What you’re going to be disappointed about
- Printing is currently slow – an object the size of a golf ball is likely to take 30 minutes to print out.
- You CAN print out multiple objects at a time and leave them to print over night – the main limitation is the size of the build plate.
- Realistically students are likely to receive 1 to 3 prints per year.
- Consumer/education printers (<$10,000) can generally print in 1 or 2 colors only (you can order full color prints through the bureau services)
- The print quality will be worse than a molded plastic object from Ikea
- Failed prints and printer break down/jams
- Some percentage of your prints will fail (even the best printers will fail 1 in 20 times at best)
- Your printer will jam and you will need to fix it – this takes time
Think of 3D printers like computing in the 1980’s/90’s – it is changing very rapidly.
Almost every week new 3D printers are being released and things are getting better but there are still issues.
One alternative to buying your school a 3D printer is to start with a print bureau service.