The selection of an appropriate present for Christmas is a theme that comes year by year, along with a fundamental question: What to buy? The problem is compounded if the person in mind has some concrete interest and, supposedly, wouldn’t be restricted to knitted socks with Santa Claus motive on them.
3D Printing Christmas Ideas
A 3D printer is a perfect alternative for always the same presents, bought rather „out of necessity” than from the willingness to give a practical gift. So if you’ve noticed that one of your close ones shows particular interest in spatial design (no matter what age), maybe it’s worth to invest in a more or less costly 3D printer? Here’s a concise guide that will help you choose an appropriate model.
Purchasing a 3D printer for a child
A kid doesn’t need a professional 3D printer dedicated for industrial use. Nevertheless, he or she will find useful a piece of equipment that will introduce them successfully to the amazing three-dimensional world.
- Model Dremel Digilabs 3D40
What can we offer to a kid? Maybe the Dremel Digilabs 3D40 printer, basically designated to children, and specifically to schools. Large working area (25.5 x 15.5 x 17 cm) allows to print concrete 3D models. Maintenance-free extruder makes the use much easier, and owing to an implemented Wi-Fi connection it will be possible to print three-dimensional models without having to use a cable. Interestingly, Dremel Company has already released a dedicated application for Android and iOS, which will enable users to print models with mobile devices.
Another advantage of this model is a relatively big internal memory of 4 GB. Such volume will allow to easily save even complex blueprints.
It’s also worth to note some solutions that, despite a relatively low price, are also available in more advanced models. Due to them the young person at an educational level will have contact with modern equipment fitted with sensors monitoring the filament storage. The lack of necessity of advanced maintenance of extruder, mentioned before, is another advantage letting us avoid the considerable cost of possible repair of the device. It’s just a friendly printer that will do nicely for those who only start the adventure with three-dimensional printing.Check more informations about Dremel 3D40.
- Model Da Vinci Jr. 3D printer
Best printers for kids are definitely the simple and functional ones. An alternative for Dremel’s model is Model Da Vinci Jr. 3D printer, also characterized by simplicity of maintenance and safety of work.
A large (for school conditions) working area of 15 x 15 x 15 is the first advantage of the device. Yet if we also take into consideration a relatively big accuracy of the device, amounting to at least 100 microns (a couple of working modes), we have an equipment which not only meets the kids’ expectations, but also the basic needs of a household.
The device manufacturers Da Vinci Junior 3D went for safety and ease of use. Lack of the necessity of additional maintaining of extruder is surely an advantage, especially for those who begin the adventure with 3D printing. Low working temperature and the absence of heated table are other pluses that will help avoid an accident. Also noteworthy is the fact that the device has closed frame holding the filament container. Any risk of bodily harm in the case of this device is minimum.
Also a big advantage is the automatic calibration that is carried out independently from the user. Obviously, the device structure makes it possible to monitor the process from the outside, which has huge significance with regard for children who are just learning the secrets of three-dimensional printing. Unfortunately, the device doesn’t have the possibility of work based on wireless connection, although it provides communication by means of memory cards and a USB cable.
|Dremel Digilabs 3D40||
Expensive Dremel filament
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|Da Vinci Junior 3D||
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Purchasing a 3D printer as a gift for beginners
Those who have only for some time been fascinated by three-dimensional printing, need something better and more efficient. Training over, it’s time to start a real adventure with 3D printing!
FlashForge Creator Pro will be suitable for more professional tasks. Admittedly, it’s designated for specialist industrial projects (also for making prototypes), but it will do just fine as a Christmas present.
What are the outstanding features of this remarkable printer? First of all, it has a double head enabling it to print with two different filaments. Owing to this solution we can create objects with supports made from water-soluble materials (it’s easy to remove them later). And obviously, the implementation of two heads makes it possible to print in two different colors.
FlashForge Creator Pro also contains an additional cooling turbine that quickly gets rid of surplus heat, enabling the detail to dry fast. This function will be especially appreciated by a „beginner printer”, who wants to avoid the nuisance of shrinking objects made from particular filaments.
Apart from the abovementioned functions, also worthy of note in the FlashForge Creator Pro is the table manufactured from special anodized aluminum. This material conducts heat very well, which has huge importance for warming up the produced detail. Of course, the aforementioned table is also extremely durable, which will satisfy those who want to make more complex and heavier models.
The product can be recommended to beginners also because of its extensive software, making possible to edit details’ structure at every stage of production. Owing to that, we can relatively easily learn how to create more complex objects with the use of advanced programming language.
