It’s no secret that one of the hottest technological trends on the market has to do with the best 3D printer. Being something we could have only dreamed of in the 90’s and early 2000’s, there are a wide number of industries that are currently implementing the best 3D printer within to create their products in a new way. Whether it has to do with medical purposes or more recreational purposes like cosplaying, the best 3d printer kit is now available at a consumer level. In this article, we’ll discuss how 3D printing works, different kinds of budget 3D printers, and what features to look for before you take the plunge and invest in an advanced piece of equipment.
Overview of The Best 3D Printer
Different Types of 3D Printers
We’ve gotta say, this next section might be more complex than others, so we understand if you skip over this. However, there are currently nine different types of 3D printers, and you may have to research more to see which fits your current needs. These nine include the following:
Stereolithography (SLA) – One of the oldest types of 3D printers, the stereolithography uses a type of liquid resin that’s photosensitive, and then uses a UV-laser beam to harden said liquid resin. With the proper input, each layer is catered to exactly the width you need.
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) – For those looking to find the best desktop 3D printer, you’ll be looking towards the fused deposition modeling printer. If you’re looking for the best professional 3D printer, you might also use an FDM due to how common it is. If you’ve worked with worbla for your cosplay, you’ll see that the FDM uses another type of thermoplastic to be heated and molded into a specific set of coordinates. Then, the layers are built up in the pattern of a Z formation.
Digital light processing (DLP) – The aforementioned 3D printer uses something similar to the SLA printer, by using a type of liquid photopolymer resin. Unlike stereolithography, a digital light processing printer uses tilted mirrors to build.
Selective Laser Sintering – Another that is similar to an SLA printer (because that was the first); however, the primary different between a selective laser sintering and an SLA printer is that it uses a type of material that’s powder, rather than liquid.
Selective Laser Melting – If you love laser beams, you’re going to love the selective laser melting 3D printer. Technically, this printer is considered a subcategory, but in short, the pieces are melted into the 3D parts, rather than built up. It’s kind of an inverted way to 3D print.
Electron Beam Melting – Unlike the aforementioned selective laser melting, the electron beam melting 3D printer uses an electron beam! Yep, you heard that right. Something that’s practically out of Jimmy Neutron can 3D print whatever you want. There’s a metallic powder used at temperatures over an astounding 1800 degrees Fahrenheit to melt and create the items you want.
Laminated Object Manufacturing – Using a type of material that’s coated with adhesive, these materials include metal laminates, and even plastic or paper. When these are met with the heat, they are fused together with pressure, too. In having this done, the material of your choice is then shaped and cut with a knife or a laser, depending on what type of industrial 3D printer you have. Of course, there’s also drilling and other machining done in order to create the perfect piece. Another printer that finishes layer by layer, you can create items that are quite large with this type.
Binder Jetting – Of course, the aforementioned printer was designed and invented at the famous MIT. Although this printer does come with a large number of nicknames, you may have heard it as an inkjet 3D printer, powder bed printer, or even a type of “binder jetting” printer – the most common name given, hence why we introduced it as such. In short, this printer uses powder and a type of bonding agent. Said agent is used between the powder material’s layers in order to be an adhesive of sorts. After each layer is composed, the layer is put down from the plate of building, and then another layer is created and dropped down, etc.
Material jetting (wax casting) – Material jetting, also known as wax casting, is a type of technique that doesn’t really have an inventory. Jewelers have grabbed on and used this technique widely within the last few centuries. You can basically create any shape or type of jewelry your heart desires in a plethora of types of metals. Now, translate this to current applications, and you can create anything you want thanks to material jetting. Those in cosplay or the jewelry world that work with casts can ensure a great use from a material jetting printer.
