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Cheap eBay parts

Posted by epicepee 
Cheap eBay parts
December 21, 2013 10:21PM
Are cheap eBay steppers, drivers, etc. worth it?

I know that it's generally good to use the highest quality parts one can gather. Probelm is, I'm a broke high schooler. So, I must resort to cheap Chinese junk.

It seems to me that steppers and drivers would be fairly safe due to their simplicity. However, I also plan to buy a RAMPS and Arduino Mega clone off eBay. Is this a good idea? Assuming I'm willing to replace popped caps and such, would it make the most sense financially to buy the cheapest I can find that look decent or to spring for first-party parts that cost twice as much?

I can provide links to the specific parts if you would like.
Re: Cheap eBay parts
December 21, 2013 11:00PM
I will say that is what I did.. I'ma broke father of 4, and had a lot of the rods and motor from old printers and scanners. I bought the least expensive parts I could. I am happy with the quality of the electonics I received. The only advice i have is get a good hot end, not a Chinese one. I fought a hotend problem for over a month and finially broke down and bought a good one ( MG Plus). Well worth the money, to not have the frustration of constant jamming. Good luck..enjoy the build.
Re: Cheap eBay parts
December 22, 2013 02:20PM
There always will be junk sellers in any market. As long as you are a bit careful, Ramps and Mega's on eBay should be fine. Once you sort out what's a good one and what's a bad one, the normal NEMA-17 steppers are no cheaper on eBay than they are from several reputable dealers. I'd get the right ones / good ones for $15 and move on.

Thread rod, nuts and bolts, washers, and the like you can get anywhere. I have yet to get a nut and bolt in that didn't work. You may find that shipping is in the favor of people like McMaster Carr and other US suppliers on that sort of stuff.

Hot ends and filament - buy from a good dealer. Get the hot end from the people who designed it.

Smooth rod and bearings are a bit "interesting". You can find good stuff on eBay, but there's also a lot of crud. You very much need to match things up / dig into details. In some cases you will still get crud.

The real bottom line is that even with some aggressive shopping it's tough to beat a well done kit. One mistake here or there and you are sunk cost wise.
Re: Cheap eBay parts
January 03, 2014 01:55AM
most of the chinese stuff is actually quite a good quality BUT when they flop, they do it hard.
I had a chinese hotend which was total crap, full of design and mfg flaws, no ptfe tube which resulted in constant jams, heater resistor was not properly fixed so heat was not transferring and it almost broke the heater element, along with WILDLY fluctuating temps (20c fluctuations!) etc etc etc.
just trouble nothign else.

Other stuff then? Quite a decent quality infact smiling smiley
I've seen chinese knockoffs EXCEED quality of the original too

But i've also had proclaimed high end stuff be complete garbage. Anything from arcol.hu seems to be complete shit for example, ie. their hobbed bolt had so loose threading that it would tighten itself constantly under use, and the hobbing was so bad it didn't grip well. I got another one for like 6$ which works perfect, and works even after being almost completely full of plastic from jams.
Re: Cheap eBay parts
January 03, 2014 02:19AM
I find that when buying from printer parts from eBay checking feedback is key. Look for 99.8% or better. Look at any negative comments. Avoid new sellers or sellers with less than a few thousand feedbacks. If buying from china only buy cheap bits unless they are sending via some insured means.

I've been doing it this way for years and never been stung. Had some junk but it's always been replaced by the seller or refunded. Serious sellers like to avoid bad feedback and will almost always help how they can do avoid it.
Re: Cheap eBay parts
January 05, 2014 01:04AM
I got a MendelMax made by Blomker in Malaysia. I figured that the frame was kick-ass, but the parts would need to be up-graded as I learned what I was doing. I was more right than I thought. I needed to replace the Hotend after 4 prints. The Ciorcuit breakers I had to replace with car fuses after a lot of help from Uncle Bob on this forum. Getting a Top Notch hotend is nessessary, and I love my J-head origional (not a knock-off). I was right about the frame, it is really strong, and I won't need to upgrade it ever. The stepper motors have beed all I have needed. I would say that I have beed impressed once I fixed the above problems.
Re: Cheap eBay parts
January 05, 2014 05:45AM

I have a blomker kit and (fingers crossed) by hot end etc have been fine. Its an all metal version, was yours a PTFE sleeve version ?
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