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    Well if you guys have been watching the development of the tail tilt mech and the topic of 3d printing has come up and since i don’t have one it has really sparked my interest.

    Sooooo i was wondering what is the best cheapest 3d printer for a beginner that does quality prints.

    Criteria i need
    under 500$ (please tell me if this is ridiculous)
    at least a 5x5x5 print bed
    Must be able to print abs nylon if its possible in my price range.


    Im thinking about the solidoodle 4 because it pretty much fits the bill and then some for $549 any opinions


    I have the Solidoodle 4, and it is all in all a great printer. The support when I bought it was also really great, the sent me replacement parts no questions asked. It is however now produced in China (and Solidoodle originally sold their printer as “straight out of Brooklyn, NY) It will however NOT print nylon out of the box. You might be able to hack the extruder to go beyond 238C, but risk frying the extruder/temp sensor etc. Maybe upgrade to E3D extruder, but already you are way beyond $500.


    I have a velleman k8400 which I have had for about a week. It prints niceley but there were some faulty parts on it which makes me hessitant to recommend it.


    I have the XYZ Printing DaVinci 1.0 and it works quite good out of the box. I bought it in europe for 599 € but in the US you can have it for 499 Dollar.
    But be careful, you only can use the own brand filament which is in a cartridge with a chip for data and its really expensive.
    If you have an arduino and a bit of spare time, you can change that and even use better slicer software with lots more printing options. Even the german support was quite good! So I can recommand this printer for beginners.
    BTW the print bed is 20 x 20 x 20 cm


    I have no knowledge of 3D Printers or software. But, I’m willing and ready to learn. I’ve done a bit of research with starting out but would also like some personal opinions. I first want to come to grasp with the software side of things and then look to purchase a personal printer some months(or whenever) down the road.

    Just starting with Google Sketchup to get a feel of things. Is there anything different you might suggest that would be more beneficial?


    I’ve been 3D printing for about a year now. Some considerations:

    Price of filament. Cheap XYZ printers and some other brands are cheap, but the filament is proprietary, using cassettes and chips to keep generic filament out of the printers. The proprietary filament is sometimes as much as three times as expensive as the generic.

    Total cost of ownership. How much do spare parts cost, and how available are they? Search forums to get to know response time of the company you are buying from. Just as an example, RCExplorer listen to their customers and bend over backwards to make things right. DJI on the other hand couldn’t care less and use their customers as beta testers. Just to say: The size of the company does not say anything about the degree of service you will get.

    My personal preference regarding 3D printing is: Must print ABS (heated print bed). Must use direct drive extruder (pushing filament through a tube to get to the extruder can’t be optimal). Diameter of filament: What is the standard where you live? 3.00mm was the standard when the 3D printing hype started, now 1.75mm seems to be the way to go.

    Temperature: If you want to be able to print exotic materials (nylon etc.) the printer must be able to print at higher temperatures.

    Should you start with a cheap printer and get bad results, discouraging you from doing 3D print in the future? Or get an expensive printer just to realize that you don’t use it that much?

    Unfortunately 3D printing takes a lot of time and price of shipping even the lightest 3D printed parts is expensive. Otherwise the optimal solution would be a 3D printing club, where multiple people buy one good 3D printer in unison and mail the finished 3D printed parts around the state or country?


    Thanks Terje.

    3D printing here in Ireland seems pretty limited in both commercial and personal use. Nothing surprising there as this country has a bad habit of shunning anything new until its been saturated into the global market for at least 5 years! If it’s not related to beer or football, most don’t want to know about it.

    I just want something for personal use. It seems interesting and something I’ve thought about trying for quite a while but just never bothered taking that first step.

    When the time comes to actual getting a printer, I’ll do extensive research ensuring that I’m not buying anything too cheap or with proprietary filament. The last thing you want is something propriety that goes bust and then you’re left with a big expensive paper weight. But at the same time, I don’t want to be spending an arm and a leg either. I haven’t set myself a budget yet but looking at that Solidoodle 4 as an example, seems to be around there or maybe a bit more. Obviously taking into account shipping, filament etc. As with RC, I’ve learned that access to spares goes a long way, same with support.

    Out of curiosity, did you ever try the filament from HobbyKing?

    As always, Terje. I appreciate your response.


    I used a print service a few times.(Schapeways.com).
    The quality is good. They have a lot of materials, also metals.
    They check Your design if its printable.
    They have better machines then we will be able to buy.
    I think for me, the few times I will use it, it more economical.
    A modified Front Spacer V3 (a few holes for Leds and open end) was 11,31 Eur total (with schipping.)
    I think for me, the few times I will use it, it more economical.


    Shapeways.com can be used for solid prints. That is, objects that are meant to be solid. For objects that have say 15% infill, there has to be holes so the powder that shapeways print in (laser sintering) can escape from. Otherwise that powder gets trapped inside the object. Also the object has to be created hollow for this to be possible.


    I was going to try the silver filament from hobbyking, but as with almost everything else, out of stock in the EU warehouse. Also my normal supplier (3deksperten.dk) sells good quality ABS filament at €16,74/kg. 2 day delivery service. Waiting 45 days for delivery to discover hobbyking international has screwed up once again just isn’t an option for me (any more)…


    Yep I agree for the odd bit here and there it’s much more economical. I would be interested to see the finished item from them if and when possible.

    Terje, I hear what you’re saying about HK. Hard to tell sometimes when you’ll get your stuff. Waiting on a few orders as we speak lol. The price you’re paying is nearly identical with the current exchange rates anyways. And you’re getting it quick so can’t go wrong.


    Hey guy’s, I’ve been looking into it too. I’ve used services offered by people on forums and some turn out well others have sent me bad prints from cheap printers. The services offered by the big companies are defiantly the way to go if you can’t afford a decent printer.

    One other thing to consider is what software is needed and the cost of it also how user friendly it is.


    My DaVinci 1.0 doesn’t use the original ABS from xyz. I print Hobbyking ABS because you can flash the original cardridge with an arduino so you can print PLA and change heatbed and filament temp too. So the price for the materials is pretty cheap.
    Same with the software… I use parts from the XYZ Ware with diffrent slicer and its all for free and legal.
    As for all 3D printers: there is no perfect solution out of the box. It’s a procedure of trail and error.
    After using my printer for 4 month, now I am happy with the print quality. Never expected a 599 euro printer to print like a 2000 euro model, but I’m pretty close to it with some modifications.

    @Terje: I orderd my filament @hobbyking out of the UK warehouse. They deliver to germany… maybe to you too. EU warehouse is always out of stock!


    You can already have a 3D printer with that budget, but you can get a not so high end with that price. Yes, you can use and it in many functions but don’t expect too much. If you want quality branded and really that reliable, get those with name that ranges around 800 to 1000 USD.

    Benjie Smith

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