VOTE: additional 3D printer for FabLab. $500

I’d like to get a 2nd 3D printer for the FabLab.
This would probably be an import clone of a workhorse printer.
Right now we would be dead if something broke on the Ultimaker (which isn’t quite stock).
One thought is to have one workhorse printer that is locked down and another one that is more “tweaked” and allowed to be modified. I’ll do some research, feel free to provide suggestions.



I have done research on printers and if we want a really reliable, gonna work everytime, then we need to get a cubicon sungle plus. There are about 3k but they just work, you will never have to worry about a print failing unless you made the file completely wrong.

Joe Pomeroy

While I agree that a truly bulletproof printer would be great. I don’t think $3k, $2k or even $1k would be supported by the membership.
There are some pretty solid printers in the sub $500 range that we can lock down and print for ages.
It probably won’t have a large print volume but I bet we can do pretty good for the money.

I’d want more specifics before voting yes on those. What exact printer? are you proposing two printers be bought within the $500, one to keep stock and one to play around with?

If we are truly looking for 500 ish then i would recommend the UP mini 2 it 600 brand new and its wonderful.

Joe Pomeroy

I’ll get more details together before the vote next week.
Thanks for the input.

If it makes any difference, we have two flash forge creator pros (dual extruders) and they require very little tweaking whatsoever. And we’ve had them for a few years at this point and they print very reliably. It might be worth considering getting one or similar. Not sure we should be spending 3k on a printer - and if we did would be nice if it was a resin printer. Anyone considered that at all? :wink:

I do admit that having a self-leveling bed would be nice, but we haven’t really had issues with ours (saw more issues with my mother-in-law’s monoprice I3 clone).


The issue with resin is that it is messy and the chemicals are toxic, we would need an entire area that is ventilated. It really would be a mess.

As much as I bitched and moaned about it. After doing a series of prints on the Ultimaker last week. I didn’t have a single issue with it that wasn’t caused by myself.
I’m not convinced another extruder type printer would be valuable “in case” it has issues. I’d think we’d approach it like most other tools, where if it randomly fails, we then assess repair/replace.

But, hey, convince me otherwise and you’ll get my vote.

not sure it’d be an in case issue, but would be useful to have a second one for when one is in use.

So I have about 15 printers at home (for my business) now.

The wanhao dup i3+ (i have 7) that are sold by microcenter need a pei build plate (or flexible plate) upgrade as well the all metal hot end upgrades minimal the pfte tube choke sucks on these machines. But it’s not what I’d recommend; really nothing at microcenter would I recommend for the hive.

I’d like to see something like a cr10s4 or cr10s5 come in, its alot larger of a build platform and with a few upgrades we can get it to a workhorse printer fairly quicker with autobed leveling, a few easy structural upgrades and if we want to get fancy I recommend an octoprint setup.

has anyone actually ever run into the issue that they wanted to print something and the printer was in use?

(Off topic for this thread, but I’d throw in my support behind a resin printer in the ?near? future. A quality system like the Form 2 doesn’t need any special ventilation, I have personally been looking into them for work recently)

off topic also: I have been advocating for a resin printer for quite a while. I have one here at home that I am tinkering with as well as part of a beta test I am waiting for another. They are great for precision, can even do lost wax material if we get into forging style metal working. I dont know if the form 2 is still worth the cost with other brands coming out with quality lower end ones, but thats for a different conversation.
Here is a link to Tiny machine’s listing, we can get bl touches and do the upgrade cheaper, about the only one here I would recommend to order with is the bed heater, but thats not a necessity to get off the bat, and we can install one cheaper.

Due to my health, I haven’t been active at Hive much, but am starting to resume. Dave Velzy and I started on building delta printers, and one is for Hive13. We’ve already designed it, tested various mock-ups, and have 90% of the parts (at my house or Dave’s). We had to stop due to the huge job of both laser machine overhauls, CNC stuff, and other stuff – not to mention that my health was not so good for a while.

Long story short, we’re starting to build the final printers. I already have a working prototype I built. How about we put in the time and make these printers and then reassess. I’m thinking we could have a really nice custom printer designed by Dave and Myself by June IF people jump in and help out. If some interested people want, I could lead a regular workshop sorta thing every 2 weeks.

I want to get this done before I move. So, I’m committed. Dave and I have already bought parts for 3 printers (hive, mine, Dave’s). Others are welcome. Why buy when we have this build?

Lorin, good point. Have you considered having work on this happen alongside Ryan’s 3D Thursday events?

Ha. I totally forgot about the Delta build.
I’d be happy to help get this going.
I’ll leave the vote up till next week, but if we think this could get a working printer that would meet my need for a second 3D printer.
Do we see any purchases required?

That is an excellent point. Completing a functional build as a hive project for close to little to no money would be a great idea. Also, I keep hearing that the Gigabot works, is it possible to get the gigabot up and running and reliable? Just because it CAN print a cubic meter part, it is still capable of printing smaller parts right? (all gigabot knowledge is 2nd to 3rd hand knowledge provided to someone that didn’t really care at the time. It could all be complete lies.)
We could then couple that with saving up, if we wanted, for a Form2 or similar ilk.

That is also precisely the sort of thing that would benefit from finding someone that is slightly capable in grant writing. Most businesses aren’t too excited about randomly giving out money. But something precise like, The purchase of X device and membership for 10 high school teachers to the space for a year to access the device which we maintain, that could get a lot more traction. I have been in organizations that have had success doing similar things.

I know that second part is the asshole move of coming up with a great idea for someone else to do. But this is part of the reason I keep mentioning it. I’ve been exploring my (mostly my wife’s) network for this. I could attempt it myself, but I’d like to exhaust all avenues of finding competent people before embarking down that path.

Great discussion.
I’m also happy to explore getting the Gigabot going. (We’ve kind of shifted off from this vote thread, but I guess it is related since we would not need the money for a 2nd printer if we get the ones in the system working).
Who would be the Gigabot “expert”? I seem to remember Bill and Ryan working on it at one time.

Brad, I believe that’s the last I heard also. I’ll be happy to take it over if I can get a complete list of what’s been done to it and what problems were still having