First of all, I'm from Brazil, so english is not my native language. Sorry for some writing mistakes.
I started with 3d print last year after a friend of mine who had just bought a 3D printer convinced me to buy one. First I though I didn't have any use for something like this, but today it's something I can't live without.
As my friend has I also bought a Creality Ender 3. It's an awesome printer for the price. It's easy to set up and very upgradable. Also it's very easy to find replacement parts in case you need it.
Since the beginning I only printed PLA. Mostly because it's easy to print and it does not require an enclosure for the printer as ABS does.
I buy filament from a local company. They make great filaments.
After a lot of testing and improving the printing, I was about to go to the next level. Flexible filament printing. This would be very useful to make joints and gaskets for the armors.
I watched a lot of Youtube tutorials about it and finally I managed to print in TPU. First I bought TPU from the local supplier. Later I purchased NinjaFlex to compare. I had to buy from a US seller to be sent thru postal services because I can't find this brand here.
Image below is a test I did with grey NinjaFlex filament. It's a finger joint/gasket for the Iron Man.
It turn out great. The details are awesome and the color was exactly what I wanted.
The bad part of flexible filament is that it's harder to paint because most inks crack if bended. And most inks that accept flexible material without cracking doesn't have the same finish as the rest of the armor. So I recommend to print the flexible material in a colour that you will use if possible instead of painting later.
I started to print some cosplay in PLA but my main concern was about the heat resistance.
As most people know, PLA does not support too much heat. If you leave PLA in your car during a hot weather, the piece can be easily bended.
I decided to try a new material called PETG. It cost the same as PLA and it is as strong. But PETG can support much more heat than PLA.
The problem is that PETG it's kind of hard to print. It requires a lot of testing and failures.
Top image shows two successful PETG printed objects after a few failures.
My next project is a DO3D Mark46/47 Iron Man suit. Probably a 47 painting scheme.
I am still resizing the parts to fit me. I am about to start the long printing process.
I am not sure about the filament for this project. If I should use PLA or PETG.
I would like to try PETG for this. It is also very good to sand and it doesn't melt when you try to use a power sanding tool as PLA does.
In the other hand I have a lot of PLA spools to use and only one PETG spool. This means I would have to buy a lot of PETG for the Iron Man suit.
Another thing I highly recommend is this caliper from UncleJessy
this is the link: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2892755
This caliper is very useful to take your measure for resize your project prior printing.
You can measure you head easily with this, for example.
As regarding the Ender 3, I still think it's an awesome printing.
If I have to chose a con, it would be the printing area. It does have a good printing area (220mm x 220mm x 235mm), but sometimes it would be good to have a larger area.
There are a lot of good upgrades for this printer. A lot of them are free.
These are the upgrades I recommend if you have an Ender 3 printer:
-Filament guide: great to create a smooth position for your filament to enter the extruder
Fan cover: to prevent filament pieces to fall into motherboard fan
Extruder Knob: to help feed the filament
Cable chain: to keep the cable off the printing area
Metal Extruder: upgrade to a metal extruder because the original plastic one breaks easily
BL Touch: it's a bed levelling device. The bed level it's one of the most important parts for a successful 3dprint. This device helps to level the bad quick and easy
Bed spring: a stiffer spring for the bad. Bette than the original ones
Capricorn PTFE tube: the PTFE tube leads the filament to the hot end. This PTFE has a longer lifetime and has a improve performance
Well, I guess that's it for now.
Hope I could help
Regards to you all