Found 11th Nov 2016
my 12 year old son has asked for a 3D printer for Xmas, but i dont know enough about 3d printing to know what to get or if its even worth getting him one?

9 Comments

What is your budget?

It's not the sort of device that I'd think a 12 year old is likely to get a lot of use from. I would consider asking him what exactly he would plan to use it for, because with a starting point at over £100 for the very lowest end basic model, it's not cheap. If he's going to print a few pre-made designs off the internet and do nothing more with it then it will be a real waste of money (especially when you could get him to order the print out he wants online). You are talking at least £300 to get one that's able to be considered a reasonable deal and a high quality one being more money again.

Original Poster

our budget for his main present is usually £250 - £300, he is a very clever lad and i would push him to make his own designs rather than print premade designs

Seems slightly out of range however looks like a promising 3d printer
kickstarter.com/pro…ery

The best type of printer is a resin printer which uses photosentive liquid and hardens with light.

HasanG

Seems slightly out of range however looks like a promising 3d … Seems slightly out of range however looks like a promising 3d printerhttps://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1280877427/morpheus-delta-fine-quality-resin-3d-printer-at-fd?ref=discoveryThe best type of printer is a resin printer which uses photosentive liquid and hardens with light.



​Is it even for sale yet though?

HasanG

Seems slightly out of range



Twice the budget and six times the delivery date? I'd call that slightly out of range yeah.

Last time I had a serious look a year or two ago 3D printers that cheap are still primarily aimed at people who can calibrate and tinker with the hardware themselves and you have to spend getting on for a thousand pounds to get something that is set and forget. A printing press rather than an inkjet printer.

I'm not necessarily trying to discourage you, especially if he's already interested in other methods of fabrication (woodworking, electronics etc.) but at that price don't expect a polished product or a professional tool.

You can get gift vouchers for fabrication services so that might be an alternative.

EndlessWaves

Twice the budget and six times the delivery date? I'd call that slightly … Twice the budget and six times the delivery date? I'd call that slightly out of range yeah.Last time I had a serious look a year or two ago 3D printers that cheap are still primarily aimed at people who can calibrate and tinker with the hardware themselves and you have to spend getting on for a thousand pounds to get something that is set and forget. A printing press rather than an inkjet printer.I'm not necessarily trying to discourage you, especially if he's already interested in other methods of fabrication (woodworking, electronics etc.) but at that price don't expect a polished product or a professional tool. You can get gift vouchers for fabrication services so that might be an alternative.


ebuyer.com/708…00e

This seems like a better choice!

Filament to go with it:
uk.rs-online.com/web…14/

m.gearbest.com/3d-…tml

I've not got one of these but I have used the website before, reviews look pretty good and seems like a cheap way into 3D printing.

In summery, the cheap ones are rubbish and the expensive ones are OKish.

And all of them cost a fortune to run.

Dont buy one.

Besides, his hormones will be kicking in any day, and he will starting looking at girls in a whole new light.

Maplin were quite good to keep an eye on. They sometimes have some bargain priced "used" models. Not much on there choice-wise at the mo. A nice Velleman, or maybe a safer/easier for younger peeps XYZ printer.

Ideally, look for 'reel' filament machines as opposed to the 'cartridge' filament types. The latter tend to be more costly as they are like proprietary printer ink cartridges - i.e. you HAVE to buy them specifically. Although saying that, some people have had success in adapting their printer to accept reels instead. Either way, it's not cheap though - especially as early on there will be the inevitable teething troubles and failed/wasted prints etc. that all eat up precious filament.

As someone has already said, unless there are specific requirements for a 3D printer, I fear it could become a very expensive "fad" that will lose it's appeal quickly. Not an easy road for you, really...
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