Are you in the market for a new 3D Printer? The 3D printer market has really started to explode with many new companies entering the market, prices coming down and more importantly 3D printers becoming much easier to use. In this review, we're looking at the best 3d printers across the market whilst trying to make a decision on what's the best 3d printer, what you should be buying based on what you want to use it for, and probably more importantly, what you should not be buying.
Across this website, we're focused towards the best 3d printer on the market whilst assuming that you don't have an un-limited budget but still are trying to by the best 3D printer. In this section we have reviewed over 40 different printers to work out which is the best and more importantly which you should be avoiding.
For many users, price is a very important factor given that if you're in the market for a new 3D printer and have an un-limited budget, then simply pick yourself up one the top models on the market and you will have no problems other than a serious dent to your bank balance as it will likely cost you many thousands of dollars.
Where To Start?
One point we would make at this stage is for you to watch out for buying a cheap imported 3D Printers as they in our experience simply do not work. We have bought a few over the years and either they don't work from the outset, they break when we start to use them or worse still, they break and then you try and claim on the warranty, only to find out that the company in china no longer exists and your warranty is useless.
What Do You Want To Print?
This is a very important question to ask yourself before you fork out for a 3D Printer and a question that will give you an answer to what’s the best 3D printer for your needs. If you’re a professional who is wanting to print high definition models with great print quality then this is probably not the best printer review site for you as we’re going to focus more on the best 3D printer for consumers, hobbyists and those that are looking to get into the 3D printing industry as a hobby rather than a full time profession. In section, users are likely to want to print in molten plastic either in the form on PLA or ABS and tend to only want to print small and medium sized models ranging from 5-to-12 inches in size. Whilst the sky is the limit in terms of print size, we’re going to focus on this area as this is where size of most hobbyist printers.
What the Best 3D Printer 2017?
If you don’t want to read the whole review, then simply check out the Robo 3D R1 +Plus which is easily the best 3d printer on the market in 2017. It comes with a range of really useful features, and most important can print in a whole host of filament options from ABS and PLA to Nylon and NijaFlex.
We love the on-board screen that allows you to control your printer settings meaning that you can print directly from a MicroSD card, choose whether or not to pre-heat the printer or adjust the auto levelling all without connecting the printer to your computer. Performance is simply fantastic and we’re firm believers that the printer can print any custom project at speed, whilst at the same time keeping the resolution high. Check out the Robo R1 Here
Think About Resolution
Printer Resolution is very important when your thinking about the best printer for your needs. 3D printers works by laying down successive layers of molten plastic, however given that the resolution (thickness of each layer) can be different from unit to unit and the resolution really effects that quality of your work, it’s a question that needs to be asked from the outset. Resolution is measured in Microns, and you should be looking at printers that can print downwards (the smaller the number of Micron’s the better) of 150 Micros to achieve a good quality print.
What To Look Out For When The Best 3D Printer?
- Platform Size - A decent 3D Printer is one that comes with a platform of at least 9x9x9 inches which are quickly becoming the industry standard for desktop 3D Printers. If you have this size as a minimum, you will not have to scale or slice your print in half and therefore your print will be much faster.
- Speed Vs Quality - Unfortunately, speed and quality are usually inverted. Even the best 3D Printers will print at a lower quality if you speed them up than they will on a lower speed setting, however this is something to look out for when buying a 3D Printer.
- Layer Height - This is the vertical size of each layer of filament and works very simply by a lower number being equal to more quality. Around 0.1mm is about the average for normal use, however if your 3D Printer can printer smaller layers then there is more possibility to print in more detail.
- Filament and Cartridges - The two most common 3D Printer material are ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene stryrene) which is a bit like Lego although a little tougher and requires a heated print platform to print and PLA (polylactic acid) which comes in a variety of colors, does not need a heated print platform and is much more eco-friendly.
- Colours - Its important to remember that with each colour you want to use you will need a separate print head as each printer head can only print in one colour. So if you want to print a picture of a boat sailing and have the boat in white and sea in blue, you will need two print heads to create this object.
