The best 3D printers are powerful machines that allow you to exhaust your creativity and imagination by printing 3D objects.
A 3D printing machine is the evolution of printers that uses additive manufacturing technologies. It offers you three-dimensional and functional objects.
For instance, if you need something at home, like an organizer, you can use a 3D printing machine to create one instead of buying. Moreover, these printers are versatile; they can manufacture simple objects to complicated ones including a working gun, car or a residential building.
With the best 3D printer, almost anything you have in mind is possible and the only limitation is your imagination. You can use this machine to realize all the items you have on your mind. If you want to know more about 3D printing machines, you are just on the right page.
I will also give you a list of the top 3D printers on the market today which you can use to pick the best one that suits your budget and requirements. Remember this, there is a range of options for you whether you’re looking for an SLA, FFF or FDM printers, we have it all in our list.
- 1 Best 3D Printer Buying Review Guide
- 2 What’s the Best 3D Printer?
- 3 Best 3D Printers for Beginners
- 4 Best 3D Machines for Hobbyists
- 5 Professional 3D Printers
- 6 Buying 3D Printers
- 7 Where Can I Buy A 3D Printer
- 8 What is a 3D Printer?
- 9 Types of 3D Printers
- 10 3D Printer Parts
- 11 How Does a 3D Printer Work?
- 12 Conclusion
|FlashForge Finder||$$$$$||Click Here To Check Price||4.9/5||16 kg||140 L x 140 W x 140 H mm||40 to 200 mm/sec||100-400 microns, adjustable||220ºC||1.75 mm||FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)||1 year limited||Beginner|
|FlashForge Adventurer||$$$$$||Click Here To Check Price||4.8/5||28.7 lbs||150x150x150mm||100mm/s||100-400 microns, adjustable||200°C||1.75 mm||FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)||1 year limited||Beginner|
|M3D Micro+||$$$$||4.2/5||2 lbs||110 x 107 x 73.5||55 mm/s||50 microns||ABS - Up to 265 ºC; PLA - Up to 210 ºC||1.75 mm||FFF||1 Year||Beginner|
|Zortrax M200||$$$||3.9/5||15.43 lbs||9 x 5.9 x 5.5 inches||150 mm/s||100 microns||Up to 230°C||1.75 mm||LPD||1 Year||Beginner|
|LulzBot Mini||$$||3.5/5||24.25 lbs||152 x 152 x 158||275 mm/s||50 micron||Up to 260 ºC||1.75 mm||FDM||90 Days||Beginner|
|FlashForge Dreamer ||$$$$$||Click Here To Check Price||4.9/5||24.2 lbs||230 x 150 x 150 mm||up to 200mm/s||100~500 microns||255ºC||1.75 mm||FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)||1 year limited||Hobbyist|
|Ultimaker 2||$$$$||4.8/5||11 Kg||230 x 225 x 205||300 mm/s||20 microns||15 ºC to 32 ºC||2.85 mm||FDM||1 Year||Hobbyist|
|FlashForge Creator Pro||$$$$||Click Here To Check Price||4.8/5||24.3 lbs||227 L X 148 W X 150 H mm||60mm/s||100~500 microns||220-240ºC||1.75 mm||FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)||1 year limited||Hobbyist|
|LulzBot Mini 2||$$$||3.9/5||9 Kg||160 x 160 x 180||300mm/s||50 microns||Up to 120°||2.85mm||FFF||1 Year||Hobbyist|
|Makerbot Replicator||$$||3.5/5||16 Kg||252 x 199 x 150||150 mm/s||100 microns||15 ºC to 26 ºC||1.75mm||FDM||6 Months||Hobbyist|
|FlashForge Guider ||$$$$$||Click Here To Check Price||4.9/5||83.8 lbs||280 x 250 x 300 mm||100 mm/s||50–400 microns||300 °C||1.75 mm||FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)||1 year limited||Professional|
|Ultimaker S5||$$$$$||4.8/5||20.6 Kg||330 x 240 x 300||300 mm/s||0.25 mm nozzle:60 microns|
0.4 mm nozzle:20 micron
0.8 mm nozzle:20 micron"
|180 - 280 °C||2.85 mm||FFF||1 Year||Professional
|Formlabs Form 2||$$$$$||4.7/5||13 Kg||145 x 145 x 175||1-3 cm/hour||25 microns||Auto-heats to 35 ºC||SLA||N/A||Professional
|Zortrax M300||$$$||4.6/5||30 Kg||300 x 300 x 300||100mm/s||90 microns||Up to 290˚ C||1.75 mm||LPD||2 Years||Professional|
|ANYCUBIC Mega-S 3D Printer||$$||Click Here To Check Price||4.5/5||16.5kg||210 x 210 x 205 mm||20-100 mm/s||50 microns||8ºC - 40ºC||1.75 mm||FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)||1 Year||Professional|
Best 3D Printer Buying Review Guide
Choosing high-quality 3D printers can be a daunting task especially that there are tons of manufacturers claiming to deliver the best 3D printers on the market.
