Want to know how we test 3D printers in reality? Read along to find out.
The thought of owning a 3D printer earlier might have given shivers down someone’s mind owing to the price and size of the devices being used at that moment, but at that very moment 3D printer were manufactured only for the industrial purposes. With time the world has changed a lot and it will keep changing regardless of time, likewise 3D printing is one such technology that has been hailed to have a great future ahead which is evident by the fact the the manufacturers have now made the 3D printers cheaper, smaller, more user-friendly and more importantly available even for the generic public, like the beginners, kids, professionals, small businesses, etc.
But who will help you out with that? For that reason we test each and every product available on market to its extreme limits to check upon the specs claimed by the manufacturers so that we can provide you with a detailed review of each of them. So now let us indulge in and show you how we test 3D printers for their credibility.
How We Do It?
First and foremost we take various specs and features of the 3D printer into consideration and take them through various tolerance tests, then move on to its design, performance, print quality, and then ease of use. Furthermore, we grind them down to their limit by tearing through every feature and testing every quirks that have been claimed by the manufacturer.
Specification & Features
Here we look into all the specification that the device possesses, like the nozzle width, filaments it works with, the size of the device, build area, and all other small to big specification that has been claimed by the manufacturers, we make a list of it and then start our testing process.
As we start with the testing process we look for the various testing criterias that we are going to test our 3D printers on which is applicable to all the devices out there. We provide the test marking to each of them which can be either good or bad depending on how the device fairs in the test conducted by us.
Setup, Configuration & Design
The first and foremost criteria that we look into is the design of the 3D printer, as it can be designed in the most simplest way or complex, but the main idea behind it is how user-friendly the design of the printer is.
For example, a 3D printer can be designed to be an enclosed 3D printer, or an opensource 3D printer, is it a SLA or FDM or DLP 3D printer, it can have a auto leveling feature for the build plate, can be a dual extruder 3D printer, triple extruder 3D printer, or can be manufactured to a large build volume 3D printer.
Taking all this in consideration becomes very important as it provides the buyer’s with an idea of what they are looking at and what they want.
User Interface & Software
The next we test the user interface and the software compatibility of the 3D printer as creating physical design is only half the math done, but to feed it to your printer you will require some sor of medium and the software is one such medium.
We check the devices software compatibility and how friendly the user interface is while also providing you with a list of various settings adjustments and navigations. We tend to test every device with the same software if applicable to differentiate between the hardware and software problems.
Build Quality & Performance
The next criteria we test upon is the performance of the device, for that we take some prints while altering the temperatures of the device as well as its surrounding, as the atmosphere around the 3D printer plays a huge role in providing stable, precise and accurate prints. We try to test its performance by using various filaments and resins as well to check the strength of the nozzle, extruder and also the print heat bed.
Conducting this test provides an ample understanding of the devices capabilities and frailities which becomes a major factor in choosing a 3D printer.
Print Quality & Print Performance
Another most important factor is the print quality that the printer provides, for that we run the 3D printer through our various unique test protocols, where once we print a simple shape with a size of 1 cm X 1cm X 1 cm, keeping the printing speed low and the resolution high, after that we again print the same shape, but this time we increase the printing speed to its highest while lowering the resolution to its lowest.
Then we gradually repeat the process while tweaking, increasing the shape and size and making the design more complex of the object.
This test provides a great amount of knowledge about the quality of the prints obtained from the 3D printer in various conditions while also justifying the claims made by the manufacturers.
Ease Of Use – Maintenance, Repairability & Upgradability
3D printing in itself is a complex process and needs knowledge to control the quality of the prints that you wish to obtain. User-friendliness is a major factor tat should be never overlooked while you are out shopping for a 3D printer, as a beginner will face great difficulties in controlling the quality of the prints if he purchases an industrial-grade 3D printer as it possesses quite complex function and will take a huge amount of time to master it.
We test the device for not only its user-friendliness but also for the maintenance process, repairability and upgradability, as a device which is easy to maintain and also can be upgraded with time can play huge role in helping you to grow.
Support & Warranty
In the next step we test for the support and warranty claimed by each manufacturer. We test this via emails or calls to their support team taking up various issues regarding the 3D printer and check on the promptness and willingness to provide the support when someone faces any issue.
This test builds a great amount of trust towards the brand while also providing ample evidence of the credibility vouched for by the manufacturers.
How We Test 3D Printers – The EndGame
After a 3D printer has gone through all the tests and examinations from various prospects and angles, we lay down a detailed summary of the device with the scores that it has obtained which are straightforward and honest answers about our individual feeling for the device. The reviews of each device are devoid of any biasness and love for any brand, furthermore, we also provide various options that you can opt for if you don’t like a certain 3D printer in the same price segment. As the availability of 3D printers increasing with each passing day, the picture becomes more clear that it is capable of revolutionizing the world with its power.