Aldi - 3D Printer £250

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daveejhitchins
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Aldi - 3D Printer £250

Post by daveejhitchins » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:34 pm

Aldi are selling their 3D printer here - reduced to £250.00

It 'may' be the same as the one looked at by Makers Muse here.

They're usually good value . . .

Dave H :D
Last edited by daveejhitchins on Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Aldi - 3D Printer £250

Post by Commie_User » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:09 pm

Bloody hell. And I thought when genuinely high quality 6-head Nicam video recorders plunged to $250 that the future had landed to stay.

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Re: Aldi - 3D Printer £250

Post by scruss » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:28 pm

The Creality Ender 3 Pro is cheaper and is a better printer too.

It's not a quiet printer, and it's one you'll have to spend a couple of hours building, but the Ender 3 is really solid.

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Re: Aldi - 3D Printer £250

Post by Hopper » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:58 pm

Never realised they were so cheap! wow, and wife has just given me the go ahead to obtain! :-)

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Re: Aldi - 3D Printer £250

Post by Ramtop » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:46 am

Dave, thanks for this. I hadn't realised decent 3D printers could be had at reasonable prices now, recent developments seem to have passed me by.

The Aldi one looks nice, but I was put off by comments from people having issues with support from the manufacturer. Checking Amazon I saw the Anycubic i3 Mega has excellent reviews, and happily Amazon has a coupon to bring the price down to £259.

When it arrives tomorrow I confidently expect to print many objects that closely resemble alien artefacts... :D
Gary

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Re: Aldi - 3D Printer £250

Post by Hopper » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:57 pm

First project for the printer, an American football style crash hat and running shoes for the cat! he has been wanting these for ages!

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Re: Aldi - 3D Printer £250

Post by Ramtop » Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:37 am

Hehe, it is endlessly amusing thinking of things to print :D

I should probably give my thoughts on the i3 Mega, which I've been playing with for most of the day. Out of the box it looked quite daunting to assemble, until I realised most of the tools included are intended for maintaining the printer rather than building it. The manufacturers really do seem to understand their customers - they expect you to get your hands dirty fixing the printer if it ever (or in the case of most 3D printers, when) it goes wrong, and supply the means to do that.

First print did not go well. The two small Owls design provided as a demo object wouldn't print correctly; the printer would get part way through and simply stop laying down filament. This happened three times before the Owls finally printed. Quality is good, though. Lots of detail on the models. Subsequent prints have not had the same issue, although some have come out a bit stringy. Big lesson I've learned is that you must tweak the settings for each design to get a good result. 3D printing is not at all like 2D printing, you can't just push a button and get something nice.

The printer is noisy - the cooling fans sound like a hair-dryer at times, and the stepper motors whine and clunk. I've temporarily put it in the kitchen where I can shut the door and block the noise.

I'll post again when I've messed about with it some more.
Gary

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Re: Aldi - 3D Printer £250

Post by scruss » Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:05 am

Cura has a canned profile for the i3. It has always produced the best prints for me. Just keep it in Recommended mode, set the layer height, select Support if there are overhangs in the model, and hit Prepare. Really, there's not much need to fiddle with anything else. Use good filament and keep it bagged with desiccant: dry filament prints best.

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Re: Aldi - 3D Printer £250

Post by PhilYoung » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:23 am

Hopper wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:57 pm
First project for the printer, an American football style crash hat and running shoes for the cat! he has been wanting these for ages!
No that's your second project.

First project is gauntlets and body armour to assist in customer acceptance testing of your second project.

Cheers,

Phil Young

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Re: Aldi - 3D Printer £250

Post by Ramtop » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:16 pm

scruss wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:05 am
Cura has a canned profile for the i3. It has always produced the best prints for me. Just keep it in Recommended mode, set the layer height, select Support if there are overhangs in the model, and hit Prepare. Really, there's not much need to fiddle with anything else. Use good filament and keep it bagged with desiccant: dry filament prints best.
I gave Cura a try using the pre-set profile and it wasn't noticeably better than my own settings in Slic3r, unfortunately. I still got stringy prints and blobbing.

But after a bit of fiddling, it seems dropping the temperature down to 195C and sticking to a .2mm layer height has done the trick. Much less stringing and no blobbing at all, now. I've also increased the number of skirt passes to 4, because the printer seems to take a several seconds to start extruding, which was causing issues.

Have to say, I'm much happier with the printer now. I bought it mostly to print cases for electronics projects and from the couple of test designs I've printed, it seems to do that remarkably well.
Gary

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Re: Aldi - 3D Printer £250

Post by scruss » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:39 am

Ramtop wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:16 pm
But after a bit of fiddling, it seems dropping the temperature down to 195C and sticking to a .2mm layer height has done the trick.
Different PLA filaments print best at temperatures found through trial and error. For the PLA+ that I use, it's almost always 205 °C - except for clear PLA+, which is definitely burning at that temperature from the smell.

For me, Slic3r had too many settings, and didn't make it easy to revert back to a known set.

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Re: Aldi - 3D Printer £250

Post by jonb » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:13 am

Would any owners mind posting a close up of the print quality, please?

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Re: Aldi - 3D Printer £250

Post by scruss » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:55 pm

it's going to be the same for the Balco as any other commodity printer: they all use similar hot ends, nozzle size and drive gear. Far more variability is in the material choice and appropriate settings.

The Balco is direct extrusion while others in its price range aren't. This has both advantages and disadvantages. With direct drive extrusion, you should be able to print flexible materials more easily. The downside is potentially more noise: the X-axis has to accelerate and decelerate the whole mass of the extruder drive as it prints. I'm not sure of the claim that indirect (Bowden) extruders can give better quality than direct drive. To me, that's getting well into subjectiveness. Using filament that hasn't been properly stored will have far more effect on print quality.

Update: print sample, as requested -
owls_not_talking.jpg
Cushwa owls at ⅓ scale from Ender 3
More pictures: Ender 3 Owls

Print details: Tom Cushwa's Owl Statue - https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:18218 - printed on a Creality Ender 3 printer using stock Cura 3.6 settings.

Model printed ⅓ scale, copied and mirrored. Prints are 50 mm high.

Print settings: Cura 3.6 "recommended" -
  • Layer height - 0.2 mm
  • Infill - 20%
  • Print temperature: 200 °C, with bed at 60 °C (Cura defaults)
Material: Generic PLA, translucent blue. Possibly Flashforge branded.

Print time: 80 minutes, not including warm up (~ 5-10 minutes)

Ender 3 has stock firmware. Only change to hardware is a metal extruder drive (cheap!) to make filament loading easier.
Last edited by scruss on Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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