Does best buy sell 3d printers
Best Buy to Display 3D Printing Technology in Stores with 50 Intel Technology Experience Zones - 3DPrint.com
With 3D technology being so accessible, and hobbyists producing so many amazing 3D printed objects in the comfort of their own homes, it just makes sense that curious shoppers could check out this new technology firsthand across the street at their neighborhood Best Buy.
In a collaboration with Intel, Best Buy will be showcasing hot new technology in ‘mini-stores’ that will be inside Best Buy retail locations.
Spurring imaginations, and propelling hobbyists and designers to engage in the latest technology, the new Best Buy ‘mini-stores’ featuring 3D printers will take the headlines 3D printing has been making to another level. The user-friendly desktops will become tangible, accessible, and visual — taking the wow factor one major step further toward increasing enthusiasm on a mass level.
“We wanted to give our customers a new way to experience Intel technology,” said CJ Bruno, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel Americas. “It’s an innovative way for Best Buy’s customers to see, touch and engage with our latest products and experiences.”
The famed Geek Squads and faithful shoppers of 50 Best Buy stores will soon be gawking at Intel Technology Experience zones, which average about 240 square feet, with one already open in Portland and the rest to open by the end of October. ‘Tis the season!
Shoppers and tech enthusiasts will be able to design 3D robots on touch-enabled, Intel-powered laptops and then watch 3D printers going to work printing out the designs. Intel tablets will be provided for users to design and race a Mars Rover, and ‘maneuver it virtually through a physical Mars landscape.’ They will also be able to perform with the ‘DJ Remixing Ne-Yo Experience,’ as well as checking out all of Intel’s new devices and tablets.
“The normal consumer can’t get to the Consumer Electronics Show to see the latest cutting-edge technology,” Jeff Haydock, a Best Buy spokesman, said, referring to the industry’s annual trade show. “This gives you a sense of what is possible with this kind of technology.”
Best Buy stores already have similar displays set up with companies like Samsung and Sony, which are able to display super high-end new items, garnering consumer attention and turning shopping into a long field trip instead of a quick jaunt to buy a printer cartridge or phone charger.
“It’s not just a holiday play,” Haydock said, as Best Buy stresses that the ‘mini stores’ will be changed with each season and maintained by dedicated Best Buy staff.
This will obviously be great timing for opening the mini-stores and getting consumers jazzed up to spend — even if 3D printers themselves won’t be immediately available in the stores; however, they will be online at Best Buy within a few weeks of being displayed in the stores. This should be a good boost for the electronics retailer, which has been experiencing a financial slump. With declining revenues over past years, Best Buy has been shifting focus into different ideas and areas, such as the Geek Squad subsidiary, located in stores, and online sales, which this latest endeavor should complement.
Just as 3D printing technology has opened a world of creativity and progress to designers, scientists, and hobbyists, presenting it to the mass consumer market will indeed shift the myopic focus from PCs and smartphones to the hottest new technology on the scene today: the 3D desktop printer. What will be under your Christmas tree this year?
Will you be checking out the 3D printing displays in a Best Buy in your area? Share with us in the Best Buy Showcases 3D Printers forum at 3DPB.com. This promotional video provides a great overview of the full Intel experience:
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
Tagged with: 3d printers • Best Buy • intel • Intel Technology Experience • retail • retail 3d printing
3d Printer Accessories: Print & Power Cables
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Which 3D printer to choose for business
3D printed business models
3D printing is making its way into more and more areas of life these days. At the same time, the demand for 3D printing remains at a high level and the demand for products produced by additive methods is constantly higher than the supply. In a situation of such a shortage, a far-sighted businessman decides to enter this market in order to earn money by satisfying this request.
For new players in the 3D printing market, the choice of niche is closely related to the choice of technology, technique, and, sometimes, even specific models of 3D printers.
It is important that we are talking about business - a sphere of life in which everything can be found at a price expressed in the amount of money, which means that there are general requirements that apply to equipment. Maximum reliability allows you not to spend on repairs, which means it is worth the investment. The presence of all certificates for the equipment is required by the state from the business. The maximum level of after-sales service allows the entrepreneur not to learn 3D printing, but simply to do the business for which he created his business. The cost of the 3D printer itself is not decisive in choosing a particular machine; in various areas, the payback period for investing in such equipment can be both short and almost instantaneous.
In general, there are several models for using a 3D printer for profit.
The company is introducing 3D printing to help existing processes.
The company switches to the production of a product using additive technologies
And there are companies that deal exclusively with printing, and the very idea of their business and their product is tied to additive technologies.
Let's see what 3D printing technologies are used in different models of companies on the market, as well as how to choose the right 3D printer for the business in your chosen niche!
