3D Printer for Kids Projects?

My eldest boy (10) has really enjoyed the 3D design and printing they have done at school. gotten the bug you could say.

i have been rather unsuccesful to get them interested in coding so far (they did like the minecraft school)…. so given the interest, I thought it is a worhtwhile investment and I see many good online tools for designing or adopting existing designs.

… but, whereas I am pretty up to date with tech and PCs I am a total lacky on 3D printers…. I even did his search (https://www.ozbargain.com.au/search/node/3d%20printer) and didn't see many options.

Any recommendations? unsure on Budget / sweetspot range… ~$150 - $300 is fine. I'd rather get something more useful than save $ (a bargain of course)

Any recommendations greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • +1 vote

    The Creality Ender 3 is almost universally accepted as the best budget 3D printer right now.
    Good print quality, and HUUUUGE community support.
    It's not perfect or the most feature packed, but unless you want to spend a lot more money you won't find better.

    $253 with PRINCE10 from https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/142835028536 , which claims to be an official store.
    I bought one from them a few months ago, and it arrived within the week (AU stock).

    Requires partial assembly (if that's going to be an issue): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me8Qrwh907Q

  •  

    For comparison, I also suggest the Alfawise U30 and the JGAurora JGMaker Magic. I did a review of the latter two days ago - and I just ordered myself a second one. I think it's a slightly better starter printer than the Ender 3, which I agree is still a good option. I've seen it for similar prices from ebay and gearbest, but not local stock.

  • +2 votes

    I wonder if 3D printing and drone flying in Australian schools will bear fruit in the future. It's fun and keeps children occupied, but it's very much downstream technology. There is a lot of maths and electronics involved inside, but that part isn't taught. It's just end user usage of an imported finished product. Playing with lego robots is fun, but Australia doesn't really have a mech eng industry or manufacturing. I think they might be cases of lazy teaching due to students having short attention spans and also just trying to impress parents and voters about schools of the future hype. Boring old education is where Australia is being thrashed at internationally and we are encouraging short attention spans.

    •  

      My kids school allowed them to combine their minecraft world with an object in 3D printing.
      The risk is real that it is just a toy…

      Whereas 3D TV didn't take off, VR is TBC … things like games was seen as games by the movie industry and it is a behemouth now! All the jobs you and I could not imagine.

      So whilst there is a risk, I have decided to invest and see where there is passion. Kids are so spoon fed today (mine included!!!) that where there is genuine self interest it is worth exploring

    • +1 vote

      Hopefully, getting kids thinking about creation/innovation rather than just consumption or entertainment, will encourage them to think differently, as well as provide some incentive to pursue further study in areas including maths, coding, electronics.

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    My partner picked up the Cocoon Create from Aldi last year for $300. He's really happy with it and it seems to be a decent build quality. (this one: https://www.channelnews.com.au/aldi-selling-cocoon-3d-printe...)

    Not sure what they go for outside of Aldi, but they seem to do special buys on them a couple times a year.

    •  

      I've actually done a review of the small Aldi 3D printer, the Cocoon Create Model Maker too - it's a nice beginner printer, but it definitely is a little more limited in terms of print size, and material choices, as it only has a small and unheated bed. However, being able to return it to Aldi if it doesn't work well is a really big plus for convenience and change-of-mind, I think that's a valuable thing to consider too.

      The larger Aldi 3D printers are more expensive (~$499 from memory?), but more flexible too in their capabilities. However, the machine I recommended in the comments above is a much cheaper alternative.

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