In this age of technological development, one word you hear a lot is 3D printing.
What is 3D printing, and what are its applications in our daily lives?
Until now, we were thinking that 3D printers are tools concerning scientists and engineers.
Yes, we are right in a way because engineers and designers have more uses for 3D printers than anyone else.
Before discussing the buying guide for 3D printers, let us go through some of the best 3D printers available in India.
Best 3D Printers in India
1. WOL 3D Upgraded Creality Ender 3 Easy to Assemble Premium DIY 3D Printer
This 3D printer is easy to assemble, as it does not take more than two hours for you to do so.
The DIY manual enclosed is a handy one. On the performance front, this 3D printer works on advanced technology using an upgraded extruder.
However, printing at such speeds can affect the overall quality of the product. This printer is compatible with printing materials like PLA and ABS.
2. 3D Bazaar Creality Ender 3 3D Printer Aluminium DIY with Resume Print
The 3D Bazaar Creality Ender is an open-frame 3D printer that is easy to assemble. The DIY manual is self-explanatory.
Assembling this printer requires fixing of around 20 nuts. It should not take more than two hours to do so.
It can achieve a maximum print speed of 180mm/sec.
3. Docooler Creality 3D Ender-3 3D Printer DIY Easy-Assemble
The significant benefit of the Docooler Creality 3D printer is that it is one of the most comfortable printers to assemble. It requires twelve steps for a smooth assembly.
Thus, you save a lot of time. It features an upgraded MK-10 extruder that reduces plugging risks and bad extrusions. Therefore, you get an excellent result because the printing process becomes easy.
This printer works on FDM technique and is compatible with ABS, TPU, and PLA filaments having a diameter size of 1.75mm.
4. Rapid Rabit Prusa 13 3D Printer
The high-quality Rapid Rabit Prusa 13 3D printer is one of the best printers available on the market. The highlight of this printer is that it delivers speedy performance.
The print bed size of 210X210X210mm should be ideal for large assignments. This FDM-based printer is compatible with printing materials like nylon, PLA, ABS, HPS, and PVA.
Assembling this DIY kit is easy because of the helpful manual of instructions. People with an engineering background can connect laser engraving elements, as well.
5. Flashforge Adventurer 3 3D Printer
Flashforge Adventurer 3 is a close-frame 3D printer. Therefore, it is secure to use and delivers impeccable performance.
There is no chance for any dust particles to stick to the plastic or other filaments, as the operation takes place in an enclosed chamber.
Cleaning the various parts is easy because it is easy to remove and reassemble them.
6. Flashforge Finder 3D Printer by WOL3D with 1 Filament Free
Flashforge Finder 3D printer is a close-frame printer. Hence, it is excellent from the safety angle. It comes in a fully-assembled state.
Thus, it does not require any installing. A few tweaks are necessary for the printer to start working. The touchscreen panel is a dream to work with.
The print speed is in the range of 40 to 200mm/sec. Therefore, you get high-quality prints every time you use this machine. This printer is fully compatible with PLA and ABS alone.
7. Makerbricks 13C 3D Printer
Makerbricks 13C 3D printer is an entry-level printer. It is one of the best machines for first-time users. Assembling this printer is easy because it already comes in a semi-assembled state. The manual has clear instructions enabling users to complete the assembling aspects. Videos are also available to help users in this regard.
This printer is an open-frame 3D printer that is compatible with filaments like PLA and ABS. The FDM-based working makes it one of the most simple machines to use.
Connecting it to your computer is easy because the kit includes the appropriate USB cable.
8. Anet A8 3D Printer with High Accuracy Self Assembly DIY Kit
Anet A8 3D printer is one of the easiest ones to set up. This printer comes in an unassembled state. Users have to build up the printer from scratch using the simple instructions provided in the manual. This machine provides you with an excellent opportunity for understanding how 3D printers work.
This open-frame 3D printer supports different types of filaments like ABS, PLA, Wood, Nylon PVA, and luminescent 3D printing filament.
Buying Guide for 3D printers
If 3D printers were there for more than three decades, why do people think about it as something new?
It is because the technology is advancing at a tremendous rate today. It has made these printers cheap and affordable.
Now, you must be jumping around the place and saying, Nah, 3D printing is expensive. Yes, it is, but it is affordable and a lot cheaper than it used to be before.
We shall look at these points when discussing the buying guide.
Many people in the world buy something for the sake of buying. Such people are impulsive. This trait is not restricted to 3D printers alone.
They buy something and later on regret why they bought it. The point we make is that one should research before purchasing something as expensive as a 3D printer.
The most expensive printer on the market is not necessarily the best one available. Similarly, the printers that offer the highest discounts on online retail stores might not be worth their discounted price itself.
