The GearMaker M2 Kit for Newbie?

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Springman65
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Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:14 pm

The GearMaker M2 Kit for Newbie?

Post by Springman65 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:22 am

I am new to the forum. I was looking at and thinking about purchasing the M2 Kit as my first 3D print. I have reviewed the site info and even looked at the YouTube build videos; and, I think it is more than within my capabilities to build/assemble the printer. But, I have some question:

What updates, upgrades, and/or changes would you recommend for the M2?

Is the M2 a good 3D printer for a new user to select (aside from the kit assembly aspect)?

And, any other feedback is also very much welcome.....

Thanks,

Springman

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zemlin
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Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Re: The GearMaker M2 Kit for Newbie?

Post by zemlin » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:31 pm

My first 3D printer was an M2 which I upgraded to dual extruders. In the end I only messed with shooting both barrels a handful of times. Over time I learned to get good, easy to remove support with a single extruder.

The upgrade I valued most on my M2 was getting a RasPi micro computer running Octoprint which made the printer free-standing and network accessible. It cost me less than $100 to add that to the system.

The M2 was a great first printer for me and this user community was a huge factor in the success I had with printing.

Gwhite
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Re: The GearMaker M2 Kit for Newbie?

Post by Gwhite » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:51 am

I bought the M2E kit last summer, and couldn't be happier. Just be warned that no 3D printer with any real flexibility is going to give you perfect prints right off the bat. The M2E will handle a wide range of materials, but that is a two edged sword. Even PLA from different vendors (and even different colors) may require tweaking the print parameters to get really nice results. I bought Simplify3D to get the most flexibility in printing parameters, but even that has its limits. If you want to work with a range of materials, you also get into learning what build surface/treatment works well with each one. You get to learn how to optimize the design of your models for 3D printing; how to orient things to minimize support material, and how to use supports when you do need them. It's still a bit of a wild frontier, and the learning process can take a while.

If all you want is PLA prints, you can go with a "closed" printer design with proprietary filaments & software. Because they control EVERYTHING, you can get nicer prints the first pass. However, if you decide you want to try PETG, or a flexible material, you are out of luck. Heck, you may also find they don't sell a color you need for a special project.

The good news is that the user community for both the M2 and Simplify3D are great, and always willing to help.

Springman65
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Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:14 pm

Re: The GearMaker M2 Kit for Newbie?

Post by Springman65 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:35 pm

First, thank you for your feedback. I really helps!

I guess I could best serve my inquires by giving you some background:

I have built models almost all my life; but, in the past decade or so, I have been focused in building RC armor vehicle models - mainly 1/16th and 1/6th scale tanks. And, it is mostly in support of that hobby that I am now looking into 3D printing.

I have in the past efforts worked with designers from Shapeways to get parts for my projects created; but, I really think I want to venture out for myself.....I think its time.

I think most likely most of my efforts will be PLA, but I can see ABS as something to utilize as well. Another material that has my eye is black NINJAFLEX - for possibly making tires and such.

I think the M2 could be a good printer for me and appears to be a work-horse in several respects.

Now, may I ask for more info on: "RasPi micro computer running Octoprint" please?

THANKS!

springman

sprior
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Re: The GearMaker M2 Kit for Newbie?

Post by sprior » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:49 pm

As much as I love my MakerGear M2 and their outstanding customer service, from what you've said about your potential usage I'm wondering if a FDM (filament) printer is actually the best for what you want to do. It sounds like you're into smaller models and very fine details and that screams SLA printer (resin based) to me.

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sthone
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Re: The GearMaker M2 Kit for Newbie?

Post by sthone » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:52 pm

sprior wrote:As much as I love my MakerGear M2 and their outstanding customer service, from what you've said about your potential usage I'm wondering if a FDM (filament) printer is actually the best for what you want to do. It sounds like you're into smaller models and very fine details and that screams SLA printer (resin based) to me.
I don't know about that 1/6 models are huge :shock: even 1/16 scale is pretty big. SLA would be great for detail but isn't the build volume usually pretty small on most of those? I think and FDM printer would be fine.

Just to throw another positive in the ring... I started with a M2 kit as my first printer and as long as your mechanically inclined you shouldn't have any problem... I think building a kit is was a great way to learn how things work too.

It's going to be a learning experience especially if your just getting into CAD too but I think it's a very rewarding hobby. One other thing you will have to learn though is how to design for 3D printing. Some things need to be looked and designed so you can work around certain aspect like overhangs and other issues that can be problematic when it comes to the actual printing process. The great thing about designing your own stuff though is you can go back and change things that might not work the first time. Being able to design a part with different assemblies instead just try to make a single part that prints all at once is nice too. Being a model builder you probably can understand this already just looking at kits you may have built over the years. As an example this is something I designed and printed to be like a model kit I grew up building.

This forum is a great placed to be too if you run into any trouble along the way... there are a lot of very knowable people here that are always willing to help.

sprior
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Re: The GearMaker M2 Kit for Newbie?

Post by sprior » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:07 pm

OK, bigger models than I thought.

The M2 was/is my first printer and I too chose the kit option, not to save money but because I wanted the experience of doing it. My attitude is that if I received it all built and tested I'd have been intimidated about making any changes to it, but if I put it together I can take it apart. This means I've jumped on making modifications to the machine, upgrading from the V3B to the V4 dual, and now back to a V4 single with BLTouch bed leveling.

The biggest problem I remember having with the kit assembly is that I expected that when the machine was done I'd have no loose parts on the table, but MakerGear is very generous and if I needed 5 of a particular screw they'd throw in a whole bag of them. I rediscovered that whole stash just a week ago and have to go back and sort/inventory things so I might actually use them someday.

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