The things that can be done using a 3D printer are virtually limitless. Though its possibilities and capabilities tempt us to buy one, there are a lot of things to consider before deciding on a purchase. Specifications, system requirements, and skills are some of the things that should be thought through before settling on a decision.
There are currently many different 3D printer models in the market, and in order to have the one that fits your needs, it is essential to know these crucial things to consider. Below are some of the things to keep in mind before buying a 3D printer.
3D Printer Types
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
It is a type of 3D printer that uses an additive process where heating creates the printed output and extruding a plastic. The pieces are then stacked by layers. This type of 3D printer is the widely used type and is readily available in the market.
In this type, a model is being fabricated using an ultraviolet beam that hardens the material used.
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
Layers are created to model the desired output with the use of a laser that melts the powder that produces the layers.
Build or Buy?
Building a 3D printer, though an unpopular opinion, is still an option aside from opting to buying a new one. This choice then depends on your preference. Tutorials and instructions are made available online that can help you if you choose to build your 3D printer. Brand new 3D printers that are always available in the market would cost you more, but it would save you the time of actually building one.
3D Printer Prices
There are a lot of 3D printer products in the market, and along with this, the prices of these items also vary. Printers with good quality are often priced above $1000, and the ones with superb quality are priced around $2000. If you’re a newcomer, a $100 priced 3D printer will suffice. Eventually, these prices would start to go down for there will undoubtedly be an increase in its popularity and market competition would take place.
There are two materials primarily used for fabricating an output from a 3D printer, and these are Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). These materials differ as they produce and are usually utilized based on their malleability when the printer is processing them. They are also often sold in kilograms.
Safety and Precautions
Since one of the fundamental processes that a 3D printer undergoes is to burn and heat plastic materials, this means that risks are still present. The printer can even cause you burns if precautions are not observed. Aside from this, fumes are also created due to its processes; thus, a well-ventilated room is advised to avoid having your health at risk.
To have high-quality products, see to it that the print speed and print resolution is correct. Adjusting the settings as your desire and as deemed fit for the purposes that you intend to impose is essential and necessary if you want to have the best output.
File Format and Software
Making sure that you have the proper software to create the needed file format for the 3D printer to generate the output is just as important as having the printer itself. Without the intended file format, the printer cannot process the desired output.
3D printers are slowly sweeping off the market, and with this, it is essential to be aware of the best option when trying to buy one.