I work in the IT department of a high school, and a new proposal for a makerspace has come up. I have been asked to select which printers the school will be purchasing come the fall. We’re looking for two or three different printers. I’m partial to the Prusa i3 MK2 for at least one of them, as it is a great value and has plenty of features that prevent it from destroying itself.

  • At least one printer with dual extrusion would be nice (Currently looking at the BCN3D Sigma, the UM3 (We’ve had bad experience with the UM2 though), Lulzbot Taz 6, and MakerGear’s M2 (Which will have dual extrusion similar to the BCN3D Sigma)

  • Quieter is better, but not a high priority (As evident by the MK2 being on here)

  • Having the ability to print many different kinds of filament is a must (More specifically, flexible filaments)

  • A larger build volume, so that we can print things off in one or two runs

  • We would really like this to be reliable and easy to use.

    Thank you!

Let me know if I left any critical details out.

You are looking at some expensive stuff. I would start out with some simpler, straight forward printers.

Just my suggestions.

1. QIDI X-one. Smaller build volume single extruder but heated bed and bullet proof tough printer. does a nice job on PLA and ABS. Inexpensive.

2. QIDI Tech-1 or Flashforge Creator Pro. Dual extrusion, heated bed and enclosed. Again straight forward reliable machines. All of these can be converted to all metal hotends to do the more exotic filaments.

3. The Prusa MK2s is a great machine and could be a good teaching tool building the kit. Set up and cared for correctly it is a workhorse that is capable of great prints.

Larger volume you may look at the Folgertech FT-5. Inexpensive kit but not for the novice. I am just starting a build on one now.

I would go for cost effective printers with parts that are readily available and reasonably priced. No real restrictions on proprietary filaments etc. and have setups for the main stream slicers.

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If you live in the U.S. check out Microcenter. The powerspec ultra 3d printer is essentially a flashforge creator pro but rebranded and half the price of a actual flashforge. Works with Cura or Simplify3d. I don’t recommend the default slicer it comes with other than to install the driver and change the lights on the machine. Print quality is excellent. I’ve upgraded mine to have a broscillicate glass plate and micro swiss nozzles.

I’ve heard good things about the CR10 printers. I am too building a Folgertech as to me it looked sturdier than the CR10 when I was researching before I purchesed the FT-5.

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I have 3 Microcenters within driving distance, so I will certainly go take a look. That’s good to hear they’re “Hackable”. Makes it much more appealing to me.

I was worried about the quality of the CR10, so I’d probably go with the FT-5 anyway. Plus the FT-5 is US based, so less shipping times on parts. (The department said no to the Sigma anyway, so these are very much under consideration)

Thank you!

I think the X-One is a little small, but you are right, it’s probably much better to buy a simpler printer first.

I assume the QIDI Tech 1 is similar to the Powerspec printer sold at Microcenter? If so, then I would rather buy the Microcenter version.

And the well sized build volume is “big enough for most things”, plus the autoleveling is great (I own one myself). It’s certainly a given at this point. We can probably get an educational discount as well!

I’ll look into the FT-5, it seems like a good machine that can be expanded on with better build plates, extruders, and hotends.

Thank you very much!

Good luck with powerspec. Look through the hubs here and other online areas to see all the issues people are having.

QIDI, PowerSpec, Flashforge, monoprice dual and a few others are similar as they are all makerbot clones.

If you do end up getting a powerspec ultra, feel free to message me if you ever have questions or need help.

Novio 3D printer is the best option! It has every features that you need in a 3D printer. Their Model 106 is a professional 3D printer that is easy to setup, upgradeable into dual extruder, with changeable extruder, upgradeable into CNC Lathe and Laser Engraver, auto leveling kit, heat bed, and with PCB box with LCD and SDCard slot. Check out their website at http://www.novio3d.com/