Therefore, it is advisable to go through customer ratings and reviews before choosing the ideal 3D printer.Do your research well
The best way to make any decision is to complete the checking box exercise. It entails checking or ticking each box that could end up easing the entire process of choosing the perfect appliance.
Here are some questions that could form a part of your checking box exercise.
You can keep adding more questions. Now, let us see how many items you have ticked. As you go through the buying guide, you can always come back and tick the relevant box after understanding its importance.
There is no need for worrying because this buying guide is for such people who do not know what a 3D printer is.
Do you need a 3D printer?
The question might be a simple one, but the answer is not. Let us assume you are an engineering student who has to complete some project in your engineering course.
You need a 3D printer to meet your objectives. However, do you need to invest in a 3D printer to print a couple of objects and forget about it afterwards?
You can as well print it outside and pay for it. It becomes cheaper. If you wish to put your 3D printer to greater use, it makes sense to have one of your own. It is less expensive in the end.
Nowadays, you have the DIY 3D printers that enable you to create any model you like and print it as well.
If your profession is designing 3D models, you should go for a high-end 3D printer. Thus, your requirements decide whether you need a printer or not.
Now, you need a 3D printer.
what kind of printer should you opt to have?
As a professional, you know the utility of your 3D printer. Therefore, you should go for the printer that not only produces what you want but also caters to the quality aspect.
It would be right to state here that there are nine different types of 3D printing technologies today. Of course, you do not need to know all the nine.
It is enough if you are aware of what works best for you. Here are the nine printing technologies in use today.
Of the nine technologies, the most common ones for home users are the first two technologies listed above, SLA and FDM. Shall we discuss them in brief?
Stereolithography – SLA
SLA 3D printers are some of the best ones for home use. These printers work on a versatile technology.
This technology creates 3D parts by exposing successive layers of photosensitive resin to an ultraviolet laser beam.
Does this explanation sound too technical?
Let us simplify it for everyone to understand. In simple words, this technology begins with liquid plastic that hardens on cooling to produce 3D objects.
The technique is such that the printer moves down layer by layer after each print cycle. As the new layers settle on top of the previous hardened layers, this technology requires support structures.
At the end of the period, the product could need rinsing or even bake in a UV oven.
Fused Deposition Modelling – FDM
FDM is the most common of all 3D printing techniques. This technology is present since the 1980s.
The best aspect of FDM is that it is the least expensive of all methods, as well.
This technique involves heating to extrude a thermoplastic filament for creating one layer of the object.
At the end of the cycle, the print bed lowers the object slightly to enable the subsequent layer to sit atop the previous one. This process goes on until completion.
Overhanging objects thus, require support structures. The positive aspect of FDM machines is that the filament rolls are comparatively cheap. FDM is a continuously evolving technique.
It has seen various improvements over the past four decades.
Which of the two is the better one?
If pricing is not an issue, the SLA 3D printers are better, but people having a constrained budget should opt for FDM. SLA 3D printers provide a high-quality finish in comparison to FDM printers.
One should note that all 3D printers are not equal. They use various technologies for printing 3D objects. Hence, one should focus on two critical aspects.
- Resolution – the smaller the resolution, the better is the print quality
- Print speed – the typical print speeds are 40-50 mm/s, 80 to 100 mm/s, and 150 mm/s
Importance of print speed
What is the ultimate objective of buying your 3D printer?
It depends on your plans. If you envisage a significant job, would you opt for a small printer? No, it will not serve the purpose.
Hence, your goals and objectives decide the type of printer you purchase. Do you envisage printing bright objects?
If so, you might need a particular printer with multiple extruders, as not all 3D printers are capable of printing using different colours.
Where do you buy your 3D printer?
The 3D printers are available all over the market. Online retail stores like Amazon, eBay and many others are the ideal places to scout for 3D printers
. You have a good variety. At the same time, there is extreme competition whereby you get fabulous discounts, as well.
Some people advocate going for second-hand printers. However, it is not advisable, as you do not know how the earlier user had used the machine.
Buying a new 3D printer is beneficial, as you can touch and feel your device before you buy it. Secondly, you can bank on the warranty and the return options that come with new appliances.
Buying it online from Amazon is beneficial because you can go through customer reviews and ratings. Some of the FAQs can be enlightening.
You can learn many things by reading through issues that other buyers face. Remember that the seller of the printer will never highlight the negative aspects of the appliance. Customer reviews can help you a lot in these aspects.
Materials you should use for printing
Can you use the 2D printer without the inkjet cartridge or the toner? No, you cannot. Similarly, you need the appropriate materials for 3D printing.
