Are you in the market for a new 3D printer? If so then there are many issues to consider in order to pick the right unit for your needs.

What Is a 3D Printer?

3D printing is also called additive manufacturing (AM). It includes various processes that are used to build a three-dimensional project. A computer is used to build layers of a particular material in order to create the object. A 3D model is used to create the object by transmitting electronic data to the printing device.

Types of 3D Printers

When purchasing a 3D printer there are various types of printers and technologies to select. Here are some of the main ones:

  1. Stereolithography (SLA)

This is a 3D printing technique that’s used for the 3D printing of different objects. It’s the oldest type of 3D printing but is still being used. The process was patented in 1986 by Charles Hull. It involves a 3D printing machine known as stereolithograph apparatus (SLA). This device turns liquid plastic into real 3D objects.

  1. Digital Light Processing(DLP)

This type of 3D printing process is like stereo-lithography. It was developed in 1987 by Texas Instruments. It became a popular process in the manufacturing of projectors. The technology uses digital micro mirrors that are placed on a semiconductor chip.

  1. Fused deposition modeling (FDM)

This type of technology was developed in the 1980s by Scott Crump. Other companies have used similar tech but under various different names. A similar technology is known as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). This process builds prototypes, concept models, and final products.

How to Buy a 3D Printer

If you’re in the market for a 3D printer here are some of the most important factors to consider:

  1. Type

Some of the most common types of 3D printers are explained above. Make sure to learn the basics about them so you’ll be able to determine the type of various models on the market. For example, there might be a particular type that’s more practical for the applications you’re planning for the device.

  1. DIY

There’s also the option to build your own 3D printer. It should be noted this will require enough time and know-how. However, if you want save money then this is a good option plus you’ll also be able to tinker with the device to add the features and specifications that are right for your personal/business use of 3D printers.

  1. Price

There are various factors that affect the price of the 3D printer. They include the brand, model, type, retailer, features, shipping, warranty, etc. As when buying other high-tech equipment it’s important to shop around. You also need to check the 3D printer reviews. This is important because if a 3D printer does not have great reviews, chances are that it won’t last for a long time. There’s a chance you can find a better price if you keep shopping around. You can find basic models as low as $100, while high-end professional printers can have price tags over $2,000.

  1. Materials

The printing materials you’ll need are PLA and ABS. They’re thermoplastics that become soft when they’re heated, and frozen when they’re cooled. You can find 1kg spools of filament that cost about $30.

What to look for when shopping for a 3D printer