3D Printers have changed manufacturing once and for all. They offer precise control over the manufacturing process and produce designs that are otherwise impossible with traditional methods. Everyone who is remotely connected with the manufacturing industry wants to get one’s hands on a 3D printer, but unfortunately, the technology is yet to become inexpensive. This is where 3d printer kit come in and enable you to get into the industry without breaking the bank.
This article will cover some of the best DIY 3D printer kits available in the market and the factors you need to consider before buying one.
Let’s get to it.
Benefits of DIY 3D Printer Kits
The primary benefit of getting a DIY 3D printer kit is cost savings – it costs significantly less than prebuilt printers and saves decent capital while setting it up. Whichever 3D printer you may get, you will have to replace certain parts before manufacturing anything from it.
Thus, you will have to purchase extra components, which will increase the overall price of the printer. However, when you get a printer kit, you install the right components straightaway, eliminating the need for extra components and other accessories.
Some prebuilt printers offer customization options but are very limited compared to building a printer from scratch. The DIY kits offer a higher degree of customization as every component has to be installed by you. You cannot go wrong with it if you know what you want to achieve with the printer. For example, extruders and base plates can be picked based on the filaments you will use with the printer.
Furthermore, DIY 3D printers have an open build, offering more area for the printing object than the enclosed frame. It essentially makes your printer versatile and opens new options for manufacturing.
3D printers are complicated machines, and each component performs a crucial role. It is not uncommon for these components to run into problems, which can be quite a nuisance if it happens midway into manufacturing. Furthermore, most people would not understand how to fix that problem and resort to professional help or online tutorial.
However, if you have built the printer up yourself from scratch, you will know more about these components. You will have more knowledge about the components, enabling you to troubleshoot and solve the problem quickly.
Criteria for Choosing the Best DIY 3D Printer Kit
While searching for DIY 3D printer kits on the market, you will come across many types of 3D printers in different price ranges, starting from just under $200 and going all the way to $1,500. It can be quite confusing, espcially if you are new to all of this. You should compare the DIY kits against the given criteria to make the right choice.
1. Ease of assembly
The first thing you need to look for is the ease of assembly. Remember, if you are looking for DIY kits, there is a good chance you are new to this industry and do not yet understand the details of printers. You should always look for a kit that is easy to understand and assemble. It should not require specialized tools and have compatible components readily available.
2. Print Quality
Whether you are buying the kit for research or commercial purposes, never compromise on the quality of the print. If the print quality is not up to the mark, it will never provide decent feedback about the design. You will always remain confused about whether the problem with the product is because of the design or the quality of the printer. Thus, before purchasing a kit, read online reviews and watch videos of the products users have developed with it.
3. Features and Capabilities
The features you need to look for in a DIY kit include print speed, print volume, and filament compatibility. Ensure that the equipment is adequately equipped to handle what you want it to do. Develop a personalized list entailing the requirements for the product you want to design and compare the available kits with it to make the final decision.
You will come across kits that cost over $1,000, but there is no point buying them because if you can spare this much, you might as well get a prebuilt 3D printer. Remember, you are in this market because you want affordable solutions.
Top Picks for the Best DIY 3D Printer Kits
Kit 1: Creality Ender 3 V2
Ender 3 V2 is an upgraded version of an already popular 3D printer kit. It is the best-selling 3D printer worldwide because of the balance it strikes between efficiency and price tag. The kit offers a decent build volume, delivers high-quality prints, and is super easy to assemble. Furthermore, the kit also allows upgrades, meaning once you are familiar with the machine’s capabilities, you can tailor it to make it more suitable.
It boasts a sleek design with a 32-bit motherboard, a silent motor, and a smooth appearance. The motor noise was a significant drawback of its predecessor, but the developers have rectified it in the new version. It comes with a Carborundum glass platform, which quickly archives the desired temperature and offers excellent adhesion without wrapping.
