3d Printer Kit Review

 
#1

My goal was to get a printer which would allow me to learn 3D printing. This way I would be able to learn the design software, slicing software and generate my designs in a 3D model. I also wanted a machine which I could upgrade as the technology improved. My budget was to be around $ 350.00 to $ 450.00 usd.

As I promised I am posting the results of my experience building a 3D printer kit. I found the assembly of the kit to be a challenge. Often parts need to be modified or changed to allow correct operation. Some assemblies have a basic design which is ok, but if not reworked will cause frustration during assembly and operation. I was lucky enough to see reviews and assembly videos on you tube which allowed me to avoid many issues, but I still had to make additional changes. (I will post the links for the videos)

In spite of it all in the end, I feel I have a printer which is not a bad unit for under $400.00 which includes some additions I made to improve the operation. This price which included a roll of PLA (and the addition of a glass bed purchased separately, which was an addition I felt was needed from the beginning) met my budget nicely.

I take no responsibility if anyone buys the printer I did and does not get the same results. I just want to advise and help those who want to try their hand at building a kit. I will do my best to answer questions if anyone buys a kit and needs advice.

If you decide to buy a kit, review all information available on the internet on the machine which interests you. Be sure the features meet you wants. The machine I bought has the following features:

200mm x 200mm x 180mm build area
Hot Bed
Upgradeable Extruder with 2 cooling fans, 1 for extruder and 1 for Hot End cooling (software controlled)
Independent SD card operation for printing and operation with LED display
Standard parts available through the internet or seller, nozzles, belts., etc.
Compatible with current 3D software (I am currently trying to learn Autocad Design123 and Pronterface)
Software package included (I only use supplied Cura)
Spare parts .Stl files
Warranty
WiFi (I have no interest at the current time to use this feature)

Next post will show the printer, and the first parts it produced.

Ron

#2

The pictures show the completed printer, and part produced. I didn’t keep accurate track of the total assembly time, but with modifications I made as I went along I would say it took about 8 to 10 hours. I spent another 4 to 5 hours fixing things I didn’t like and making new parts to replace the ones I screwed up. Also included was the time spent for adjustments and fine tuning. Total about 15 hours for assembly and tuning. A bit of time spent, but I know how it is put together if I ever want to modify it.

I feel you can build your own printer, but realize it is a KIT not a disassembled printer. Parts need to be fitted and adjusted as you build, and this information is not shown in any instructions. Online videos and messages posted helps in the building.

Ron
Two You Tube videos to review
https://youtu.be/1HU8UfNTr-E
https://youtu.be/OYvBIQqE6xU


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#3

Great job Ron. I am happy that you got it running for you. You have a lot to learn still as I do. Congrats bud.

#4

Thanks Dave, The insanity has just begun I'm sure.

Ron

#5

Here is another video. Always read the replies and messages.

https://youtu.be/C9to5EFwNm0

Ron

#6

10 hours of printing so far and except for my layout errors the printer is running well. PLA has been used up to this point, but now I will switch over to ABS and a finer setting to see if the quality is there.
Ron

#7

40 hours plus of printing ABS and PLA. Machine seems to run fine.

I finally got the settings I needed to give decent results. I thank all who helped me resolve the settings issues and get baseline settings to work from.

I feel if you pay attention to details and check everything during the build, I think a kit is an inexpensive way to get into 3D printing.

Ron