Homebrew Talk 3D Print Thread.

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matt_m

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Couple silly little things I printed up today. First is a marker for the flow meter I recently picked up out of the classifieds here. Second is some temporary camlock plugs since they were out of stock at Brewhardware. Both printed in PETG for slightly better performance but neither use will really see significant heat. The outside of the flowmeter only really gets slightly warm and the plugs are just to serve mostly to serve as hose hangars.
 

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Dr_Jeff

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I am thinking about getting a 3D printer.
What does one need to look for feature wise?
I've seen them that support 2 or 3 filaments and color change, restart, filament out detection
screw drive vs. belt drive,
open source firmware,
touch screen vs. dial
various print sizes
one had 2 extruders
another came with five spare extruder tips - how long does an extruder tip last?
I like the ones that are 90-95% assembled, really not interested in full assembly, seems like too much of a pita

any other things that I am missing, feel free to toss in ideas or things I need to think about
 

matt_m

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I debated it a year. Almost bought an Ender 3, considered a Prusa, then the Ender 3 V2 came out. I bought that and added an upgraded extruder. better bed springs and a few other things for about another $50 extra Last week I flashed a Raspberry PI I had and bought the parts necessary to add Octoprint with a camera, maybe another $20 excluding the Pi. I need an enclosure but haven't figured out what I want yet and I'll probably add a BL Touch for automatic bed leveling. Assembly was easy and I was printing good prints 24 hours after delivery.
 

Bigdaddyale

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I love my Ender 3-I got a good deal on it. I bought the laser add on and want to trick it out with Octoprint and all the other bells and whistles
 

LBussy

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I am thinking about getting a 3D printer.
What does one need to look for feature wise?
Many of them are chasing the features forwarded by Prusa (and people will argue about that but I've been watching knock-offs chase them for years.) Technically Prusa is RepRap so open source, but they have been innovating and releasing most of it to OpenSource so they are at the tip of the spear. This means that they are a little more expensive (it's a real company with real people) but you will often find the features and ideas more fully baked and supported with a Prusa.

So, you asked about features. Look at the Prusa site and then look for other companies supporting the same. Nearly every printer on the market will do 99% of anything you would ever want to do these days. Don't get dazzled by a print bed that's 20mm larger and think that's going to matter. I've been "restricted" to 250x250x200 for as long as I've had a printer and there have been maybe one or two times I had to change my plans. Larger prints are exponentially slower, so scaling things down and/or printing them in pieces is often a better plan. Most all print models are tailored to the same class/size of print bed.

One thing on my latest printer that I would really miss if I didn't have it anymore is the textured magnetic flexible removable bed. The textured bed was a game-changer for me - I highly recommend it. It seems small but it made a big difference in print finish and my ability to get challenging prints off the bed.
I've seen them that support 2 or 3 filaments and color change, restart, filament out detection
I keep telling myself that color change is something I need, yet I've never had it. You can do a layer-based color change with most single-color printers now. If you look at these coasters, you will see what I mean:



Restart has been incredibly helpful. Filament out detection is relatively new for printers and some works better than others. @Thorrak has a model older than mine and his did not work correctly but mine does. If you let the filament run out you are almost guaranteed a partial teardown.
screw drive vs. belt drive,
open source firmware,
touch screen vs. dial
various print sizes
one had 2 extruders
A screw drive is technically more precise, but it's all about the package and the capabilities of the printer. Don't judge a printer solely by what you think the creator should have done - look at how they work. The belt drive on my printer is quiet, precise, and easy to work with. The printer firmware has progressed to the point where it outputs one of the best print qualities available. So long as the software (firmware) and the hardware are well-suited to each other, things will go well.

I love OpenSource, and these printers would not even exist were it not for them. That said, aside from philosophical differences, there's not a reason to worry about this unless:
  1. You intend to customize your firmware; or
  2. The printer you choose is so new/flawed that you will depend upon a robust community support model
I spoke about the print size above. In the Prusa line, there's a mini and a regular one. Having said "size doesn't matter" I'm going to turn right around to say I'd get the standard Prusa (or another brand around that size) for brewing-related projects.

Touch screen vs dial only matters while you set it up. After that, you can use something like Octoprint and you rarely will use the printer controls. This is not an area where I would spend time or money worrying about it.

