3D printers have gotten increasingly popular in the last decade. With better accessibility and greater availability, the industry is also enjoying more widespread acceptance not only in the manufacturing and product design fields but also in education. While 3D printers still have a long way to go before becoming household devices, hobbyists and enthusiasts comprise a good portion of its market. If you are looking for a cheap 3D printer to serve as a good entry-level machine as you discover the fun and exciting world of 3D printing, here are some major tips to help you make the right decision:
- Learn about existing printing technologies. 3D printers use different printing technologies. Many home 3D printers employ what is known as fused deposition modelling or FDM, a process that is also sometimes referred to as fused filament fabrication or FFF and plastic jet printing or PJP. This method involves laying down layers upon layers of material, typically plastic until the object is complete. Other home printers use the process known as stereolithography or SLA, wherein a laser solidifies layers upon layers of photo-sensitive resin in order to form or shape a part.
- Know about the type of material the printer can process and its market availability. When shopping for a cheap 3D printer, you must also think about what kinds of consumables you will need a constant supply of. Consider the types of projects you will work on the most and the kind of material these projects call for and know whether or not they can be readily available to you.
- Learn about the bells and whistles of the printer you want to buy. A cheap 3D printer doesn’t have to mean low-quality. There are many good-value 3D printers on the market today that offers great build volume and print area, decent printing speed, and excellent layer resolution.