Taking a few steps back in the memory lane, you must agree that 3D printers are rapidly evolving. Just a few years ago, there were only a few brands of expensive, noisy 3D printers that were only reserved for particular factories and organizations. No small-scale investor would even think of getting one.
Fortunately, today, these machines are now available at affordable prices and the best quality. Any designer who wishes to come up with unique and well-finished products has to think of getting a perfect 3D printer.
That said, before indulging into the market, it is important to get some few factors right about 3D printers as they differ in style, kind of prints and quality.
So, are you preparing to get one? Read on.
Factors to consider when buying a 3D printer.
· Kind of prints required.
The kind of prints you need should be considered before going for a particular product. There are printers designed for home use in printing household items or toys for your children or in a school’s library and classrooms. Others are ideal for planning as a profession in engineering or architecture in printing models and prototypes of structures and buildings. The product you choose will depend on the intended purpose.
· The average size of prints required.
Always ensure that the printer you get can accommodate the size of prints you require. The build area specification indicates the largest print that can be printed by a particular printer in 3D. Avoid getting a printer that will not suit the size of your print objects.
· The print material to be utilized.
It is paramount to know the type of FFF technique that a given 3D printer uses. The popular types of filaments are the poly-lactic acid and butadiene styrene. Other FFF printing material includes wood, bronze, polystyrene, nylon, to mention but a few.
Understanding the type of FFF technique that you would like to use should guide you in getting the appropriate brand.
· The color of your prints.
Some 3D printers come with the ability to print objects in multiple colors. Most of them utilize a dual-extruder design where each extruder is fed with a different color. However, the current multicolor printers can only print multi-colors in prints specified for multi-color printing.
· Open or closed frame printer?
Open frame printers provide you with an open view of the printing work in progress, and you can access the extruder and the print bed while the closed-frame come with a lid, a wall, and a door. In the presence of a pet or kids, a closed frame model could be safer. It’s also quiet and produces little odor while printing.
To ease your selection, we have gone further to analyze the top ten best 3D printers in the market today, as presented below.
Table of Contents
- 10. Alunar Prusa i3 desktop 3D printer
- 9. QIDI TECHNOLOGY Dual Extruder 3DP-QDA16-01 Desktop 3D Printer
- 8. Printrbot Assembled Metal Simple 3D Printer
- 7. MakerGear M2 Desktop 3D Printer
- 6. ROBO 3D R1 Plus Fully Assembled 3D Printer
- 5. HICTOP Prusa I3 3D Desktop Printer-Tridimensional-Best 3D Printers
- 4. FLASHFORGE 3D PRINTER- PLA AND ABS COMPATIBLE-DUAL EXTRUDER-BUILD VOLUME:8.8*5.7*5.9 INCHES
- 3. XYZ Printing Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 3D Printer
- 2. FlashForge 3d Printer Creator Pro
- 1. Dremel 3d40-01 Idea Builder 3D printer
10. Alunar Prusa i3 desktop 3D printer
This is a unique machine that features the RepRap design. Alunar Prusa i3 desktop 3D printer is assembled from acrylic parts. It supports a broad range of printing materials including wood, ABS, PLA, Nylon, and flexible PLA, thanks to its hot end and a print bed that can reach up to 240 degrees C. It has gathered a lot of community support and experience as a result of its open source design. It comes with an unassembled kit, giving you a chance to learn the process of building a 3d printer from the first step to the last. It is ideal for customers regardless of profession. It just requires passion and creativity.b
9. QIDI TECHNOLOGY Dual Extruder 3DP-QDA16-01 Desktop 3D Printer
This product ranks among the best for well-known reasons. It is the best heavy duty 3D printer that we reviewed that is ideal for commercial and residential use. Just from its 45 pounds weight, you can be sure it will tackle any work you issue it in an efficient and timely manner. It is mostly praised for its ease of use thanks to the manufacturer’s willingness to grant appropriate assistance. It comes with a high print build volume of 9*5.9*5.9 inches large enough to accommodate a wide variety of prints. Its plate is designed from aviation grade aluminum that blocks warping from about 120 degrees F temperature. Its circuitry has been upgraded to eliminate static during printing. Other additional features include a USB cable, power cord, 4 GB SD card, wireless harness, one roll painter’s tape, one roll of ABS and another of PLA filament, a harness holder, and a threaded tubing. Its assembly is simple and straightforward, as a user guide is included on the SD card.b
8. Printrbot Assembled Metal Simple 3D Printer
This product comes with a steel frame where its name, metal, is derived. It comes with a build volume of 150*150*150. It’s also quite fast with a speed of up to 80 mm/s. It is restricted to 1.75 rolls of 100 mm layer height filament as it doesn’t come with a heated bed. It is easy to assemble and use. Some users prefer to do some upgrades on this machine as it doesn’t come with controls or a heated bed. This device is open source and is free to use a variety of quality 3D software. The recommended are Repetier and Cura software. This backup software operates on both windows and apple computer and connects to the printer via an SD card or a USB. The printrbot support website contains lots of information for the users so you don’t have to get stressed up while using this tool.b
7. MakerGear M2 Desktop 3D Printer
This product gives you the best value for your money as it delivers exactly as it promises. It comes with an open powder coated high-grade steel frame and a vertical resolution of between 50-300 microns at an increment of ten microns. Its build volume is 8*8*10 inch and accommodates both PLA and ABS filaments (Thermoplastic). It is USB cable controllable and comes with a guide and G-code instructions on the SD card which allows easy operation without seeking help. It is excellent for use at school or for use at a distant location from the PC. It accommodates all the standard printing management and backup software. It features an open frame design, created from steel thus rigid and is corrosion resistant thanks to the black powder coating. Its metallic build platform is able to handle heat up to 110 degrees C, therefore, providing ample thermal stability. Other quality components include, ball bearings for smooth movement, precision-machined and axis mounts made from anodized aluminum.b
