Years ago Isaac Asimov developed the “Three Laws of Robotics” to govern the behavior of robots. Do we need something similar for 3D printing?
3D printing a model is often not as simple as just hitting the “print” button. There are several operations you may need to do to your model before hitting that button.
Everyone knows that personal 3D printing can be a ton of fun, but did you know it can also be hazardous to your personal appendages? We certainly do.
Authentise now has public implementations of their 3D print streaming service. We tried it out.
- Technical: How technical are you? Are you comfortable building electronics and mechanical assemblies? How do you feel if a machine breaks? Do you feel excited about the opportunity to fix it? Or are you struck with fear and asking yourself, “who do I know that could fix this for me?” The answer will help you determine whether to purchase a 3D printer kit or a pre-assembled unit.
- Time: How much spare time do you have? How much of that spare time are you willing to put toward your 3D printing habit? If you don’t have a lot of time to devote to your machine, then perhaps you should seek machines that are pre-assembled and come with a reputation for reliability. On the other hand, if you don’t have very much time to spare, you might want to reconsider the 3D printing thing entirely.
- Purpose: What do you intend on making? Is it artwork (PLA suitable)? Mechanical parts (ABS suitable)? How large might your desired objects be? If you can answer these questions, you will know the size and capabilities of your target machine.
- Environment: Where will you situate your machine? Is it in an area that can be ventilated outdoors easily? If not, then you should not be 3D printing ABS plastic indoors and might require a PLA-only machine. Also, consider how much noise you can withstand. While most current 3D printers are pretty quiet, there are still a few noisy ones available.
- Wallet: What’s your budget? USD$500? $1000? $2000? The amount of money you can spend on a machine will quickly narrow your choices, so long as they are compatible with the answers to the previous questions.
- Around Town: a collection of quirky figurines in various roles (see red dude above).
- Chunky Trucks: mini-construction equipment and personnel, superb for a child’s sandbox
- Cosmic Cadets: Rocket parts that can be assembled into larger units
- Dragons of Glastonbury: Knights, Wizards, Damsels, Castles and of course, Dragons
- Famous Flyers: Notable aircraft from history, ranging from a Montgolfier-like balloon to an F-117 stealth fighter
- PetPals: Strange pet-like creatures and their habitats
|Features||Replicator Mini||Cube 3|
|PLASTIC||PLA only||PLA and ABS|
|CASE||Black||Black or White|
|MATERIAL||Generic PLA||Cubify only|
- The Cube has two extruders, has higher resolution, can print ABS as well as PLA and is substantially less expensive
- The Mini uses inexpensive filament that over the long term may make it less expensive to own
- It’s in a completely different price range: whereas previous models were all priced from USD$1000-3000, the Z18 is priced at USD$6499.
- It’s huge: the Z18 boasts a massive 42.5L print volume, whereas it’s “predecessor”, the Replicator 2 had only a 6.7L volume. That’s an increase of over six times!
- It includes a true, heated chamber: The Z18 includes the very first heated chamber from a major manufacturer, a feature previously available only on much more expensive Stratasys commercial equipment.