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Does Anyone Have a 3D Printer?

I’m curious if any of you have a 3D printer. Graev and I have been talking about getting one for a long time. Greav is super creative when it comes to designing and making things, and I just like neat gadgets.

We’re trying to figure out which one to get. I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t done my homework. Graev has decided he wants to wait for some new one coming out in a bit that’ll cost like $600-700. I’m leaning toward one of the lower-end ones for $160 to see if it’s something I like, but I also don’t want to get a piece of crap.

For those of you who have one, what do you think? Do you like the printer you got? Do you use it to make neat things? Advice on what you’d look for in a 3D printer? Does it require a ton of 3D design knowledge to make something in one of those programs that design before you print? Heck, does that software come included? These are the things I need to know!

In my mind I’d print up things for board games and stuff around the house. For example, there are lots of really cool things you can 3D print for making board game part containers or even decorations for while you play. I would also want to try something crazy like the image of a 3D printed Catan at the top of this post (source). I’d also print a new back cover to my tv remote control because it broke. Stuff like that!

I’d love to see what you’ve made if you have pictures, too.

We’ll probably make a purchase in Q1 this year once we figure out all these details.

  • Brian says:

    I just so happened to get my first 3D printer for christmas – a Prusa i3 MK2S (https://www.prusa3d.com/#our-printer). The kit version runs around $600. You can also buy one fully assembled for around $800. It comes with everything you need to start printing out models: Systems drivers for Mac/Windows that include all the software required to connect to your printer and print any models you find as well as your first spool of filament (although I just bought a spool of Hatchbox filament on amazon and I think it’s a bit better quality than what you get with the printer).

    The kit version (which is what I got) isn’t very difficult to assemble if you’re mechanically inclined and have the time/patience for it. You will have to do some calibration/setup after assembly which can be a little tricky (may require some chassis adjustments which are a bit of a pain), but once it’s up and running the printer is pretty damn good.

    So far the printer has performed great on just about every model I’ve thrown at it (mostly stuff from thingiverse). I have run into trouble with a couple models that have very high detail, but that’s not an issue with the printer so much as I’m still figuring out how to set up the print configuration properly for those models (I’m discovering that high detail models require a bit more tweaking of settings than most other models I’ve printed so far)

    I haven’t yet tried to make any of my own models (i’m finding plenty of awesome stuff already out there to play with), so I can’t offer much advice other than you’ll probably want to have some 3D modeling knowledge – I’ve seen a few models that creators have said they’ve thrown together using Blender, but beyond that I’m not sure what the best options are for modeling.

    • Keen says:

      That’s really cool. Feel like posting any pictures of things you’ve made? I’d love to see what your printer is capable of making, even without being configured properly.

      • Brian says:

        Here’s a few…

        https://photos.app.goo.gl/g29WRhVMlykir6jm1

        All but the white dwarven figure were printed at default detail settings and were using the filament included with the printer. I think the aftermarket filament is a bit better but other than the dwarf I haven’t printed a large enough print that makes for a good comparison.

        The white dwarven guy was my first attempt at a small D&D-style figure. It came out OK but would benefit from a smaller extruder tip (most printers come with a medium-sized one that works with most average prints). I did attempt a few others but they didn’t come out as good as that guy – small figures are a little tricky for me right now due to all of the overhangs they tend to have and I haven’t figured out the ideal settings…still learning 🙂

      • Keen says:

        Those are super cool man. What’s that vice looking thing with headphone jacks? Does that screw actually work?

      • Brian says:

        Its actually a headphone holder that clamps onto a desk. And yes the screw actually works 🙂

      • Keen says:

        Oh man that’s so dang cool… I NEED one of those. See, this is why I need a 3D printer. Stuff I didn’t know I needed until I find out I can print it!

  • Bhagpuss says:

    I’m guessing you don’t read Tobold’s blog any more. He’s been posting about his 3D printer for a long time. He uses it to make D&D miniatures and from the outside it looks like far more trouble than it’s worth.

  • nukethesitefromorbit says:

    I have an unhealthy addiction to big ‘RPG in a box’ style games like Imperial Assault, Zombicide or Mansion of Madness/Eldritch Horror and have considered a 3d printer to make lots of accessories and props. Ultimately though the cost vs benefit always seems to end up with me making custom trays for storage out of foam core boards instead of taking the time and money to invest in the printer. Outside of board games I just do not see me using it for much else so the cost is not something I can justify.

    • Keen says:

      The cost and size are prohibiting factors for me. The $600+ ones are like desk-size printers. They make some REALLY cool stuff, though.

      I’d see myself having more fun making the stuff for the games than actually using it. As I kid I always had more fun building the legos, setting up the army men, making the lincoln log forts, etc., than playing with them when they were done.

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