3D Printer FAQ
1. What software can I use to make 3D models?
There are dozens of free 3D modeling software available, each with its own set of unique characteristics. My two personal recommendations to someone looking for something that is both free and full-featured are Fusion 360 and Blender. Blender is better suited for designing things like figurines, while Fusion is better suited for designing things like mechanical parts, cases, and enclosures. In general though, if it can export an STL, it'll work.
2. How long does it take to 3D print something?
Print time is determined by a variety of factors including size, print speed, layer height, infill percentage, etc. Because of this, a two prints of the same size printed in the same material could take from 45 minutes to 3 hours.
3. What's the best type of filament to print with?
It depends on how you plan to use the finished print. If the print is just for decoration - something cool to look at, then PLA is a good choice. If the print is a functional part, anything that needs to be heat or impact resistant, I would suggest using PETG. There are dozens of filament types out there including flexibles, nylons, woodfills, and more. Find the filament that's right for your project.
4. How much does a 3D printer cost?
3D printers can range from $100 to $1,000,000 (seriously). If you're looking to buy a 3D printer for yourself I'd suggest looking into some of the 3D printers highest rated by 3D printing enthusiasts like Maker's Muse, Tom Sanladerer, and Joel the 3D Printing Nerd. As for the two printers we have here at KMG - the Prusa i3 MK2S and the Lulzbot Taz 6, the price of these is no secret. The Prusa i3 MK2S is now $900 and the Lulzbot Taz 6 is $2,500. Both are relatively inexpensive, but in 3D printing price doesn't always reflect quality. Even a cheap 3D printer can do amazing things if you treat it well.