Finding the best 3D printer for you.
A home 3D printer turns digital files into physical objects you can use or display. You can import designs, create your own concepts in computer-aided design (CAD) software programs, or use a 3D scanner to turn everyday objects into digital models that you can copy or improve.
There are several key factors to consider when choosing the best 3D printer for your goals. A no-assembly 3D printer is generally the best 3D printer for beginners because it’s simple to set up and start using. Some printers offer more than one resolution setting — measured in microns — which affects the level of detail the printer can re-create. More detail is great, but it also means longer print times, which can exceed twelve hours for complex designs.
Additionally, the size of the printer's platform or chamber will determine the maximum dimensions of each individual piece you print, and this size can vary widely between printer models. A 3D printer with a heated chamber or heated build platform can also keep objects from warping as they cool.
Using your 3D printer.
3D printers use spools of 3D printer filament, which the printer heats and extrudes layer by layer to construct your object. The common types of filament are PLA and ABS plastic. PLA material is generally biodegradable, making it more environmentally friendly. It is also more user-friendly because of its lower melting point, but ABS is more heat-resistant, which could be better, depending on the object.
Put your problem-solving abilities to work and let your imagination run wild when choosing the coolest things to 3D print. Create a personalized cell phone case or craft a better chip clip or a custom cookie cutter. Print out a replacement part or invent the next great gadget.
Beyond the many ways it can be fun and useful at home, a 3D printer can also take its place among your craft machines for personal or educational purposes. If you have children in the house, encourage, inspire and engage them by letting them stretch their creativity while developing skills in math, science, engineering, and spatial reasoning.