Best 3D Printing Gifts for Christmas 2016

Lix 3d penChristmas is not just the time for family and gifts. It’s also the time to really rake your brains when figuring out what gifts to get. Luckily, we at 3DPrintingPrices have also been through the same dilemma and judging from our experience we wanted to share our take on what to get for our dearest 3D printing enthusiasts. With the advent of open source technologies in the field of additive manufacturing, you have more ground to cover than ever before. Read on for our pick of great 3D printing gift ideas for Christmas this time around.


Resources

DIY and Other Reference Material

Best 3D Printing Gifts for Christmas 2016If you know someone who is either taking or is about to take their first steps in 3D printing, then reference materials and knowledge resources can be a very meaningful gift. The price will obviously vary depending on a multitude of things, but ultimately the idea is for a meaningful gift rather than an overpriced show piece.

Books and other reference material authored by industry specialists (yes, people have been 3D printing long enough to be called specialists of their respective technique and technology) are available in soft as well as hard copies. For someone really looking to get into the art of printing this would thank you later.

Paid Subscription

This idea, because of the potential price tags, should be down below in the list, but to continue on the previous idea, getting a hobbyist or (semi)professional 3D printing enthusiast a paid subscription or license to some kind of relevant technology, software package or literary content could do them a lot of good.

Many packages and technologies are open source and hence mostly free, but premium support is always pricey. This can be a really good gift in the case your friend/partner has a professional setup where support maybe required from time to time.

Filaments and Resin

Now which 3d printing practitioner has ever had enough filament? The fundamental raw material for your drawing and printing means you’re going to need more every time you have a new idea. This by default makes the filaments a “fallback” kind of a gift. Don’t be shocked when someone (or more than one) gifts the same thing. Depending on previous experiments or just by making small talk, you can get an idea of the enthusiast’s preference when it comes to resin or filaments. In the

Depending on previous experiments or just by making small talk, you can get an idea of the enthusiast’s preference when it comes to resin or filaments. In the case you don’t know what the difference between the two, here’s rule of thumb. If the printer has a tray/container that moves up and down, we’re talking resin. That is the Digital Light Processing (DLP) printer.

In the case a flat plate is present, we’re talking filaments for Pure Stereolithography (SLA) printers. Filaments have the option of creating metallic or wooden based prints, whereas DLP is restricted to a hardened composite formed because of the process. Both raw materials are being produced as branded and non-branded, non-priority products.

Check out our list of the best 3D printer filaments

Extruders

Best 3D Printing Gifts for Christmas 2016Check online for the model number for your friend’s printer. If they have a single extruder, they’d love a dual nozzle extruder. If they have a PLA-specific or stock extruder, you can gift them a non-proprietary type that is optimized for an all-rounded printing experience. A lot of printers are built in a manner that restricts the user from replacing the extruder but then again, an enthusiast is always up for a challenge.

So factor in the “proactive” nature of your friend and get him/her a new extruder. There are extruders available in the market which allow different filaments to be fed to different color combinations and schemes. As said before, filaments and extruders are both available for printing wooden prints (using plastic with wooden fibers blended in!).

Check out our list of the best 3D printer extruder

Spare Parts

This is an obvious one but needed mentioning as this is the category where we can adequately add 3D printing pen users. All the above generally applies to printing with printers. Even though the pen is gaining popularity in usage, the compact nature of its very design restricts the over-extended catalogue of scalable accessories and other options.

On the whole, getting beds for the SLA printing friends and resin containers for your DLP friends can be coupled with a printing kit. The kit usually comprises of scraping material to dislodge the print, clean the bed along with cleaning tools for the print. Scrape off edges that you don’t need, dust of any loose particles and use the paint brushes and water color to add character to your print.

Check out this article on 3D printer parts you can buy to improve your experience


3D Printers

RepRap Prusa I3 DIY 3D Printer Kit

RepRap Prusa I3 DIY 3D Printer KitRepRapGuru presents Prusa I3, a DIY assembly kit that is your very own open, desktop 3D printer. The print area is open and not enclosed and the kit can be assembled with ease because of the lack of restrains and enclosing elements. The whole setup is pretty flexible when setting up and can be up and running within an hour of assembly. A DIY kit is a sure shot way of saying Merry Christmas AND “I support your new hobby/interest”

Branded 3D Printer

Nowadays, there are a lot of brands and even non-proprietary manufacturers for 3D printers. Tiko, ThingyBot, Rova4D and 101 Hero are some crowd funded manufacturers whereas The Zeus All-in-one 3D Printer is perhaps still the unbeaten desktop printer. Check with your local regions for retailers and technical support.


3D Pens

Lix is perhaps the ultimate 3D printing pen package, if you’re thinking Christmas. It’s sleek and stylish and performs as beautifully as it looks. It can print using PLA and ABS with instructions provided on how to select the right (non)proprietary filament.

The buttons on the side of the pen allow you to tweak the settings while drawing or beforehand and battery pack at the back coupled with the heated end both perform equally well when you’re creative streak hits you. Other options include Scribbler, 7Tech and the 3Doodler.


Conclusion

Christmas makes you scratch your head over what to give to your dear ones. In our opinion, any of the mentioned gestures would symbolize your support for a new enthusiast, hobbyist or even professional 3D printing aficionados. Because of the variety available in products and technology, go through our articles for an understanding of what you’re buying, if unsure. The prices may also vary, so try to get technical support when buying the products. With that, happy holidays and Merry Christmas from the 3DPrinterPrices.net team.