Are you looking to get a 3D printer but aren’t sure if your computer can support it? Perhaps you heard that you need lots of RAM for 3D printing and want to know if that is true? Or maybe you are curious and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you!
We know how stressful it can be to use new technology. You want everything to be perfect to avoid those hiccups that can slow us down or stop work altogether. So when you heard that your 3D printer needs lots of RAM, or a powerful computer you started to panic. Is your PC up to the mark? How much RAM do I need?? Can I have too much?
These thoughts haunt you, interrupting your sleep and leaving you unsure of what to do or where to turn. But no more! Today we are here with all the answers you need. Keep reading to find out how much RAM you need for 3D printing and anything else you need to run a 3D printer!
What is RAM?
Before we dive into it, let’s have a recap for those in the room that need it! RAM or random access memory is your computer’s short-term memory. Its job is to store and access data on a short-term basis for any apps, programs, files, or games. It keeps the information that your computer is actively using, meaning it can be accessed quickly.
It’s this that allows your computer to operate quickly (along with a powerful processor) and is integral to your computer and its performance. Without RAM, your computer would not work.
Your computer or laptop will come with a set amount of RAM, although you can always upgrade and buy more RAM if you wish. Typically those running demanding programs like games, photoshop, or 3D printers will opt for more RAM to support their tasks without slowing down.
How Much RAM for 3D Printing?
Let’s get straight into it! You don’t need as much RAM as you previously thought, in fact, you only need a minimum of 8GB of RAM. This will be more than enough to run your 3D printer at a reasonable speed. For faster performance, you might want to up the RAM to 16GB as this will ensure there is plenty of space for fast data transfers.
Generally, you don’t need to go over 16GB of RAM unless the 3D printer states that it needs this. The higher RAM will come in handy for any 3D modeling you might want to do. If you plan to do a lot of modeling, it’s worth opting for more RAM, it will come in handy and ensure that you aren’t bogged down by slow speeds.
Most printers will come with a list of hardware needed for the printer to run successfully. It’s best to check this before deciding whether you have enough RAM or not, but generally speaking, 8GB or higher is more than enough!
In some cases, 4GB of RAM will be enough to run a 3D printer, but this is not common. So while you might see adverts or advice stating that you only need 4GB of RAM we still recommend going for 8GB of RAM or more. It gives you more room to play with and ensures that your 3D printer and laptop can run as intended.
There is no need to spend a fortune on lots of RAM to run a 3D printer. The chances are your current PC or laptop will be able to handle it. It’s always worth checking how much RAM you currently have so that you aren’t disappointed when your printer arrives.
What About on a Laptop?
As we mentioned earlier, a laptop is perfectly capable of running a 3D printer! You will just need to check that your laptop has the required hardware to support the printer. These days, even mid-range laptops are powerful enough to support a 3D printer, so you don’t need to spend a fortune upgrading your laptop.
Providing it has at least 8GB of RAM, then chances are you are good! But don’t just take our word for it, check your laptop’s hardware and check what your 3D printer requires to avoid any disappointment!
What Else Do I Need to Run a 3D Printer?
You’ve got your RAM, now what else do you need? Well, you will want a processor that is at least a quad-core processor. An Intel i5 or Ryzen equivalent will suffice and provide you with the speeds you want. You will also want plenty of disk space too. A minimum of 20 GB is often recommended, especially with SSD memory, but be sure to check the printer specifications first.
You will also want a graphics card with at least 1GB of memory for best results. Other than that, there isn’t much else that you need! You might find that if your processor isn’t up to speed, your computer or laptop will generate heat and set off your cooling system, but that is to be expected. Just be sure that your fans can cope with the extra power and that you aren’t overworking your laptop or PC.
Don’t forget to check the recommended requirements listed on the 3D printer and to check what hardware your computer has before you make any purchase!
And there we have it, for 3D printing, you will want at least 8GB of RAM! The more you have, the better, but remember that you don’t need to go overboard, 8GB or 16GB is more than enough to ensure that you can print in 3D successfully. Don’t forget you will also need plenty of free disk space, a 4-core processor at least, and a graphics card for 3D printing to be successful.
Most computers and laptops will suffice for 3D printing these days, just be sure to check you have plenty of space and don’t be afraid to upgrade your PC to give you more power for your 3D printer.
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