- Printer Weight - Its important to think about printer weight as a design flaw, and a heavier unit will mean it can product more quality objects than a lighter unit. A cheap, plastic, light 3D Printer will most likely wobble around while printing which can easily distort the object that is being printed. The problem comes when you want to move your 3D Printer around your house, as a really heavy 3D Printer is going to be difficult to move around.
- Software Support - Make sure that your 3D Printer supports your 3D Printer software. We have all been there when you buy the latest and greatest 3D Printer only the find the software that you have been using is not supported by the printer.
- Support - Check the level of support that comes with your 3D Printer. Its still amazes me even today the number of 3D Printers the we have bought that do not come with any instructions on how to use them.
Best 3D Printer For Flexibility
If you want a 3d printer that allows you a lot of flexibility in the size of your prints, then take a look at the LulzBot TAZ 6 which comes with a massive build capacity meaning that it can print projects up to 11-Inches. Yes it’s an open design that does mean that you will need ventilation, however we were impressed that it still managed to keep its printer bed at the right temperature. Click below to see it in action or scroll down to read the full review.
Best 3D Printer For Print Quality
If you’re only looking at print resolution and don’t mind taking a hit on the speed, then take a look at the Ultimaker 2+ as it prints in the best resolution that we could find across the market. The printer comes with powerful fans that keep the print cool and swappable print nozzles of different widths meaning that you can optimize the printer for quality. The only problem, it’s not a fast printer.
How We Tested For The Best 3D Printer?
Over the years we have done a lot of testing of 3D Printers in order to decide which is the best on the market. Rather than use a complicated series of tests, we have tried looking at things like power consumption, resolution, however it became so complicated honestly we did not know what we we’re talking about.
For this reasons we have designed three simple test’s for each of the 3D printers that we have used to review 3D Printers and decide which is the best 3d Printer on the market.The three tests have all been designed to assess the printers print quality, ease-of-use and Price.
Printing quality otherwise known, as print resolution is very important, however it does depend on the quality of the design that you use to program your printer. Often we find that by using an average printer, but a high definition, printing design, we can get a much higher resolution print that you can by using the standard software. To get away from this and test the printers print quality we opted to use the manufactured recommended software, settings and filament that comes as standard with each printer.
To test the print quality, we made each 3D printer print a small 3 X 3-Inch model of the Eiffel tower that has been designed to include many open and closed boxes, arches, overlapping walls and even bridges. It’s a decent design that one of our expert programmers made a few years ago and we’re still using today.
Ease of Use
How easy a 3D Printer is to use is one of the key testing areas that we take into account here at HD3D-Printers. Remember, 99% of our customers are hobbyist printers that want a 3D Printer to use at home. They don’t accept poor prints, but they also don’t accept printers that are super difficult to use.
The test how easy a printer is to use we taking everything into account from the minute your box arrives at your front door to the point that you have printed your model and want to put away your printer for the night.Whilst it’s true that some printers come in kit form, it’s also true that there are printers that are really easy to put together and there are those that are just impossible and take hours to even get working. Again we have marked these on our scale but tried to give you some points to help you make your choice.
This is probably the most important factor that our customers have when it comes to buying the best 3d Printer on the market. Generally, even hobbyists are prepared to spend on a quality bit of software that they can use for many years to come, however they are not prepared to buy junk.Our feeling is that price is important, however so is quality and more importantly looking at brand names as they likely will have been tested for longer and therefore be easier to use and more importantly last longer. If you’re interested in buying a 3D Printer then make sure that you do your research.
3D Printer Reviews 2017
The Robo 3D R1 +Plus is a fantastic printer that has been designed as an open printer and comes with a print area of 8 X 10 X 9 Inches whilst weighing in at around 30 pounds. Overall, it's the best 3d printer on the market in 2017 and that one that we are currently using to print. Yes there are better 3d printers on the market for both print quality, flexibility and even price, but what really like about the Robo R1 +Plus is that it's a second generation 3d printer that offers value for money, fantastic print quality and flexibility.
Of all the top 3d printers that we have tested across the 3d market, what we specifically like about the R1 +Plus is that is compatible with all types of filament cartridges meaning that you don’t have to spend a fortune buying brand named filament just to work with your printer.
