Cheap-a$$ 3D printer

I have a Qidi, which is a Flash Forge clone. Works really well for ~$700, has heated bed and 2 extruders, and they have outstanding support. Leo

That guy in that video I posted is what sold me. He explained my situation perfectly. If it works well I may build a couple of them.

You can upgrade these units infinity since they are built on slotted aluminum extrusion. New hot end, better extruder etc… I think my next unit will be a little more structurally robust so I can use a hotend/direct extruder, that seems to be the “best” setup right now. This little slimbot needs to use the bowden style extruder due to weight limitations on the z-axis.

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I was going to get the Qidi as well. The deciding factor for me was the additional materials the Tarantula will do (Qidi does ABS/PLA, Tarantula says it will do PLA, ABS,Flexible PLA, HIPS,WOOD,PVA, Nylon).

I splurged on the larger print model (200x280x200mm) and dual extruders (hopefully both are the all metal “pro” for flex PLA).

Stoked! Thanks @Chaka!!

I went on the cheap, no extras. I wanted to do a little more research on possible upgrades first. Let me know how it works.

I have been ordering v-slot extrusion accessories from smw3d, if you need any extra hardware they should have what you need.

Sounds good. For the Qidi if I want to print exotic materials all you need is a nozzle that can handle greater temp. However, I think the biggest upside to your choice is the larger print area. I’m hitting the limits of mine… good luck!



The tarantula is up and running! Its busy printing a few parts for itself at the moment. A cooling shroud, rigid z-axis motor mount and a few other items. It took about 6 hours to assemble and another 3 hours setting up a clean install of ubuntu, Slic3r and printrun. I am pretty busy this coming week but if you run int a wall let me know and I may be able to save you some time :wink:


If you can spare another $100, the Printrbot Play is absolutely the best 3d printer for beginners. I have one and it is very reliable. Good quality pribts too.

Super cool! Mine is supposed to arrive Wed/Thu but doubt i’ll be able to assemble it until i get back from a weekend trip.

Would love to hear how it goes and any issues? I got the large dual, so i’ve been trying to read up a bunch and see what the process is.

Can’t wait to print up some ABS and Nylon! Just saw another cool filament - polymaker PC (polycarbonate). So many cool options! Between enclosures and wheel gears i think i’m going to be busy!

Will ping you for sure if i get stuck. The hardware seems pretty straightforward - i’m most hesitant about which firmware, how to configure it for dual and large bed, and software to run it all…

@Chaka - what’s the latest with your T1 (Tevo Tarantula)?

I’ve got mine about half complete, and just taking a break for some extra parts to arrive Friday (also my day off) and finish it. I figure it will be about 8 hours build time going slow and trying to get it 100% right.

Getting the frame perfectly square is a PITA right now. i need to loosen - adjust - tighten it again after trying to move it and it moved a bit out of whack. I’ve ordered some additional support "L"s to reinforce it, but need some more t nuts as well! They send a few extra, but not quite enough.

I have bits and parts to enclose the power supply and give it a standard 3 prong C13 plug w/ on/off switch using this:

Also waiting on the assortment of crimp connectors so i can connect all 3 voltage outputs. Heard some scary stories from folks burning single contacts on their power supply as it tries to provide the full amperage through just one small connector so i’ll be connecting all 3 to distribute the load. Plus some upgraded heavier wire to carry it. Only takes a few minutes to address some shortcomings of their kit.

I’m hoping to try some of the carbon PLA and the stronger materials besides ABS/PLA most can do.

What’s your plans next Chaka?

where did you buy yours ?

Aliexpress - cheapest i found. If anyone is interested in the Tevo - i’d definitely suggest you join the FB group. Tons of good info and wish i’d joined before buying (probably woud’ve skipped the dual setup).

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If you want a cheap 3d printer,the monoprice maker selecy Is your best in the US option. Usually it can be had for 350 shipped. At this point 90% of all kickstarter 3d printers have failed to deliver. Serious, I can name 10 off the top of my head, don’t kick start one. It’s a terrible, terrible idea.

What about this one?

It seems well for the price!

Hobbyking is charging 71 dollars shipping on that, which is a clone of a better printer (dont do clones in 3d printing, they really, really, suck.) Its cloning the wanhao duplicator i3, which is the same as the monoprice maker select.

If you REALLY want to stick to a tight budget on a 3d printer, and want something proven.Get a folgertech prusa i3, the aluminum one. It is a kit, so it has to be assembled but it can be done in a day if you are decent with tools.

its 269.99 plus 25 dollar shipping so 295.00 shipped. Its not as pretty as other ones, but works very well. I have their kossel printer (but that takes a lot of tinkering to get right, I don’t recommend unless you really want a challenge.)

IF you have a bigger budget, say 500, get their ft5 printer. Its brand new but has a huge print area, (12x12x~16inches. Its gigantic in 3d printer terms. most are 8x8x8)

But overall, I’d still recommend the monoprice maker select, they come on sale a lot, and you only have to do 2 bolts to get started on printing. Wanhao duplicator i3 is the same printer btw if you can catch one of those. Don’t buy from wanhao usa though, they have been having issues as of late.

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Mine is up and running but I plan on doing some of the z axis mods, I am getting a slight amount of banding. I ordered a few quality corner braces to replace the L-brackets too.

I’m going to print the stiffening brackets w/ the gift PLA. Corner braces and bottom brackets for sure. If i have Z banding i will start with the oldham coupler to help and go from there. I’m going super slow on my build - re-doing the wiring on the power supply (pulling from all 3 + and - contacts), fused c13 power plug added into a job box, so all contacts/wires will be inside box (need to add an exhaust fan - just open currently).

While i’ve been slacking on getting it running i’ve already done some upgrades: I insulated my bed with some DEI high temp insulation i had from reflow oven project.
Going to upgrade power wires from PSU to 10 or 12g (if you look at the thick insulation and thin wires inside of the supplied wires from China - yikes!).
And thinking i will direct solder with some xt60 connectors for the power to MKS board and output to heated bed.

I’ve seen quite a few “scorched” power connection examples for both i want to avoid. I need to find my bigger solder wick…

I have just been fiddling with this an hour or two an evening while watching TV. No rush and want to make it work as best as possible. Need to get it off the living room table soon though as GF wants to eat on it or something silly like that… :wink:

Put it on a piece of plywood until it is finished, 2x2 or 2x3 foot. I have limited space so all my projects are on bases like this so I can move them around and free up space.

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Found this. Very tempting, anyone think I shouldn’t?

It’s not going to last very long. Get something that come with aluminum or stainless steel frame.

Is this one any good?