Among the things that have been improved, the 32-bit motherboard stands out because it offers quieter operations, excellent motion stability, and remains unaffected by interferences. The new extruder mechanism also makes feeding filaments more convenient, thanks to a rotary knob.
Kit 2: FLSUN Delta 3D Printer
FLSUN Delta offers one of the largest print volumes you will get in this market. It is large enough to accommodate large objects that cannot be designed in standard size. Furthermore, almost 90% of the unit comes pre-assembled, which makes assembly incredibly easy. On the downside, you may not get as many learning opportunities, which is one of the plus points of DIY kits.
Unlike most 3D printers, the bed of FLSUN Delta does not move because the print head does all the movements. It enables a better grip on the surface, delivering a better-finished product. However, you must ensure proper leveling of the printer before starting manufacturing with this printer.
Kit 3: Anycubic Kobra Go
Anycubic Kobra Go is another affordable option, albeit with a smaller print volume, but it makes up for it with other features. The stand-out feature of this printer is a cubic design that imparts incredible stability to the machine and eliminates all movement-related problems. Furthermore, the printer is equipped with sensors to automate leveling, meaning you would not have to spend hours calibrating it every once in a while.
Another remarkable feature of this machine is a double photoelectric limit which enables it to compensate for the difference in temperature between the hot end and hotbed to improve Z-axis zeroing’s accuracy. Furthermore, the kit also has a double-gear extrusion system which prevents filament tangling and smoothens overall operations.
The printer is compatible with a range of filaments, including PLA, PETG, ABS, wood fill, and flexible filaments. Along with its upgrades, it makes a true workhorse that will serve a variety of purposes.
Comparison Table – Best DIY 3D Printer Kits
The following table offers insight into important features of the best DIY 3D printer kits on the market.
|Kit||Technology||Build Volume (mm)||Filament Thickness (mm)||Supported Materials||Layer Thickness (mm)|
|Creality Ender 3 V2||Fused Deposition Modeling||220 x 220 x 250||1.75mm||TPU, PETG, PLA||0.1 – 0.4|
|FLSUN Delta 3D||Fused Deposition Modeling||255 x 255 x 360||1.75mm||PLA, PETG, ABS, HIPS, Woodfil, PVA, Flexible Nylon||0.05 – 0.4|
|Anycubic Kobra GO||Fused Deposition Modeling||245 x 245 x 245||1.7mm||PLA, PETG, ABS, Woodfil, TPU, Flexible Nylon||0.05 – 0.3|
Buying Guide FOR DIY 3D Printer Kits
The variety of 3D printer kits in the market can be overwhelming, leaving even the experts confused about what to pick. Following tips will help you in the process;
Understand Your Requirements
The first thing you need to do is to understand why you want to get a DIY 3D printer kit in the first place. You should be aware of the products you want to design and the requirements of the printer needed for that. For example, some kits may not be compatible with the filaments that have to be used in your products. So, if you are unaware of the filaments required by your products, you will never pick the suitable kit. While you are at it, also check for compatibility with the 3D printing software you want to use with it.
Choose an Upgradable Kit
Some DIY kits will work with selected components, limiting their overall capabilities. You should look for kits that can be upgraded, meaning they are compatible with a range of components, and if you want to switch to a new type of 3D model, it should present any challenges.
Read Online Reviews
Never purchase a DIY printer kit in haste. Always review the reviews of the people who have used it and understand the benefits and drawbacks you will get. Reading the reviews will also help understand printers’ capabilities, which are sometimes overstated in the descriptions.
DIY 3D printer kits offer an affordable pathway to enter 3D printing. In addition to cost-effectiveness, building a printer by yourself also makes you understand the tricky details of the involved components. It offers more control over the manufacturing process and enables quick troubleshooting of problems. While there is no one size that fits all, FLSUN 3D will be suitable for most. It offers an incredible print volume, compatibility with a range of materials, and a decent print speed.