Trying to find someone willing to help me find the right printer.

Trying to find someone willing to help me find the right printer. I am a stay at home dad of a special needs 4 year old. I have scientific/engineering mind set and love learning new things. Looking to make a broad spectrum of things. Please email me at

Hi Thomas it depends on what is your goal. Very broadly: a) if the journey is more important than the destination and you want to go low-level and spend time testing and setting the machine a rerap or DIY is what you need but is certainly too technical for a 4 yrs old, b) a compromise might be to buy a kit like the Ultimaker 1 or similar. You got all you need, just put it together and it will work, c) if you are more interested in the output (e.g.: design stuff with a CAD and make it real) buy one that is ready to print. I opted for option “C” and got an Ultimaker 2, very happy with that.

Thanks for the reply. It isn’t for my 4 year old though lol. He has a G button and the feeding tube industry is changing the connection between feeding bags/syringes and feeding tube extensions. There will be a major need for adapters. As everyone knows, special needs parents are so wealthy we loop right back around to being poor somehow. So someone will need to make these adapters at cost. I am very fluent in cad and graphic design. As much as I would love the DIY route, I don’t think I have time for that since my son takes up most of it.

In this case you got option “C”. I got an Ultimaker 2 because I felt it somehow could guarantee results on small parts (I use it to do robots) and liked the fact that it is open source but is a bit expensive. You can check some good reviews here

Also, I went to school for IEEE so being able to make anything dealing with electronics is a plus

Check out the M3D printer that was on Kickstarter. Good price and a no fuss printer.

Thank you

I’ll throw my printer into the mix- a $599 printrbot Simple. Really reliable, auto z leveling, not a bad starter, IMHO.

I highly recommend the Makergear M2, see my review of it on Amazon for why:

I’d say anything but a Makerbot, Printrbot or Airwolf 3d. Support companies that give back to the community rather than those that bootstrap their operations by improving upon the amazing base that the RepRap community provides and then restricting future remixes and adaptions.

Excellent point!! So what reasons are there for having to personally modify your own 3D printer? I figure my first step is to make sure there is nothing a DIY printer can do that I need my printer to do before narrowing down to the assembled printers.

Also, it looks like I have 3 great assembled printers to compare. Is there anything y’all can add that separates one from the other two that isn’t printed on a spec sheet?

Should I stick with one from here in the US or should I still consider buying one from a company overseas?

Check out the 3d printer edition of make magazine. The Printrbot bots review well but it will have unbiased reviews of tons of other prominent companies. also carries our printers - reviews there as well (4.5 stars). Radio Shack will carry our bots soon too. Adafruit chose us specifically b/c of our pro-open source approach. Do your own research… Don’t believe me (or John ;).

I recommend a printrbot metal simple. It’s my first printer and it’s been pretty easy to use, to learn on and to get good results with. The community is very helpful too, there are a lot of experts in the two main forums who are willing to help other users troubleshoot and solve problems.

printrbots are the best way to “get started” in 3d printing.
cheaper than most, and the support from the company and the forums are a wealth of information, and the members are some the most helpful people Ive seen in any forum .