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    Seeking advice regarding choice of 3D-printer.

    Hello.

    I'm not sure what kind of experience with hobby 3D-printers is found here but I want to find out.

    I am about to order a 3D-printer but I can't make up my mind because I don't have any experience, I am choosing between 3 or 4 printers and these are:



    I had thought I had chosen Duplicator 6 due to its large print area(200x200x175mm) and it's high layer resolution of 20, 60 or 100micron, and it's high printing temperature(short-term: 260°C, long-term: 240°C). But it has only a single extruder.

    And I am afraid that I would be missing out if not going with a dual extruder printer, let me tell you what I want the printer to do.

    First of all I want to be able to print with nylon(really any durable plastic that is certified for use in foodstuffs, my first application is to print new drip tips(mouth peaces) for my Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer, but then I am also going to print cases for electronics projects.
    I can't actually see why I would need the higher resolution of the Duplicator 6 but high resolution usually enables more fun things.

    Do anyone have any opinion about whether to choose a dual extruder printer with a smaller printing area versus choosing a single extruder printer with larger print area and lower resolution than the single extruder printer?

    Regards

    •   Alt13th November 2016, 21:32

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    Re: Seeking advice regarding choice of 3D-printer.

    I think one factor is how small you want to print. Example, tiny fasteners, screws, nuts. The threads need to be precise.

    Also whether you need to clean extruders? To clean one is easier than cleaning two.
    Also whether extruders get clogged? Etc.

    Can you buy the one-extruder unit today, then install a second extruder at some later time?



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    Re: Seeking advice regarding choice of 3D-printer.

    A dual extruder is particularly suited for applications on which you want to save money and time by applying different materials to the same piece in a single production process without intervals, as for instance using a cheapest on the core and a most expensive on the outer finishing. For small pieces perhaps a dual extruder would not be so advantageous.
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    •   Alt14th November 2016, 00:12

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    Re: Seeking advice regarding choice of 3D-printer.

    To add to some of the comments above, other reasons for a dual extruder are for multi-color prints, and also for using the second extruder to print dissolvable support structures when printing an object with overhangs.

    As for build volume, clearly that is based on the objects you want to make. By your initial description, build volume would not be an issue. In my personal usage of my 3D printer, I have often wished I could print larger and have rarely wished to have dual extruder. My next printer will definitely have a larger build volume. And if you use a quality slicing program for your prints, easily removeable support structures can be created thus reducing the need for a second extruder for support material.

    As for printing nylon, which I have done, you need to clarify what "short term" means when talking temperature. I print nylon at about 250-255 degrees, but nylon has to print more slowly than other popular 3D printing filaments, so even small prints can take a long time. Whatever you do buy, make sure that the hot end (i.e. extruder and carriage, etc) is all metal and can withstand the heat. Some 3D printers had plastic parts in their hot ends and the printing process would slowly melt and deform the carriage. Mine did, but I have heavily modified it with lots of aftermarket metal parts.

    Another highly useful feature is a heated bed. I would highly recommend that whatever printer you buy has this feature. It greatly increases the adhesion of the plastic to the build plate and allows you (or at least it allowed me) to print large flat structures without warping. Key for electronics enclosures!

    r.b.



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    Re: Seeking advice regarding choice of 3D-printer.

    After having read your posts I have returned to thinking that the Duplicator 6 is the one to go with as it has the highest resolution, highest temperature and a heated print-bed, as well as the largest print area of them all.

    I know so little about these kinds of machines that I can't really answer any of the questions posted, I have tried to contact the company I will buy from to get a definition of what short-time means in practice but I haven't received a answer.

    Although I have read many written posts here and there of people expressing satisfaction with the Duplicator 6 printer, I will have to order two new fans and print a new holder for them since the printer is delivered with insufficient fan cooling. And I will need to locate and order a new metal cog thingy that controls the feed of the plastic, since as is that printer has been reported to have problems with the plastic filament slipping.

    I was worried that a single extruder would perhaps limit what I csn print, which in some manner it would but not in any way that seems as a game changer.

    By the way, have I understood what I have been reading about wrongly or does some single extruder printers now have some kind of add-on to allow them to switch filament color in print?



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    Re: Seeking advice regarding choice of 3D-printer.

    One of the key aspects that should be considered in choosing the 3D printer is the easiness of changing the print-head in case of unclogging or cleaning. In many cases, this process takes many steps and is time-consuming.
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    •   Alt18th November 2016, 11:00

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    Re: Seeking advice regarding choice of 3D-printer.

    By the way, have I understood what I have been reading about wrongly or does some single extruder printers now have some kind of add-on to allow them to switch filament color in print?
    Depending on the firmware of your printer, or your slicing software, it may be possible to pause a print. change filament and resume the print with the new filament. With printers that understand g-code, you can modify the g-code by hand with the appropriate commands to pause, retract and resume.

    For printers that understand X3G format, your slicing software will likely have a means to do a similar procedure. I use Simplify 3D, and the way you would do this in this program is to create two print files for the same object. One print file prints the object from 0 mm to 5 mm, and then you run the other file that prints the part of the object that is 5mm in height and above. In between these two runs, you can change filament out. The second file will print the object starting where the first file stopped.

    Another usage of pausing and resuming is so that you can embed things like magnets or nuts in your print.

    I personally do not know of a hardware way to change print colors other than a dual extruder (or color changing filament).

    r.b.



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