One can use a variety of materials, depending on their requirements. Industrial 3D printers make use of metals and high-quality plastic.
However, we shall discuss the kind of materials that you could use at home for 3D printing. Usually, such printers use plastic filaments.
The advantage of synthetic filaments is that they come in a range of diameters, colours, and lengths. Secondly, they are readily available online.
We shall look at three common types of plastic printing materials for your benefit.
ABS – Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
This material is ideal for printing toys, musical instruments, and even kitchen appliances. You must have played with the Lego bricks in your childhood. These bricks are the most excellent examples of ABS.
PVA, a special water-soluble plastic is also a key printing material. One can find it in paper adhesives, packaging materials, hygiene products, and kid’s putty. Another use of PVA is that it serves as support structures to 3D objects while printing.
PLA – Polylactic Acid
Environmental conservation is the critical need of the hour. PLA is an environmentally friendly printing material when you compare it with PVA and ABS. Items like surgical implants.
Food packaging products and disposable garments contain PLA.
We have seen three common materials used for printing. However, they have their benefits and drawbacks. It depends on what you want to print.
It is essential to check whether your 3D printer supports the filament diameter you wish to order. Some printers accept both the sizes, 1.75 mm and 3 mm.
These materials are readily available online where you can buy them by weight or with the spool option.
The print bed size is crucial
Open or Close frame
Are you ready to decide?
We have discussed various aspects of a 3D printer that should make your decision process easy. The next thing to do is to go through the list of best printers available in India. You could end up finding the one that suits your requirements.
Before we move on to the FAQs, would it not be better to glance through the glossary of technical terms that you encounter with 3D printers?
Frequently Asked Questions about 3D printers
Which is the most common type of 3D printer?
The FDM printer is the most common, as it is the least expensive of all 3D printers. It is also a DIY printer that one can assemble quickly.
How does the FDM printer work?
In simple terms, this printer heats the plastic and forces it out of a small nozzle, very much similar to the squeezing of toothpaste from the tube. Imagine placing one layer of toothpaste and wait for it to harden before putting another layer over it. The FDM printer uses plastic filaments and melts them before placing them one layer over the other to complete the 3D object.
What are the most common materials used for 3D printing?
Usually, you have plastic filaments unwound from a spool and pushed through the extrusion nozzle. The plastic melts due to the heat and comes out in a steady flow. The other common materials are PLA and ABS.
What materials do the SLA printers use?
SLA printers use photopolymer resin. As ultraviolet light strikes on the resin, it cures or hardens, thereby creating the object one layer over the other.
How long does it take to print an object in 3D?
It depends on various factors.
- Size of the model
- The printing materials you use
- The height of the layers
- The complexity of the design
- Whether your object needs support
- The type of 3D printer you have
- Depending on these factors, 3D prints can take time.
Can I build my 3D printer?
Yes, it is possible to build your 3D printer. DIY kits are available online. You also have manuals on YouTube and other social media channels that detail the assembling aspects of a 3D printer.
Where do I purchase a DIY kit?
The DIY kits are available on online retail stores like Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, and so on.
Do 3D printers make a lot of noise?
All printers have stepper motors and belts moving around. Hence, it is natural for 3D printers to make a sound. Even your 2D printer creates a sound. An open-frame 3D printer makes more noise as compared to the closed-frame models.
Is it possible to control the 3D printer remotely?
Yes, the advanced technology allows you to control 3D printers remotely via the internet or your local network.
What is the ideal thickness for the filament, 1.75 mm or 3 mm?
The first question to answer here is, ‘do you have a choice?’ It depends on the printer you purchase. You have to use the thickness that suits your printer. As the 1.75 mm filament is thinner, it is more flexible in comparison. Hence, it needs less pressure to print. At the same time, the thin filament tends to break easily, as well. The 3 mm filament is not much flexible. It requires more torque on the printer motors to push it through the extruder.
What is G-Code?
G-code is the software that your printer uses to print your 3D model. You can find G-code in files as commands that instruct where and how the printer should move and extrude (X, Y, and Z directions).
What are the different nozzle sizes available?
Nozzles come in different sizes. The printing material flows out through these nozzles onto the print bed to form the 3D object. You have a choice between the following nozzle sizes. This table should make things easy.
Thus, you can see that the smaller the nozzle size, the better is the quality. However, the ideal nozzle size for a beginner should be 0.4mm
We have discussed everything that needs discussion, as far as 3D printers for home use are concerned. Industrial 3D printers are bigger and more sophisticated in comparison.
This buying guide should clear all your doubts about 3D printing and make it easy for you to purchase the ideal 3D printer to suit your requirements.