So, I have always wanted to do multi filament printing. The thought of doing multicolor or washable supports has been such a cool idea and I tried to make that a reality all the way back when I bought my Geeetech A10M… And oh boy did I hate it. (Don’t do single extruder multi filament kids, it ain’t worth the headache.)

So, with only my trusty prusa mk2 at my side I’m thinking of finally getting an IDEX machine and trying again right this time. Then I looked at the price of the Prusa XL and died a little.

So, this is where I am gonna ask for some help.
I saw that Flashgorge is selling their Creator Pro 2 for only $400 and with a cheap upgrade for a magnetic plate seems like it would be an awesome deal even if it’s a bit small of a build size.

Or I could go 3rd party and get the JGMaker Artist D Pro IDEX 3D Printer (which I have never heard of) for the same price but with a heck of a lot more build space.

Or I could swallow my pride and a shit ton of credit card payments and do just the 2 head semi-built prusa XL for 3x the cost.

So essentially has anyone tried the Flashforge Creator Pro 2 and thinks it would be worth it for basically half off?
Have 3rd party Chinese brands gotten more trustworthy and actually able to print decent at these insanely low prices?
Or is it still one of those you pay for what you get and if you want good multi filament printing you have to pay for it?

  • @4lan@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    There is another option you haven’t explored. 3dChameleon

    This allows you to turn any machine into a 4 material capable printer. It is not plug-and-play, but if you already have a printer it’s cheaper than getting a whole dedicated machine ($180).

    It can do flexibles too, which I didnt expect it to be able to do. Working on making phone cases with TPU inside and PLA outside.

    There is an update coming in April that will make it way easier to configure, with sensor-less detection of filament position.

    If you want something that works perfectly out of the box I’d go with A1 combo from Bambu Labs though. The Chameleon takes a little tinkering to get working

    • @KrauerkingOP
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      22 months ago

      Wow. You are correct I have not ever heard of that.

      Wild that it seems to be working with flexible too.

      You know the cheapest option would be to get a $100 ender 3 and that but I doubt it would be nearly as reliable and still I have reservations about single hotels after having issues with clogging on temp changes between filament.

      • @4lan@lemmy.world
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        2 months ago

        If you are comfortable editing GCode then the Chameleon is a good choice, if not the A1 combo looks really compelling. I was torn between the two, but already have 3 printers.

        I think the Prusa XL is the best option right now, but the price is crazy high

  • @DreadPotato@sopuli.xyz
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    32 months ago

    If you don’t mind the closed platform, you can also get the Bambu labs A1 mini + AMS Lite for around that price. From what I’ve heard, it works really well, albeit a bit wasteful when switching filaments due to the purging it does.

    • @KrauerkingOP
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      12 months ago

      Yeah. I saw those and my SO has suggested it might be a good idea but having done single hotend the purge towers are a massive pain and pretty wasteful and if your filaments are especially different there can be clogs in them.

      I mean my previous multi filament printer was single hotend and used a ball bearing apparently to keep the filaments separate while heated and just clogged all the time.

      But yeah I have heard good things about Bambu

      • @DreadPotato@sopuli.xyz
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        22 months ago

        Yeah for multi-material printing multiple extruders are preferred, but for multi-color printing with the same material type it’s just fine with a single extruder. The purging waste is crazy though, completely agree.

        My buddy described his X1P with AMS as “the iPhone experience” of 3D printing. You can’t control much, but it’s a seamless plug’n’play solution without any fuss.

        • @SzethFriendOfNimi@lemmy.world
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          12 months ago

          And there’s no easy way to avoid it since you have to replace the melt zone plastic with the new color including traces that will blend together (e.g. white replacing black will have some gray for a bit)

  • @Betty_Boopie@lemmy.world
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    32 months ago

    I know this thread is a bit old but I want to rant a little about my experience with the 2T Prusa XL. Hopefully this helps your decision a bit.

    First off if you’re gonna buy it, build it yourself. 100% anecdotal but the people I’ve seen with crashing tool heads and major issues all have pre-assembled units. Maybe something happens to the frame in shipping, but my semi-assembled unit hasn’t had any tool crashes or serious flaws… yet

    Secondly, the price is much higher than the website tells you. Prusa doesn’t secretly overcharge you, but they also don’t include many things I feel should be at this price point. The lack of enclosure being the most egregious to me, but I also would like a camera or at least support to add one. I’ve had to spend an additional few hundred dollars getting more nozzles (seriously, fuck 0.4mm on a 360³ build plate), an enclosure, and even another peice of extruded aluminum so this thing doesm’t rattle itself to pieces. It definitely feels more like a ‘first gen’ product more than anything I’ve had from Prusa in the past, but I do think the platform has a ton of potential.

