Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Which 3D printer should I make/get?

I've decided that my current 3D printer project ("The Monster") is a dead end. It's sad but true. Problems are piling up faster than I can fix them. So now I'm looking for an easy but not overly expensive way to get to actual printing. I can reuse an extruder (Wade's), some Nema-17 (probably) motors, and some opto-endstops, but probably not much more.

So what design should I go for? My priorities are
  1. Simple to build (given access to a good makerspace with a lasercutter).
  2. Low maintenance (both that it is designed to not break and that what breaks is easy to fix).
  3. Compatible with common software/materials
  4. Good print volume compared to size
Exchangeable heads would be nice, but is not required.

Note that print speed is not a priority. I'd rather have a slow machine that works than a fast one that doesn't.

My current prime candidates are
  • Something like a scaled-down X400  (but not at that price!)
  • Some sort of delta printer (but they're kinda high)
  • An Ultimaker (but just how easy is fixing on them?)
but I'm very open to suggestions.

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