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Why are 3D printers expensive?

Are you considering buying the best 3D printer on the market? If so then you might be wondering why the prices seem to be so high. There are various factors that affect the price and in fact there’s a wide range of prices for 3D printers.

3D Printer Technology

In order to better understand the generally high price tags of 3D printers it’s important to know how the devices work. These printers use “additive” processes. This involves creating an object by putting down a material layer by layer until the object is fully created. Each of the layers could be described as a thin horizontal cross-section of the physical object that you’re creating.

The process of creating a 3D-printed object is also quite complex, which also helps to explain the price of 3D printers. The first step is to develop a virtual design of the particular object that you want to build. The design is contained in a digital file and is built by using a modeling application and scanner.

Factors that Affect 3D printer Prices

As when buying other printers it’s important to keep in mind that there are several factors that affect the price tag of a 3D printer. Here are some of the main ones:

  1. Brand

If you purchase a high-end brand you should expect to pay an average of $1,000 to $2,000 depending on whether the 3D printer is for individual or commercial use. There are many brands on the market so it’s critical to do some research so you’ll know some of the main players in the industry. If you purchase a high-end or off-brand you should expect to pay prices on the extreme ends of the spectrum.

  1. Specifications

This involves various issues like the 3D printing technique and others. It involves technical issues so it’s important to become familiar with some of the main techniques used for 3D printing. This will help you to sort through the different units on the market to pick a unit with the specs you’re looking for in terms of flexibility, speed, etc.

  1. Features

This is another of the key issues to consider when selecting the best 3D printer. There are various factors including the filament types supported, quality of performance, full-size/compact design, and customer service. If you want all the possible bells and whistles available then you should expect to pay a higher price tag. Meanwhile, if you want a base unit then the price will be significantly lower.

  1. Packing List

Another issue that affects the price of the 3D printer is the items that are included in the packing list. This can range from the basics to everything but the kitchen sink. Make sure to review packing lists.

The Bottom Line on 3D Printers

The actual price range of the best 3D printers can differ significantly. If you want a low-end unit that just provides the basics you should expect to pay about $100 or so. High-end personal printers cost about $1,000 while high-end commercial units have a price tag of about $2,000. Keep in mind that there are several factors that affect these prices so there’s a lot of leeway.