I’ve had my 3D printer for a while, with high hopes of integrating it in to my rocket building program with mix results. It’s been such a mixed bag of incredible success and absolute frustration. The path has not been smooth.
Part of this is that 3D printing has a higher learning curve than you might realize, so it needs to be your primary focus until you have it figured out. That isn’t what I intended. This was meant to be an enabling technology that allowed me to explore other creative possibilities. It was just a tool. That was a mistake.
Some is poor documentation. I was having bad prints for a long time because my print head wasn’t properly calibrated. This was never mentioned in the beginner guides, or in the documentation. It is well covered in the forums, but for a consumer technology, that’s not where it belongs. It took me far longer to figure out what the problem was than it did to fix it. A simple troubleshooting guide would have cut that time considerably. They exist online, and are easy to find once you know what you’re looking for, but that doesn’t help the beginner.
Some is bad luck. I had my heater in the printer heater bed fail. Replacing this was easy for me as someone with both hardware and software experience, and I upgraded it in the process. You could get a direct replacement from the manufacturer, but what I have now is more robust and capable. Heaters fail… but not often. Lucky me.
I also had a print detach from the print surface. Again, this happens. By the time I noticed, my print head and fan were encased in plastic. Le sigh. Again, bad luck.
So this is my 3D printer. It’s a Robo3D R1+. Despite my issues, it’s a decent 3D printer. Any printer I would have bought at that time at a similar price point had the potential for similar issues. Bear that in mind.