Business 3D Printer
Modernization of existing business and technical processes is the key to the success of any enterprise. Not surprisingly, with the advent of new technologies, production strategies can be revised and even radically changed.
With the cost of additive technologies becoming cheaper, more and more enterprises are looking for ways to optimize their production using 3D printing. Sometimes, the optimization process leads to quite interesting results.
3D printing in production
Machine production is a method that allows you to get the most profit, and therefore the most interesting from a business point of view. Production line machines require constant maintenance and regular replacement of worn out parts. Usually, the process of replacing a part when it breaks down is as follows - a service employee localizes the malfunction, diagnoses the cause of the failure of a particular part, and orders a new part from the manufacturer according to the catalog. It’s good if the supplier has such spare parts in stock, but it happens that you have to wait until the spare part you need is produced.
From the moment of ordering to receipt, it can take from a week to months. All this time the machine is idle, and in our time of widespread use of conveyor chains, this can mean idleness of the whole chain of machines. Moreover, for some machine tools, spare parts cannot be obtained in principle - they can be discontinued, and sometimes it turns out that the company - the manufacturer of the machine has already gone bankrupt and there will be no new parts for the existing machine in principle.
Possible production losses in this case can reach amounts comparable to the value of the enterprise.
But what if the part you need can be obtained without ordering it from the machine manufacturer? The increase in the availability of 3D printing has led more manufacturers to create 3D printing departments based on their service departments. Such a department consists of several 3D modelers, several 3D printers and several 3D printers.
Such 3D printers must meet several requirements - machine parts must be strong enough, the cost of maintaining a 3D printer fleet must be reasonable, and the 3D printer must be able to produce both the spare part itself and models to obtain parts using more expensive methods.
Such requests are met by 3D printers using FDM and LCD technology.
Picaso 3D Designer X Pro
One of the bestsellers in this category is the Picaso 3D Designer X Pro printer. The defining advantages here are the omnivorousness of this model - you can print both ABS, PLA, PETG, Flex, Nylon, as well as more specific and composite plastics - and the ability to print simultaneously with two materials.
Phrozen Transform Standard
Phrozen Transform Standard is also a good choice. Huge build area - 292x165x400 mm, print speed up to 10mm/hour and high-intensity ParaLED system allow this printer to quickly and accurately print parts, including those from specific polymers.
Architectural 3D printing
In architecture, the ability to present a material model of the proposed project to the customer is of great importance. There is little to promote acceptance; a positive decision, such as the opportunity to inspect and feel live at least a model of a building or apartment. For the production of such models in architectural bureaus and studios, there are large departments. A few years ago, next to the powerful computers of architects, there were workshops for the manual production of models from papier-mâché and other materials that are little associated with modern technology;
Affordable 3D printing has taken the manufacturability of the production of architectural models to a whole new level! Moreover, it turned out to be extremely simple to integrate 3D printing technologies into the work of an architectural bureau - engineers in this direction have already specialized in working with one or another software product related to the creation of 3D models, it only remained to bring this work to its logical conclusion - a layout.
The requirements for 3D printers for architectural offices are primarily related to the ability to produce large layouts. Strength here is not as important as the ability to convey the characteristic features of the project as accurately as possible - after all, the layout is a reduced copy, which means all the details will be tiny. These requirements are met by FDM 3D printers.
Raise3D Pro2 Plus
A good choice for an architecture studio is the Raise3D Pro2 Plus 3D printer. A large construction area, coupled with precision, through the use of high-quality components and optimal kinematics, allow you to carry out large-scale projects. The ability to print with two materials at the same time makes the implementation of projects easier and allows you to simplify the post-processing of finished models.
For particularly demanding architects, BigRep Studio will be a pleasure to work with. Resume printing from the same place after a power outage, remote control and print management make it possible to install this truly large machine in its dedicated room. Well, if necessary, put it in the office, it will pass through the door, since the manufacturer provides the opportunity to disassemble it into 2 halves.
Advertising and exhibitions
The advertising business is probably one of the most demanding of novelty. The new attracts attention, and that's what advertisers do. The media that conveys the advertising message is of high importance. Today, any new way to attract a potential client is in demand.
A special area of this business is the organization of stands for exhibitions and similar events. It often happens that there is very little time to implement an idea, and success is achieved due to the possibility of implementing the maximum range of such ideas.
