3D printing is a lot more complicated than it looks, especially if you are new to using this technology. Before you buy the best 3D printers in the UK, you should first decide if you really need one, or if it’s better to go to a 3D printing service provider. The following information should help you decide:
Three Major Types of 3D Printers
- Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) - This is the most popular type of 3D printer because it is catered mostly to hobbyists. Compared to the other two, FDM printing is a fairly simple process and uses basic materials. A model is created layer by layer as the plastic filament is heated and extruded.
- Stereolithography - This type of printer is more expensive than FDM because it uses ultraviolet light beams and photosensitive liquid to create a 3D model. It is more suitable for intricate patterns and prototypes.
- Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) - Metal objects and prototypes are created using an SLS 3D printer. Unlike the second type, this printer utilises lasers and powders when printing layer by layer.
Common Materials for FDM Printers
- Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) - This filament has a low melting point, which can both be an advantage and disadvantage. Since it cools quickly, warping won't be a problem during the printing process. However, there is a possibility for the objects to deform when exposed to high heat.
- Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) – This material is more flexible than PLA, which is why it is often chosen for more advanced 3D printing. Unlike PLA, this material takes time to cool.
Suppliers of 3D printers
You can either buy the best 3D printers in the UK directly from the manufacturer or from a reseller. Most people will choose to buy from a local reseller because they are more reachable. Some of the retailers even provide training and backup support to their customers to ensure that they can utilise and maximise their printers potential.