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I'm looking to buy my first 3D Printer, on a tight budget of $250. Unfortunately, this printer that I found on Amazon comes with all the bells and whistles, except for a heated bed.

I want to know if this would affect printing severely, as I have read that the plastic/ filament cools down rather quickly, and that it results in Printer "fails".

I'm actually a bit nervous with this buy, as I don't want to spend $250 on a printer that produces 90% print fails.

An example of the printer I'm referring to is the Cube 3 Printer, Grey by 3D Systems.

1 Answer 1

Yes. That said you can view it as an intro into 3d printing. Once you know you are really into it you can buy a higher end machine, or hunt craigslist / ebay / facebook groups for a used one.

What the heated bed will allow you to do is print more than PLA, and certain formulations of no warp ABS. The Makerbot uses no heated bed, instead in addition to being PLA only it does what we call a raft. That said one of my 6 printers is a makerbot and it still gets warping if the print is on the edge of the plate.

You can also add a heated print bed later. If your electronics allow for it.

That said.. Just buy one with a heated bed? I know you can get one close to that price point. Heated beds cost 7 dollar. However as pointed out by Tom, there are other costs such as a more powerful heated bed. Still one should be able to get a printer in that price range or close to it with a heated bed.

To be more clear. You will not have a 90% fail rate if you use PLA. However your prints will often have some heat warping and you will HAVE to use a raft.

from http://www.reprap.org/wiki/Glossary

Raft A technique used to prevent warping. Parts are built on top of a 'raft' of disposable material instead of directly on the build surface. The raft is larger than the part and so has more adhesion. Rarely used with heated build surfaces. For the small area models, it is very useful to prevent warping via adding a raft for the model before slicing it. It can also help with with precision parts by removing the slight first few layer distortion caused by the heated bed.