    So far performance has been good, not great like I expected out of Prusa. Mainly; it’s a bit slow for a coreXY, and I’ve had some adhesion problems even with pla on a textured plate. I think I solved the adhesion issue with an enclosure, it’s in my garage so the temperature varies a ton. Still, keep in mind since they do not even give you the option to buy an enclosed XL.

    Multi color and material has been where this printer really starts to shine, I would argue that the single tool head isn’t even worth producing. The filament waste is negligible and tool changes add very little time to the print (about 12 minutes per 100 changes), although I have had some issues with z shift after a tool change. It’s impressive to watch it change extruders effortlessly, and probably the only part of this printer that I would say was worth the price.

    If I had to do it all over again I probably would have just cancelled my pre-order. Seeing printers like the peopoly magneto at a similar price really drives home how long this printer was delayed. It almost feels outdated upon arrival, especially since the XL still has a lot of software features missing.

    TL;DR it’s a good printer, but not as good as I expected out of Prusa. Compared to truly state of the art printers it seems overpriced, and unless you plan on exclusively printing multi-color or material you will be better served by other products.

    • @KrauerkingOP
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      22 months ago

      Love the write up on it! Thank you so much. Sounds like I should go with maybe a cheaper printer for now to take advantage of price drops of older good devices and let that run it’s course a bit since I don’t need nearly as much build volume at moment.

      • @Betty_Boopie@lemmy.world
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        22 months ago

        No problem, I hope you find something that works for you. There’s definitely a ton of money to save if you forego a lot of the cutting edge features of the XL. I just feel jaded about waiting for years and still having a product that feels unpolished.

        • @KrauerkingOP
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          22 months ago

          Don’t! I’m still jealous even if it’s not perfect. That device still seems so cool and the mechanism of swapping entire tool heads is incredible and then using standard nozels still makes it cheaper than me going for likely one of the proprietary systems I’m looking at instead in the far flung future.

          I will bet it holds it’s value and you could resell it at the cost you put into it for quite a while and people like me will be jealous for as long as you have it.

  • @stealth_cookies@lemmy.ca
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    22 months ago

    I think you are getting what you want confused here and may be blinded to your best option with your bad experience. IDEX machines are primarily used for printing 2 parts at the same time. The Prusa XL is a multi-tool tool changer machine that only prints with one head at a time which is a different type of printer.

    If you want cheap and reliable multi-colour printing you are best off going with a Bambu Labs machine. An A1 and AMS-Lite is pretty reasonable and despite being single nozzles the machines are pretty reliable (I have an P1S + AMS and it works great for multi-colour prints).

    Good machines have gotten cheaper, but random cheap printer are still very hit or miss. For a consumer printer I wouldn’t look much further than Bambu or Prusa these days depending on what you want. Cheaper printers are too risky, and more expensive printers don’t really gain you anything.

    • @KrauerkingOP
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      12 months ago

      No, I definitely want multihead and an IDEX system is the basis for these multi tool or multi head printers since there isn’t enough of them to really have a simple name for and are generally way out of my price range I wasn’t including them really. The point is that printing with TPU and PETG or soluble PVA and PLA is best done with separate hot ends.

      I know that IDEX is thought of as printing 2 of the same but seriously it’s way more useful for good clean multi filament printing even if it’s just color difference since the purge waste is basically not existent.

      And you are missing the point if you think that the cheap and reliable is Bambu. That’s nearly the same price after both pieces for the Prusa XL and still relies on a single hotend.

      Flashforge is not a no-name printer. It’s a pretty respected company the Creator Pro 2 is just a several year old system that people complained about back when it was $800+ and seems more reasonable at $400 since it’s completely enclosed and multihead. It’s just somewhat proprietary as well.

      I would absolutely look outside of just Bambu and potentially Prusa just cause of their cost but it doesn’t negate the other brands existence and history in the space.

    • @automatonamaton@lemmy.world
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      12 months ago

      I purchased a sovol sv07 and software wise it was a total trainwreck. After fighting with the company over a faulty power supply (about 3-4 weeks for them to confirm the issue, ship part and me to receive replacement), I ended up giving up on their support and using a raspi with regular klipper and the printer.cfg from the original controller to bypass their locked down version of klipper and now the machine is great, but sovol ain’t it for support. That said, they release the source for every other printer (not the sv07) and I’d recommend that you find out how much community support that sv04 has before buying.

  • lpinfinity
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    12 months ago

    I’m not very familiar with the lower end of index printers. Bambu does exist and seems to work well, but have no support for multimaterial flexibles, and I’m not a fan of the closed nature of their printers.

    There are a few other solutions for single toolhead mmus, such as the prusa mmus and the ercf, but those have the problems you mentioned as well.

    The only multi toolhead solutions I know of are on the high to very high end (Prusa XL, Voron Phoenix, and there are some projects for toolchangers and idex for the Voron 2.4).