Furthermore, there are tons of DIY and kits that you can find online and it can be confusing what to get. So, here’s a buying guide for you.
Price – The cost of the best 3D printers differ depending on its features and capability. There are affordable and expensive machines but its price is determined by its features and specifications. Why do you need to use a printer? What’s the purpose of the machine? These questions might help you decide what features you need and how much you should spend for your 3D device.
Materials – Determining your intended application and the material characteristic is a significant factor in selecting the best 3D machine for you. For instance, for concept modeling applications, the physical properties of the object are not very significant. However, materials for rapid manufacturing applications need to be castable or should be high-temperature resistant. Thus, consider your application whether it is for concept models, verification models, pre-production applications or digital models or manufacturing. 3D printers that support a wide range of materials are superior and may cost you more. But they give you more options on what you can do with your 3D printing device.
Print Speed – This refers to the time required for printing a finite distance in the z-direction because 3D printers build a component layer by layer. High print speed is always an advantage especially for concept modeling because it will allow you to quickly make an alternative of your digital 3D model for comparison and improve it in a short span of time.
Part Cost – This performance attribute is determined by how much total material a 3D printer consumes to print a given set of parts. You can find the lowest part cost with powder-based 3D printing technologies like gypsum powder, where the unused powder is recycled and re-used.
Detail Resolution – This attribute is usually stated in dots per inch (DPI), Z-layer thickness, pixel size, beam spot size, and bead diameter. You can double-check the resolution of the best 3D printers by visual inspection.
Accuracy – This attribute refers to the quality of the printed parts. Accuracy is critical for printing-specific measurement test parts and in producing objects with solid print quality. The process allows you to produce each part additively and you may have to deal with material shrinkage, which needs to be compensated to produce accurate results.
Now that you already know the important details that you need to learn before you buy or use your printer, it’s time to review the best 3D printers on the market to see which among them suit you best.
What’s the Best 3D Printer?
Best 3D Printers for Beginners
The 3D printers in this category are mostly plug-and-play. These printers don’t need any assembly and rarely fails which makes it a great printer for beginners.
#1 FlashForge Finder | Best Entry-Level 3D Printer
FlashForge Finder is a good start for beginners because it has a simple design, it is very easy to use and the price is affordable. It is very attractive for novices design-wise and when it comes to ease of use that’s why it makes into our list of the best 3D printing machines today.
It comes with a sturdy, slide-in build plate for easy set-up or removal. This also contributes to its stability and good print. This also comes with the FlashForge integrated assist leveling system for precise and easy calibration. It provides straightforward and easy to follow directions to tighten and loosen the leveling screws.
As for the operation, it includes a full-color touchscreen with user-friendly control that is very simple and easy to use. It also shows the preview control, operates quietly and supports multiple languages.
#2 Flashforge Adventurer III
Flashforge Adventure III is among the great 3D printers for beginners because it is easy to use and it is affordable compared to most competitors. Also, it has a user-friendly and safe design that novices will surely appreciate.
This 3D printing machine has a removable buckle design for fast and easy maintenance. It is also safe because it has a built-in enclosed filament cartridge.
Moreover, it comes with a patented extruder structure, stable filament loading, ready to use and non-leveling printing technology to prevent incorrect leveling issues and automatic filament feed technology. All of these features are added for a smoother and enjoyable 3D printing experience that beginners will surely love.
