3D printing, due to its marvellous potential, has bagged enormous recognition from everybody. People in industries as well as homes are employing 3D printers for actively manufacturing their desired products. This has led to a greater demand and purchase of 3D printers over the time. However, it is vital to consider a few things beforehand, if you’re willing to buy a 3D printer.
The buyers of 3D printers mainly fall into two categories, namely tinkerers and designers. Tinkerers are the people who want to build mechanical hardware from scratch using 3D printers. Building of a machine is primarily what these people enjoy.
On the other hand, designers like to build almost everything imaginable by means of 3D printers. Thus, if you fall into the former category, kits and low-cost printers are viable options for you. Otherwise, pre-assembled 3D printers are any day better for designers like you.
It is easy to ascertain your budget after deciding the type of printer. Typically,pre-assembled printers are costlier than kit-based printers, which in turn are costlier than self-sourced printers. Nonetheless, you can get good pre-assembled printers for $1500- $2000 these days.
3. Print consistency
Print consistency is one of the hugest contributing factors. It is imperative to check the flatness and levelness of the build platform. In addition, it is recommended to observe the X-Y resolution.
Printers that have direct or lead screwdrive system have more accurate resolution than the ones having belt or pulley drive system.
It is important to understand the difference between the part speed and the build speed. What is actually most important is the part speed and not the build speed that printers advertise these days.
It is always advisable to know the size of the parts that you will print. Those willing to print small parts can go for small-budget printers. While, it can get a little tricky for those willing to obtain large parts.
Often, large parts can be worked out by utilizing a small-budget printer by sanctioning the parts into minor parts and then bonding them together.
6. Accuracy and tolerances
Knowing your requirement of specific tolerances and accuracy with respect to 3D printed parts is worth considering. A major part of this actually depends upon the chosen material along with the size and geometry of the parts.
7. Build volume
Huge build volume allows you to print large parts without having to digitally slice the model. Furthermore, you will be able to print numerous distinct parts simultaneously.
This is probably one of the most overlooked factors. It is important to have a team that can solve your queries, once the printer is in the field.
High-end 3D printers may demand that extra needed repair cost if not maintained properly. So, it is crucial to know what is included in your maintenance contract upfront.
An affordable 3D printer backed by decent specifications and functionality is the need of the hour. However, do crosscheck against the above-mentioned points to strike the right deal.