3D printers come in many ranges. Starting from as low as $200 to as expensive as $20,000. The price depends on many factors which determine the usage and cost of these 3D printers.
I have heard these questions a lot of time: How much does 3D printing cost ? What’s the cost of a 3d printer ?
However, it is equally important to know which range of 3D printers would suit one’s requirements.
Not everyone prints for profits, some want to learn the technology by practicing it and some like to print as hobby.
Who likes to have a hobby worth $20,000? For the same reasons, there are categories of 3D printers that one must understand before making the purchase. A 3D printer price differs and so does our priorities.
As we have progressing year after year keeping 3D printers alongside our major productions, the technology has proved its worth.
It has got recognition and researchers are trying to increase its application to a broader niche.
To do so, 3D printers are manufactured with diverse properties and build quality with a huge difference in the quality of prints.
This is done to make the technology available as much as possible to every group of people.
What if one is looking to learn 3D printing? How about colleges where students keep messing with the instruments?
No school can think of bringing a $20,000 machine to teach students after knowing that it wouldn’t last much longer. All these made a huge difference in the approach these 3D printers were designed at its initial stage.
As the need grew, the designs of 3D printers took a huge turn. From the processes involved in 3D printing to the material used, everything revolutionized. And, 3D printers reached homes which once was only limited for industrial setups.
How Much Is a 3D Printer for Entry Level?
When talking about an entry level options, one must expect the 3D printers to be decent enough to provide you the learning you aim for.
Usually, those seeking an entry level 3D printer are the ones having not enough exposure with the technology. Their basic aim is to learn while practicing on the real machine.
These inexpensive 3d printing machines which range from somewhere between $100 to $400 are great aid for learning.
If you are a novice and need an idea about the actual working of the 3D printer, you must go for this choice.
Because of the limited functionality these entry level 3D printers have, you might have to face few restrictions with your experiments.
But you can always learn though. Operating a 3D printer is in itself a huge skill and these choices would make you equipped with such details.
The 3D printers used for entry level can print no more than 3-4 inches in any dimension. Also, you may have to compromise with the choice of material. Some only let you use one material.
The prints are also experimental and won’t have the finish available with the expensive 3D printers. Thinking of them as durable will also be flimsy.
These are a few things about the print quality. When it comes to its operation, you will also face noise and slowness during printing.
Not to forget, almost every 3D printer for entry level comes with the assembling need. It may take 1 to 2 hours to carefully assemble the nuts.back to menu ↑
Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer:
Creality Ender 3 is an entry level 3D printer and works with PLA as filament. Based on FDM 3D printing technology, it is simple and easy to operate.
Although being at the cheaper end, it is a great option for those wanting to learn about 3D printing or wish to use it for DIY purposes.
The 3D printer is capable of resuming to the last run setting during a power cut and is pretty clean.
This one is considered one of the best budget 3D printers and requires 5 minutes to bring the temperature of the hot bed to reach the required level.
All in all, it is a great option for those looking to make their first move.back to menu ↑
How Much Does a 3D Printer Cost for Hobbyist?
Done learning and wish to print for hobby? You must shift your attention to a better 3D printer which can get you the desired results.
If you compare the ones falling in this category with the ones in the entry level, there would be a huge difference. These are faster and print better quality parts.
If you have already worked with the ones available for range below $400, you will find these options much better.
Apart from speed, they have fine quality and the print size is also bigger. Moreover, you have the option to use more than one material.
This is where your creativity can take the turn to print unique and extraordinary designs.
However, you cannot expect these to be as smooth as the ones available for professional range. These have limited usage guidelines.
Every 3D printer falling in this category has its own running time limits. Making these 3D printers work for too long on a continuous basis may put you into extra cost of repairing and maintenance.
They fall between the range of $400 – $2000. These go well for long span if taken good care of.
This does not mean huge maintenance dosage but only following the guidelines for running the 3D printer. They come mostly assembled but may require few in some brands.
You can print normal quality print which is way better than the entry level printers, however, nothing close to the professional ones.
Noise is reduced and range around 50 decibels.
If you are creative and want to test your skills for real, these choices would fall in the economical category for your needs.back to menu ↑
Sindoh 3DWOX 1:
3DWOX 1 3D printer is designed to suit the needs of hobbyist who plan to print more than an entry level expert.
Providing better exposure in terms of material and print quality, this is one of the best among the 3D printers available for the range.
