There are different types of 3D printers with varying specifications available in the market. Furthermore, there are different technicalities about 3D printers that you should really look into.
Do you want to buy a 3D printer? There are a few important things you should consider and know before buying a 3D printer such as technology, price, and quality, etc. This guide will completely guide you about 10 things you need to know before buying a 3D printer.
Types of 3D printers
There are different types of 3d printer models that utilize amazing technologies to produce different physical materials. 3D printers cost vary from one type to another. If you have a little bit of interest in 3D printing, you most probably have listened about Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM).
- Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
FDM utilizes a process in which heating and extruding plastic are used to create a model. The vast majority of printers work on FDM because these are widely available and extremely easy to use.
Moreover, 3D printing is available in two other types: Stereolithography and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS).
The process of Stereolithography has a striking resemblance with FDM but instead of extruding plastic, an ultraviolet light beam is used to harden a model from a pool of photosensitive liquid. This provides the best quality printout.
- Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
It is another type of printing that is quite similar to stereolithography. Instead of UV and liquid, it utilizes lasers and powders. A laser melts the powder and creates a layer of the printed material. The main difference between SLS and the other two is that it allows us to print metal objects but the rest of the types don’t allow such functionality.
Build Your Own or Buy One
You have both options either you buy or build your own printer. Many people really like to build on their own because of 3D printer kits and their assembling information available online.
If you build your own, it will less costly. Otherwise, if you don’t have enough time, you can buy pre-assembled best cheap 3d printer from the market. So you will have to decide that either you want to keep yourself update with the latest technologies or just start printing immediately.
Price is one of the most important factors before making a purchase. 3D printer price varies on the quality of the output. In general, you can purchase the best quality output professional printers at different prices ranges from $1000 to $2000. If you are new and getting started with 3D printing, you can buy a cheap 3d printer UK even less than $100.
These low price printers also provide the best quality printing. As the competition is rising, the price is getting lower and quality is improving. You can achieve your desired target even with different low price printer.
Materials used to print
There are two materials required for 3D printing that are Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). These are thermoplastics and become soft and malleable when heated and become frozen when cooled. 3D printer filament price can be in a $30 range.
You will have to deal with different safety issues while working on 3D printing.
- Playing with Heat
The most important thing is that you are playing with heated plastic. Plastics, extruders, and sometimes print bed itself become too hot and can burn if you are not careful. It most probably happens when the print area has no enclosure around it.
- Beware of Fumes
It is another important thing that you must remember that your printer should be in a well-ventilated room. Fumes are emitted during the printing process when you use ABS plastics particularly. Although different researches show that there are no harmful effects of these fumes, still you should be careful if you use 3D printers a lot.
There are two most important points to obtain the best quality products that are print resolution and print speed.
Print resolution is measured in microns and resolution is the level of details the printer can get during large format printing. If the microns are smaller, printing quality and level of details in the object will be high.
Print speed refers to the extruder movement. It means, how fast extruders move in the printer. If the speed of extruder is higher, the printing speed will be higher. However, there are some other factors that can decrease the speed of printer such as acceleration and deceleration which help printer to prevent from shaking.
You should also search for the pictures online to verify the output of the printers.
Obtaining a 3D Model
Before purchasing any printer, you should download a pre-made model blueprint from the internet or create a model yourself. We recommend you to create a model yourself. If you want to create a model, you can utilize different software available on the internet both free and commercial to bring your creation into the real world.
If you want to learn 3D modeling, it will take time obviously. Fortunately, there are different platforms that provide different models free of cost and thanks to those enthusiastic model maker.
STL stands for stereolithography. It is the standard file format that is used to print a 3D model physically. There are different CAD programs to create 3D models. You can utilize theses CAD software to create your own desirous model. The STL files contain all printing information. The model contains different types of XYZ coordinates in the form of different triangles series which are utilized by the printer to print the model layer by layer.
After obtaining an STL file of the model, you will have to slice it by using slicing software. Slicing tells the printer how to print the model by providing a set of instructions and numbering layers with starting and ending positions. It also tells the printer that the object should be solid or hollow. There are different third party software available for this purpose. However, some companies provide necessary software alongside the printer.
There is a devoted online community to help you at every stage. If you have any issues regarding 3D printing, you can take help from the online community 24/7. Before you buy any 3D printer, you should check it online. You will find several reviews and feedback about that printer by the online community. You will have a clear idea about that product that your investment in a specific brand is worthy or not.