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Is this 3D printer any good?


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#1 fae_alba

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 02:09 PM

Has anyone have any experience or thoughts about this 3D printer?

 

http://printm3d.com/...ign=costf#intro


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#2 Fuchur

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 02:49 PM

I'd say it is a very good deal for $299.

- Removeable print bed

- PLA will work well on it.. but ABS or Nylon? I am not sure.
There is nowhere any info about a heated print bed, which is close to required for ABS and in general you need a closed heating chamber for those. They need to cool down slowly and simulatnously.

- Printing resolution is nice. I do not know if you will be able to print at 50 microns with it, but if it can do 100 it is totally okay for most things. (my Makerbot Rep2/2x can print 100 microns at min.)

- Automatic calibration is very valuable too. That makes it much easier.

- It is a very "closed" printer from the look of it... if something has to be repaired, I am not sure if you can do it by yourself. On the other hand: Maybe it is just very well designed from the start on and for that price it is a good deal anyway.

 

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#3 Rodney

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 03:55 PM

The M3D is the one I got via kickstarter and.... no dice.  The plastic melted through/merged with the base before I got a decent print and made the printer pretty much inoperable.

 

I've nothing really against the printer or company as I didn't pursue replacement.  It satisfied my curiosity about 3D printing*.

The printers surely have improved since the initial release but for my own personal experience with the M3D I cannot recommend it.

 

Perhaps you could purchase a base plate and I could get this printer to you for the cost of shipping/handing.

It's still sitting next to my desk... staring at me... reminding me not to waste money...

Otherwise it's not doing me much good.

 

 

*If I need to 3D print something I"ll likely use an online service.  Then those guys can maintain their own printers.


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#4 fae_alba

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 04:37 PM

 

Perhaps you could purchase a base plate and I could get this printer to you for the cost of shipping/handing.

It's still sitting next to my desk... staring at me... reminding me not to waste money...

Otherwise it's not doing me much good.

 

 

 

That's an interesting thought Rodney. Might take a look into replacement parts and if it is even possible given Geralds remarks. Of course I wouldn't want to be the one to take away your reminder to not spend money, what with it sitting right there on your desk staring at you. One could only guess at what kind of fiscal trouble you might get yourself into! :D


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#5 pixelplucker

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 05:08 PM

For that type of printer you might want the small Makerbot. Those guys have a good rep, parts are easy to get.

There are also lot's of kits and imports from Aliexpress. I had seen dlp printers (similar to sla but use digital linear projectors) in the $500 mark and many fdm that use the reprap base for theirs in the 200-300 mark.

 

Though I haven't used an fdm myself, one thing bothers me on the design on the one you showed is the struder head is completely enclosed to look pretty but that I think can have an adverse problem with heat dissipation. Many of the new fdm machines have heatsinks on the struder.

 

As far as resin based printers besides being messy you need to consider supplies. The exposure of the resin to get a good print and the wear and tear on the resin tanks need to be considered. Ability to get the new tanks and resin and quality of resin is critical. Home built machines can be costly to tune and extremely frustrating.



#6 fae_alba

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 05:23 AM

Yeah, I'm thinking that this falls under the category of it seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Better to save my pennies for something else, like a nice bauble for the wife!  :rolleyes:


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#7 pixelplucker

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 11:39 AM

For FDM printers and short money, look at the kits that are out there. They look pretty easy to build and actually look fun. Most are based on the rep rap that has tons of addons, upgrades, and parts.



#8 Fuchur

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 12:14 PM

I have 2 FDMs... (a Replicator 2 and a Replicator 2x).

Both were finished when they came to me so... they are not very complex, but you need to be very precise while assembling the kit. Otherwise you're prints will not be of high quality.

I have updated and disassembled the extruder and other cruisal stuff since then, but if you do not have any experience or do not know how it should look exactly, I would think it is not easy to do that.

 

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#9 robcat2075

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 07:11 AM

This must be why the M3D was on sale... they have a new version the M3D Pro.

