Newbie need help before buying + cost calculator

Newbie need help before buying + cost calculator  

New Member

Hello guys my name is Valantis im a videographer and i want to buy a 3d printer but i don't know which model and i want him for 2 things , to build photo boxes and usb cases.

After an event (like wedding) is complete in every stage we deliver our work a usb stick with the event and few photos in a box.

if u search in google wedding photo box you will get an idea, and i want to use the filament with wood

i want to build something like this

any ideas how much it will cost me? also is there an online app to add the design and automatically show me the price range of my print?

Thank you for your time.


Posted : 18/11/2019 6:35 pm
Reputable Member


Right now model that would fill your needs is i3 MK3S. It has 210 x 250 mm build area which may be sufficient for your needs. You can get it within few days. There was an announcement of Prusa MINI printer with 180 x 1800 mm build plate. it will start shipping in 1-2 weeks but if you order it now, you may need to wait till February - March next year, the backlog of orders is pretty big. I'd suggest going with MK3S then.

Regarding boxes themselves - sure those can be printed with woodfill PLA filament, just be aware it's not the easiest material to print with. It tends to clog nozzles and jam hotends, so use nozzle with bigger diameter. Bigger diameter will make layering more visible, fortunately wooden filament can mask it somehow and can be post-processed like wood (sanding, staining), unless you like the aesthetic of layered prints. That filament also strings ... a lot. Should not be a problem with box shapes. 

Side note - while you can use 3D printer and print wooden filament, have you considered looking into CNC milling instead? If you make custom wooden boxes, it may (or may not) fit your needs too.

Regarding cost calculation - here is a good video with some guidance on how to calculate costs of 3D printing. For more accurate calculation, you need weight and how much of filament spool it takes to print it. May require few prints to get optimal settings, then do some math. Wood filament is not the cheapest, here is an example:  

Posted : 19/11/2019 10:20 am
Illustrious Member

I print with wood, and it prints well.  But I do not recommend the stock MK3 heat break.  I'd recommend installing the E3D-V6 heat break, in Titanium, to eliminate a few problems the Prusa heat break seems to cause.

And yes, wood absorbs moisture and strings.  But I use a 500c heat gun and it cleans up all of the stringing in seconds. Problem solved.

I'd go with the MK3S, not the MINI, for one key reason: you are using it for business.  The MK3/S model has been out there long enough all of it's warts are well known and fixes in place.  The MINI is new, and Prusa has a reputation for letting the end user find, figure out and fix design problems.  You want a printer that is turn-key and more or less ready to rock and roll.  The MINI is an unknown. 

That said, Prusa doesn't generally sell junk, but many of it's products have had warts when initially released: including the latest MK3S.  But the products they do sell are generally better than the competition in functional.  Automesh level, filament detection (when it works, it works well), material handling (direct extrusion and all-metal print temp range), and ease of maintenance (when things break they are generally easy to fix). 

As for costs, 20 spools of cheap filament will cost as much as the MINI printer.  20 spools of expensive (not necessarily better) filament cost as much as the MK3S.   The main consumable is the filament, the printer is pretty solid and nothing that wears out that needs to be annualized.

I've made slide cases, but have never investigated any of the materials for archival photographic storage. You might want to do that research before handing a customer a photo case that eats up the photos in a year.

Anyway - sounds like a great use for 3D printing.  Good luck!

ps: stringing is sometimes cool:

This post was modified 5 months ago by Tim
It is always wise to get more than one opinion......
Posted : 19/11/2019 9:06 pm
The Baron
Active Member

I hand make articles and awhile back I purchased wooden gift boxes in which to present them.  I was able to select from many shapes and sizes, and then received about 30 of them for a dollar or two each.  I stain and burn my logo into the boxes.   I am pretty sure you could get hundreds of wooden boxes for the price of a printer... but that is not to dissuade you from getting one because anyone who would think of printing a wooden box really wants a printer! 🙂

I am curious what a logo would look like printed into a wooden box.  Perhaps you could even make it “carved!”

Posted : 22/11/2019 9:53 pm

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