Have you spent any time on 3D printing forums online where technical information on 3D printing is shared daily? If you've never bothered to visit those places, you're actually missing out on being a part of large technical communities who link together to help others learn about 3D printing technology. However, some forums might seem daunting to 3D printing novices who simply want to learn more. Can you use those forums to merely find out what consumer 3D printer to buy?
It's really one of the best sources you can use because you can get all sides of opinion on 3D printing forums about every brand that's out there. Yet, where should you go exactly to find out the best consumer information? Should you go to a general 3D printing forum, or should you go to the forums of the printer manufacturer?
Going to General 3D Forums
A lot of 3D printing forums exist that just let people congregate and talk without bias about everything related to 3D printing technology. Almost all of them will have sub-forums devoted to talking about the best 3D printers on the market and which ones to avoid. These can be very useful, even though you may not get as much detail as you would on a manufacturer's forum.
Visit 3D Printer Forums
For more detailed information, many of the individual manufacturers of printers have their own forums. While you might expect people to be biased there, many of the manufacturers let people speak their mind if there's something wrong with the printer. However, they usually have troubleshooting forums so you can find quick answers to technical problems. That alone is worth the visit since some problems are going to be unexpected when printing complex objects.
You can go to these forums even before you buy to glean some clues about whether it's worth buying the printer in the first place. If you see a busy forum, most likely it's a popular brand that's going to help you when you need help with a technical detail. It's here where you can see how the company responds to others in the way of answering technical questions. Customer service is going to be very important when you buy a 3D printer, and a forum can show you how fast they respond based on the Q&A sections.
It's worth taking the time to Google up the brand name of a 3D printer you've heard good word about. No doubt you'll instantly find a forum for it at the top of your search results. But just remember that if you want to say something really bad about that printer later, the independent forums should stay in your bookmark folder.