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If you are new to the world of physical printing, you may wonder how long does a 3D printer last. Some of the best printers, after all, are 3D printers, and these models can be extraordinarily complex, and this complexity could impact the overall lifespan. So how long does an average 3D printer last, and what are some useful tips to help keep the best 3D printers running for a good long while? Keep reading to find out.
Modern 3D printers last anywhere from four to ten years, depending on the specific model and how often you use it, once you learn how 3D printers work, of course. This is not to say that you will avoid maintenance issues during that time frame, so you may still have to learn how to get the broken filament out of a 3D printer. This timeframe also assumes general maintenance and care, so you will also have to learn how to clean 3D printer nozzles.
If you are using a dedicated cleaning solution to maintain your printer, check the instructions to ensure the chemical compound is safe to use.
This timeframe breaks down to 7,500 to 15,000 hours of active printing, even if you have just learned how to 3D print on fabric.
To ensure you end up at the far end of that lifespan range, several tips are worth considering.
Regular printers do well with ample cleaning, but 3D models practically demand it. These are expensive and complex bits of technology with plenty of sensitive moving parts. Having just one nozzle act up ruins the entire printing experience, so protect your investment by cleaning and maintaining the printer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t skimp on these processes, even if using filament is extremely annoying.
3D print jobs sometimes take a long time, hours, and even days. During this process, you want to avoid touching or moving the printer at all. If you jostle a printer as it works, you could damage the nozzles, and the print head, and, of course, ruin the print. That is where dedicated enclosures come in. These enclosures cover the entire printer and protect all sensitive bits and bobs as it works.
Consider upgrading the power supply to a higher quality component to squeeze the most life out of your printer.
STAT: Depending on where and how you store it, 3D-printed objects made from PLA can last from a month to 2 years and up to many years. It can break down at different rates depending on its environment. (source)