I didn't get into crafting much early on, and I'm paying for it now. I'm spending quite a bit in the exchange buying samples to get my R&D skills up. At this point, now, I'm actually able to craft stuff worth selling in the exchange to offset my costs for samples, but I still have to really watch my expenses and see what's going for what in the Exchange before I commit.
I did a little crafting at lower levels (until skill 400 or so) and then picked it up again at VA, because I'm a completionist and the prices for the Aegis set were through the roof. I was arleady scanning everything in missions, so I had a small stash of mats and I bought whatever else I needed from the exchange.
I blew around 700k EC until I could craft Aegis, with a big chunk of it spent on schematics. I didn't even bother with the exchange, everything went to the vendors, but I was crafting only green items.
It was probably the best investment I've done in the game, since by simply doing the exploration dailies in B'Tran and the shuttle dailies for the Delta Flier, I've managed to craft weapons for 3 ships (all XI Very Rare), 2 Aegis sets and a couple dozen consoles XI Rare), saving a crap-ton of emblems/marks in the process.
Crafting isn't that difficult. I have a KDF LG and a Fed Captain who are both maximized out on crafting skill; the Fed Captain does crafting for himself and for my VA. The KDF keeps any anomalies he collects, while the VA mails his anomalies to the Captain who also collects his own stash.
A couple days ago, I spent about 40ish minutes in B'Tran collecting specific samples that I needed to finish up outfitting my Tac Escort Retrofit with Very Rare weapons and consoles (already had the Aegis set). Not the most "exciting" 40-odd minutes, I'll grant you, but I turned the sound off on my computer and watched a show via Netflix Instant.
What they said...
Spend one or 2 or your game days farming anomolies in the Nebs/clusters and you should be good to go.
While it's a little time consuming that way, the prices most are asking for samples in the exchange is just ridiculous.
Unless you just enjoy making others rich...
i feel that crafting in this game is boring and the idems made are way over priced plus there is nothing you craft that i can not get from some npc somewere eles.to make crafting better in sto they need to make crafters have the skills to change items.and even brake items down take a white item brake it apart and use the parts to make a rare item.give them skills to set there oun stats on items.