The choice of the first 3D printer is a very delicate matter. The world of 3D printing is coming to the general public, although not yet with specific products, at least with news about it. This is enough to ignite the curiosity of people who have an open mind and predisposition for technology. To date, in fact, there are no 3D printers capable of operating in total autonomy as do 2D printers on paper. Or at least there is no such thing as a curious user willing to “sacrifice” for a trial at the price.
Until recently, 3d printers on the market were divided into two categories: professional printers (with prices above 1000 €..) and printers in kits. The term Kit means exactly what it seems. That is, printers that arrive at the end user piece by piece disassembled. With a minimum of manual skills and following instructions and tutorials they are installed rather easily.
However, there is a good part of the population that does not have time and desire to embark on complicated assemblies at first glance. Manufacturers have understood this and have created a third category, printers in pre-assembled kits.
First 3D printer: What does pre-assembled kit mean?
In essence, they are identical to the printers as KIT (also in price), but arrive at the end user with most of the work already done. In most cases you just have to tighten 8 screws and you can start to have fun right away.
We often read in the groups of fans of 3D printing the post of some new user who asks for advice on the purchase of the first 3D printer. From there usually triggers a flame of more or less right answers that usually do nothing but create more confusion than that which the poor uncertain did not have at the beginning.
To clarify some doubts below I would like to illustrate what are the main canons of choice to consider when buying a machine suitable for your hobby, work and budget needs. While the market on the subject is in full evolution, it goes without saying that the models presented may undergo various upgrades or upheavals, but in principle they will give an overview of what the market offers today.
Small aside: In this historical period, 3D printing is difficult to understand by those who are not “already in the picture”. The purpose of Easy 3D Home is to illuminate the way for those who want to venture into this world of the future.
I’ve often heard that printing in three dimensions is not for everyone. I believe that those who think so are wrong. Just a little push and anyone can be able to materialize his ideas or self-producing everyday objects. We are her for you! With reviews at the latest printer releases, troubleshooting, materials testing, hardware guides, software, news and much more! Follow our Facebook page to keep up to date with the latest news!
First 3D printer: BUDGET
The first question we need to ask ourselves is definitely, “How much do I want to spend?”
In the collective imagination the 3D printer has a prohibitive cost, so it’s only for “the packaged” or “who can afford it”. Nothing could be more wrong.
Today we can bring home a good stain to assemble with a sum not exceeding 150 $. And this choice, in addition to saving money, will be our main source of learning about the operation of a complex machine, even if in many cases it could be a source of frustration and problems.
With an outlay not exceeding 300 $. but we could give ourselves a pre-assembled kit that I mentioned earlier. Basically start printing after having inserted 4/8 screws and made some easy adjustments.
The choice obviously depends on your finances and the type of use we intend to make with our printer. Personally I was driven by curiosity in my first purchase, so I decided to invest a minimum amount and assemble piece by piece my machine.
If we want to keep costs down we must necessarily shop in China. Where thanks to large online stores we will be able to take home a good car with an extremely modest amount. Obviously with budgets over 1000$. will open to us also the Italian market.
Self-construction must absolutely not scare those who approach this world, but those who buy a pure KIT will have to consider spending a few hours for assembly, and then get results that will still give a great deal of satisfaction, amply repaying the time and money spent.
First 3D printer: USE
Usually a first purchase is justified mainly out of curiosity. So once we have decided on the budget we will have to measure ourselves with the purpose for which we intend to undertake this path.
For example, if our objectives include models, action-figures and supellectibles to be finished and painted, we can choose a cheap kit like the Anet A8, or the Tevo Tarantula. The same choice could be good for the static or dynamic modeler for the realization of mechanical and non mechanical parts. The same modeler who does not want to waste a few hours in DIY assembly, can buy at a slightly higher price a printer ready to use, such as the Anycubic i3 MEGA.
All the models of printers that we offer are still equipped with a heated shelf. This feature will allow us to evolve with more and more demanding materials.
If instead we want to devote ourselves more to cosplay or the creation of models of buildings then we should focus on something that can print larger objects such as the Creality CR-10, the Tevo Black Widow or the Tevo Tornado These printers are able to print a helmet in a single solution thanks to their increased printing area.
I AM INTERESTED IN PRINTING IN 3D OR 3D PRINTS?
Although this question may seem strange, analyzing it is not. In fact, the question distinguishes the two macro categories of people “addicted” to 3d printing: The Maker or the Mechanic.