The printer prints in PLA, ABS and a few exotic filament types such as Wood PLA or Carbon fibre PLA on a heated print bed. The print bed heats to around 290 degree meaning that it works well with non-standard filament types.
Ease of Use - The R1 comes almost ready to go allowing to you take it directly out of the box, plug it in and install the printers software either from an SD which is included or by downloading it directly from the Robo 3D Printing website. The Robo 1 uses the MatterControl open source software and is very easy to use and provides step-by-step directions to set up the printer. Quite frankly the most difficult part of the whole process is inserting the filament into the extruder assembly, however this is only because my hands are not exactly small. The software is also compatible with a few slicing programs such MatterSlice meaning that you can create temperature profiles or move the extruder along the X, Y or even the Z Axis.
Print Quality - Once you’re ready to print, you can connect a USB cable and print from the software or from your project library where you keep all you favourite designs and start printing. The extruder and printing beds are automatically heated to the correct temperature before the print starts and the software allows you to make minor changes to your print designs before you start. Even at 100-Micros resolution, the print quality is pretty good (6.5 out of 10) fantastic and the only problem that I had was removing the base legs of my Eiffel Tower model away from the print bed after it had cooled down. Whilst print quality is great, print speed is pretty slow with the unit taking nearly twice as long to print the Eiffel Tower at 100-Microns rather than being at 250-Micros which seems to be my usual print resolution.
Price - Defiantly it’s the cheapest model on the market, but it’s not expensive either meaning that you’re getting a lot of 3D Printer for the money. The Robo R1 offers value for money and printing quality whilst at the same time offering a printer that will last you into the future.
Overall - The Robo R1 is a decent 3D Printer that offers value for money and a decent 3D Printer. Is it our favourite 3D printer in 2017, no it’s not, but it does offer a decent 3D printer experience. We’re not a fan of these open designed printers as typically they make more noise and require ventilation to use, however the R1 is quiet and quite frankly did not give off too much of a smell.
Not ours, but there is a great "box opening" and first print here that shows how easy the Robo really is to set up and get printing right out of the box.
The Zortrax M200 was release to the public in late 2016 and has received a number of good reviews from across the 3D Printing world meaning that we were keen to find out if it really was a good as people said and whether it could be the best 3d printer in 2017. The design is enclosed meaning that it’s built with an aluminium frame that allows both easy access to your print, it also includes side covers that improve performance and safety whilst at the same time increase the rigity or the printer all to help you get the best out of your printing.
From the time the box arrived to when we starting printing, the Zortrax has performed well and really impressed us. The printer comes with a heated printer bed meaning that models of up to 7.8-Inches X 7.8-Inches X 7.2-Inches at a layer resolution of up to 90 microns. It's also a fast printer meaning that even if you printing a complicated project, the Zortrax will speed through it.
What does concern us is the amount of testing that we and others have done to the printer. Let's see how it stands up over the next few months. If it stands up well, the Zortrax could easily be the best 3d printer later in 2017.
Ease Of Use - As soon as your take your printer out of the box you can be up and printing very quickly given that it comes ready to use. The printer uses software called Z-Suite which we had not seen or used before, however it’s easy to use and can get a design up an built quickly. Unlike many other printers, the Zortrax prints using an SDcard rather than a USB cable and whilst you may think this will be annoying actually it means that you’re designs are built in one place and printed in another. The printer uses an auto-levelling print bed, an auto-load filament extruder, a perforated build platform prevents ABS from warping and side spool holder and upgraded cable clips.
Printer Quality - There are two key points here that really impress. Firstly the print success ratio that is the ratio of successful prints to those that fails due to an un-know problem or mistake that is made during printer set-up. According to 3D Hubs, users have reported a 94% success rate with the M200 that is rate at the top of the range. The second key point here is the print quality where again the Zortrax really impresses. Firstly it can print at up to 90-Micros using the standard software and it’s possible with a bit of tweaking to get this down to around 50-Micros, however the speed does drastically decrease a this high resolution. Printing speeds are around 90mm/sThe LulzBot Mini can hit speeds up to 275 mm/s, the MakerGear M2 can hit 200 mm/s, the Ultimaker 2 can hit 300 mm/s, etc.
