The Future Is Here!: 8 Things To Know Before Buying A 3D Printer For Your Home
The average cost of a desktop 3D printer is lower than $1,200 which is absolutely insane if you think of it as the same cost as the latest iPhone.
The industry has grown and developed at a tremendous pace leading to lower costs for regular consumers and the ability to create incredible pieces right from your own home.
But buying a 3D printer can be difficult at first if you’re new to the technology. That’s why this list covers everything you need to know from what you will be able to do to the different type of models available.
1. Buying a 3D Printer: Think About What You Want
Because of the cost of having a 3D printer, it’s first worth considering what you actually want to do with it.
If you’re just interested in it for the novelty or printing a few things every now and then, you’ll be better off going to a 3D print shop either in person or online. It’s not only cheaper, but you’ll get professional help to get the results you really want.
But if you intend to make your own products to sell online or want to use it for a variety of useful hacks to make your life easier then it’s worth considering.
If you can afford the upfront costs, it will save you money in the long run.
2. You Can Really Print (Almost) Anything
As life goes on there are always moments when you find yourself needing something that you don’t have but a trip to the store just isn’t worth the effort.
Pencil holders, coasters, phone cases, bottle openers, tools, the list goes on. With a 3D printer, you can not only print exactly what you want at the size you want it, but you can also have fun and customize it.
It also gives you an infinite number of possibilities for any birthdays or celebrations that require giving a gift. You’ll be able to personalize each item making each gift one of a kind.
If you’re interested in choosing the right 3D printer, you have the choice between two affordable 3D printing technologies.
3. FDM: Fused Deposition Modeling
After creating or downloading the 3D blueprints and customizing what you want, this printer will begin by heating your selected thermoplastic. From there, it is deposited out of a nozzle which follows the coordinates given by the blueprints and builds the model layer by layer.
Once it is cooled, you have an awesome personalized model.
At anywhere from $500 to $2,000, these 3D printers can work with quite a few different materials and are the cost-effective choice for many businesses and organizations. Try prototyping your own models or create materials to use at work or a school.
4. SLA: Stereolithography
These models are more expensive at a cost of $3000 to $10000 but with it comes features that outshine the FDM models.
It’s well suited for those looking for polished, clean surfaces and fine detailing. Whether making jewelry or ornate handles and covers, this method gives a whole different level of precision.
The nifty technology requires a container of liquid resin which is photosensitive to UV light and hardens when exposed to it. The printer fires a laser beam in the pattern you’ve chosen causing the model to begin to take shape. This is repeated layer by layer until the final product is completed.
Afterwards, anything printed requires a wash with a solvent and sometimes a final heating within a UV oven to fully complete the process.
5. Start a Business of the Future
You may or may not have heard of ZOZO, a Japanese clothing company that gives you a bodysuit that you link to an app to create a 3D model of your body. From there they send you clothes made perfectly adapted to your measurements.
This is the future.
Products which are fully customized, personalized and tailored to the individual. If you buy a 3D printer, all you have to do is create a unique product that others can personalize and sell the prints.
Or you can start a business that offers design and production services for those without a printer. The market is so new that you could quickly become a market leader within your local area and provide a service that no one else can.
6. Use a 3D Printer for Education
Computer and smartphone screens are not even a century old. In the past, humans of any age have always with physical objects and through experience.
3D printing gives you the opportunity to provide models and exercises that children would normally only be able to read about in textbooks.
Try printing out models of organs for a science class or 3D models of mountain ranges for a geography class. You can even encourage more able children to make their own blueprints to learn about x,y, and z coordinates.
7. Save on Shipping
No matter how much you pay or how quick a company can claim they can ship something to you, it will never compete with a 2-6 hour 3D print process.
Any time you want or need something you’ll be able to have it which is a pretty powerful idea.
For example, some friends come to visit and you realize their child can’t reach the toilet or you that you don’t have any plastic plates and cutlery. Within a few hours, you can have a whole child-friendly set ready before dinner.
8. It’s Good for the Environment
Sure, your plastics won’t be biodegradable and the process may release some harmful vapors to the atmosphere.
But consider the amount of fuel, time, and energy it takes to print, package, and ship an item to you. 3D printing saves on all of that making it a relatively superior way to acquire products.
There are even techniques which allow you to recycle any excess plastic that you end up not using or from items that went wrong for some reason
Ultimately, buying a 3D printer should be a very easy choice.
If you have the money and can already think of a ton of things you would love to have fun printing and using then you should definitely go for it.
Be sure to check out our other tech articles for all the latest news and advice.