For 3D printing enthusiasts who have just entered the 3D printing technology industry, the biggest trouble is how to choose a 3D printer. Today, Matrix has summarized some tips for choosing a 3D printer, hoping to give some help to friends who are new to the industry.
First, 3D printer speed:
Depending on the rapid prototyping equipment manufacturer or the 3D printing technology used, the measurement standards for 3D printing speed are different. Some are used to indicate the time required to print a certain height in the Z-axis direction (for a single 3D printing task), usually expressed in inches per hour or millimeters per hour. Those 3D printers with stable vertical construction speed generally like to adopt this technical parameter, which is not affected by the structural complexity of the printed object or the number of parts printed at a single time. This kind of 3D printer is an ideal choice for 3D printing prototype models because it can quickly produce a considerable number of various models in a limited time to facilitate design communication, discussion, and comparison.
Another technical parameter that measures printing speed is the time required to print a specific object or a specific volume. Some 3D printers can quickly print single, simple-structure objects, and this indicator is often used. However, when this type of 3D printer encounters printing tasks with an increased number of prints or complex structures, the printing speed will drop significantly, so it is not suitable for rapid prototyping of prototype models that require higher printing speeds. Common models include FDM plastic printers and SLA/DLP resin printers; they are divided into desktop and industrial models. If it is an individual purchase, it is recommended to choose a desktop machine.
PS: In fact, the speed of the machines from several major manufacturers is not too big, so if you only consider speed, it is recommended not to take it too seriously and don’t be fooled by the seller.
Second, 3D printer price:
If you plan to purchase a machine for service, please read this section.
Printing costs are usually expressed in terms of cost per unit volume. Even if the same 3D printer is used, the cost of a single molded part varies greatly due to the structure of the molded part. Therefore, the quotations for 3D printing services are often presented in terms of typical object printing prices or average prices, which is not difficult to understand. If you need to compare quotations, you can provide a set of STL data on your classic prototypes for suppliers to quote and clearly understand what is and is not included in different quotations so that you can choose the supplier with the highest price/performance ratio.
The quotations provided by some suppliers only include the cost of the model materials required for the molded parts but do not include the cost of support materials or other losses incurred during the 3D printing process. Such quotations are not true or final quotations. The material utilization rates of different 3D printing processes vary greatly. Therefore, the actual material usage cost is another important reference for measuring quotations.
What is discussed here is the price of the machine. If you buy it online, it is recommended to buy it directly from the manufacturer’s official flagship store instead of from a third-party platform, because the manufacturer can still bargain appropriately or send more consumables. It’s normal, and the after-sales service will be more secure.
PS: If it is used for work, it is recommended that the price of the machine not be less than 5,000 yuan. The reason is that you get what you pay for! You get what you pay for! You get what you pay for!
Third, 3D printer accuracy:
If it is an FDM machine, the error is generally between 0.2 and 0.4, but it is not ruled out that there are machines with an error of 1mm. How to distinguish this, as a novice who knows nothing, is very simple. If you want to know the real error, you can directly find a model for the seller to try printing, and the finished printed model will be sent to you. You can directly measure it with a caliper to know the real error; the printing cost will also be refunded to you when you buy the machine, but remember first After comparing several printers, you can find one you like to print with, and the cost will generally not exceed 200 yuan. Here I would like to add that the printing accuracy of printers with similar prices is really about the same and not too high; if you buy a very cheap machine, please skip the trial printing step, otherwise it will be a waste of money.
To sum up: seeing is believing, hearing is believing; you get what you pay for; if you buy a machine, if you have any questions, you can consult Matrix, which can at least provide you with some suggestions.