So in advertising, 3D printing is in demand in a huge number of its manifestations. Here the creation of handouts, and layouts of future projects, and noticeable signs of pylons and posters. Different 3D printing methods are suitable for different areas of the advertising business, FDM and LCD are very much in demand. One of the fastest growing areas of advertising using 3D printing is signage. A 3D printer creates an almost finished product - all that remains is to connect the backlight and electronics. This allows, firstly, to implement ideas that are too costly to implement by other methods, and secondly, to significantly simplify the tailor made approach to the customer - each customer wants his own, unique sign. The requirements for such equipment are special. The size is of course very important, the sign must be highly visible, which means the print area must be suitable - wide and long, but not too high. Printing speed is more important than quality, you can't see small inaccuracies from afar. Signs are most often placed on the street, which means that it is important that the products are resistant to use in different weather conditions, which means that it is necessary to be able to print with suitable plastics.
Flashforge AD1 Channel Letter
The Flashforge AD1 Channel Letter 3D printer is perfect for solving such problems. Its huge printable area allows you to print signs that will be visible from a great distance. The high-speed extrusion system will make this process relatively fast, and the ability to print in multiple colors makes the need for post-processing much lower. The use of such a machine allows not only to meet the requirements of the most fastidious customers, but also to significantly reduce the cost of production.
Jewelry 3D Printer
Since ancient times, jewelry has been considered one of the most profitable. The history of jewelry creation dates back many centuries and goes back to the time of the birth of the Homo Sapiens species. Many techniques in this area of production have been preserved for decades, and are in many ways an art. But even in this area, we see that additive technologies help to realize more and more projects and ideas.
The meaning of the word “jewelry” itself is associated with miniature, precision and painstaking work. A lot of time and effort is spent on creating each piece of jewelry, which as a result can easily turn out to be a masterpiece of art. 3D printing helps to facilitate the production of highly detailed blanks, making the work of the craftsman easier. Most often, models are printed, according to which such semi-finished products are subsequently smelted. The achievements of modern technologies bring their quality to the level of an almost finished product. For this, of course, the SLA 3D printing method is used - with its help you can create the most detailed models. The requirements for such 3D printers are related to the maximum resolution of finished models, as well as the ability to use materials created for subsequent transformation into metal, for example, by direct casting.
Phrozen Sonic XL 4K
A good example of a suitable 3D printer for jewelry is the Phrozen Sonic XL 4K LCD technology. The maximum resolution of 4K allows you to create the most detailed models, and the ParaLED system significantly reduces the time of their production.
Phrozen Sonic Mighty 4K
For workshops dealing with more miniature production, the Phrozen Sonic Mighty 4K may be sufficient. Although the build area is smaller and the ergonomics of the machine are not as well thought out, this printer performs well enough to be a rational choice when looking for a 3D printer for a small workshop.
A striking example of a paradigm shift in production in our time is sculpture. Many people remember the saying of the great Michelangelo Buonarroti “I take a stone and cut off all that is superfluous.” How exactly the master defines the fundamental principle of subtractive technologies! Modern developments help to make the process of creating masterpieces more connected with working with the head than with the hands.
In our time, the sculptor has the opportunity not only to work with material objects, but to almost completely rid himself of such work. A chisel and hammer can replace a computer and a 3D printer. The requirements for the machine in this bundle are mainly related to the area of \u200b\u200bconstruction - sculptures can often be large. There is also a need for printing with different materials to implement projects that are complex in terms of 3D printing. It is important that the finished model can be processed by classical methods. Suitable 3D printing methods are FDM and SLA.
CreatBot D600 Pro
The CreateBot D600 Pro 3D printer becomes a frequent inhabitant of the studios of successful architects. A huge build area, the ability to print with two materials at the same time make this machine ready for the implementation of projects of increased complexity. The presence of a special table cover, as well as a special compartment for drying plastics, makes the process as comfortable as possible and does not require extra space.
Peopoly Phenom XXL
For more detailed sculpting tasks, it will be useful to look at the Peopoly Phenom XXL 3D printer. The gigantic build area, coupled with the use of MSLA technology, makes this machine stand out from other printers in this price range.
Business converted to use a 3D printer
There are several periods of the so-called “breakthrough development of production” in history. One of the last can be called the Great Industrial Revolution in England. This revolution was made possible and resulted from the invention of a new method of production - production with an improved steam engine. Living during even such a revolution, it is difficult to realize the significance of a single invention or new technology for future generations. But even these difficulties do not prevent us from reasonably calling modern additive manufacturing methods revolutionary, of great importance, and changing entire business sectors.
Today we see a huge number of companies that, while remaining fundamentally in the same area, are changing the entire production line of their product, based on the new opportunities that 3D printing provides.
Dental 3D printers
For me personally, going to the dentist is always stressful. Despite the fact that in our time, sitting in the dentist's chair and not feel real negative sensations, memories of visits to doctors in childhood encourage us to think less about the existence of problems with teeth. Perhaps you do the same. It is also possible that for this reason, you, like me, do not notice strong changes in this area of \u200b\u200bmedicine. And they are really huge and, in my opinion, even a little magical.
