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Thread: Best 3D Printer under £200 for Ants?

  1. #1
    Noisy's Avatar
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    Ruairidh Thomson
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    Hi everyone.

    I'm looking to get a 3D printer for Christmas to build Antweight robots and other wee ideas and was wondering if anyone can offer any advice. I've found a few but with this being my first 3D printer I don't know what's good and what's bad.

    The first i've found is the Mini Fabrikator V2 by Turnigy (https://hobbyking.com/en_us/mini-fab...r-uk-plug.html). It looks like it has a sturdy design and can connect via wifi but the downside is it only has a build size of a 100mm cube which might be on small side for ants. (iirc the size limit is a 4 inch cube for ants?).

    The second I found was the Tronxy X-1 (https://hobbyking.com/en_us/tronxy-x...t-uk-plug.html). This has a bigger build size, 150mm cube, and is a kit so some assembly is required but also means it should be easier to fix any problems. They also have a bigger X-3 (https://hobbyking.com/en_us/tronxy-x...l-uk-plug.html) which builds at 220x200x300mm but is more expensive and possibly too big for someone inexperienced.

    I was going to get a Monoprice Select Mini v1 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Monoprice-1.../dp/B06XXPN8GY) but it sold out before I could get it and I can't find anywhere selling for the same price (£133).

    If anyone has any other suggestions let me know. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    typhoon_driver's Avatar
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    I've heard good things about the creality ender 2 although I've never used a machine in this price range so can't give any first hand advice.

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    I've got one of the Malyan M200 which has been superb for the price and been printing almost every day for the last year. With a UK plug its 195 on there, but with a US plug only 117. The actual unit uses an external brick 110-240V PSU so that could be a bit of a steal for changing the plug over. Depends on how much the global shipping works out for.

  4. #4
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    The other thing to remember with 3D printers is that the initial price is only a small part of the total costs of running a machine. Filament costs, spare parts, consumables all add up.

  5. #5
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    I have seen mini-lathes for around £100 on Amazon and Ebay and would wonder if that would be a better investment as everyone seems to imply that the quality/toughness of 3D printed items (unless made on industrial printers) are poor. I know the R&D guys at the company for which I work are printing some pretty exotic materials but their printers are bespoke. Some of these lathes would allow for machining of metals in addition to HDPE or plastics, so could be used in other applications and larger robots too. Add a basic bench drill and you'd have a nice little workshop. Admittedly not as cool as 3D printing.

    Just my two pence worth

  6. #6
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    FYI, the very first antweight ever built was constructed using a sherline mini-lathe mill combo.

  7. #7
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    Went with the Creality Ender 2 after I found it for £130. Has a good building size (150x150x200mm) seen some good reviews for it.

    @Deathly Hallows The problem with getting a lathe just now is i don't have a workshop and only have the space left in my bedroom. When I move up to Feathers i'll have to get a lathe but right now it's not doable.

  8. #8
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    I am in a similar situation. My better half won't allow me to work in the house and its too damn cold for the garage which needs insulated and cleared. Let us all know how you get on with the printer (bargain price).

  9. #9
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    Haha, get yourself some thermal coveralls and get to it in the garage! I've had to defrost the coolant in the milling machine while building bots on more than one occasion.

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