Buy – or Build – a 3D Printer for Your Home or Office
Purchasing a 3D Printer
The best way to have access to a 3d printer is to own one. While 3d printing hardware ranges widely in both cost, with the upper end of that spectrum being completely unaffordable to anyone outside of a very large company, the price point for smaller desktop models has and continues to fall. For a price ranging from around $500- $3,000, one can purchase a 3d printer that can fit on a desktop at a home or office. There are a number of variables to consider when purchasing a printer, including but not limited to: cost, material, technical support, print quality, reliability, and build volume. Typically, desktop 3d printers with a higher price will have a larger community and better technical support. While not universally true, some of the less expensive options may not be as reliable and may require more tinkering or tuning to get it calibrated.
How to Find What Printer Is Best For You:
3D Hubs is a platform that connects people with files to print with thousands of 3d printing services worldwide. Every year, 3D Hubs surveys their members to rank 3d printers and then compiles the results is a pretty thorough annual 3d printer guide. The results are broken into several categories including “prosumer”, “workhorse”, “plug and play”, and “budget”. Here is the 3D Hubs 3D Printer Guide.
Best Prosumer 3D Printers
Formlabs Form 2
Best Budget 3D Printers
Printrbot Simple Metal
Industrial/ Commercial 3D Printers
Best D.I.Y. 3D Printer Kits
The desktop 3d printing movement started with many DIY (do it yourself) kits for assembling 3d printers. While these kits may be better suited for a technically savy, early adopter, type, and may require time and effort to assemble, these kits can be very cost effective and also are helpful for gaining an understanding for how 3d printers work.