While 3D printing may seem intimidating, companies today have made them quite accessible and affordable for anyone. You may think that there isn’t an urgent need for 3D printing, but it will play a major role in the future. After all, it is automated replication at a lower cost.
Even if you are not an enthusiast looking to build something, it’s helpful to recreate small parts to your advantage. As they are no longer constrained to large businesses, consider owning one at home!
Are 3D printers expensive?
In many ways, 3D printers act as a low-cost method to prototype or make one-off items. Still, investing the price of a 3D printer is costly. This is especially so for those looking for a professional package or heavy volume printer. And generally, the larger an item, the more expensive it'd be to produce (print) it. Of course, depending on what that item is, it may be cheaper to print it yourself rather than source it!
How do 3D printers work?
Most 3D Printers available for consumers use the "Melted Extrusion Modelling" printing technology which utilises plastic filaments. Basically, you load your 3D model file onto your computer's 3D printer's software. After settings are done, the information is sent to the 3D printer which then melts the plastic filament and builds layers of the melted plastic on top of each other.
If you'd like to get a better clue on how that works, check out our Snapmaker 3D printer review, which we think is one of the best 3D printers for beginners.
Not only do you get an easy-to-use and easy-to-setup printer, but you also get a 3-in-1 device that can do it all: 3D printing, laser engraving and CNC woodcarver. Coming with its own free software (which has presets) to load your models onto, the printer is quite compact in size, letting you place it on your work table with ease as well as with fewer wires around.
Made modular to be upgradeable, the Snapmaker is one device that will carry beginners into more advanced projects as you can easily buy more powerful upgrades online.
This multi-purpose 3D printer performs scanning and laser engraving. As a result, the printer is suitable for recreating physical objects. The laser engraving function allows for adding greater detail to the final product. Besides that, it is one of the few printers compatible with third-party filament materials. Overall, this is one of the most detail-oriented printers in the market.
For printers with dual extruders, expect a colourful product with a solid build. This enclosed Creator Pro has integrated parts for better heat distribution. With this, you can print with a wide range of materials.
As a result, there’ll be lower chances of deformities and a more efficient printing process. Moreover, it’s based on open source technology thus, allowing more flexibility in the modification.
The miniMaker is a value-for-money printer for families interested in 3D printing. This colourful printer is suitable for beginners (even children!) thanks to its easy setup. Not only that, the printer performs at a decent speed with smooth detailing. Its filaments are also quite affordable and are available in a wide range of colours.
This printer packs more than its price. While it must be manually calibrated and assembled, the open source printer achieves a decent printing performance.
Furthermore, it prints various filament materials. With power recovery mode, the Creality Ender 3 can resume printing after a power outage. Its tight filament path also ensures greater compatibility with flexible filaments.
It’s rare to find 3D printers with a large build volume at an affordable price. The easily assembled Creality CR-10 is that and more. With a build volume of 300x300x400mm, this popular printer includes a heated build-plate and solid metal build. It has also amassed a dedicated community, recommending it as suitable for beginners.
For those interested in printing their own miniatures for tabletop games, the Anycubic Photon is a reasonable option amongst other SLA/DLP printers. This resin-based printer with 2K LCD masking screen can create finely detailed 3D miniatures at 25-100 microns. The Photon Slicer also finishes slicing a 30MB file in one minute! Results? Quick, simple, and high-quality miniatures at your disposal.
More: 8 Printers That Can Make Work, School, and Life Better
Disclaimer: The pricing shown is just a good indication of how much these products are worth. The prices could change based on the e-commerce promotions that are going on. If some of the products are not available, do email us at [email protected] Thank you!