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Here’s Why It’s Time To Own a 3D Printer

For the first time ever, 3D printers have become affordable enough that hobbyists, machinists, educators and more can now own their own printers to express their creativity, build their own tools, and explore the new world of 3D printing.

Not only is 3D printing just plain cool, but it also has several benefits over traditional printing and manufacturing. As explained by, 3D printers enable users to create complex shapes with less time and materials than conventional manufacturing methods that would otherwise be used to build the product. The cost of purchasing a 3D printer is also much lower than what it would cost to buy the many machines it often takes to make one small object.

To create a shape using a 3D printer, a filament is used to build successive layers that eventually form the product. The shape is based on a design that is created, often in a software program that either comes with a 3D printer or is sold separately, with the design acting as a set of instructions for the printer. Filaments are available in different colors and widths, allowing for added customization in the printing process.

Many industries have their own specific brand of 3D printers that have been built to meet the standards of that particular specialty. For instance, furniture designers, fashion designers, aerospace engineers, healthcare workers, and transportation specialists all used 3D printers in their line of work, but have vastly different requirements when it comes to the strength, durability, size, and abilities of the shapes they create.

Whether you’re looking for a printer that will make a great addition to a classroom or want to try out creating your own 3D objects at home, these three printers are excellent options for an exciting and groundbreaking industry that is continuing to expand.

1. LulzBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer

The LulzBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer comes with its own software but is still compatible with other 3D printing software, helping you to create items with a print volume of 6” x 6” x 6.2”.

Pros: The LulzBot includes auto-bed leveling, auto-nozzle cleaning, and layer resolution as fine as 50 micron and as coarse as 500 micron. The professional grade printer has a modular tool head carriage design with different print heads and allows for 3D printing filament materials and can print with ABS, nylon, polycarbonate, and polyester filaments. The LulzBot features a carry handle and is self-leveling and self-cleaning.

Cons: The Mini Desktop does not include WiFi connectivity like other models by LulzBot and must be connected to a computer to operate.

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Image courtesy of Amazon

2. Dremel Digilab 3D Printer

With an impressive max build height of 9” x 5.9” x 5.5”, the Dremel Digilab 3D Printer is a printer that’s safe for all ages thanks to its fully enclosed design and non-heated build plate.

Pros: The Dremel is a pre-assembled printer that can be used straight out of the box. Ideal for classrooms, the printer is fully enclosed and uses a non-heated build plate, perfect for use by young students. Unlike the Lulzbot, the Dremel does not have to be connected to a computer and can work from images on an SD card, with a touchscreen allowing users to modify their creation. The printer comes with a 0.5kg spool of filament and a one-year warranty.

Cons: Some customers had clogging issues with the printing, and others noted that generic filament doesn’t always work with the Dremel.

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Image courtesy of Amazon

3. Comgrow Creality Ender 3D Printer

The Comgrow Creality Ender 3D Printer features an upgraded extruder that reduces the risk of plugging and bad quality extrusions.

Pros: The Comgrow includes safety elements like a protected power supply, which enables the printer to resume printing even after power outages or lapses. The printer’s V-Slot and POM wheels mean it’s noiseless and runs smoothly. The Comgrow is fast acting, with the printer able to reach temperatures of 110 degrees Celsius in just five minutes.

Cons: The Comgrow arrives half assembled and takes approximately two hours to assemble the 20 nuts. Unlike the LulzBot, the Comgrow does not have automatic bed leveling, and this has to be done by the user.

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Image courtesy of Amazon