Hello everyone! My name is Dora, I'm a Digital Media Designer and I've been 3D printing for a few years, started by being nearly an obligation at work to improve game-play props and definitely became a passion, so let's get to it!
I've got to work with 3 very different brands, all of them being from varied price ranges and I can tell you I much rather work with the cheapest one...
Ultimaker 2 go: The OG of 3D printers, was actually my first introduction to 3D printing. It's a good machine, does what is supposed to but clogs way to easily, needs more maintenance than any other printer I've worked with. Also, if something breaks, the parts for it are the price of a Creality printer, so there's that... https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ultimaker-Printer-300-2-85-Silver/dp/B00ZDRB0X6
BCN3D Sigma R19: A beast. It's a huge printer, has dual extruders which sounds great but just like the ultimaker clogs easily but it is a lot more difficult to unclog. Gave me loads of headaches but it is great to see it work when it doesn't crash on it's on own haha https://www.bcn3d.com/bcn3d-sigma-r19/
Creality CR-10S: The 3D printer God! I've never had any problems with this printer. Ever! Never clogs, not ashamed to say, probably have levelled the bed twice in one year and that was just because I've moved it. Prints quicker than the others, better than the others and costs one third of the price. It is a bit louder than the other two but nowadays that can be fixed with a silent board or an enclosure. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B076BRF8S6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
P.s. On a printer with 2 extruders, always remember to name your files with an indication of which extruder you're using (if only one). Makes it a lot easier if you're using specific filaments!
The CR-10S is the only printer I work with at the moment so here are the filaments I use for it:
Technology Outlet: PLA. It's where I bought the printer and the first filament for it. It's great filament, never had any issues with it. My go-to for PLA. https://technologyoutlet.co.uk/
SUNLU: PLA+. Just started using it and I'm amazed. Prints smoothly, great finish. Print it at 220/75 and works wonders. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B082Y2WZJC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1
3DLAC: It's the only thing I've ever used and will always recommend. Doesn't need much, prints always stick to the bed and when it's done they just easily pop off. If you do spray much of it, it will be a struggle to take the print of the bed but on the plus side - It lasts forever. I've bought a 400ml bottle over a year ago and still have it. https://www.amazon.co.uk/3D-Adhesive-Anti-Warping-Spray-Printers/dp/B01HQ4KXZ4
Cura : As easy as it gets. Set it up properly and your print will follow. Don't and your print will fail. Also, the default profiles work just as good, just might add time if you don't tweak them. https://ultimaker.com/software/ultimaker-cura
Slic3r: Use it if I need to cut a model into pieces if they're too big. Not the prettiest of layouts but it works, does the job. Can be a bit slow sometimes so a good computer for it will help. https://slic3r.org/
Cinema 4D/Blender: More advanced softwares. I use it to tweak some models or even make some 3D parts. Takes time to get into it but for me, it was worth it.
Post processing tools:
If everything was set up properly to the point the print comes out exactly how is meant to, then the post processing of it will be a lot easier! So, first things first: getting rid of the layer lines...
Sander: I've used both Dewalt Orbital Sander and Black+Decker Detail Sander. Both great, huge price difference but I prefer to use the Black+Decker type of sander. Usually I start with something a bit more rough and end up with something fine like 1800 - 2000 grit, that gives me a smooth finish, no lines whatsoever. Sanding by hand is also an option but it takes a lot longer to get the same result. With the sander, the only concern is to not having it on the same spot for too long otherwise it might end up burning the print. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Decker-BEW230-GB-Detail-Sander/dp/B07S17L4H6
Dremel: It's good to smooth smaller details the sander might not get too. Can mess everything up reaaaal quick so patience is key. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dremel-Accessories-10000-33000-Polishing-Sharpening/dp/B0078LENZC
Super-glue: A lil' trick I learned myself, haven't seen it online so I'm not sure if anyone else has done it. Applying a thin smooth layer of superglue and once dry, sanding it will make the print instantly smooth. It's great if you don't have a sander or can't afford one. Or even small fixes. Hard As Nails is the only superglue that has worked for this. Also really good to glue pieces together if welding them with a solder iron isn't an option. https://www.amazon.co.uk/151-Hard-Nails-Superglue-20g/dp/B079ZVRM9K
Primer: Any primer does it really, usually I use Hycote Primer, works great every time. https://www.amazon.co.uk/HYCOTE-XUK03015-Hycote-Primer-400ml/dp/B003MLIFN8
Paint: I find that automotive sprays work best but that's debatable depending the use of the print. But it's usually my go-to. Same for weathering and clear coat.
Aaaaand... this is it. Pretty much, this is how my process goes and the tools I use in a nutshell. Some projects also include lights installation or movement but that's a whole different level haha
At the moment I'm working on a couple of builds, started the Iron Man MK 39 Starboost suit and will start the Green Goblin suit real soon, had an idea to make the glider look like it actually glides so I'm excited to do that!
Meanwhile, here's pics of some projects I've done :)
Follow me on Instagram if you wish, I will be uploading more of my builds there: https://www.instagram.com/digitalsanity/