Save loads of time searching for a 3D printer with these tips alone.
- Know what you want to print:
- Identify your ideal 3D printer style:
- Look for safety features:
- Look for high-quality features:
- Don’t forget resolution:
- Find a brand with good support:
What do I want to print?
- Household objects – These are objects you can expect to find inside your house or in an office. These items aren’t expected to endure much light or moisture exposure. Your best option here is to use an FDM printer with Polylactic Acid (PLA), Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), or Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG) for filament.
- Outdoor objects – These items need to withstand the forces of nature. If you’re going for an outdoor print, like lawn decorations or plant pots, you want to use something like ABS which won’t break down in the sun as easily as PLA or PETG.
- Artwork – While it is possible to make some beautiful artwork with an FDM printer, your best best is to consider investing in a resin printer—these are designed with detail and intricacy in mind.
- Tools – When it comes to printing tools, it really depends on where the application is. With enough infill, ABS prints on an FDM printer can be really substantial. But if you need something in a professional setting, an FDM printer might not cut it.
- Professional products – Manufacturers often take advantage of 3D printing to create original components. You can find 3D-printed objects in a wide variety of industries—from automotive and aerospace to dentistry. It’s more common to find resin printers in a professional setting.
What features should I look for?
- Safety Features – You can never be too safe when it comes to working with hot electrical equipment. Keep an eye out for safety features that will help your 3D printing experience—this includes things like automatic nozzle cooling when a print is complete. If the printer has a heated bed, look for a feature that automatically shuts it off when a print job ends..
- Print Resume Functions – There’s nothing worse than ruining a beautiful print halfway through its completion. Print resume features make sure that your creations aren’t interrupted when unexpected pauses occur.
- Quality User Interface – A quality interface can take your 3D printing experience from extraordinary to mind-blowing. Don’t waste time trying to navigate a menu with a rotary knob when you could be using a touchscreen interface.
- Heated Bed – Once you’ve tried a heated bed, you really can’t go back. The first few layers of your prints are critical to the foundation of your final object. A heated bed ensures this foundation is well-formed, solid, and sticking in place.
- Axis Adjust ability – Fine-tuning your printer often involves tightening or loosening the tension on one of the 3 main axes. Look for a 3D printer with easy access to belt tension adjustment.