I went a bit high-end, getting the Lulzbot TAZ 6. I wanted something I wouldn't have to build, and something that would pretty much work out of the box. This worked out well because it's given me time to actually learn how the damn things work. This was about two months ago.
My main takeaway from this is that these things are hobby items. They don't really serve a practical purpose other than to keep you busy. I mean, yes, I have printed practical items...I've got a nice iPhone stand formed to exactly fit the iPhone case I already had. But mostly, it's been about toys and farting around. Some samples:
But it isn't just like pushing a button and having it work. There's lots of futzing, lots of learning. These roses took me almost a week, in part because I didn't know what I was doing:
But these are all models downloaded elsewhere. I've since moved on to trying to design my own things. I started with Tinkercad, which is pretty easy, but in the end, limited. I've since moved to trying to learn Fusion 360, which makes Photoshop look like Microsoft Bob.
Of course, a good portion of what I've done is to modify the printer itself. I attached a raspberry pi so I could control remotely with octoprint. I printed an attachment for a webcam so I could monitor remotely and a new feeder mechanism for filament. So in some sense, this thing is most practical at improving itself.
So anyway, this is why my house is slowly filling up with cheap plastic.
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