Considering its price, features, and performance, I must say it goes beyond my expectations. It is definitely among the best 3D printers, so I highly recommend it.
#3 M3D Micro+ Review
For those looking for a great-performing, convenient to use, and cheap 3D printer, you should consider M3D Micro. It is affordable, competitive and high-quality. Some even dubbed this as the “best 3D printer for beginners” that’s why this tops our list for entry-level 3D printers.
It looks something like a toy, but it’s functional. It has a super compact and cube-shaped design and is very easy to operate.
However, it needs to be physically connected to a computer the whole time to be functional, which I assume would not be a big deal if you simply want a 3D machine to get started. In addition, it can only print small objects and has a slow printing speed but with good print quality.
If your budget is tight and you desperately need the best 3D printing machine to get started this is a great starter kit. If you need 3D models for your first project, check out these links:
Dremel Digilan 3D20 is popular due to its reliability, efficiency, and precision at such a low cost. It can run for countless hours without any issues. Most importantly, it is pre-assembled and comes with a free spool of filament with clear setup instructions. Within minutes, you can start 3D printing. Yes, you can use this within minutes from unboxing!
It is also very safe because it has a fully enclosed design and a non-heated build plate. Moreover, it comes with a full-color LCD touch screen that makes it easier for you to modify settings, lookup files in the SD card, and print in a smooth fashion.
In addition, the company is working on making it compatible with the brand new Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D slicer based on Cura. It also offers a 1-year warranty and world-class customer support. With Dremel, you will not only get a quality product but an impressive service, too.
Dremel offers you an entire ecosystem of benefits making it a go-to brand for your 3D printing needs. Thus, this brand is a go-to if you are looking for the best 3D resources.
#5 LulzBot Mini Review
LulzBot Mini is a high-quality and high-performance desktop 3D printer that uses the so called fused deposition modeling which is a type of rapid prototyping. It is pre-assembled and fully calibrated with a self-cleaning nozzle and a self-leveling tray.
It is very easy to operate and is great for rapid prototyping. You can use it after unboxing and within minutes you can have your first 3D print. Moreover, it gives you a wide range of options on what to create because it supports several materials.
It comes with straightforward software and easy to read and comprehensive documentation which is very helpful for newbies who are still treading water in this activity. Also, you can bank on its community for support because the other users are always willing to help. This is among the best FDM printers on the market that you can use to explore your creativity in 3D printing.
Best 3D Machines for Hobbyists
The 3D printers in this category are more demanding than 3D printers for beginners but not as advanced as those designed for professionals. Check out the best 3D printers for hobbyists in this section.
#1 FlashForge Dreamer- Best 3D printer for hobbyists
FlashForge Dreamer is a beginner-friendly that even first-time users won’t have a hard time operating. At the same time, it is very versatile which makes it a good option for hobbyists, too.
It has a touch screen LCD menu and offers multiple connectivities including a USB cable, SD card, and a WiFi connection for easier access to your 3D files, designs, templates, and projects.
Its second-generation wireless connection guarantees a more stable wireless file fetching and transmission. You can even send 3D files from your computer directly to the printer through the WiFi network and under STA or AP modes.
You can bank on it when it comes to quality because Dreamer meets the global users’ requirements with its multilingual operating interface and built-in language packages. Overall, it delivers a smooth and powerful print. It is also functional and very handy that’s why I love to use it. So, I highly recommend it for those looking for the best 3D machine for hobbyists.
#2 Ultimaker 2 Review
Ultimaker 2 is engineered to perform which makes it a great option for 3D printer hobbyists who are looking for FDM printers. It is not fully assembled, but it’s almost completely assembled.
Some directions are not clear and you may need to do quick Google searches to make this work. That’s why we don’t recommend this for beginners, only to hobbyists whom we consider to have enough 3D printing experience.
It has different nozzles allowing you to conveniently switch to achieve the speed and resolution you desire. You can also save your digital 3D model to an SD card for stand-alone printing.
This rapid prototyping 3D printing machine can be used for a variety of applications from prototyping to customizing tools. Thanks to its technology you can enjoy the rapid prototyping advantages including lower cost and more efficiency by enabling you to realize concepts more quickly.
