3D Printing

How to Save Money on 3D Printing Costs

By Will Lewellyn on February 10, 2017

You just bought a new 3D printer. Perhaps you purchased a smaller desktop printer, a larger production printer or even a printer from the new Stratasys F123 Series. Either way, you're excited to start maximizing your investment. Well just like a car, some simple maintenance can go a long way in being efficient and saving dollars. Here is how to save money on 3D printing costs and minimize annual costs to run your FDM or PolyJet machines.

How to Save Money on PolyJet 3D Printers

Because of the nature of a PolyJet, having a clean machine can make or break you (and your wallet)! Outlined in the user guides for every Stratasys 3D printer are instructions for a preventative maintenance schedule. Following this schedule and cleaning the excess resin from areas of the machine is essential to saving money down the line.

The main area to clean will be around the print head. This area is described in your user guide and is to be clean every time you run your printer. (see below)

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When removing your parts, there are many tools that can be useful. A small shop vacuum is a handy tool to have close to your PolyJet machine for easily cleaning up particles of support material that can cause the printer to malfunction. (see below)

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If you don't keep your PolyJet clean, you run the risk of extra wear and tear, which will increase the cost of your printer in the long haul.

How to Save Money on FDM 3D Printers

While FDM printers are somewhat easier to clean than PolyJet printers, regular cleanings can still save a significant amount of money. Again, following user level preventive maintenance will keep your printer running smoother longer, in turn saving your company money.

Cleaning out the waste container on your FDM printer every time you run a build will ensure that waste doesn’t build up and cause an error. Another key area to monitor is the tip wipe area. (see below)

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Ensuring that your tip wipe is calibrated and working properly will not only save on maintenance cost, but it will also save you from many errors and failed builds. A tip wipe that is not functioning properly will drag strands of material in your model and could stop the build if the error is large enough.

Conclusion 

Ultimately, by following the simple steps outlined in your user guide for user level preventive maintenance, you can save yourself time and money by building parts correctly the first time. Time is money in the fast-paced world we live in, so save yourself money by taking care of your Stratasys 3D printer and allowing it to properly build your models.

Need a reminder to stay up-to-date on your printer maintenance? Download our PolyJet and FDM 3D  Printer Maintenance Checklist!

Download PolyJet Maintenance Checklist

Download FDM Maintenance Checklist