The costs associated with 3D printing will vary depending on the size of the machine you need and what you intend to print while using it. 3D Printers can replicate many objects, from toys to musical instruments and buildings to prosthetic limbs!
As a hobby, 3D printing is not as expensive as you may think. Printing smaller everyday objects will cost around the same price as purchasing the ready-made item. Enjoying the art of creating and printing a 3D item is a good hobby to enjoy in your spare time. It can also benefit your current hobbies.
Choosing your 3D printer and deciding what to replicate and print can take up a good amount of your spare time. The expense of the 3D printer is mitigated by the enjoyment and entertainment that you would gain from having this as a new hobby.
Is 3D Printing An Expensive Hobby?
If you are only using your 3D printer as a part-time or weekend hobbyist, then a 3D printer is a good purchase to play with on the weekends and when you have spare time available.
When the 3D printers first made an appearance on the market, the costs were terribly high, costing over $100 000 or more per machine. This put them out of reach of most home users or hobbyists and kept them in the domain of commercial application.
Things have changed drastically since the pioneering days of 3D printing, and the prices of the machinery and the materials have dropped radically. This has made it possible for 3D printing to become a hobby for any home user.
Currently, you can order a 3D printer online for around $200.00. Comparatively, depending on your needs and requirements, you can spend a small fortune on a 3D printer, or you can purchase one for any price within your price range. Essentially, what we are saying is that there is a 3D printer out there to match your budget and your needs.
As technology improves, the costs of these machines will decrease and become more affordable, increasing the accessibility of these machines to a wider range of the public. Soon, every household will own a 3D printing machine!!
The highest cost is for the machine itself, followed by the materials needed to use it. Purchasing a small use-at-home printer will reduce the costs compared to a bigger, more industrial machine intended for commercial applications. For home use, you can design and replicate smaller items: perhaps a toy for your child, a kitchen appliance for your wife, or a hand tool for yourself.
You can explore your creative side by making small, personalized gifts for friends and family and spending less than what you do on purchasing the same item! This not only allows you to create personalized gifts but also to express your creativity in a truly modern medium.
While using the machine at home as a hobbyist or part-time user, the costs of replacing the printing materials – filament or resin – should not be too much. You would still need to limit your projects and printing, or you could soon be spending more on the materials than what you had intended, so budget and plan before you start.
Having your own 3D printing machine will save you the cost of hiring a printing company to print your objects. These companies will add an extra charge for materials and time. Weigh up the pros and cons before deciding on either choice.
Is 3D Printing A Good Hobby?
A remarkably simple definition of the word “hobby” is an activity that you do for pleasure when you are not at work. Designing, replicating, and printing your own items is a fun hobby! You can dream, plan and then finally see your creation in 3D without having to leave your home.
Many people have hobbies that they enjoy on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. 3D printing for the home-based hobbyist is another activity that can be included on the list of things that people enjoy during their downtime!
Researching and then purchasing the 3D printer and materials needed to use it is exciting for the hobbyist, and sourcing the right machine is part of the experience. As with all good hobbies, there are numerous online forums and groups that discuss the pros and cons of each machine, which materials are the best for each machine, and of course, what they have replicated and turned into a 3D image.
If you are trying to decide on which 3D printer to buy and are researching which machine is going to be the best for you, set aside some dedicated time as this research can take up lots of your spare time. You could have spent this time enjoying other hobbies. This is the fun and excitement of starting something new!
Even setting up your space for the printer is part of the journey for the hobbyist. Finding the best spot to stand the machine could take many weeks of deliberation. It may be small enough to stand on a spare counter or on top of the shelf, or it might need floor space if it is a larger machine.
Be aware that they do make a bit of a mess as they bring your creation to life, so putting it in the kitchen is probably not a good idea!
Being a 3D printer hobbyist also means that you can create many other items for your other hobbies that you could not afford or simply want to manufacture to certain specifications yourself. You could print a bigger hammer, a fishing rod, or even a kayak!
Radio-controlled boats, cars, and airplanes can have replacement parts created in your 3D printer rather than ordering them over the internet and having to wait for delivery on a scarce component.
Try printing a part of something that has broken in your home and cannot be replaced. A quick setup on the 3D printer will produce the part required to fix the broken item and extend its usable life.
Tips For The New Hobbyist
Contacting others who enjoy the same hobbies, whether online or on forums, is a great platform for asking questions and getting advice! We have drawn up a checklist of things to watch out for before you go ahead and purchase your new 3D printer:
- Decide why you need a 3D Printer and what you will be using it for.
- Choose the materials that you would like to use, e.g., resin or filament.
- Buy the machine which suits your needs – don’t buy big and expensive if you don’t need it.
- Buy the machine that you can afford and be happy with it while you learn.
- Buy a cheaper machine that you can learn on and make mistakes on before buying an expensive one.
- Learn how to use the 3D printer first before purchasing any new software or hardware upgrades.
- Use the online resources available to you and do your research.
- Learn how to set up the machine before trying to print anything!
Once you have become an expert at designing and printing anything that you want and need, start advertising your services to your family and friends and charge them for your services. This will help to cover the costs of the 3D printer and the materials needed to print the objects.
You never know; you could find a niche market in your community for items you can produce on your 3D printer and offer for sale.
People are going to buy what they need anyway, so why not use your services and get a one-of-a-kind genuine bespoke item!
Beginning a new hobby is exciting. Planning and saving for the 3D printing machine can be a fun way to pass the time. Buying expensive items can become a thing of the past with a 3D printer. Most items and objects can be replicated and printed by a 3D printer.
While a 3D printer is not a magic wand that can create any object, the usefulness of these machines is only limited by what our imaginations are limited to. These machines and their consumables are only going to become cheaper as technology progresses and they become more popular.