Author Topic: Looking for 3D Printer Kit  (Read 1746 times)

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Offline Ranayna

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Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« on: May 01, 2021, 07:56:25 am »
Hi,

my ANET A8 had a little accident a couple of days ago. Among other things, most major parts of the acrylic frame are busted beyond any repair, and the heatbed is bent. I suspect that the rods are now also not straight anymore.
A crash from 1.5 meters did wreck that poor thing...

Anyway, i was never really satisfied with the Anet anyway. For it's price it was a great machine, especially as an entry into 3D printing, but considering the stuff that had to be replaced in the kit from the get go, i would not buy an Anet again.
But still, a significant aspect that i loved about the Anet was, that it was a kit. I loved assembling it, and after it was finished and printing i had the feeling that i have learned a lot about the printer, and 3D printing in general.

So, i am looking for a new 3D Printer, in Kit form. The more parts, the better.  :-/O

A couple of things i would like:

- print quality at least as good, preferably better than the modded A8
- printing space comparable with the A8, but can be a bit smaller, i never fully used it anyway
- reasonably silent, at least compared with the A8. That beast was loud
- the option to add dual extruder
- I will use PLA and PETG Filament

I was already pointed towards the original Prusa i3 MK3s+
https://shop.prusa3d.com/en/3d-printers/180-original-prusa-i3-mk3s-kit.html#

The kit looks exactly like i would want a kit to look like: Almost everything is in parts :D
And while it does not have a multi extruder option, there is that MMU2S Upgradekit available.
But even the kit is not cheap at 770 Euro, with the MMU2S adding another 300 Euro...

Are there any good current alternatives available? I would set the 1.000 Euro of the Prusa Kit as an absolute maximum price.
I would strongly prefer to get a kit that includes any required materials. Preferably something available from the EU, i don't really want to deal with customs.
I can do electronics and electric work, but i do not have the equipment to do much metalwork beyond cutting extruded profiles to length.
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2021, 04:28:32 pm »
I have, and would recommend, the Flashforge Dreamer, which is currently £500 at Amazon (€575) - well within your budget. The mods I've made to it are:

1. Filament spools moved to outside (0.5kg spools are intended to go inside, but stuff you buy probably won't fit).

2. All metal hot end. There's a kit which is reasonably easy to fit and does the biz.

3. Use a thin mirror as the build platform. It's just a normal mirror placed on the platform and held in place with elestic bands. Amazingly, the heat seems not to affect them and they allow easy removal and replacement for cleaning. UHU purple stuff applied to the mirror will hold pretty much any job.

Only other mod I want to do, which I haven't got around to yet, is fitting a SDcard socket extender so the onboard storage is physically accessible without a teardown. Reason being, once you've got a zillion jobs on there it is a real drag to either page through them all to repeat the last one, or try and delete them one at a time.
 

Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2021, 05:53:57 pm »
Only other mod I want to do, which I haven't got around to yet, is fitting a SDcard socket extender so the onboard storage is physically accessible without a teardown. Reason being, once you've got a zillion jobs on there it is a real drag to either page through them all to repeat the last one, or try and delete them one at a time.

Stupid question (never owned or used a 3D Printer) but I remember seeing someone adapting a Raspberry Pi to a 3D Printer as a Print Server for exactly that situation. Sorry I can't provide the video in question, can't access Youtube.

With that this last line is basically out of the equation, right?
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2021, 06:22:20 pm »
Depends on your workflow and kit.

The Dreamer will accept print files and print them without the assistance of anything else. Some other 3D printers don't have onboard smarts but rely on some external application on a PC to drive them (my CNC mill is like this - needs Mach3 to tell it what to do in real tiime).

You can present the file to the Dreamer either via an sdcard slot (which is accessible externally) or via a USB/WiFi connection. In the latter case the file is spooled to internal storage, which is the sdcard I originally mentioned. Since WiFi is by far the easiest way of sending it stuff, the onboard storage is chock full of one-off prints I'll never use again...

A Pi won't help in this circumstance since there is a) no need for it and b) adding it in the chain would just cause more hassle and complexity that isn't wanted or warranted. The Pi would  be aimed at kit that needs hand-holding during the entire print process, which is not an issue for the Dreamer.
 

