18 Jan How to Choose the Right 3D Printer Option for You
With so many quality choices for 3D printers nowadays, it can be difficult to decide which choice is right for you. At Vector Technology Systems, we understand that making a decision can be overwhelming, so we’ve put together a few helpful points when it comes to deciding how to choose the right 3D printer option that’s right for you.
Types of materials
There are many options when using a 3D printer when it comes to materials. 3D printers can use Carbon PLA, Nylon, Metallic, PETG, ABS, TPE, PLA, Tough PLA, and water-soluble support materials. Not all printers can accommodate all materials, so having a good idea of what you’re looking to print with can greatly help guide you towards the right printer. 3D printers like the PARTPRO300 XT offers you the option of using any of these materials.
There are several options when it comes to the print technology used in 3D printers. They include:
- Fused disposition modeling (FDM)/ Fused filament fabrication (FFF)
- Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
FDM is an additive process using heating and extruding plastic, pieced together layer by layer. Stereolithography also uses the additive process but instead of extruding plastics, it utilizes an ultraviolet light beam to harden a model from a photosensitive liquid. SLS is similar to stereolithography, except that the process involves lasers and powders instead of UV light beams and liquid. A laser is used to melt the powder, creating a layer of the printed material. It’s important to check the specifications of different 3D printers to ensure your choice is best suited for what you’re looking to do.
Print areas can vary greatly by 3D printers. If you’re planning on working with larger objects, it’s important to be aware of the print area of the printer you’re considering. Look for “maximum print area” in the printer specifications.
Based on some of the features mentioned above, as well as other features such as built-in cameras, laser engraving, removable print beds, and more, costs can range significantly between 3D printer models. Some considerably basic models more appropriate for individual use can run under $2,000 while industrial options can run several thousand dollars. High-quality 3D printers can cost between $25,000 and $250,000. Understanding what you need in a printer will guide you to the best purchase.
One last feature to consider: fractional ownership
Oftentimes, companies are in need of 3D printing on a fairly infrequent basis. In such cases, fractional ownership might be the best option. With fractionalized ownership interest, a company can have part ownership in a printer without being responsible for maintenance or a huge upfront capital outlay.
There are many quality choices when it comes to 3D printers. If you need assistance deciding how to choose the right 3D printer or deciding which option is right for you, contact Vector Technology Systems. One of our professionals can guide you to the 3D printer option that’s right for you.