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    First-Time Poster Noob Seeks Experienced Lurker with Answers - Which One for Me?

    Hi Everyone,First-time poster here, and I have very limited knowledge of 3-D printers - but I've wanted to acquire one for quite some time. I'll list some of the more common needs - and some questions, too, if you don't mind. I will state unequivocally that the people who take the time to respond to guys like me are worth their weight in GOLD. I'm a firefighter/paramedic by trade - and while I'm happy to wake up at 2:00 a.m. to respond to a very sick person - or the mother who just couldn't make it to the hospital and delivers her baby right there in the living room, this time I'm the one who needs help. I am not being one bit cavalier about this. I really do need help, and I'll freely admit I have no idea what I'm getting into, technically-speaking. So, with that, thank you in advance, and now, I'll get started:

    THINGS I THINK I NEED IN A 3-D PRINTER:
    1. Heated Bed
    2. Large Bed (Not sure what "large" is, but I heard 7" x 7" x 7"? More?
    3. Auto Bed Calibration
    4. All Metal Hi-Temp Hot End
    5. Dual Independent Heads
    6. Touchscreen and Input for the Machine (so I don't have to tie up a laptop - although I MIGHT have one that might work.) I would still like to download AT the machine, and use its brain-power to get the job done.
    7. Dual Extruders?
    8. Anything Else?
    9. Yep, I Want to Print in METAL, Non-Toxic Plastics, and _____________(?).

    THINGS I WANT TO DO WITH 3-D PRINTING:
    1. Print Things for My Own Use - Useful Things
    2. Print Replacement Parts
    3. Print Plastic or Metal Tools
    4. Print Things Like Toothpaste Tube Squeezers, Chip Clips, Perhaps even Home Decor that Doesn't Require High-Quality Finishing.
    5. I WILL NOT BE RESELLING GNOMES, Etc.
    6. Print Things as Yet-to-be-Determined!

    WHAT I'M WILLING TO DO:
    1. If I will get an AMAZING machine from my own blood, sweat, and tears, I not only would be willing to build it (assemble) myself - I think it would be fun - as long as the instructions are clear, I have the ability to assemble my own machine. This might actually be the better option, as I most assuredly would derive great pleasure and pride in "building" my own machine - IF IT IS RELIABLE, BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK, AND SOMETHING "BIGGER" (I'm talking conceptually here) THAN an already-built 3-D printer.
    2. HOWEVER, if a turnkey model might be the best option, I'll buy it, open the box, and start printing!

    I HAVE NO IDEA WHICH SOFTWARE PLATFORM TO USE (Or, even how to use it.):
    1. HELP!!! Thanks in advance
    2. I'm looking for software that will build high-quality items that is easy to use (or, WILL be "easy" to use - I'm willing to go through a learning curve.)

    MY BUDGET IS:
    1. Well, it could go as high as $2,500...maybe even higher. I MIGHT go higher if:
    2. The overall VALUE of money to machine is there.
    3. It's REALLY worth it for me to go higher.
    4 It's necessary - like I need more machine to print in metal..., etc. I AM LOOKING FOR:1. An "online course" that might be able to help me get started, either before - or after - purchasing my machine. The shorter, the better, but if I have to complete it in 10, 15, or 20 hours, I'll be a willing student. It could be a free course, or paid - I'm willing to front money to get it right the first time.

    Guys, that's all I can come up with at this time - I have really tried to put my heart and soul into it, so I want to say thank you in advance for getting through my rather long-winded post.

    Remember, you guys are GOLD!!!

    Best regards,

    Maitai


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