Printer Recommendations

As a xmas present, I got the go ahead to spend some money on a new 3D printer. What should I get? Nothing over $1k, closer to $500 is preferred. It came with the caveat that I need to get rid of one of my other two. So I also need to figure out what I cam do with those.

Size? Reliability? Features? Versatility? For printing what?

That’s hard to choose. My Prusa Mk2 is so reliable I just am not sure I would want to get anything else but a Prusa.

How about an SLA? I decided I’d get a Traeger smoker rather than an SLA.

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Definitely not sla. I just don’t trust me to be safe with it.

My printers so far have been i3 variants, in the 200mm sized. A wanhao duplicatoe i3 and two md3dp. Something bigger would be nice. The mk3 is definitely a contender. Going the other way, something just as diy, but more features, like larger volumes, maybe a linear rail corexy, something. That’s kind of where I’m at now. I was asking hoping someone had heard of a printer I haven’t.

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I built my own so I prefer that option but it isn’t for everyone. I’m using a Hypercube variant mixed with the BLV cube for XY and a 1 stepper 3 leadscrew with belts bed.

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I built a Hypercube a couple years back and it has been a work horse for me. I think the design is pretty solid and (of course) you can decide exactly how big and what kind of print bed etc…
I think mine is a cubic foot print area. 120V silicone heater heating a 1/4 Aluminum plate with glass on top of that. Bed heats up real quick (I hated waiting for everything to heat up before printing on my previous printer). I did replace the motor and belt mounts with parts I made out of Aluminum, PLA parts were failing.

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I can and will be messing with the electronics and software on any of my printers, but I’m not an expert on the mechanics, and I don’t get much joy out of that, so I really would prefer a good BOM that works well. But otherwise, kits are fine. I liked the look of the seckit go from tt’s video, but I’m annoyed it says open source and the plate designs are foss. And I have coveted a prusa for a long time. I used to really want a hypercube. IIRC, there are kits for those on ebay.

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I can’t find the licensing for that one (seckit) but I am not good at that anyway…as we all know now.

I like most of the design, but I do enjoy the designing part. I would like to make a moving Z bed design but have too many other things to finish up first!
The Prusa’s always have intrigued me but I think if you stray to far or experiment too much you might lose the magic of them.

I do not have suggestion yet but I am watching intently to the reply’s.


Hmm, a quick search on ebay does show some parts kits available, but really it’s just aluminum extrusions, some printed parts and some hardware. It does look like the design has evolved a little from when I built mine (which was basically around the time Tech2C released the design files). The extra rails just under the motors look like they probably address the issue I was seeing (before I moved to metal motor mounts). Also looks like they’ve beefed up the outer frame to 3030 extrusions instead of 2020. Must stop looking now - I do not need to rebuild mine, I do not need to rebuild it, it’s fine, stop looking… :slight_smile:

I always thought a delta printer would be cool…

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I have been reading up and watching about core XY and trying to understand the history and development of them. It seems like core XY requires a bit more fuss with the frame and belts to get precise, but once dialed in allow for more speed. I have been thinking about getting one just because it is a whole different solution.

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The advantage of core XY is the belts apply equal forces around the frame so it’s a lot more stable than other designs that have the x motor moving on the Y axis.


I’ve had Mendel, a couple of all-aluminum FolgerTech’s, and a Prusa MK2S… no contest. Prusa is still working great but I’m really tempted at times to get another one… just because.


I have an Anet A8 which even though it’s on the crappy end of the spectrum, still does everything its asked to do and hardly justifies an upgrade (beyond the upgrades I have already added).

What would expand my capabilities would be an SLA machine or multi-material printer. It might be rare that I print a multi-colored object but the convenience of switching colors or materials would be nice, as well as not having to worry about running out mid-print.


this was the BOM I mostly used for the MK3 Bear clone I’ve been working on.
( I used parts that also would interchange with my A8 )

My workhorse is still an Anet A8 with lots of mods

I found these after starting the Bear build

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I’ve bought aQidi X-Plus at work. It’s a bit more than 500 USD, probably around 800 so I don’t know if that fits your budget.

