This is a common question about making new things with 3D printing. In a few weeks, we’ll publish the first “How to” for a company like a Make: magazine to help answer this question more confidently!
And before that happens, we’d like to share with you more information from our last AMA that will help you make your decision when you find the right 3D printer for you.
To start with, we’ll give you a heads up so you can answer those pesky questions. This is also a good opportunity to let you know if you need to check out the 3D printer from a technical perspective.
The following is a detailed summary of some of the key points as discussed during the AMA that can help you decide whether to buy a new 3D printer.
1. What types of features have you found are most important?
When we asked the crowd for their top six criteria, the top three were:
3D Printing’s ability to reproduce complex features like parts. No extrusion, no heated bed, etc.
No extrusion, no heated bed, etc. Ability to print large, complex parts. Large prints are a must, because you need to make more than one or two parts.
Large prints are a must, because you need to make more than one or two parts. Low cost
Low cost Easy to use
Easy to use Simplicity – just 3D print, put it on a plane, drop it down and it’s done. It just works.
– just 3D print, put it on a plane, drop it down and it’s done. It just works. Quality – there are a ton of people using 3D printers, but don’t rely on quality alone. You can get a quality 3D printed 3D printer, but it will take time to get into as we’ve seen.
2. Are there any major technological changes that have transformed 3D printing in the last couple of years or more?
As we reported in this podcast, the best 3D printers were first built in the 1970s and early 1980s. Today, 3D printing technology is evolving rapidly so that 3D printed parts are available in almost every kind of design imaginable.
We see several major technological innovations that have accelerated printing. The first of these is the printing of multiple layers of material.
We now print materials of almost any shape, including in 3D or 2D designs. The downside