3D Printer Buying Guide For Educators K-12 And Universities
What Would You Like To 3D Print?
Before running out to the store and buy the first 3D printer the salesperson shows you, you may want to think about some more fundamental questions?
- Are you a user interested in printing toys or household items?
- A trendsetter who loves showing your friends the latest gadgetry?
- A teacher seeking to set up a 3D printer in a library, classroom, or community center?
- A DIYer or hobbyist who likes to experiment with new project technologies?
- A designer, engineer, or architect who wants to create models or prototypes of new products, components, or structures?
- An artist who attempts to explore the potential of forming 3D objects?
- Or a manufacturer wanting to print plastic items in relatively short runs?
Your optimal 3D printer is dependent upon how you plan on using it. Consumers and schools will be a model that’s easy to set up and use, doesn’t need much maintenance, and has reasonably good printing quality.
Artists and hobbyists might want special features, like the ability to print objects with more than one color or to use different filament types. Professionals and designers may need outstanding print quality.
Shops involved in the short-run production will need a large build area to print multiple objects at once. Companies or individuals wanting to show off the wonders of 3D printing to friends or clients will want a handsome yet reliable machine.
Use in Education
Schools across the world are turning to more creative ways of teaching away from boring lesson plans and towards learning through play. The world is transforming with technology, and education must change with it. To prepare children for a career in technology or 3D software design, schools are seeking for the best 3D printers for children for education.
3D printing is enabling pupils of all ages to explore their world in new ways. Teachers and professors are incorporating 3D/CAD design into their curriculum in subjects ranging from math to physics, art & design.
Previously, education staff could get by with a small, inexpensive 3D printer for occasional printing usage. However, when the volume of prints increase and teachers/professors want to get large quantities of parts printed and graded in a timely fashion, cheap and small 3D printers are not up to the mark.
Research universities, technical colleges, and high schools are now upgraded to 3D printers on their own campuses.
We know that choosing a 3D printer for your primary, elementary, or middle school can be difficult.
While many will be great for high school students, or a hobbyist, some are suited for use in a library environment or a K-8 classroom.
The most essential standards for schools when choosing a 3D printer are:
- Plug’n’ play- how easy is it to set-up and start.
- Affordability- is the amount in the budget.
- Durability- review reputation and warranty.
- Air filter- learn how to change or clean filter
- Safety- features to protect users
- Reliability- again read reviews about the printer you like
- Customer support- after the sale can you call with questions
Moreover, the capability to print over the cloud or wirelessly, thereby reducing the requirement for USB memory sticks or even being placed in the same room as the 3D printer, is another valuable feature to consider.
3D printing has created many exciting classroom activities, and teachers are itching to get their hands on one. And, who can condemn them? 3D printers empower teachers to bring lessons to life in a way that students can see.
Plus, children love them! They are more budget-friendly than when they first entered the market, making it possible for schools to get them for individual classrooms or art department.
Benefits Of 3D Printers In Schools
Makes learning active and interactive: unlike studying a textbook or watching a lecture, with 3D printing, students interact with the machines and getting involved in printing. Encourages real-world understanding: much of what is taught in schools is theoretical, instead of seeing the results and effects in front of you.
With a real 3D printer, build real parts is better than complex theories and will help improve the spatial knowledge and engineering skills of students far better. More impressive: the tech is cool, and if students are interested, they’ll learn faster.
Teachers Need To Plan
Before you rush to get a 3D printer for your classroom, there are some things you must recognize. Planning to take the plunge? Here’s what you need to consider
First, aside from the fun factor and the cool factor, how do you plan to Use the 3D printer in your own classroom? Will the tech support the curriculum?
Next, what’s your budget? 3D printers range in price. By way of instance, you don’t require a 3D printer that costs tens of thousands. Instead, you want to start looking for an affordable alternative.
Finally, you should also note the time it takes to print. 3D printing requires a longer time than the standard, so you want to consider how long you’ll need and how long you intend to use it.
The 3D printer market is fast-changing. Each new 3D printer brings some new specialties that will soon be a standard on all printers, but none of the printers on the market has every one of the modern, must-have features.
If you’re looking for one, it’s essential to know how 3D printers are different from one another so you can pick the right model. They come in a range of styles and may be optimized for a specific audience or kind of printing.
Here is a List of Recommended 3D Printers:
(lowest price to highest price)
Few makers have concentrated as much thought on the 3D printing range as CEL-UK. The AutoMaker software allows you to prepare and monitor the prints through to the printer’s unique features and accessories that help with production and iterative design.