$499 "pre-order" price

 

 

I have no idea as to the merits of their new technology such as "self-awareness"

 

 

https://www.indiegog...r-reliability#/


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#10 zandoriastudios

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 06:26 AM

Rodney, what is the print bed made of? On the newer Pro model it is tempered glass..,. I'm wondering if you could just replace it, since it is removeable.

My Printrbot Simple metal is just powdercoated sheet metal--I cover with blue painters tape. Getting a good first layer is important to keep from coming off of the build plate, but i usually have to pry my prints off with a putty knife....

 

My frustrations with clogs, calibration, etc left mine sitting dormant for months, but eventually I sat down and really dialed it in--You need to measure your filament with calipers, and adjust your settings so that printer really can calculate the amount of material flowing... Also you need to be able to access a G-Code terminal so that you can manually enter offsets to the z-height to get your first layer just right.

 

The enclosed extruder assembly on this M3D bothers me, since I am always having to unclog my hot end from experimenting with different materials like bronze, copper, wood... It is helpful to be able to take it apart, replace the nozzel, etc.

In my experience ,so far, no 3D printer performs as beautifully or flawlessly as their marketing would indicate...this make the experience for the user very disappointing. But, when it works--it is awesome!



#11 Rodney

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 01:27 PM

On the newer Pro model it is tempered glass..,

 

That's definitely an improvement.

I'm not sure what the bed is on the older model but it became damaged (melted) and initially I thought it was excess material stuck to the bed from the nozzle.  When attempting to remove that the base started to peel apart in layers.  Having a tempered glass bed seems like it would resolve that problem.  


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#12 Fuchur

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 03:17 PM

Actually that is not meant for that in most cases. It means, you can print with ABS on it instead of only PLA. ABS on a non-heated plate will very likely not stick to the plate (or at least it is much harder like that), because if it cooles down to fast, it starts shrinking very much. So the cooling needs to be very slow and that can be archieved with a heated plate. If the the bed is heatet and you try to get stuck material away with that, it can work, but in general the heated plate will heat up to something like 100 °C, which is not enough for PLA to melt... (would need something in the 170-200 °C area to melt).

 

What you need to do to not make it stick enough but is easy to remove is to use rough rubber tape or something like that on the plate. That is something all the more major 3d printer manufucterer do suggest.

 

Glas has one other advantage: It will produce a very nice finish and is absolutely straight. That is, why it is used sometimes... on the other hand it is very heavy compared to plastic plates and your bed-engine and the springs on it need to be able to handle that...


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#13 zandoriastudios

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 08:50 AM

Rodney, How thick is your build plate? could you just have a new one cut out of acrylic or masonite and replace it?



#14 Rodney

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 09:58 AM

Rodney, How thick is your build plate? could you just have a new one cut out of acrylic or masonite and replace it?

 

Not sure of thickness but I'm sure the base plate can be replaced either by ordering one from the company or a home fashioned one (I'll keep your suggestion of acrylic or masonite in mind... I think masonite or some form of tempered glass would be ideal.).  Thanks for the suggestions.

 

The printer is still sitting close to my desk for that eventual day when I feel like 3D printing again and am up to the task of replacing the plate.

My purchase of the M3D was mostly to satisfy my curiosity (at a relatively low cost) as I am highly interested but I don't have much of a need for 3D printing these days.

I've also been waiting for the company to update their calibration and printing software* which I believe they've done already.

 

 

*The software that came with the M3D was basic but very easy to use.  It did what it was designed to do (calibration and graphical interface for 3D printing) and is one of the best I've seen to date.  I don't want anyone to think it was lacking but it was the first release of the software so was sure to be updated.  The Pro M3D surely takes what they learned from building the basic M3D printer and its software to the next level.

 

It's perhaps an odd thing to say given that I can't use their product but I was quite pleased with the M3D.

Since at present the printer isn't working and I never got it to produce a finished piece I can't quite recommend it for purchase... but for others their mileage with the M3D will surely vary.

I'm of the opinion that most 3D printers at the low range wont be suited for mass printing and the M3D fits into this entry level arena.

For needs greater than basic curiosity or the occasional 3D print, folks would be better suited going through a service (or friend) with access to high tech machinery and experienced users/technicians.


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