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Flowchart: Which 3D printer is right for you?

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flow3With sophisticated computer algorithms, and the internet at almost anyone’s fingertips, flowcharts are seldom used now-a-days. For those unfamiliar with what a flowchart is, or what one would be used for, here is a brief explanation.

Usually such a chart is used to show a workflow or a process by using boxes, diamonds, circles, and arrows to represent specific decisions in a diagram which is easily understood. These shapes and arrows usually lead to a solution after the person utilizing the chart takes a specific path along that chart. For instance one could create a flowchart to determine how to troubleshoot a specific set of problems.

Flowcharts are also great visual aids to help consumers decide which of a set of products is best for their needs. One reddit user, going by the handle ‘SkateGuy2000’, has created his very own flowchart to help individuals figure out what the best 3D printer is for their needs.

The chart, which is quite large, obviously doesn’t include every 3D printer on the market, as there are literally hundreds of machines out there.

“It’s not ‘extensive’, but it has a printer for everyone,” explained SkateGuy2000 in a reddit post. “These are just random printers. I just threw some out onto a table and read reviews, except for the Rigidbot Regular (I used my personal experience).”

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The chart starts out by asking the user what he/she wants the most from a 3D printer. Options include “Portability,” “Moddability,” “Ease of Use,” “Big Build Volume,” and “Ultra High Print Quality.” From there, it asks if affordability is something the user is concerned about. At this point the chart will either begin recommending a printer to the user, or it continues to ask additional questions in order to narrow the options down further. It can ask as many as seven questions to the user prior to finally recommending a printer in some cases.

Like we have mentioned above, not every possible option is listed, but over 30 3D printers are included in this flowchart, and it seems like a fairly accurate assessment of the major printers on the market today. Whether this is the best way to determine the printer which is right for you or not depends on the individual seeking the machine. I will say, however, that this is a very good starting point for someone who is new to the space and has recently decided to purchase their first machine. With that said, I would certainly recommend users take time to do their own research on each printer, and also look at other machines on the market which this chart has not included.

Let us know your thoughts on this 3D printer flowchart. Discuss in the Buying a 3D Printer Flowchart forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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