There are quite a few videos that are an introduction to 3D printing. Today, I just ran into what I thought was such a video, by Tested.com. They titled their video “Introduction to 3D Printers: The Promise and Pitfalls of Desktop Manufacturing,” but that impressive title is misleading. While it goes into the promise and pitfalls of 3D printing, it does so only as it pertains to home FDM-based, hobbyist level 3D printers. And more specifically than that, it focuses completely on Makerbot printers.
Nothing wrong with that, if the title were different. But to viewers not already conversant with 3D printing, they would be left thinking that Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is the only type of additive manufacturing there is. There was no mention of other methods, such as SLA for example.
They did everything in the video on Makerbot Replicators; but that makes sense, because apparently for the last three years that’s bene their printer of choice. However, it would have been good to hear them explain in more detail some of the other printers available for the hobbyist.
With that out of the way, however, I have to say they did a great job at showing people who’ve yet to purchase a 3D printer just what they might be up against. It’s not all as easy as some make it seem. Having your own 3D printer requires attention, care and patience.
I would highly recommend anyone thinking about getting a 3D printer who is not exactly the hands-on DIYer type to watch the video in its entirety. It’s good to know what you are getting into. And specifically, you’ll learn a lot about the Makerbot Replicator series.