Now that you’ve seen every single type of 3D printer, let’s discuss what we consider to be the best 3D printers on the market:
The Best 3D Printer 2017
LulzBot TAZ 6 3D Printer
First up on our list is a 3D printer created by an astounding manufacturer known as LulzBot. Riding the wave of hot technological advances, LulzBot has not only a full-sized 3D printer (this one), but also a mini. Features of the aforementioned include the following:
- Self-leveling, self-cleaning
- Tetherless printing
- Large build volume
- Max temperatures of 572 Fahrenheit
Breakdown of the Features
Having a machine that’s not only self-leveling but also self-cleaning, is one that you want in either your educational facility or home. Beyond this, you’ll be receiving tetherless printing for a clean print, as well as a power supply that has been integrated to make 3D printing much easier than before. The large build volume includes maximum printing sizes of 11.02 in. x 11.02 in. by 9.8 in. However, you’re not limited to just one big printed product at a time, as this size means you can print multiple small at once, or one large – versatile!
The Advantages of the LulzBot TAZ 6 3D Printer
One of the primary advantages of this product is that it is self-leveling and self-cleaning. For those that are beginners are just easing into it (those that are in an educational facility), you don’t have to worry about it breaking due to a human trying to “clean” and clear up. Self-leveling is also huge, so you don’t have to calibrate it every time on your own. In having this, you’re eliminating the possibility of human error, as leveling can ruin a project entirely if done wrong.
The Disadvantages of theLulzBot TAZ 6 3D Printer
There aren’t too many disadvantages of this 3D printer, but if you’re looking for something a little smaller in price or something that is on the hobbyist price range, you’ll want to look elsewhere. However, the performance isn’t affected whatsoever.
FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro
Next up on our list is the FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro, a machine that’s not only more affordable, but great for beginners. Fully manufactured by the kinds of printing themselves, not only does this product come with a lifetime warranty, but a great number of features, too. Features include the following:
- Metal frame that’s sturdy
- Aviation level plate that’s aluminum
- Metal platform
- Enclosed chamber
Breakdown of the Features
The enclosed chamber not only ensures safety against warmer products but also prevents warping to certain materials that include ABS. Insulation is also a key trait of using an enclosed chamber, which is a fantastic feature on its own. There is an aviation level aluminum plate that has a thickness of 6.3mm. In having this aluminum plate, you’re guaranteed non-warping during the process of heating, and a surface that will guarantee flatness.
The Advantages of the FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro
One of the primary advantages of this product is the enclosed chamber. If you’re using this within an educational facility, you’re going to need to keep students as safe as possible. Those that are new to the world of 3D printing may not know anything about the heat processes and may touch something that hurts them. Beyond this, the metal frame of this 3D printer is extremely sturdy in comparison with older, wooden models, which have proven not to be as sturdy.
The Disadvantages of the FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro
There aren’t too many disadvantages of this product, however, if you’re looking for something that creates way larger pieces, you’ll naturally have to look elsewhere. It’s worth mentioning that this doesn’t affect the performance, it’s just a personal preference and desire based on what you need made.
Anet A8 – Prusa i3 DIY 3D Printer
Next on our list is a a cheap 3D printer from ANET. Known as the Anet A8 Prusa i3 DIY 3D printer, this printer is capable of printing ABS, PLA, and more types of materials. Available at an affordable price that can barely be beat, features of the aforementioned include the following:
- Aluminum heating plate
- Nozzle temperature is adjustable
- A plethora of materials can be used
- Extruder is versatile, same as the heated bed
Breakdown of the Features
A primary reason that a versatile extruder is essential when it comes to 3D printing is because of the filament materials. You’ll be able to create a plethora of items when you have a set of versatile parts as such. Beyond this, you’re able to adjust the nozzle temperature to what you need, and the hot bed temperature is between 50-100 Celsius, which is 122 degrees to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. On top of what we’ve already boasted about, materials that you can use with this 3d printer include PLA, ABS, wood poly, TPU, nylon, PP, luminescent filament, and more.
The Advantages of the Anet A8 – Prusa i3 DIY 3D Printer
One of the great advantages to owning this Anet A8 3D printer is that you can use such a wide variety of materials. Depending on what you want to create versus how long you want it to last, the material matters. You may be able to use one material better versus another, which is great with a product that can accept so many different types of products.
