3D printers

Thinking of investing in a 3d printer, but don’t have any experience with them. Any advice/opinions? Budget is best.
UPDATE: thanks for the insight! I’m now the happy owner of an Elegoo Mars 2P, and almost already out of resin, lol. If anyone wants to share anything about their printers, including set ups and/or projects, feel free to post here. I’d love to see what others are working on and how they’re doing it!

I picked up a Mars 2 in the fall and love it. Looking time make minis or terrain? If minis, you’ll want a resin printer. If terrain, fdm.

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I hadn’t considered making terrain before, but that sounds pretty cool

But, the minis are the priority

For minis, you’ll want a resin printer. I prefer the Elegoo Mars 2, but every few months they come out with better specs on a new one. Depending on whether you want absolute build quality or primarily reliability, you may go a different direction.

There’s definitely a learning curve, and it took a bit of practice to get things dialed in. Incredibly quick and easy now, though. There’s a Facebook group for 3d printed KOW, and also the Print your games podcasts that’s super useful.

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I think Elegoo Mars 2 Pro is still the best option, despite the release of the Mars 3. While the Mars 3 has several advancements going on, the Mars 2 Pro is a more rugged machine (plus a bit cheaper). I have a Mars 1 Pro and it’s a real workhorse, but my clubmates who have gotten into printing since me all went with Mars 2 Pros.

EDIT: And as usual, the Mars 2 Pro is on sale, for less than I paid for my Mars 1 Pro :upside_down_face:

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Most of the resin printers are comparable once you have the best settings figured out for your printer… I have not seen any marked differences between my Anycubic prints compared to Mars prints, and most of the variances are going to be between layer print times and build volume.

The one thing that I would definitely recommend for any printer is that you go with USB drive for printing as opposed to wifi. Adding network connectivity into the printing process is just adding another potential for problems.

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One thing to note on Mars 2 vs Mars 2 Pro: doesn’t the latter come with carbon filters that aren’t easily replaced? That’s what I recall. Performance wise, they have basically the same specs, which is why I saved a few bucks ad went with the Mars 2 over the pro.

Agreed that I’d take either over the Mars 3 right now, and the difference between any is pretty minimal. If I were doing it’s over, I’d go with the Saturn (larger build volume to pump out armies faster).

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I often find myself longing for a Saturn, especially when I’m planning an army build and realize how long it’s going to take because the Mars plate is tiny. But then I realize:

  • Unlike all the Mars, the Saturn is very rarely on sale, and $500 USD is too much for me.
  • That thing takes up a LOT of space!
  • That thing takes up a LOT of resin!
  • Which is most relevant because I’m still not an amazing printer. I make mistakes and have failures and have to empty out the vat and clean everything, which is easy on a Mars but would be hellish to do often on a Saturn.

I actually don’t recommend a Saturn to minigamers looking to break into printing, as tempting as it seems.

Related to this thread, Gray Scalp Miniatures is a new YouTube channel by a dude who got into 3D printing to print miniatures. Some good videos on there, including his recent review of the Mars 3 (and his followup to his video on the Saturn):

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Resin is a big nope for me, phrases like ‘cleaning out the vat’ fill me with dread.

I have FDM for terrain though, and learned to sculpt over the last 2 years.

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Generally, people view FDM as having much more of a learning curve than resin. It’s more finicky and precise. Resin is much closer to plug and play. I still have some failures (5%?) but it only took a month or two to get pretty good at printing.

I’m tempted to get an fdm for terrain but have been holding off.

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How hard is it to set up resin so that it’s safe? Could I work out of my garage with the doors open?

If you ask a dozen people you’ll get a dozen answers.

If you compare the MSDS, resin is comparable to something like bleach. You don’t want it on your skin or in your eyes, and you don’t want to breathe it for hours. I print in my basement in a grow tent piped to the outside. Printing in a garage with the door open would be totally fine. You can probably keep the door closed unless you’re actively swapping out a print.

If you’re unsure, a respirator can address any residual concerns.

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Thanks :+1: was seeing some people recommending an industrial ventilation system, which is impossible for me.

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If you’re printing in a living area like a bedroom or kitchen, you would want a ventilation system. Resin affects different people differently, but you wouldn’t want to breathe it for hours regardless.

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Finally got my hands on a Mars 2P! Everything seems to be set up just fine, but I’m probably going to wait a bit before trying my first print. Kinda nervous about it

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Congrats on the Mars 2 Pro! And good luck!

In Mars 1 Pro news, I let mine cool down for a few weeks, replaced the FEP, cracked open a fresh jug of resin and went back to printing trolls:

Printing big stuff is always so satisfying :crown:

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After taking a month off from printing when life got busy, I started a new army today. Printing out some Highland Miniatures for a Brothermark army.

Good luck with the printer! Feel free to fire away if you have questions.

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Do you know which slicer you plan to use? I strongly prefer Lychee, though many prefer Chitubox.

Have you started subscribing to Patreons for stls?

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So far, I’ve been using Chitubox, which seems fine to me. So far, I’ve been picking up STLs from Cults3D, but I’ve also been learning 3D modeling, as I plan on selling my own designs someday.

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