This category is composed of people who want to create and modify the environment that surrounds them, a maker can design in 3D and is always looking for new ideas to develop. Skilled designer wants to have a reliable machine. The printer is the means with which to make concrete his ideas. He needs a reliable machine, Plug and Play and that has a good quality as it is, out of the box. This category includes cosplayers, modelers and pure designers. For this category we recommend pre-assembled kits such as: Creality CR-10, Anycubic i3 MEGA. or Tevo Tornado.
The mechanic approaches 3d printing fascinated by the precision of these machines and the possibilities they offer. Normally they look for ready-made projects on the net through the various free and non-free 3d warehouses. They are not satisfied with the printer they have and spend their days designing, installing and testing upgrades. These people are always looking for perfection and always go a little further! The slightest sign of error is a drama. Their best friends are linear guides, all-metal extruders and all kinds of upgrades. For this category I recommend Tevo Tarantula or Tevo Black Widow.
First 3D printer: SIZE
How big is our object, like? Here too, it depends on our intentions. Are we cosplayers who want to print helmets, breastplates or other parts of armor and weapons or simply gifts and models?
The reasoning that we normally do is that where the big is also the small and not vice versa. This is certainly true, but with 3d printing there is one more variable: time!
A calibration cube 2x2x2 cm takes from 30 to 40 minutes to be printed. Now imagine the timing of a 20x20x20 print. If you know you want something time will not be a problem, but when you put a model in the slicer and this will indicate 80 hours to finish it … with all that can happen in the 80 hours maybe your enthusiasm will decrease a little.
I’ll tell you about my experience. As a first purchase I chose a printer with a huge area, with a substantial outlay of money, and after a year of use I realized that I had not printed even an object that was not in the 20x20x20 of a medium size printer.
Is it worth spending twice as much per area of increased printing? The answer is yours!
First 3D printer: COMMUNITY
One of the factors that is often forgotten when buying a 3D printer is that this is a machine that needs maintenance and continuous adjustments, when not a complete assembly. As a beginner this can be very complicated. That’s why the fact that this printers is “around for a while”, well sold and maybe the same one that owns a friend of ours could prove to be a good choice.
Someone gets “befuddled” by some imaginary optional, a very low price or an offertona and ends up opting for a printer little known and widespread. The fact is that sooner or later all printers, as machines, give some problems. Or we’re happy with our results and will end up wanting to outdo ourselves and therefore want to make some upgrades.
In this case, the poor guy who bought a little-known printers will only find himself solving problems or designing, printing and testing upgrades. The large and active user community is one of the main features that a printer should have for a beginner. For example, Tevo printers (Chinese company) boast various international groups on their printers that have up to 70,000 members in total. In this case you can be sure that you will find support for your problems and various projects already tested for various upgrades!
THE CHOICE OF First 3D printer: FINAL STEPS
Seen and considered all that we have said above, which printer to choose? The variables are many, ranging from the required printing area, budget, use etc. etc..
To help you in your choice I can do nothing more than offer you the discounts that I found around the network on the printers we have talked about so far and on some others.
If you want information about printers you can, through the text links, read the reviews of the machines we tested. I will add a comment on the side, to explain any points in favor or against for printers that we have not directly reviewed.
– Tevo Tornado Printer with dimensions 30x30x40, very similar to Cr10 both for construction quality, as results obtained. The selling price is a little lower than that of the CR-10. A more open source nature of this printer lends itself more easily to hardware and software changes.
– Tevo Little Monster
Delta printer with gigantic measures 37 of diameter x 58 cm of height. It can print at twice the speed of normal Cartesian printers and can reach 350mm/s. Incredible construction quality makes all owners enthusiastic. The price, however, in line with the quality and size is slightly higher than the other printers in the list, and is about 600 euros.
– Anet A8:
– Anet E10
Printer with dimensions 220x270x300 mm and design very similar to Cr-10. The construction quality of the Anet is still slightly lower than Creality, which, combined with the smaller print area, justifies a lower selling price. It can still be a good choice for those who start out and want to get into a rather large press without a good budget. You can buy this machine for less than 230 euros!
– Anet E12
Same as for the E10, only the measurements go up a bit, becoming equal to that of the Cr-10 (30x30x40).
– Anycubic Kossel:
Printer in delta conformation. This 3-column design provides faster printing speed, but a more difficult calibration, in very economical printers like this one. It is recommended to buy to those who have a minimum of experience in mechanics, manual skills and brave.
– Creality cr10 maybe one of best chose for first 3D printer.
–Creality Cr 10S
Identical to the Cr-10, the S that indicates the advanced version has as only difference the double motor on the Z axis. This peculiarity makes it a little more stable, especially in large prints.
This corexy, or rather H-bot for the finicky ones, is a super cheap one but with the precision typical of this project.