Purhasing of a 3D printer is a complicated process. On the market you can find plenty of solutions but when you aren’t oriented in 3D printing, you’ll have problems with picking up the best device for you. Seemingly all of the devices look pretty the same but practically they are divergent from each other – in price, in quality and in type of filaments. Unfortunatelly in a tangle of 3D printers you can find some models which are not user friendly. In this case problems begin just after unpacking of a device or taking a kit to self-assembly from box. Below you will find 10 types of disappointments which can happen when you buy an unsuitable 3D printer…
1. When you buy a 3D printer to self-assembly, you’ll find all of the tiny elements in one plastic bag – 3D printers to self-assembly are cheap, but if you buy a printer from a small company you have to know that on creating of your worked a small number of people. In this company people have to do a few things at the same time (ordering of parts, printing out of plastic elements, collecting, etc.) and they don’t deal with organised production and logistics processes. In a consequence, you start your work with a new device from ardous separating of all of the: screws, nuts and pads, what takes several dozen minutes.
2. When you buy a 3D printer to self-assembly smoe parts are missing, and the oters are doubled – when all of the parts are on your table, a user notices that 3-4 naps are missing but he has 2 times more screws of another type. Or he discovers it during the assembly what is even more frustrating. In this case there are only 2 possible solutions – a contact with a producer and waiting for delivery of missing parts (min. one day of waiting) or a visit in a shop selling metal parts (if they sell this type of products…). It can be worse, f.e. a step motor can be missing.
3. In 3D printer to self-assembly tapped holes aren’t tapped and profiles look like cut with blade by hand and you have to polish them first, if you don’t want to hurt your hands – see above (1st point) – a company produces 3D printers quickly, with limited resources or forgets to prepare one of the parts or makes it how good it can. In this case the best solution is just to make it up yourself.
4. You discover that self-assembly of a 3D printer requires soldering of electronics and you don’t have a soldering iron. A 3D printer to self-assembly is destined for people who have an experience in assembly of electronic devices or to people who at least have manual skills. When you’re going to learn how to solder and you want to start with soldering of electronics from the kid to self-assembly, think it over…
5. You discover that when you want to switch on your printer, you have to download weird programes (what is firmware?!?) and than configurate them on your computer – do. If you want to assembly a 3D printer, your manual skills aren’t enough to do it, you have to be oriented in configuration of control software. The other case is the fact, that a lot of companies “ask” to download an istallation file from the Internet and upload configruation files. Almost nobody thinks to add it on memory stick od SD card.
6. Assembly/ operating manual has only 8 pages and is printed out with a normal laser printer; the rest “is on a page”, on which all of the necessary information is missing – it was very popular one – two years ago but the situation is changing. Nevertheless, before you buy a 3D printer, try to learn something about the manual (it should be available on producer’s/distributor’s webside).
7. The first printout doesn’t stick to the bed. The next ones neither. Than you discover that you have to put a glue, a hairspray or a solution of ABS and acetone (where can I find ABS, if in the kit there’s only PLA roll?) – it’s usual. Twórcy Creators of 3D printers, who grew up on so-called RepRaps, think that this phenomenon is something obvious and recommend to read about “usually applied methods”. For a new user this kinf of problems it’s an absolute novelty and finding a good solution takes them plenty of time… Of course it doesn’t concern devices equiped with proper beds (Up!, Zortrax) or companies which ensure suggested solutions (f.e. Zmorph adds BuildTak sheets with its own label).
8. You discover that your printout doesn’t stick to the bed because the bed is uneven, bad-calibrated or one of the axes is ratcheted. People from helpdesk give you hints via e-mail or mobile how to do it yourself but you’re completly not familiar with it… – Well, it happens sometimes. Sometimes we can fix the problem, sometimes we have to send our 3D printer to service. Sometimes it’s just a constructional defect or we receive our money back, or we or the producer trys to bring our printer to life.
9. All of the printouts have a poor quality, you read good deal of of websites about 3D printing, you talked to the other owners of 3D printers and you discover that you’ve bought a bad device which has plenty of constructional defects… – You were tempted to buy an exceptionally cheap or you were defeated by a clever marketing action. Anyway, you threw your money away.
10. 3D printer doesn’t work. Helpdesk doesn’t answer. You have been negotiating a refund – It’s a extreme case but it happens, unfortunatelly.