Two extruders is a color print choice. It seems like a great idea ("no waiting for filament changes!") but in practice, it reduces your bed size along the Y-axis by 2X the distance between the nozzles. It's only ever going to be something you want if you have very specific and frequent color print needs. It's also more difficult to calibrate and keep that way.
another came with five spare extruder tips - how long does an extruder tip last?
I never have had to change a nozzle. So long as you are not constantly printing abrasive filament, you won't either for the practical life of the printer. I tried to change one once for a not very good reason and I won't do it again.
I like the ones that are 90-95% assembled, really not interested in full assembly, seems like too much of a pita
I'd encourage you to re-think this. 3D printing is not and will never be (at least in our lifetime) like buying a computer printer. Tinkering is required and encouraged. To that end, building yourself one (like the Prusa kit) is recommended and not too bad if you give yourself the time and a decent workspace to do it. You will learn things about your printer that may be helpful later on.
any other things that I am missing, feel free to toss in ideas or things I need to think about
It's obvious by now that I have and recommend a Prusa. It's more expensive than most of the others, and "they make you put it together." This is my second Prusa and I am not at all sorry I've spent the money. "Buy once, cry once."

Do look around though. Look for the community and how it is supported. How frequent are the commits in the firmware and other software repositories? This is an indication of how actively supported the printer is.

I know people with Enders, and I know they like them. Knowing what I know and seeing both I would buy another Prusa. Not trying to knock anyone here, and it is a slightly religious/political argument, but you asked for opinions.
 

Dr_Jeff

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Lee,

I appreciate your input, I had been looking at the Ender 3 Pro, but I'll check out the Prusa
 

Thorrak

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I've got a Prusa at the moment after having had a Lulzbot and a Makerbot. The Prusa is my favorite by far.

For the Makerbot, the model I had was a relatively old one that used a proprietary "hot end assembly" which was attached by magnets. Great idea if you view the hot end as a consumable part that will need frequent replacing - in practice, it was a solution looking for a problem that introduced an additional potential source of error. There were a number of other issues as well, but

The Lulzbot was a fair step up from the Makerbot, but required the use of 2.85mm filament (rare!), had a bed leveling mechanism that required the nozzle to be clear of any (electrically) insulating material (eg plastic) at the start of each print, and was incredibly loud. Again - each of these decisions had their advantages, but in practice finding the larger size filament was difficult, the fact that the nozzle head had to be clear of filament to properly level the printer meant that auto-leveling rarely worked the first time, and the noise meant that I had to limit printing in our small apartment to the daytime when nobody would be home.

While the Prusa hasn't been perfect (the bed leveling with the MK2 caused all kinds of trouble) the progression with the MK3 has solved almost all the problems I had with the original model. It helps that they also sell upgrade kits - once you buy a Prusa, you can always upgrade it to the latest model for relatively little cost.



Restart has been incredibly helpful. Filament out detection is relatively new for printers and some works better than others. @Thorrak has a model older than mine and his did not work correctly but mine does. If you let the filament run out you are almost guaranteed a partial teardown.
Can confirm - had to do a partial teardown to fix things after the filament ran out, got ground down in the hotend by the extruder gear, and refused to come back out. Not pleasant.
 

matt_m

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I find something new every day.

Holder for flavorings for some hard seltzer we keep on tap.
20210227_230146928_iOS.jpg

Holder for coasters. Basement has a garage theme, this is inspired by the fins on the old aluminum housing ignition modules.
20210228_190641340_iOS.jpg

Hanger for an Inkbird on my new Kviek fermenter/brite tank printed in PETG. If that doesn't hold up I'll reprint with a hole I can tap for a machine screw.

20210228_190154907_iOS.jpg
 

LBussy

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I keep forgetting to post this one:

1614545656124.jpeg


Obviously (I think) it's a hanger for my triple CO2 manifold. The hanger parts have lasted > 8 months so they lived through a summer in my (attached) garage without warping. It's in three parts and bolted together:

1614545655510.png


IIRC, I did the U-hanger parts in a relatively high infill, 80% sticks in my mind. They are printed in PETG which is my new favorite (now that I have a magnetic/removable bed).
 

matt_m

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Ironically a regulator mount is on my list. I need something totally different but the way you did those bolts solves my last remaining issue. Thanks for posting!
 

matt_m

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Regulator mount for the back of a Kegland kegerator. They ship with a CO2 tank holder that drops on 4 mounts, I repurposed 2 for a secondary regulator.

20210301_022428637_iOS.jpg
 
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