Technology is becoming more and more innovative, and the latest offering, the 3D printer, is no exception. Currently, these replicating machines are used extensively by larger businesses due to the costs involved with running one of these incredible machines. The costs have reduced in recent years to make this technology accessible to home users.
3D printers can be used successfully by the beginner. Following the manufacturers’ guidelines and doing the necessary research before buying the machine will help the beginner to use the machine correctly. 3D printing is easy for the beginner but has a learning curve to understand the software.
Learning how to use one of these printing machines takes time, and generally, once an invention is released, there are training manuals and presentations to introduce the machine and how it works. But how hard is it really for a beginner to learn to use a 3D printer?
Is A 3D Printer Hard To Use For Beginners?
When 3D technology was first introduced to the market, it was not available to a small business or at-home user because of the expense and the size of the machine, but 3d printers are becoming more accessible and easier to use as the technology improves.
3D printers have become more popular and accessible to a wider range of the public over the years, thanks to better developments and improved materials. As 3D printers are becoming more popular amongst small businesses and at-home users, the user experience is also becoming easier.
While you might still need some IT experience on how to use and install the software required to run the 3D printer, once the software is installed and the machine assembled in your home or office, the instructions on how to use the 3D printer are basic enough for anyone with average computer experience to use.
There is enough information available online to find the answers to all your questions, from the installation of the software to the basic how-to guide for most 3D printers. Many of the suppliers offer online tutorials as well as comprehensive user guides and a limited backup telephonic support team.
The ready access to support, online information and video tutorials have brought this equipment within the easy reach of the average home user. The technology has developed to the point that it is as easy to use as most other types of printers, with the only adjustment being learning to use the design software.
What Can I Use A 3D Printer For?
3D printers are used in many industries to replicate many items and parts. The idea of using a 3D printer is to replicate any shape by using fewer materials than what is used to create, make, or build the traditional object or item.
While the 3D printer is being used all over the world to replicate various items, for the small business or beginner at-home user, the 3D printer can be used to replicate many everyday items:
- Education. Print puzzles, atoms, and planets for your kids’ school projects.
- Personalize your gifts. Give unique,creative,original gifts to your friends and family, made especially for them!
- Mask hanger. Never lose your mask (or baseball cap) again! Print a hanger and Velcro to the wall.
- Plant pots. Design and print your own colorful plant pots for indoors or outdoors.
- Shelving. Get creative and print shelving in whichever style and size you need them.
- Speakers. Print your own speakers, add some off-the-shelf electronic components, and blast your sounds!
A 3d printer is a very good option for making parts for machines or equipment that are no longer being manufactured, and thus, there are no spare parts readily available. Rather than throwing this older equipment away, parts can be manufactured with 3D printing, and they can be put back into service.
The internet has many good ideas on what to print and how to print it. Learning how to use your 3D printer and what you can make with it is an adventure!
The Best 3D Printers For Beginners
Before shopping for a 3D printer, you would need some basic knowledge and experience on what is available in the market, so make sure that you do the research first.
Find out which 3D printer would be the best for your needs and which software, components, and hardware are used in each machine. If you are tech-savvy, then you might be able to invest in a higher-tech machine, whereas if you are a new technology user, you might need a simpler, easier-to-use machine.
3D printers come in all shapes, sizes, and complexity, so you should be able to find one to suit your individual needs.
We have come up with a list that you can use to determine what to look for in a 3D printer for your small business or at-home use as a beginner in the 3D printing marketplace. You want to buy a printer that would be appropriate for the size, material, and type of products you want to produce at home or in your small business.
What Kind Of 3D Printer Do I Need?
Answering these questions regarding your needs will give you a baseline for the type of 3D printer that will best suit your requirements.
- What are you going to print?
- What size is the 3D object that you would like to print?
- Which surface materials are you going to use for the object?
- Which colors do you need?
- What print resolution are you expecting?
- How important is the print speed?
You would need to consider all your expectations before deciding which 3D printer to buy. Consider what your needs are likely to be over the next few years and buy the best that you can afford. Bigger and more complex printers will not only be more expensive but will also take more time to learn how to use and will have more complicated design software.
Do not forget to include the costs of support structures, for example, countertop, table, or floor space, and materials like filament and resin needed for the machine to operate.
Which Is The Best 3D Printer For Beginners?
There are so many different types of 3D printers available, so choosing the correct one for you may take some time and research.
It is also important to choose a machine where you will be able to easily source 3D printer “ink” locally to keep the costs low.
There are various kinds of 3D printers available, but the choice is based on your needs, how much you can afford, and what space you have to house the machine. Here are the most popular and affordable 3D printing machines for beginners on the market currently.
FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) Filament Printing 3D Printers
This machine is the most common for 3D desktop printing as they are easily accessible and are more affordable than the bigger machines.
FDM technology uses a thermoplastic filament to create the object, one layer at a time. The print bed is pushed down slightly after each printed layer to allow each new layer to be printed on top until the object is finished.
SLA (Stereolithography) 3D Printers
This is another great choice for 3D desktop printing, although the printing material used in the printing process is different. For this method, a resin (or liquid plastic) is used to print the object required.
After each layer is printed, the resin cools down to a solid form. Once hardened, the next layer is laid on top of the last until the object is complete. The end project will need to be rinsed and perhaps baked in an oven for further hardening.
Learning how to use the 3D printer for all your many requirements will open a brand-new world for you as a new user. There are online clubs, associations, and chat rooms available where the beginner user can ask all sorts of questions and find out what other uses the 3D printer has.
The 3D printer user community is growing by the day with users from all walks of life and backgrounds, making this a good forum for discussion, ideas and generally a great place for the beginner to have questions answered! Using 3D printers to replicate items that are used daily is great for the environment, too, as fewer materials are used to create or build the same item!