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Jeepnewbie

3D Printer Question

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I’ve been eying 3D printers since last ReaperCon. Either the Ender 3 or Monoprice printers, since it’s a lot cheaper to get into printing. 

 

Heres my my question I was looking up information on filament and a lot of folks are using PLA and it seams to be water soluble according to one website. Which filament is good for using on terrain pieces?  I may also print a few figures on occasion. 

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It's not water soluble exactly, but it, like most filaments, does absorb moisture from the atmosphere, which compromises the quality of its printing. They need to be stored in absolutely dry conditions.

 

PLA is the easiest and most forgiving filament to print, and the one I would recommend as a beginner (which I still am — I've only had my printer for a few months). How much it varies from vendor to vendor I don't really know; I've had just as good results with non-name filament as with branded stuff, but as I say, my experience is limited.

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As a NOOB who has a printer but hasn't got the bugs worked out of it yet, I can tell you that you don't want to spend "too little" as it can become a very expensive proposition fixing the shortcomings of too cheap a printer.

I bought and built a fairly decent kit, with [as best as I could tell] quality components, particularly the electronics.

From what I have read, there are a lot of kits out there with second rate components, and it can run up the price quickly when you start having to replace things like the stepper motor drivers because the originals couldn't handle the current draw from prolonged use, or the print bed warped,  or any of a host of other agravations that can stall out your project.

Most of the problems I've had, so far, can be classified as the sort of stuff that are part of the learning curve for anything as complex as learning how to use a moderately complex class of industrial machinery.

There are a lot of .stl files available, many for free or a small fee to make things either useful or decorative, including a lot of "I didn't know I needed that" items.

Happy Printing

GEM

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I have two Anycubic's. A Photon resin unit which I love for minis and detailed parts. Downside is it had a small build volume and is a lot more finicky than filament units. 

 

I also have an Anycubic i3 Mega which is very low maintence (well other than the two times I did something stupid :down:). It has a slightly smaller builds than other option, but is easy to assemble and has an awesome heated build plate which doesn't require any adhesive to get the PLA to stick during printing.  I have went through 4 spools of filament (1 PLA and 3 PLA+) and only had three failures. Two related to not having the bed level early on and one from not having the temp and travel speed adjusted correctly when I switched to PLA+ matetial. 

 

Anycubic makes nice units, have adequate manuals, and their are plenty of YouTube videos to help understand what you are doing. However, A friend of mine has a Monoprice and he is happy with it. 

 

PLA breaks down easier in sunlight in the presence of moisture. For gaming purpose if you just prime it the material won't be exposed to the elements and you shouldn't have to worry about it. If you are making somethin that will be exposed to outdoor elements then look at ABS. I haven't tried my ABS yet, but it sounds like that in addition to needing the heated build plate you need o enclose the printer so air currents don't mess up the print from temperature gradients. 

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Thanks everyone. I made the purchase and now waiting for it to come in. I ordered PLA to start off with to learn on and downloaded Cura and been tinkering around in it. It looks like a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it. 

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I've had my printer for about a year now, and have printed exclusively in PLA.  As the others have said, it's just fine for gaming projects. 

I printed a couple of brackets for outdoor use out of PLA when I first got the printer, before I knew that it wasn't a recommended application. They've held up pretty well, despite living in a relatively humid environment (Iowa, across the street from a corn field).  They aren't in direct sunlight.   I did have one print ruined when I left it in the sunlight after priming it - the heat warped it really badly.

From that experience, I would say the biggest thing is don't leave your PLA based terrain or models in a hot car. 

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