i have to choose a dual material printer. Which one of the two?

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The original Prusa i3 MK2 is not a dual extruder machine so no real comparison for that criteria. There will be a multi color/filament option/upgrade coming available though.

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I meant multi material. Not currently able to edit my original post.

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Hi @Elios tough choice. They’re both excellent machines, both get great reviews and appear to produce great prints, so print quality wise there’s possibly not much difference. If we assume Prusa’s multi-colour upgrade works well, they’re also both capable of dual (or in the case of the Prusa possibly quad) colour printing. So the only real differences that matter are the enclosure, the build size and the price.

Enclosed printers supposedly help to prevent warping when printing with materials prone to warp (such as ABS) but I’ve had terrible warping issues with my Flashforge Creator Pro - a fully enclosed machine - and that was solved by using a different bed surface. Since I’ve installed a PEI surface, my warping issues appear to have gone and, since the Prusa uses a PEI bed and they have their new multi-zone heating technology, it’s open to debate how important an enclosure really is when you have the right bed and suitable conditions in the print environment. The BCN has a glass bed so it’s possible you may have the same problems I had with my FF Pro; and at least one user has experienced this:

Of course, you may be able to solve this as I did, by buying a PEI sheet for the bed, but it does seem to suggest that the enclosure really isn’t the complete solution for warping so do you need one?

Build Size is larger on the BCN, quite a bit larger in fact, but only you may know how important that is. Certainly if you’re looking to print orders from 3D Hubs, the larger the build area, the more orders you’re going to be able to accept. How many more is the important question. The Prusa has a “decent” sized build plate (it’s larger than the FF Creator Pro), and may well be enough for your needs.

Price, however, is a biggy. You could buy two Prusa i3s for the cost of one BCN or, to put it another way, you could buy an awful lot of filament to go with your Prusa for the price of the BCN.

I looked long and hard at the BCN before I bought my FF Pro (which I bought before the Prusa came out, unfortunately) and in the end it was price that swayed me. I could afford the BCN, but it didn’t seem to me that it offered enough to double that price tag, and I’d say the same here in comparison to the Prusa. The BCN is a fine machine, but it’s debateable whether it’s actually any “better” than the Prusa in any substantial way and, more importantly, it’s almost certainly not twice as good as the Prusa.

If it were me, I’d go for the Prusa. I have one on back order that should be arriving in a week or so. If it’s as good as the reviews say it is, I can’t see myself wishing I’d bought a BCN. However, if I had a BCN on order right now, I might well be wondering why I didn’t save myself €1000 and get a Prusa instead…

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I got you now. No problem.

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I think here you are looking at two different style machines. Both good but I think you may want to narrow down your use needs more. What are you going to primarily be printing? What type of filament mostly? If the costs where more in line then I could only recommend the Prusa from experience but with teh cost being so far apart I am much more inclined to go towards the Prusa. But with such a big cost difference you should look at what does the BCN offers that the Prusa doesn’t and is it worth the difference. Also I am assuming we are talking about the original Prusa i3 and not a clone.

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Hi @cobnut ,

thank you very much for your feedback, you exactly hit the right points of the question.

Sigma is certainly good, even if not all reviews are so enthusiasts, also, the printer is a 2015 machine, if they make a 2017 version fixing current issues i will find myself with an old version of the machine.

I think i’ll wait a month or so to look at multi material reviews for prusa, if the system works properly i am going for that with a ton of filament with it. I need the machine for personal prototipes (the bigger, the better), not to run a hub.

I read you are waiting for a Prusa i3, would you mind sharing your experience in this post when you’ll get one?

best regards

Yes, not a colone. I am talking of the original i3 mk2 which is so well reviewed.

The point is exactly this: If the dual material system works properly on prusa it will be hard to tell what Sigma offers more. Not to mention the price gap.

Materials i am going to use: PLA, ABS, NYLON.

Are you a Prusa owner? Is it last version? How do you find yourself with long prints?

Thank you for your feedback

Hi @Elios I was going to mention the “age” of the BCN, 3D print tech is moving so rapidly that there’s a BIG difference in what you get for your money over just a year or less.

I think you can safely assume the multi-printing for the Prusa will work well; although they’re not shipping until the end of this month, I think that’s more to do with building up a stock level (and possibly because they’re all working like mad to fill the back orders of the machine itself!) rather than being any need for development/tuning. IF there are problems, I can guarantee some of them will be solved with “tweaks” while others, even if they need new/replacement parts, will still be way under the cost of the BCN.

Sure, I’m happy to update when the Prusa arrives (give me a shout if I forget - it should be here by the end of this month). @wirlybird also has one on order and I’m sure will be just as happy to share his experiences.

Yes, I have one. It is a MK2 model, the new one. PLA is no problem. ABS may be a challenge with it being an open format, non enclosed, but certainly doable. Nylon may be another story. The MK2 says 300c is the max temp so nylon is possible but I am looking into that.

I have a 12 hour print going and so far at 6 hours it is fine.

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Ok, so printing nylon should be about like ABS except different temps. I found that a max working extruder temp of 290 is ok.

As I implied earlier, I’m increasingly unconvinced by the enclosure issue. The FF pro is fully enclosed but I had real issues with warping that were solved by the bed. Of course, it could be important if you’re in a cold drafty area, but if the room is draft free and warm, I’m not sure how much difference it makes. More importantly, an enclosure is essentially just a box. If it makes a difference, you could build one for the Prusa. Heck, for the price difference to the BCN, you could get a professional chippie to make one or of walnut and crystal. :). Some folks here have suggested the enclosure needs to be heated and temperature controlled to be truly effective and it might actually make more sense to use the savings on the Prusa to build a decent bespoke enclosure…

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The enclosure can make a big difference but also is not mandatory. The bed and curling issues are one thing. The other issue can be the overall print cooling to fast with additional warping or cracking and separation of layers. That is where the enclosure comes into play more.

With that said people get pretty creative on enclosures. There are a bunch on the Prusa owners facebook page with pretty creative ideas.

I am going to be testing nylon on the MK2 which will behave similar to ABS so it will be interesting to see how much of a fight it will be. The fact that it can print it un modified is a biggy though.

So, I would not let the lack of the enclosure sway you unless ABS and nylon will be the predominant materials used then an enclosure strategy would be good. For the cost difference - easily done.

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I had one ABS print fail with a massive separation / crack about half way up on my FF, while the base was still warp free. It’s that sort of failure I suspect a temperature controlled enclosure would help…

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So let’s say you could build an enclosure with controlled heat, what you think temperature should be without ruining printer’s parts like belts for example?

For chamber temp if you can maintain 45-80 you are good. On my Flashforge creator pro I can get it to 45c with a couple bed preheats and it seems to maintain it during the print.

The main thing is no drafts and just a stable temp but if you can get that temp up a bit it helps.