3D Printing Trade Association – Consumer Trends In 3D Printing

Consumer-oriented FDM printers are dropping in price and are becoming more affordable. It’s no longer necessary to spend thousands of dollars to buy a 3D printer for the home. In fact, there are a number of printers that cost under US $1000. Some models cost only a few hundred dollars. The cheaper models usually print smaller objects than the bigger ones, however.

In addition to the price, another thing to consider when buying a 3D printer is its ability to create thin layers. The thinner the layers, the less obvious they are in the printout and the smoother the appearance and feel of the object. The thinness of the layers is known as the resolution of the printer. Generally, the higher the resolution, the more expensive the printer.

Some people who work with 3D printers predict that within a few years FDM printers will become the 3D equivalent of today’s inkjet printers—popular, inexpensive and able to produce items of good to very good quality.

You will see more and more:
– Downloading Models: getting models on the internet and downloading for personal use. Free and paid.
– Print on Demand websites: You don’t need a printer! They will print if for you.
– More 3D pens: less expensive than a desktop, more portable, and easier to use.
– More plastic in the environment: The dark side…more and more waste. Since it’s easy to 3D print, we get a more throw away practice.

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