When it comes to 3D printing, there are two main categories of printers: commercial and hobbyist. While both types of printers use the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology, there are significant differences between them that make commercial printers more suitable for professional settings, while hobbyist printers are more suitable for personal use.
Here are some of the key reasons why a commercial FDM 3D printer may be a better choice for your business, with examples and interesting facts to illustrate each point:
Print Volume: One of the most significant differences between commercial and hobbyist FDM 3D printers is their print volume. Commercial printers are typically larger in size, which means they can print larger objects. For example, a commercial 3D printer may have a build volume of 400 x 400 x 400mm, while a hobbyist printer may have a build volume of only 200 x 200 x 200mm. This can be beneficial for businesses that require the production of large parts, such as automotive and aerospace industry where they need to print big size parts and prototypes.
Precision and Accuracy: Another major difference between commercial and hobbyist printers is precision and accuracy. Commercial printers are generally more precise and accurate than hobbyist printers, which is important for businesses that need to produce high-quality parts that meet tight tolerances.
This is particularly true for industries such as aerospace, automotive, and medical where precision and accuracy are critical to the performance of the final product. According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) , commercial 3D printers can produce parts with an accuracy of within 50 microns, while hobbyist printers can produce parts with an accuracy of within 100 microns.
Speed: Commercial FDM 3D printers are generally faster than hobbyist printers. This can be beneficial for businesses that need to produce parts quickly, especially in high-volume production.
For example, a commercial 3D printer can print a small object in just a few hours, while a hobbyist printer may take several days to print the same object. This can be critical for businesses that have tight deadlines or need to produce parts on-demand.
Durability: Commercial 3D printers are built to withstand heavy use and are designed to last longer than hobbyist printers. This is important for businesses that need to produce a lot of parts and require a reliable, long-lasting machine.
Materials: Commercial 3D printers can handle a wider range of materials than hobbyist printers, including engineering-grade plastics, metals and ceramics. This allows for greater flexibility in terms of the types of parts that can be produced. For example, a commercial 3D printer can print pa
rts with high strength, heat resistance, and chemical resistance which is ideal for industrial use.
Cost-effective: Commercial 3D printers are more cost-effective in terms of production.
They can print multiple parts at once, thus reducing the cost per part and increasing the efficiency of production. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that need to produce a high volume of identical parts.
Technical Support: Commercial 3D printers often come with technical support from the manufacturer, which can be important for businesses that need help troubleshooting or maintaining their equipment. This can be critical for businesses that rely on their 3D printers for production and need to minimize downtime
In conclusion, commercial FDM 3D printers offer a range of features that make them more suitable for professional settings, such as larger print volume, higher precision and accuracy, faster speed, greater durability, a wider range of materials, and cost-effectiveness. While hobbyist 3D printers can be a great option for personal use and experimentation, commercial 3D printers can help businesses