3D Printing: Cheaper Than You Think



3D printing isn’t as expensive as you think.

Luke Culver, Student Opinion Editor

3D printing is the future of building products! Since they first became popular, 3D printers were often seen as expensive and useless. Nowadays, 3D printing is fairly cheap and easy, and a good $350 can get you started with everything you need.

For larger pieces, things like cosplay/costume pieces, mechanical parts, or just large models, a good FDM printer works best and it’s the most common printer. An FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printer melts plastic and cools it down to make layers, eventually making your model. SLA (Stereolithography) printers UV-cure resin with a screen in specific places to create miniscule layers. SLA printers are for more fine detailed models and are designed for smaller pieces that require sharp edges and small details. When it comes to FDM printers, the recommended one is the Ender 3, it’s a cheap printer coming in at around $250, and printing materials cost around $20-$30 per spool of PLA (polylactic acid). SLA printers require resin, it typically costs around $40-$50 for a big bottle and it lasts a long time.

3D printing is easy to start, and it’s a lot cheaper than most think to embark on a 3D printing adventure.