What should you expect to pay for a decent-quality 3D printer? Well, there are things to consider. Right off the bat, you should understand that this is a pretty new industry. Although 3D printing (aka additive manufacturing) has been in the experimentation phases since the 80s, 3D printers have only been available for general public consumption since the early 2010s.
There are a range of places where you can find out more about printers & related devices. Konica Minolta has photocopiers, printers & more if you check out their latest site.
That means that prices are still exaggerated. If you give the industry some more time to work through its own bugs, then you will likely be rewarded with significantly lowered prices. Remember when dot-matrix ink-based printers first came out – BIG, heavy and expensive (and oh so slow…)? Yep – it’s sort of like that. Here are the main determining factors affecting the costs of 3D printers today.
The size of the baseplate is what it’s all about in the 3D printer world. There are several very decent 3D printers available for between $1200 and $1500. These will undoubtedly become at least slightly depressing as your skills, and needs evolve. They basically feature 5 x 5 x 5-inch baseplates, making it limited as to how large your output designs may be. To compare, it you want to step up to a much more versatile 10 x 10 x 7-inch baseplate, then you’re going to need to step your budget up too, to around $2400.
3D printers base resolution of the thinness of successive layers used to build up the 3D objects you have designed. For instance, the $1200 Cubify Cube 3D printer has a minimum setting of 200 microns per layer of substance laid. In comparison, the Afinia H-Series H479 has a minimum setting of 150 microns; 25% thinner. The price of the Afinia H-Series H479 steps up to about $1700. So, as with 2D printers, you have to pay for increased resolution.
Besides the size of the baseplate and the resolution provided, 3D printers will cost more according to the degree to which they are customizable in terms of accommodating your designs’ intricacies. If you are designing objects that are highly artistic, then you need to purchase a 3D printer that can handle your demands. It pays well to do your research in this budding market.
For instance, some 3D printers do not come equipped with WiFi connectivity. That means you have to bust out the cables, wire up and the like. And let’s face it: most techy types do not care for the hassles of wired connections these days. WiFi is important, and needs to be considered when shopping for a 3D printer.
As your skills in 3D printing increase, so likely will your demands and requirements for the printer’s capabilities. Since this market is still new, prices are still high in general. If you are going to invest now, it will be best to go all out and get the 3D printer that demonstrates the highest capacities for performance and expansion, because these technologies are sure to continue evolving rapidly.