The Disadvantages of the Anet A8 – Prusa i3 DIY 3D Printer
Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages that come with purchasing this machine. While the price and performance are fantastic, it does come unassembled. If you’re someone who isn’t the best when it comes to assembling pieces of machinery, then you’re going to have to find someone to help you out with this one. Although, it’s worth mentioning that the level of difficult vastly depends on personal preference.
MakerGear M2 Desktop 3D Printer
Manufactured by MakerGear, the M2 desktop 3D printer is great for those who are playing at home with materials or wants to work on experimenting with materials, or those who want to use 3D printing in more educational facilities. Considered a “high-end” machine, features include the following:
- Large building platform
- Precision hardware
- Open source firmware and electronics
- Works with multiple materials
Breakdown of the Features
The large building platform that we’ve mentioned measures 8-inches by 10-inches by 8-inches. Also known as “XYZ” platform or “build envelope”. The CNC machined precision ensures that the steel frame is going to provide you with a reliable platform to build in the more precise way possible. When it comes to the actual electronic aspect and operating system, you’re receiving an open source system with firmware, which allows for optimal and diverse usage. You can also use materials like flexible, PET, ABS, and PLA – but you’re not limited to just these!
The Advantages of the MakerGear M2 Desktop 3D Printer
A huge advantage of this machine is that you’re going to be able to create diverse projects with the number of materials you can use, on top of the materials you can use when the printer is assembled out of the box. You don’t need any different accessories in order to begin using with any of the aforementioned materials (PET, ABS, PLA, flexible).
The Disadvantages of the MakerGear M2 Desktop 3D Printer
A disadvantage of this product is that it is high-end, and probably wouldn’t be the best choice for the average beginner. However, it clearly doesn’t negate the performance of this 3D printer, and we think you should take a look at this machine if you’re looking to implement within an educational facility or the workplace.
Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer
Next on our list is a 3D printer manufactured by Sindoh. Well-received by the public, and well-rated, features include the following:
- Automatic loading and unloading of the filament/materials
- Versatile range of connection options
- 5-inch LCD screen, touch screen menu
- System for assisted leveling
Breakdown of the Features
Who else loves machines that assist you in tasks that could prove to be annoying? With the Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D printer, you’re able to partake in automatic unloading and loading of materials – all you do is insert a cartridge of materials and the machine does the rest of the work for you! Along with this, you’re going to have an assisted leveling system to ensure that everything is leveling as it’s supposed to. The machine itself calculates and helps with leveling of the machine. Of course, it’s extremely convenient that the 5-inch LCD is a touch screen menu with an extremely friendly user interface.
The Advantages of the Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer
One of the main advantages of this product is that it does have an automatic loader and unloader of material. All you have to do is make sure that the cartridge is in, and you have a template for the 3D printing! With the easy user interface, this can’t be beaten.
The Disadvantages of the Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer
There aren’t too many disadvantages of this product, but it is considered higher end. If you for sure know that you’re going to need this machine (if you’re a beginner), then we think it’s a great machine to invest in, as it does its job and is highly-rated amongst customers across the country.
Sindoh 3DWOX DP201 3D Printer
Another 3d printer manufactured by Sindoh, this one is around the same price range, but has a few different features. Said features include the following:
- Flexible bed for easy removal of projects and objects
- Unloading and loading of material (filament) is automatic
- Assisted leveling system
- Can connect via usb, wi-fi, flash drive
- Internal monitoring camera
Breakdown of the Features
Being able to monitor your project from further away ensures that you can take one multiple projects at once – all thanks to the internal monitoring camera that you can use with your smartphone or computer. The filament/materials can be automatically loaded and unloaded, which is a great time saver. The bed is extremely flexible which helps when it comes to cleaning and removal of objects.
The Advantages of the Sindoh 3DWOX DP201 3D Printer
One of our favorite features is the internal monitoring camera that allows you to view your project progress via your smartphone, laptop, or desktop without even touching the machine or being near it. Of course, you can also begin using your machine by connecting your usb flash drive, usb803/4 cable, Wi-Fi, or even a direct Ethernet cord.
