Last night I set up the Ender3 and thought it was worth a report here. Ryan, feel free to make this disappear as if it were never even posted if you’d rather not have propaganda on the forum. I won’t take offence nor will anyone that had seen it before it mysteriously vanished.
From the top - I’m super happy I had the background and knowledge that the MP3DP build provided me before the Ender came into my life. I can’t say exactly how or where but I can definitely assert that it DID make the Ender assembly easier. Partly because I understood what part did what, I understood the concepts of X, Y, and Z and end stop switches and I understood the process of filament loading and bed levelling. And when I say “understood” I mean I had a deep, deep knowledge of the above.
If I’d have just opened up and Ender3 box as my first exposure to the world of 3d printing I’d have struggled with getting the filament into the first fitting in the bowden tube assembly and then pushing it through to the nozzle (which I probably wouldn’t have preheated because I wouldn’t have known better…the “documentation” surely didn’t offer any insight).
I’d have struggled with the lead screw not knowing it’s much easier to remove the nut from the Z assembly, get it onto the lead screw and then attach it all back onto the assembly.
I also would have not had the foresight to research the printer before it arrived and preprint (using the MP3DP) several mod pieces which make the Ender a much better printer.
Satisfaction of a job done? Meh. It pales in comparison to the satisfaction I felt when that first test print started on the printer I built with my own hands from a box full of parts and some pieces of wood I cut with the MPCNC. Heck - I was over the moon just seeing the MP3DP move around under my control through the LCD.
Costwise? I bought the Ender3 Pro version which was $50 more than the base version because I knew a couple of the differences between the two were important to me. I’m a Prime member so shipping was technically free…but we pay to be Prime members so what is “free” really? Yes - I spent less than I would have spent had I built another MP3DP. But not by a lot (probably only $100 or so) and mostly due to our current crappy dollar exchange rate and the comparatively small cost of shipping. Will I buy another Ender over building up another MP3DP? I don’t know…several things influence that choice. I assure you this though - if our dollar was at par the choice would be MP3DP hands-down. No question.
Plus its easier to tell the wife “it was cheap - I built it myself”. That my friends, can be priceless.