Questions to ask before buying a 3D printer

3D printers are not commonly found in all homes. They have specifications in their applications. It is of good use to professionals, industrial persons, engineers, etc. Also, the cost of the 3D printers is very high. This is mainly due to the technology and components used.

Recently a patient underwent brain surgery wherein the doctors used 3D printed membrane called ReDura. The surgery was a great success. It happened in China at the Peking University Third Hospital. Such are the applications of 3D printer.

Therefore, a person should decide on his necessity with 3D printing. A 2D printer will fulfil the domestic needs. However, 3D printers are of great help to students who are interested in building science projects. So the question comes, Are 3D printer required? If No, why? If Yes, what should be done?

The following questions help to make the right decision to buy 3D printer

What is the size of the prints required?

When it comes to 3D printer 6*6*6 inches is the popular and standard option. However, there are other printers that create prototypes smaller than this and larger than this.

What is the budget?

A good quality professional 3D printer costs between $1000 and $2000. To find printers less than $1000 one has to make certain compensations. For instance, the printer bed has to be manually calibrated. The filament may not be capable to work on different materials. Weigh if the compensation is worth the money. Make the decision after fixing the applications for which the printer is bought.

What is the experience of the user?

  • Is this the first time for the user to use a printer?
  • Can a mechanical or electrical expertise help in installing the printer?
  • Is the user patient enough to learn about the technicalities? Or if he prefers to go more for an appliance – like?

What materials are needed to print?

Beginners always start 3D printing with PLA – Poly Lactic Acid. However, not every prototype can be made with this material. For different prototyping different materials have to be used. The other materials include ABS, PETG, etc.

What are the filament requirements?

Filaments are the components that actually create the protype. Some filaments move in all 3 axes. There are certain filaments that are incapable of working on certain materials. There are more than 16 filaments in the market. Every filament has its own pros and cons. Be application specific while choosing the filter

What is the warranty?

Some companies do not provide warranty to all the components in the commercial 3Dprinter. Since filament and the controller board are the major components, warranty is mostly provided only to these 2 parts.

Apart from this, some companies provide warranty to the components associated with the major parts. For instance, 3 stepper motors are used to move the filament in all 3 axes. Hence, some companies provide warranty to these motors as well. They do not provide warranty to other motors like the stepper motor used by the printer platform to calibrate.

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