The last advantage that will certainly suit the taste of beginners, is obviously the transparent working chamber, additionally lit with LED diodes.
|FlashForge Creator Pro||
|Check price at|
Purchasing a 3D printer for enthusiasts
Best 3D printers are designated for enthusiasts who can „squeeze” from them 200 percent performance. Ladies and gentlemen, here’s the best model of a 3D printer which you can gift to a real hothead.
Every enthusiast is keen on new experiences. Not without reason the manufacturers of Ultimaker 2+ supplied it with a few additional replaceable nozzles with varied diameters (the smallest has only 0.25 mm). Owing to them the effects are still more accurate. Of it causes prolongation of working time, but as the saying has it, the professionals don’t count time.
But that’s not all. A huge advantage of Ultimaker 2+ is a relatively quick starting time (much shorter than in the case of some industrial solutions). Despite a relatively large heating table, the entire time of preparing the device for work is only up to 15 min.
Interestingly, unlike with other 3D printers, the Ultimaker 2+ built doesn’t allow getting out the… bad odors of plastic. And although it doesn’t bother the enthusiasts, in many cases the filament’s smell effectively makes it impossible to set up the device at home. Unless we have Ultimaker 2+…
Another very important plus of this professional 3D printer is the improved (in comparison with version 2) software. Not only is moving around it is now much faster and easier, but also the particular levels of the program load much more fluently than they did in the previous version of the device.
And if also take into account very good accuracy of the printer, it makes an ideal present for an enthusiast of 3D printing. Especially that the product is extremely home-friendly, even though only just quieter than the predecessor.
Quick starting time
Not available auto-calibration.
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Accessories for a 3D overprint for a Christmas gift
- Filaments: 3D printing (especially in the case of enthusiasts), consumes enormous amounts of filament, which is a pretty costly investment. ABS and PLA are presently the most popular materials. Nevertheless, before the purchase it’s always worth to check which one will be appropriate for a particular printer. Otherwise a freshly bought printer can be easily damaged.
- Resins: we don’t recommend buying them for children. 3D printing based on resins is considerably more expensive and complicated. Nevertheless, those interested in traditional making of three-dimensional models will most probably delighted to learn something new. Caution! Printing resins require quite different printers, working according to principles different from their traditional equivalents.
- Pad: apparently a simple and cheap accessory, but it’s role is much big than it might seem to the laymen. It prevents the printed detail from breaking from the table’s surface, which unfortunately is a standard with many cheaper printers. A very interesting solution is magnetic pads that can be torn from the base together with the detail.
- Flash memory drive is an essential equipment. A normal pendrive (we recommend devices with at least 4 GB capacity) will do perfectly well as a storage for three-dimensional blueprints. Therefore it’s worth to buy it for Christmas, even if we decided to present someone a printer with a Wi-Fi interface. Optionally, instead of a regular pendrive we can gift them a memory card. Best 3D printers have such interconnect in their frames.
- Additional covers – an accessory for those 3D fans who at the same time want to „upbeat” a little their machine’s design. They are pretty easy to find, even though are dedicated for concrete devices. Especially that most 3D printing devices’ frameworks are rather boring in terms of colors.
- A spatula – it’s worth to buy it, although it usually comes in the set with a printer. Most dedicated solutions are made from plastic, which disqualifies them for prolonged usage. Their metal equivalents are much more resistant to physical interactions.
3D printers as presents? Why not!
3D printers are great presents that can adjusted to the preferences and requirements of the gifted. As a summary, let’s turn our attention once more on the factors to be considered during the purchase.
- The gifted person’s advancement. We’ll buy a different printer for a child, and a different one for an experienced adult. Difficulty of the device’s servicing is also of importance. Unfortunately, buying the simplest (that is service-free) device will not do for experienced printers who want to „squeeze” from it as much as possible.
- Availability of accessories. Before making the purchase let’s consider what filaments (or resins) the printer is going to work with. The prices of some products available on the market are really high (even several hundred USD a container). Why, then, expose the gifted to additional, unnecessary expenses?
- Reviews. 3D printers are pretty niche and, let’s not hide it, rather rare solution in Europe. The scarce number of solutions available on the market, paradoxically makes the process of purchase easier. Especially because we can find plenty of interesting reviews of each one.
- Starting time. Some printers (especially those for professional use) are characterized by very long time of warm-up. Some models can take a few dozen minutes, which effectively eliminates them as equipment for children.
- Safety. We should always take this factor into account. We need to check if the table gets heated, and if the printer has a separate closed chamber. The volume of noise generated by the working device also can be a consideration, in most cases it oscillates around 50 decibels.
All in all, 3D printers are best presents for those who want to create advanced models, and for those who just start their adventure with 3D printing.