Offline Ranayna

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2021, 09:38:30 pm »
@dunkemhigh: Well that printer looks neat, but it is essentially the opposite of what i want to get :)
I want to get a kit, with as much assembly required as sensibly possible.  :-/O

@Black Phoenix: You are likely referring to Octo Print. That is a software for Raspberry Pi that can control a USB conected printer via the network. Sooner or later i plan to set that up myself. I had planned to do this with my Anet, but despite my significant chances to it's electrics i never was comfortable leaving it alone.
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2021, 11:28:49 pm »
An advantage of something like the Dreamer is that it's enclosed, so temperatures are more consistent (no draughts mid-print) and if you print something smelly or noxious it's easy to get rid of the fumes. Even if you go a DIY open-frame route, it's worth thinking about making an enclosure for it.

Presumably you want something more like an Airfix kit rather than a box of Lego - everything designed and just needing assembly, as opposed to making it yourself from off-the-shelf parts?
 

Offline Ranayna

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2021, 05:38:59 pm »
So, hmm, whatever happened to the forum at my reply  :-BROKE

I had to look up what an Airfix kit is, but that comparison fits.
Something that is complex to assemble is fine. But what i do not want is to shop around in so many stores. That was already annoing when buying the upgrades for the Anet A8. Something was always out of stock, i needed at least 5 stores, and it took several weeks.

An enclosure is then, as is the multi extruder/multimaterial upgrade and the Octoprint server, a later target.
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2021, 07:12:03 pm »
Apparently a problem with some messages and, presumably, the fix was to restore from backup (which would lose anything posted since that was taken). If so, we're lucky to lose just a couple of hours worth of posts rather than days or weeks...
 

Online MarkF

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2021, 12:04:43 am »
@dunkemhigh: Well that printer looks neat, but it is essentially the opposite of what i want to get :)
I want to get a kit, with as much assembly required as sensibly possible.  :-/O

@Black Phoenix: You are likely referring to Octo Print. That is a software for Raspberry Pi that can control a USB conected printer via the network. Sooner or later i plan to set that up myself. I had planned to do this with my Anet, but despite my significant chances to it's electrics i never was comfortable leaving it alone.

I have a Creality CR-10 Mini printer with OctoPrint.  A few OctoPrint comments:
  • OctoPrint sends printer commands across the USB port.  I seem to remember that OctoPrint still writes a file onto the SD card.  Something with local vs remote files.  I can't remember any more.  I mostly copy the g-code from my laptop to the SD card and print from the card.  Deleting files on the card when it starts to fill up.

  • The biggest advantage of OctoPrint for me is the streaming video from a webcam connected to the PI.  I monitor the printer with my phone. 
    OctoPrint can allow web access for control and video if you want to leave home.  I never enabled it, but there are videos on youtube.

  • One thing that has always bothered me is that the USB cable ties the Printer power and PI power together.  Ideally, the 5V line in the USB cable should not be connected.  It doesn't appear to be a problem.  Now, I don't have the PI connected to the printer.  Just use the PI for streaming video.
 

Offline beanflying

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2021, 02:51:19 am »
Testing Testing will this post stay  :palm:

Given your location and desire to build a kit the Prusa is a bit of a no brainer, reasonable quality, open sourced, mods if needed and wide customer base and backup if needed. There is plenty of enclosure options to add to it including the IKEA table based one with a few bits of Acrylic.

Never saw the point of Octoprint on my printers the SD card is a bit of a PITA but it is at the end of the day simple and it works and conforms to KISS. If I am running a print overnight that might be an issue I have a moveable security camera in the shack and it has plenty of resolution to see if the spaghetti monster has paid me a visit and more detail than that required eyeballs work best so get out of bed and walk the few meters if needed.

** Side note Any printer that takes its data from the cloud or runs cloud based (only) slicers run away from!
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Online Bassman59

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2021, 05:55:42 pm »
@dunkemhigh: Well that printer looks neat, but it is essentially the opposite of what i want to get :)
I want to get a kit, with as much assembly required as sensibly possible.  :-/O

@Black Phoenix: You are likely referring to Octo Print. That is a software for Raspberry Pi that can control a USB conected printer via the network. Sooner or later i plan to set that up myself. I had planned to do this with my Anet, but despite my significant chances to it's electrics i never was comfortable leaving it alone.

I have a Creality CR-10 Mini printer with OctoPrint.  A few OctoPrint comments:
  • OctoPrint sends printer commands across the USB port.  I seem to remember that OctoPrint still writes a file onto the SD card.  Something with local vs remote files.  I can't remember any more.  I mostly copy the g-code from my laptop to the SD card and print from the card.  Deleting files on the card when it starts to fill up.

