Question
Asked October 30 2014

Community Question

I am looking to purchase my first 3d printer.... I was looking at the Makerbot Mini as it claims to be no fuss, no muss for the user (attractive, especially to noobs like me)... I do want quality and I don't really want to cheap out however, I don't need to buy the best either... What I want is a relatively non "fiddlely" (not a word LOL) that will not make me regret my purchase... Something that would have no issues producing 3d prints for something like the inMoov project....

Recommendations?

Caveats?

Thanks
Richard
February 3 2015
The process you would go through
Get an STL file (unless you are going to start modeling your own parts)

You might need to repair the STL file. Simplify3d does this along with a few other apps.

setup a slicer program to be compatible with your printer. Some of them have preconfigured settings (like Simplify3d) that make this process far easier.

Run the STL file through your slicer program to generate .gcode which Simplify3d does.

Send the .gcode to your printer.

Simplify3d has many abilities like resizing the STL and positioning the STL file on the build platform before printing. You can also have your raft layer printed in one material and the object printed in a different material if you have 2 extruders. It also lets you configure each extruder with different settings for different materials. It also handles all of these functions in one program instead of having to use multiple programs. The price tag is well worth it if your printer is one of the supported printers. The software will allow you to see what your printer is going to do and allow you to make decisions such as what supports to keep and which to remove among other things. It shows the print layer by layer so you can see what is going to happen with the print and make changed before printing the item.

A prime example would be the channels in the inmoov hand. These need to be clean and clear of any supports. If you use slic3r, you cant see what these channels are going to look like before printing. With Simplify3d, you can see if its slicer is going to put any supports in those channels and remove them prior to starting the print and waiting 6 hours to find out that you have an issue.

Also, Simplify3d's slicer is very fast. 3d printing is a very time consuming process and speed matters because waisting 12 hours becomes frustrating very quickly. When it happens 4 times in a row, it becomes extremely frustrating to the point that you are looking for a much better solution.

Use the best tool available for the job at hand. Right now, the best tool is Simplify3D and a good printer.
February 3 2015
@Richard,
Thanks for your feedback. Highly appreciated. I will check and try Makerware.
The local Hobbie shop just purchase the Dremel Dreamer (copy of Flashforge), and I am experimenting with them and I do agree with you, it does give outstanding prints. I am very impressed.
btw, I gave a demo of my Roli and the kit to the hobbie shop, and they immediately bought Roli, JD, Six, and the kit, plus many extra bits. They are now an official distributor of EZ Robot :-)

The only reason I am currently playing with the Solidoodle is because I did not pay for it. But I might end up realizing that "resistance is futile" and getting the Makerbot after all. ;)
February 3 2015
Just be aware the Dremel only prints in PLA because of not having a heated build plate... I prefer abs because of it's superior strength over pla... and the fact it does not degrade and become brittle over time...

LOL.... DJ will be happy about that (hobby shop)...
February 3 2015
The logic behind heating it up more is to allow more time for a second layer to be layer down on top of that layer, giving it more strength and prevent bending. I personally haven't had good luck with this.

The logic of adding a fan is to cool the layer more quickly which adds strength. I have had better luck with this approach and it is the one most people go with. It also helps prevent sagging of overhangs without supports.
February 7 2015
I can vouch for Simplify3D, it does make things easier.

I currently have a MakerGear M2, does both PLA and ABS. Very durable 3D printer and I have only a few issues or features that should have been on the printer.

I have heard for the price of $800, the Robo 3RD cant be beat.

Has anyone printed the Nija Flex material? Thats on my list to soon try out (time and lack of concentration on one thing).

Keith