How is Consumer Level 3D Printing Different to Commercial 3D Printing?
Remember, when we think commercial, we think big! Big as in providing lots of things to lots of people. Supplying to a never saturated consumer market.
Commercial Level 3D printing covers many industries such as automotive, engineering, medical, architectural and so much more. Products are created on a mass scale and some for very heavy equipment and extremely large projects.
Of course, the costs for commercial printing will also be exponentially higher than consumer printing, considering the expensive machinery required, electricity and manpower necessary to complete large and complex tasks.
These machines can range up to $100 000 or more and weigh in at 1000+ pounds. But as they say the bigger the machine, the better the quality, accuracy, speed and resolution.
That investment guarantees better quality products with amazing aesthetics and design factors that desktop level printers aren’t able to.
Products manufactured through commercial 3D printing will provide the consumer market with large amounts of goods in a small amount of time. Various production materials can be used in these machines where the desktop version is severely limited.
It’s important to mention here that Engineers who work with these Professional 3D printers are people who have a high level of knowledge and expertise.
They work on very intricate and complex products that have various functions and capabilities.Professionals are also educated to use the correct files when preparing designs for print.
Consumer or desktop Level 3D printing, focusses on hobbyist or amateur printers. Creating household or small-scale items. Anything from toys, decorations, jewelry, certain custom parts and so on.
Unfortunately, these desktop printers aren’t powerful or efficient enough to be used for rapid prototyping in any kind of medical, industrial, engineering or machining applications.
Printers used for this type of 3D printing are small and more affordable for home-use and range from $200 to $2000.
You can be guaranteed that people who dabble in 3D printing at home, have no professional training or education and therefore can’t compete on a commercial level. It remains exactly that, a hobby.
Printing in this way will definitely be slow and tedious and the build volume is very small. The largest scale would be approximately 10 X 10 X 10 inches and the resolution about 100 microns.
Home-Based printers limit the complexity of an item and are also not as accurate in their final product so don’t expect Disney quality when printing at home.
At the end of the day, it is always better to hire a professional who can guarantee their work.