The Ultimate Guide To Buying an 3D Printer

Choosing your first 3D printer is tough.

But here’s the good news:

It turns out you can become a 3D printing PRO in just 6 chapters.

Here’s what one of our clients told us: how to select a 3D printer

“I’m so glad I found this guide. I used to rely on the Best 3D printers style guides, but I had no confidence these 3D printers were right for my projects. Now I fully understand the pros and cons of the chosen Ultimaker 2 and just built my third engine prototype. Thank you so much!”

We hope you’ll get a similar result.

 

Chapter 1. Where to start?
You should start by determining what projects you want to complete with your 3D printer. Of course, it is enticing to choose a device that offers as many functions and possibilities as possible. However, such machines don’t come cheap.

And that’s why you shouldn’t be dismissive when it comes to narrowing down your choices to specific printers, preferable for solving your tasks.

Here’s a useful analogy:

In my youth days, I wanted a computer that would have the most powerful CPU, the best graphics card, the maximum number of memory slots, plenty of PCI ports for all possible peripherals, and other advanced computer stuff.

But what in reality?

The real-life experience taught me that having sufficient configuration capable of running office software and a handful of video games is pretty much enough to make me happy. And this costs much less than a top-notch configuration.

Same thing with 3D printers. You may dream of the largest print area possible. But in fact, a build volume up to 300 x 300 x 300 mm is more than enough to solve the majority of 3D printing tasks. For example, the following Iron Man suit was created using Creality Ender 3 which has a maximum build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 mm.

Printing models in parts and then assembling them together can take you far in 3D printing. Physicist Sterling Backus used the same approach to build a Lamborghini.

The same goes for a dual-extruder 3D printers. Surely, printing with multiple filaments offers great opportunities, but printing with two materials at once is generally very slow and adds extra cost. If you’re not planning to 3D print complex expensive objects on a regular basis, it may not be reasonable to buy one.

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