where do you buy a 3 d printer??? How much does it cost???

where do you buy a 3 d printer??? How much does it cost???

A 3D printer isn’t like a regular printer, the market isn’t yet fully industrialized to the point where you could just go to best buy and buy one. You have to ask yourself several questions before buying one. Primarily, what do you want to use it for? Rapid prototyping is usually what most people have one for though there are more uses. It really is something you have to ask yourself, what am I going to need this for? Secondly based on what you need it for depends which kind you need. Thirdly, you need to find out, whatever printer I need, do I have the technical competence to buy the kit and make one myself or should I find a preassembled one?

There’s hobbiest printers, and there’s industrial ones. Hobbiest ones are more affordable and can range from a few hundred to a couple of thousands of dollars. You can buy them ready made, or you can buy them as a kit.

Industrial ones are going to cost more than a couple of grand up to tens of thousands of dollars and will come ready made.

So what do you want it for?

If I’m a hobbyist mostly working in Autodesk Inventor (student licenses are fun) and making reasonably-sized (but not necessarily small) parts for prototyping on a budget, what do I want to get?

@Nikolai_Hedler what’s your budget? You can build your own reprap using several online kits: http://reprap.org/wiki/Prusa_Buyers_Guide

There’s some cheap kits like the soliddoodle one that’s 499USD


Then there’s stuff like Up! mini which sells at about 900USD. Then there’s the more assembled ones likes Cubify which is 1200USD and there’s the Makerbot line that’s in the 1500USD + range.

check this one out if you haven’t already:

@Miguel_Salazar Can you advise on print quality of e.g. Solidoodle as compared with what can typically be expected of a RepRap printer? I like the Solidoodle price range, because I’m still in HS and can’t afford much, but I do know that I won’t be happy with something that prints sloppy parts.

@ladicius_hobbs I’m interested, but I’ve been hearing for a while about the 3D Systems infringement case, and – much as I hate to say it – I’m not sure I want to preorder and have to worry about not getting product. If it were available now, I’d buy one and be happy that I was able to support the company, but even as production/development is continuing, there’s always that risk.

I’d recommend an @Ultimaker Great community. Best build volume, speed and precision.

@Makible is getting ready to ship theirs. $200 for the basic model, $400 for one with a steel bed and pellet filament extruder.


@Nikolai_Hedler there’s a video review of the Up! Soliddoodle, and Cubify here which shows print quality, ease of use and software:

Do not buy the Cubify. It’s a printer from 3D systems which is a known patent attacker in the 3D printing industry. http://blog.makezine.com/2012/11/21/3d-systems-suing-formlabs-and-kickstarter-for-patent-infringement/ The Up! printer is also proprietary. If something goes wrong, you’re screwed and will not be able to turn to this community for help. We had this just a short while ago where someones board burned out, and they had to hunt down another Up! user in order to fix it. Not just any Up! user…but one with their exact mainboard so they could figure out what was wrong. Their software is different than the software we use, so calibration, etc is also completely up to you. Problems with a print? Oh well…can’t help you.

The Solidoodle is quite possibly the only one that’s a somewhat good decision (that statement is out of ignorance by the way, I do not know any of the people associated with the solidoodle) - but they also have one huge, glaring problem with the design of their machine: They’re not carrying 1, but 2 huge, weighty stepper motors on the Y axis. You’re never going to be able to go very fast with that machine, as the added weight and intertia will overpower the stepper motor driving that whole carriage.

Those are quite possibly some of the worst suggestions someone could ever make regarding 3D printers at all…

If you want a $2k already-assembled machine - go Ultimaker. If you want the cheapest possible to get started, yet still very capable, order a @Makible Makibox. If you want to make one yourself, go with the Prusa i3, join a local hackerspace, and have other 3d printer enthusiasts help you out for a still-cheap, 200mm^3 printing area. (Most hackerspaces have at least 1 3D printer and will generally get you the parts)

Here are around 130 choices to choose from!!! :smiley:
Just use the menu to the right, to sort by “kits” or “assembled” and then choose from your own desired budget.

Each model has it’s manufactures link included in the info/spreadsheet, so you can head to their specific site for ordering info.
(Then I would encourage you post question here about specific models, once you narrow down your taste and spending goals.)

~ (And perhaps I should have stopped with the above information? Don’t get overloaded with the below comments.) ~

I’m rather partial to the buz I’m reading about the “Rostock Max” Printer: http://shop.seemecnc.com/Rostock-MAX-3D-Printer-Kit-68398.htm
I like the fact that it’s design, doesn’t simple fashion itself after the 2D printer world; but rather utilizes a efficient “parallel robot” movement for the extruder head; and subsequent printing methods more closely resembling that of the 3D, CNC routing / production world.

Demo Video Link: http://youtu.be/3Lg3IokWYeQ
(Not sure why their main demo video, is that of a timelaps? There are many others on YouTube, by end users which demonstrated the impressive “normal” speed of the printer.) Perhaps a much better, quick explanation of the Rostock design, from a RepRap user: http://youtu.be/T05N0KGO-48

As a result of my own interest in learning more about this printer prior to purchasing one; I have posted several question about the Rostock printer here. Haven’t received a whole lot of constructive feedback yet, but the community is new. :wink:

In the event you are not familiar with my reference to “CNC routing”, here is a video link showing those type of robots in action:
6-axis, CNC demo. http://youtu.be/G_UmhUjZhNo
This last video example is a demo video of an assembly line production robot, utilizing 4 armatures rather than three. http://youtu.be/0-Kpv-ZOcKY

Cool stuff… Like I said, the Rostock “Max” and it’s methods of “printing” / extruding, are much different than those 3D printer models which tend to more closely resemble a 2D printer. (Which feature moving build surfaces; much like the way a 2D printer moves the paper through the printer, while the inkjet is swiped back and forth.) The consumer market for these technologies and product is still in its infancy Who know ho many new advances and paradigms we will see some about and challenged over the next couple of years?? :slight_smile: Fun times!