There are hundreds of different makes and models of 3D printers available in the market. Definitely one may get confused before buying one. Before going to buy a 3D printer one must identify the following few things so that they can narrow down the product range that suits there purpose the most.1. What’s the purpose you want to use it for?
Yeah as obvious as it is one would like to print 3D parts from it, but whether the usage is professional, educational or personal makes a lot of difference in the product you may end up spending your money for.
Professional usage may means a better print finish, ability to print with different materials with lesser down time while switching from one material to another etc. Such professional may include architects, engineers, artists, sculptors, product designers and several others. Industries which generally opt for such categories of printers medical, robotics, biomedical, manufacturing, architecture, aerospace, research and many others.
Educational usage mostly intend to make students aware of this divine technology, making them understand the mechatronics behind the machine and introducing them to the limitless opportunities and joy 3D printing brings in. The print finish may not be the matter of utmost concern but definitely the 3D printed part should be presentable. Again they may or may not need to print with different materials.
DIYers, enthusiasts, school and graduation students belong to the category of personal usage. People here may be newbies to 3D printing or may have a varying experience and knowledge with this technology. Those who already have some know how of 3D printing can easily figure out their needs and can invest accordingly in the machine. But, the beginners may start this vast journey with a DIY desktop printer whose part replacements are easily available. Now let’s talk about the print materials in slight details.2. What mechanical properties of print you expect?
The mechanical properties depends on the filament material. Filament is the thermo setting plastic which melts and get deposited layer by layer and forms the 3D printed part eventually. There are several types of filaments available like PLA, ABS, nylon, filaments with metal infill etc. and have different characteristics which are inherited by the prints.
Most commonly used one are PLA and then ABS. PLA filament is available in different thickness, diameter, make and melts in range of 180-220 degree Celsius. PLA prints does not require a heat bed and can be printed directly onto a glass plate by simply applying some glue from glue stick.
ABS is most widely used plastic. Most of our daily usage plastic products are made from this plastic. ABS itself comes in huge variety. ABS is more tougher than PLA and has a higher melting point.3. How much you are willing to spend on it?
The amount may vary for different kinds of usage. If you are a newbie and just want to explore the 3D printing you may like to start with DIY 3D printing kits or to save yourself from this little trouble of assembling the parts into a 3D printer you may like to start with Assembled 3D printers. If you wish to print larger parts at one go, you may be interested in large size 3D printers. If your purpose of printing 3D is educational and target audience is small kids you may prefer enclosed space printers but if the kids are smart enough not to touch the printer in operation large size printers are good to go. The same is the case when you look for professional prints and prints from different materials enclosed space printers are the best way to proceed with.