For the past few months, I’ve been seriously considering buying a second 3D Printer. Currently I have a heavily modified FLSUN Delta, which still works beautifully, but I need to expand my options. I am constantly wanting to print multiple things at a time with different filaments, and I regularly have to wait for my printer to finish to start a new print. I set my budget around $1000-$1200 CAD and went out exploring my options.
Rostock Max V3
I was originally looking at the Rostock Max V3. I have heard nothing but great things about the Rostock line of delta printers. After asking multiple Rostock V3 owners on Reddit, the general consensus is that the printer has a very straightforward assembly and reliably produces beautiful prints with minimal effort. My time with my FLSUN Delta has also given me quite a lot of experience with delta printer design and troubleshooting. The build volume of 265mmx400mm is also very attractive. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to source a Rostock Max V3 in Canada for less than $1400 CAD all things considered, which was unappealing. The Max V2 is available for around $1,000 CAD, but I wasn’t sure that I wanted the V2. Maybe I just wasn’t looking in the right place?
Flashforge Creator Pro
Then I set my sights on the FlashForge Creator Pro. Quite a big change from the Rostock. It’s aesthetically pleasing and enclosed, has dual extruders and has great reviews. Sadly, it has a fairly small print volume ( around 225mm x 145mm x 150mm ) and the price ($1200 CAD) was still above what I felt comfortable with. I also feel like the dual extruders would turn out to be more trouble than they are worth.
The enclosed build space is attractive and would be great for ABS prints, but isn’t really required for most other common filaments.
Turns out that the FlashForge is just a clone of the Makerbot, though, and there are plenty of other clones! Two other very popular printers that are virtually identical to the FF Creator Pro are the Qidi Tech I and the PowerSpec Ultra. The PowerSpec Ultra wasn’t easily available to me, but the Qidi is available for a flat $999 CAD on Amazon.ca.
After researching the Qidi, a lot of users complained about a lack of proper cooling fans for the printer and an outdated board. Other users said the opposite, though, so I contacted Qidi directly about the printer. They assured me that their December 2016 Tech I version has improved cooling and an updated board. I was almost settled on the Qidi, but then I looked into the Prusa i3 again.
Original Prusa i3 MK2
Honestly, I had put the Prusa on the backburner because of what I’ve heard and seen about it. After looking at it more, though, I realized that everything bad I’ve heard or seen was about cheap Prusa i3 clones, and not the actual original Prusa Mk2. I guess I don’t pay close enough attention.
After researching the actual i3 a bit more, the one built and sold by Prusa Research, I was sold. Reviews for it are golden, and the price ($700 USD, about $1050 CAD) was right in my sweet spot. The Cartesian design is new to me, but it’s going to be a fun learning experience. The amount of upgrades and changes that can be made to the stock printer are also very appealing to a tinkerer like myself. The huge open source community surrounding the Mk2 is a big plus as well.
My Prusa Mk2 is on backorder right now. It will be about 5 to 7 weeks for the kit to ship, so expected delivery is early March. I ended up getting the black printed parts kit. I hope the wait will be worth it!