6. ROBO 3D R1 Plus Fully Assembled 3D Printer
This 3D printer comes with a superior build volume and accommodates lay-wood, HIPS, and t-glass materials. Its build volume is 25.4*22.9*20.3 mm being the largest among the top ten brands. It comes with a speed of 50 mm/s which isn’t as fast. It works 1.75 PLA AND ABS materials of 100 microns in thickness and other like HIPS, lay wood and t-glass. It’s easy to use especially because no assembly is required. You can also finesse it for a better performance. It is also a bit noisy but is known to deliver excellent results. It comes with a proprietary software but the machine itself is designed to be open source. It also accommodates other files other than the .stl files. The manufacturer also provides an online help forum that is always updated. A USB slot isn’t provided but you can always connect your windows or apple computer through a USB.b
5. HICTOP Prusa I3 3D Desktop Printer-Tridimensional-Best 3D Printers
This 3D printer comes with a lot of competitive capabilities. It has a build volume of 270*200*170 mm thus ideal for producing a broad range of prints. It comes with a speed rating of 120mm/s thus faster than many top rated machines on the market. It works with 3 mm ABS and 1.75mm PLA filaments, though ABS filament doesn’t work very well as they require a heated bed and higher temperatures. It requires assembly after purchase which is not challenging and builds up more experience for the user. It is a very capable machine when used appropriately. It comes with a backup software known as “Cura” which is adequate for backing up your data and supporting your operations and runs on Windows and Apple operating systems. Connecting the printer to a computer can be done using a USB cable or an SD card.b
4. FLASHFORGE 3D PRINTER- PLA AND ABS COMPATIBLE-DUAL EXTRUDER-BUILD VOLUME:8.8*5.7*5.9 INCHES
This is another high-quality product from FlashForge designed to deliver exactly as it promises. It’s known to produce unique and quality 3D prints. It features a dual extruder design and comes at an affordable price to transform your 3D printing. It comes with a creator, spool holders (2*), filament guide tubes (2*), a USB cable, a power cord, bolts, feet and Hex kit and ABS filament spools. It works perfectly with ABS and PLA materials of about 1.75 mm at a reliable speed of 40-150 mm/s and a flow rate of 24cc/hr. It prints easily directly from an SD card. It’s designed to be lightweight and weighs only 28 pounds.b
3. XYZ Printing Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 3D Printer
Are you looking for an easy setup and use 3D printer with no calibration required? Then this is the ideal product for you. It comes at a cheap price in addition to its quality. It ranks among the simplest 3D printers. It doesn’t require any calibration and can be used right after purchase. It allows direct printing from the SD card. It begins running in about 10 minutes from the start making it very fast. Setting it up is very easy and you don’t need to be an expert to do it. All you need is installing the provided filament spool and plug the printer in. It is restricted to the proprietary filament; XYZ prints spools containing ABS and PLA filaments, which are known to be more expensive than the generic ones. Each spool comes with about 1.3 pounds of the filament and its price ranges between 25- 30 USD. It is crucial to notice that that proprietary spool is the new trend in 3D printers. It comes with an SD card/ USB slot for the printing source and supports Windows 7/8/10 and MAC 10.8 operating systems.b
2. FlashForge 3d Printer Creator Pro
This product is highly rated for some reasons. It comes with a printing speed of 40-100 mm/s and allows the use of third-party printing materials but restricted to ABS, PLA, and Exotic materials. It features an aviation level high-grade aluminum plate with a thickness of about 6.3 mm that ensures its surface is always flat and doesn’t warp in the heating process. Its metallic platform and a guide rod of about 10 mm prevent its platform arm from deforming and provide ample Z axis movement. It comes with a sturdy metal frame which is more protective that the conventional wood frames. This ensures maximum damage resistance. Its closed-frame design provides total insulation and protection of ABS prints. It weighs only 24 pounds thus easy to handle and transport. It accommodates a filament diameter of 1.75 inches. It allows connectivity via a USB or an SD card.b
1. Dremel 3d40-01 Idea Builder 3D printer
This new version of Idea builder from Dremel comes with superior functioning, a user-friendly, and smart design format will automatically be appealing to you. It is a single extruder device that measures about 15.7*19.1*13.2 together with its cabinet. Its innovative design makes it quiet compared to other models in the market. It weighs only 19 pounds making it lightweight and easily portable. Its cabinet comes with a high-grade polymer, a lid and two large side panels that are also removable. Its build volume is 9*5.9*5.5 inches large enough to accommodate a broad range of prints. It also features a detachable non-heated bed essential in removing the prints with ease. On the inside, it is fitted with a recessed quality filament spool bearer which ensures an organized processing with fewer moving parts which are less crowded. Its top lid allows fast filament loading and prevents contamination from particles and other debris. On purchase, the package comes with, a USB cable, spool lock, cleaning tool, SD card, a spool of the PLA filament and leveling sheet. Its design technology includes a powerful CPU; ARM contex-M4 that comes with a 4GB storage. Connectivity is through USB devices, SD cards or computers running Mac OS, Linux, or Windows. Its cooling fan prevents warping and overheating.b
All these 3D printers are of the highest quality, and thus, rank in our top ten. The choice you make depends on with your intended purpose and lastly your budget. The rule of the thumb should always apply when choosing a quality 3D printer. Don’t let the low price of poor quality products fool you. Go for the best because you deserve it.