If you’re looking into starting your own business, or looking to do a lot of home improvement, you might be considering 3D printing as a way to make the parts you need. Some consumer 3D printers can make objects up to 8 cubic inches, which means there are a ton of different parts and products you can make. There is even a growing online community where you can get designs for everyday (and not-so-everyday) objects. Chances are if you’re just starting out, you don’t want to spend a ton of money on a 3D printer. Here is what you should look for, then, in an affordable 3D printer.
Things to Consider Before Buying An Affordable 3D Printer
There is a broad range of features out there. Each 3D printer will be similar in function, but will come with different options for you to choose from. It is these features that, for the most part, determine the cost of the printer. For example, some will come with dual extruders, which means they can print in two separate colors at the same time. These are (usually) more expensive.
The amount of features included with today’s 3D printers is growing every day. Some printers now even come with SD card slots, so you don’t have to hook your computer up to the printer. This is a great feature for those of you who don’t have a ton of space in your home office.
You should be sure that the affordable 3D printer you are buying has everything you need to create what you want. Not all printers are created equal. For example, some printers can only print in one form of material, while others accept many forms of material. Usually, though not all the time, the more features you have, the more the printer will cost.
How Much Does It Cost
Obviously, when looking for an Affordable 3D printer, cost is very important. Come up with a budget and stick with it. You should know going in that most consumer 3D printers range from $1100-$3000. It isn’t always the case that the more you pay, the more you get. So do your homework on the features.
What is the Printer’s Build Size
Chances are if you are considering a 3D printer, you have some idea of what you want to print. If that’s the case, you want to get a printer that will allow you to print your object. Most printers print objects up to 5 cubic inches. Some, like the MakerBot Replicator 2, can print up to almost 8 cubic inches.
Is The Printer Supported
There are printers out there that are supported, and there are those that are not. If you are an amateur, then you want to get a printer that has as much support as possible. Most of the support you get will come from the community surrounding the printer, so be prepared for a lot of do-it-yourself work.
Even with the advancements over the last couple of years, printing a 3D object requires knowledge of 3D design software, printer repair and upgrades, and more. If you do decide to buy a 3D printer, be prepared to learn a lot, and to not know exactly what you’re doing at first. Look for help online, and ask a lot of questions, and you’ll be fine. Remember that an affordable 3D printer is more likely than not going to come unassembled. This means work before you even get to print your first object. We don’t tell you this to put you off, we tell you it so you’ll be prepared when looking for an affordable 3D Printer.