Which 3D Printer Should I Buy?

At PhaserFPV unfortunately we do not sell 3D Printers surprisingly. However we do have a very large range of 3D Printer Filament, Upgrades and accessories to get your printer up and running again very fast.

Why don't we sell Printers?

  • Chinese manufacturers do not have AU Power Supply Certifications so there is a large liability risk if things catch on fire.
  • Margins are very tight.
  • There is considerable support and after sale support required and due to the above margin issue, we don't see it as a favorable business decision.

So what printer should I buy?

Due to our extensive knowledge and experience we always get asked what should I buy then? With so many choices available on the market its important to know what you plan on printing before making your purchase. We will focus mainly on different material types

Types of plastic:

PLA nozzle temp: 215-225 bed temp: 60-65
Is the most popular plastic to print in. It is a hard plastic that provides an easy introduction into the world of printing as it doesn't warp very much during printing and bed adhesion is rarely an issue with the use of a heated bed. PLA retains its strength up until around 50-55degC so other plastics should be considered if strength at high temps is a requirement. PLA has incredibly good strength at room temperature but lacks impact resistance (its brittle)

PLA+ (similar printing settings to PLA)
Was created to improve this impact resistance and provides a good balance between strength and toughness prints very similar to pure PLA

PLA Silk nozzle temp: 205-215 bed temp: 60-65
Is available in a wide range of colours that give a unique look to your prints with an amazing gloss/satin surface finish. Not considered to be as strong as regular PLA or PLA+

PETG nozzle temp: 240-245 bed temp: 80-85
Is another hard plastic that is becoming more popular. It retains its strength up until around 85degC so is more appropriate for prints that will be in direct sunlight. It has more of a tenancy to warp than PLA and bed adhesion can be more tricky to achieve on a consistent basis. It has better impact resistance than PLA
Also it is a very sticky material when being extruded so incorrect extrusion multiplier in your slicing settings can result in a large blob of plastic stuck to your nozzle/heat block. Printers without an all metal hotend will start to have reliability issues at these higher nozzle temps

ABS nozzle temp: 250-260 bed temp: 100-105
Again another hard plastic. It retains its strength up around 100degC so is very handy for higher temp applications. Can be smoothed with acetone to remove print lines and achieve an almost injection moulded look. It has terrible warping characteristics due to its high shrink ratio and is very tricky to get it to reliably stick to the print bed. It also gives off some not too pleasant fumes during printing. It is recommended to have an enclosed build chamber to increase the success rate of abs prints and even better if that chamber is actively heated.

Was created with the intention of reducing the warping characteristics of standard ABS. It is easier to print and it is possible to get successful prints without a heated chamber. It is unfortunately not able to be acetone smoothed

TPU nozzle temp: 220-230 bed temp: 50-55
A flexible material that is incredibly hard to break. Requires slow printing speeds and a lot of patience. Is highly recommended that a direct drive extruder be used

Now that we have covered the most common materials seen in 3d printing today we can move onto our printer suggestions and some of the pros/cons of each printer

Creality ender 3:
This is the cheapest printer that we can suggest. With a few small upgrades it can print all types of PLA with absolutely no issues. It features no automatic bed levelling so everything needs to be manually adjusted before you start printing. There have been some cases where the build platform has a slight warp to it which can make this levelling a bit tricky. We recommend upgrading to a glass bed which helps to make sure that your build surface is as flat as possible.
No other upgrades are really required if you just intend on printing PLA.
Printing other materials can cause issues over time. The hotend is bowden tube lined meaning that the plastic tube runs all the way to sit against the back of the nozzle. Having this tube run at the higher temperatures that some materials require can and does cause the end of the bowden tube to deform and cause nozzle jams. It is common for people wanting to print PETG on an ender 3 to trim off the end of the bowden tube after every few prints to stop this issue happening. The bowden tube will need to be replaced after a few cm has been cut off as the shorter bowden tube will start to limit the x-axis travel of the printer.

A simple upgrade for this printer would be to go to an all metal hotend. These dont have the bowden tube sitting against the nozzle and can print high temp materials. The e3d V6 bowden hotend is a good choice for this. 3D printed adapters are used to fit the hotend to the ender 3 and can be found on thingiverse.com

If you want to print TPU this printer will require a conversion to a direct drive extruder.
This upgrade is fairly substantial requiring ed printed adapters to suit whatever brand of extruder you chose, firmware modifications and flashing, and extending wiring harnesses to be able to reach the extruder stepper that is now located on the x carriage. Add to this the printer only runs a single Z leadscrew so the extra weight of the extruder can cause some unwanted print artefacts.

Artillery genius:
this printer has basically the same build volume as the ender 3 but comes standard with all the parts that you would want upgraded over the stock ender 3.
it has a glass bed, dual z axis lead screws, direct drive extruder and a filament run-out sensor. It does not come with a bed level sensor so the bed will still need to be manually leveled to get dexent first layer performance. It can reliable print flexible firmaments out of the box

Prusa Mk3s+
The prusa is the gold standard for at home 3d printers. It features a direct drive extruder, filament run-out sensor, dual z axis lead screws, auto bed leveling, and a removable spring steel print bed that when flexed enables prints to easily pop off. It also has the option for a smooth or textured print bed

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