3D Printer Buying Guide
Read our brief and to-the-point 3D printer buying guide for selecting the right choice for you.
What is a personal use 3d Printer?
In a nutshell it’s a desktop factory, capable of performing additive manufacturing for personal and professional use. A 3D printer creates objects in plastic by heating up and laying down very thin layers of a material called “filament.” In the past, if you needed a prototype, the only alternative was to use the professional services of a very high end machine (costing $100,000′s). The costs of 3D printers has gone down in recent years, making this technology available to the masses for domestic use.
What type of 3d-er are you?
Are you a tinkerer, serious engineer, mechanic, artist, student, hobbyist, inventor or just looking?
Identifying your basic needs and wants from your 3d printer is the first step in purchasing a machine.
- Building a 3D Printer From Scratch: For the very patient do-it-yourself enthusiast, with strong mechanical and programming skills and lot’s of spare time. Assembling your own 3d printer is considered a right-of-passage in some hard-core 3d printer networks!
- 3D Printer Kits: If you are a confident do-it-yourself enthusiast, with some mechanical and programming knowledge, you might enjoy the thrill and challenge of assembling your own 3d printer from a prepackaged kit. The benefit here is that you become intimately familiar with the design and functions of your machine.
- Assembled Machine: If you are short on time, but have some computer skills and want to start 3d printing today, then an assembled machine is the way to go. Models arrive completely assembled (sometimes even well calibrated and ready to use). With an assembled- calibrated 3d printer you pay a small premium to avoid the headaches of putting one together yourself and then fine tuning it.
What is open source?
Open source is a philosophy based on sharing information and improvements freely and global collaborating on new innovations.
When Shopping for your 3D Printer consider doing the following:
√ Look at the vender’s support options, such as availability of a “questions and answers wiki”, email support system, phone support and new 3d Printer set up.
√ Carefully review the vender’s return policy.
Is an Airwolf 3D Printer a good fit for me?
Airwolf 3d Printers come in 2 formats: (a) a completely assembled and well-calibrated machine, ready to print right out of the box and (b) a comprehensive do it yourself kit with assembly instructions.
Our printer is a repstrap (an altered reprap self replicating machine).
It prints at extremely fast speeds and in high detail.
Do you have some knowledge of programming and are handy enough to fix a flat tire? If there is a slight possibility that you will want to edit your code or make your own enhancements to your 3D Printer in the future, then a fully assembled Airwolf 3D Printer might be a good fit for you as it is completely customizable and born from the combined ingenuity of an open source community. If you are feeling really confident, then our kit package might be the way to go.
With either purchase, you also get the benefits of:
- AW3D member customer support
- Access to future enhancements: you can download our .stl files and print the latest and greatest parts for your Airwolf 3D printer.
- 2 Hour live phone support at set up (not included in kit package)
- 6 months email support