Price - The Zortrax is about average for what we would expect to pay for a decent 3d printer that comes with all the bells and whistles. Really what you’re paying for is to print with one of the most reliable consumer-level printers on the market in 2017 meaning that it’s highly likely that you’re going to complete your print once you have started it which to be honest is not something that can be said to every printer.
The Taz 6 is the latest flagship 3D Printer by manufacture Lulzbot and comes with an open design and a massive print volume of 11.02 in x 11.02 in x 9.8 in meaning that you can print projects large or small with the touch of a button. The Lulzbot is the our best 3d printer if you're after flexibility of your design. The printer bed is massive, it works with nearly every type of filament (Over 30 in total), resolution is high and the printer works with many different types of software. The Luzbot is a joy to work with and one that we have enjoyed using over the years that we have spent using the printer.
What we really like about this design is the heated extruder that can heat up to 300 degrees which opens a whole host of different material possibilities. The design of the Taz 6 is much the same as the Taz 5, however the key differences are with regards to the features that this new Taz 6 comes with. Above all the new features is the automatic print bed levelling system that works great and really helps to take away any calibration printing problems that came with many of the 2016 models.
Ease of Use - Setting up the Taz 6 is easy but you will have to do some work yourself however the whole building process takes less than an hour if you’re able to connect a few wires and screw a few screws. What’s great is that the Taz 6 comes with fantastic instructions that are easy to follow. Once you have finished building the printer, your next job is to install the software (The Taz 6 uses Cura software, however does not use third-party software), load the filament and pre-heating both the extruder and print bed. Controlling the printer is easy that to the large LCD screen that allows you to operate the printer either connected to your PC or stand-alone through an SDcard.
Print quality is fantastic mainly thanks to the heated extruder which can heat up to over 300 degree which means that you now have a choice of over 29 different types of filament, ranging from ABS and PLA to the latest exotic filaments such as conductive PLA and nylon. Of all the exotic materials, LulzBot warns about using carbon fiber as it’s likely to damage the extruder. Together with the bigger heater, the Taz 6 also comes with larger fans to cool the extruded material and as an added benefit the print bed is covered with a plastic material called polyetherimide (PEI) that makes sure that the filament does not stick to the printing bed.Printer speed and quality are controlled first through the software where you can choose from Normal, speed or detail where the detail prints at 170Microns and the speed at 380 Microns, however it is possible for the printer to print detailed prints down to 50Microns. Speed is okay with the detailed settings, however when you drop the filament thickness down to 50 microns it does take a few hours to print our 6-inch Eiffel Tower Model whereas it’s possible to print the 6-inch design in under 2 hours using the speed setting.
Price - You’re paying for a 5th generation design, a large printing bed and a state of the art FDM 3D printer that easily the makes the best open designed 3d Printer on the market in 2017.
Overall, the Taz 6 is a great printer and whilst we did have a few failed prints the only other problem we have with the Taz 6 is that the LCD does not really provide any other information other than the “percept complete”.
I would like the LCD to give me a little more information on my design with the potential opportunity to change my print settings mid-way-through the print. Whether you’re a 3D Printing enthusiast or a Professional who is looking for a fast, reliable 3D printer, the Taz 6 makes a great option.
3D Printer Reviews 2016
Our passion is 3D printing and as a result we're continually testing 3D Printers and a result this list does change each year as new models come onto the market and new models become our favourite. Below you we have our 2016 Top 3D Printers, however if you scroll to the bottom of this page you will find the 2015 Top 3D Printers that we starting reviewing whilst starting this website.
As always, we don't just give you one favourite 3D Printer, we try to give you a couple based on your own individual needs. If money is no object and you want to the best then take a look at either the Formlabs or the Ultimaker which offer fantastic performance, however they are slightly more expensive, whilst the Flashforge offers fantastic value for money, but does offer slightly less printer quality.
The Formlabs is the second generation of this printer and all new for 2016 meaning that it comes with many upgrades and fixes that used to drive us crazy with the old printer. Notable upgrades include larger build volume, LCD screen, automatic resin-feed system and even WiFi connectivity. The first generation was a dam good printer, however this upgrade has won raves from the 3D Printing community meaning that if you want to buy the best printer, you need to look at this printer during your search.
