Want to try your hand at 3D printing but thinking "I don’t have a 3D printer near me"? Or maybe you want to 3D print in an exotic material that your printer can’t handle, like gold or silver? Either way, we got you covered.
It was not too long ago that finding a 3D printer was a sort of mysterious process. If you couldn’t find a printer at Walmart or on Amazon, did it even exist?
Now finding a 3D printer is starting to come into the mainstream. For some, this means buying their own 3D printer. For others, this means finding someone else’s 3D printer to use, or even a 3rd party to 3D print their designs for them.
Or maybe you have a 3D printer, but you want to print with a material more exotic than PLA or ABS.
If you fall into the latter categories, you might be asking yourself, “How can I find a 3D printer near me?” This article will answer this question by introducing you to publicly available 3D printers as well as.
3D printing is still in the early adopter phase for most consumers. There are some 3D printers that are easier to run and maintain, but most require more expertise to keep them operating smoothly. There is a steep learning curve when it comes to bed leveling, print adhesion, z-offset, optimum temperature settings and many more technical tinkering that go into setting up and 3D printing an object.
With 3D printing as a service, you can skip that learning curve and spend more time designing. Whip up your object and then upload it to a 3D printer ‘near me’.
It is the easiest way to start printing objects right away. This way you can spend more time as a design demon and less as a technical tweaker.
If you don’t have a 3D printer in your house, your next step might be to find a 3D printer near your home or work. Here you can go with your file, for instance on a USB drive, and get some hands on experience using a 3D printer.
The best way to find one of these is to pull up your favorite search engine and search for: ‘3D printer near me’.
If you live near a large metro area, you are likely to find a few close by. If you live in a rural community, your choices might be limited to online printing services. But don’t worry! Here we give you all the options so regardless of your location, you can get your design 3D printed.
Community services are those that are available in and around a local community. They are generally public areas hosted by a city, town, or county government, such as a community recreation center or a public library.
Usually there is a small fee for materials and usage, but they will still be the cheapest option. If you want to use it regularly, there might be a daily, monthly or annual membership option available.
You might first want to check with your local library to see if they offer 3D printing services. There, all you might need is your library card to start 3D printing your designs.
Additional locations are best found by doing an online search for ‘3D printer near me’.
Maker spaces are similar to the community service print centers. However, they can be a for-profit retail store or center.
The idea of a maker space is to have a community space with tools and gadgets to allow anyone to design and craft in a variety of mediums. This can be great if you want to combine something else into your 3D printer, for exaple a robotic element. Then all you need would be in one place!
Most maker spaces will have at least a basic 3D printer, but make sure before you sign up.
A great place to search for both community services and maker spaces is the maker spaces directory
Commercial printing companies work in a similar fashion as traditional paper print services. You can bring in, send, or upload a file and, for a fee, they will print it.
Also like a traditional printing company, many offer design services as well. An all-in-one design and print service!
For our last option, we offer a method to get your design printed when there’s not a 3D printer ‘near me’. It stems from the realm of commercial printing companies: online printing hubs and services. This is like the Amazon marketplace of 3D printing services.
Printing companies and local pros alike will sign up to be a 3D printing partner with a hub. When a customer uploads a file to be printed and chooses the settings and material, several automated quotes will come back from the different partners. The customer can then select which company to print their model.
Once the model is 3D printed, it get cleaned up and shipped to your doorstep. This means you can get a 3D print of your model without having to leave the house. Snazzy, eh?
The process could not be simpler when using an online 3D printing service:
Through Craftcloud, we offer real-time prices from leading 3D printing service providers!
Save up to 50% by comparing prices from the leading 3D printing services. Craftcloud – 3D Printing & Price Comparison Service by All3DP provides worldwide manufacturing and delivery.
Feature image source: Wikimedia
License: The text of "3D Printer Near Me – The Easiest Way to Find Them" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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