Is it worth buying the kit just for "experience?"

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seanong
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Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:51 am

Is it worth buying the kit just for "experience?"

Post by seanong » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:02 am

I'm tempted to buy the kit for the lower price, but I've seen that it takes 5 - 7 hours to assemble. I can afford the extra $$$ to get it pre-assembled, but I'm wondering if it's worth assembling the M2 from an experience / knowledge standpoint.

This will be my first 3D printer. After weeks of researching various options, I finally decided that the Makergear M2 is the best option for my needs. I'm not necessarily new to 3D printing, as I've designed and sent off many parts to various 3D printers (at my former school) and also Shapeways. But I am new at owning and operating a 3D printer. I'm comfortable with complex assembly - but just curious if the 7 hours is worth it - or is it just "busy work" without really gaining much insight? Thanks for any advice!

Toyotany
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:07 pm

Re: Is it worth buying the kit just for "experience?"

Post by Toyotany » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:06 pm

I was in the same place when I bought my printer. I went assembled because I wanted to make sure I started out with no operator/assembler errors. No matter what you decide I recommend getting the S3D software. I was printing out of the box in a day.

mharter
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:51 am

Re: Is it worth buying the kit just for "experience?"

Post by mharter » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:18 pm

I ordered my unassembled as I wanted to know the inner workings of the machine. I didn't regret it. Took about 5.5 hours to build. I had to trouble shoot a few things, but due to some of the connections being reversed. It is all set up now and runs perfectly. If you have a simple understanding of basic mechanics, assembling it yourself should not be a problem.

I did it for the experience, not for the money savings. Although the extra $300 is nice!

nokianich
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:16 pm

Re: Is it worth buying the kit just for "experience?"

Post by nokianich » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:05 pm

I have bought a kit because I like to assemble things. Since I was a child I loved all those toy construction sets. But to be honest I would not spent 7 hours again and would buy assembled unit.

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insta
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Re: Is it worth buying the kit just for "experience?"

Post by insta » Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:04 pm

seanong wrote:I'm tempted to buy the kit for the lower price, but I've seen that it takes 5 - 7 hours to assemble. I can afford the extra $$$ to get it pre-assembled, but I'm wondering if it's worth assembling the M2 from an experience / knowledge standpoint.

This will be my first 3D printer. After weeks of researching various options, I finally decided that the Makergear M2 is the best option for my needs. I'm not necessarily new to 3D printing, as I've designed and sent off many parts to various 3D printers (at my former school) and also Shapeways. But I am new at owning and operating a 3D printer. I'm comfortable with complex assembly - but just curious if the 7 hours is worth it - or is it just "busy work" without really gaining much insight? Thanks for any advice!
This is an admirable thought, honestly, but get the assembled one. The factory calibration is nice, and the support is a lot more straightforward if it wasn't a kit to begin with.

The whole point of the M2 is that it's a sturdy, rugged machine that JustWorks(tm). I honestly can't remember the last time I took any part of my M2 apart, save the filament drive, to repair it. Sure, I have for the V4 dual-extrusion upgrade, but I had pages and pages of tutorials to use, but everything else just keeps on going. The construction is pretty open-frame too, so if you do need to repair something, there's not a lot of experience to draw from, since the broken part will be right there out in the open.
Custom 3D printing for you or your business -- quote [at] pingring.org

sprior
Posts: 379
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Re: Is it worth buying the kit just for "experience?"

Post by sprior » Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:46 am

I bought mine as a kit and found it to be a rewarding experience. I think that part of the M2 ownership experience is being willing to upgrade it (I was an early buyer of the dual upgrade) and customize and replace parts to fit your needs. Having built it as a kit meant that nothing was sacred and I wasn't afraid to make changes.

But you should certainly have experience with assembling complicated things and with instructions that do leave things as an exercise to the reader.

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Tim
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Re: Is it worth buying the kit just for "experience?"

Post by Tim » Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:47 am

I'll throw in my two cents' worth. . . Unlike insta, I do remember the last time I took my M2 apart. It was last week. And the week before that. Some of us like to try out new filament drive designs, or buy third-party extruders just to see how they work. So really, it depends on what you want to do with your M2. There's a whole unexplored world of things to design and print, and you can do that all day year after year without ever having to do more than adjust the bed leveling occasionally. On the other hand, if you think you're going to want to try the v4 upgrade, or a dual extruder, or some other gizmo that looks fun to try out, then yes, I would definitely recommend putting the kit together. It forces you to think carefully about how everything fits together and works together. And once you've done that, you won't hesitate to launch into some project that requires you to field-strip the thing. You'll find plenty of people on this forum who tinker with their M2s, and plenty who don't. Either way, you've got a great machine.

benavery
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Re: Is it worth buying the kit just for "experience?"

Post by benavery » Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:50 am

I got the kit, and really enjoyed putting it together. But I like building things sufficiently much that I probably would have gotten a kit version, even if it cost exactly the same as pre-assembled.
If you like building things, then I think the kit is definitely worth it - $300 is $300, and its a fun and not terribly difficult build.
There isn't a huge amount of 'calibration' that is required post-build really. There really aren't many subtle things you can do wrong. Almost all of the printer'y things are pre-done (hotend assembly, Z rails etc). Majority of the kit assembly is like putting together mechano - lots of nuts and bolts in pre-drilled pieces.
Probably the biggest advantage of pre-assembled in this regard, is the fact that you know all the bits actually work together, as they have tested it. It is possible a hotend or motor could be faulty, and they probably wouldn't know when throwing all the parts in the box. I'm sure Makergear would replace anything DOA, but it a bit of a hassle.

sprior
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Re: Is it worth buying the kit just for "experience?"

Post by sprior » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:18 am

I did actually start out with a bad thermistor in the heated bed which prevented the bed from heating, so I did end up printing on blue tape for a couple of days while I waited for a replacement to arrive. BTW, the piece of chocolate in every shipment policy also applies to warranty parts...

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insta
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Re: Is it worth buying the kit just for "experience?"

Post by insta » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:51 am

sprior wrote:I did actually start out with a bad thermistor in the heated bed which prevented the bed from heating, so I did end up printing on blue tape for a couple of days while I waited for a replacement to arrive. BTW, the piece of chocolate in every shipment policy also applies to warranty parts...
You get a sucker for the v4 dualie upgrade. It is a tasty, tasty sucker.
Custom 3D printing for you or your business -- quote [at] pingring.org

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