Modern technologies have made it possible to change the correction of such a frequent feature of dental clinic clients as malocclusion. In the days before 3D printing, overbite was corrected with braces or braces. This process was very pleasant, required a lot of attention from the client, and also forced to replace the usual tools, such as a toothbrush, with specific and inconvenient ones. For many, wearing braces was also unpleasant from an aesthetic point of view.
Why did people make such sacrifices? A metal brace attached to the teeth puts pressure on them in a certain direction, forcing them to shift towards the medically correct position. After a few months of wearing, the braces literally push the teeth where the dentist has determined.
This is what the aligners look like
3D printing has changed the approach to the process itself so much that a patient undergoing a course of bite changes practically does not change his habits and lifestyle! This technology is called aligners (from the English allign, align). Now the dentist takes a 3D map of your teeth, a special program calculates the necessary changes and creates 3D images of special onlays for teeth, which are subsequently cast from special materials according to 3D printed models. The patient puts on such linings before going to bed and takes them off in the morning. The accuracy of manufacturing is so high that it allows the maximum dosage of pressure on certain teeth, forcing them to move into place in the most natural and imperceptible way. The absence of the need to specially maintain such pads, the invisibility of the process to others, and the comfort make this technique very popular. The purchase of what kind of 3D printers will allow you to enter the dental services market? The main requirement is medical neutrality, the machine itself, plastics, production quality must be such that use in medical institutions is justified. An important issue is the availability of the necessary specific certificates. Mandatory ability to produce high-precision models.
One of the leading printer manufacturers for this market segment is Formlabs.
Formlabs Form 3
The Formlabs Form 3 3D printer allows you to create high-quality models using a wide range of plastics. Particular attention to issues related to the possibility of using printers from this company in medical institutions allows you to be sure of their safety. Ergonomics and ease of use make it possible to concentrate even more on the really important things - helping the patient.
Formlabs Form 3L
For dental clinics that have already increased their production volumes and the need for even more advanced equipment is clearly overdue, the Formlabs Form 3L 3D printer will be a rational choice. The advantages of this machine will not only be an increased build area, but also closed-loop calibration and simplified component replacement.
3D printing in modern orthotics
Will it be news to you that the left and right legs of each of us are of different lengths? And will it be news to you that this can affect your life much more than just complications with the choice of trousers? It turns out that the individual characteristics of a person associated with the length of the legs can be the cause of many diseases, including mental ones, such as depression. Orthopedists help to get rid of problems associated with the peculiarities of the bones, muscles and joints of the patient. Quite often, the healing technique of interaction is based on the principle that we discussed in the previous part of the article - gentle movement and maintenance of body parts in a medically correct place in the body. For example, if the disease is due to the fact that leaning on legs of different lengths, you have a curvature of the spine, the orthopedist prescribes insoles of different thicknesses for you, thereby leveling the difference in the length of your body supports. And here 3D printing helps a lot with its accuracy, and most importantly, the ability to manufacture to individual sizes. Basically, in this area of medicine, solutions based on FDM technology are used. Machines capable of printing with various plastics, including elastic and hypoallergenic, are required. The ability to print products immediately in pairs is welcome.
These requirements are met by the Raise3D E2 3D printer. Automatic printing of products in pairs, the ability to use elastic materials for printing, convenient operation, and a filter make this model a good choice for an orthopedic clinic.
Many of us love masquerades. Probably one of the most exaggerated ways to dress up is cosplay (from the English costume play - costume play). Changing clothes, applying make-up, using additional accessories, cosplayers sometimes become almost like a copy of the heroes of movies, cartoons or comics. And if a pipe and a bowler hat can be enough to become Commissioner Maigret, then in order to turn into Iron Man or Wonder Woman, you need to create many elements of the costume from scratch. 3D printing helps with this. Cosplayers create such impressive costumes on a 3D printer that it is very difficult to guess about the use of 3D printing in their production. At the same time, if earlier costumes were created mainly with the help of papier mache and similar technologies, today most of the cosplay costumes are made using additive technologies. FDM is more commonly used, but LCD methods are also in demand.
A cosplay 3D printer should be able to print large models as quickly as possible. Plastics used are different, but mostly inexpensive, accessible, and easy to process.
Cosplayers starting to print costume details often look at the Anycubic Chiron 3D printer. This is an inexpensive machine that allows you to print with affordable plastics and create models that fit into a large print area of 400x400x450mm. An additional advantage of the model is its high maintainability and unpretentiousness in maintenance.
Anycubic Photon Mono
To create accessories and details requiring more detail, purchase the Anycubic Photon Mono. The main advantage of this machine, of course, is its price. At the same time, the print resolution, although it does not reach the height of professional models, is at a level more than sufficient for use in cosplay.