The Disadvantages of the Sindoh 3DWOX DP201 3D Printer
We can’t find too many disadvantages (it’s hard to find with such a great machine and manufacturer), but the one we found was that the warranty on the parts like the bed and nozzle only have a 90-day warranty versus the year warranty for the rest of the product. While it doesn’t affect the performance of the product, it’s something to think about.
QIDI Technology 3DP-QDA16-01
Manufactured by QIDI technology, features of the aforementioned include the following:
- Full metal frame structure
- Dual extruder
- Aluminum plate (aviation level)
- High-heat resistant platform
- Software is easy to use
Breakdown of the Features
The aluminum plate that’s included on this machine is of aviation level, and ensures that your materials will not warp during the process of heating. Materials that can be used on this machine include ABS and PLA for optimal and easy usage. Speaking of easy usage, the software that you use to print with this machine’s operating system is quite easy to use. The frame is also sturdy and metal, ensuring that the machine has a solid structure.
The Advantages of the QIDI Technology 3DP-QDA16-01
One of the advantages of this product is that it comes with 2 free filaments to get you started as soon as you begin using this machine. The new design of the metal platform is high-heat resistant, which ensures that no melting or breaking will be happening.
The Disadvantages of the QIDI Technology 3DP-QDA16-01
There aren’t too many disadvantages of this product, other than the fact that it’s not eligible for international shipping, depending on where you’re purchasing from. However, if you can get your hands on one of these for your class or craft room, we suggest you do so!
QIDI Technology X-ONE
Another cheap 3d printer manufactured by QIDI Technology, this 3d printer is known as the X-ONE. Features include the following:
- Full metal structure
- 3.5-inch touch screen
- Comes with SD and SD card reader
- Toolbox, scraper, other accessories included
Breakdown of the Features
With a full metal structure, the stability of this machine during and post-creation is fantastic. It comes with a number of accessories. Printing can be done via USB cable or SD card – speaking of, an SD card and SD card reader does come equipped with the aforementioned machine. The motor is also of high-quality.
The Advantages of the QIDI Technology X-ONE
Unlike others, there are a number of accessories including a power cable, SD card reader with an SD card, filament guide tube, tool box, scraper for the bed, and even a roll of filament. Beyond this, the touch screen is a nice 3.5-inches, and the ease of use is great.
The Disadvantages of the QIDI Technology X-ONE
There’s only one disadvantage that we can truly see, and that’s the inability to plug anything more than a USB cable or SD card for printing. Other machines have Ethernet and Wi-Fi capabilities to ensure that you can print easily.
LulzBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer
Next on our list (we’re getting to the end!) is a LulzBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer. Available in the normal size, as well as mini, features of the mini include the following:
- Auto-bed leveling, auto-nozzle cleaning
- Print volume is 6-inch by 6-inch by 6.2-inch
- Temperature range is 248 Fahrenheit to 572 Fahrenheit
- Any 3D printing software can be used
Breakdown of the Features
Equipped with an auto-nozzle cleaning feature, as well as auto-bed leveling, you’re going to be having an entire machine that enables ease of use, so you can focus on creating the best product possible. The temperature range for this machine is 348 degrees Fahrenheit up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure it’s getting as hot as you need to, with the option for variety and change.
The Advantages of the LulzBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer
One of the advantages is that any software can be used that enables 3D printing. With this machine, you automatically receive the Cura software from LulzBot. Some other software that is capable of being used with the mini includes: BotQueue, MatterControl, Slic3r, and more.
The Disadvantages of the LulzBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer
There aren’t too many disadvantages of this machine, other than the fact that it’s a mini version, with small-ish measurements that we’ve noted in the feature specifications.
Anycubic i3 Mega 3d Printer Intelligent Leveling
Manufactured by Anycubic, this 3D printer is extremely affordable, and has quite a few features. Some of these features include:
- 3.5-inch touch screen
- Print size is large
- Variety of software input formatting can be used
- Extruder temperature and print bed temperatures are different
Breakdown of the Features
With a 3.5-inch touchscreen equipped, the screen is a decent size and promotes ease of use for the entire machine. The Print size is large, and the machine itself uses fused deposition modeling. There are a variety of software input formats that can be used, which include .STL, OBJ, .AMF, and .DAE.
