After the season was cut short, my team took a step back and tried to figure out where we can improve our build process. One of those areas we want to improve is our 3d printing capabilities. Right now we have one 3d printer that prints ABS (I think, could be PLA). This means that we don’t have a lot of volume capacity (# of parts) and we try to not use the printed parts in situations where they might experience a lot of load, opening up two areas we want to fill.
First, we want at least one printer (possibly two) dedicated to spitting parts out as quickly as possible, mainly for prototyping/proof of concepts and low load situations. I assume a larger nozzle might help this print faster? Do you all have any suggestions for models that might satisfy these requirements?
Second, we want at least one printer dedicated to higher- strength materials that we would be more comfortable using in higher load situations. Things like custom bearing blocks on an elevator are what we would use this printer for. Would something like a markforged work (although they are expensive)? Are there any other alternatives y’all would recommend?
Budget is not as much as an issue (very flexible) because these printers would most likely be used in a classroom setting so our school is willing to help us get them. We would like to spend around $1000 or less per printer for the faster/low load part printer, and less than $3000 for the higher-load part printer. If a more expensive printer is worth it then that is okay, we would just have to put a request for it in a grant.