Choosing a 3D Printer: 10 Features to Determine Ease of Use

Some 3D printers are easier to use than others, but what does “easier” mean? What comes easy to one person may be difficult to another, so we made a list of 10 factors and features to consider when determining how easy a 3D printer is to use.

3D Printer Features & Specifications

  1. Automatic bed leveling: Some 3D printers have a feature that automatically levels the print bed before each print, which can save time and ensure better print quality.
  2. Connectivity: 3D printers can be connected to a computer via USB, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi. Having multiple connection options can increase the flexibility and ease of use of the printer.
  3. Print speed: Faster print speeds can be more convenient, but they can also result in lower print quality. A balance needs to be found between print speed and print quality.
  4. Software: 3D printers require software to create and send print files to the printer. Some printers come with user-friendly software that is easy to use, while others require more technical knowledge to operate.
  5. Size and weight: Larger and heavier printers can be more difficult to move and set up, while smaller and lighter printers can be more portable and easier to use.

Research Product & Brand Reviews

  1. Customer Support: Some 3D printer manufacturers offer excellent customer support, including online resources and phone support, which can make troubleshooting and maintenance easier for users.
  2. Noise Level: Some 3D printers are louder than others, which can be a consideration if the printer will be used in a shared space or in a home environment. If the manufacturer doesn’t include a noise rating in their product details, check product reviews for any mention of noise. Anything below or above average will likely be brought up by multiple reviewers.
  3. Loading Filament: For FDM printers, ease of filament loading is often overlooked, especially with beginners. Loading filament into a 3D printer can be a tedious process, but some printers have features that make it easier. To be sure, just scan the reviews to see if anyone had trouble loading filament.

Cost of Maintenance & Consumables

  1. Maintenance & Replacement Parts: Some printers require frequent maintenance, such as cleaning the print bed or replacing parts, which can be time-consuming and difficult. Other printers require less frequent maintenance, which can make them easier to use.
  2. Cost of consumables: 3D printing requires consumables such as filament and replacement parts, and the cost of these consumables can vary widely between printers.