The Advantages of the Anycubic i3 Mega 3d Printer Intelligent Leveling
The extruder temperature and print bed temperatures are different, which allow for more versatile projects and settings. The ability to choose one of four input formats ensure that you’re going to be able to input easily.
The Disadvantages of the Anycubic i3 Mega 3d Printer Intelligent Leveling
The only disadvantage we’re able to find is that there aren’t more connectivity options. In this day and age, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections are more necessary thank you think. Within this machine, there is USB support and SD card support, which is fine, but more options would be nice. However, the performance of this product isn’t affected whatsoever; it just boils down to ease of use and versatility, as well as personal preference.
Best 3D Printer Brands Reviews
There are many brands that compete to have the best 3d printers in the world. In this section, we’ll use our personal thoughts to help guide you in the right direction of which company may be for you. First up, LulzBot – be sure to continue reading for even more reliable brands.
LulzBot: Providing actual 3D printers, filament, and parts, you’re able to use LulzBot as your one stop shop for all things 3D printing. With 3D printers that are more for the higher end of creation, you’re able to invest in a quality 3D printer that can work with the skill level of a beginner. You don’t have to be brand new at 3d printing and invest in one that’s crappy, which will negate quality, as with LulzBot, you can have a great one in your very own home. With mini machines and full-sized machines that can bring quality three-dimensional printing to even the architecture world, LulzBot has it all for an affordable price.
Sindoh: Sindoh is a 3D printing related company that not only provides 3D printers, but parts too. Used more in the world of education and commercial industries, those that are wanting to use new tools within their vocational schools or top-tier industries will find solace in knowing this company exists. Providing affordable equipment that can withstand recurring printing and heavy usage, you’ll be able to present clients, customers, and students with a consistent and high-quality experience. With their product’s ability to hook up to a wide range of connectivity options, you can begin printing from a USB drive, a phone, Wi-Fi, and more. You may also use the onboard, internal camera for monitoring from your own personal computer or even your smartphone, allowing you to be a part of the project every step of the way.
Flashforge: An award-winning company in the world of 3D printing, they offer 3D printers for both beginners and those that are more seasoned professionals. Whether you want to create pieces for your game boards or Dungeons and Dragons game, or something more professional like a product for a client, you can use their FlashPrint technology to do so – and at an attractive price. From art to business, FlashForge combines technology and simple creation within one machine. Functional and simple, you’re able to 3D print with ease, no matter what with optimal control. A business that aims to bring affordable, yet up-and-coming machines infused with ease of use, FlashForge does it eloquently.
QIDI Technology: For those that aren’t looking to spend thousands on a 3D printing machine, but want to craft quality creations, look no further than QIDI Technology – a company that combines quality with affordability – perfect for the beginner who wants to dip their toes in. There aren’t a wide range of 3D printers that can be bought from them, but every single one they’ve put out so far is well-received by the public and highly-rated. With touchscreen systems that are enclosed so you don’t burn yourself, these machines can be used with ABS and PLA materials – again, perfect for the average beginner. Aiming to provide an experience that reduces and eliminates warping of materials, you don’t have to worry about an inaccurate project or money wasted with their 3D printers.
Anet: A 3D printing that company that aims to provide sleek machines that print in a simple manner, you won’t have to worry about bulkiness with their products. With high-quality precision that’s almost unmatched for the price, you’re able to setup one of their 3D printers anywhere and begin experimenting. LCD displays, turbo fans, power supplies, and everything else you need in a 3D printer, Anet is an up-and-coming brand that’s quickly pushing the competitors out of their way. From customized MK8 extruders, sophisticated parts, and 4-star lead screw brass units, you’re going to be receiving quality when you choose an Anet 3D printer.
How 3D Printing Works
In short, a 3D printer builds something from the bottom up, using thousands of pieces that are usually very tiny. These little pieces stick together in order to create the piece you desire. Because of the complexity 3D printers currently have, each layer that’s stuck to the last can be even more complex than you imagine. If you’ve ever heard of the best professional 3D printer creating something astounding like a heart, or an ear in the medical world, you can thank those complex layers for holding true.