Ultimaker 2 is perfect for those who want to get a dual extruder 3D printer with a bigger build area and better performance. However, you’ve got to prepare a huge sum of money as this is more expensive compared to other brands. But despite the budget, it is definitely a steal. There is no doubt, that Ultimaker 2 is among the best 3D printers for hobbyists today.
#3 FlashForge Creator Pro Review
FlashForge Creator Pro 3D printer is mostly pre-assembled, so you’ve got to do a few things to make this work or before you can use it. Also, we believe that you need to have enough understanding of 3D printing to maximize its results.
FlashForge Creator Pro only supports limited software. Setting this up and finding the perfect software can be time-consuming and challenging. But once you’ve figured it out, you will love this rapid prototyping 3D printer.
This 3D printer has striking similarities with the MakerBot Replicator 2X. This model is a better version of the entry-level Flashforge Creator, only that it comes with a metal frame and enclosed chassis. It also comes with an improved platform leveling system, metal build plate and a guide rod to help with stabilization and durability.
Furthermore, it is more flexible than most 3D printers because it has dual extruders, but you’ve got to make your way around it as sometimes it may fail. FlashForge Creator Pro 3D printer can accommodate different printing materials including ABS, PLA, and PVA plastic filaments. It also produces high-resolution prototypes and models. The wide range of materials available and its quality finish are among the reasons I love to use it!
Overall, this 3D printer is stable. It is easy to use and delivers quality output. The manufacturer also offers full warranty and lifetime support. Considering its price and quality, this is a steal! So, for those looking for the best 3D printers, this is highly recommended.
#4 LulzBot Mini 2 Review
LulzBot 3D printer delivers hardware improvement in Mini 2. It includes a redesgined tool head and Einsy RAMBo electronics with Trinamic 2130 stepper motor drivers for a more silent printing operation.
It took some time for us to eventually maneuver the tip of the filament to get out without too much effort. Thankfully, after toying around we eventually solve the clogging issue. This is the reason we recommend this for hobbyists and not for beginners.
It has redesigned PEI print bed too that worked like a charm. We printed different materials and models and didn’t encounter any issues with adhesion or warping.
Overall, this Lulzbot Mini 2 is compact, reliable, and has additional features than its predecessor Lulzbot Mini which we recommend for beginners. It also allows you to print from SD card. With its versatility and the professional finish it delivers, hobbyists looking for the best 3D printers should consider it, too.
#5 MakerBot Replicator Review
MakerBot Replicator embodies the new standards of convenience, quality, and reliability with its smart extruder, motion controllers and gantry design. It is equipped with Wi-Fi, USB and Ethernet connectivity for seamless production workflow. It also comes with an app, is cloud-enabled, has onboard camera and diagnostics, and has assisted build plate leveling.
MakerBot Replicator is highly recommended for those hobbyists especially those who want to improve their 3D printing experience because this machine delivers unmatched print quality. In addition, 3D printer enthusiasts will surely appreciate its extra features.
For instance, this includes an onboard camera inside the printer that enables you to monitor the progress of your project remotely. So, if you want something convenient or an easy to use and versatile 3D printing machine, MakerBot Replicator is one of the best 3D printers to buy.
Professional 3D Printers
These 3D printers are designed for serious 3D printing enthusiasts, professionals, skilled designers, engineers, and businessmen.
#1 Flashforge Guider 2S – Best 3D printer for professionals
FlashForge Guider 2S is a large build volume 3D printer that delivers professional and high-quality 3D prints. It is 70% larger than standard printers and comes with high-level FFF technology that is created for better stability when you print your 3D designs.
It has a heated build plate that supports flexible platform temperature that is suited for different types of filaments including PLA, ABS, Carbon-Fibre Filament, TPE, and more. It also works well with 3rd party high-temperature filaments.
Moreover, it operates smartly with its filament run-out detection system and automatic resume function that works after a power failure. It has secured longer printing with a turbofan that evenly circulates the air and helps you get better molding results.
Overall, this 3D printer has well-balanced features and durable build which make it perfect for professional users. If you are looking for a
#2 Ultimaker S5 Review
Ultimaker S5 is the most advanced 3D printing machine from the company. It is built with the capabilities of Ultimaker 3 but with lots of improvements.