Pure 3D printing business
Speaking about the various niches in the market that have been created by new technological opportunities, one cannot fail to mention those companies whose business appeared as a result of the advent of 3D printing and cannot exist without it. It happens that such companies were initially engaged in something else, but then they saw the economic feasibility of switching to a new business model. There are many companies that were originally created and designed for entrepreneurship based on 3D printing. Due to the fact that additive technologies literally burst into all areas of our lives like an avalanche, it may seem that they are indistinguishable from the companies described in the previous parts of this article. Looking closely, you can see that they make a profit exclusively by doing 3D printing.
Personally, 3D printing has always seemed to me to be a way to create some kind of device or device parts. Moreover, it was important that if I made a mistake in calculations or taking measurements, I could always quickly correct the computer model and get a new version of the required component in the shortest possible time. Abroad for a long time, and now in our country, there are companies on the market that are engaged exclusively in the production of prototypes. Quite often it turns out that this is a subsidiary of some kind of laboratory or research center. Depending on the area in which these prototypes are used, 3D printing techniques and requirements for 3D printers can be different. Most often this is FDM printing, which must be accurate. A prototyping 3D printer should be easy to operate and maintain.
PICASO 3D Designer X
In our country, the PICASO 3D Designer X 3D printer is in great demand. The high printing accuracy of this printer is combined with a compact body with the ability to dry plastic in the process. Working with various plastics is facilitated by the system of profiling print parameters for each plastic - if you don’t like how the model was printed, you can print it with another plastic without using a computer, it’s enough to have a profile for it. Ergonomics, ease of monitoring the printing process, a high degree of automation add significant advantages to the scales of this printer.
Flash Forge Finder
The FlashForge Finder 3D printer is used to create low-level prototypes and to teach the 3D printing process. Also, the low cost and bright appearance make this printer an attractive purchase for studios and circles, where children get acquainted with additive technologies.
Custom 3D printing
You can print on a 3D printer a huge, almost infinite number of types of things. And some of them need to be printed in one copy and that's it. Someone needs 3D printing not constantly, but not often or even very rarely. Custom 3D printing companies are helping to meet the needs of these potential customers. Usually a full service is provided - model development, 3D printing and processing. Often these companies have many 3D printers, and they are located in the same room. Such assemblies are called 3D printed trusses. The technologies that are presented on such farms are FDM and LCD. The fact is that the requirements for printers here are formed mainly in terms of the price of the printer, the cost of maintenance and reliability. For the fastest return on investment in a 3D-printed farm, inexpensive printers are purchased for it in batches - the more unification, the easier it is to work.
Creality3D Ender 3
The Creality3D Ender 3 3D printer holds the undisputed leader in terms of affordability/quality ratio in this market segment. Its cost, decent print quality, acceptable reliability and high maintainability make it possible to recoup investments in creating a farm based on such machines in the shortest possible time. Without a doubt, this is one of the best 3D printers for 3D printed farm!
Anycubic Photon Mono X
It is not uncommon for 3D printed trusses to purchase multiple Anycubic Photon Mono X 3D printers to enable collaboration with customers who require a radically different level of detail. The reliable linear guides, high level of consumables unitization, and low maintenance seem to be a strong point. arguments in his favor.
It's always interesting to hear success stories. Let me give you a few real cases as an example.
3D printer - creator of scarce spare parts
There is an AUCHAN plant in the Tambov region. On the production lines of this enterprise, most of the machines are foreign. The machines use a huge amount of plastic parts, some of which are considered consumables and are ordered from the manufacturer with a margin.
In particular, there is a line for the production and processing of plastic containers. For the washing machine on this line, the plant regularly ordered washer nozzles in Europe.
One terrible day for the manufacturer, on another machine of this line, a plastic part failed, without which the line stood up. After contacting the supplier, it turned out that this particular part was out of stock. We would have to wait for a new delivery for at least 2 months, and during this time the line would be idle. In such a case, the production would suffer big losses.
The management decided to turn to a 3D printing studio to urgently create a scarce part based on a failed one. The part was created in the shortest possible time, production resumed its work, although there was a loss, it turned out to be completely incomparable with what it could have been.
Seems like a success story. But it was not all success!
In the process of negotiations with the contractor, it turned out that it is possible to quickly produce a large range of parts for this line, in particular, washer nozzles. At the same time, with the same quality of parts, the cost of these consumables turned out to be much lower. Such production made it possible to abandon logistics costs, free up storage space, and the cost of the part itself turned out to be corny lower. As a result, prototypes were presented, and then finished parts. The company was incorporated into UK Bekar and now this small 3D printed farm is doing contracts on a full-time basis for a large manufacturer. Everyone was a winner!
