Factors to Consider Before Buying a 3D Printer: 6 Essential Tips to Guide You

3D Printing is Revolutionizing the World!

It has become imperative to consider certain factors that will enable you to make an informed decision before you acquire a 3D printer. That will allow you to print that desired object you have always wanted to do on your own. Or, you may have wanted to go into the 3D printing business; these factors we shall be discussing will help you make an effective decision in the future. 

 

Time: 

Set your expectations right with 3D printers. The time it takes a 3-dimensional printer to give you the final product is very crucial to consider. Many of the 3D printers consume a lot of time to print out the objects desired. So I think this is one of the drawbacks of 3D printing technology, although work is still ongoing to mitigate this disadvantage. It is important to note that 3D printing is not always 100 percent right to print the right objects. That is to say, if one gets the wrong dimensioning and goes ahead to print and later realizes he is doing the wrong thing, before realizing this error, a lot of time may have passed, thereby using time for some other stuff just for 3D printing. So, it is imperative to consider time as an essential factor in selecting your printer type bearing in mind that different printers have timing settings. Also, since the timing is not always precise, one needs to add extra time should anything go wrong in the printing process, so you don’t get hurt emotionally.

 

Printer Bed: 

This is also an essential factor to consider. The reason is that the printer bed's size invariably decides the size of the print object that will, at the end of the day, be printed by your printer. The size of the bed can equate to efficiency. This has to do with reducing the total time it takes to print an object because a more massive bed will enable you to print any object side-by-side to reduce the time it takes to complete the process. So, a more massive printer bed is better for a smaller printer one. There are different printer beds out there with about 180mm to about 200mm or more to choose from, giving you your expectations in real-time.

 

The Statistics of the Printer: For example, if the statistics of the printer indicates that it can print at the speed of 150mm/sec. It is essential to know if this includes the quality of the print object and the size of the object at that same speed. So speed, size, and quality are what to look out for on the statistics side when deciding on the type of printer to purchase. Now to get this information from the printer manufacturer may not be that easy so, one has to check the reviews from other users’ experiences to make an informed decision.

 

Software Choice:

3D design software and the slicer varies. Rather than design an object you want to print all by yourself, perhaps using the software tools in your computer, you can visit some sites like "thinkercad" to learn a few things. This software is excellent and can help you create your object in a very short time. So, you need to consider the type of printer that can print objects from different sites other than those recommended by the producer. Slicing software is another software factor to consider when thinking about the type of printer to purchase. Before you print something from a 3D printer, you start up with a model; the model is derived from design software called slicing and develops into layers, and then those layers get into what is termed g-code. Therefore, when buying a printer, ensure the choice you make is compatible with the various types of slicers out there to avoid being stocked with one that may not meet your expectations. Kindly note different slicers have different efficiency and different configurations. 

 

Location of Placement: 

 

The location of your printer is an essential factor to consider when you decide to buy. Most current 3D printers have provision for SD cards, Wi-Fi, or USB cable. Considering this factor is necessary because it determines where the printer placement. Here is why printer placement is essential in deciding your purchase. 

Another reason you need to consider placement location is the result of recent studies, which indicate that printers using almost any filament create microparticles that are very hazardous to health. Also, filaments (like ink to a regular printer) are obnoxious, and you will not want to inhale such harmful substances. Also, plastics as input material are always being melted in the course of printing your desired object. It is recommended that you place your printer within an enclosure with a carbon filter or a place with a right vent around. 

Note that 3D printing is temperature-sensitive (although this also depends on your filament type, which is also discussed). So you would want to place your printer in a stable temperature place to maximize the output. 

Please note it is not necessary to put your printer next to your computer. This is not important as such.

 

Filaments: 

As I noted earlier, filaments are like the ink used in conventional printers. Some of these filaments include ABS, PLA, PETG, TPU, Woodfil, etc. I have already dedicated a whole chapter to the detailed discussion about filaments. Check it out! These filaments have different qualities; for example, TPU is flexible; ABS can harden and become strong. Some of these filaments require a heated bed- the nozzle or extruder that melts these filaments places them down on a flat surface called the bed. If the bed gets heated and it doesn’t get cooled fast, so it allows the object to stick and cool there. This is suitable for some filaments like ABS. Some other filaments like PLA do not need a heated bed. Therefore knowing what kind of filament you desire to use and the type of bed compatible with that filament will help you a great deal to decide on the type of printer to acquire. PLA is recommended a great deal. It has advanced a great deal lately. Some filaments have a combination of qualities like a composite of PLA and ABS.

 

Post-processing: 

This involves filling, sanding, painting, and other things you do after printing your object. For prints with ABS filament, you could use acetone birth to help smoothen it. Smoothing the printed object allows you to do things like sanding and painting. There are lots of print finishing techniques. Understanding this helps you know what to do after the desired item has been 3D printed. 

 

For More Reading About 3D, Kindly Order the Book Beginners Manual to 3D Printing Technology 


Joseph Okechukwu

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