3D Printers

From: william (WILLIAMA)17 May 17:28
To: ALL1 of 12
One of the consequences of my son moving back home during the lockdown, and subsequent infinite variety of rules, regulations, recommendations, and what have you, is that he gave himself an £800 plus monthly pay-rise (no rent, council tax, cat-food bills etc). The plan was to save for a car/holidays and so on. Save appears to have been put to one side, however. 

Aside from a horrendously over-specced PC, he now owns not 1, but 2 3D printers.

Neither of these has managed to consistently print things for longer than a week. They suffer from stretched belts, warped "bits", failed cables, failed sensors, failed thermistors, dodgy firmware and that's just the start of the list. I don't think I've ever seen such a pile of amateurish, half-finished, badly-designed, shoddily and cheaply thrown together crap on sale at such an absurdly high price in my life. And bear in mind that my dad once bought an Austin Allegro.

I know there are a few 3D enthusiasts on teh forum. Any thoughts?

From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)18 May 10:49
To: william (WILLIAMA) 2 of 12
"a horrendously over-specced PC"

There's no such animal.
From: graphitone18 May 13:13
Today's over-specced PC is tomorrow's novelty, cursed to become a beige curio in the spare cables box of life. 
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)18 May 13:20
To: graphitone 4 of 12
Yesterdays barely-adequate-for-office pc is squat like a toad atop its younger brother, gasping for air. Yes, it's my dev server!
From: ANT_THOMAS18 May 18:19
To: william (WILLIAMA) 5 of 12
What makes/models?

I've owned an Anet A8 for around 5 years. Only made some minor mods and it still prints fine
From: william (WILLIAMA)18 May 19:01
To: ANT_THOMAS 6 of 12
Current favourite is an Anycubic Chiron. Previous one, no idea.
From: william (WILLIAMA)18 May 19:47
To: ANT_THOMAS 7 of 12
Oh, and 
Only made some minor mods

there's one of the things right there. Imagine this: I've got a Canon inkjet printer. I've had it for 3 years now. It's great - I've only made some minor mods to it. I removed a breakout board by the print heads, rewired some bits and put a different firmware on it. Doesn't happen.

I know that (very) occasionally there have been problems with various inkjet printers that some (very minor) modifications have fixed. But it's not in the same ballpark as 3D printers.
From: ANT_THOMAS19 May 07:55
To: william (WILLIAMA) 8 of 12
Depends on the type of model you buy I guess.
I bought a DIY kit that I built myself, with the knowledge that I could improve it with some minor mods.

Out of the box, after I'd built it, it printed fine. The mods just improved things.

If I was buying an expensive model, that was already built or required little construction then yeah, I'd be annoyed if it required some mods or new parts to run smoothly.

If you're buying a 3D printer you likely enjoy the whole world of the making and tinkering. The mods are often part of the fun.
From: william (WILLIAMA)19 May 08:34
To: ANT_THOMAS 9 of 12
Perhaps he should have gone for a kit in the first place. I'm getting a bit disillusioned with products that don't work properly without modding or fixing, even though they're supposed to. I mean, I understand the attraction (and frustration) of DIY. I've written enough programs and built enough computers over the years. For instance, if somebody markets a £400 3D printer, I wouldn't expect it to be remotely as fragile as his is turning out to be. I'd also expect it to work reliably once set up. 

I have similar misgivings about the Topaz Video enhancement thing I've been playing with lately. I can't get over the feeling that it's really an alpha release. Once or twice I've had spectacular results. Nine times out of ten I could probably have achieved superior results with the various open source stuff that's been about for ages. Me with my fiddling/modding head on says that it's fine; I don't mind spending a day or eight trying over and over. My sensible head says "why am I not getting what's promised on the box?" 
From: william (WILLIAMA)19 May 10:39
To: william (WILLIAMA) 10 of 12
Anyway, right now I am doing my impression of Cat from Red Dwarf as I try to set up a VOIP connection on my shiny new Zen internet. Mainly it involves going "What's that?" to every instruction and explanation.
From: ANT_THOMAS19 May 12:30
To: william (WILLIAMA) 11 of 12
Agree, if I'd paid £400 I'd want it to work nicely with just some calibration.

Think mine was around £150-200 5 years ago
From: Manthorp31 May 23:32
To: william (WILLIAMA) 12 of 12
Finally got round to setting up the Creality Ender 5 Pro today, influenced by my desire to print replica bullets for my recently acquired Johnny Seven OMA toy gun. It's a slick machine, quieter than my previous Flashforge Pro, and higher res.