7 things to think about before you buy a 3d printer
Nearly every day, we have a visitor who wants to buy a 3D printer. Whatever your application, here are 7 things you need to think about before buying a 3D Printer.
A 3D printer should in no way be an impulse purchase, it’s a tool that requires plenty of attention and care. So read on and get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions.
Can you do a long print without worrying about the 3D printer stopping halfway? What must you take note of? Is the extruder mechanism a workhorse?
2. Ease of use
From importing your design file to actually pressing print on the 3D printer, how do I do it? Is it an intuitive system? Can I explore and make changes to the settings easily?
3. Build platform
What sort of preparation must I do to the build platform before 3D printing? How do I ensure that the materials being extruded stick to the build platform and when the print is done, how do i remove it?
4. Slicing Software
Does it come with it’s own slicing software? What is the update schedule like? Can the software generate supports automatically? (Supports are sort of like scaffolds, they are necessary to 3D print more complicated designs.)
How long is the manufacturer’s warranty? What happens after that? What does the warranty cover and what doesn’t it cover?
6. Materials capability
So does your 3D Printer require 1.75mm filaments or 3mm filaments?
Does your 3D printer need any special modifications to take other specialty filaments such as Ninjaflex or any other flexible 3D printing materials?
Look for what has been tried and tested, see some test prints. This may not seem so important now, but when you get bored of the norm, this becomes necessary.
7. Test prints
Can I see some test prints from the 3D printer? Can I see a whole print process till the start of printing? What are the retraction settings and capabilities of this 3D printer. How have they been tested? One of my favourite test prints for clients is the Voronoi Torso. With this print, you get to see the movements, speed of printing and retraction - all at the same time. Of course, you don’t have to complete the print, just go about 10-20 minutes in.
3D Printers are available in the 3D Printing Materials Store at www.3dprms.com.