With a growing number of people and enterprises entering the 3D printing space, it can be expensive to join the fray. There are many well-established 3D printer manufacturers in the industry offering devices with a four-figure price tag. So, the temptation to enter the lower price range is strong. Although there are plenty of low-cost machines available in the market, what about the used 3D printers?
With the 3D printer marketplace’s saturation and the ease of maintenance of most printers, there is a growing market where eminent and proven used printers are available at lower prices. That sounds like a tremendous bargain, but there is always a caveat. If you are wondering whether you should buy a used 3D printer or not, this article will highlight both the pros and cons of purchasing a used 3D printing machine.
Before You Buy A Used 3D Printer, You Need to Know.
Unfortunately, when you buy a used 3D printer, you do not know how it was used in the past. Your knowledge is only limited to what the seller tells about the machine. It is certainly not like buying a bike or a car. Checking the problems or faults that have been fixed in the past can be quite tricky.
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Ideally, it is better that you purchase it from somebody who local or someone you know. This way, you will have the opportunity to check the printer for noticeable defects in person and even see it in operation. Some smaller prints can be done in a short amount of time, giving you an impression of what your future printouts will look like. Go through all the available images before you decide to visit the seller – you might spot some apparent faults that could make the trip useless.
Benefits of Buying Used 3D Printer
Here are some of the pros of buying a used 3D printer.
- Price Tag: A used printer, even if for a short period, will always be cheaper than a new one of the same models.
- Functional Machine: Everything you use once can be reused, which gives you a price and quality advantage over a low-cost and entry-level FDM 3D printer. Do not undervalue the working device’s power as it can take hours to adjust the parameters of entry-level inexpensive 3D printers.
- Higher quality and lower prices: If you choose a used machine over a new one, there is the likelihood of getting a high-end 3D printer for the cost of an entry-level new machine.
- Recycling: Reusing current resources and giving old components a new purpose is an additional incentive for buying a used 3D printer.
Disadvantages of Buying Used 3D Printer
Just like the pros, there are some cons to buying a used 3D printer.
- Unreliable Vendors: At any time, You can find offers for used 3D printers on online classified sites like Gumtree, eBay, and Craigslist. However, it is challenging to validate the authenticity and claims made by the sellers in the description. There is no guarantee that the printer will work, and you will not be able to see it before you buy it.
- Damaged Item: Some issues will not show up unless you actually start printing with the device. These issues can range from just replacing the nozzle to completely replacing the motherboard. It can be quite challenging to assess the condition and age of the printer before it arrives.
- No Customer Service: A supplier that does not offer solutions for technical complications or additional overhaul services is probably a third-party seller. It can cause a lot of difficulties when it comes to finding the root cause of the problem. In such cases, the user is paying for an old machine, and there is no way of knowing how many spare parts they will have to purchase after acquiring the used 3D printer.
- Shipping Problems: Independent sellers are unable to provide shipping services because of the size of the machine and the fragility of the parts. The courier service provider could also damage the printer or lose it in transit. This is another disadvantage of buying used 3D printers.
It is not recommended to buy a used 3D printer as the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Other than the apparent low cost, used 3D printers pose a plethora of challenges and question marks? There is no way of truly knowing the extent of any damage or issues, the quality of print, functionality, and many other utility issues when it comes to used 3D printers. The hassle and headaches you are likely to inherit when acquiring a pre-owned 3D printer are not worth saving a few hundred dollars. That is why it is recommended that you should buy 3D printers from companies of repute like Bionic Inventor, where you will not have to worry about any of the issues mentioned above.
How to Check a Used 3D Printer Before Buying?
If you decide to go ahead and purchase a preowned machine, here are some of the things you should be aware of:
- When you buy a secondhand 3D printer, of course, You should look for things that can make the 3D printer unusable unless it is cheap, and you only want it in parts.
- Does the 3D printer have any cracks in its frame? Cracks deteriorate the printer’s integrity, which causes more significant movement and vibration during printing, resulting in lower print quality.
- Is there any variation in the frame? As has been the case in the past, it can cause the print to move. This is simply a matter of tightening a few screws or eccentric nuts.
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- How hot does it get? Turn it on and set the print bed to 60 and the nozzle to 200. Is the printer able to reach the set temperature? It should take a few minutes to reach the set temperature. So, if the heating is really slow, it could be an indication of a faulty thermostat or temperature sensor.
- Do the extruder and gantry move smoothly? Can the print head and portal move without resistance when the printer is powered down?
- Can you get the filament through? Take the filament and heat the nozzle. Can you push the filament all the way to the end of the extruder? If it works, that is great. If it does not, it could be a clogged nozzle that needs further examination.
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