A 3D printer is a piece of equipment that can literally change your life. The printers are no longer constricted to industrial use and cost a lot less than a few years ago. Anyone who can afford it can get a 3D printer. We are only just discovering what 3D printers can do hence there is a lot of room for exploration.
However, before you can start having fun using your 3D printer, you have to buy one. It would help tremendously if you knew just what to look for in a 3D printer. The following are some things to look for in a 3D printer:
There are about eleven types of 3D printers available on the market today. However, unless you have a factory or laboratory in your basement, only about three types will interest you. First of which is Fused Deposit Modelling (FDM) and it is the most common type of printer. It works by extruding heated plastic and fusing it layer upon layer to create the item you want.
The other two common types of 3D printers are Stereolithography (SLA) and Digital Light Processing (DLP). Each is classified according to its printing method. Therefore, before choosing a printer, you should pay careful attention to the printing method.
Ease of Use
Just because anyone can get a 3D printer does not mean anyone can use it. It is a highly advanced technological tool that requires skill and knowledge to use. 3D printers are designed for different levels of production. The more advanced your production level, the more complicated and advanced the 3D printer will be. Therefore, if you are buying a 3D printer, you should look out for ease of use. It makes objects a lot more efficient and quicker.
Different 3D printers will have different capabilities depending on their function. Printers made for industrial use will have more capabilities than those meant for home uses. You should evaluate what each printer is capable of doing. It will involve breaking down the printer options of each one. Checking the printer’s user manual should give you a great idea of its capabilities.
You should also consider the printer’s capabilities against your own. The more you are able to do with a printer the more capabilities it should have.
Just like a two-dimensional printer, resolution matters when it comes to 3D printing. Therefore, a feature to look out for in a 3D printer is the resolution. The resolution of a 3D printer is measured in microns. Lower end printers will have a resolution of about 25 microns whereas the higher end ones will have a resolution of about 100 microns.
You should look for a 3D printer with an adjustable resolution feature. The layer height and the belt tension are the most crucial factors when it comes to 3D printing resolution. The resolution of the 3D printer will have a significant effect on the laser’s precision and hence the final product.
A 3D printer can be a fun and educational tool that can greatly benefit your life. On the other hand, it can also be a dangerous tool in the hands of someone who does not know how to use one. 3D printers are generally well designed and are safe. However, if you want the best printer, you should definitely look out for safety features.
You should especially look for safety features that address the heat generated by the printer. The nozzle should be cooled by the printer and the filament should also be prevented from heat damage.
Safety features are especially important if your children are going to be using the printer. Without adequate supervision, it can lead to disastrous scenarios.
Just as with paper printers, the brand you choose will have an effect on the quality of the printer. So, you should look out for the brand of the printer when deciding which one to buy.
You should look for a brand that has good customer support. A 3D printer is a complicated device hence much could go wrong. A good customer support team will help you deal with such cases and help you use the printer properly.
Ensure you read the reviews of other users to find out just how good their customer support team is. It will either enhance or diminish your 3D printing experience.
Buying a 3D printer is a decision you should take seriously. In summary, you should look out for the brand, resolution, capabilities, safety features, ease of use and printing method of the printer. If you address the above elements, you should have a great time using the 3D printer.