Legs of different lengths and what does 3D printing have to do with it
I had a terrible boss at one of my previous jobs. He always found fault with no reason, voiced conflicting demands, in general, it was uncomfortable to work, and I thought about quitting.
But I didn't quit, and here's why.
It turned out that the boss was such a radish simply because he was haunted by constant headaches. He went to different doctors, to no avail. He made a visit to the next doctor when I was just starting work in the company. It was a turning point, he went to the orthopedist. In Germany. There, in a few days, they determined that he had headaches from the fact that the pelvis was displaced. And the pelvis is displaced because one leg is longer. Special insoles were prescribed and produced right in the clinic.
I remember that Thursday when he returned from his trip. I was shocked that he gave the bonus to our entire department, including me. Yes, and in person, it seemed that he had been replaced. Completely different, better person!
This story led him to invest in the creation of a laboratory for the production of such insoles in Russia based on the existing center of orthopedics. So to speak, I bought myself personal manufacturers of insoles. On this technological base, it was possible to produce, among other things, shoes designed taking into account the individual characteristics of the customer's foot. Subsequently, he sold this business, some of the specialists work in the Perseus Ortho center.
How the desire to help his wife turned into a business
And finally, a description of the case in which I took a personal part.
Alexander is my neighbor. Worked in a company that was engaged in deliveries abroad. We crossed paths with him on the topic of 3D printing, he bought himself an Ender 3 and printed all sorts of toys, trinkets and useful details. His wife Marina, as a hobby, baked various cookies, and sold them a little through Instagram. After 2018, the company went bankrupt and Alexander found himself out of a job. He was looking for a new job via the Internet, and Marina asked him to find on the Internet and buy a form for cutting cookies - the goddaughter asked her to bake cookies in the form of a unicorn for her birthday. After a long search, Sasha decided that it was easier for him to model this form himself and print it on a 3D printer than to find the right one. Within one day, the work was done, the cookies were baked, the goddaughter was happy, the photos of the cookies were posted on Instagram.
I heard this story some time later, when Alexander asked me to help him complete an order for 3D printing. It turned out that Marina was literally inundated with questions about cookies, and subsequently, with orders for cutting molds. In just a couple of weeks, the number of orders for modeling and printing exceeded the capabilities of Sasha's printer, and he turned to me.
The ending of this story is good, Sasha has been creating and printing forms to order for some time. For this, a powerful computer and 6 printers were purchased. A year later, the business was sold and Alexander left for Canada for permanent residence.
3D printing helps companies of a completely different profile occupy a variety of niches in the market. At the same time, there are many free niches, and often the prospect of using 3D printing in a certain area is not so obvious.
The success stories associated with the use of additive technologies are numerous, from the aerospace industries to the creation of toys.
The presented cases help you look at the existing order of things a little differently. It makes economic sense to check how 3D printing can help the business you run. It may be profitable to enter a new sector of the market with the help of 3D printing. In any case, the ability to understand the choice of 3D printers for business can be an additional benefit.
Good luck in building your successful business using a 3D printer and good adhesion!
Which 3D printer to choose for home and hobby use
A few years ago, 3D printers were bulky industrial machines, but now 3D printing is becoming more accessible for home use. When buying their first printer, many are disappointed. This may be due to the unsatisfactory quality of the resulting models or the complex setup and maintenance of the 3D printer.
In the reviews that are found on the Internet, printers are often shown after a lot of upgrades or a long selection of settings for printing. This is not at all the result that a beginner who first got acquainted with 3D printing will get.
In order not to be disappointed, before buying, you need to understand which model is suitable for your tasks. First of all, it is worth deciding what the printer will be used for. What is the main property that finished products should have? What is more important, the physical properties of the model or the ideal surface and detail? Not only the model depends on this, but also the technology by which the 3D printer will work.
Which technology to choose? FDM or LCD?
If you need to make a small detailed figurine with a perfectly smooth surface, you should pay attention to models that work on LCD technology (LCD works on a principle similar to DLP - Digital Light Processing or “digital light processing”).
LCD prints using a photopolymer resin that cures under UV light. This makes it possible to produce without deformation, even small and thin products that cannot be manufactured using FDM technology.
Now on sale there are many photopolymer resins with different properties. A few years ago the choice was not great. Basically, finished products were not strong enough for use in functional models. Now engineering resins have begun to appear on sale. Products from them are not inferior in strength to models made using FDM technology from ABS or even nylon.
If it is necessary to produce large products with different properties, or the tasks will be very diverse, then the choice is with FDM technology. But it is important to understand that finished products will not have a perfectly smooth surface. Of course, you can polish the model, but this is additional time and labor costs.
FDM technology builds a model using molten plastic filament, which is fed from the print head. The print head (extruder) “grows” the model layer by layer on the printing table.
