How to Choose 3D Printer
- 3D printer choosing tips
Market research and customer's feedback collection of 3D printer is important when traders choose a 3D printer; Direct user should consider the actual needs and technical details.
Are you planning to buy 3D printer?
Providing endless possibilities and flexibility, 3D printer is becoming an important part of business task (aerospace, automotive, dental, etc) and daily life to create three-dimensional objects.
3D printing is developing from unpopular and mysterious to popular. And there are many 3D printers manufactures and products to be picked up.
It is important to choose a right 3D printer for yourself or your customers.
There are many elements to be considered in choosing a 3D printer. We list some tips in this article, hoping to give help to traders as well as direct users.
3D Printer choosing related image are included in the photo.
- Section : tips
- Key Word : How to choose 3D printer
- Author : Jasper
- Industry : 3D Printer
How Should Traders to Choose 3D Printer
Customers' request should be first considered when traders buy 3D printers.
The following factors should be included in traders' market research.
Trader should provides different level (budget) 3D printers to cater to the spending capacity of each customer.
So the selection should not be limited within a narrow price category.
3D printers with different price leads to more customers to a trader.
The resolution quality is very important to some customers(such as Engineering industry), but others don't care(such as kids or 3D-printer amateur).
Traders should talk with each customer to know their needs before choosing a 3D machine. Providing 3D machine with different printing ability make your customers happy.
Such as you may suggest the most appropriate technology or style according to their needs.
Feedback from Customer
Talk with your 3D printer customers is very helpful to know which kind of 3D printer to buy next time. This is also can be seen as a part of customer service, which satisfied your customer. It is a good chance to bring you more business after the customer pleased with you and your company.
Find a Reliable Supplier
Traders can buy 3D Printer from e-commerce website or factory directly. The best option is buying 3D printer from manufacturers' factory directly. You can get the direct customer service and the best price, which is very important for a trader or wholesaler.
You will get good or even better customer service after several buying from the factory.
How Direct Users to Choose 3D Printer
Personal requirements, purpose, build volume, style, size, price, accuracy and technology details are important when direct user choose a 3D printer.
The Purpose of buying the printer decides which kind of 3D printer you should buy. This is an important factor when you make a choice.
A cheap 3D printer is enough if you are a beginner to buy a 3D printer just for experience or educational purpose. This product is good for kids, students or a beginners.
Professional 3D printer is suggested when it will be used for business purpose, which need print accurately and efficiency. This higher level 3D printer will be used by designers or engineers.
There are further classification after you decide to have a professional 3D printer.
You need quite different printer when you want to print outdoor objects, artwork, tools, or industrial components. You need to communicate deeply with suppliers or sales.
You can only buy a low quality one or second-hand 3D printer if use it occasionally or just for experience.
A more reliable and professional 3D machine should be bought if you often use it or even use it around the clock.
You should buy a low price machine if this is your first 3D printer. The first machine help you to gain experience and skill.
A higher level 3D printer is good for you if you are familiar with the technology and skill of the 3D printing.
Most amateur 3D printer is in a small size.
A bigger sized machine is suggested if you need a professional printer. Don't let the printer size limit your working.
oh, yes, you should also consider the space leave for the 3D printer, which is also important in how to choose 3D printer.
Most 3D printers connect computer with a USD connection. 3D Printers provide their own 3D printing software (for Slicing), which can open STL file. You should connect the printer software with your computer operating system, which you use to creat 3D printer files.
Some 3D printer use wireless (wifi) connection to communicate with computer or even a mobile phone.
3D printer style
It is necessary to know the style of present 3D printer before choosing a favorite product.
FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printer melt the filament and then extrude hot materials through a print head (extruder, hotend) to create a 3D object.
The print head move along the X, Y and Z-axes to make the modeling in high accurate.
The surface of this print is not very good. But this is a good product to know how 3D-printer works. Most people buy this kind of machine as their first 3D printer.
Stereolithography printers(SLA) use the technology named photo-solidification to form layers, which works pretty precise. This kind of 3D-printer is good at high quality printing with a smooth surface.
Digital Light Processing (DLP) use vat polymerization technology to form each layer. The object printed by this machine show you a smooth surface and beautiful outside.
Selective Laser Sintering printers (SLS) create an object via laser and material powder. The powder in a vat solidifies as the laser focusing on this point. This kind of 3D printer is good at making a complicated industrial components.
The price of a 3D printer ranges from 100USD to thousands of dollars.
It is not a good idea to choose a cheap 3D printer just based on your budget. Your request of printing ability and quality should be considered with price.
But if you only want to know how a 3D printers works, then please buy the cheapest one or even a second-hand.
When you decide to buy a 3D printer last, please make clear what included in the price.
