How good are the really cheap 3D Printers on ebay?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by tech3475, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. tech3475
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    tech3475 GBAtemp Maniac

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    I've been contemplating getting a 3D printer for some time due to various reasons and I've noticed on ebay there are now sub-£100 DIY units available such as this one:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2018-3D-...sion-Reprap-Prusa-i3-DIY-LCD-UK-/263590713175

    Does anyone have any experience with these kinds of printers and assembling them or are they simply not worth it?

    edit:

    The kind of things I'm look at are things like small cases or 5.25" front panels for a niche computer case (within the listed size spec).
     
    Last edited by tech3475, Sep 16, 2018
  2. Alkéryn

    Alkéryn Moon Dweller ~

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    I think if you want the best bang for the buck, the best would be to buy a 3D printer diy kit
     
  3. tech3475
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    tech3475 GBAtemp Maniac

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    I believe that's what these dirt cheap ones are.

    I don't mind some assembly so long as it's not too difficult or requires soldering to PCB.
     
  4. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo G'nome

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    I forgot
    Just Google for reviews of the printers you find. Some of the cheap ones are decent, some aren't.

    https://www.3dhubs.com/3d-printers/prusa-i3 < The one you linked has poor build quality, precision, speed, and design...which makes sense, you get what you pay for. If you just want to screw around with a 3D printer, that may be a good starter device, but if you want to 3D print decent stuff, you need to spend money on a quality printer and quality plastics.
     
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  5. Durelle

    Durelle Acadien Einnnn~!

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    creality Ender 3 is a good cheaper one, my best friend has one and it has very good reviews
     
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  6. tech3475
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    tech3475 GBAtemp Maniac

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    The only downside is that it's over double the price, to be honest I was only looking at the kit because the bits I would 3D print would come to around £50 anyway to buy elsewhere so I was thinking for £30 more I might as well get a printer for the odd job.

    Obviously I wouldn't expect the best of quality, but I was hoping these would be something adequate/'cheap but cheerful'.

    If the really cheap kits aren't any good I'd rather just get them from the other people for now.
     
  7. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    If you just want to get started then I would instead suggest looking at hackerspaces/makerspaces
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/libraries-and-makerspaces/libraries-and-makerspaces
    Short list there but there are loads more http://hackerspaces.org/ and do a search for your town/nearby town for both terms and you will hopefully find something. Such places will tend to run classes, have people on hand to guide newcomers and other such things and while most machines I have seen in such places are not quite professional grade they are still the very high end hobbyist variety. There are also a lot of local 3d printing companies (read someone buys one and thinks they will rent it out) but you might find they have things they would rather be doing than teaching someone that is not an engineer already how to get things going on.


    The cheap kits... you can make them good but if you are not already versed in all the things which make them up then that will be a very steep learning curve.
    You might also want to consider coming the other way and getting a CNC mill instead (rather than build up from hot goo you feed it a block and it cuts away until you have what you want), though the truly cheap ones of those are even more fun to get useful things out of. Get just beyond that (not sure where I sit with the Chinese 3020 and 6040 stuff these days but some kind of get somewhere near good) and you can do real things rather than fun things that most 3d printers are limited to by themselves*.

    *if you are happy to sand/file (or maybe do acetone wipes), drill and ream your own holes... then it is not so bad but then you are either tooling up more or putting in a lot of hand work.
     
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  8. tech3475
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    tech3475 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Sadly it seems I live in an area where there isn't much going on.

    I've used CNC milling in the past (back in school), it's not really an ideal solution for what I'd like to do and they don't seem much cheaper than some of the better 'cheap' 3D Printers.
     
  9. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Do you really need seamless hollow 3d printed items or one shot* things with a massive undercut (hard to do on your basic 3 axis thing)? CNC milling can be slightly limiting but I tend to find the better material selection more than makes up for it (PLA and ABS are the staples of most 3d printers you will get, when you can still make things out of such things as well as wood, aluminium and maybe even steel if you get the right one it is a whole different selection of things you can do).

    *the things 3d printing does with supports, rafts and such works just fine with subtractive processes as well and you then get to take the incredibly advanced step of "flip the part over, remove supports later".
     
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  10. tech3475
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    tech3475 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Most of what I want to do is plastic anyway and for the types of things I may do may be better with a 3d printer, for example, the jig for a switch seems easier/better with a 3d printer, at least judging by the images I’ve seen.
     
  11. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2877484

    Only looked at the pictures. Don't know if the sides are tapered but assuming they are 90 degrees to the table and thus parallel that would be absolutely fine to do in a cnc mill. Most rotary tools (basically an essential if you want to do low end 3d printing) will have small drill bits you can use to put the holes in if you have not got another way for that, and frankly I would not be surprised if you have to clean up the holes on a 3d print if you left them hollow during such a thing.
     
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  12. tech3475
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    tech3475 GBAtemp Maniac

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    I don't really have the tools needed to drill the holes out (mainly a decent clamp) and knowing my luck I'd struggle to do it on the CNC, clean out (by hand) but not fully drill them out.

    There are other things as well such as cases where I'd likely end up wasting more material e.g. Cases and it's not like a CNC Milling machine is much cheaper.
     
  13. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    A hole in the middle of a flat surface?

    As for not having tools if you are planning to do any kind of 3d printing, cnc machining or even basic fabrication of things you are going to want something like
    http://www.argos.co.uk/product/4796585
    Lidl and Aldi variously do even cheaper ones at points
    Comes with a couple of small drills. Doing it manually by hand can be hard, however if you are going to struggle with that take 5 minutes to strap it to the bench, put a block next to it and run it in along the block aka make up a jig.

    Technically you could get away with a pin vice, needle files, scalpels and some abrasives (and actually I would suggest getting them all earlier into this) but such a toy serves to delay that for a while.

    Cases wise have a look for project boxes (occasionally a bit pricey but consider also the cost of filament). Not to mention boxes to house custom stuff was common for many years -- you get between 4 and 6 bits of material, cut them to the right size and affix them however you will.

    Oh and depending upon what size holes you want to make then look up handyman's reamer/tapered reamer. Very nice for making holes that little bit bigger. Not so good for a paperclip size thing but anything more than about 4mm is awesome.
     
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  14. tech3475
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    tech3475 GBAtemp Maniac

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    I was thinking more of a decent clamp, not a dremel (although I will admit that does look like a nice kit for the price).

    To be honest, it's getting a bit ridiculous now for me, I was only looking at an £80-90 device for the odd job, not £300+ once I include all the various costs and options and it's now becoming a false economy.

    Thanks for the input though.
     
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