Whilst the printer weighs in at around 30 pounds mainly due to it’s plastic cover and aluminium base, it’s print size is 7 X 6 X 6 inches which is slightly smaller than we would like for a top of the range printer, however what really makes the difference is that it’s fully enclosed.
This means that its SLA (stereolithography) printing can be used inside with out professional ventilation, and the resolutions are very high meaning that it’s possible to print in resolutions up to 25 Microns, however during our test’s this made for a quite a slow print. We found that if you’re looking for both print speed and quality, print at about 50 microns and save the wait.
The SLA technology within this printer uses a high-performance laser to harden the light-sensitive polymer allowing users to create detailed parts with super smooth surfaces. The new and upgrades automated resin-feed system also comes with an improved resin tray that adds a wipe to periodically agitate the resign and therefore prevent clotting and whilst in the first generation model where the unit uses bottles to deliver the resin to the print, the latest model now uses cartridges which offer better performance.
Also new with this 2016 model is the ability to print via WiFi or USB and whilst we only tried this for one print during our test, it seemed to work well with the new and improved Preform software that has been dramatically upgraded from the first generation software and now comes with a feature that lets you track your printing progress remotely through the formlabs website.
Overall performance is fantastic. The formlabs 2 Printed out a full set of chess pieces quickly an efficiently and offered fantastic detail and finish. Formlabs have spent a lot of time making sure the whole process is quick and clean and whilst it’s defiantly an improvement on previous models, printing in resin is still a messy business. Key downsides, honestly apart from the mess, not many with really the only problem that we found during our test was with the cartridges not being recognize no matter how much we wiggled it around, however we discussed this with Formlabs and they sent us a replacement cartridge which arrived the next day and we never had this problem again. We loved the fact that with these resin prints you can now print multiple print objects meaning that our test which included building out a chess set work well given that we could print more than one chess piece at the same time.
If you don’t want to the mess of printing in resin then how about a standard 3D Printer that will print in both ABS and SLA. This is when the Ultimaker 2 comes into to play and again it’s a second generation model that has had all the bug, complaints and problems fixed that makes it a fantastic 3D Printer, very much unlike it’s previous model. The Ultimaker 2 has a fantastic print size of 9 X 8 X 9 inches, whilst only weighing around 23 pounds meaning that it’s moveable around your home or office, however whilst the design is great meaning that it’s easy to build straight out the box, it’s not an enclosed design which means that you will need to take some precautions when your printing in ABS and PLA.
One part of the design that we do like is the aluminium outer case that offers both support and strength and means that when in use it does not move around. To start printing the process is very easy meaning that you can switch on the power cord and follow the on-screen instructions which help you level the build plate and calibrate the extruder so that it’s exactly one millimetre from the printing bed at three different points around the printing bed. Once complete, you need to load the filament into the printer, select your design from the free software “Cura” which is a fantastic free software that is easy to use and lets you resize objects or load multiple objects to be printed. Once you have uploaded your file and selected the design that you want to print, you’re ready to go you can simply press print.
The printer supports both PLA and ABS filament, however unlike most other printers that use 1.75mm filament, the Ultimaker uses a 2.85mm filament. Resolution is also fantastic with the printer offering resolutions from 20 Microns to 200 Microns, however if you’re going to run your print at 20 microns, then be prepared for a slow print. The printing bed is made from glass, however the platform is heated which stops warping and helps filament to fuse during the layering process.
Whilst this does not really effect us too much, the Ultimaker only works with an SDcard and whilst the box says that the unit works with WiFi, you do need to buy the WiFi Box accessory which is another $100. This does not really bother us too much given that we like to print from an SDcard which means that you don’t have to leave your computer switched on for several hours whilst your print your design, however for some it might be a problem.
Overall, we love the Ultimaker 2 and think it’s the best 3D Printer on the market right now in 2016. We love the fact that it’s so easy to set up, whilst at the same time offering high resolution and almost perfect operation. During our test’s we were trying to print out a full set of chess pieces with both detail and a difficult design. The printer performed fantastically well and gave us a full set of chess pieces that we can be proud of.
