What is the best 3D Printer in 2018?
3D Printers were invented in the 1980's. They were very expensive initially. Since 2010, the prices have been falling. In 2015, the RepRap Project was started to replicate 3D Printers themselves, making them even more affordable.
Now there are hundreds of options – so many that I prepared this Best 3D Printer 2018 Review to help you figure out your best option.
The best 3D Printer in 2018 for your home will depend on your budget and on your planned use. According to the RepRap site, it is estimated that a family that makes only 20 products a year with their printer will save between $300 and $2000. 20 products is 2/100's of a percent of all the possibile products that can be made.
3D Printers are fast becoming household staples. Their place in a home Maker Space for your child or for the adults in the household not only helps in-depth learning, but it can be economically efficient.
How a 3D Printer Works
3D Printing is a printing process, much like any printer, but it prints one thin horizontal layer on top of another. The layers are very thin, but thicker than the toner from a two dimensional printer.
The first step is the design, called a CAD or Computer-Aided Design. There are many available at no cost online, for many objects, done by the extended community of 3D Printing enthusiasts. A CAD file can be built from an object by using a 3D scanner.
The next step is the scan gets sliced into horizontal building blocks, which you then feed into your printer with a USB stick or a SD card or wirelessly.
There are two types of 3D Printing methods: FDM and sereolithography. FDM is the most common. It stands for Fused depostion modeling. The printer melts or softens the resin materials and then extrudes them onto the surface, one layer at a time.
Stereolithography (SLA) uses a laser instead of melting the material. The most common materials with FDM's are thermoplastics and metals, although wood and nylon are also used. This review is on FDM's. They are best for starting out, for kids, and less expensive than SLA's.
The Best 3D Printer 2018 in th Lower to Mid Range Cost
I define mid-range as $300-$750. There are some at $200 and lowerm but you lose a lot of capability when you go that low.
A good value is the Creality CR10S Kit, most recently at for $450. Even though not usable straight from the box, the set-up is easy and will help you to know your
An alternative is the FlashForge Finder for $399. This is a little smaller at 16.5 x 16.5 x 16.5.
The FlashForge Finder has USB and wireless connectivity. One big advantage is its safety concerns with a HEPA filter and how quiet it is.
The print area is small, at 5.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches. It uses only PLA filaments.
HigherEnd Best 3D Printer 2018 Reviews
The MakerBot Replicator + is designed not only for home use but for the classroom. It can be used for boh PLA and ABS thermoplastics.
The build volume is 6.5″ x 11.6″ x 7.6″.
It has both wireless and USB connectivity.
This open machine measures 16.2 ” x 20.8″ x 17.4″ and weighs 40.4 lbs. It has STEM projects for no charge.
The MakerBot Replicator + can be found for $2899.. This printer gets 34 4/5 star reviews.
Another highly rated multifunctional 3D printer is the Ultimaker2. It can use 30 different printing materials, has dual extrusion and swappable cores to change the print heads. It comes with very clear instructions and is quiet.
The extended community is large and supportive.
This machine has exceptional build quality at the sacrifice of speed. The quality and capabilities are very efficient, but there has not been much attention paid to the design, with the filament loader in the back.
Measuring 23 x20 x13, and weighing 23.3 lbs , this printer has both wifi and USB connectivity, and gets wireless updates.
The cost is $3030 plus shipping from the manufacturer.
Having this all sorted out, what kind of capabilities are you looking for? Can you see how having a 3D printer can inspire your children to experiment and learn and design?
And what about you- gettting a set and forget project for something you want or need in your home, thereby saving over the cost to buy it retail, will give you payback over time, as well as convenience.
How many times have you gone to the store to look for a way to store your electronics neatly, only to be frustrated? What if you could build something instead? And choose the materials that will go best with your home decor?
Which one of these makes the most sense for you? Think what it can do for your kids, and you can save money with a best 3D Printer – 2018. Get yours today!
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