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What to consider when buying a FDM 3D printer ?

Date:2018-07-24 Hits:

1. Assembled 3D printer or DIY 3D printer?

If you prefer to get started right away and skip the assembly, go with a assembled 3D printer model, which is ready to work right out of the box. Making a 3D printer entirely from scratch, may be quite a challenge. Luckily, you can find a great abundance of 3D printer DIY kits for your creative pleasure.



2. Expensive 3D printer or a cheap 3D printer?

As with most purchases, price is a major consideration when choosing a 3D printer. In most cases, price is direct indication of the quality of the output. These days, you can easily find an assembled 3D printer for USD$300 or less — which is suitable for most types of home projects. If you are looking for a more professional 3D printer with a larger printing bed and working with higher temperatures, you can expect to pay around USD$1000 with top-grade models costing upwards of USD$2000.


3. 3D printing quality

Printing quality is often measured by two key characteristics: how detailed the final product is and printing speed. The level of detail a printer can achieve is measured in microns — the smaller the number, the better print quality it indicates. As for the speed, the faster the printer's extruder moves, the faster your object will be created.



4. 3D printing filaments

Check out what materials your printer is compatible with. While most 3D printers work with the two main type of filaments: PLA and ABS, some models support more options letting you use wood, metal and other materials.



5. Is your 3D printer safe?

When working with high temperatures, it's always important to make sure that your working environment and tools are safe. Some printers have specially made enclosures around the printing area, which can get extremely hot. Other models do not have this type of protection. If you are not very familiar with the printing process or the tool will be used by children, it is recommended to choose a printer that keeps the printing area enclosed.



6. How to work with a 3D printer?

Before starting to 3D print, you will need to spend some time learning about the printer's settings and the software required to print an object. Whichever model you choose, expect that you will need some time to get used to the printer and understand all the intricacies of the printing process. But once you do, the possibilities are remarkably endless.