  • The biggest advantage of OctoPrint for me is the streaming video from a webcam connected to the PI.  I monitor the printer with my phone. 
    OctoPrint can allow web access for control and video if you want to leave home.  I never enabled it, but there are videos on youtube.

  • One thing that has always bothered me is that the USB cable ties the Printer power and PI power together.  Ideally, the 5V line in the USB cable should not be connected.  It doesn't appear to be a problem.  Now, I don't have the PI connected to the printer.  Just use the PI for streaming video.

I have a Raspberry Pi-4B running Octoprint connected to an Ender 3 Pro. it works well enough. I like being able to monitor print status remotely.

There's a hack that disconnects the VBUS power from the Pi's USB port so the printer's controller isn't always powered by the Pi even when the main supply is turned off.

I've read allusions to differences in the reliability of printing from the SD card vs printing from OctoPrint over USB, in that the former is "Better." I have no evidence that it's really the case.
 

Offline Ranayna

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2021, 07:52:49 am »
I bit the bullet and ordered the Prusa i3 MK3S+ Kit.
Expensive, yes, but seems to be the best for a kit that is supposed to work without any additional or replacement parts.

I have not yet ordered the MMU2S, though that is definetly planned at some point.
 

Offline Ranayna

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2021, 07:08:28 am »
The Prusa MK3S+ kit arrived yesterday.

I did not yet have time to start assembly, but i at least looked at all the contents of the kit. I have to say i am both impressed, and not at all impressed at the same time...

The metal and electronical parts look and feel top notch. As a layman i am most impressed by the powersupply. I could not resist lifting it's lid, and from what i can see it aparently has an excellent build quality. But from what i know, Delta as a powersupply OEM has an excellent reputation.
The Einsy board is ridiculously thight packed. The Powersupply cables are thinner than i expected, but the printer is 24 volts instead of the 12 volts of the Anet, so i should not be surprised to see thinner cables.

On the other hand, the 3D printed parts do not look good at all. There is so much ghosting...
I am sure they will function fine, but for the price of the kit i would have expected better. I am not all that experienced with 3D printing, but considering that i was able to massively reduce ghosting even on the crappy A8 with it's acrylic frame, i would have expected the parts from the Prusa printer to look at least as good.
Could that be related to the material? Does PETG show more ghosting? Or is this just a production speed thing, where looks are less important than speed?

I hope i get the time to assemble the printer over the long weekend.
 

Offline richnormand

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2021, 08:59:53 pm »
[attach=1]Got my MK3S about a year ago as a kit. Excellent assembly book and layout. Been working once or twice a day now without any issues.

You might want to consider these:
Having both the smooth build plate (for PLA) and the textured plate (for PETG).
Silicone sock for the extruder for temp stability and avoiding messes.
Tungsten carbide nozzle for abrasive filaments and all other type of filaments.
FlashAir WiFi SD card. It shows up as a disk drive on my computer. Very handy and saves on multiple insertion wear and tear on the printer socket.

As someone said previously I ordered a bag of Haribo gummy bears and I though they were expensive but they came with a 3D printer as a bonus....


« Last Edit: May 19, 2021, 09:32:56 pm by richnormand »
Repair, Renew, Reuse, Recycle, Rebuild, Reduce, Recover, Repurpose, Restore, Refurbish, Recondition, Renovate ==> RIGHT to REPAIR
 

Offline Ranayna

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2021, 06:53:10 am »
Will the textured build plate really not work with PLA?

I looked at prusa's filament guide before ordering:
https://help.prusa3d.com/en/materials

That says the textured sheet will work for PLA and PETG, and for the forseeable future those will be the only materials i intend to use. But i have now seen from several sources, including the manual of the printer, that the textured sheet is not ideal for PLA  :-//
 

Offline hli

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2021, 06:58:39 am »
Congratulations on the Prusa, its a really good piece of gear (own one myself).
Some tips regarding the build:
  • Use the online instructions instead of the supplied manual - the pictures are much bigger and better to understand. And you get a lot of commentary on the important steps.
  • Re-grease the linear bearings (instead of following the official advice of using them as-is)
  • Do the first prints with PLA and the smooth plate instead of PETG, its much less hassle this way
  • After you did the first Z-calibration with the build-in routine, follow 'Live-Z my way' to get your first layer right. Its the best procedure out there (I use if after every filament / sheet change to get the first layer set up properly).
When you care about noise, consider buying a paver stone and place the printer on it (and then use some noise reduction / noise decoupling foam or some underneath the paver)
 

Offline beanflying

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2021, 07:00:05 am »
I am still a fan of bare well cleaned glass for PLA. If you want a gloss/clean look then it is unmatched. For idiot proofed and low fuss then textured beds be it glass or Prusa Flex types then they are great too for PLA as less care is needed with height and cleaning.

