It takes a bit more attention when selecting best 3D printer for home than others. You may be looking for one to use for a hobby, your kids fun-based education purposes, or simply to create unique items to decorate your home but you can never ignore the fact that home means kids, pets, guests, and so many other factors which make it almost compulsory that you choose with the utmost care.
However, another fact we should not be ignoring is that it can even be for a commercial use – for a business you run out of your home, for example. In all cases, the 3D printer needs to be robust enough to handle a bit of rough use.
Use the below criteria as a checklist to help you find the right one.
First and foremost, importance should be given for safety. Following are the criteria to look for from the safety perspective.
- No open build atmosphere – this ensures no hot surfaces are accessible.
- Enclosure on all four sides and a door on front for easy access
- No wire spools, extended arms hanging out of the print area which can cause impact hazard to others.
- If there is no particular choice of material to be printed, PLA is better than ABS because ABS calls for relatively more heat and smoke.
- Printer with the voltage level (110V / 220V) setting as per your country’s electricity standard is very important as the wrong voltage might damage the 3D printer.
- Look for safety instructions in manuals, manufacturer videos, brochures, website, etc., which gives you the confidence about the manufacturer’s care towards the safety of users.
- Ensure the 3D printer is properly grounded (also get rid of static electricity on your body by touching a grounded object before working on 3D printer).
- Keep the printer in a better ventilated area as it can produce a bit of heat. Also make sure to leave some distance around the printer for air circulation.
Ease of Use
Another important parameter, which probably goes without saying, is the ease of use. Having a 3D printer at home means no skilled operators and continuous usage, which means it needs to be as easy to operate with as little expert help as possible.
- The Display should be user-friendly and easy to interpret with clear prompts for next action.
- The navigational keys should be suitably placed for easy access.
- Documentation that comes with the 3D printer shall be detailed and easy to interpret.
- There shall be a responsive customer support base from the manufacturer or his authorized team who can guide the user easily through troubleshooting and further services.
- The 3D printer shall be able to get started with minimal to no assembly required (unless you’re purposely buying a kit package).
- If you are planning to use the 3D printer more often, there shall be flexibility to use any brand filament. If your use of the 3D printer is less frequent, using a proprietary filament should not cost you much.
- Should be easy to calibrate when the print bed is found out of alignment.
Aesthetics also play a major role when selecting a 3D printer as it can become one of the gadgets you will be showcasing. While some of the aesthetic features are already covered in the Safety section above, here are a few more tips to keep in mind.
- Make sure to select a 3D printer which looks visually appealing.
- Try for a 3D Printer that is cube shaped. This makes it a good fit between books in the shelf or the table.
- Use bright color filaments. This will not only make the 3D print more attractive but also decorate your home much better.
- Use a SD card to transfer print files. This not only ensures that the data is transferred without any interruption but it also keeps the printer free from tangling of loose USB cables.
- Even if the filament holder is outside the body of the printer, look for a printer which has the filament holder in the backside instead of on the front or sides. This helps in maintaining the neatness of the printer aesthetically.
Selecting a 3D printer for your home will become much easier when you follow a structural approach as given in this article. When it comes to aesthetics, no individual can advise better than the person who is going to own the 3D printer because it depends on the theme of one’s home interiors, intended project use, and also the personal taste of the user. Use your instincts with these tips as a guideline.