[Lab] your personal experience with 3d printing

Stephen Burke steve at envirolaser.com
Mon Aug 24 15:23:45 EDT 2015

Hi Benoit,
My personal experience over the past 6 years has taught me that if you want to build one, and this is your first 3D printer, make sure it is a VERY simple kit, otherwise it may become one of those unfinished projects.  
It would make sense in high school only if the focus was assembling a device, not necessarily using it.  You can expect to put 30 to 40 hours into assembling a 3D printer, and another 10+ making sure it works properly and consistently.
If the need is to have a working 3D printer for use in class as a tool to make projects, then buy a printer that allows for generic filament and uses open source components and software.  Find something that can handle multiple materials (PLA, Nylon, ABS, Carbon Fibre, etc), has a heated build plate, and a large print volume (8” x 8” x 6” or larger is nice).  A machine like this will have very few limitations so it could be used for multiple projects.
I sell 3D printers from MakerBot, ROBO, 3D Systems, Cubify, Full Spectrum and, maybe soon, Printrbot.  I also sell a wide variety of filaments from Taulman 3D, ColorFabb, FlashForge, Proto-pasta and MakerBot.
Chances are, I will have the 3D printer and material that will suit your needs for your high school.
Stephen Burke
3D Artist 
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