3D printer

I’ve been flirting with getting a 3D printer for a few years, finally have a project that really calls for one. But which one should I get?

The characteristics I want include:
-able to produce fine, accurate details, 1mm wide areas inside a component
-small footprint, doesn’t take up a lot of space. 6" square print area would be plenty.
-up to $200 or so
-readily available printing filaments (online). Do these work like inkjet printers, where the machine is cheap, but ink overpriced?I
-paintable medium
-not hideously complex to use
-bonus: be great if it worked with Photoshop 7.0, because I already own and understand that.

Any suggestions on models?

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@mr.sweets4ever got any suggestions?


There are certainly many high-quality 3D printers available. One thing to note is that all of these printers, even the very high end are not without issues. Preparation is critical, if the bed isn’t level or if the temperatures are not right for the filament - you will have a failed print. In no way is this meant to scare you, just I feel critical to understand that it’s not a perfect tool.

My first 3d printer was the Creality Ender 3. It costs $167.99 and can be found here. https://creality3d.shop/collections/3d-printer/products/creality-ender-3-3d-printer-economic-ender-diy-kits-with-resume-printing-function-v-slot-prusa-i3-220x220x250mm

It can print with 1.75mm ABS/PLA,WOOD,FLEXIBLE,Carbon fiber,PETG and more. It’s a great starting printer. Setup is tough, it’s very much in parts when it arrives, but after a couple of hours it will work and there is a huge community that supports it. I was able to print this with it

I just purchased a 2nd printer. Partially to not have so many issues with leveling, but also the printing is slow and it helps to have more than one. I now have the Artillery Sidewinder X1. Prints with the same filaments as the ender, more accurate, faster. About double the price, however . Here

Cannot say those are the best prices, just a quick google and link :slight_smile:

Software, here is the great part. Everything you need is free. High quality software (did I mention free), too!. I use 3D builder in windows. However there are tons of free CAD software. After you build something (or just download from thingaverse.com) you have to slice it. I use a program called Cura. That program will cut it by layers and then tell you how much material, how long to print, etc.


Something else to consider if you only want to print a couple things, there are on demand 3d printing services where you can upload your own designs. No where near as fun as getting a printer but wanted to throw it out there in case you hadn’t stumbled across them yet.


Oh! That’s good to know. I’ll have to figure out if that’ll work for me. If I buy one, I’ll be looking for more projects that use it…

@mr.sweets4ever thank you for the helpful tips. My brother warned me that assembling the printer would be “harder than Ikea, but easier than car repair.”

He also suggested the Ender 3.

Here’s the project I have in mind, a Chinoiserie chair. I’ll probably have to work my way up to it.

It needs a different leg, though. And arms.


I like it!

Yes assembly is difficult. Harder than I expected. But it can be done, for sure! So the chair, just to give you an idea. This is the builder tool

Embossed lettucecraft on it, now moving to slicing

Opened in the slicer and sliced. It tells me this will take about an hour

(let’s find out)



Extremely accurate description. :laughing:

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So I installed the file in the printer. Then moved the printer. Then releveled the printer. The releveled again. And again.

Took the bed off. Tightened the bolts. Releveled.

Then tried and it failed. 3d printing. Haha

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That reminds me of the time I left a gelatin/glycerin mold in the sun while casting resin.

And thanks for the $167 Endor3 link; Amazon wants $206.
I ordered it today, with a kilo of transparent PLA, which I’ve been told is paintable.

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Excellent! It just takes patience and thinking outside of the box. I woke up this morning and thought “just build a base and it will print easily” so I started the chair again - should be done very very soon.

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Wow, that looks great!

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Wow, that’s a neat little chair.

My husband came home with a (borrowed) 3D printer tonight so I got to annoy him by asking what kind of printer it was and other questions he couldn’t answer yet :laughing:

I’m currently listening to him watching tutorials.

Edit: it’s a Dobot Mooze apparently.

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My printer arrived last Saturday, and it crouched on the table for a week, daring me to open the box. For a few days, everything I touched went wrong, so I didn’t want to start this.

Today, I spent 3-4 hours assembling it. This video was more helpful than the pictograms that came with the printer:

There are a couple of discrepancies: the first two m416 screws he says to use should be m418s, and I think he calls the removable card SD, but my printer calls it TF.

Also essential but not in the box: copious amounts of patience, perseverance, cursing, and tears. Hold off on the booze until it’s printing.

This thing is slow! I started a test print; after an hour, it was only 1/4" high and had used half the filament that came with the printer. Good thing I bought my own.

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I have made printing!

It took two days to get the slicer to work because:
My old desktop’s video card isn’t up to 3D, and
They don’t make slicers for Android or chromebooks.

I had to install Linux on the Chromebook, then install the slicer.

My printed object was supposed to be a teensy teacup, but I mixed up the files and printed a fragile, useless 1/2" cable clip instead. But it WORKED!


My first full print!

File from thingiverse.

Now I’m trying to figure out designing my own. I’m missing something about the process; I’ve spent 6 days searching the internet, watching YouTube how tos, and installing various graphics programs, then trying to learn how to use them.



This is just the back of the chair, but it represents a week of struggle.

Maybe next week I’ll have a chair!

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major progress!

What are your nozzle temperature and retraction settings?