Thinking of buying a 3D printer? If so, then you are at the right place! Whatever you plan on doing with your 3D printer, it all starts with you purchasing it. If you have already visited a dealer or are looking up your options, it will be quite clear by now that it is not a walk in the park.
There are various factors that need to be considered before buying a 3D printer. From pinpointing your exact application to formulating your budget, you have got to list down a few things before you can start thinking about what to buy.
It all starts with thorough research of what your market has to offer and what each product features. You need to know what is available and what is not because this little effort will leave you with those limited options you can actually consider.
Then you need to list down your own needs and match them with your findings. Described below are a few things you need to get sorted before purchasing a 3D printer.
- Purpose: What your 3D printer will do affects your choice. You should consider a more robust one if you are running a 3D printer farm and would be using it around the clock. On the contrary, a lower quality one would suffice for educational purposes as they are not used as frequently and neither do they need to print accurately.
- Frequency of Usage: This is an important factor. You should always go for the more reliable, expensive option if you intend to print a lot from your machine. The extra money goes towards making them hardier and wear-resistant. The carriages, bed, motors are all high quality, which is exactly what you need.
- Material: Each 3D printer technology is suitable for a certain class of materials. Hence, knowing what material you will be printing narrows down your options to a convenient figure.
- Precision & Accuracy: This is one of the most important factors to be considered. Some technologies are capable of producing remarkably smooth prints while others are a bit crude. SLS, for example, is capable of producing realistic prints while FDM prints are always a little rough, with the individual layers visible. Your choice should depend on what quality are you satisfied with.
- Printer Speed: Speed is something you must know about before entering a store. If your 3D printer is going to handle commercial orders on a regular basis, you should consider a quicker one. On the other hand, if you intend on keeping it in your garage for DIY stuff, a slower one would suffice. It is to be noted, however, that speed is often negatively associated with precision. If your printing speed is too fast, it will definitely affect your final print quality. So make sure you do the math before making a decision.
So that is it. These are the main things you need to keep in mind while deciding which 3D printer to buy. Thanks to the competition in this industry, you have the freedom to choose from a wide variety of brands and technologies, and lack of choice surely is not something that will frustrate your purchase.