Dual extruder, buy now or later?

The official subforum for discussion of the installation and use of the official M2 Dual Extruder upgrade.
Expresso
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Dual extruder, buy now or later?

Post by Expresso » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:09 am

Hello,

I am completely new to 3D printing, the MakerGear M2 printer I am planning on purchasing will be the first 3D printer I have ever owned and operated. The jury is still out on whether a 3D printer will end up being the most awesome tool I have ever owned or if it’s something that is going to end up in my basement collecting dust... time will tell.

That said, I have done some research and I see there is a lot of interest revolving around 3D printers with dual extruders so I have no doubt that dual extruders on a 3D printer are an important feature if not indispensable for some projects. But is it worth it for me to buy the 3D printer with dual extruders only to perhaps find out later that I will never use them or benefit little from such a feature?

Ideally, I would prefer to buy the 3D printer with only one extruder and upgrade later to two extruders if the need arises. The drawback of doing this is that I will have to be the one installing the dual extruder and deal with all the potential issues that come from doing that.

So my question to you guys is what would you guys recommend I do? Get one extruder and deal with all the headaches and risks of installing a dual extruder later? Or just get the dual extruder and thank you guys later that I did since it’s probably going to be the best way to go.

Also, why is it that buying the printer with dual extruders cost and extra $400 dollars but getting the upgrade only cost $300? Is the extra $100 the assembly cost? Is it really that involved?

Thanks for your help.

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atomic_peach
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Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Dual extruder, buy now or later?

Post by atomic_peach » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:23 am

Definitely start with only one extruder for now. Dual extruder setups are finicky and troubleshooting printing issues can be harder; both concerns are non-issues for those that understand the technology. Adding your own extruder later will not be too difficult, especially as you learn your machine and about 3D printing in general. The two main points to have a dual extruder - multi color prints and dissimilar materials for supports - are not needed right off the bat and can be worked around. Besides, who knows if Makergear might come out with a new and completely different methods to support multi-filament printing?

Edit: Well this sounds a bit silly after all the other posts, but it is still valid. Gotta love those moderated new users! :P
Last edited by atomic_peach on Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ednisley
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Re: Dual extruder, buy now or later?

Post by ednisley » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:03 pm

Expresso wrote:the most awesome tool I have ever owned or if it’s … going to end up in my basement collecting dust
if you're already building things and have reached the point where you cannot produce the shapes you need, then a 3D printer will become essential. You'll find engineers, artists, technicians, tinkers, scientists, and (ahem) some genuine oddballs around here who depend on the complex shapes emerging from their M2 platforms.

On the other paw, if you think it might be kinda neat to print random tchotchkes downloaded from Thingiverse, dropping two large on a complex chunk of hardware and devoting half a year learning new skills will almost certainly produce a "For Sale" posting a year from now…

Hugs
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Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Dual extruder, buy now or later?

Post by Hugs » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:24 pm

I recommend *not* going all-in with the dual right away.

I got my M2 in March and waited until November to upgrade. As Ed said, there is so much to learn if you're new to 3D printing you'll want to be comfortable with the basics (and beyond basics) of a single extruder. Most of my prints are replacement parts, utility items, and helper tools and I knew I would eventually reach a point where I'd need the flexibility of the 2nd extruder. But that was after I had the learned "vocabulary" and quirks of 3D printing over those first 8 months.

As for if it's worth the $100 extra? I'm pretty handy with tools and electronics and it took me a good 2-3+ hours just to install the upgrade. Then a good solid week of nights dialing it in. So what's your time worth?

All that said, if you still want to go all-in from the start, don't even think about the second extruder until you get comfortable with the first one . . . just pretend it isn't there. :)
Last edited by Hugs on Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jules
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Re: Dual extruder, buy now or later?

Post by Jules » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:27 pm

Speaking as a genuine oddball, ;) I'd suggest you start with the single and work your way up to the dual through an upgrade later. Installing the upgrade to dual will take about an afternoon, provided you can read and follow instructions and pictures....(they'll let anyone write up the instructions for these things).....all you need is a screwdriver. But they have to pull someone off of assembling machines to rig one out for you, so it's more expensive. (Better to do it yourself.)

It's better to learn to 3D print first with a single nozzle than a dual. Adding a second nozzle adds a lot of additional issues with dripping and oozing from the inactive nozzle during a two-tone print that you don't need to mess with during the initial learning phase. There's enough to learn up front without adding more issues.

You're going to love the M2 though, it's absolutely the best to start with, because it is incredibly well constructed, it keeps it's level, and has relatively few of the problems that other printers face. You won't spend all your time re-leveling the bed between prints....it just stays where it is supposed to.
:D

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zemlin
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Re: Dual extruder, buy now or later?

Post by zemlin » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:37 pm

I agree with Jules.
I have the dual upgrade. It adds an order of magnitude of complexity and additional variables to the printing process.
Also, I have used two shooters very little since getting it.
I do plan to spend more quality time on two-material printing - the early test prints I've done were impressive (PETG with PLA support). That said, some careful attention to the variables that make single-material support effective and removable has gone a long way and allows me to get better single-material prints than I would have thought possible based on my early single-extruder experiences.

Expresso
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Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:25 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Dual extruder, buy now or later?

Post by Expresso » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:47 am

Thank you all. After reading your replies I have decided to take your advice and start with the single extruder and upgrade to dual extruder once I feel comfortable with the single extruder.

Thanks again.

vesteroid
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Re: Dual extruder, buy now or later?

Post by vesteroid » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:05 pm

I read all this and went the total opposite, just cause I am a little nuts like that. Bought the kit and then turned around and ordered the dual last night. I dont know if I will install it as I build the kit or wait, but I assume I will, and just not use both for a while.

I bought a wide variety of materials one roll each so I really want to play with what will do what.

Phil
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Re: Dual extruder, buy now or later?

Post by Phil » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:07 pm

zemlin wrote:I do plan to spend more quality time on two-material printing - the early test prints I've done were impressive (PETG with PLA support). .
Do the two stick together, or does the support come off without so much as a click?

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Jules
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Re: Dual extruder, buy now or later?

Post by Jules » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:09 am

They do not bond to each other. Slight click, depending on shape, but no permanent adhesion. Very good support because you can use zero vertical separation.

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