What should you pay attention to before buying a 3D printer?
Do you want to print models in 3D? You will need a 3D printer. There are many good quality products for sale in a varied price range. How to choose the best option? With our tips, you will surely make a good choice!
Important aspects you should remember before buying a 3D printer:
- Assembly – you can choose an already assembled printer or a kit with parts. If you decide on the second option, you will have to assemble it yourself. The price of such kit is usually reasonable, but before deciding on purchasing it you should make sure you will be able to put all the elements together. An already assembled printer is a ready to use option – you can start printing right after plugging the machine in. Unfortunately already assembled printers are very costly .
- Printing technology – the most popular products operate on one of three technologies. The first one is FDM, which is printing from plastic. It is a cheap and good technology that allows for fast creation of durable, good quality products. The second one is SLA, which is printing with resins. The third one is CJP, which consists in printing with gypsum fine powder. It allows for preparing colour prints.
- Type of material – the most popular materials for 3D printing are ABS and PLA. ABS is more durable, but its processing is more difficult and requires better, more expensive equipment. Printing with PLA is much easier, so it is a perfect material for producing toys or little gadgets. Unfortunately it is less durable than ABS and it is not very resistant to further processing.
- Printing speed – it is an important technical parameter that influences the comfort of use. The speed is expressed in mm/s. Of course, the higher the speed, the faster the printer works. However, you have to bear in mind, that a high quality product will be more expensive.
- Layer thickness – it determines the precision of printing and its speed. With high thickness, the model is really nicely represented, but the printing takes more time. So you have to decide what it is that you’re after – printing speed or best representation of details.
- Size of working chamber – big work chambers automatically make the overall equipment dimensions larger, but they are more comfortable to use and provide much more options. However for domestic use, smaller working chambers are sufficient.
- Ease of handling – the price of 3D printer significantly influences the quality of use. More expensive models are equipped with intuitive panels. Programming takes moments and is very convenient. Cheaper models often employ universal solutions, such as open source applications that have to be adequately configured prior to printing.