For a home business, a 3D printer is a real revolution, because with the help of this miracle technology many industrial ideas can be implemented. For creative people, they open up the possibility of self-realization while doing what they love, and besides, they allow you to make good money. Therefore, the first important task is which 3D printer to choose for a small business.
What is the purpose of a 3D printer?
The history of the creation of 3D printers is not so long, but they have already been used in many areas of human life. Before buying such a unit, you first need to understand for what purpose you need a three-dimensional printer. If just for pampering, then you can get by with the most inexpensive option. If it is needed for production that directly uses three-dimensional printing, then you should first of all look for the most reliable device. After all, if such a device suddenly breaks during the execution of an order, then it will not be possible to quickly fix it. Such problems can often be encountered if you choose a Chinese 3D printer.
Choosing a 3D Printer for a Small Business
When deciding how to choose a 3D printer for your business, there are several factors to consider.
The Internet is full of offers, but if you need a printer to make quality products for sale, then it should cost at least a thousand dollars. More important may be the cost of consumables.
It is important to take into account the manufacturer of the device, since the market is just being mastered, there are still few official dealers, and therefore there may be problems with finding spare parts.
Used types of plastic
For domestic volumetric printers, polymers are used from petroleum products (ABS plastic), as well as from renewable resources (sugar cane, corn – PLA plastic).
The second option is suitable for the manufacture of plastic utensils and toys for babies. Petroleum plastic is more durable and heat resistant. Therefore, universal printers that can work with both types of consumables are much more convenient.
But, in addition to the above ABS plastics and PLA plastics, technologists have come up with other threads that have different physical and mechanical characteristics:
- increased flexibility;
- luminescent properties;
- solubility in water;
- increased strength;
- with the smell and structure of wood, etc.
In addition, the operating temperature range of the extruder (a device that melts plastic and extrudes the melt through a die) must necessarily cover the melting temperatures of all types of consumables. The design of the printing chamber is also important, since, for example, it is impossible to print with ABS plastic in a closed chamber.
Print nozzle diameter
For any printer, an important characteristic is the maximum print resolution. Already today, household 3D printers have learned to print with a 50-micron strip invisible to the eye, and smooth products are obtained. In cheap printers, the strip is 250 microns. However, for home use, 100 microns is enough.
Video about 3D printer for business
Product size limits
Cheap printers are able to print a detail up to 12 cm3. An expensive printer can already make a product weighing 5 kg. In addition, the manufactured product fragments can be stacked or glued together. Thanks to this, the printer can print a product that is beyond its capabilities in size.
Only the most expensive volumetric printers are capable of printing in many colors, equipped with several print heads working in turn. In home production, this option is unlikely to fit, so you can safely save on it by choosing which 3D printer to buy. It is easier then to manually paint the finished product or differentiate it into several multi-colored parts, each of which is printed with its own thread.
Of course, this is always important. On the Russian market, you can currently find 3D printers made in Europe, the USA, Russia and China. Western models are most often delivered to us in small batches, and manufacturing companies do not yet have their representatives here. As a result, you can often encounter the following problems:
- greatly inflated price;
- lack of technical support and service;
- lack of spare parts and consumables.
The same problems occur with Chinese products, but the problem of quality is added to them – compared to Western manufacturers, Chinese still lag far behind as the most important components.
Printing accuracy and speed
Accuracy refers to the thickness of the print layer – the larger it is, the less accurate the print. The print speed is a specific characteristic here, since it implies the volumetric increase of the model in cubic centimeters per hour. Accuracy and print speed are inversely related: the higher the speed, the lower the accuracy, and vice versa. Therefore, by setting an unreasonably high accuracy, the master may not wait until the printer finishes its work. Manufacturers themselves usually indicate the maximum possible characteristics for a particular model. Of course, the higher they are, the more opportunities the printer provides. So, on such a printer, you can print a large layout quite quickly using the maximum print speed, and another time, when you need to print a small gear, the maximum accuracy and minimum print speed are set. Ideally, the maximum print speed of a 3D printer should be 25 cm3/h. In general, devices with an accuracy of up to 150 microns are more suitable for home work, and for professional use they are inconvenient to use.