Shot below is way back when on my CR10S after I stopped using Glustick and similar BS for PLA



For PETG you can not get reliable prints on bare glass so you either need to add glustick on glass or some/most of the better textured surfaces will work ok without extra bonding agents.

So both are good in their own way  :)
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Offline hli

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2021, 07:04:03 am »
The textured sheet works with PLA, but it seems to be some hassle to get proper adhesion. The smooth sheet is much better. (for PETG its vice versa - the textures sheets seems to provide better adhesion here).
I switched to the Satin sheet a couple of months ago, and its fine for both PLA and PETG (although these materials need a different first layer live-Z for good adhesion - PLA needs to get squished more into the bed than PETG). ASA is still recommend to be used with the smooth sheet, though.
One tip I forgot: make sure your sheets is actually clean. Any oil or grease from your finger might ruin your print. The recommendation is to use a real dish soap (one which is not re-greasing) and lots of hot water to clean the sheet. Use paper towels to dry it, do not touch it with bare hands afterwards. I usually dry it on the heated bed afterwards. You can use IPA for cleaning inbetween prints, but now and then some real cleaning is needed.
 

Offline Ranayna

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2021, 08:20:12 am »
On the Anet i also had a glass (actually a mirror) bed. That always worked really well, and if properly leveled, the underside of the prints almost looked like the one beanflying posted. But getting to that point was always a hassle :D
Cleaning that never gave me any issues at all. I always only used soft paper (Toilet paper, to be honest ;)) and cleaned it dry. The mirror made it easy to see if there were any fingerprints left.
As far as i have understood it, the inductive sensor used for the bed leveling makes it impossible to use a glass bed.

The satin sheet was not available in the kit, and is out of stock. Are there recommended third party sellers of compatible sheets?
 

Offline MadScientist

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2021, 11:40:43 am »
I rate my ender 3 very highly , I use the creality glass bed and hairspray very little issues
EE's: We use silicon to make things  smaller!
 

Offline Ranayna

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2021, 11:44:45 am »
So, i finished assembly yesterday evening. I have not turned it on yet, it was late, and i would not have had the time to fix anything, let alone for calibration.

All in all, the Assembly was relativly straightforward. I had difficulities getting the frame straight, it always started to wobble when i tightened the last two screws. Admittedly i don't really know what i changed, but after various tries it was not wobbling anymore.
The cablemanagement also does not really work as it ist shown in the manual. Maybe i have left too much slack elsewhere, but it was quite close, especially the extruder motor cable.
The last issue was the fine-tuning of the PINDA probe. I think i was very close to breaking the holder.

The assembled machine looks and feels great though. I am sure, once calibrated, i will do a good job.
 

Offline beanflying

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2021, 12:04:20 pm »
Coffee, Food, R/C and electronics nerd in no particular order. Also CNC wannabe, 3D printer and Laser Cutter Junkie and just don't mention my TEA addiction....
 

Offline Ranayna

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2021, 01:05:46 pm »
Well, for now it does look like just any image of the MK3S+ you can find :D
But i agree, pictures are always nice :)

I will take some pictures as soon as i have the printer working and my workbench cleaned up. :p
Though that may take until the weekend.
 

Offline Ranayna

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2021, 07:45:17 pm »
Ok, even very tired, i could not resist getting the thing calibrated.

Everything went without a hitch. :)
Live-Z took 4 tries to get proper adhesion though, but as far as i have understood, this is because PLA needs to be "squished" more onto the textured sheet.

Currently printing the Prusa Logo. And boy, is the printer *silent*. I already like it a lot.
 

Offline hli

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Re: Looking for 3D Printer Kit
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2021, 09:58:42 pm »
PLA likes to be printed on the smooth sheet, it works a lot better there. The textured one gives a nicer look, though.
 


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