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Looking for a good mid grade 3d printer to get started with.

We've been playing the should-we/shouldn't-we game for several years on getting a printer. Finally just ordered a Bambu X1E, so we'll see how that goes. What I just recently learned is that IGUS offers about ten of their bearing materials as filament. That means you can put a layer of low friction material on parts, or just make them out of the stuff. No doubt there are pitfalls, but it seems to open up some interesting possibilities.

I've been printing parts out of IGUS I151 filament, and some other parts that are printed with PETG+10%PTFE.

So far their working with no wear in a sliding application
 
The Prusa Mk3 is on sale, old technology but bulletproof. That's what I'd get for a kid.
I'm sure that's solid advice as I hear from everyone how rock solid the Mk3s are. However the assembled MK4 is barely more than the MK3 and if you go the kit route thr MK4 is actually less.

I just about pulled the trigger on the Bambu but what is really keeping from it is the Chinese company part and supposedly it connects to their cloud service if you print over WiFi and the workaround is using an SD card which would be combuersom vs the prusa I don't think connects to anyone servers and it has a USB port.

I'm going to drive myself crazy with indecision.
 
I haven't ran a Bambu yet and it seems that everyone is raving about them so I would like to try one in the near future. I have a Prusa Mk3 and the stupid little thing is rock solid, It will print everything I throw at it without issue.
 
Get something that can print dissolvable support material. I assume that means dual print head, but I haven't shopped yet.
Support structures really help to have more successful prints.
I have both an ender 3 pro and an ender 5 plus. I print only to support current existing customer requests, otherwise I wouldn't have one. Wish I could print support material.
Also, I was dismayed at how much time it took to get my prints working properly with the filament that my customer likes.
 
I've been printing parts out of IGUS I151 filament, and some other parts that are printed with PETG+10%PTFE.

So far their working with no wear in a sliding application
We got our Bambu, but no IGUS material yet. So far the printer is beyond fantastic in the quality of the parts. Not cheap for a home printer, about $2500, but I think it paid for itself the first week we had it.
 
We got our Bambu, but no IGUS material yet. So far the printer is beyond fantastic in the quality of the parts. Not cheap for a home printer, about $2500, but I think it paid for itself the first week we had it.

I know 2 people who have the Bambu printer and are in awe of it's abilities.

The strange issue I had with the IGUS I151 filament was I couldn't print pieces close together, I had to space them at least 3/4" apart or I would get very fine stringers between the parts.
 
So you guys down in LA are getting kinky ?

Yea I love a good spanking........

Just got another one from a PracticalMachinist moderator today.

as they say in England

Thank you Sir, May I have another?

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True story. We were hosting some of my late wife's friends boys, who had come over from Germany (my late wife is from Germany)

So we're giving them the Hollywood tour. And inevitable it ends up at Boardners off of Hollywood blvd.

Anyway, so we're at the bar, talking to the super hot barmaid, and she leans over and says, "there's an S&M club night going on next door, do you want some tickets to get in? I bet your husband (me) does!"
Before I could reply my wife says
"hell yeah that would be fun!"

So we go next door and there's plenty of spanking and general debauchery going on, but as my wife explained to me it was all light touch, no hard spanking or bruising being created. It might have moved onto a private residence where the hard stuff began. Ridiculously hot chicks in there, all scantily clad. Hadn't seen that since Ricki Rackmans Hollywood Cathouse club in the 80's

So as we're leaving I tell the German boys, "on pain of death, your mother doesn't hear about this!"

A few days later we get a call, "Thanks for looking after the boys, btw they really enjoyed the visit to your S&M club in Hollywood!"
Emphasis on the your. I tried the hey we got free tickets, had no idea it was next door, etc etc, they weren't having it.

------------------

If you ever watched the detective series Bosch, Harry Bosch was a frequent visitor to Boardners. If your ever in Hollywood it's a must see bar.

 
We got our Bambu, but no IGUS material yet. So far the printer is beyond fantastic in the quality of the parts. Not cheap for a home printer, about $2500, but I think it paid for itself the first week we had it.

These are the parts I was making out of the IGUS I151 filament. Not great, but good enough. They needed some clean up with a razor blade. the parts are internal so not visible.

I didn't have time to try and optimize the slicer (Prusa Slic3R) to get better prints. I think I used the IGUS recomended settings.
It's quite a soft plastic, like some Rulon materials.

IMG_5456.JPG
 
It generally just works, occasionally you get a failure to retract but that's a pretty uncommon thing for me. I run their filament along with hatchbox, matter hackers, IIIdMax, prusament, overture, esun, and some others I'm sure.

Best part about the ams is you just leave stuff loaded in and select what you want in the slicer. I think I've got petg, asa, and pla loaded right now. If a spool runs out and you have a second identical one in it you can have it switch and keep printing.

