It doesn’t take wizards to realize that the best 3D printers are no longer play toys for hobbyists, but became a vital technology that could help your company shines in competitive markets. To quickly turn a concept into tangible products, it makes sense to invest in on the best 3D printers available.
How To Choose The Right 3D printers
While 3D printers are getting affordable, they are not exactly cheap. You’ll need to consider these factors diligently before buying a 3D printer for your business.
The range of materials that 3D printers can print with are getting broader and that means you’ll need to get the right 3D printer.Common desktop 3D printers use plastic filaments to print. But if you’re trying to create your own jewelry line, you may want to consider getting 3D printers that work with stainless steel or platinum.
2. Build Area
Every 3D printers have different built area. The built area includes the width, length, and height of the printed area. If you chose a 3D printer with smaller build area than your objects, you may have to combine the object from multiple prints.
3. Layer Resolution
If you’re looking for 3D printers that produce highly accurate prototypes, ensure that it has a high layer resolution. Do keep in mind that printing speed decreases as the layer resolution increases.
Do you need to mixed filaments of different colors or elements efficiently? If so, extruders that hold multiple nozzles allow you to efficiently increase the printing speed.
5. Learning Curve
Unless you want to experience setting up your own 3D printer from scratch, you’ll want to get a fully assembled unit that you can start using with minimal setups. Some of the best 3D printers are equipped with LCD display that alerts you to the printing status.
Top 10 Best 3D Printers In 2018
With the growing popularity of 3D printers, various manufacturers have come to the fore, and each produces their own version printers. We’ve created a list of the best 3D printers to help you in selecting one.
The Formlabs Form 2 is not your typical desktop 3D printers. Expensively priced, it is one of the best 3D printers you can get with excellent performance. It uses SLA printing to create 3D objects from liquid resin, a rather expensive option compared to plastic filaments.
You can expect impressive performance with this 3D printer, as it supports layer resolution as small as 25 microns. You can build any objects as long as it stays within the build size of 14.5 x 14.5 x 17.5 cm.
Transferring 3D files to the printer requires you to download the PreForm software on the PC and sends the files over USB or WiFi network. To initiate the printing, you’ll need to use the LCD display to select the desired print job.
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense 3D printer that does its job well, the Lulzbot Taz 6 would be your best pick. Lacking the usual cool exterior design of desktop 3D printers, it made up with a fast and high quality of printing performance.
The highlight of this open-frame 3D printer lies in the broad range of materials it supported. You can print 3D objects out of 29 materials, not only from the popular PLA and ABS but also from more exotic materials like nylon and wood-like filament.
It supports a considerably large print volume of 280mm x 280mm x 250mm. You can transfer the 3D files to the printer via USB or on an SD card an expect a stellar quality of 3D printouts. This 3D printer is arguably the best FDM 3D printer around.
If you’re getting started with 3D printing, consider getting a CraftBot Plus. An improvisation of an already impressive predecessor, the 3D printer is easy to setup and print. Besides the touch LCD screen that lets you perform critical setups, the Craftware software allows you to configure your printing preference intuitively.
You get to print with the common PLA and ABS filaments without worrying about the noise as the 3D printer is extremely quiet. Despite its compact size, the printer offers a surprisingly large build volume of 250 x 200 x 200mm.
For a beginner-friendly 3D printer, it provides a decent layer resolution of 100 microns. You can even alter the printing parameters as the 3D object is being printed via the LCD interface. A heated platform also helps prevent the printed materials sticking to it.
4. M3D Micro 3D
The M3D micro 3D is definitely as cute as a 3D printer can get, and at a reasonably low cost. You’ll find that setting up the 3D printer is a breeze even if you’ve never printed anything on 3D before.
It has a decent printing quality and you can print from standard ABS and PLA materials. While the printing speed is rather typical, it allows you to print a minimum of 50 microns z-resolution. All you need to do is to download the user-friendly application from the vendor.
The printer is amazingly quiet while it’s busy printing out 3D objects You can barely hear any noise emitted from the motors. While nowhere near high-end 3D printers, the printing quality is definitely acceptable for an arguably cheapest 3D printer in the market.
