If you are wondering about the devices that can go mainstream in the near future, 3D printers are obviously one of them. When it comes to 3D printing, 2021 will be a stellar year for 3D printing. Both in terms of quality and cost, considerable printers have hit the shelves. When we step back in time, maybe a decade ago, 3D printers were not very familiar to the masses. At that time, high-cost machines and equipment were used in factories and affluent corporations. Only a small bunch of professionals were deft in building and using these machines and equipment. Small organizations were deprived of leveraging these machines due to high costs and other pertaining issues.
No matter whether you are looking for a high-end resin printer, filament loading printer, or any other budget-friendly workhorse, this article will guide you to pick the perfect 3D printer for your requirements. You may be an amateur or a hobbyist, our list of 3D printers will assist you to find not only snazzy 3D printers but also user-friendly ones that you can easily place on a table or desk. These printers are capable of producing high-volume 3D prints. Let’s walk you through the best 3D printers available in the market currently.
Formlabs has introduced the SLA printer by the name of Form 2, a laser-powered printer that may be a little pricey but can be used by anyone in order to get optimum printouts. This 3D printer is handy for producing smooth prints giving a feel that the prints are injection-molded.
The most pivotal factor of this printer is that it delivers the supreme outcome on Formlabs resin which is costly. Formlabs resins are available in a variety of colors and styles. The printer is so popular that even iconic companies like Google, Tesla, Boeing, etc. take advantage of this to design prototypes. If you prioritize quality and don’t think about the cost, this is the best choice for you.
Pros: Magnificent print quality, automatic resin feed, Wi-Fi, USB, Ethernet connectivity, touch screen. Adaptable for multiple users.
Cons: Expensive resins and hardware, Testing showed occasional print failures while large printing and also takes time in master printing.
The Ultimaker S5 is a kind of 3D printer designed predominantly for engineers who require to get their parts without making their hands nasty. Even though the printer is expensive, it is justified due to the wide range of facilities it caters to. Anyone craving for a 3D printer that is both efficient and intuitive, this one is a smart choice to have in the possession. The printer is also capable of producing functional prototypes.
If you are looking for an ergonomic 3D printer that can produce functional prototypes for your business, this one is an ideal choice. The Ultimaker S5 is regulated using a touch screen or phone or laptop using the open-source Cura software. The printer is connected through both wired and wireless Ethernet interfaces to the internet.
Pros: Pretty facile to use and set up, Striking print quality, and large build volume and multi-material capabilities.
Cons: High-cost printer, comparatively slow print-time, and offers low-quality when used with 3rd party materials.
When it comes to the issue of portability, all 3D printers are not conducive. There are only a few 3D printers that are capable of being moved from one place to another and can be set up with little effort. These 3D printers can function smoothly irrespective of location. The best among them is LulzBot Mini v2 which offers a facile setup every single time.
The printer is affordable and flexible enough to handle different materials. This printer is advanced than its predecessor as it renders a larger print area to work with and a new flexible printhead to handle additional materials. The testing unveiled that LulzBot Mini v2 produces faster prints than the original retaining quality on the finished product.
Pros: User-friendly, powerful software, serene operation, fast printing, Variety of filaments supportive, LCD with SD card slot, operates with Windows, macOS X, and Linux.
Cons: At times, print quality is not consistent, No bundled filament, open frame raises the risk of burns from a hot extruder, sparse connectivity options.
This 3D printer is the successor of the iconic Makerbot Replicator. It can be termed as the souped-up version of the earlier version. This is due to its faster speed, build volume, improved design compared to its original version. The printer is a bit pricey and intended for professional users adding workflow features.
The printer is quieter than the previous version and offers fascinating printing quality maintaining its safety features. The printer has an onboard camera and LCD monitor allowing you to regulate the printer at ease. On top of that, Makerbot claims that their hardware is tested for 380000+ hours of use which is phenomenal.
Pros: Crack print quality, intuitive software, and handy educational support. Prints via USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and from a USB thumb drive.
Cons: Costly device, unsupportive for 3rd party filaments, and printer setup through MakerBot can be complex.
If you are looking for a budget 3D printer, XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 2.0 Mix is the perfect choice for you. The printer is more suitable for industrial use as compared to home. The printer can use filaments of two different colors and lets you print at once. You can print different parts of a model in different colors or blend 2 different colors using an extruder module and new dual feeding.
You can also tweak filament color easily but it may slow you down a bit. One of the conspicuous features of the printer is that it has an enclosed unit that allows you to control the environment for 3D printing such as temperature. This also works as a safety feature if you have a kid around you.
Pros: Low-cost for a two-color printer, fantastic print quality with no misprint, prints via USB, Wi-Fi, and SD card.
Cons: Slow print times, multicolor mode creates blurry-looking colors, requires the use of proprietary filaments.
This is another low-cost Chinese 3D printer available in the market. It has a mammoth build volume and offers resplendent 3D printing making it a very good choice to pick up. One of the features of this 3D printer is that it requires minimum assembly as most of the parts of the printer are preassembled. The parts can be assembled in 30 minutes which is a comparatively shorter assembly time than the other 3D printers.
