Hi, my name is Sarah and I’d like to offer you a warm welcome to my website. I will make a bold assumption and say that you haven’t stopped here by accident. If you’ve found my website, it’s either because you are ready to make room in your home for a 3D printer or because you want to find out why you should. Fortunately, I’ve got both aspects covered!
Since 3D printing is a manufacturing process, it’s obvious there is a lot of technical jargon involved. This can lead to a lot of confusion. Trust me, I’ve been through this and it’s not nice. I know how it feels to read many pages on the same subject and not grasp the information because every sentence contains some technical terms.
This is the reason why I’ve tried to keep my website simple and understandable for everyone. I have entered the jargon territory because at times it was unavoidable however, I’ve done my best to explain every “strange” term I’ve encountered during my research in simple terms.
This website isn’t targeted at experts since I am far from being one myself. In fact, I am just a “Plain Jane” who, months ago didn’t know much about 3D printing. What piqued my interest in this area was my morning tech news. I’m not kidding! The more news I saw about 3D printing, the more interested I was in finding out more about it. However, this research was so much more than just choosing a 3D printer. I started out wanting to get an answer to “Which 3D printer is the best?” and I ended up questioning “Why?” and “How?” as well.
Below, you will not only find reviews on 3D printers that sparked my interest, but also a few informational pages so you know the basics and where to start with 3D printing.
If You Want to Take a Shortcut
Maybe you don’t need to learn more about 3D printing? So, if you want to get straight to business I took this option into consideration and put together a comparison table of the 3D printers I reviewed.
It’s a concise informational page with all their main features like printing speed, printing area and more. You will miss out on other characteristics I’ve covered in-depth in the individual reviews but if you’re confident enough to skip them, this will do.
Knowledge is Power
If you know as much about 3D printing as a hog knows about Sunday, let me give you a pat on your back! I realize that not everybody who visits this page knows what the deal with 3D printing is. Therefore, in an attempt to spare you the long and complicated research, I’ve added these informational pages to help you out.
One of my 3D printing misconceptions was that choosing a 3D printer is like choosing a computer. You just have to look for the one which has the best specs. I failed to realize that 3D printer buyers were of different categories depending on their purposes. There are also several things you have to keep in mind like the printing speed, the printing methods and the materials that can be used, just to name a few. On this page, I attempted to cover as much ground as possible with that.
3D Printing Abbreviations
This was probably the biggest issue I ran into during my 3D printing research. Until I managed to get a grasp of 3D printing terminology, my attempts at learning anything were futile, since I couldn’t fully understand what I was reading. On this page, I define various terms and I explain in detail the most frequent acronyms related to 3D printing.
How Exactly Does 3D Printing Work?
I have the feeling that 3D printing “newbies” will like this page where I go into detail explaining what 3D printing is and how 3D printing really works, from the early stages of computer design to the actual printing.
My Reviews and Top Choices
Best 3D Printer Overall
Sometimes, you just have to go with the obvious choice because it’s the best one. This 3D printer requires you to be at an intermediary level instead of letting you take baby steps with it, but as I see it, the MakerGear M2 is the most successful combination of solidness, quality and customer support.
Easiest 3D Printer for Beginners
If you are an absolute novice in terms of 3D printing and you’re afraid to bite off more than you can chew, the UP! Plus 2 is a great starting point. It is equipped with some awesome features, allowing you to print all sorts of plastic items.
Best Value for Money
It’s not the cheapest or the most expensive 3D printer out there, but it comes packed with so many features that you will feel that buying it was a bargain. From its functionality to its sleek design, the new FlashForge model is a keeper!
3D Printer with the Biggest Community
One important aspect when buying a printer is the support you are being offered by the manufacturers, either in terms of finding 3D designs or getting the 3D printer to work. Thanks to the MakerBot User Group Map, you can connect with their operators which are near you. However, the absolute best part of the MakerBot community is Thingiverse. The folks at MakerBot put that website up to encourage creating and sharing 3D designs with the rest of the users, and all this for free!
Best Budget 3D Printer
Getting high-end technology when there are holes in your pocket sounds like an almost impossible task, but XYZprinting Da Vinci disagrees. If you aren’t pretentious and all you need is a budget 3D printer to use at home, either for fun or for a small business, this is a strong pick.
Best 3D Mini Printer
This 3D printer stays true to its “mini” name. The UP! Mini 3D Desktop Printer is one of the few 3D printers which deserve to be named “desktop” because of its lightweight nature. On top of that, it’s also easy to operate.
Best Self-Made Kit
It is telling when even a novice like me thinks about giving self-made 3D printer kits a try. All the credit goes to the RepRap Prusa Mendel Iteration 2 which makes it look easy, thanks to the quality of the components provided and the software and video support material included in the package.
3D Printing Examples
At this point, you might feel desperate thinking why I am not done yet. Don’t worry though, I won’t dwell too much on the matter and keep it short. While the informational pages are required for you not to beat your brains out, you also need to see practical and cool usages of 3D printing, right? I have two pages dedicated to them, one consisting of beautiful 3D print examples for home use (to be found here), while the other list is far more advanced, since I wrote about 10 Amazing Examples of 3D Printing on a larger scale.
Object Models and 3D Design
If you’re confused about where to find 3D models, take a look here. I found it really helpful when I was stuck for ideas (even though I tell all my friends I have a creative streak)!
Designing isn’t really my strength but as I discovered, this shouldn’t discourage anyone in my position from giving 3D printing a chance. On this page, I talk about various websites which have 3D models at our disposal, either for free or for a price.
How to Start With 3D Design
While I might not be good at designing there are many others who are, or who are at least willing to give it a shot. No matter if you can handle advanced software or if you’d rather stick to software for starters, I’ve talked about several choices, since they all affect the designing process in their own way. On this page, I also explain how you can make your own models, once the design is ready.
Printer Kits vs. Ready-Assembled
To be or not to be a tinkerer, that is the question! Printers come in various shapes and forms, but also functionalities. While you can take the easy route and buy one which is already assembled, there are others who are more interested in building a 3D printer from scratch or from parts which come in the box. On this page, I present the pros and the cons of both options.
Last But Not Least
If after searching this website thoroughly for information, you feel you found out everything you need to know, my mission has been accomplished. I’ve tried to make this website more than just a collection of reviews, deciding instead, to focus on the “before” and “after” the purchase of a 3D printer as well. In the end, I hope I’ve made life easier for you.
Thanks for stopping by!
Sarah & Co.