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Currently, the market of 3D printers offers a wide range of capabilities and requirement ranges, and it can be at times overwhelming. This White Paper should cover all the main features that differentiate all printers available in the market nowadays, and answer all initial questions when facing the task of choosing a 3D printer. Matching your own company’s goals, needs and priorities will help you narrow the search and choose the 3D printer that better fits your corporate needs.
The business world has shown an incessant interest in incorporating 3D printing technologies into their workflow. Significant cost and time reductions have validated the industrial usability for a technology created to deliver customized objects. This has made the Additive Manufacturing market prone to competition, and the options available for businesses are now endless.
We have developed this White Paper to help you identify the key features that will allow your team to identify the right 3D printer based on your company’s needs, goals and requirements. Up next is a thorough coverage of 3D printing basics – we hope that this guide will cover all your 3D printing questions!
The build volume is the maximum size of a model that a certain 3D printer can produce in a single print, and it is one of the most important indicators to look at when selecting a 3D printer.
If your business need is to print large pieces, you will have to select a printer with a large build volume. However, you do have to take into consideration that the versatility to produce large objects may generate a loss in accuracy and reliability, and also an increase in the final price of the printed object.
Best Layer Resolution
The layer height is the distance between one layer and the next one. The layer resolution determines the quality on the Z-axis.
The typical range of layer heights goes from 0.05mm to 0.5mm. This range is very important when deciding which printer may fit your business better, since not all machines will print within the full range of layer heights.
The hotend is the component of an FFF 3D printer that heats, melts and extrudes the material layer by layer through a nozzle.
You can learn more about the parameters governing the definition of hotends in our ‘Anatomy of an Extrusion System’ – here.
Since most printers accept different hotends and nozzle sizes, in this case the important feature to check on the printer specs is how easy it is to swap hotends. As a user, you should also make sure that all the materials you want to use count on compatible hotends.
The extruder is the motor and all the associated mechanisms that push and pull the filament to carry it from the spool to the hotend.
If you are planning to print with flexible materials, make sure that the printer has enough pushing force to properly extrude the filament. You should also ask for the flexible materials that the specific printer is compatible with.
Dual extrusion refers to the ability of an FFF 3D printer to use two different filaments in a single print job.
There are currently two types of Dual Extrusion in the 3D Printing Market:
Having two extruders allows for more efficient prints, as it will give the user the power of dual versatility in one machine. While some dual printers may have the ability to print with dual products, colors or properties, some printers on the market may also use the dual extrusion to produce double amount of pieces (printing on mirror mode, for example).
If you are planning on printing with at least two materials or colors, or want to improve your performance, consider choosing a 3D printer with dual extruders, or even better: with dual, independent extruders.
Other important aspects to look for when choosing a 3D printer included in this White Paper:
- Print surface
- Compatible materials
- Slicing Software
Would you like to know more about 3D printing? Check out the following white papers:
Ready to save time and cut costs with a BCN3D printer? Request a customized quotation for a BCN3D Printer.