Are 3D printers worth it? Ages ago, humans had the great idea of creating a machine that could transform digital models into tangible objects.
Then the idea was some sci-fi movie story. You had to visit a hardware store to buy a tangible print of things like the Eiffel Tower.
Today the idea is a reality; the 3D printer can create hundreds of tangible objects like toys and spare parts. There are hundreds of 3D models, and they fit all budgets. The 3D printers have brought lots of possibilities to earth. However, before investing in this machine, you have to find out,
Are 3D Printers Worth It?
Yes, 3D printers are a worthy investment. The machine offers a new way of creating your own things. It also has amazing features, and you can use it for research, rapid prototyping, art, bioprinting, etc.
However, you should know how to use the 3D printer. It’s also better to have a plan that’ll make you money with 3D printing. Overall, 3D printers can be a good investment for anyone.
A 3D printer has several legitimate and functional uses. However, if you aren’t the type who loves creating things, it can be a bad investment. It’s ideal for hobbyists who intend to use it day in and day out. It’s only with regular use that you can get better at this craft.
Reliable and efficient 3D printers retail at around $200 and $300. Some of the best models available are Ender 3 V2 and Ender 3 by Creality. There are other low-cost and reliable options; check out the eCommerce platforms such as eBay and Amazon for prices.
Are You Making One Of These 12 Common 3D Printing Mistakes?
Mistakes in 3D printing are simple, and they can range from little tips you haven’t been doing. The mistakes usually stop some people from doing 3D printing altogether. Here are some of the common mistakes in 3D printing.
- Underestimation of the importance of the first layer
- Not seeking advice from 3D communities
- Assembling the 3D printer quickly
- Accidentally assembling filament to get tangled
- Not correctly leveling your nozzle height and bed
- Incorrect slicer settings
- Not monitoring 3D prints
- Not using support materials when necessary
- Forgetting important 3D safety measures
- Not replacing worn out parts
- Buying a bad 3D printer
- Using much infill to strengthen parts than shells/walls
Advantages Of Owning A 3D Printer
Not everyone can afford to buy a 3D printer, but those who have one are reaping the benefits. Here are some advantages of owning a 3D printer:
With 3D printing, you can design and print more complex shapes than in the traditional process. The traditional manufacturing processes have a lot of restrictions. Overall, 3D printing offers more flexibility.
Print on Demand
It doesn’t need much space to stock inventory. Therefore you’ll save money and space unless you’re printing in bulk. 3D files are in virtual libraries inform of STL or CAD files. It means you can locate and have a few models printed anytime.
You can edit your own designs, which is a low cost. Plus, it’ll prevent wastage of inventory tools and out-of-date inventory.
Fast Design and Production
A 3D printer will create objects within hours. However, the time spent does vary depending on complexity and design.
Regardless it’s way faster than machined or molded parts. In addition, it has a fast design process. You need to create CAD or STL files, and you’re good to go.
You’ll only need material for a particular part. Therefore there’ll be little to no wastage than other methods which involve cutting materials.
Other than saving resources, it makes much financial sense to minimize the cost of the material you’ll use.
Disadvantages Of Owning A 3D Printer
Like other trades, the 3D printing process also has its drawbacks. Here are some of the drawbacks you should know before investing in it.
3D printing allows you to create your own items from various materials like plastic and metal. However, the selection of these materials isn’t exhaustive.
It’s because different materials have different requirements. The machine can’t offer the ideal temperature to control some materials. In addition, you can recycle most of the printable materials.
Restricted Build Size
Most 3D printers have small print chambers that restrict the item sizes you print. If you want to print a bigger item, you’ll do it in separate parts.
After this, you’ll have to join them. This increases the production cost since you’ll pay more for labor in the long run.
Unlike other more conventional techniques such as injection molding, 3D printing has a fixed cost. In injection molding, production in large volumes is usually cost-effective.
However, in 3D printing, only the initial cost is lower. But manufacturing methods are pretty expensive, and the cost won’t reduce even if you do it on a large scale.
Technical Difficulties Of 3D Printing
3D printing technology has come a long way in recent years, but there are still some technical difficulties that need to be overcome. Here are some technical challenges that come with 3D printing.
3D printing is not everyone’s trade, but neither are many hobbies. A beginner needs time and dedication to master the craft.
Plus, one must certainly go through some frustration before it starts selling. You must be good at computer software to start printing since you need them to create different designs.
Computer hardware and 3D modeling are important aspects of 3D printing. It would help if you were willing to learn proper 3D modeling to excel in the industry. There are a lot of things to learn before creating your own pieces.
It’s because anything 3D printed needs its model. People’s popular programs in 3D printing are blender, inventor, solid works, etc. However, it’ll take time and a lot of effort to learn new skills.
Many things can go wrong with 3D printing. It won’t necessarily be from incorrect device setup or jamming of the filament.
Just know that you’ll have to troubleshoot your device at some point. However, some hobbyists use this as a chance to upgrade a few parts of the machines.
In the long run, it boosts the quality of their 3D printer. For example, people buy the Anet A8, which is unreliable and poor.
Because of its affordability, people spend on this model; they acquire it and then slowly upgrade it into a beast.
General Computer Skills
After creating a model, you have to convert it into the right file format. The format will allow you to send the code to the printer. To some, it’s usually quite complicated, but after some learning, you’ll see how super rewarding it is.
However, most people usually get frustrated and quit while on the learning curve. If you don’t know how to create designs and aren’t willing to learn, you won’t do 3D printing.
How Do I Know If I Should Buy A 3D Printer?
People have varying reasons as to why they buy 3D printers. But most people acquire this printer because they are interested or it’s their fun hobby.
Plus, you can also buy it if you’re sure you can learn and handle the technical difficulties of 3D printing. If you can meet additional costs associated with 3D printing, you can surely buy it.
You can also buy the machine if your career aligns with 3D printing. So, if you have a reason similar to the one mentioned, it means you are a maker.
An average person in 3D printing must often have complementary skills such as programming, engineering, etc. Plus, you should know how to operate other tools that can be useful in this trade.
Makers have more reasons for buying a 3D printer. In most cases, the printer usually becomes their essential tool. The maker will be able to test and fix stuff quickly.
Here Are Some Things That A 3D Printer Could Be Useful For
If your interest aligns with 3D printing, you should acquire your own printer. A 3D printer will be useful in various ways, and here is a list of things you can do with it.
You can create a model of anything using the 3D printer, printing things such as planes, buildings, cars, etc. The 3D printer offers you a fun way of exploring your creativity.
You can print stuff like board games using existing ones. It makes it easier and faster than cutting up the papers yourself.
You can create a bunch of educative items using 3D printers to inspire and teach children.
It’s ideal for fantasy fiction fans and gamers. You can easily create your action figures such as Spiderman or batman. Teachers can make cool things like octahedrons with different letters and shapes.
Machines and Tools
If you’re in mechanical engineering or are interested in the field, then a 3D printer can be useful. You can use it to create various tools and machines.
Are 3D printers worth it? As far as recent inventions go, 3D printing is one of the most worthy investments.
The addictive technology has amazing advantages and is the newest way of creating products. There are several 3D printing technologies, but the information in this article applies to the whole industry.