The Flashforge Creator Pro is a fantastic 3D Printer is a brilliant 3D Printer that comes with the added benefit of being a dual extruder printer which means that you can print with two different material or even two different colors. In the past we have not recommended that you buy dual extruder printers as they don’t often work as well as they are expected with common problems being that the extruders clog up, are hard to fit with filament or even just not working together as smoothly as they should do. This has all come to a stop with the introduction of the Flashforge which a printer that you need to take a look at if you’re in the market for a great printer.
Out of the box the Flashforge is a great printer and one that is easy to set up and use. The printer comes part completed which means that you need to spend the first hour putting it together, however it’s very simple work with the detailed instructions. Once you have built the printer, now comes the problem of calibration of both the printer bed and the extruder, however with the flashforge this is an easy process thanks to the LCD screen that provides step-by-step instructions to ensure that the printer bed is level and the extruder is in the right place using the colored screws meaning that you cannot go wrong. Once you’re ready to print, upload your design to the printer using either the SDcard Slot or the USB cable via the downloadable software (The printer supports ReplicatorG, Simplify3D and MakerWare) and start printing.
Print size is 8 X 7 X 7 inches which allows for hobbyist items to be printed, whilst printer supports both PLA and ABS filament which is directed onto a heated aluminium plate that offers a heated based to stop warping and ensure a smooth print of each successive layer. The dual extruder’s offer flexibility to print in different colors or use different materials to make the print easier or quicker whilst at the same time keeping the quality. The printer has a resolution of 80 to 200 microns although we found that for a decent print time you needed to print at around 100 to 120 microns which still offers a fantastic quality, but does not offer the detailed resolution that other 3D printers on the market offer – that all said, it does not cost the same amount as the other two printers on this list.
Overall, the flashforge 3D Printer is a fantastic value for money printer that offers both flexibility to print in different materials or colors whilst at the same time also producing a fantastic printed model. The flashforge is not perfect by any means and whilst it’s certainly offers users the value for money, it does not offer the pure quality 3D printing that some of the more top end printers offer.
3D Printer Reviews 2015
Of all the 3D Printers that we tested in 2015 we loved the MakerGear M2 which offers fantastic printing in high resolution, whilst at the same time offering value for money. The real problem with the MakerGear is that it's not a enclosed design which means that you're going to need ventilation when you start to print. The biggest surprise of 2015 was the Airwolf which turned out to be an absolute dud of a printer. Our test's went well, however we really did not have that much time to test it, and if you read the reviews from people that actually bought the Airwolf printer you can see why its so bad.
The MakerGear M2 is probably the best desktop 3D printer on the market right now for personal use and one that we highly recommend as its very easy to use, durable and comes ready to print right out of the box. The M2 is a 3rd generation 3D Printer, offering a larger than normal print bed of 8 X 10 x 8 Inches and can print in both ABS and PLA. The printer is extremely well made and feels solid given its nearly completely made out of stainless steel with a welded stainless steel frame, linear rails and an aluminium plate. Print quality is fantastic with the differences between the M2 and a number of the industrial 3D printers that we have tried over the years being really small.
The M2 can print as speeds up to 450 Millimeters per second, however if you print as this speed, there is a noticeable reduction in quality, however it can easily print at around 200-250 millimeters per second without any problems.
The M2 is supported with either the MakerGear free software which whilst does a good job, it’s a little clunky to use and its much better that you by the Simplify 3D creator software which is far easier to use and makes designing models a breeze.
The M2 is in my opinion the best plug-and-play 3D printer on the market right now and great value for money, that all said it does have some problems. The bushing fans are mounted horizontally which is not they way they are designed to be used and therefore they will fail every now and again, however is really not very difficult to change them. When I received my MakeGear M2 the print bed was not level, again this is not a problem as MakerGear has both fantastic support meaning that you can email them with a question and in a couple of hours you will have a response or you can have a look on their website where they have a selection of videos on how to use your M2.
The Replicator 2x is one of the best desktop 3D Printers on the market today and was designed and made by MakerBot who have been in the 3D Printing business making desktop 3D Printers since 2009 and are considered to be one of the best 3D Printer manufactures across the world.