It has a simple and sturdy built with a stylish enclosure, intuitive touchscreen and helpful interface that displays the detailed status of your printing. It also has a responsive and full-color touchscreen and loading/unloading or changing material is effortless with its ergonomic locking lever built into each feeder.
It has a smart system, too. It has a built-in filament flow sensor that intelligently detects when material stops moving or nearing an end. When the material runs out, it automatically pauses and prompts you to take action.
With Ultimaker S5, you can print large scale and technical parts in high quality with dual extruders. You also don’t need to worry about adjusting its setting when printing complex projects because this comes with pre-configured settings.
S5 is a powerful, reliable, versatile 3D printer with superb print quality. With its large build volume, industrial-grade parts and materials, accurate and high-resolution prints making it a complete professional 3D printing solution.
#3 Formlabs Form 2 Review
Forrmlabs Form 2 is a professional 3D printer that uses stereolithography SLA technology. It is one of the few resin 3D printers in the market and is even considered by many as the champion of desktop SLA 3D printers.
Aside from delivering high-quality prints, this 3D printing machine is very intuitive. It is engineered with precision and is designed with your comfort in mind.
It comes with a new touchscreen interface and wireless connectivity, so you can easily send prints over Wi-Fi, reprint your previous jobs and manage print queue wherever you are because you can access Form 2 anytime and anywhere.
Overall, this SLA 3D printer is one of the best SLA 3D printers in the world. It produces laser-sharp prints with a stunning surface finish, not to mention the comfort and convenience it offers. Peopoly Moai is your other SLA 3D printer option.
#4 Zortrax M300 Review
Zortrax M300 is one of the few desktop 3D printers with a large print volume. This produces big prints with remarkably high quality making it a great option for professionals.
This 3D printing machine is an upgrade of the renowned M200 model. Plus, it is equipped with the production capabilities of large industrial-class machines. So this is a perfect choice for those who are into 3D printing services.
M300 is used by professionals. This is designed to be an indispensable prototyping and manufacturing tool for high-profile designers including the NASA Johnson Space Center engineers.
I love the quality and build of this 3D printer. From the look and feel, it is reliable. You will be an instant fan when you see its output because it produces incredibly clean and detailed prints. Unfortunately, you need to have a good grasp of the 3D printer because it is not fully assembled.
M300 requires a bit of assembly and some heavy lifting, so this is for serious 3D printing enthusiasts only. It’s not that easy to set up, but not that difficult either as long as you’re capable of reading and following basic instructions.
Overall, M300 is highly recommended for professionals. It is expensive, but worth it especially if you are making money out of it. This is the best desktop 3D printer in terms of
#5 ANYCUBIC Mega-S 3D Printer Review
ANYCUBIC Mega-S is a simple, smart, and high-quality 3D printer that is designed for professionals. The brand is known for its quality products, fast service, and innovative functions to improve living quality and contribute to social development.
It has a rigid metal frame and a one-piece hanging design that is simple and beautiful. It has a very stable structure that reduces body shake and improves printing quality. Moreover, the feeding filament is more convenient and accessible. It also comes with high quality extruder that offers flexibility and provides better printing experience.
Also, this professional 3D printer is easy to assemble, simple to use, and performs well. The build quality is solid and the output is smooth. It has a large build volume and supports various materials including PLA, ABS, TPU, and more.
For your peace of mind, it offers a 1-year after-sale service for the printer and a lifetime technical assistance. It also comes with 24-hour customer support. Furthermore, it has a growing user community who share their successes and trials on Facebook, Reddit and YouTube. With this brand, you get all the support you need.
Overall, I’m very happy with my experience with ANYCUBIC. It’s one of the best professionals 3D printers I get my hands on. In fact, I immediately fell in love with it.
Buying 3D Printers
All of the brands mentioned above are great 3D printers, but take in mind that it has different features, specifications, sizes, and prices. The best 3D printing machine for you is the one that fits your budget, requirements, and needs. Don’t worry as there is always one for you.
The 3D printer is a great investment especially for engineers and designers because it enables you to produce any 3d design you have in mind be it a small organizer, clothes for your fashion collection, a household tool, a vehicle or a building.