The work volume is pretty decent, they have this magnetic peeling bed which is really awesome, build quality is really great. It prints very well and very reliably, I haven’t had a single failed print, except once but that was because I didn’t calibrate my first layer height so it wasn’t really the printer’s fault.

It’s extremely silent, pretty fast and it is sold with an optional extruder for high temperature, for free.

A few drawbacks though: no autobed leveling, which I’m a big fan of, but the bed leveling procedure is actually very easy. I didn’t see a filament runout sensor so I’m not sure it does that. Firmware and board are supposedly closed source, but I can see it’s running a version of Marlin so I’m pretty sure that this is bullshit and I can reflash the board with any firmware I want Didn’t try it yet though.
They also have their own slicer which is a custom version of Cura. But I’ve used my good old Kisslicer instead of that and it works fine too.

I’ts a really neat machine with a very nice quality/price ratio, I wanted a Prusa in the first place (but they didn’t want to sell to China, for some reason), but this Qidi is actually really good.

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That is a violation of Marlin, if true. If you modify Marlin, and distribute it, you have to provide the source files. Ender got in hot water for that. I’ll check it out thought, thanks.

I have a few ideas to share.

I have access to two Prusa i3 MK3s with the MMU2s. I love the MK3s but don’t love the MMU2s. I have to help it out about 1 in 25 filament changes.

If you want multi material I would strongly suggest and IDEX design(multi print head that parks). There are several out there. A buddy of mine loves his. I forget what brand but he just paid about $600. Very reliable for him for TPU and PVA. So that’s cool.

Prusa has said that they will soon release a new Prusa XL soon. 400 mm x 400mm x 400mm. It will be built using the core XY design. That sounds cool but I think it will land closer to about $1,500. Just my guess. I kinda want to wait for the release then build my own using their design and firmware. I would need to buy their new heated bed and main board but the rest should be easy to source.

They will also soon release a MK4 with a 32 bit board. That would be a good dependable machine.

Other than that I would LOVE to build an SLS printer. It would be so awesome to make a printer that doesn’t need support material. Prints in Nylon. It would be way cool. Now that I am familiar with diode lazers I am not afraid of the idea of building a machine. That would be a cool build because it would need two z lifting bed/piston containers. One to hold unused powder and one for the used powder. So if anyone wants to try that with me I am game for it. I saw the one on Thingiverse. I read his notes and lessons learned. Good place to start from.

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I just sold my gaming rig to buy a MK3s instead. With a full time job, kids and a newfound interest for tinkering and making, I have no time on earth to game. I’m so excited to get the Prusa! Having fought with the crappy second hand Ender, makes me very ready for the new and sturdier printer.

I think I heard that the MMUs have improved a lot the latest months?


I have been looking at getting a 12" printer & was considering building this one a while back. I still have not decided on one though.

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The Mk3s is very very good. Beautiful print quality and very reliable. Good choice. It isn’t perfect but it is very good.

The MMU2s is a lot better than the MMU2 and a lot better than the original MMU. But… it still has issues. TPU and ninja flex. Not a chance. Several mods are needed to make it kinda work sometimes. PVA is unreliable as well. Even using PLA it fails often enough to be frustrating.


I have a Prusa i3 MK3S and I can also recommend it. There may be cheaper options that work as well, but they most likely cost more time and (perhaps ongoing) effort.

I used to have a delta (Kossel XL), which worked fine, but it’s very hard to get pieces with accurate dimensions. It needs to be built perfectly with very high quality (low tolerance) components for it to be accurate. It’s supposed to be faster than cartesian, and it’s surely cool to see it work. But I find that the MK3S is more than fast enough. At some point you just cannot melt plastic fast enough. (I have a volcano sitting on my shelves, haven’t installed it yet). I always print functional parts, usually with a 0.6mm nozzle. I never make any figurines or anything like that.

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