I’ve been looking at buying a 3D printer for ages, and I finally have the funds to purchase one. Anything below $2,000 is an option, though I’d prefer not to spend that much. I’ve looked over the Make magazine buyer’s guide, which helped narrow it down, but I’m not sure which one I should go with. Any advice from people who have experience is very appreciated.
Background - I’ve got no experience with assembly/hobby building, but I’m happy to learn and live with an engineer. I’m looking to make large prints for artwork/molds/costuming, so leaning more towards “print and forget” than calibration.
MakerGear M2 - $1450 kit/$1750 assembled - looks to be solidly built with IRC tech support (definitely a plus, since lack of experience would multiply downtime for me).
MendelMax Pro - I was originally going to go with this from Trinity Labs, but they started retooling their operation right after I put down a placeholder deposit. Now, almost half a year later, they’re shipping units again, but of a new machine, the Aluminatus TrinityOne. It’s more expensive, and I can’t find any user reviews yet - if anybody has information or hands-on experience with it, I’d love to hear it.
Type A Series 1 - $1,400 assembled - This got best in class, and looks tempting, but no heated bed, and the support seems marginal. (Their COO is on reddit, though, so easily accessible at least.) Coupled with the fact that it appears to be an original design, and I’m concerned that my lack of tech skill would make any repairs/calibrations much harder.
Ultimaker - ~$1600 assembled - A bit on the expensive side, but Make rated it as quick, accurate, and solid across the board. Plus, the support seems to be significant, with wiki, forums, and Google group.
Help me narrow this down so I can finally buy one, please!