Time For A 3D Printer Upgrade?!?! Keep, Upgrade, Something else?

Nifty

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I started with my Monoprice Select Mini around 7/2017. It was a fine tiny printer, and great for getting me introduced to the hobby... but I needed bigger.

So, just a few months later I went to the Creality CR-10, which has been a pretty great printer over the last 4.5 years.

In that time a LOT of new printers and features have come out. The Creality Ender 3 has become SUPER popular and is the printer I point people towards when they are on a budget and getting into the hobby. It's not the "best" printer out there, but nothing compares to the amount of support and access to spare-parts, etc. at such a low price. I actually purchased the original Ender 3 a year ago when it was on SUPER sale, but never put it together. Turned out there just wasn't anything it offered that I "needed".

Well, I'm at the point where I'm considering an upgrade... but waffle back and forth if I really "need" a new / different printer?

One of the biggest things I've been drawn to is the new 32 bit boards with SUPER quiet drivers. I love the idea of removing the whining of the steppers and then replacing all the fans with super quiet versions.

I guess I could try to swap-out the board on my CR-10... but I'm not sure that's something I want to take on right now.

I finally read-up on the differences between the original Ender 3, Ender 3 Pro, and then the Ender-3 V2... which has a few upgrades on the pro... but the biggest being the 32 bit board with silent motor drivers.

Actually, 2 nights ago I put an Ender-3 V2 in my Amazon cart ($259) and ordered it... but then got cold-feet and cancelled it. :(

There are just SO many different printers, options, etc., that makes it hard to decide. Direct drive or Bowden? Do I need a touch-screen? How much build-space do I really need (turns out 95% of my prints are pretty small)? How important is it that the printer is really popular / supported? How budget-conscious should I be (if there was a printer that matched EVERYTHING I ever needed AND wanted for $600, I'd be fine spending it... but I'm leaning more to the $200 - $350 range)?

I go back and forth between:
  1. Stick with the CR-10 I already have... it works just fine
  2. Undertake upgrading the CR-10 with a new silent board
  3. Buy an Ender-3 V2 and enjoy the "it's quiet and works out of the box" with a HUGE community, information, parts, etc. etc. etc.
  4. Hold-out for the Ender-3 S1 with direct-drive, dual z-axis, etc. etc. etc. (seems very new and it may become pretty popular like the other Ender-3 models)
  5. Go with some other model? ANYCUBIC? Prusa? Voxelab? Something else?
Curious what you guys think!
 

stratman

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Curious what you guys think!
You are asking the right people if you want your dream machine. :thumbsup

You're a young guy with a passion for 3D printing, enough scratch to buy it and still pay rent, and your girlfriend isn't going to leave you over a printer. (Or would she?)

What happens after we die won't need a printer. It's for here and now. No better time than Christmas to give yourself (or the girlfriend ;)) one.

Do it.
 

Artur5

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Are you talking in front of a mirror, @stratman ? :hide

@Nifty I understand you too well. When I got my Prusa 9 months ago I thought it was gonna be an expensive start (which it was ) but also that I wouldn't need to change anything or upgrade to another printer as long as I lived.
Well... the Prusa MK3S+ is a very good machine but nothing is perfect. I have changed the extruder for a Bondtech and the hotend for a Mosquito and I did also small mods here and there. I'm satisfied now ?.. almost, but I'd like a bigger printing volume and a better control board..:D
I can't advice you about Ender machines. For one thing I started in this hobby only in last March and I know nothing about the Creality range. Surely it's the most popular brand out there and that means something.
if you want to swap to another brand, all depends on your budget but, whatever printer you choose, you realize that there's an unavoidable learning curve, which usually it's steeper as you rise in price.
My only experience in 3D is with Prusa. Not the cheapest brand exactly. A positive aspect is a very good support from the manufacturer (chat 24/7) and the community of users. Original parts are available at reasonable prices but, for the time being, printing volume is limited to 21x21x25 cmt. That is unless you to await the release of the Prusa XL (36x36x36 ) and are willing to pay $2000-3500, depending on the configuration.
It occurs to me also that shipping to USA is much more expensive than within Europe ( I pay just 10 euro/$ for a parcel with 5 spools of filament).
 
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The Hat

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Curious what you guys think!
@Nifty, you’ve got just about the best printers from Creality there is, so why would you want something that’s quicker, quieter and more likely to print bigger, when you don’t need them.

