3D Printing – A Brief Overview
3D Printing is one of the most exciting areas of technology in today’s world. Every few months sees some more models adding on to the list of 3D printers available in the market. It is indeed one of the best inventions. Manufacturers of 3D printers are continuously innovating to bring better 3D printers at an affordable price for us. These printers are gradually replacing the traditional 2D printers because of the amazing way in which it prints your models.
What is 3D printing?
Chuck Hull invented the 3D printer in 1986. The process of 3D printing involves a digital 3D model which is turned into a digital file. This digital file is converted into a physical object by the 3D printer. Hull used a fabrication process known as Stereolithography (SLA) for 3D printing. Since then, a slew of other 3D printing technologies cropped up which promise to be easier and more affordable than SLA. The most commonly used 3D printing technologies are Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) or Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). Selective Layer Sintering (SLS) is another common 3D printing technology.
All of these technologies are based on printing an object layer by layer known as the additive process. The technologies differ mainly in the way the layers are built in order to create the final object. These layers are created based on a code that is fed to the computer.
3D printing is primarily used for prototyping, but it is gradually increasing its reach to healthcare, aerospace and architectural modeling. Surgeons have started using 3D printed models of the organs and bone structures of the patients so that they can study them more closely. Artists are able to give shape to their ideas quickly and easily with the help of 3D printers. In fact the 3D printers are becoming so useful that very soon they may be incorporated in schools and educational institutions in one way or another.
If you are planning to buy one for yourself then go through our list of top 3D printers. The top 3 3D printers are:
- Lulzbot Taz 5 3D Printer
If you are thinking high quality 3D printing then the Taz 5 3D printer manufactured by Lulzbot stands unbeatable. It produces the highest quality prints in a short period of time. It is one of the fastest filament deposit manufacturing printers. The printer is reliable and the outcome is great. It prints with fewer errors and removing the finished product from the Taz 5 takes no time. The printer has the ability to handle a larger range of temperature which gives you the chance to work with different materials. Priced at $2,200 the printer is made for power users with demanding 3D printing needs.
- Lulzbot Mini
The Lulzbot is a smaller model as compared to the Taz 5. It is built with portability in mind. The Mini can print in several materials. It includes an auto-leveling sensor and has a substantial build area. The Lulzbot Mini supports just a single extruder so you will have to swap the filament manually if you would like to use more than one color in the object that you are printing. The Lulzbot Mini costs $1,350.
- M3D Micro 3D Printer
If you are looking for a budgeted 3D printer then the M3D Micro 3D printer will suit you well. It can be set up easily and the intuitive software makes the printer user-friendly for those who are new to the world of 3D printing. With a build volume of 85 cubic inches, the printer can do a lot in comparison to its fairly small size. Users will be able to enjoy the flexibility of choosing different materials when using this printer. Available for approximately $517, the M3D Micro 3D Printer is perfect for beginners.
Based on extensive evaluations, these printers are some of the best when it comes to pricing and usability. Consider the type of printer you want to buy and select one that will be able to print using materials that you want to work with. Additionally the print volume and the speed of the printer are also important factors when considering a printer.