Enclosed or non-enclosed
3D printers are either enclosed or non-enclosed. The enclosed one offers a covered space with a stable (usually very high) temperature for better printing. This covers makes the noise in a low level. At same time, this covers makes the printing safe.
It is boring for a hobbyist to have a enclosed machine; the process of printing was covered, so they prefer a non-enclosed one. Do keep you finger away from the print head.
Most 3D printers use plastic or metal as frame material.
Buy a plastic frame one is a good idea if you only want to get the experience and don't want to spend much money on it.
3D printer with metal frame is in a professional level, which can complete heavy taste and make the whole machine last long.
Filament is fed into 3D printer in solid, then heated to a melting point for extrusion through a small nozzle on print head. Filament is an important factor to be considered when you decided how to choose your 3D printer.
Normal filament covers:
Polylactic acid is a kind of vegetable or corn based biodegradable plastic, easy to print with a standard configuration.
PLA will be flexible after heating, and revert back to be solid after cooled down. Being the most commonly used material in 3D printing, it is preferred by students and hobbyists partly because of its color possibilities and low cost.
PLA is also used by mid-level or high level user, such as using it for prototyping or tooling. But it is not a good idea to use PLA for outdoor needs.
ABS : ABS material (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a notoriously sturdy plastic, which is flexible, strong and has a high temperature resistance. ABS is a kind of mid-level printing material. It is available to withstand high levels of heat, which make it a great option for outdoor printing needs.
PET-G : Being another filament for beginners, Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol(PET-G) is a kind of food-safe material. It shows similar characters of ABS, which make it one of the popular materials in 3D printing. PETG objects should be well finished in a food-grade epoxy before being used in food field.
Resin is mainly used for printing complicated and precise objects with rich texture. The smooth surface make it very popular in 3D printing. The products made in resin covers desktop gadgets and small medical products.
Nylon : Normal Nylon material is in white color, but it can be colored based on request. Nylon is often used in medical 3D printing.
TPU : The object painted by TPU is flexible and durable, which make it a great option for products with ability of flexible and last a long time.
PP: PP can withstand an unfavorable environment, and it is water-resistant materials
Wood : Wooden filament mix recycled wood and glue. The object printed provides wood smell and color.
HIPS : High Impact Polystyrene filament is a good at being a kind of support material.
PPGF30 : Filament contains glass giber.
PAHT CF15 : Filaments contains carbon fiber, which needs a special hot-end.
The common metal material covers aluminium alloys, stainless steels, tooling steels, copper alloys, titanium alloys and cobalt chrome.
Stainless Steel filament mixes hybrid of stainless steel with bronze to produce a kind of very hard object.
Almost all metal 3D printers are available to use metal powders. But is is suggest to read the manual from manufactures or communicate with the sales.
There are many other filament for 3D printing, such as PETG, PA, TPU, food, rubber, glow in the dark or some other exotic material, etc. And more filament for 3D printer will be available in the future.
Some 3D printers can only work with their own filament, such as some printer produced by Japan. You have to buy filament from the manufacture. This severely restrict the usage of the printer and leads to more expense. Avoid to buy this kind of machine.
This request the 3D printer can work with various material or even recognize material automatically and use the appropriate program.
Consumer 3D printer use either 1.75-millimeter filaments or 3-millimeter filaments.
Normal consume level 3D printers works in a speed of 40mm/s to 150mm/s.
Being one of the important factor to affect how to choose 3D printer, the printing speed is affected by the resolution, complexity level and material type; the higher the resolution, the slower the speed.
If you are buying a 3D printer just for the printing experience, then a lower speed printer is enough. And the price of this kind of printer is not expensive.
A higher speed printer is suggested if you are using the 3D printer for commercial usage.
If a 3D printer offers several speed in one machine, the speed is often negatively associated with precision. When the printing speed getting hight, the print quality will be low.
Print Head (Extruder or Hotend)
Print head is very important for a 3D printer. It includes two sections: cold-end and hot-end.
Cold end is designed to pick up the filament from the spool and transfer it into the hot-end.
Hot-end carries a nozzle, a small hole to extrude the melted filament and deposits it to the print bed. The diameter of the nozzle on hot-end affect the printing speed, layer thickness and quality.
Small nozzle makes a 3D printer produce more detailed and smooth object; but the speed is low. It is available to change a print head when necessary, which make the printing more convenient.
The new generation of 3D printer is equipped with separated cold and hot end, which make the hot-end move faster.
The quality and configuration of the print head decides the printing speed, quality and compatibility.
Do consider the max working temperature of the hot-end; make sure the temperature of the printer is acceptable for you.
Conclusion of How to Choose 3D Printer
When you are trader to choose a 3D printer for customer, talk with them about what they need. When you choose a 3D printer as a direct user, ask yourself what you need.
After reading the article, i think you know how to choose 3D printer and got a satisfied 3D printer in mind.