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How Much Is a 3D Printer for Home Use?

Snapmaker - Best 3D Printer, Laser Engraver, CNC Carver for Sale

As 3D printers become more and more accessible, many 3D printing novices, enthusiasts and home-run businesses are opting to purchase their own 3D printer for home. While you may think having the best 3D printer for your home is out of your price range, 3D printers with multiple capabilities are becoming more and more affordable. There are many types of 3D printers on the market, all at different price points and with various features. To help you decide on whether to take the plunge, here are the key points to go over when buying a home 3D printer, including how much the one you need might cost.

Choosing a printer

The most crucial part of buying a 3D printer is determining what model and type you need. This usually indicates what your 3D printer cost will be. There are many different types of 3D printers, technologies and specifications on the market, making it easy to get overwhelmed. Here are the three primary considerations when choosing which printer you need.

How will it be used?

Firstly, how will your 3D printer be used? Are you looking to print toys, parts, models or something else? Knowing what kind of products you need to print is vital, and you should be very clear on what product and quality you want. If you only plan on printing small, rough models, a basic 3D printer might fit your needs. However, if you want intricate, more considerable parts where quality, resolution and material are vital; a performance printer will be more suitable. One way to determine what type of printer and print result you need is by looking into existing designs of models and projects similar to those you plan to make and seeing what printer and printer specifications they use or recommend.

What specifications do you need?

Now that you know what you need your printer to do - consider the specifications. How big do you want your parts to be? If you want to create larger models, will the printer you’re looking at be able to satisfactorily print smaller complementary parts? Where will your printer be situated in the house? Does it need to be small or quiet, or are unit size and noise not a big priority for you? How detailed do you need your models to be? What resolution do your prints need to be? How fast do you want your pieces to print? It’s a good idea to list everything you can think of that you want in a printer, emphasising the designs you wish to print. Then, order them by priority so you know which features are most important to you if you cannot find or afford a printer with everything you desire in one machine.

What is your budget?

Finally, the deciding factor for most people buying a 3D printer for the home is the 3D printer price. What is in your budget? You also need to be aware of running costs; how much you are willing to put towards the ongoing costs of things like materials? Below you will find a list of the different levels of home 3D printers, as well as their capabilities and price range.

Basic 3D printers

The most basic home 3D printers on the market range from $100 to $500 and are designed for mostly experimental printing and play instead of reliable products and satisfactory results. They are usually not very durable, can only print small models, and their resolution is relatively poor. Because of the low heat accommodated by their smaller workspace, they are usually only capable of printing using PLA filament. If you want a printer that will create rudimentary parts or small models, this type of printer will be suitable. However, if consistency, quality and finish are important to you, a hobbyist or performance printer may better suit your needs.

Hobbyist printers

Hobbyist printers are those used by 3D printing enthusiasts, small businesses and other creators who print on a semi-regular basis and prioritise quality over speed and quantity of prints. These printers usually cost between $500 and $1500 and are generally bigger, faster and more versatile than those in the basic category. Hobbyist printers can produce more complex designs like basic toys, usable parts and relatively detailed models.

Performance printers

Finally, for those who print regularly and depend on consistent, high-quality prints in a variety of materials, a performance printer is likely the best 3D printer for you. These 3D printers usually cost between $1500 and $5000 and are fitted with the technology and capabilities to create many complex creations. If you wish to print regularly in high quality, performance printers are faster, have better resolution and print in a variety of materials. Some, like the Snapmaker 3-in-1, even include carving and engraving capabilities. These types of 3D printers are well suited for complex toys, moving parts, engraving and many other household and business gadgets. Performance home 3D printers are a great investment if you plan on printing a variety of different models, and if you plan on expanding your 3D printing output as you go.