It seems one printer isn’t enough, but why buy another printer? First, the technology is changing fast. Second, they are cheap. Third, it is a good way to get a lot of electronics cheap. Fourth, even if you have a great printer you want to know that it is really the ‘best’.
A pre-sales sale isn’t typically for the novices. As I’ve gotten to understand printers my upgrades have gone from printing accessories to changing out the brain, display, extruder, and trying different designs. The ANet A8’s with it’s acrylic frame has been a concern but replacing just the frame cost more than I spent on the printer.
Looking for a solid structure the Ender 3 seemed to have nailed it.
Looking for a 24V heat bed for fast heating, that is covered.
Looking for the compact Prusa i3 form factor…
At less than $200 and decent reviews I finally decided to pick one up for it’s frame and some extra electronics.
I’m no longer a novice and while I have a lot to learn still I can say I’ve come to understand what I am looking for in a printer. I almost didn’t buy the Ender 3 despite the ridiculously low price because in my mind it is just a starting point.
My ANet A8 was my original starting point and while it has been a ‘real’ learning experience I don’t have a lot to say about the A8 that is good other than it has taught me a lot. I am hoping the Ender is a little better as a starter.
The reviews were decent but not glowing. It doesn’t have auto-bed leveling to start. Also the build plate is ‘tacky’ and things get stuck which messes with the bed level when you are prying them off. Printing on a removable surface (like glass) is probably a good idea.
The print quality will be slightly less than a E3D head so that might be an upgrade. Since it is a Prusa i3 like design I plan on switching to a direct-drive head anyway unless it’s stock extruder prints better than I expect.
Finally, I’ve replace the ANet printer controler with a Rumba board and over time I may swap with the Creality Ender 3 and try running my Diamond Head or multiple heads.
My ANet has been my ‘project’ printer but I really don’t like the Acrylic frame. After doing a lot of research I determined replacing the frame didn’t make sense and have purchased yet another printer instead. I think I will get the frame I am looking for and expect it will quickly become my project printer. The ANet frame may or may not keep printing afterwards because it seems to require more of my attention than other printers so I may just parts it out.
I have enough hardware now that I can start re-purposing some of my equipment. Even my FLSun Cube, which I really feel was a ‘bad’ purchase’ isn’t really a loss. It is slow, big, and needs upgrades and I’m not going to spend any more time on it for a while. It needs a new brain and display!. Don’t go with the color touch screen. The menus aren’t there!
Everything about the Ender 3 frame appears great and is exactly what I want. The machine itself… I prefer a direct drive extruder but I’ll wait and see. It will be interesting to see if the controller is open to upgrades or if I will have to replace it to upgrade.
I was looking to spend as much to replace the frame on my ‘project printer’ as the Ender 3 cost. As long as the frame works out I don’t see how I can go wrong. So yes, another printer is on it’s way!