FDM technology became widespread much earlier than DLP. Thanks to this, a wide variety of 3D printers and consumables for them has appeared. You can find many decorative plastics that mimic various materials, or engineering plastics for making functional models or mock-ups.
Choosing an LCD printer
Photopolymer printers work on one of 3 technologies - DLP, LCD or SLA.
As home printers, devices based on LCD technology are usually used due to their availability and low price.
SLA technology appeared the very first among photopolymer printers. With the help of a point-focused beam, the desired areas of the resin are gradually illuminated. This is repeated layer by layer.
How SLA 9 works0155
Since the surface of the model is perfectly smooth, SLA has become used in the jewelry and dental industries.
DLP technology appeared later than SLA, but it is very similar to it. The main difference is that the light source is not a focused beam, but a projector. This made it possible to illuminate the entire layer at once, which significantly accelerated the production of models. The quality of the surface was slightly inferior to SLA, but modern DLP printers, in terms of the quality of models, are almost as good as SLA technology.
How DLP works
Faster production of models due to the illumination of the entire layer
Consumables are slightly cheaper than SLA
High surface quality (although may be inferior to SLA)
LCD technology is the youngest of all. The DLP principle is taken as a basis, but an LCD display is used as a matrix or illumination pattern. LEDs are used as a source of UV light in LCD technology. Thanks to inexpensive components, we managed to get a simple, but high-quality and affordable photopolymer printer.
How the LCD printer works
Low accuracy compared to SLA and DLP (for jewelers and dentists, the quality of LSD prints may not be enough, although more and more accurate models appear with the development of technology)
Possible stray light
The quality of models may decrease at the edges of the printable area (this can be corrected programmatically)
Resins that are used as a consumable for photopolymer printing can smell strongly and unpleasantly during operation. Try to use the printer in a well-ventilated area, or choose a printer with a sealed cabinet and filter.
When choosing an LCD printer, pay special attention to the rigidity and positioning accuracy of the platform along the Z axis. If there are poor quality guides along the Z axis or even a slight play, then the surface quality of the finished model may turn out to be sloppy or the model will turn out to be unevenly striped.
Rating of the best LCD 3D printers for home
Anycubic Photon Mono
This is an LCD printer with a matrix that allows you to increase the speed and accuracy of printing. Anycubic Photon Mono will be a good helper for hobbyists and modellers.
Anycubic Photon Mono SE
Anycubic Photon Mono SE has an unusual parallel light source. This minimizes distortion at the edges of the printable area. You can effectively use the entire working area of the machine and produce many small models at a time.
Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K
Model with high resolution LCD display and large print area. The monochrome display transmits UV rays better and allows you to print much faster than similar devices with a conventional display. The manufacturer claims a screen life of more than 2000 hours. Phrozen Sonic mini 4k is suitable for almost any task.
Wanhao GR1 has high precision and large print area (140x78x200mm). The manufacturer tried to reduce distortion at the edges of the display, this allows you to make the most of the entire work area. High precision and large print area make Wanhao GR1 not only for hobby use, but also for production.
Anycubic Photon Zero
Small and very budgetary LCD device. Its resolution and small working area (total 97x54x150 mm) is enough for printing small miniatures, figurines or small engineering models. Anycubic Photon Zero is a good choice for beginners who want to get into photopolymer printing without spending a lot of money.
Choose FDM printer
If you plan to produce large and diverse functional models or experiment, a 3D printer that prints using FDM technology is an excellent choice.
First, decide on the size of the printable area and the properties that the finished model should have. After all, some materials require a closed chamber or good airflow to work.
Some printer models can be “upgraded” in the future. For example, if necessary, purchase spare parts for a closed case, put a nozzle of a different diameter, or change the thermal barrier to an all-metal one. But not all manufacturers provide for the possibility of such upgrades.
Despite the same principle of operation, there are several different mechanics, which have their pros and cons.
Kinematics “Prusa” (Prusa)
Perhaps the most popular kinematics among home FDM devices. Mainly due to its simplicity and low cost. The main feature is the table that moves along the Y axis, while the extruder moves along the rest of the axes. Because of this, such kinematics was nicknamed “dragstol”.
Slow print speeds. A massive table with a model is forced to constantly move along the Y axis, because of this, print quality will be worse at high speeds.
Some models have design flaws (for example, insufficient frame rigidity), they can be fixed, but for this you have to be a little inventor. Or find a ready-made solution on the Internet.
This category also includes 3D printers with console kinematics. The same prusa, only halved. Because of this, the frame is less rigid, but the printer itself is more compact.
The extruder moves along the X-Y axes, and the table only along the Z axis. All motors are trying to be fixed on the body to lighten the weight of the moving mechanisms, thanks to which it is possible to achieve high print quality at high speeds.
