3D printers introduced endless possibilities to the printing world. By investing in a 3D printer under $100, you will be able to print virtually anything from a case to your smartphone to a doorstop or even a wrench. Thanks to the advancement in technology, there is no shortage of different 3D printers. Features and capabilities are two of the primary factors determining the price tag.
Like other electronics, it's essential to consider several factors to get value for money and find a 3D printer that suits your needs and preferences. Here is an overview of the five tips to help you make the right decision.
Things You Want to Print
Before you start your scouting journey for a 3D printer under $100, you need to know what you intend to print. There is a difference between the 3D printers used for industrial production of printed materials and your primary home use. Also, consider how often you intend to use the printer and the amount of time you will spend on printing.
Preferred Printer Style
Most printing enthusiasts own one or more Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) printers. Unlike other conventional printers, these unique 3D printers are engineered to extrude hot materials and plastics, commonly referred to as filament, to create 3D printed objects such as laptops.
Another popular printer style uses resin in liquid forms, such as Digital Light Processing (DLP) and Stereolithography (SLA). Some printers work using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology. The latter has advanced systems that rely on powder to create 3D printed materials instead of resin used by DLP and SLA.
Consider the Safety Features
Safety is paramount when using a 3D printer either at home or on your business premises. Flaws in the printer and human error can result in injuries and even fires due to electrical faults in the power connection to the 3D printer.
Therefore, you must purchase a 3D printer under $100 with advanced safety features. When comparing the different printers in your list, check these features to know the safety detail. Also, the safety detail will help you to see if you have the skills and expertise required to run the printer safely.
For instance, some of the advanced FDM printers have specials features that enable them to cool down the heat bed and nozzle after a printing project. Some printers are designed to instantly move the nozzle from the object printed after the project. The nozzle is also moved to the side when the operator pauses the printing process to prevent the formation of excess filament and heat damage.
Resolution of the Printer
Firstly, when the resolution of a 3D printer is measured using microns. The lower-end FDM has an average of 25 microns, and so there are printing projects that cannot be used. On the other hand, the advanced printers that use resin have a high resolution of up to 100 microns.
That said, it is possible to either increase or decrease the final print resolution by changing the settings of your FDM printer. It's advisable to adjust the tension of the belt and layer height to get a smooth printing experience.
The functionalism of resin 3D printers is mainly dependent on laser precision. Consider investing in a 3D printer that you can conveniently adjust the resolution to suit your printing project.
Before we proceed to look at the fifth tip, this article wouldn’t be complete without appreciating the vast array of 3D printer brands and types in the market. The many options often make it difficult for customers to select the right one. Not anymore; here is an article we found online that carefully reviews the different features of the best 3D printer under $100 available today. Check it out to make an informed decision.
Number and Kind of High-Quality Features
When shopping for a 3D printer today, it's easy to overlook or sideline the few high-quality features that set printers apart. These features can either improve or ruin your 3D printing experience as they directly impact the quality of the final printed product.
When comparing the different printers, you should consider the features of a heated glass bed, build volume, touchscreen user interfaces, and dual filament support. More importantly, you should consider the amount of room you have in your home to accommodate the printer and the materials you will be using for projects.
Now that you know the five primary factors you should consider when choosing a 3D printer under $100, let us shift gears and look at the three common materials used for printing.
Polylactic Acid (PLA)
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a unique plastic material derived from plants. It's perfect for indoor printing projects as it quickly deteriorates when exposed to sun and excess moisture.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is a plastic material best known for being more sturdy than most plastics. It would be best to have extreme heat to work with this material. Because the ambient temperature must be constant, this material is best used on enclosed 3d printers. The room has to be adequately ventilated to prevent the accumulation of heat and fumes indoors.
Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG)
Unlike ABS and PLA, polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) is a food-safe plastic material widely used to create food packaging materials. It's used on FDM printers to develop layers that effectively trap moisture, preserving the food products and keeping bacteria at bay. However, the final printing of the PETG object should be in a food-grade epoxy before it's used to package food.
Purchasing the best 3D printer under $100 is essential to create quality 3D printed materials either for personal use or business. Take the time to consider each factor to avoid spending your hard-earned money on the wrong 3D printer. It's also a good idea to consult experts in 3D printing to get additional insights about the various printers available in the market.