Sure, your purpose for using a 3D printer might not be as extensive as a heart, but your budget is definitely something to think about. Generally, the best affordable 3D printer will still be at a cost higher than the average printer due to the capabilities of (practically) bringing a picture online to life. The best budget 3D printer will be able to meet the needs of both a casual printer and someone who works in an industry that provides a product. If you’re wondering if you’ll be able to find one for your use in your craft room or your garage, the answer is: yes. The best home 3D printer are not only affordable but can create amazing things. We’ll answer some questions below:
In a longer description, each 3D printed item usually has a design that it follows – a blueprint of sorts, much like the architecture around you or a famous ship. When you have this template made, you use it for the printer to help guide each printed layer. While the best affordable 3d printer could easily replace a job, for home use, you shouldn’t feel so guilty; instead, you should feel extremely excited – especially if you’re a cosplayer!
How can it be used for cosplaying?: If you’re a cosplayer, you’re able to get 3D templates for weapon or jewelry designs of the character you’re cosplaying. Then, you don’t have to slave hours on a worbla or foam piece only to have it break slightly at a convention. The best home 3D printer provides reliable home printing for three-dimensional objects – anime weaponry included.
Now, you may be wondering how 3D printing would help a business? Instead of handcrafting specific items like faux jewels for toy or connection pieces for product builds, you can invest in the best professional 3D printer to ensure that you’re not only giving your customers quality, but also consistency. Even if you’re not printing for something as intricate as a cosplaying weapon, those little connection pieces on toys or furniture (maybe even more industrial applications) can help immensely with the consistency of your product.
Now, you don’t need the most expensive 3D printer to help you with home projects. In fact, you can find the best entry level 3d printer to ensure that you can create the simple things you’ve been wanting. Say you have an item in your home that they no longer create. Whether you broke the original item or have been looking for it from your childhood, you can create a template and make it again for usage. Thanks to a more advanced techonology, the best 3D printer kit can bring your childhood memories back to life again. You can also create shoes, keychains, tables, and even in more recent news – an entire house.
While there aren’t many limitations, because of how new the best industrial 3D printer is, as well as the best small 3d printer for homes, you’re going to see a bit of limitation in terms of cost. While they can provide you with a number of priceless items, you’re still going to be spending quite a bit on the materials to keep your projects going. The best desktop 3D printer is available at an affordable consumer price, but how much are you willing to pay? In this next section, we’ll discuss the different types of the best desktop 3D printer, as well as those that are for more industrial applications.
What to Look for Before Buying a 3D Printer
Before we send you off to look at price ranges, there are a number of features you should look for before taking the plunge and investing a great amount into a 3D printer.
Materials used: Depending on the material used, the cost of excessively 3d printing can be large. When you know what is the best 3D printing filament for your project and how to use them, along with how much they can cost, you’re going to have a better time-saving money as you enter the world of 3D printing. You will also need the best 3D printing filament for your project and how to use them, along with how much they can cost, you’re going to have a better time-saving money as you enter the world of 3D printing.
Thermoplastic: First, you’ll want to know that most materials used are thermoplastics. A thermoplastic is a type of plastic that gets extremely soft when heated, and then once cooled, it hardens to the shape that it’s been shaped to. These types of materials are mostly inexpensive, compared to others, but they aren’t the only material to be used.
Poly Lactic Acid: With origins from corn starch, the poly lactic acid material is actually a fantastic material for beginner to start creating with and to begin experimenting with. If you’re looking to make items for around the house, this is a great material to do so. Characters of poly lactic acid include being biodegradable, the ability to cool quickly, much like a thermoplastic. In being able to cool quickly, you’re able to prevent any type of warping due to sitting for too long. Poly lactic acid is also available in multiple colors that are translucent or solid, depending on your desires. You can create both matte and glossy looks. There are disadvantages, though, which include a point of low-melting. Unfortunately, this can cause deformities if you’re not careful with the heat. Another disadvantage includes that the poly lactic acid is difficult to use if you’re trying to create parts and pieces that interlock or act as a type of joint.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene: Try saying that ten times fast! The acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is a type of petroleum-based plastic. While you may not have heard of the name outright and a million times, it’s actually one of the more popular choices when it comes to 3D printing. The aforementioned is due largely to the flexibility and durability capabilities that it presents. There are some things to know about this material including that the melting point is higher, so you don’t have to worry about a melting point at high heat. However, there is a disadvantage: it takes much longer to cool down, which makes it more prone to warping. Although, if you’re careful and keep an eye on it, you may not have to worry much. It also emits a type of smell when you’re heating, which may not be desirable for you.
