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Haven't looked into 3d printing news for quite a bit, sure glad that plausible SLA models are now in 3 digit range.

I think I'm going to go for that photon...
There is something of a learning curve in getting it set up just right, and the resin isn't cheap (although probably not much more than the FDM filament on a volume basis). We probably had a dozen failed prints until we got leveling /zeroing and proper placement of supports on the models figured out, but I think you will like it. We love ours. The level of detailmpossible is only really limited by what you can build into a 3D model.

One thing, though: there is a distinct burned plastic odor when printing. You definitely need a well-ventilated area.
 

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Discussion Starter #22


Finally printed my first building. It’s twice the size I need but it’s an ok start


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What printer model did you get, and what size is that outhouse (I'm guessing around 50mm square)? That is looking really rough. My first thought is that either your nozzle is too close to the bed or you are over-extruding. I might be able to help you trouble-shoot and get your printer dialed in better, but even the appearance of the X on the door tells me that you should be able to do MUCH better than this.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I’ve got a Shining Einstart printer.

I just tried this as my first job. It turned out twice as big as I wanted. I just ran it as is. The next one will be to the correct scale and try for quality over speed


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Discussion Starter #25
I think just being an outhouse, and yes I’ve used many, rough and rustic is good. Yes the X is rough, and I haven’t cleaned it up much, but that was why I left it that way


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I’ve got a Shining Einstart printer.

I just tried this as my first job. It turned out twice as big as I wanted. I just ran it as is. The next one will be to the correct scale and try for quality over speed
I had to do some digging to find any information about this printer. For something that claims to be an open-source platform it appears you are stuck using their proprietary software rather than something decent like Cura or Slic3r? That's gonna cause a real headache when you get into more complex prints, I'm sorry to say.

What I DID dig up, though, was that there is a section in the software for calibrating the Z axis and then calibrating your 'platform leveling'. You may be ok with the way the current print came out, but you'll be far happier with future prints if you take the time to perform these calibrations.

You should also note, when the company said this printer was ready to go right out of the box... yeah they lied to you. Calibration steps absolutely need to be taken with any 3D printer because things tend to shift during shipping. My own printer actually required partial assembly when I got it, so *everything* had to be calibrated. The advantage was I learned a ton about how the printers work and how to troubleshoot a lot of printing problems. It's a steep learning curve, but completely worthwhile if you want to print really tiny objects. I'm afraid for your model of printer and software, that may be about as much help as I can offer.
 

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I had to do some digging to find any information about this printer. For something that claims to be an open-source platform it appears you are stuck using their proprietary software rather than something decent like Cura or Slic3r? That's gonna cause a real headache when you get into more complex prints, I'm sorry to say.

What I DID dig up, though, was that there is a section in the software for calibrating the Z axis and then calibrating your 'platform leveling'. You may be ok with the way the current print came out, but you'll be far happier with future prints if you take the time to perform these calibrations.

You should also note, when the company said this printer was ready to go right out of the box... yeah they lied to you. Calibration steps absolutely need to be taken with any 3D printer because things tend to shift during shipping. My own printer actually required partial assembly when I got it, so *everything* had to be calibrated. The advantage was I learned a ton about how the printers work and how to troubleshoot a lot of printing problems. It's a steep learning curve, but completely worthwhile if you want to print really tiny objects. I'm afraid for your model of printer and software, that may be about as much help as I can offer.
What would be consensus on the best buy for a 3D printer that has Cura or Slic3r capabilities for under $500.00.
Or is that even a reasonable request ?
Dan
 

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What would be consensus on the best buy for a 3D printer that has Cura or Slic3r capabilities for under $500.00.
Or is that even a reasonable request ?
Dan
Dan,

Both of those software packages are slicing tools, which are used to, basically, dissect a 3D model into layers so that it can be printed.

The Anycubic Photon I've described elsewhere in this thread can be found for just over $500, and comes with it's own slicing software, which is capable of slicing any 3D model & file format into a printer-ready file in just a few minutes. No need for either Slic3r or Cura. Use Sketchup, TinkerCAD, Solidworks (if you have access to a free educational license, otherwise this is $1000 software) or the very useful MakeHuman (allows you to assemble human figures from prefabricated parts) to create a 3D model, run it through the slicer, and print.

