I decided to purchase and build a 3d printer. I acquired a Prusa i3 RepRap series open hardware kit from Prusa Research. Overall it’s a nice kit that leveraged the open manual based Dokazuki.
For software I’m using Autodesk’s Fusion 360 which is free for Hobbyist and Startup use. Just click “download trial” and then you can register for startup/hobby use.
I did decide to purchase Simplify3D because I wanted more control over my models than slic3r offers.
At the end of the day 3d printing is simply 5 axis CNC.
Right now I’m using it to make some parts for my RV. You can read more about that at www.autobus.us. I’ll eventually use the printer to build enclosures for some of my electronics projects. I’m almost ready to start selling boards and working on electronics again. I’ve been working on a house remodel that seems to have become a second career.