical skills (hardware and software), print resolution and durability expectations.

(Billy French) #3

I have a solidoodle2 and it worked pretty good at first, but the resolution isn’t really what I was hoping for and now there is an issue with the feed getting jammed, despite having replaced the head. I would say for the price, it’s a great starter machine, but I immediately started eyeballing the Makerbot 2

(Nils Hitze) #4

Buy an Ultimaker instead of a Makerbot - cheaper/hackable - better resolution!

(Sean Lennon) #5

Thank you so much to everyone. I’ve been looking around for the past couple of months, your suggestions have already saved me time and effort. Billy and Nils I’m gonna take a look at those models.

Andrew, I guess I should read Make’s Ultimate Guide a couple more times. I’m really thinking of making 3D models as a hobby but turning a profit never hurts.

(Billy French) #6

I’ve made some cool stuff with the solidoodle2. Made a phone mount for my car. Made a desk stand for my phone. Made a new support leg for my computer keyboard. And a bunch of small stuff like necklace emblems and stuff. Pretty fun!

(Andrew Plumb) #7

@Sean_Lennon - You’ll have to elaborate on how you define “making 3D models”. Do you come from a CGI or engineering background? Models of mechanical things (to capture function) or aesthetic things (e.g hi-res figurines)?

(Billy French) #8

I’m a graphic designer and do a lot of 3D modeling for games and renderings for product shots etc. So I made some designs that I printed as well as found plans online and made modifications in my 3d software package to suit my needs. When I used “making” I meant that to mean I designed or modified .stl files and printed them.

(Sean Lennon) #9

I’m a professional software engineer (14 years). I develop in multiple languages and on different platforms. I’ve created 3d images using everything from MAYA to Google sketch-up.

By “making 3D models” I mean the process of designing the model to producing the physical item. I imagine I would need to get some software which I would use to design my model and a 3D printer which would produce a physical model.

(Billy French) #10

I personally use Maya and use a free .stl export plugin I found on creativecrash to export my models. Then I use http://cloud.netfabb.com/ to clean up and optimize the stl files. Seems to work out very well. I have never used sketchup for stl files but I know there are plugins out there for it.