If you want to get into 3D printing but don’t know where to start, the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic Kit is the way to go. It’s a complete kit, so you need no additional parts, and a large user community can back you up if problems pop up (not to mention Thingiverse, where you can find awesome open source designs). It took me about 20 hours to build the Thing-O-Matic and start printing, and I improved its accuracy with more tuning, calibrating, and tinkering with settings in the ReplicatorG software. If you have any trouble, read the discussion at the bottom of every build step. I’ve since 3D-printed many fun and handy things (everyone loves a 3D-printed gift!) and the MakerBot is now by far the most-used machine at MAKE Labs.