BigBox as first 3D printer...

Discussion in 'BigBox General Chat' started by Mark_T, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Mark_T

    Mark_T Well-Known Member

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    Is it totally crazy to be thinking about buying a BigBox as my first 3D printer?

    I've looked at pretty much everything else out there and I am sure I'd be looking to change any of the 'starter' models within a very short space of time, where the BigBox can grow with me and be more easily modded as needed.

    I don't have any professional or work related need for a printer, I just want one to support my other hobbies, RC quads/helicopters and for general projects around the house.

    A question for those of you up and running, are you happy with the quality of output from the BigBox and the BigBox itself?

    Also now that a few options and upgrades are coming through, would you say any of them were a 'must have' from the start?

    Thanks for any and all input.
     
    #1 Mark_T, Apr 23, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  2. TstarkEngineering

    TstarkEngineering Well-Known Member

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    Go for it. A lot of people who were backers bought it as their first printer.
     
  3. Colin

    Colin Well-Known Member

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    I think it's one of the best options for a first printer. The quality of build components is top notch, the price is very reasonable for what you are receiving, and the parts the printer can make are stunning. The build process is complicated but the instructions are very detailed, and you can pull up videos of different people assembling theirs to watch while you put your own together. Now, for which upgrades to get.
    1. I got acrylic, I love the way it looks, I am very happy with it. That said, wood is fine. If you cover it up with a sealant as RichRap did then there is no worry about warping due to humidity, but even if you don't it should be fine.
    2. Octoprint, gotta get it. Being able to remotely watch your prints or send and start a new project is so worth it. You can also start pre heating a few minutes before you start, or if you notice a print has failed cancel and cool down the printer without being near it.
    3. Dual upgrade, it is cheaper to get this than to buy everything separately later, and infinitely easier to wire everything in one go. Not necessary but worthwhile, and being able to print support with one nozzle and main with the other or two colors is great.
    4. Jet pack, if still available, gets you a pt100 compatible heat block for the volcano nozzles, and volcano is quicker than a standard v6 and fun. Not necessary but I am happy I got it.
    5. Simplify3d, I just bought today because everyone is raving about it but I can't suggest it yet since I haven't used it yet.
    You will love this printer!
     
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  4. Henry feldman

    Henry feldman Well-Known Member

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    This is my first personal 3D printer (I have a form1 available at work but that's a totally different beast and have a fellow who mostly runs it for me, and way, way, way back in the early 90s did some work with a SLS printer on a job), and have been learning on the bigbox. First off, the community here is superb at answering questions (and many of mine are answered by the search field above, or rapidly by the experts on the site); and don't sweat asking "stupid questions", because I can pretty much guarantee we all had that exact same question at some point.

    The assembly instructions kind of assume you understand some of the lingo, but in someways figuring out what they meant taught me the lingo. I have learned rapidly, and the BB is pretty forgiving to mistakes, and each mistake has been a learning experience (and god knows you will have many failures you can learn from). Even the heavy duty experts on the site have failures, so don't sweat it.

    I got the dual and shortly will be upgrading to the hybrid titan (parts are here, but time is not), and I haven't done any dual prints yet, but plan to start with the titan upgrade. I don't know where you are in the world, but there is probably a local community of makers who can also be a huge help. The great thing about a world wide community here on the forum is you can always get an answer to your questions day or night. And yes the printer is superb for all the items you mentioned above, and my son who is working on his pilot's license is excited to work on a drone with me.
     
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  5. Colin

    Colin Well-Known Member

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    I just received my Titans yesterday but from everything I have seen at least one Titan is a worthwhile upgrade, I ordered two and think that will be optimal but one is fine.
     
  6. Henry feldman

    Henry feldman Well-Known Member

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    I also second every one of these points (not sure in the beginning #4 will be something you're going to want to tackle), especially #2, 3 and 5.
     
  7. Mark_T

    Mark_T Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input guys, all a great help.

    I'm just about to hop on a plane so I'll be off the grid until tomorrow morning but do please keep the comments coming :)

    As for location, the printer will be in the UK, I move between the USA and the UK every month so my location is more variable.
     
  8. Old_Tafr

    Old_Tafr Well-Known Member

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    The BB is essentially my first 3D printer, dual with Pi and Octoprint.

    If you are planning to build it yourself you need some DIY experience including electrical, electronics and assembling small fiddly mechanical items. The mechanical are not all fiddly but some are really awkward. You also need some computer experience as a number of things are assumed in connecting and connecting to things like the Pi and running apps on it. Some knowledge of updating firmware is not essential but useful, it would be good to already understand the principles behind it. If you have already messed with electronics and can measure voltages etc. then this is a benefit.

    It is not a printer you will immediately make lots of wonderful prints "out of the box" elsewhere you will find info on printers you can buy ready made that will do this. If you want and have time to mess with things then you will be fine. It is a printer intended to be upgraded and hacked as I doubt out there are two exactly the same.

    If you want a company who are constantly innovating, then E3D is for you, but you will have to put in a lot of effort yourself.

    If you can buy a kit with single or dual Titan extruders then do that straight away (a MUST have) this I think is the V1.1 so that decision may be made for you already.

    Building.....Read the instructions thoroughly, and read a section right through before commencing so you can see what is being built and you can see what each section ends up with before you start, rather than working on each each individual step without looking forward.