The replicator 2x is their latest 2014 model offering you a chance to purchase a 3D Printer with all the latest features and designs to help you print fantastic models. The replicator 2X is considered to be a personal 3D Printer and as a result as a smaller printing mat that generally we would recommend for standard printers.
The printers is capable of printing objects that are as large as 6.1 X 11.2 X 6 Inches which is cased in a six-sided housing that protects your design during printing from any external forces that could alter either printing process or the design of your object, but does not restrict you from viewing your design during construction as the panels are completely clear.
The 2X comes with a duel printing head that not only improves speed and quality, but also allow you to print in 2 colors at the same time which can be useful for creating artwork into your 3D models. Makerbot also makes it very easy for you to add more filament or change the heads as the design allows for very simple unloading and reloading.
Designing your 3D model is very easy and the 2X comes with MakerBot’s MakerWare software which features improvement in the ease of use for this program. In its latest design you can drag and drop design models and configure them on the software’s virtual build platform and connect your 3D Printer direction to your computer via an SD card or a USB cable.
Once you have designed what your going to print, powered up your printer and pressed print the replicator 2X will start printing and can print with very good accuracy at speeds up to 200mm per second which means that you can print a design tha is the same size as an iPhone in about a hour.
The Airwolf 3D printer is another fantastic personal Desktop Printer and can print objects with a maximum dimension of 7 X 12 X 8 inches in fantastic detail given its high printing tolerance which are above usual industry standards for desktop 3D printers. Airwolf are one of the few 3D printing companies on the market right now that go to the trouble of calibrating each printer before it leaves the factory meaning that as soon as you take it out of the box and plug the printer in, you will be bale to start printing.
Whilst the airwolf 3D printer comes with a single head meaning that it can only print one colour at a time, the filament is not the usual industry standard width of 1.75mm, but an increased width of 3mm meaning that with this desktop 3D printer you can use it to print nylon, plastic and even wood.
You can use a range of software with this printer to include Repetier Firmware and Pronterface Print Controller and connect your printer to your computer using a USB cable. This model does not support an SD card that is really not a problem as we found the USB cable much easier to use. The airwolf printer is not as fast as the replicator 2X to print and can only reach speeds of 150mm Per second, however the quality of product is very good.
The Cube 2 is cubifys second generation 3D Printer that was released to the public in 2013 and is one of the few 3D Printers that you can use straight out of the box and comes with a desktop size printing frame of 5.5 X 5.5 X 5.5 inches which whilst is a little smaller than the standard desktop 3D Printer is a good size printer for your personal use. The Cube 2 has a very stable metal design that you can feel safe to use and leave running whilst you’re away and prints in both ABS and PLA in a range of 16 colors that includes both Matt and Metallic and even a glow in the dark color.
The Cube 2 uses very simple software, Cubify Invent which is a fantastic CAD 3D Printer program which is basically a slim down version of the full CAD program which is both easy to design and transfer to your 3D Printer via the Wi-Fi loading and to make things even easier, operation of your 3D Printer is very easy.
One slight downside with the Cube 2 is that it does not have a heated build tray and whilst the quality that is prints is really good, even when running flat out, its really slow. For a job that should normally take me 30 minutes, took just over 2 hours. The Cube 2, unlike many of its competitors within the desktop 3D Printer arena does come with a full guarantee, meaning they when you over use it, and you will over use your 3D Printer and probably burn out one of its components, they will replace it for free. Should you have any problems with the Cube 2, Cubifys customer support is probably the best of all the 3D Printing companies out there.
Best 3D Printer Budget
All of the above printers have been priced in the $1,000 to $6,000 range is this is where we feel that the right blend of money vs. performance is found. That said, the best 3d printer for many readers might be one much cheaper given their budget.
We have discussed many 3d printers in this range in our best under $500 3d printer section, however if you don’t want to read it, then check out the XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 AiO All-in-One 3D Printer (Scan/Edit/Print) which whilst being a second generation printer is still a fantastic 3D Printer that comes in at less than $500 and a range of features to include an 7.8" x 7.8" x 7.8" print bed, the ability to print in ABS, PLA or Flex at between 100-400 Microns and an all-in-one design that includes both a printer, scanner and the ability to edit your design through the software.
You can check out this printer below, however if you want something different, check out our 3D Pens here.