3D printing has created a revolution in the world of printing. Though an infant in the world of technology, it has proved its worth. To have an idea of what life would be when 3D printing would be employed on a large scale just like the internet, imagine your printer connected to computer printing solid objects. It would also be possible to deliver goods and services to our desktops and to high street shops through the internet. People may even go for “printing out” their household goods and furniture through 3D printers.
This sounds really exciting. And after realizing this, you may consider getting a 3D printer for your home or office. But there are certain things to consider before you proceed to make a purchase. A wide range of 3D printers have emerged recently and it may be difficult for you to decide what to buy. This article lists down the primary things to consider purchasing a 3D printer.
- Designing the Printer or Printing out Things:
3D printers are available in two forms: Kit-based and pre-assembled. If you are person who loves mechanical machines or hardware and prefer to build one from the scratch, you may go for the kit-based 3D printers. You can find many open source 3D printers, where the bill and the design of the materials is already available allowing you to incorporate changes in the design. The changes can also be contributed back. You can yourself source the materials though online suppliers like eBay, Amazon Supply and McMaster-Carr. You can clarify your doubts and questions with the help of various communities of 3D printing on Google plus and Google groups.
There are people who love to print out unique objects out of their or someone else’s imagination. If you fall under this category of people, a preassembled 3D printer is the right choice for you. You can print out desktop ornaments, functional art, product concepts, hardware enclosures and board game pieces. You can even print out things to solve and fix your household problems.
You budget plays an important role in determining the type of printer you will purchase. As a matter of fact, kit-based printers are of low cost as compared to pre-assembled printers. Self sourced printers are of low cost as compared to kit-based printers. However, you can find solid pre-assembled 3D printers coming in the price range of $500-$800.
In 2013, it is expected to get good pre-assembled 3D printers within a price of $1500. If you are going for a printer costing more than $2000, check out whether it has something outstanding when compared with the printers of lower price. Such high priced printers may have features like easily usable software, straight metal guides, belt-less drives, speedy printing, flat build platform or solid metal frames. You can get 3D printers like Solidoodle and Printrbot Jr at considerably low costs.
Printing should be consistent in a quality 3D printer. 3D printers earlier had failed prints easily, which called for restarting the print, which is a frustrating task to do. But the printers of 2013 rarely have such problems.
One of the factors affecting consistency is the levelness and flatness of build platform. The printing in 3D printers is done at 0.1mm layer height, indicating that if the warping in build platform is greater than 0.1mm, the first printed layer would not stick properly at different places. You can find out whether a printer suffers from such a problem, by viewing the complaints about the printers at their support forums or community. Also check out whether the company has responded to it.
The print speed is also a major aspect to consider while purchasing a 3D printer. The print speed can be measured in two ways: how fast is the motion of the tool head during laying down the plastic and how fast the motion of the tool head is during its movement between printing areas, while plastic is not being laid down. Remarkably speedy printers are Ultimaker and TrinityOne Aluminatus Pro.
These factors would help you to determine where a 3D printer is eligible to be purchased or not and thereby help you to make the right choice.
Alex Mathew is a renowned author who writes articles on HP Ink Cartridges and related topics. He has a vast experience in writing highly informative articles. His articles have been helpful to many readers.