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what features make the expensive printers worth more than the less expensive ones?

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:43 pm
by CurtB
Ok over the last year there seems to have been a 3D printing fork in the road, you have one group of printers hovering around the $2,000 - $3,000 price point and another major group coming in at the $500 -$1,000 price point. At various times you have called several members of each group among the best printers out there… Lulz Bot, Ultimaker, GMax… Prusa, Creality Cr-10, etc. Not trying to get you to do head to head comparisons, I realize that could get contentious very easily, But could you possibly consider a Video explaining what features make the expensive ones worth more than the less expensive ones? It would be very interesting hearing your thoughts.


Re: what features make the expensive printers worth more than the less expensive ones?

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:11 am
by ido
There is also a price point 200-500 dollars for the Chinese versions

Good question btw, Also curious what people are going to say. What I noticed is reliability and service from the manufacturer. I own an original prusa, I deliberately went for this machine and not a cheaper one because of its good name, plenty of users/support and commonly available replacement parts.

The FDM printing technique is the same for all FDM printers, but reliability and features can differ. I am hoping the more expensive printers have more features making the succes rate a lot higher, but I am not sure about that.

Could also be that they are overpriced, 5 years ago it was a niche market, now its becoming more mainstream, so prices can go down. Perhaps the older brands hold on too much to their old ways price wise.

Re: what features make the expensive printers worth more than the less expensive ones?

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:02 pm
by CurtB
older brands... I like that term. 4 years ago, when I first dipped my toe into 3D printing there was a huge difference. My first printer was a Davinci 1, back then you read the boards and people said it was great, but then when you read a little further, so many of them had cut and hacked it, lord it made me wonder why they bought the printer in the first place, why not just buy the parts... my experience with it was awful. Tech support didnt speak a word of english, they always wanted to see the model having problems, then a couple days later they would send a photo showing a built version of the model and saying we find no problem.
If I could get a model to come out looking like the one in the photo they sent back I wouldn't have called them in the first place!
so thank you amazon, I sent it back just under the 30 day deadline, and upgraded to a Taz 4 at that time. In about 3 weeks time I had completed about half a dozen models. then something really big screwed up. and life intervened at the same moment... To this day, I will say Lulzbot's tech support was nice, courteous, and very diligent in trying to figure the problem out... unfortunately for me at that same moment there was a family emergency that took me across the country for a long period, so the printer was not going to get fixed before return privileges passed, so it to got returned. That hurt. It's taken me 4 years to get back into the game... I am hearing great things from these 500-1000 printers, It does make me wonder, are the expensive ones going to ever break their pricing model?? I don't know.

Re: what features make the expensive printers worth more than the less expensive ones?

Posted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:54 pm
by PRZ
One important point is safety.
3D printers are dangerous and you have many witnesses of burned terminals, burned boards or power supply.
I personally experienced a main power switch which stayed permanently conductive (say 'On' when in 'Off' position) and that really frightened me. My new install will have an automatic extinguisher.

All machines sold in EC are bound (among other regulations) by 'Machine directive' which is quite detailed (it is also used for industrial equipment). I am sure that if we go in details, we will found non compliances in all printers on the market, but I am also sure that all well known manufacturers have done some work to check compliance. Chinese manufacturer do apply CE stamp on their 3D printers but if you have some knowledge, you can tell at first view that they are absolutely not compliant at any level. CE stamping on Chinese products is way too often a pure lie.

Also, nowadays all products do incorporate components from Asia. Some can be safe, but only an experienced manufacturer can sort out what are the good and bad suppliers for components and notably electrical stuff. And can draft specifications for components and set a QA/QC department to check the compliance.