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I'm thinking it might finally be time for me to add a #3d printer to the lab. Looking to prototype structural parts and cases for some of my tinkering experiments.

There are a lot of options.

Looking to keep initial costs under $500.

Hit me with your experiences and recommendations.

@djsundog i got a Creality Ender 3 Pro (~230USD) recently and it's worked out well

@ddipaola excellent, that one's been on my short list. What's your biggest frustration with it?

@djsundog the bottom 2mm or so seems to get slightly over-extruded and a little layer shifted for some reason. a sacrificial raft seems to fix that. it prints great afterwards, so I'm not sure what's going on with it

@djsundog

While it is NOT in your budget range, I'll drop in the comment that the Lulzbot Mini is marvelously functional out of the box. Most of the under $500 are self-build and need variable amounts of careful calibration from what I have read.

@Algot thanks! I'm not particularly averse to the self-building and calibration fiddliness to be honest, but it's definitely something to take into consideration.

@fool @djsundog @sungo

@chuck hits your price point I think... but not a part of Delta Master Race.

I am a fan of TEVO's stuff out of the box.

@djsundog

As a starter, the Monoprice Select Mini v2 (E3D) is good. Not only is there a big, long-standing community, but it NEEDS at least a mod or two out of the box—simple ones that get a person used to the idea they CAN mod the thing.

You can use the money you save to buy filament and make dry boxes for it.

@djsundog i heard ender3 is simple, robust and works without much hassle.. and should be in your price-range..

@qwazix your BOM tops my theoretical budget, but your approach and reasoning (and particularly your focus on play) makes it likely that I'll end up going along for the ride - thanks much for the link, and anticipate future inquisitions of a non-Spanish sort. :blobpats:

@djsundog that's great! :-) I'll be really happy to answer any questions and fix any issues that may arise.

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