3D Printer for Home Use – Are We There Yet?

Consider These Reliable 3D Printing Solutions for Your Home Business, Office or Workshop.

As 3D Printing technology ‘rockets’ towards a time where having a machine for home use is commonplace. Let’s take a look at the practicality of the 3D Printer becoming a machine for use in the home…

…a 3D Printing machine for your home business. 3D Printing has certainly inspired some really innovative uses. Industries ranging from medical, fashion and even food have all taken on the technology. But, how does 3D Printing fair when it comes down to home use? And what is the first thing to know when buying a 3D Printer? But first…

…What Type of 3D Printer Did They Use?

The following are two impressive artists that have embraced 3D Printing technology and have produced some amazing work.  First, there is artist Joshua Harker who often uses Selective Laser Sintering for producing what can be described as ranging from very intricate to highly slick work.

Using similar creative processes to when working with clay, wood, or stone. Joshua’s pieces are first sculpted digitally using 3D modeling and sculptural CAD software.

Fashion is one industry that has really “gone to town” with 3D Printing. just take a look at creations from the likes of Iris Van Herpen(you can find some examples here).

However, an excellent example of how technology can help accomplish great tasks with dare I say a relatively minimal budget and manpower – all from within a home environment is through Danit Peleg’s graduation story.



Facing the problem of sourcing the right equipment and material, Danit explored a few different 3D Printer brands including; MakerBot, Prusa, and finally… using FilaFlex filament with a Witbox printer, Danit was able to produce her famous red jacket, Liberté.

Which? 3D Software for Building Models, or Patterns…

Now, if you know anything about creating 3D models using CAD software, you may well have heard of Blender, which, at the time of writing, can be downloaded for free. There are many other 3D software packages available, most provide the ability to save your 3D models in the appropriate format for 3D printing.

AccuMark however, a pattern design software for the apparel and fashion industry, is the software option Danit eventually started using for her projects. The software is far better suited for accurately creating patterns for fashion designs.


 

Which Type of 3D Printer is Suitable for Your Needs?

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Stereolithography. 

Before buying a 3D Printer there are a few things you should be aware of. The following will help you with your decision in choosing from the 3 types of 3d printers most likely to meet your expectations.

 Fused Deposition Modeling or FDM.

FDM is a process that involves the simple process of heating and extruding plastic or other material and applying it in layers. FDM is best suited for building prototypes, manufacturing tools or aids, and low volume end-use parts and accessories.

Why FDM seems to be the most popular 3D process?

Well, first of all, it’s cheaper than the other processes, and although there may be some minor concern regarding the quality of the finish,  inherent with this process. Depending on what you are building FDM can be fairly ‘forgiving’ and of course, there are methods of smoothing your printed product.

The technology itself is said to have been invented in 1988 by Scott Crump. Since then many companies have gone on to using the technology to build their own 3D Printer Models

Stereolithography or SLA. 

Another of the 3 most popular 3D printing processes was originally confined to large industrial machines, the technology has made its way to the desktop. Stereolithography or SLA is a highly accurate process that uses an ultra violet laser and a photo-curable resin that finally sets as hardened plastic. SLA is used for producing items for automotive, medical and industrial uses.

Selective Laser Sintering or SLS. 

SLS is suitable for producing from lightweight, durable parts, to rugged components, tools, and fixtures. The process produces a high-quality finish and involves the use of photosensitive liquid and lasers along with a powdered material which eventually surrounds the manufactured item as it is being built. SLS is also used for producing items for automotive, medical and industrial uses.



So, What is the No.1 Best 3D Printer Solution for Home?

The best printer for you is the one that will allow you to achieve your specific goals and expectations, if you’re looking to 3D print clothing, your requirements may be a little different from someone wanting to print figurines or mechanical parts.

However, generally speaking, I believe the best 3D home printer is one which is safe, fast, allows a sufficient ‘build space’, and produces a clean seamless finish.

 

Photo credit: Daria Ratiner

 Learn more about this Desktop 3D Printer.


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