Is there any particular reason you're tied to those software tools?
 

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Finally printed my first building. It’s twice the size I need but it’s an ok start


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If you printed that sideways and put in some grooves for individual boards the print lines would complement the texture.
 

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What would be consensus on the best buy for a 3D printer that has Cura or Slic3r capabilities for under $500.00.
Or is that even a reasonable request ?
Dan
Honestly that question is as loaded as trying to ask what is the best scale to model in. It depends completely on your particular needs and desires, what YOU want to get out of it.

For my own purposes, I wanted to be able to handle a variety of different types of prints, but aiming towards something that could print items for HO trains. I also was fine with doing some assembly myself, and I actually enjoyed the process of learning all the calibration steps and troubleshooting. Finally, I wanted something that had lots of possibilities for custom modifications, and a good community available to help me learn the printer and answer questions I may (surely) have along the way (and I consider a helpful online community to be one of the most important things when starting out with new technology). I honestly spent a couple of hard months getting familiar with my printer, but now I'm confident enough to understand the settings I need for most prints.

Keep in mind that while the filament-based printers are the most popular and easiest to use, resin-based printers have also come down significantly in price and can give you high-detail prints of people in most scales starting at a $300 price tag.

So instead of asking what the 'best' printer is, you need to start with asking questions to see what fits within your skill set, allow people to suggest other pertinent questions you should ask, and take a little time to understand the factors that go in to 3D printing and how they might affect your enjoyment of the process. Of course that is probably true of most any hobby where you will be investing a lot of time and money.
 

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Filament printers are cheap and fun to assemble. SLA printers can produce very fine prints, but like printing ABS filament, SLA resin, means you need an enclosed printer with plenty of ventilation. So you need to keep that in mind. Printing PLA or PETG filament does not require any of that complication.
 

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SLA printers also require some significant post-print processing. Every SLA printer I've seen comes with s vented enclosure.

But I find that the processing and the fumes to be a small price to pay for the amazing levels of detail you can make. To each his own.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
As this is my first foray into this, I only wanted a cheap introductory printer that I could afford.
At this stage, satisfied with the job with the limitations of the printer in relation to my budget


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Discussion Starter #35
Finally managed to print my first ho building. Still some issues with trying to print a full building due to sagging at the top of the windows, so I’ve turned it into an old unkempt cottage. Now just waiting on leds to finish it off.



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I really love the job you did with the moss to make it look old! Maybe you can hang a flying ghost inside. :)

Looks like you still have a lot of calibration work to do on your printer though. From what I can see here my suggestion would be to check your E-steps because it looks like you are over-extruding by quite a lot. In case you're not familiar, E-steps control exactly how much filament is pushed out of the nozzle. So if the slicing software calls for 100mm of filament, you want to make sure that is exactly how much gets pushed out. In your case, it is pushing out way too much which causes all the bulging in the walls and gutter pipes.

For comparison, here's a test print I did with my $300 printer. There are a couple of drooping strands, but this cube is 2" wide and was printed exactly as you see, without any supports. Even cheap printers can produce some really nice quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Thanks for the advice Shdwdgn, I’ll look at it once I get the feed issue sorted.
The spool that came with it sits inside the casing, and was transparent. Trying to reload the spool is a nightmare and full sized reels are too big. So I am making a gantry cradle so the spool hangs directly above the printer and the filament feeds straight down into the injector


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It's definitely a learning process to figure out how these machines work and how all the various settings affect your print quality. Worth the time though, as you can get some really nice pieces once you have it figured out. Maybe some day they will be as simple and reliable as a paper printer, but I think we're still a long ways off from that.
 

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I have an ender 3 pro for bigger models, I REALLY want a resin printer for the smaller items such as people/animals.

Resin prints in such an excellent resolution, but good ventilation around the printer is a must.
 

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That's the same printer that I have. And yeah, a resin printer will probably be the next step for me as well. I've experimented with the 0.2mm nozzle on my current printer but haven't had much luck printing people. There are quite a number of free models available to download, though, especially if you look through the D&D stuff. 28mm prints can be scaled down to 70% for HO scale.
 
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