5. MakerGear M2
MakerGear M2 is not only one of the best 3D printers in terms of precision, but also one of the top-selling 3D printers around the world. The printer is made of sturdy metal frame and yet you’ll find the modular structure easy to dismantle for maintenance.
Boasting a minimum layer resolution of 25 microns, it is a preferred 3D printer for industrial applications. The printer has a build volume of 25.4 x 20.3 x 20.3 cm and prints from ABS and PLA material.
Although it lacks wireless connectivity, you can easily control the printing from the LCD controller itself. The high precision printing is made possible by the high precision rails that guide the printing nozzle.
This is definitely not a 3D printer to get if you’re trying to save on cost. But if superior printing quality is what you desired, the Ultimaker 3 Extended is the answer. Made by Dutch 3D-printing giants, it features an impressive 8.5 x 8.5 x 7.9 inches of printing space.
It is able to achieve print resolution as low as 20 microns. Besides that, the printer is equipped with two swappable extruders. This allows you to print with two different materials at the same time. Besides the common ABS and PLA material, the printer also supports higher-temperature materials like nylon and CPE.
Besides the conventional ways of printing with software and printer controls, you’re also able to print directly from the apps. You wouldn’t have to worry about high processing requirement as it uses the slicing algorithm on their website to prepare the 3D files.
7. Raise3D N2
Have you ever had your 3D printing interrupted by power outages, just when it was about to complete? You don’t have to go through the same frustrations again with Raise3D N2. Its intelligent auto-resume feature lets you continue printing over the WiFi or from the printer LCD itself.
It supports a wide range of materials like PLA, ABS, carbon fibers and nylon. The printer also features a dual extruder which lets you print dissolvable support material for complex models. A high printing volume means you can print anything that’s less than 12 cubic inches.
You can also start printing metal mugs as the printer’s nozzle temperature can be heated up to 300 °C. This allows the printer to work with metals like bronze and copper. An enclosed design also means the printer safe to be used in schools as well.
8. Mark Two
If you need 3D printed objects that not only looks beautiful but with a degree of sturdiness, Mark Two is the right printer for the job. It is able to print with fiber composites, that greatly increases the strength of the final printed parts.
This is definitely one of the best 3D printers for printing high-quality sturdy parts. Apart from its proprietary material, Onyx, Mark Two also supports printing from special materials like Kevlar, Fiberglass and Carbon Fiber.
Using its own Eiger software, you can easily configure the print process with the intuitive interfaces. 3D files are transferred over standard connectivities like WiFi and USB. The end result is a high precision printed parts with an impressive 10-micron resolution.
9. Zortrax M200
The Zortrax M200 is another high-quality 3D printing machine that made it to our list of the best 3D printers. The fact that Dell ordered 5,000 units from this Kickstarter-funded company is a testament to its printing quality.
It has a 200 x 200 x 185 mm printing area and there’s very little you need to do to get started with printing your first design. An auto-leveling perforated build platform means that you do not need any glue to keep the printed filaments attached to the platform.
The entire unit has a strong construct that made it one of the sturdier 3D printers. There are minimal vibrations when the printer is busy printing out from your design files. And with 25 microns of layer resolution, you can expect a similar high quality of printed parts.
10. Ultimaker 2+
Getting started with 3D printing can be overwhelming if you’re not one familiar with mechanical setups or complex 3D programs. The Ultimaker 2+ is a well-balanced 3D printer that is easy to set up and start printing on the go.
With a decent build area of 223 x 223 x 205 mm and layer resolution of 20 microns, the printer produces decent printing quality with a broad range of filament materials. This made it an ideal 3D printer for both hobbyists and professionals alike.’
While this is a formidable 3D printer in terms of built and printing quality, the only way to transfer design files to the printer is through the SD card. Once loaded, the LCD display provides the navigation menu to control the printing process.
We hope that this list comprising the best 3D printer available has been helpful to you. If you think we’ve missed out a spectacular model in the list, feel free to share your thoughts with us.