With a full-metal frame and heated build-plate, the 3D printer caters printing abilities of high-end machines at a meager cost. But the printer lacks user-friendliness, unlike high-end 3D printers. This makes it unfitting for professional and educational uses and limits it only within 3D printing nerds. Till date, many people have shared their experiences of installing, operating, and troubleshooting the device which has made it a popular device among enthusiasts.
Pros: Value for money device, massive print volume, and facile assembly.
Cons: Lacks intuitive features, requires plenty of space, and no customer service.
The Dremel 3D45 is a desktop Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)/Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printer designed predominantly for the educational environment. Among all the 3D printers in this category, this is the most economical one offering a fully enclosed area with built-in carbon filters that hinders the emission of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) during printing which can harm humans and the environment.
The printer has a semi-automatic bed leveling system that ensures the smooth functioning of printing. Its print bed is removable which lets you take out parts easily and conveniently. Apart from that, it also has an embedded camera allowing you to observe prints online. The printer comes with a modified version of Cura that you can install even though it is not available currently with the Wi-Fi connectivity option.
Pros: Completely enclosed printer with a built-in carbon filter, educational bundle with a lesson, and also a cost-effective device.
Cons: Requires some manual set-up, material ecosystem, software, as well as firmware are restrictive.
This device is a cracking one with positive reviews from various quarters. It has improved on the legacy of the previous 3D printers created by Prusa Research. The printer has excellent print quality, build quality, and reliability. On top of that, the price of the printer is also reasonable as the price starts at $750 in kit form and $1000 pre-assembled. When it comes to 3D printers requiring filament, there are very few 3D printers that can compete with this one in terms of price.
The printer is built with superior components such as E3D hotend and 3D printed parts. The fans installed in the printer are also high-quality as opposed to knock-offs. This gives the user a positive feeling about his device. The device has some useful upgrades including firmware upgrades and integrated sensors which can detect, warn, and rectify the common errors encountered while printing. The noteworthy feature of the printer is its flexible, powder-coated spring steel surface making the removal of part a cakewalk.
Pros: Cracking print quality and build quality, great value for money product, Quiet desktop 3D printer.
Cons: Compatible with prototyping materials, no Wi-Fi, connectivity option, antiquated controller design.
If you are looking for another budget camera costing under $500 with stellar print quality, Anycubic Photon can be a great choice. Once you dial for print, the Photon will make hundreds of prints retaining the same quality. To do so, the Photon uses various types of resin printing called DLP which uses an LCD to produce UV light. This allows different types of resin to be used for printing including the low-cost ones. The printer being low-priced and the freedom to use cheap resin allow it to be a magnificent choice to pick up.
Even though its build plate is small, it is an entry-level printer giving you the opportunity to get used to with 3D printing. Apart from that, it is also painstaking to work with the printer’s tacky, stingy, and slightly toxic resin. Hence, it is required to wear gloves to avoid touching it and saturate finished parts in isopropyl alcohol to iron out any stuck goo.
Pros: Low-cost 3D printer, cheap resins available, Premium prints, intuitive device, and 0.02mm layer resolution.
Cons: Tiny build plate, post-processing requires patience and space, resin 3D printing is agonizing, proper cleaning is time-consuming.
One of the remarkable features of Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer is its easy usability, affordable price, and ace print quality. Even though the price of the printer is low, it is speedy producing prints similar to the ones produced by pricey 3D printers. The printer is elegantly designed and is a marvelous choice for the amateurs. The beginners will feast on the heated print base, meaning it produces more bankable prints when used with materials like ABS.
This printer may not be the fanciest of 3D printing but its fully enclosed print area, touch screen interface, and heated print base will enable you to induce prints with ease. In addition, the top of the print bed also slides out and is bendable which lets removing prints without any hassle. Along with that, the setup of the printer is a piece of cake and takes only half an hour to print after opening the box and collecting the materials. Wi-Fi connection of the printer can be tricky but there is a USB port on the front panel for importing files to the machine through a thumb drive.
Pros: Wonderful print quality, heated print bed, user-friendly with cloud software, and swift print speed. Supports PLA, ABS, and several composite filament types.
Cons: Issues in Wi-Fi connection, shoddy software, frequent misprints on certain test objects.
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A few years ago, 3D printing was considered to be a novelty. But nowadays, businesses are making use of this technology and investing enormously to multiply their profits. They have realized that the utilization of this sophisticated technology has enabled them to rival in the global market. Apart from that, the demand for additive technology is escalating as time progresses which is prompting the manufacturers of 3D printers to supply them in bulk in the global market.
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So far, the surface of 3D printing has been scratched and still many things need to be unearthed. In a nutshell, once 3D printing gets affordable, it can be concluded that 3D printing will be a revolutionary force in the upcoming days in various sectors including manufacturing, medicine, education, architecture, games, entertainment, and so forth.