3D Printers

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Take DIY projects a step further by creating solid objects with 3D printers. Unlike traditional printers, these machines produce three-dimensional objects from digital models. Most of these devices build objects through a process called Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) or Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). This is a manufacturing technique that involves adding materials together and creating replicas layer by layer. Come up with unique designs and put them to use with a wide selection of 3D printing machines at Staples®.

Choose From Different 3D Printers
While FDM is the most popular 3D printing method, Stereolithography (SLA) printers are also available for home and professional users. These create 3D objects by shining ultraviolet laser beams on photosensitive liquid resins. Like FDM, SLA is an additive manufacturing process that builds solid objects one layer at a time. FDM printers are generally more affordable while SLA ones deliver higher precision and produce objects with smoother finishes. While 3D printing machines usually come pre-assembled, some are also available as DIY kits.

Key Factors to Consider When Shopping for a 3D Printer
Some models only work with specific filament materials while others accept a variety of types. The most common filaments are polylactic acid (PLA) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). PLA is a biodegradable material made from corn starch that produces prints with smooth finishes. ABS has a higher heat resistance and produces more durable objects, but polycarbonate (PC) is better suited for making impact-resistant items. Other commonly used printing materials are wood, nylon, bronze, and copper. Print speed and resolution determine the overall performance of a 3D printing machine. Manufacturers quote resolution in microns, with lower microns indicating a higher resolution. Most consumer models can print at a resolution of 200 microns. Models that turn out better prints can manage 100 microns. For sharper details, look for a unit that can go as low as 20 microns.

How Do You Load Image Files Onto 3D Printers?
A 3D printer connects to a computer via USB or Ethernet. A model with internal memory can store computer-aided design (CAD) images transferred from a PC. Therefore, it doesn’t need to connect to a computer throughout the printing process. Some models don’t need PC connections at all. Users can simply load CAD files on them via flash drives and SD cards. Wireless printers connect over Wi-Fi® networks or establish direct wireless links to computers using Wi-Fi Direct®.

What Is a Closed-Frame 3D Printer?
It’s an enclosed unit with walls, a door, and a lid. This design is safer than an open-frame model for home users as it keeps out kids and pets. It also keeps the printer quieter by minimizing fan noise. A closed printer reduces the smell associated with some filaments.

Should You Consider Dual Extruder 3D Printers?
A model with two extruders can print objects in multiple colors. It dedicates an extruder to one color and pieces together the overall 3D item like a jigsaw puzzle. Choose one when printing multicolor 3D items.
Add to cart Monoprice Mp Select Mini 3D Printer V2 Black (121711)
Add to cart Flashforge 3D-FFG-FINDER Finder 3D Printer, Black/Pink
As low as  $213.69
Choose options M3D Micro 3D Printer Starter Kit, Assorted Colors
Add to cart Robo 3D R1 + Plus 3D Printer A1-0002-000
Free delivery by Aug 27
Add to cart Flashforge Creator Pro 3D-FFG-NPRO 3D Printer
Add to cart Robox® RBX1 Dual Nozzle 3D Printer
Free delivery by Aug 27
Add to cart Flashforge Inventor 3D-FFG-INVENTOR 3D Printer, Wireless
Add to cart XYZPrinting Nobel Superfine DLP 3DD10XUS00F 3D Printer
Add to cart Monoprice Maker Select Plus 3D Printer (115711)