The basic job of a 3D printer is to convert the digital data into 3D objects. If you are looking to buy a 3D printer, one of the first points to consider is the features of the printer and the second point is the filament used in the printer.
Features of a 3 D Printer
The main features that you need to ensure in a good 3D printer are:
a. Price: There are usually 2 types of printers available. Stereo Lithography (SLA) and Fused Filament Manufacturing (FFM).
i. FFM basically works with plastic filament which melts in the moving head to form the object as per the data provided in digital form.
ii. SLA is a more advanced technology wherein UV laser technology is used to create the objects. This laser ray hardens the resin to form the model.
It is seen that FFM is cheaper than SLA mainly due to its technology.
b. Size: Each printer has a different size (height, length and width) of the print bed in terms of cubic inches. So some of the printers can produce objects of larger dimensions while others make only smaller ones. You need to know what size you are looking at making out of the print and then choose your printer accordingly.
c. Quality & Quantity: Some 3 D printers can do the same job faster but the quality may be low. However others take more time and the quality could be better. The printing time depends on the quality requested for. So if you are seeking thicker layers for printing, it will obviously take more time to print and quantity will be less in the time you wish. One has to choose which suits best for you depending on the product you plan to print.
d. Material for Print: There are various materials you can print out of a 3D printer. You can print a TPE, ABS, Nylon, HDPE or PLA etc. Some materials come with colour options as well. You may have to check with the printer its compatibility with the relevant material. SLA uses resins to create the models whereas FFM uses filaments. FFM might have more options of materials to choose from than SLA.
To have a good quality of 3D printing, we need a good quality printer.
If you wish to have a look at some of the options of the 3D printers available in the market today, you can visit this link: http://www.3dprintingsupremacy.com/. Here, you can find main features of three printers and a good comparison amongst them as well.
And now, let us now look at some of the filaments.
What are the two main factors worth considering when you are buying a filament? It is mainly its Price and its Weight. Weight matters very much in terms of the product produced. And of course price factor is also equally important in terms of the price of the object. Here are some details mentioned for two of the most common filaments – PLA and ABS in terms of its weight and price:
* PLA Filament: It comes in different prices and weights.
o Large Spool: Weight of 0.9 kg starting at $ 48.
o Small Spool: Weight of 0.2 kg starting at $18.
o XL/XXL Spool: Starting at $ 115.
o Large 10 pack: Priced at $430.
o Small 10 pack: Priced at $160.
* ABS Filament: Also comes in different prices and weights.
o Large Spool: 1 kg starting at $43.
o Large 10 pack: Priced at $460.
You may also want to note that Markerbot ABS is the best filament for The buy makerbot filament Replicator 2X Experimental 3D Printer. You can buy markerbot filament when you are planning to buy your 3D printer.
However, sometimes people like to order Ninjaflex Semiflex filaments. There are some clear differences between Ninjaflex and Semiflex filaments.
NinjaFlex flexible 3D printing filament is very flexible and is made from a specially formulated TPU material
SemiFlex is stronger than NinjaFlex. But it is more rigid compared to the traditional NinjaFlex allowing for increased tensile strength.
Whichever filament you use, you must take into account its quality and price since this will count in the end when the final object is produced.