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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Cost of consumables: 3D printing requires consumables such as filament and replacement parts, and the cost of these consumables can vary widely between printers.