Essentials to know before buying a 3D printer
Be it your school, office, home or any other workplace, printers are an essential part of any workstation. A lot of thought and research goes into choosing just the right printer for yourself. And with the advent of 3D printers, these mind-boggling machines have managed to redefine the very concept of printing in today’s world.
It has become so easy to build things with the help of a printer. If you are a technology buff and have taken up to 3D printing, it only makes sense to invest in one of these manufacturing tools.
So, are you thinking of getting your hands on a 3D printer? Well, then read on as we give you a detailed account of what you need to know while purchasing a 3D printer.
Best 3D Printer
After a lot of research and testing our team has come to the conclusion that Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro is the best 3D Printer available on the market. It has multiple features and the price is quite reasonable. If you are a beginner and want to purchase a 3D printer for fun Stuff then this is the best choice for you.
3D Printer Technologies
It is important to learn about the type of printer according to your needs. There are basically either desktop or industrial printers. If you are not into advanced 3D model printing, you do not need an expensive high-end model. Not only is it not according to your requirements, but is rather costly as well. You can go for FDM 3D printers or resin 3D printers.
FDM 3D Printers
Mostly used in schools or for small scale businesses, FDM printers are a popular option with regular consumers. You can use FDM 3D printing technology with a regular desktop. This printer uses a plastic filament to create models.
The filament is heated and squeezed through an outlet that deposits the melted plastic onto a surface mapped on X and Y coordinates. The layers develop through the nozzle into 3D towards the Z-axis. This is a quick and reliable method with which you can get sturdy and solid models printed into 3D form in a cost-effective way.
Resin 3D Printers
These printers are slightly advanced as they use high-end SLA technology. This makes them rather sophisticated and expensive comparatively. So you need to think well before making this investment.
This printer uses resin in liquid form treated by UV lasers to solidify and hold shape. As each layer of resin is treated with UV light, the platform of the printer descends gradually, allowing the next layer to be prepared, giving the resin its 3D shape.
You can get resulting objects with a smoother surface and a better finishing and finer detailing compared to FDM printers. You can invest in a resin printer if you want to use it to create jewelry or molds. If you are into designing ceramics or are an artisan or a cosmetic surgeon, this option is ideal for your needs.
SLS 3D Printers
These printers work just like resin printers. But, instead of using liquid resin to create objects, SLS printers use powdered matter that is treated by a laser to give it shape. With this printer, you can use glass and some metals too, apart from plastic. The resulting models printed will give you a greater finishing, hence, these are used in industries only.
If you want to make prototypes rapidly, a 3D printer is an excellent option. The setup procedures are quite simple. It is a cost-effective option as well. If you want to create models or individual parts that are customized, it does not cost much using a 3D printer. If you use a large-scale manufacturing machine, the setup cost will be excessive. Also, large machines require several steps and becomes extremely time-consuming.
3D printers allow you to manufacture objects with intricate shapes and designs. You simply need to feed the design into the software and the printer will manufacture it. You do not need to align or adjust anything manually once the design has been given to the computer. This allows you to create complicated shapes and even natural objects like human or animal body parts etc. So, you can use a 3D printer if you need it as an artisan or for medical purposes.
Suitable 3D Design Software
3D printers are called CNC machines as they are controlled by computers. Different CAD (Computer Aided Design) software are used which are used to create the desired design in a file. The file is uploaded and used to operate the printer. By using CAD, chances of human-errors are reduced as these printers are operated through computers. As a result, the objects have a greater finishing and a perfect shape and appearance.
Top CAD software available
Some of the software we have tried and reviewed as the best ones are as follows:
- Autodesk 123D
- Open SCAD
As these software are available free of cost, they are an excellent choice for beginners.