Safety: Of course, materials aren’t the only thing to look for when you begin 3D printing. When working with 3D printers that expose to heat, you’ll want to know more about the safety features or how you can make yourself safe with ease. Heated plastics can get pretty hot, and even some of the extruders and bed can get hot. While there is no enclosure for some of the printers, having an enclosed printer may be something you want or an accessory you might want to add.
Fumes: Yes, when you burn plastic, even at an approved household level, you’re going to emit fumes into the air. It’s always important to 3D print in a room that’s well-ventilated, especially those that use types of ABS plastics.
Food-grade materials: If you’re looking to build items that will be used with food, you’re going to want a food-grade plastic. PLA and ABS plastics are generally approved safe for creating these materials, but if you see that there are additives in specific materials, those aren’t always approved and should be researched upon. You should always be aware of the type of surface your material is creating due to the ability for bacteria to collect. Post-printing coating can also work out well, but again, it can be limiting for kitchenware creation with a 3D printer.
Quality of print: Before we get into price ranges, and then reviews, we’ll discuss print quality, which can vastly differ depending on the resolution of the print and the speed of the print. In short, the better the resolution, the higher quality of detail you’ll see within the product that you print using a 3d printer. Resolution is one of the key pieces of crafting a quality piece, and should always be on your mind with any printing project. The speed of the printing will tell you how much the extruder will move and how quickly. The higher the speed of the print, the faster you’ll receive your 3D printed item. Of course, deceleration (as well as acceleration) will always affect the print quality due to vibrations of the machine.
3D Printer Price Ranges
Now that you’ve learned quite a bit about 3d printers, and what level of which can provide for you, it’s time to look at how much you should invest versus what you expect to use it for. Whether you’re just looking to experiment or are looking for something of educational and commercial use, you’ll find your answer below.
Entry-level 3D printers: Coming in the price range of around $300, an entry-level type of 3D printer is not usually one that will create long-term withstanding pieces of 3D products. The best 3D printer under $300 are primarily used for toy creation and experimentation, although cosplayers and casual craft creators could benefit from this type perfectly. However, if you’re an enthused hobbyist, check out our next price range.
Hobby-driven 3D printers: In the price range of $500, printers within this range serve more than enough purpose for the casual hobbyist, as well as the more experiment-driven crafter. The printing area is a bit larger, by two or three inches in each direction. They are not made to run for a lengthy period of time, and the quality won’t land you in a medical center saving someone’s life. Although, the best 3D printer under $500 is great for crafters and even grade-school kids to learn. If you need something to print reliably and always, you need to get into high-end printers.
High-end 3D printers: The range of a 3D printer that’s in the “high-end” goes $1000 and beyond. The work surface is much layer, and the speed is way more reasonable than the two aforementioned. The quality is much better than those that are not within this range, as the speed ensures better quality and consistency. The best 3D printer under $1000 are much better for educational and commercial settings, and are well-worth the investment. Within this high-end range, you’ll find professional printers that can cost up to $6000, and even industrial that may cost as much as a new car ($20,000 to $100,000). It’s worth mentioning that ones of this grand price can be used within price negotiations in contracts, and give the company a bit more privilege.
It’s no secret that the more money you spend on the best 3D printer, the better quality of 3D printing you’ll have, and the better it will work in your desired industry. Now that you’ve been greeted with the above information, it’s time to begin looking at actual 3D printers that can be used in a wide variety of applications, as well as brand reviews if you’re still stuck on the edge of choosing.