Recently, 3D printing has become a popular and increasingly common solution. The possibilities of 3D printing innovative technology are now widely used in many areas of the economy, including the broadly understood industry, healthcare, and education. The dynamic development of the 3D printing industry has made devices that were once unaffordable for an ordinary consumer much less expensive and relatively easily available. Compact models of 3D printers can be used now without the need for dedicated rooms or any other specialized infrastructure. Is it worth buying a 3D printer for home use? What are the advantages of the additive 3D printing service offered by professionals?
What is 3D printing?
The main idea of additive 3D printing is 3D manufacturing, i.e., printing in three dimensions. The innovative technology makes it possible to create models and products of any shape, including non-standard and advanced. Production materials are filaments, i.e., appropriately adapted plastic fibers. In the most commonly used methods, layers of material are melted by a 3D printer hotend and precisely deposited on the printed element until the designed form is obtained.
The 3D printing process is carried out with the use of specialized software, which provides very accurate and relatively fast implementation of the project. 3D printing products are used in many sectors of the economy, including as prototype models, ready-made structural elements, castings and prosthetic designs, and various types of production devices.
Is it worth having a 3D printer at home?
When deciding to buy a compact 3D printer, you usually have to consider a fairly large expense. You should remember about operating costs, as the price of materials usually starts from a dozen and ends at a few dozen euros for a roll of filament. As the price for a 3D printer is considerably high, it is worth thoroughly studying the possibilities of this type of equipment before buying it. Above all, a home 3D printer can make mock-ups, models, machine parts, tools, and various types of elements both of practical and decorative functions. The possibilities offered by home 3D printers will be appreciated by DIY enthusiasts, designers, graphic designers, architects, as well as teachers and employees of modern educational institutions.
In addition to the numerous advantages, there are some common inconveniences that unfortunately need to be considered before purchasing a 3D printer for home use. Cheap devices are mainly delivered as DIY 3D printer kits, requiring additional table and hotend calibration, which is usually beyond the capability of the average consumer. A common problem is also inherent defects and shortages in equipment, which make it difficult or even impossible to use a home 3D printer. It is also worth mentioning the considerably loud operation of a 3D printer and the possibly toxic fumes emitted by the device when melting filaments. The basic issue, however, is the requirement to have a digital 3D model of the element you want to produce. Despite millions of details available on the Internet, the cases where the specific model we are interested in is not available occur more often than you might think.
Numerous advantages of professional 3D printing
Compared to much cheaper 3D printers for home use, specialized equipment at the disposal of professionals is characterized by real reliability and remarkable precision. When deciding to outsource a project to a professional service provider, you can count on the highest final quality and serial consistency of the manufactured parts. The experience of specialists and the availability of the equipment with various production characteristics provides for the design and manufacture of elements strictly tailored to the customer’s needs. Products are manufactured directly at a production enterprise, which means their manufacturing saves time and money.
Despite the widespread availability of compact 3D printers, for most projects, it is definitely worth relying on professionals with advanced equipment at their disposal. Due to the numerous benefits guaranteed by professional 3D printing technologies, in most cases, outsourcing a project to professional service providers turns out to be a more reliable and money-saving solution.