If your just printing pla and petg the Prusa mk4 is a great machine but if you want to run the higher temp stuff an enclosed machine is much nicer.
I did upgrade my MK3 Prusa with a Revo hotend from PrintedSolid designed to fit the MK3. The switchover was painless and quick. And now switching extruders is very easy with no z-calibration needed and leaks are a thing of the past. Well worth the time and money.
 
We machine some small parallelogram gibs for a dovetail stage. PITA to machine, but I'm thinking they'd be perfect for printing out of IGUS.

the pieces in the picture, and some parts printed in black PETG+10%PTFE are to replace Black Delrin parts I make for one assembly I do for the customer. I didn't have time (or inclination) to machine 200+ parts so I made them out of the 2 materials.

I was tempted to see if IGUS could send 3D printed samples to see how much better the prints could be then ones I was making.

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this is the PETG+10%PTFE filament i used


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I did try printing POM which is the Delrin filament, complete disaster did not get one good print. couldn't get it stay flat and glued to the bed.
 
I was looking recently at the PRUSA XL but I am not a fan of the “shipping sometime in the spring” so I am leaning towards the Bambu Carbon still…

Everyone still liking their printers? Going to pull the trigger today.

What filament should I order at the same time for learning and prototyping for things I will be machining out of aluminum later on.

Just really needing it for visual looks and dimensional fitment of the part, not actual
Function at this time.
 
I am still really liking my Prusa MK 3S. If I were going to buy one today, I’d go with the Prusa Mark4. The MK4 has some convenience, features and slightly greater capabilities than the MK 3S.

As for what filament to use for what you’re talking about? It is probably a tossup between PLA and PTG. I have gone to PETG as I do make functional parts as well as simple modeling question parts and the PETG has some advantage for functionality over the PLA I believe though it is not a great difference.

This week I’ve had my printer running a total of 72 hours, making functional pattern parts it is so nice to be able to print pattern parts that are precisely according to drawing compared to making them out of wood using my milling machine, router, rasps and files
 
I have had a Prusa Mini+ for 2.5 years and still love it. It's great for prototyping. On the very rare occasion where I've needed to go larger than 6"x6"x7", I've printed in two parts and fit the pieces together. I don't know much about Bambu, but have heard good things. Still, my Prusa has worked amazingly well with only minor issues. I did have another printer, a Qidi, for a big job that I had to print in Polypropylene, and I sold it after. While it worked quite well, it still wasn't as good as the Prusa. Does the Bambu have self-leveling? That's a must for me if I buy something in the future. The Qidi required that I level of the printing plate (not every time, just every once in awhile) and that turned out to be a bit of a chore and I was always wondering whether it could be more level. The Prusa does it automatically before each print.

I find that PLA makes the cleanest, smoothest parts and is the easiest to print. That's what I'd start out with. PETG is my 2nd choice because it's slightly more durable, but it doesn't print quite as nicely. You'll need a different base plate to print PETG, that has a slightly rough surface, to aid in removal of the part once printed, so there's that consideration too. PLA prints on the standard base plate that usually comes with the printer. Go PLA.
 
The Bambu sounds like very easy plug in and go. The reviews and YouTube stuff I have watched seems like for me it’s the way to go.

Just trying to decide if I go full in with the multi color feed setup and what extras and filaments to buy all at once so I can get going and learning without issue when it shows up.
 
I was looking recently at the PRUSA XL but I am not a fan of the “shipping sometime in the spring” so I am leaning towards the Bambu Carbon still…

Everyone still liking their printers? Going to pull the trigger today.

What filament should I order at the same time for learning and prototyping for things I will be machining out of aluminum later on.

Just really needing it for visual looks and dimensional fitment of the part, not actual
Function at this time.

The Prusa Mk 4 is a nice machine.

That being said I have a Bambu X1C at home that gets all my use right now, and a X1C at work as well. If I need more throughput I'll happily buy a second, third, or fourth one. It is enclosed so it plays nicer in a shop environment and makes some of the other materials like ASA/PC easier to print.

Buy the AMS from the beginning, it is super nice to just have materials loaded up ready to go.

If you are just doing fitment checking indoors, PLA is great. Quick to print, easy to print, pretty strong, just doesn't do well in heat such as in a car.

I'd buy a half dozen rolls of PLA, some of PETG as well, as well as the textured build plate.
 
The Prusa Mk 4 is a nice machine.

That being said I have a Bambu X1C at home that gets all my use right now, and a X1C at work as well. If I need more throughput I'll happily buy a second, third, or fourth one. It is enclosed so it plays nicer in a shop environment and makes some of the other materials like ASA/PC easier to print.

Buy the AMS from the beginning, it is super nice to just have materials loaded up ready to go.

If you are just doing fitment checking indoors, PLA is great. Quick to print, easy to print, pretty strong, just doesn't do well in heat such as in a car.

I'd buy a half dozen rolls of PLA, some of PETG as well, as well as the textured build plate.

Thank you. That makes the step in printing stuff easier.

Hard to believe the information overload you can get yourself into these days just searching the internet on any subject
 








 
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