Friday, 23 January 2015
Top 6 Misconceptions About 3D Printers Demystified
3D printing took the world by storm. It left many mouths agape with quality prints and high tech functions. It therefore does not come as a surprise that it is gaining more traction in the consumer market than normal printers. After all, it is the only printer in the market today that can make a whole difference by the click of a button. What then follows is churning out of colorful prints on basically anything. It makes branding easy and office work a piece of cake. But as it is often the case with anything good in today’s technical market, there are misconceptions that have tarnished the image of 3D printing. Here’s a look at some of them.
You must have heard from a friend, relative or any other person you know how 3D printers come along with sky high price tags. Truth is, 3D printers are not exactly the pieces of equipment one can walk home with after parting away with a few hundred dollars. But that does not mean in any way that 3D printers are a preserve for the rich and affluent. 3D printers are affordable to say the least. Their price has gone down considerably over the last 3 years. The price tags they come along with are certainly within the reach for small as well as medium sized establishments. So consider getting one for your small business. You can then be sure of more business leads and referrals. That is precisely because 3D printers are more than just ideal for creating prototypes and mock ups.
3D and manufacturing
There is a wide misconception that 3D will send traditional manufacturing into extinction. Truth is, 3D printing will only reduce the need for just a handful of traditional manufacturing needs. That is especially if the end product only needs to be printed or made out of simple plastic. It is therefore safe to state that manufacturing will never be fully replaced by 3D printing. If anything, the two factors complement each other. This may sound surprising but 3D printing cannot exist solely on its own and replace conventional or rather traditional printing. There will always be the need for simple ink and cartridge printing for branding and common office functions such as printing of brochures, pamphlets and so on.
3D printing is a fad
Take a look at how people print out of action figures and three dimensional doodles. You will then understand why so many people think 3D printing is just a fad. Make no mistake about 3D printing. It has transformed and will continue to transform design processes. Engineers use 3D printing to transform CAD drawings on laptops into tangible 3D objects.
3D printers are not user friendly
This happens to be one of the most common misconceptions about 3D printers. With the kind of quality images it can print, it is easy to think the concept behind it is complex. It is to come extend, but that does not mean in any way that 3D printers are not use friendly. You will not need hours of employee training to make that switch at your work place. 3D printers follow the usual File, Open and Print commands. So if you can use the standard ink jet printer, you can also use the 3D printer with ease. You can install printer software on your computer and start printing within an hour.
Maintaining 3D printers is an uphill task
It is easy to understand why this misconception is common. People simply think that 3D printers are fragile. They aren’t. You can enjoy using it for a month or two with little effort on your part as far as maintaining it is concerned. Start by checking your belt tension. All belts should be tight and sturdy. That way, they can press down on the belt run midpoint. Ensure too that the axis movement is flawless. The movement must be extremely smooth and free of binding. Remember to also examine the smooth rods from time to time. The bearings holding the rods in place do not need to be lubricated. So avoid using any lubricants on the bearings. 3D printers use IGUS bearings which are self lubricating. If you have to use any type of lubricant, then use silicone based lithium. Then use compressed air anytime you want to blow out the control box or fan.
3D printers are all the same
First off, 3D printing is a broad term. It covers a wide range of technologies used in 3 Dimension printing. The one you probably have in mind is the Fused Deposition Modeling 3D printer. It happens to be the most popular 3D printer used by hobbyists. It is also one of the most affordable 3D printers in the market today. Consider a through online research to know more about types of 3D printers available in the market and the ones that can fit your 3D printing needs.