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3D Printing Resolution: Should You Offer It Some Consideration?

The very word ‘resolution’ has been quite a fascinating one. For instance, the screen of your smartphone has some resolution, its camera has some resolution and so do your eyes.

And as of this, talking about the resolution of your 3D printing kit is no offense either. Even the cheap 3D printers have a resolution, or putting it the other way round, ‘resolution’ is what could determine the cost of a 3D printer, its suitability, its workability and whether it fits to be a personal or commercial 3D printer.

But when all the digital objects you choose, possess some resolution, did you offer consideration to what it portrays? Let us first understand this concept:

Is Resolution Worth Consideration?

Try and understand this from the example. A few years back, you would have dreamt to possess a smartphone with full HD display as this was better in resolution than its older counterparts. But against this, the newest Quad HD screens of smartphones are the prominent choices of people. Why? Because of its better resolution!

Similarly, the full HD television with high resolution was considered the best, until the Ultra HD screens with even better resolution entered the market.

What does this signify?

It simply means that resolution of a product is worth immense consideration and this is what could stand a prime determining factor for its cost.

Your 3D Printer And Its Resolution:

In order to understand this in terms of 3D printing, we need to move more to the basics.

Whether you have a personal or a commercial 3D printer, it always has 3 dimensions to consider- the X, Y and the Z axes. While X and Y are flattened dimensions, Z prints in a 3D manner. And therefore, while you consider the resolution, all the 3 dimensions are worth consideration.

X and Y resolution is said to be the minimum feature size, while Z is normally defined as the layer height.

And if we combine all these, the simple inference to understand resolution is ‘the ability of a 3D printer to print finer and more complex 3D models with utter ease.’

In other words, it’s the measure of how thin the extruder of your 3D printer could print. The leaner it could extrude the layers of printing material, the higher its print resolution tends to be.

But Will It Affect My 3D Printed Object?

Yes, it does, and to comprehend this well, let us take some examples.

If you were to print an object that has some curve, printing it with a commercial 3D printer of the low resolution would show some rough, stepped-kind of edges, which require at least a bit of finishing touch. This is because the layers of deposited material are comparatively thicker and hence the object appears rough on its edges.

Against this, a 3D printer that has a good resolution would lay the layers thinly and hence offer smoother curves with negligible roughness.

Thus, a curved object would require negligible finishing efforts with high resolution, than with low-resolution equipment, after it gets fully printed.

Similarly, when you print objects that have an acute slant, the print resolution could well make a difference.

So What Printer Resolution Should I Buy?

Again, a very prominent question that is readily asked, and this gets an utterly simple reply- the one which fits your need. For instance, if you need to print 3D objects at home with the help of a personal and cheap 3D printing kit, the one with low resolution could serve your purposes well.

However, if you wish to get commercial 3D printers for prints with high finesse, you could always opt for the ones that have a good resolution.

A Word Of Caution:

Whether you choose the expensive ones or the cheap 3D printers, there is one thing that you always need to consider. Promised resolution of a 3D printer and the one that is practicable could be two entirely different things.

Therefore, if you look to buy a 3D printer that has good resolution, it is better to view the models of prints online. And possibly, the prints which were not been created by the company itself.


On the bottomline, the resolution is a concept that needs at least some deliberation, before you move forward to buy any kind of printer. And as aforementioned, not only it tends to be a defining factor for the cost, but it also affects the kind of outcome which you wish to generate with the equipment.


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