H-BOT or Core-XY
These are 2 similar but more complex kinematics - the table moves only along the Z axis, and the extruder along the X-Y. But to move the extruder, 1 or 2 long belts and 2 stepper motors work in concert.
Example Core-XY kinematics
High print quality
High print speeds without loss of quality.
Can be easily closed completely
Similar to Ultimaker kinematics, but one of the motors is located on the Y or X axis carriage.
Deltas do not have the usual XYZ axes. There are 3 columns in the deltas, along which the carriages move, and the position of the extruder in space is calculated using a complex formula. The table is usually statically fixed to the body.
Delta printer example
Nuances of choosing an FDM 3D printer
In addition to kinematics, when choosing a printer, it is important to take into account some design features.
One or two extruders?
Two extruders can be used for dual color printing, but most commonly the second extruder is used for solvent support printing. If you need to print complex parts with internal cavities, then you should choose a dual extruder printer.
Closed or open printer?
Printing of functional models and parts uses plastic, which usually requires a closed chamber. If you plan to print functional prototypes or various models, you should look at printers with a closed chamber.
Bowden or direct?
There are 2 types of material supply to the print head of the printer - bowden and direct.
In a bowden, the feed mechanism motor is located on the printer body. This allows you to reduce the weight of the extruder and print at higher speeds without losing quality. But because of the long tube, printing with very soft plastics can be problematic.
Bowden Feeding Diagram
In direct feeding, the motor and feed mechanism are located on the extruder. This increases the weight of the print head, but allows you to print with any kind of plastics.
Direct feeding scheme
Heated table or not?
The heating of the table improves the adhesion of the first layer of the model. And engineering plastics cannot be printed without a heated table.
Many manufacturers add useful additional features. They do not affect the quality of the print, but save time and nerves. The most useful additional functions are the filament presence sensor and remembering the print location after a power outage.
It will automatically pause printing if the plastic runs out. When there is a little plastic left on the spool, this feature will allow you not to stand over the guard printer until the old spool runs out in order to have time to push in a new bar “on the go”.
Power outage protection.
Remembering where to print when the power goes out can save you a lot of nerves when printing large models. You won't have to worry that after a power outage, you will have to run the model again for many hours or cut and reprint a piece of the model. It is especially disappointing to throw away a complex underprinted model with supports due to a one-minute outage.
There are also many extras. features that make using the printer more comfortable. For example, automatic calibration, touch screen, Wi-Fi and others.
Rating of the best FDM 3D printers for home
Anycubic Mega Zero 2.0
Inexpensive model with Pryusha kinematics. Good for getting started with 3D printing without a big investment. Despite the low cost, Anycubic Mega Zero 2.0 has a heated table and a resume function after a power outage. Thanks to direct feed, printing with soft materials should not be difficult.
Creality3D Ender 3 Pro
A very popular device due to its low price. But despite this, the Ender 3 Pro has a heated table and a decent print area. Can be sold assembled or as a DIY kit.
Flash Forge Finder
Small home appliance intended for children or educational institutions. The Finder doesn't have a heated table, but it does have a calibration assistant, a Wi-Fi module, and other extras that make getting to know it a lot easier. All moving and heated elements are hidden as much as possible in the case so that the child cannot get burned.
Wanhao Duplicator 6 Plus
Wanhao Duplicator 6 Plus was based on Ultimaker kinematics, but instead of bowden feed, they made direct. Because of this, it will not be possible to print super fast, without quality loss, but there will be no problems with printing with soft types of plastics. There are 2 trim levels - with a closed case and without.
The Dreamer is a closed body dual extruder printer with MakerBot kinematics. Thanks to this, he can cope with printing models of any complexity. Using a second extruder for soluble support, models with complex geometries can be produced. A good choice for engineers and those who like to experiment with different materials.
Flying Bear Ghost 5
Most commonly sold as a kit (assembly kit). Assembly usually does not cause any great difficulties, even for people far from electronics or mechanics. Flying Bear is equipped with a filament sensor, a function to resume printing after a power outage and Wi-Fi connectivity.
The Flying Bear makes a great first printer for the novice user who is ready to build their own printer.
In order for the printer not to become a useless toy, you should clearly understand what it is for.
For a fan of miniatures or detailed figurines, a photopolymer printer is a good choice. A small work area is more than offset by the detail that cannot be obtained using other technologies.
For an engineer or a fan of experiments, an FDM machine with a closed chamber and two extruders is well suited. This will allow you not to limit yourself in the choice of plastics and comfortably experiment with any materials.
For a beginner who has not yet decided whether he needs 3D printing, you can opt for inexpensive machines with slick kinematics. Due to their great popularity, you can find a lot of upgrades and reviews on them.