How to Tell the Difference Between Polar 3D, Cartesian and Delta Printers


ALL3DP, the resource magazine dedicated to "All About 3D Printing" provided a break-down of the different desktop 3D types available, and their strengths, in the article, "Know your FDM 3D Printers: Cartesian, Delta, Polar, and Scara."

"Desktop 3D printers come in many shapes and sizes. Learn to tell the difference between a Cartesian and a Delta, and everything in between."

The Polar 3D Printer Review:

Polar 3D printers, an emerging design that shows a great deal of promise.

This category uses a polar coordinate system. It’s similar to the Cartesian, except that the coordinate sets describe points on a circular grid rather than a square.

All of which means that you can have a printer with a spinning bed, plus a print head that can move up, down, left and right.

The big advantage is that the printer can function with only two stepper motors. Compare this to a typical Cartesian printer that requires a minimum of one stepper motor for each axis — usually, at least, four — and you begin to see the efficiency savings.

Moreover, Polar printers can have a greater build volume within a smaller space, lacking the requirement of a XYZ framework to move around.

The motion is quite hypnotic to watch. It may not seem as, er, intuitive as other designs, but the end results are exactly the same.

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