If you are considering buying a 3D printer then you will be pleased to know that there is a 3D printer for just about every budget, application and need, and they have become more affordable for the public too.
However, there are a few things you need to know before you buy a machine for 3D printing:
Unlike standard printers, the tech behind 3D printing is totally different, with the two main innovations being SLA (Stereolithography) and FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling). They don’t just work in different ways either, the results from the two types will vary.
If you want your 3D printer to give you a nice surface finish, better finer detailing and accuracy then you should opt for an SLA machine, whereas if you are looking to print a selection of materials and multi-material prints then FDM is the best option.
Once you have your 3D printer you will also need plenty of materials to go with it, and the SLA machine uses photocurable liquid resins, which are more expensive than the filament spools that an FDM machine uses.
What is more, there are the post-processing steps to consider with SLA printing such as post-curing and washing of the finished item.