    Happy with it.......... yes !

    As above, ask for help in the forum, there are a number of really experienced people from within E3D and without, plus quite a few people who have completed their first 3D printer build.

    Good Luck :)
     
  9. Henry feldman

    Henry feldman Well-Known Member

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    Of course if building it seems too intimidating as a start, and you go to the UK frequently you could purchase a fully built one there. One challenge is you can't really bring this back and forth (it's after all a big box) with a huge amount of effort.
     
  10. Mark_T

    Mark_T Well-Known Member

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    Standing at the gate waiting to board, so time for another reply.

    Fortunately, for me at least, building it is a good part of the fun.

    The electronics and computing side is a huge comfort zone as well, so no worries there.

    I'll look into the options/upgrades that have been suggested so far, thanks for that.

    How do people feel about the acrylic vs wood thing?

    Seems like most people so far have gone for the acrylic options, even though the wood solution should be fine technically. Is it really just about the way it looks, or is there a solid technical reason to prefer acrylic?
     
  11. R Design

    R Design Well-Known Member

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    The technical argument in favour of acrylic was to do with humidity and warping.

    Some suggest that wood has better rigidity.

    I just couldn't get my head around how to polyurethane (to counter humidity issue) every single piece on all six sides a couple of times. Does that mean lots of bits of wood balanced on their corners leaning against the furniture all over the room for two days? Or dangling from threads?!!
     
  12. Henry feldman

    Henry feldman Well-Known Member

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    It would be hard to do this uniformly, and the acrylic seems very rigid once everything is tightened up. Of all the things that screw up your prints, I have yet to be affected by frame rigidity (compared to bed leveling, etc) so I think the argument is really moot compared to aesthetics, which the acrylic wins easily.
     
  13. Alex9779

    Alex9779 Moderator
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    Unless you do some more work like RichRap...
    I'd say if you don't have a problem with humidity and just want "a printer" then go for plywood. It is also more easily to mod because drilling wood is easy...
    If you want something to look a bit good and just wanna build it without doing much work to the case before then go for acrylic.
     
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  14. JohnEsc

    JohnEsc Well-Known Member

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    My BigBox was my first 3D printer and my first 3D print altogether... An absolutely fantastic decision even my wife who questioned the expenditure is proud of all the great things that I have printed for her classroom, my daughters and broken parts around the house. Check out my links in my signature. I've been pumping out prints like crazy these past few months. Trust BigBox!!!
     
  15. Rob Heinzonly

    Rob Heinzonly Well-Known Member

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    The BigBox is my second printer. One and a half year ago I built my first one, a Prusa i3. I've learned a lot of it, but this forum certainly is a good place to broaden your experience. So go ahead and we will help you through the build ;).

    Oh and one more thing: go for the Titan Extruder !
     
  16. Mark_T

    Mark_T Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone, the comments have been a great help.

    Seems I'm looking at the Dual version with the Titan extruders and of course the OctoPi option.

    Apparently it will be a few days yet before I can order this on the website without the small amount of wastage involved in ordering the Dual and the Titan upgrade kit, but a few days will not kill me.

    Regarding software, are most people using Simplify 3D for slicing, or is there something better I should consider?

    Mostly just nervous that it doesn't look as though Simplify has been updated recently and it does not even list BigBox as a supported printer, their forums have tumbleweed blowing through them as well...
     
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  17. Henry feldman

    Henry feldman Well-Known Member

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    Simplify3D is a great slicer, and especially at the beginning has a fire-and-forget mode, and you can branch out to insane levels of customization as your skills advance.
     
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  18. Ray

    Ray Well-Known Member

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    I also have Simplify3D and it is a great, flexible slicer, however, it can also be very infuriating when you are trying to slice a model with thin parts (it will not generate instructions for parts of a model that are less than the nozzles width [I think that is correct]), which for me at least means I have to keep resourcing back to Slic3r for those models.

    I can see the argument for Simplify3D working this way, but I (like many other people) would like to see an release of it that has a toggle switch that allows you to override that decision.

    The current version also hasn't been updated for quite a while, not sure if that just means it is bug free (possibly) or that a new version is being worked on? who knows.
     
  19. Spoon Unit

    Spoon Unit Well-Known Member

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    @Ray another option is to just lie to S3D about your nozzle. Tell it that's it's smaller than it is and it will provide a plan for the claimed nozzle size. You can always adjust the flow to underextrude. Ideally though, model design and nozzle size are partners in bed. If you have a model that doesn't work well for a given nozzle, you might want to redesign the part so that it does work with that nozzle size. Anything else is a fudge you might get away with. I actually printed something, promising slicer I had a 0.6 nozzle when in fact I had a 0.4 on. The printed part is suprisingly good, with only the top layer infill pattern looking quite under-extruded, for obvious reasons.
     
  20. GrodanB

    GrodanB Well-Known Member

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    Just a small clarification: Titan is not part of the 1.1 update. Since I ordered the upgrade I hope my assumption that it is a good addition to the 1.1 BB.

    If there is a future update to the direct extruder dual it will most likely be a Titan dual so if I find a need for that I now already have the Titan's needed for that...

    This is also my first printer and I do think it is a good choice to have kit that I built myself since I expect a lot of tinkering and testing. And to understand how it works is most likely very beneficial.
     
    #20 GrodanB, Apr 26, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
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