Choosing a 3D printer requires good pre-preparation because the number of different models is so large that such diversity has a confusing effect, especially for beginners. In any case, when you are striving to make the best choice for a 3D printer, the first and mandatory condition is to be aware of what you really need. The next steps are to answer a few important questions before finally opting for a particular model. There they are.

What will be the size of the parts that will be printed with the 3D printer?

Choosing the size of the printer’s work area is narrow depending on exactly what you want to print. The general rule is that the larger the print area, the higher the price of the 3D printer itself, so you will need to find a balance between the desire to create large-scale objects and the price you will need to pay to buy a printer.

Do you already have a good experience working on a 3D printer?

The choice of 3D printer largely depends on whether you have previously worked with 3D technologies and how you deal with settings and software. There are models that are as easy to use as possible, as well as ones that require certain specific knowledge and skills.

What 3D printing material will you use?

The most popular thermoplastic materials for FDM, i.e. a printout with a deposition, are ABS and PLA. Many printers also support working with other materials, depending on their melting point and other specific physical properties. In fact, the range is much wider. You can also print clay products, as well as foods including sugar or chocolate. Another issue is that this will require already specialized 3D printers since a printer cannot support working with all materials.

Choose the right printing technology

Not all 3D printers use the same printing technology.

FDM

FDM is the simplest and most common printing technology. In it, the printer usually prints the object in successive layers by extruding a continuous piece of printing (e.g. PETG, PLA, SBS, ABS incandescent) through a heated nozzle. With FDM, the print starts from below and goes up.

SLA

SLA uses a special liquid plastic seal called photopolymer resin. Typically, the UV laser hardens layer by layer of printed materials to create a part. SLA-based 3D models have incredibly high resolution.

SLS

SLS uses a laser to melt and melt powdered raw materials such as silicates, polystyrene or even metal to print an object. The print can be very accurate. As a result, it is a great choice for industrial design and manufacturing. For what purposes do you need the 3D printer and who will work with it? The answer will determine the choice of the specific characteristics of the printer. It’s about quality, speed, printing technology, supporting materials and so on

What budget have you set for buying a 3D printer?

The price of 3D printers varies in a fairly wide price range, which is why, before proceeding with the choice, it is good to have determined in advance how much you are willing to spend on the purchase.

The truth is that only practice can certainly show you which 3D printer is the best solution for you and why. But if you’re going to be serious about 3D printing, in any case, you won’t limit yourself to just one model over time. So, even if for some reason you fail to hit the right model, there will be plenty of time to correct your mistake. It is more important to take the first step. Then the experience will already say its word and you will start to cope perfectly with the choice of a specific device, according to the goals set.

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