The RoboxDual was designed to accommodate any user level, so it is great for schools. Headlocks swappable tool heads, automobile filament loading, and bed leveling make it perfect for school use. With the inclusion of this network, enabling Root or Mote, it’s also well suited for product design engineers and agencies working at scale.
Original PRUSA i3 MK3s
PRUSA Research is an oppressive force in the 3D print market, with all the MK3s being their flagship device. Comes as a kit, expert build, or a set of plans to build your own, there is a lot on offer here for ever level of consumer.
The expert build polishes everything that has come before and is broadly seen as the leading FDM 3D printer on the market. Printing speeds are fast and using the latest Trinamic2130 drivers and a Noctua fan, this machine is significantly noise-free.
Powerful enhancements such as Bondtech extruder, filament sensors, PINDA 2 probe, and market-leading E3D V6 nozzle assure that the print quality is nearly impossible to beat. The print quality and features make the MK3s the best all-round printer available.
Snapmaker 2.0 A350
A real 3-in-1 machine looks good because 3D printers, CNC and Laser Cutters all use the same technologies and the mechanics. The original Snapmaker has a dedicated following.
Therefore it is not surprising that Snapmaker 2.0 builds on its predecessor’s reputation and attributes. The A350 proves proficient at all levels and is the biggest of three models. Swapping between beds and the three heads does take time to reconfigure and calibrate for the prince and features it’s worth it.
LulzBot Mini 2
If you want to learn the ropes as a beginner, the LulzBot Mini 2 is a great starter option. It’s available for a nice price and is simple to use, with variant 2 improving on noise reduction and print speed.
The hardware is open-source, which indicates it has a compliance that propitiatory hardware doesn’t have, as a dedicated community of producers can work together to create add-ons for the printer.
Original PRUSA SL1
Prusa Research revolutionized the FDM 3D printer industry, and the SL1 seems set to do the same for SLA printing machines. While the printer comprises Stereolithography technology, it’s, in fact, a small variant, know as the best MSLA.
This uses a UV LED and LCD to expose the resin and is far cheaper than the high precision lasers viewed in the likes of Form 3. While the component parts may be more economical, the results are outstanding. With the support of the PrusaSlicer software and open source community, the SL1 appears set to be a game-changer in the SLA marketplace.
CEL-UK is a pioneer in 3D Printer innovation, with the first Robox printers adding multiple new features to the FDM 3D printers. The RoboxPro is Robox on a big scale with a feature set that seems like a 3D print wish list; auto bed leveling, auto filament loading, Wi-Fi, network printing, and swappable tool heads.
This machine’s focus is reliability and quality, designed for anybody wanting a printer that could realize merchandise ideas and get them to market. The design makes it a perfect choice for educational and good for commercial use.
TRILAB DeltiQ Two
Delta 3D printers are different from conventional Cartesian 3D printers, with the printhead ejected from three articulated arms. The approach implies that the printer’s footprint can be far smaller.
As the base is sophisticated, static models can be a machine with less support material. The features of the DeltiQ 2 include E3D hotends, mobile control, and interface, Duet 2 Wifi control board, and superb print quality. Best delta type printer.
3D printing has genuinely come of age, and systems such as the Raise3D E2 bring high-class FFF printing to education, home, and industries. This dual extrusion printer will meet most companies’ design and development requirements with the slick business and network integration. Users and homes will benefit from close reliability and a straightforward interface. This machine’s drawback is weight and size.
FormLabs Form 3
Starting From: $3,499 +
FormLabs centering on resin-based SLA 3D printers and has been instrumental in exploring and advancing the technology. Form 3 is the smallest of their printers but has wide appeal with a high precision laser that guarantees unmatched print quality.
In all SLA machines, a liquid resin is used instead of a solid filament. More time is required in the preparation and finishing of prints, which will not suit all users.
The breadth of technologies and materials makes the Form 3 one of the most versatile 3D printers on the market. Perfect for high-quality prototypes, casting, jewelry, and production. This is the best SLA type 3D printer.
Price $3,850 approx.
Ultimaker has been among the most desirable 3D printer manufactures the 3D technology broke into the industry. The Ultimaker S3 is a new-generation printer with quality, speed, and reliability at its core.
While the printer does make a small nod to Ultimaker’s open-source frameworks in appearances, it finds new ground for usability and business integration. The S3 is targeted for universities or commercial markets.
The 3D printer offers a wide selection of accessories and materials to meet any designer’s needs. It offers a wide choice of materials and accessories to fit any designer’s needs. Standout features include the market-leading touchscreen UI, swappable cartridge hotends, and the Cura slicer software. Reach out to the company to get a quote.