Starting Out New With Nothing


I am new to 3D printing. I can build, break, fix, etc. puters. *nix, win, osx.
Former machinist building the Furford Cranberry Picker/Pruner amongst other things.
Want to take a stab at 3D printing and Im torn on what machine I should start out with.

Debated the Creality3D CR-10 S5 or the Moai.

I want to be able to make bigger than trinkets or 200
glued pieces. Maybe Im naive to it all anyway.

Anybody have any suggestions or advice? other than run away?



I would suggest watching a lot of Youtube videos. You can’t compare an FDM to an SLA printer. They are two different beasts. SLA printers typically have mush smaller build volumes. Maker’s Muse, Matterhackers and 3d Printing Nerd have great videos as well as many others. Images are worth a thousand words and then some with video reviews :slight_smile:

That said , you being a former machinist, I don;t think you would have any issues understanding the inner workings.:+1:



Just order some 3D printed parts to give you an idea.

What kind of things to you want to print ?

For reference I’ve been designing and implementing 3d printed parts in my company and we use them for prototyping products & tooling, but also make jigs, fixtures, other tools as well as internal parts for some of our final products. So, a bit of everything.

I’m about to buy a Moai because I want to 3D print stuff for my hobby workshop at home as well for everyday-use useful objects. But I’m also setting up a propane oven and will be starting aluminium casting soon, I expect being able to print smooth masters for the sand molds with the Moai is going to be a HUGE accelerator and facilitator in the realization of these cast parts.

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all these replies are great.

We always start with, what is your application (or what do you want to print)? And go from there. Between here and the Facebook Moai group, we have a very strong community you can rely on. We are a small team that is strenched to limit and we do our best to keep the project moving forward and take care support requests.



As mentioned by everyone else so far, it really depends on what you’re looking to do. We would need your input regarding that to even know if additive manufacturing is even the right approach.

At our laboratories here, I purchased the Moai just a few months ago to extend the capabilities beyond what we were able to do on our Raise3D Pro 2 that we purchased about a year ago. Having the ability to work at a small scale, and create thin walled items (field probes in our case) which were watertight was crucial.

There’s a learning curve to both FDM and resin machines for sure, though I found that resin machines were easier to get started with (that being said I’ve been working with FDM for over 4 years now, so my memory of the very beginnings there are a little cloudy.)

Anyhow, I’d be interested to hear what it is you’re looking to create!



I’m so happy to read that. Most 3D printing hobbyists talk about SLA about it being this “new tech not ready for prime time” (it’s not, i’s about the oldest modern 3d printing tech… older ones being clay piling and brick walls !) and “difficult to use” with “post processing being a pain”… Well I also find that SLA is more approachable than FDM, mostly because it’s actually simpler because it relies on a simpler set of reliable/tested components, while the heart of the FDM machine (the extruder, heater and noozle) have never really made it past hobby-grade design and production level.
Granted you have to clean the stuff, but I’m not even wearing gloves anymore because I don’t get resin on my hands when handling prints.
Plus, isotropic parts, yay ! But no one seems to care about that in the hobby world… although it makes designing parts for 3D printing so much easier.

FDM is fiddly with all these things to tweak by hand… The reason why there aren’t ton of “tweak” videos on SLA is because it just works most of the time, the main problem is bed adhesion but it’s also an issue with FDM.

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Wow. Thanks for taking the time to give me your thoughts you guys. It really means alot to me.

Well, this all started with cosplay parts in all honesty. I dont want to become a seller or anything. Just make for myself. Like stormtrooper helmets and junk like that. But movie quality. Go big or go home. Plus I can work with my hands.

I know, sounds lame but Im lame like that.



If you’re making items that large (helmets, etc.) you may be better off with an FDM machine, particularly if you’re working off of other people’s designs and don’t have the option of customizing parts to fit together into larger assemblies.

The reason I put in the request for our lab to purchase a resin machine is that we needed to work small. If you’re typically printing wearable items, however, you may want to get something that can handle entire pieces at once - particularly if they will undergo a lot of post-printing work (painting, varnish, etc.) There’s also a noticeable cost difference between fused filament and resin (though hopefully this continues to go down as resin becomes more commonplace :crossed_fingers:)

In your case, the Creality3D machine might be a better place to start off. You can always expand from there :slight_smile:



No worries - we are all as lame as you :smiley::+1:



I agree with @research.caddy. As much as I would like to recommend an SLA machine, and I would in a heatbeat if you were to make props in a professional setting, cost-wise is may not be the wisest choice and for big stuff the ugliness of the FDM parts is a bit less important.

The inconsistent smoothing methods I talk about for FDM are less of an issue with movie props/cosplay, and if you’re doing cosplay you’re probably going to sand, prime, sand, paint, sand, paint, varnish your parts anyway making the roughness of FDM print more an inconvenience than a no-go.

On the other hand (sorry in advance) : if you want to go big or go home, then buy a Moai 200. It’s expensive for a hobby, and you will have to budget for the resin which is more expensive than filament. With an SLA printer not only do you get comparatively “perfect” surface, but you can also add texture to your prints which will not resolve on any FDM printer. Look at this texture I added on some parts (not printed on Moai but on another SLA printer, not DLP or LCD) :

On the 2nd image you can see the same parts without the added texture (printed at 100um layer height). My goal was to remove the layer lines by adding some random surface state, but it turn out SLA printer with galvos (like the Moai) can resolve some pretty incredible stuff.
You’ll be able to print, wash your prints and apply primer directly without any sanding whatsoever, or very little. You’ll get smooth surfaces and sharp regular edges under most printing orientation, both of which are very difficult to achieve with FDM.

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