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Sep 02, 2019, 12:57 PM
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John Molnar Jr.'s Avatar
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What is the best 3D printer for making RC planes?

Here's my question...what is the best printer for making RC planes? Now I understand there are several factors to take into account here. Price, ease of use, quality of the finished product, time it takes to finish a plane, and so on. I am new to this whole 3d printer thing. However I'd like to get into it. So my question is...what is the best bang for your buck so to speak? What printer is the easiest ( user friendly) to use? What printer has the smoothest finish? What printer prints the lightest finished product? Another question I have is...what if someone wanted to print smaller planes, micro rc planes so to speak? What would be the best choice? Sorry for the twenty questions but I'd rather chat with people that know what they are talking about instead of spending a small fortune ( That I dont have ) for something I won't be able to use. Thank you in advance, John.
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Sep 02, 2019, 02:30 PM
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radfordc's Avatar
Creality CR-10
Latest blog entry: Assembling a Spandau kit.
Sep 02, 2019, 08:08 PM
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atreis's Avatar
There are many 3d printers to choose from. The Creality CR-10 is actually a good first choice for bang for buck though. You don't want to spend a fortune only to discover you don't actually like the fiddling involved in making it go.

Smoothest finish (additive type printer), easy to use, but not cheap: LulzBot Taz 6.
Very large build volume, good quality components: Formbot T-Rex 3

I use my T-Rex more than any other ... But would still recommend starting out with a Creality. As I said, you really want to make sure you actually want to use it before dropping a ton of money on something.

Lightest end product: That's something that has more to do with filament and settings than anything else. Plan to spend some time (and filament, which costs money) getting settings just right.

The size of the plane mostly doesn't matter. Larger planes just require printing (and assembling) more pieces than smaller planes. Where it does matter: Some designers make their pieces for specific printers. Check the planes you're most interested in to see what the build volume recommendation is, and make sure the printer you pick meets or exceeds that volume.
Sep 02, 2019, 09:47 PM
If it flies, I can crash it.
rocketsled666's Avatar
For the most part, print quality and print volume scale with price. So there is no one answer to your question. You need to set a budget first. Then ask what the best printer in that price range is. You'll still get a lot of opinions. Just like if you asked "what's the best RC TX?" or "what's the best LiPo charger?" or "what's the best LiPo?". But at least you'll get suggestions that are more narrowly scoped...
Sep 02, 2019, 09:51 PM
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Dirty Dee's Avatar
If you plan to purchase the 3DLabPrint planes, they usually package gcodes that work with Prusa MK2/MK3 printers, so you can jump right in.

I own 2 Prusa MK2S printers, and they work great. They are more expensive in the ~$700 range though.
Sep 03, 2019, 09:27 AM
Registered User
Prusa MK2/MK3 or Creality CR-10s if you want to join stl sections to reduce glue joins (400mm z axis height)

Have both the MK2 and cr10s, both have great printers.
If I could only have one, it would be the cr10s for much larger builder volume, even though the Mk2/Mk3 are easier to use.
Last edited by abasualdo; Sep 03, 2019 at 09:36 AM.
Sep 03, 2019, 12:05 PM
My planes plow into the field
farmertom's Avatar
Originally Posted by abasualdo
Prusa MK2/MK3 or Creality CR-10s if you want to join stl sections to reduce glue joins (400mm z axis height)

Have both the MK2 and cr10s, both have great printers.
If I could only have one, it would be the cr10s for much larger builder volume, even though the Mk2/Mk3 are easier to use.
I have both CR10 and MK3 printers. I agree with all said here.
Sep 03, 2019, 12:14 PM
It flies? I like it!
Prusa = EASY , as close to "Plug and Play" as 3D printers get
CR10 = Bigger, a bit of adjusting and fidgeting.

Only other difference of note is the CR10 is a Bowden setup (in simple terms the filament is pushed from some distance away through a teflon tube to the hot end), whereas the Prusa is direct drive (the filament travels very short distance from the hot end mounted feeder to the hot end). May seem like a trivial thing, until you try to print TPU or LW-PLA or some of the other "squishy/foamy" filaments where the Bowden setup of the CR10 is a bit harder to deal with (I hear it can be done, but I had no luck making it work). To be honest, I have printed TPU tires (on the Prusa, and they are not very pretty to look at - so not a big loss if you chose a printer that can't do it).

If you are going to be printing PLA or PETG, either will do nicely.
Last edited by Lomcevak; Sep 03, 2019 at 12:20 PM.
Sep 05, 2019, 12:56 PM
MQ-5B Driver
Doug Cronkhite's Avatar
I have a CR-10 currently.. Looking at their Ender 5 Plus now.. I've been happy with the Creality stuff so far but I want a bigger print volume option.. CR-10S4 is also a choice.. The Prusa Mk3S just isn't big enough for what I want to print..
Sep 11, 2019, 09:18 PM
AMA Another Mans Airplane
cale10's Avatar
Im using an Anet A8 and the slicer is causing more hair pulling than the printer itself. i like the A-8 because its quirks teach you the ins and outs of 3D printing pretty quickly. if you like tinkering that is, if not its definitely not for you.
Sep 17, 2019, 12:53 PM
Registered User
Ender 3. hands down. $170 shipped.
Sep 19, 2019, 09:50 AM
Luis Claudio - Rio - Brazil
Luis_Claudio's Avatar
I am using my Ender 3 PRO to print my 3DLab F86 Sabre, and after the settings of Simplify 3D are ok and you know
what are you doing, the printing is so cool!
Sep 19, 2019, 12:34 PM
Registered User
manuel v's Avatar
I have a Lulzbot mini. Very small for most models and quite expensive. I have only tried some simple parts for my planes. I regularly use this machine in other things. Although the machine is very good, I do not recommend it to make airplanes.

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