After seeing my good friend @Chris Ellerby
upgrade to getting a 3D printer I decided (plus with a bonus from work) to get one.
Took a couple of weeks of pouring over adverts, manuals etc.. however I finally found a local place that was selling these. I'm posting the Robotshop advert as they have better pictures and descriptions.
the good thing about my supplier ZX3D.Com.Au is that they have all of their printers set up.. running.. and you can compare the different outputs between them. They claim that they only stock machines that have passed their own checks which I believe.
So setting a maximum of 1400AUD I got the Afinibot A9.http://www.robotshop.com/en/afinibot-a9-3d-printer-laser-engraver-kit.html
It's a kit - but only needs 4 parts to be bolted together so I was up and running in about 2 hours. It's a VERY quiet printer and is also portable (Yes that IS a carry handle).
It comes with CURA and Replicator so I was able to quickly get it going with some test jobs.
I took a STL of a gear set and printed it in PLA at 0.1mm layers. The results were very clean and meshed perfectly. I then told CURA to divide the scale by 3 and print again. Likewise all the teeth details came out beautifully and the tiny gears meshed and ran.
Here is a picture of the output.
The unit also has a Laser Engraver but I have not yet played with that. Maybe in time
Now to start cutting my teeth on CAD programs.