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The popularity of 3D printers is growing fast these days. They are becoming cheaper from day to day, more reliable and are allowing you to quickly print really detailed things. Thus a lot of people are interested in those devices, mainly because of the wide range of applications for various needs. Without a doubt, a 3D printer is useful in a variety of situations that can arise - you can create replacements for broken pieces of furniture or even print some pretty things like a custom chandelier with custom-designed shades to brighten your space.
Thinking about the high availability of 3D printers, board game players have, of course, started using those devices instead of buying expensive miniatures. It’s really easier, instead of buying expensive branded figurines, to create models yourself on your PC and then print them, thereby paying off the printer's price. There are also a huge variety of materials that you can work with - some 3D printers can even work with wooden filaments. Some people are even selling those printed miniatures, even custom ones.
If you’re looking to buy a 3D printer for yourself, you need to know in advance about some of its features that will be important to you. And this’ll affect not only the price, but also the quality of the output. We won’t talk about top-notch models - you are a hobbyist, so you definitely won’t buy yourself an expensive device for pros for a start.
However, if you want to do some business, it’s better to get yourself an industrial-like 3D printer though. To see the difference between hobbyist and pro devices, you can look through this guide by Dave C. Frasco which includes various 3D printers designed for various purposes yet all of those are suitable for miniature creation. Meanwhile we’ll tell you some useful info that you should know before buying such a device being a first-timer.
Double-think about what kind of things you will be printing when yours and take into account the space in your room for a 3D printer. An oversized device may not fit into the designated room, but otherwise the print chamber may be too small, and that might be vital if you’re planning to start something like mass-production. It’s better to have larger printing volume than the lack of free printing space.
Extruder size, head precision and printing resolution
Those three are about overall result quality. surface smoothness and printing speed. Resolution should be no larger t han 200 microns, because it’s the middle-grade value. Nozzles should be somewhere between 0,2 and 0,4 millimeters to match the quality requirements. Head mobility is a somewhat unmeasurable thing, so it’s better to read some reviews on specific printer models to understand that.
Not a vital thing though, yet important for some users, software compatibility is varying from model to model. Some 3D printers are supporting only branded proprietary software, and others are supporting third-party software and firmware. Yet those two types are not too different in terms of main functionality, proprietary software almost always has some unique features and printing modes. And if you want to make money using a 3D printer and creating miniatures for sale, it’s better to have a device with branded and powerful software.
It’s important to understand that various materials have different properties and are suitable for different tasks and model quality. And, of course, all of those materials are toxic, at least before your model is finished. And don’t even try eating them. Moreover, resins are producing toxic gases after heating until solidified, and plastics are not, so it’s important to have a proper ventilation in the room. So it’s up to you and your own capabilities to
If you’re planning to give it a shot and try yourself out in making your own custom tabletop figurines for sale, then it’s better to buy yourself a more expensive device to work with. It’s true that a miser pays twice, so it’s better to have a more reliable and powerful 3D printer that can withstand a long-term non-stop printing. You won’t need something industrial, yet it’ll be good to opt in for something that has a large printing volume, maneuverable head with high resolution capabilities.
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Published on September 28, 2020
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