I’ve got 4 Creality printers, the Ender 2 is bunched till I can get a new main board for it, which is proving impossible, but the other 3 are working fine, and are as noisy as hell but I love the sounds they all make, it’s part of owing a 3D printer.

The only upgrade I’ve noticed that’s was worth having was the switch from 12 to 24 volt, I was also able to print higher with my latest CR-10s (up 400 mm) but never used it because it was easier to print half the size twice, that's more controllable and less likely to fubar up.

At the end of the day it’s not what you use to print your 3D projects from, its more what your actually printing in the first place, I’m now using my printers for just about every day things, and quality has never been high on my agenda, otherwise I’d use a smaller nozzle like point 4 or 3. (Currently it’s 5)

I have proven anyone can print big projects on these small printers, if you can call a CR-10 small, it’s all in your head how you go about it, think small and clip or stick your pieces together to get the size you require, I got to 3.5 metres high and 1.65 metres wide..

When I Dreamed up my lamp standard, I just pieced it together and reckoned that’s a great job and it worked, O’ boy…I was wrong, so I did it better on my 5th attempt, and I don’t mind saying it’s still standing..

P.S. The moral of the 3D dilemma is not what you need to build 3D objects, it’s more like how do you build 3D objects that are fun, practical and work, it’s surprising just how many things can be make..

Are you talking in front of a mirror, @stratman ? :hide
:lol::lol::lol::gig:hugs Nice one...
 

stratman

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The forum's Larry and Shemp have spoken.

 

Nifty

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a passion for 3D printing, enough scratch to buy it and still pay rent, and your girlfriend isn't going to leave you over a printer. (Or would she?)

What happens after we die won't need a printer. It's for here and now. No better time than Christmas to give yourself (or the girlfriend ;)) one.
Wow @stratman ... get out of my head!!! LOL! You probably will never know how much I needed (and will always need) to hear those words! I'm often frugal to a fault and put off my own happiness for "well, this is good enough".

Thank you for really direct and perfectly articulated points!!!
My only experience in 3D is with Prusa. Not the cheapest brand exactly. A positive aspect is a very good support from the manufacturer (chat 24/7) and the community of users.
Ya, they do make great printers, and they are a fantastic company. Joseph himself seems like the kinda guy I'd like to hang out with! That said, even after forcing myself to potentially buy a Prusa printer, I'd have a hard time dealing with constant buyer's remorse that I "overpaid" for something I didn't really need. (no matter how many times I read Stratman's post above) LOL!
The moral of the 3D dilemma is not what you need to build 3D objects, it’s more like how do you build 3D objects that are fun, practical and work, it’s surprising just how many things can be make..
You're spot on my friend! I'm constantly amazed at how much I enjoy this hobby and how many situations I've solved problems by having a 3D printer!

Oh, and another factor I didn't mention: I've been staying at my girlfriend's house about 85% of the time... and the beginning excuse for getting a 2nd printer, especially something smaller than the CR-10 was having a printer here to dink-around with when I don't have access to mine at home (since it's an hour's drive away).

One thing my GF has said: "Just get the Ender-3 v2, play with it here at my house, and if you end up not wanting to keep it or wanting to upgrade to another printer, you can just sell it on craigslist or give it to a family/friend and it's not like you're not out a ton of $$ that's going to break the bank."

she makes a valid point.
 

Nifty

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I feel like this is a sign to go with the Ender-3 S1

Lots of great upgrades... and the idea of having a 2nd printer with direct-drive that can do flexible filaments... sounds pretty good:

 

Artur5

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Sorry @Nifty, I don't mean to discourage you but,, concerning flex filament, direct drive, if better in general than Bowden extruders. it's far from a panacea.
Really soft filament from 80A and below are nasty customers and a source of frustation. Don't believe those youtube videos boasting on how easy is to print with flex, once you know a few tricks.
No magic wand in this matter. When you think that no filament matches your skills and PLA,PETg, ABS, even PP, PA or PC are already tame pets in the capable hands of your printer, here comes TPE-70A to rain in your parade. :D
 

The Hat

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No magic wand in this matter. When you think that no filament matches your skills
I haven’t tried my roll of Flexi filament yet, and I’m in no hurry to either, because it means changing the complete extruder head heater radiator and nozzle, besides I’ve got another distraction for the moment, a new Pro 10 to play with.
But I will get to it.. I’m not ready to Fubar everything up just yet..o_O
 
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