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Key features to look out for in a personal 3D printer

by anonymous

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The 3D printing revolution is among the latest innovative technologies of our time, one that promises immense possibilities in the way we manufacture, create, and share resources. Many people are however not yet abreast with these printers various terminologies, models, types and functionalities. Even among those who are aware are many who are not quite sure of how best to choose a personal 3D printer that'll perform the specific functions they require. 3D printers, just like computers, have specifications based on their capabilities, designs, functionalities and features. As such, when purchasing a Do It Yourself 3D printer assembly kit or a fully assembled 3D printer, there are several distinctive features you should look out for. Understanding these features will help you select a printer that fits your needs.

To begin with the main specifications of a 3D printer are its cost, speed, type and cost of printing material, availability and usability of the printer software, color capabilities, compatibility, and the assemblage of the printer. Presently, there are hundreds of manufacturers offering fully assembled or assembly kits for 3D printers, each varying in these specifications. Consequently, when purchasing a personal 3D printer you need to be exact about the particular specifications you require.

Some personal 3D printers have open source software that you can access and share in online communities while others run patented software. You have to choose between these two alternatives. Similarly, some companies sell fully assembled and tested 3D printers while others sell assembly kits that you have to assemble yourself. You can therefore choose to purchase either of these formats as informed by your ability and technical skills.

You should also know that a personal 3D printer can use one of two available printing materials; some printers use Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (often abbreviated as ABS) while others use the Polylactic Acid polyester (abbreviated as PLA). These two materials are inherently different and will therefore result in differently finished products, different costs and different uses. For instance, while ABS is durable, multicolored, rigid, recyclable, and highly sensitive to temperature, PLA is less durable, non-rigid, and not easily recycle. You thus need to make the most fitting choice between these two materials.

Other features of a personal 3D printer to consider when making a purchase include its place of use such as a classroom, office or home, power consumption rates, requisite maintenance, upgradability, printing speed, availability of accessories and spares, as well as compatibility with workstation Operating Systems including Windows, Linux, and Mac OX. Ensure that your choice of printer will have all the specifications you require thereby enabling it to serve your needs optimally.

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