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I've just got a Anycubic i3 Mega S - the reviews looked good - and it seems to work well, not that I've done much with it yet as it's a Christmas present from Herself ... my real problems were with 3D modeling to start with.
I'm sort-of working on part 3, but trying to get a box to keep it in finished (to keep the cat fur and teeth away from it), and having fun with bed leveling ... which may be an article all on it's own at this rate ...
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Bad command or file name. Bad, bad command! Sit! Stay! Staaaay...
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I've personally never used a 3D printer, but I have to imagine that the actual "printing" phase is just a tiny part of any project that ultimately involves a 3D printer...so I would suggest you spend plenty of time getting ahold of and working with 3D models with relevant software and get intimately familiar with the editing process, since this is where you'll probably spend most of your time. If you decide this isn't your cup of tea, then all you'll use the printer for is printing models others have already created.
I'm not trying to be a naysayer...I'm just trying to place myself in that situation and figuring out whether I could justify it. Obviously, YMMV.
Remember I have 6 months holiday a year to fill up!
I have Anet E12. It is able to print big parts and works very well for me and I use it a lot. I used it to print some replacement parts for my old car (like inside the cabin door unlock part) and replacement parts for children toys, replacement parts around the house (like chair supports). I find a lot of parts on thingiverse. I just dovnload and print them (check out replacement parts for cars, it's amazing). The parts that I don't find online I drow by myself in "fusion 360" 3D sw.
I keep asking myself: What is my problem, that I want to solve? Do I break my plastic cups on every camping trip, so they need steady replacements? Do I wish to replace the knobs and pushbuttons on my stereo system and other electronics with "designer" alternatives (the designer being yours truly)? Do I regularly develop new board games for myself, that needs tailor made pieces, similar to chess pieces?
No, no and no. Essentially, I'd be curious to have a 3D printer to print 3D objects, sort of like in OO programming: Any object, no specifics, no defined use, not covering any need. Their purpose is to be an object, created on my 3D printer.
Before that, I will buy myself a top grade photo printer that can print on heavy stock, on canvas, or superwide panoramas on paper from a roll. Earlier, I was an eager photographer; if I am able to revive that old hobby and start making pictures, I will have a need for such a printer, and I will buy it.
The day I identify a true need for a 3D printer - a problem / task that without much discussion is best solved if I get myself one - then I will buy a 3D printer. Maybe the technology has matured then. It could take ten years before I see a true need. Maybe the techology by then has more than matured, maybe it is dead...
Many of the libraries in my municipality have 3D printers that residents can use for pennies. I was initially quite excited about that, but to date have printed nothing. I too would like to play with a 3D printer, but in the end it would be a tool waiting for a project.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -- Groucho Marx
I'm technical person and I playing with 3d printers for 4 years..(not that I want to show off but to give you a reference to my comments).
First question that you need to ask yourself is how much do you really want to spend on device?
Second is do you like to tinker(as this is your hobby) or you want to have working device right of the box?
Depending on your answers.. if you can afford kits >1000$ so anything is good. If you want to spend 500$-1000$ probably Prusa MK3 is the natural choice (you can save a bit buy buying DIY kit) or pay a bit more for assembled one. Of course market is big and you can spend on something else but Prusa is a BRAND and they have a support and big community behind this.
200$-500$ probably anything from better known Chinese brands like Creality, Tronxy, JGAurora, Tevo or similar check Youtube for the more popular guys how it looks..
Under 200$ Ender3 is the king..
And last 2 quick comments..
1. don't be greedy.. 3D printer is slow process going big(big printer is a problem if you don't relay print that big prints) small printer are faster to use for small bits.. and big printers are slow for small prints and it takes ages to print a big print. There is a reason why most popular printers are below 300mm.
2. good heated print bed with autoleveling is the key with "extra" print surface which saves you ton of failed prints. Everything else these days are extra features that makes life a bit easier but are not that important.