It is commonly believed that a person needs to spend an enormous amount of money to get their hands on a 3D printer. This was true a few years ago, when the 3D printing space was not as developed or advanced as it is today. However, as the 3D printing technologies progressed and became more accessible, the manufacturers were able to lower the cost of these remarkable machines significantly. There are plans in place to commercialize 3D printers across the world. In order to do that, manufacturers need to boost the production and popularity of budget 3D printers.
Budget 3D printers are literally changing the landscape of at-home 3D printing. In other words, the budget 3D printer is the secret sauce that is going to facilitate consumer 3D printing applications around the world. With budget 3D printers in the market, there is no need for anyone to make costly prototypes or order expensive components. There are plenty of free public domain 3D files on the internet that can be used in combination with inexpensive filament to 3D print projects without spending too much of your hard earned money. In other words, homemade 3D printed projects can be carried out at a fraction of the cost that previous owners of 3D printers had to bear. With further research and development, the prices of 3D printers are likely to go down and at-home 3D printing will soon become an affordable option for majority of the population.
All of this information should get you excited about buying a budget 3D printer. Before we get into the specifics, it is important to understand what a budget 3D printer really is and what makes it different from the other 3D printers in the market. 3D printers that are priced below $1,000 are usually referred to as budget products. It is also worth mentioning that most of the low cost 3D printers in the market are FDM 3D printers. FDM stands for Fused Deposition Modelling.
As you already know, a lot of developments have taken place in the 3D printing space over the last few years. If you were to shop for 3D printers a three or four years ago, your options would be limited to a handful of products. Nowadays, there are plenty of 3D printers in the market that consumers can bring home. How do you know which one is the right product for you? Here are some pointers to help you out:
1) Resolution and Speed Matter
There are a number of factors involved in determining the best 3D models. Among them, the most important is the calibration. A correctly calibrated 3D printer is a must have for those who are looking for objects that are 3D printed with the utmost precision. Similar to an inkjet printer, the speed and resolution in a 3D printer have an inverse relation. This means that a faster speed results in lower resolution and a slower speed results in higher resolution. Buy a 3D printer that matches your resolution or speed requirements. At the end of the day, you need to compromise either the speed or the resolution, so it is important for you to figure out which one’s more important for your application.
2) Printer Design
The foundation of the printer needs to be sturdy in order for you to build 3D objects successfully. Study 3D printers are not portable, but portability should not be more significant to you than the accuracy of your 3D model. Moving around a heavy printer will make you sweat, but all of your efforts will be worth it once you have a perfectly printed 3D object in your hand.
The real cost of using and maintaining a budget 3D printer comes from the filament and cartridges. When it comes to filament, you have two options to choose from. You could either go for proprietary filament cartridges from the manufacturers or buy universal filament. The latter is the cheaper alternative. Propriety filament is less likely to clog and is specifically engineered to function with your printer. With universal filament, you can choose a product with a price tag that you are comfortable with.
4) Software and Wi-Fi Connectivity
It is always preferable to buy budget 3D printers that come with proprietary or open source software for use with the machine. Most of the proprietary or open source programs have specialized controls that give you the power to change the temperature, modify the digital files and carry out other tasks in accordance to the specifications of the concept printer. If you are going to connect your 3D printer to your computer, then look for the ones that come with the Wi-Fi connectivity feature. Wireless printing can make your life much easier.