Tips for Choosing the Best 3-D Printers for Hobbyists

3d printer buying tips

Making a 3-D printer purchase can be a serious decision for home hobbyist. There are models ranging in price for those the budget minded and go up in scale into the thousands of dollars. Unlike the best small home tool kits, 3 d printers can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.

There are simple beginner and hobbyist models such as doodler pens that can create 3-D accents onto existing objects. However, serious enthusiasts may seek full-fledged 3-D printers for full start to finish creative freedom.

However, depending on what it will be used for, who will be using it, compatibility features and the budget in mind, these questions can help potential buyers choose just the right product.

How Much Do 3D Printers Cost?

On average, 3-D printers for hobbyists can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars into the thousands. Decent models can be found at reasonable prices, but buyers may have to make a few sacrifices to stay on budget. However, those looking for top-quality 3-D printers cheap might consider buying a used model or even building their own from a parts kit, which leads to the next question.

Who’s Handles Support For a 3D Printer?

Those looking to get hands-on with a new 3-D printer might enjoy building it from scratch while others might want to get started ASAP with a pre-built delivery. However, depending on intended uses, a bit of time, effort, and money may need to go into upgrades and self-configuring the 3-D printer properly. Keep in mind, that many smaller printers are non-branded and have spotty support. As a result, the unexperienced user might consider professional installation and configuration if going with a small upstart company.

How Size 3D Printer Do I Need?

Determine what size models and prints desired from the machine. Remember, smaller objects are no problem to run in a bigger printer, so it’s wise to choose as much machine as you can afford without going overboard. However, if larger crafts and specialty materials are in the future, going big from the start might be the best step. Most beginner hobbyists consider print capacities of 6”x6”x6” or 8”x8”x8” adequate for their needs.

What are 3D Printer Users’ Experience Levels?

Will this printer be strictly used by adults or will youngsters and other family members be giving it a try? If no one in the home has ever used a 3-D printer, then a learning curve is to be expected. The good news, is that there are appliance-like models that don’t require users to learn a lot of ‘deep level’ information. However, serious hobbyists will likely enjoy learning the in’s and out’s of these incredible machines.

It’s very possible that people that are creative, have worked with different types of tools or  , will not have any problems learning how to operate a 3D printer. Many tools for automotive work are actually more complicated than most 3D printers.

What Materials Do 3D Printers Require?

One of the most common introductory materials for 3-D printing projects are PLA vegetable based plastics. Those looking for a bit more ruggedness and flexibility in printed materials may opt for ABS or nylon options. And unlike woodworking hobbyists, there’s seemingly no end to material options once surpassing the beginning phases. So, buyers may want to invest in a printer that has the features necessary to use an array of materials. For example, if glass is a potential material, the printer will need a heated bed. It will also need heat-resistant parts to withstand the high temperatures to melt the medium.

What 3D Printer Filament Diameter is Needed?

Most 3-D printers for home use have two 3d printer filament sizes: 1.75mm or 3mm in diameter. It’s essential to ensure that materials ordered are compatible with the printer being used. Some upper-level models take both filament sizes for greater versatility. Keep this in mind when choosing a printer with the right filament size for crafting needs.

Considering delving into the wonderful world of 3-D printing as hobby? Contact a local technology expert to learn more about choosing a model that will let your creative side shine.