Noneasy 3d printer for hobbyist
November 30, 2014 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Cheap 3d printers under $200 to keep a hobbyist busy? Not interested in kickstarter vaporware, and can be barely functional. This is to keep an electronics hobbyist friend from "fixing" other electronics in the house, actual usefulness not required.
posted by benzenedream to Technology (7 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
As far as I know, even building your own will cost more, just in parts. The cheapest kits I've seen are the Prusa kits from DX, and they are below $500, not $200... and the Aurora kits from Tinydeal, at $350. But maybe someone has seen a better deal elsewhere.

Or maybe he could finish someone's stranded printer building project?
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:40 PM on November 30, 2014

Best answer: Candy-fab. It uses granulated sugar as a printing medium and works by using a directed jet of hot air to melt sugar in the locations which need to be printed.

I'm not sure if it comes in under $200 but it wasn't a lot more expensive than that.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:59 PM on November 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

3D printer for jello shots made from old cdrom drives. Or the peachyprinter has documented a lot on how they are doing it, get him some of the resin to get him inspired
posted by Sophont at 2:03 PM on November 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I got a Printrbot Simple kit a couple of years ago for $300. It's surprisingly functional, and you can double the X/Y resolution with a toothed-belt kit (interestingly, you print some of the parts for that kit with the printer itself).

I don't know whether you'll find anything for $200 unless you scrounge a lot of parts yourself.
posted by spacewrench at 2:05 PM on November 30, 2014

The missus, who teaches a 3D printing course, recently came across this (unusually cheap) $300 list of parts for a Prusa Mendel. The person supplying the list notes that finding each part so cheaply requires considerable time, patience, and maneuvering, e.g. arranging group buys, etc.

Of course in your case that might be a feature, not a bug, if you can give your hobbyist friend just enough parts to tantalize.
posted by feral_goldfish at 2:10 PM on November 30, 2014

After a lot of research a friend of mine decided on the Graber i3 design (free design files, available as a kit from many sites). But $200 is not doable. Maybe $3-400 for that model.
posted by miyabo at 3:03 PM on November 30, 2014

Response by poster: Shipping, availability, and price all conspired to make the 3d printer unattractive. I instead got him a Raspberry Pi Canakit B+ for about $75, which has kept him busy for three weeks now turning it into a streaming media box and alarm system.
posted by benzenedream at 11:41 PM on December 31, 2014

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