It costs $1499 which is nothing compared to the print benefits it provides. The noise is reduced to 40 decibels and can be operated at nights as well.
One can also use filament from different companies. It has great bed adhesion to ensure no extra work is required during setting of material of scraping it away.back to menu ↑
Cost of 3D Printers for Enthusiasts
Understanding the difference between hobbyist and enthusiasts is important to make the choice between these two ranges of 3D printer options. There is a very thin line that separates these two categories.
A hobbyist is someone who just wants to give shape to their imagination. The reason they want to 3D print is all about confirming their skills and finding peace in what they do.
However, when we move to the enthusiast category, the whole aim of printing changes. Enthusiasts also love to give shape to their designs in mind. However, with an aim to bring those designs ready for business one day.
Enthusiasts work to experiment their designs and many try to sell one or two 3D printed items online to check the reviews.
Hence, getting a 3D printer than can justify the needs of an enthusiasts must call for better features.
So, how much is a 3D printer for enthusiasts? The 3D printer falling in this category range from $2000 to $4000.
With even better speed than the hobbyist 3D printers, the quality and other benefits keep soaring as we go to the higher categories.
The 3D printers for enthusiasts come loaded with solid user friendly features. It can print up to 12 inches of items.
Being faster and quieter than the options listed above, it works amazingly. One gets to experiment with wider choice of materials.
These cannot be counted as the 3D printers for professionals, as it still has the limitation in the number of items you can print at a time.
These cannot be used for mass production or printing items continuously. If used for longer at once, it can break down. It is suggested to read the printing guidelines clearly before starting to use them.back to menu ↑
MakerBot’s Replicator+ is a solution for those looking to print parts for more than just a hobby.
Although a large number of productions isn’t possible as it is with professional range 3D printers, the streamlined intelligent workflow will get you the smartest print option.
A wireless setup and can be synced with MacOS as well as Windows. This machine offers the best 3D print quality for its price.back to menu ↑
3D Printer Price Range for Professionals
Professional range 3D printers cost between $4000 to $7000. 3D Printers falling in this price range are way better in terms of quality and ease of use.
The major reason why these are not fit for an industrial use is the lack of mass production availability.
However, that does not make these any less beneficial for those looking to use it for professional reasons for a small scale production.
The areas where these printers are usually utilized are schools, small as well as large businesses, prototyping and many other niches.
You can use these printers with multiple colour and material. Few of the brands also offer fastest turnaround time while keeping the best quality intact.
If you are choosing for a printer like this, you certainly are no beginner. You must have equipped yourself with the right knowledge.back to menu ↑
The printer is designed to automate most of the manual work that is required with many other brands.
Processes like bed leveling and other parameters are adjusted by the machine itself. You get the best quality for a price that is very competitive. It is also one of the fastest 3D printers available.back to menu ↑
How Much Is a 3D Printer for Industrial Purposes?
We have come to the last category where there is no limit for the price and expectations regarding quality.
It starts from $15,000 and can range from a mammoth size of $100,000. The bigger the industrial purpose, the higher is the range of the 3D printer.
These are usually made of metals to help support the weight of mass production.
Even the filaments used for these 3D printers are expensive when compared to the other categories.
The niche is huge and the application is wide. However, the cost associated with these industrial 3D printers give way to other options.
Hence, if there is no need for mass production, the need for these printers never arise.
Moreover, these 3D printers come with a high cost of maintenance. But the print results are amazing.
These are very large which makes them unfit for small scale productions. And, are mostly available as stand alone units. These printers are used for making functional prototypes and are used within commercial productions.
You may be able to boast the print quality, but you must compromise with limited material usage and functions.
If you have limited use and the same material is required for every print, this may be a great option.
However, you may have that budget. This constraint keep small as well as large businesses from choosing these over professional range 3D printers.back to menu ↑
As mentioned, 3D printer prices varies widely. The reason for this variance is the purpose and quality of 3D printing.
You must ask questions to yourself: What do you wish to achieve with a 3D printer. This will clear some confusion to start with.
Choosing a 3D printer is a tough job. You must tick all the right boxes when it comes to spend money on 3D printers. As, these are not cheap. Changing 3D printers every now and then is not a feasible job.
Once you have found out the purpose of your printing, you may look for an answer to the question: how much is a 3D printer?
Do not forget to compare different brands before making the final choice. The more you research the better your chances become to pick the one you exactly need.