So you’ve decided to jump into the world of 3D printing. Time to pick out your hardware.With a number of different companies all hawking their product as the latest and greatest, it can be a bit confusing to know where to start.
The most recent issue of Make Magazine offers detailed reviews on a number of popular models of 3D printers, breaking down each of their strengths and weaknesses.
What’s the point of a 3D printer you ask? Well, you may not realise it yet, but printing real-world objects is going to be the next big thing in computing.
So which printer should you buy?
Printrbot is a newer company, but it's already carved out a niche selling what are commonly known to be among the best printers for 3D printing newbies. The Printrbot LC is expandable in every direction, meaning that if you're adventurous enough, you can build it out to print objects as big as you want.
Makerbot has been a driving force in the hobbyist 3D printing world. Its repository of 3D files, Thingiverse, has a hugely active user base where people offer files and ideas to help everyone get the most out of their printers.
Make mercilessly tested the Cube for an entire weekend, and at the end of testing, it was still performing as well as when it had originally started. This is not the case for many other printers, which often required recalibration to keep the quality up.
Where most printers melt plastic to create their objects, the Form-1 fires a laser at liquid resin to harden it into different shapes using a process called stereolithography. It produces prints at a much higher resolution than most other printers.