Here we are going to look at the 4 main things that you need to look for in a cheap 3d printer deal. We will look at these 4 aspects in below in detail and also make some recommendations.
- 3D Printer Types
- Materials the printer can print with
- Quality and value for money.
- Price of the machine
3D Printer Types
First off we will spend a little time examining the most common types of 3d printer available on the market today. There are two main types of 3d printer being used in the lower price bracket of 3d printers today. These two types are firstly the FDM or to give the system it’s full name Fused Deposition Modeling printer.
Second of all, we will be looking at how the oldest type of 3d printer works. This is known as an (SLA) or Stereolithography 3d printer.
FDM Fused Deposition Modeling 3d printers.
The FDM type of 3d printer is the most common system used today, These printers work by building the printed object from the ground up. The object is built up by melting ABS or PLA materials which are built up layer upon layer under the guidance of a computer program.
The extrusion head of the printer lays down thermoplastics as directed along X, Y coordinates and the build table lowers the product layer by layer in the Z-direction. Support is sometimes needed for overhanging parts of the product. This is achieved by the use of support rods which are removed once the print is finished.
This form of 3d printing is friendly to the environment and is more than capable of producing highly complex geometric shapes that often include cavities and even interlocking parts.
These printers are great for new product research and development in the following and other industries, automotive, medical, and food industries.
SLA Stereolithography 3d Printers
Stereolithography printers work in a totally different way to FDM printers. This type of printer works by exposing photosensitive liquid plastic layer by layer to a UV-laser beam pattern which hardens the plastic fusing it to the last layer that has been formed below. These layers are built progressively one o top the other as the printer bed lowers into a resin tank. This resin hardens to make up the finished product. When these layers are built up, the product needs to be rinsed in a solvent and then baked in a UV oven which will finalise the process.
The above method of 3d printing is used where a fine finish is needed such as in the manufacture of moulds for producing jewellery and in the dental industry.
Materials The Printers Can Print With:
Although there are many types of materials that can be used in 3d printing for our purposes here we are only looking at the types of materials used by SLA and FDM 3d printer.
First, we will look at the mediums used by FDM printers. (ABS) Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene filament is a commonly used in FMD printers. This is a thermoplastic that was the first material used for 3D printing. ABS can be prone shrinkage cooling down of the printed object which in certain cases leads to warping and cracking of the printed product. This is, for the most part, countered by the use of a heated print bed.
The other medium commonly used with FDM printers is PLA Polylactic acid. PLA is a biodegradable filament that is produced from corn and while being not as stable as ABS is the most common medium used in 3d printing today.
SLA Printers commonly use a resin that hardens under the influence of a UV laser. The most common medium used is known as ” Standard, transparent, tough, castable wax. These castable waxes come in various formats i.e. Dental, Self Peeling, ceramic and transparent.
Quality and value for money.
We have chosen Sinnoh’s DP200 3DWOX 3D Printer as our best all-around value for money 3d printer due to its versatility and overall ease of use see our review of the Sinnoh’s DP200 3DWOX 3D Printer here… Another great value for money that can be bought if you are looking for a 3d printer cheap. Is the Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer. Click Here to see our review of this awesome little printer for around the $300 mark.
The Formlabs Form 1+ Complete Package with Clear Resin SLA 3d Printer whilst not as cheap as the other two printers above is a fantastic value Stereolithography (SLA) 3d printer and you can read our review for this machine by clicking here….. See also our article on Things To Consider When Looking For A 3D Printer For Sale for even more information on both FDM and SLA 3d printers and how they work.
Last but not least comes the MakerBot Replicator+ 3d Printer. this is not a cheap printer coming in at around $2500. However, this is a very versatile machine and will satisfy even the most enthusiastic of 3d printer buffs, Check out our review of the MakerBot Replicator+ 3d Printer here. Also a fair bit cheaper the…. MakerBot Mini comes in at only $999.00at Amazon.com
There are a number of very good 3d printers at a cheap price on the market these days. We have come a long way in the last 30 odd years and many manufacturers have found a place in the 3d printer arena.
Some of the cheaper 3d printers under $1000 and the bargain basement, but still very good 3d printers under $500 that we have reviewed on the pages of this website and are particularly impressed with are listed below. We invite all of our readers to check out these 3d printers by clicking on the links to each of their pages.
- The Flashforge Creator Pro
- The Flashforge Dreamer
- QIDI Technology X-One 3D Printer
- Wanhao i3 V2.1 3D printer by Technologyoutlet
If you are looking to buy a machine we suggest that Amazon.com with it’s array of quality printers and its famous A to Z Guarantee is a great place to buy Check out the printers by clicking Here…