The defining characteristic of a desktop 3D printer is its build volume. Build volume is an industrial term that refers to the size of a part that a 3D printer can produce. Desktop 3D printers generally have a smaller build volume and produce smaller, high-quality 3D printed parts.
How Much Does a Desktop 3D Printer Cost?
Since a desktop 3D printer has a smaller build volume, it also tends to be one of the more affordable industrial 3D printers. Build volume has a major impact on the cost of each 3D printer. A smaller build volume generally results in an affordable machine. It is easy to find a desktop 3D printer for under $5,000.
An example of a desktop 3D printer is the E2. The E2 from Raise3D has a build volume of 13X9.4X9.4 inches (330X240X240 mm) and also comes with independent dual extruders, and is priced at $3,499. The independent dual extruders, also known as IDEX, can move in unison or independently of one another. This flexibility leads to specialized abilities, such as printing the part and a copy of the part simultaneously for increased productivity or printing the part and a mirror image of the part simultaneously.
What is a Desktop 3D Printer Good For? Is a Desktop 3D Printer Right for Me?
The nature of some projects requires 3D printed parts of a specific size. If the project requires a small part, then a desktop 3D printer can be an excellent option. Since desktop 3D printers have a smaller build volume, they are ideal for any project whose sizing requirements will remain on a small scale for the long-term. Some cases where desktop 3D printers are an excellent fit is for small-scale manufacturing, education, and engineering. For example, schools teaching students how to use 3D printers will need to perform the same types of projects each year. Therefore, it makes sense for a school to invest in a desktop 3D printer.
How Big is the Actual Desktop 3D Printer?
Since these types of printers create smaller 3D printed parts, the actual machines are not very large. Generally, these machines can sit on a desk next to the computer.