When selecting a 3D printer for continuous production, there are nine factors that should be taken into consideration.


When it comes to choosing a desktop 3D printer for series production, there are several key factors to consider. While many readers may already have 3D printers for prototyping, the requirements for continually producing parts are different. For instance, if you have an Etsy store and one of your designs suddenly goes viral, you need a printer that can keep up with the demand.

The obvious solution is to buy another device of the same type as your original 3D printer. This ensures consistent print quality and allows for one device to fail without halting production altogether. However, what happens if the demand continues to grow? Is it practical to keep acquiring the same type of 3D printer as your business expands?

This is where it is important to step back and evaluate your options based on certain criteria. First and foremost, reliability is crucial. If the printer breaks down frequently, you will spend more time repairing it than actually producing products. When it comes to production machines, the goal is to keep them running as much as possible. It is important to select a machine with a good track record of reliability and to steer clear of those with negative reputations.

However, it is worth noting that 3D printers can still fail from time to time. In these instances, it is beneficial to choose a machine that is relatively easy to repair and has readily available spare parts and support services. Alternatively, you could consider having an extra machine on hand as a backup, so that production can be maintained even if one of the regular printers fails.

Another important factor to consider is print speed. In the past, most desktop FFF 3D printers operated at a slow speed. However, there are now machines available that offer “high speed” 3D printing, which can produce parts two, three, or even five times faster than older models. Opting for a high-speed printer can significantly increase throughput and productivity.

Additionally, it is essential to ensure that the selected printer can handle the specific colors or material types required for your parts. For example, some machines may not be able to print certain materials like TPU as reliably as others. It is also important to check the compatibility of the spool holder, as not all machines have the same requirements for spools and hub diameters.

When running a print farm with multiple machines, it can become challenging to keep track of which machine is available and what materials they are using. Selecting machines with print farm software can simplify the process of managing multiple printers and dispatching print jobs. Some machines come with built-in print farm software, but there are also third-party options available. It is crucial to ensure compatibility with your chosen machines.

When your machines are running continuously, it is not feasible to constantly monitor them in person. Remote monitoring capability, preferably with built-in cameras, allows you to keep an eye on your print farm from anywhere. Some machines include built-in cameras, but others may require additional hardware or software like OctoPrint with appropriate plugins.

Finally, automation is becoming increasingly important in print farms. As your production scales up, automation will be necessary to increase efficiency and reduce manual labor. Different forms of automation are available, depending on the manufacturer and model you choose. Considering these factors and planning for automation will be key to the long-term success of your print farm.

In conclusion, when choosing a desktop 3D printer for series production, it is important to prioritize reliability, print speed, material compatibility, print farm software capability, remote monitoring, and automation. By considering these criteria and selecting a printer that meets your specific requirements, you can ensure smooth and efficient production for your growing business.

Looking for a 3D printer for your business? We understand that choosing the right machine can be a daunting task, especially with the myriad of options available in the market. However, we are here to simplify the process for you.

One of the primary considerations when selecting a 3D printer is automation. Being able to automate certain processes can greatly enhance productivity and efficiency. Many manufacturers offer their own solutions, but there are also third-party options, such as 3DQue, that you can explore. Look for printers that offer AI-based quality control monitoring through a built-in camera, as well as automation for print plates. With the ability to automatically eject plates or parts, the machine can move on to the next print job without delay, ultimately boosting part throughput.

Availability is another crucial factor. It is important to ensure that the machine you choose is readily available for purchase. In the rapidly advancing world of 3D printing, some models become obsolete within a short period. To maintain a consistent model within your print farm, consider the availability of each machine and whether you can easily buy more units when needed.

Cost is always a significant factor to consider. While the industry is currently experiencing a price shift, with powerful machines emerging at the low end, it is essential to identify a list of machines that meet your criteria and then select the most cost-effective option. Prices may fluctuate, but there has never been a better time to invest in a powerful 3D printer than today, except for tomorrow.

In conclusion, when choosing a 3D printer for your business, prioritize automation, availability, and cost. Look for machines that offer AI-based quality control and automation features, ensuring efficient operation. Consider the availability of each model to ensure you can expand your print farm if necessary. Lastly, compare costs and select the most affordable option that meets your requirements. Remember, the industry is experiencing a price shift, so now is the time to invest. Share this post with others who might find it helpful in their search for the perfect 3D printer.

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“Why did the 3D printer go to therapy? Because it had too many layers of unresolved issues!”

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