Where Can I Buy A 3D Printer
For those who are asking themselves this question “where can I find a 3d printer” or this “where can I get a 3d printer” the best place to buy 3D printer is by visiting the website of the brands we mentioned above.
You can also visit e-commerce corporations like eBay and Amazon as some retailers offer 3D printer kits on those sites. The good thing about buying from these sites is that you can read a lot of reviews about the product prior to buying one, so you will be guided accordingly on what to purchase.
What is a 3D Printer?
The old printers only print an object in two dimensions. You can see and touch it but you can’t feel its edges and curves. Two-dimensional objects are devoid of texture, weight, and volume but 3D printers have it.
On the other hand, 3D printing machines produce things that you can touch and feel. It produces objects with texture, volume, and weight. More importantly, they are usable.
3D printing, on the other hand, is an additive manufacturing process. It builds the three-dimensional physical object by dividing the digital model into layers.
3D printers prints each layer and piles it up. As a new layer is added to the object it gains weight and volume. If you can’t afford a 3D printing machine, you can start 3D printing with 3D drawing pens.
Types of 3D Printers
There are two main types of 3D printers for additive manufacturing: the small and large.
Small 3D Printers – They are usually used to print small objects like mini figurines, cartoon characters, tools, utensils, shoes, gadget accessories, keychains, and more. These printers only have a small printing area and can even be placed on your desktop. Learn more about portable 3D printers here.
Large 3D Printers – These 3D printers can print large objects like vehicle parts, music instruments, furniture, and even a house. Learn more about big 3D printing machines here.
3D Printer Parts
Aside from understanding the additive manufacturing processes, you have to be familiar with the printing machine’s main components to better understand how it operates.
By familiarizing the parts of 3D printers, you will also be able to:
• Achieve better quality, strength and speed
• Easily maintain it
• Choose the right one that suits your needs
• Upgrade and modify a particular part for specific applications
Here are the different parts of 3D printers that you need to know.
Z Resolution – Layer Thickness – This refers to the minimum thickness of a layer printed down in a single pass.
Build Area – This is the maximum size of an object that you can create with the 3D printer and measured in XYZ dimension.
Filament Diameter – The most used plastic filament diameters are 1.75mm and 3mm, but may depend on your preference.
Hot End – It is where the plastic is melted and extruded in little tiny layers.
Extruder – This is the part that feeds the filament to the hot end.
Cooling Fan – A must-have because the process requires active cooling. It improves overhanging features, crisps the sharp edges and results in good bridging capabilities.
Heated Bed – This is required for all high-temperature extrusion filaments like ABS. It keeps the plastic warm during the printing process, prevents it from warping and ensures better adhesion.
Printed Bed – This refers to the surface of 3D printers where a print head lays down the material after 3D printing. This needs to be level and flat.
LCD Display – This allows you to control 3D printers without the need for a computer or 3D printing software like Cura.
Multiple Extruders – Allows you to print in multiple colors or materials simultaneously by assigning each extruder specific material. It also allows you to set the support structures with a different material that can be dissolved in water or other types of solvent.
How Does a 3D Printer Work?
3D printers are similar to inkjet printers that are operated from a computer but swap ink with layers of molten plastic or powder and fuse them together with an adhesive or ultraviolet light. Moreover, a 3D printing machine uses the additive manufacturing process by joining the material layer by layer from a CAD file.
It divides the whole object into thousands of tiny slices and makes it from the bottom-up repeatedly printing over the same area in a method popularly known as fused depositional modeling (FDM), a popular type of 3D rapid prototyping.
Each layer in additive manufacturing processes can be very complex but 3D printers can execute it. It creates moving parts like hinges and wheels. You could also print a ready-to-assemble bike, handlebars, frame, wheels, brakes, pedals and chains without any tools.
The 3D printer works automatically and creates the digital model in just a matter of hours by turning a 3D CAD drawing into thousands of two-dimensional and cross-sectional layers and then sit one layer on top of another, this process is repeated until the object is done.
We hope that our list above will help you decide on choosing the best 3D printers for you. Always remember that this depends on your personal preference and the amount you are willing to spend on the machine. We also recommend that you check out Dremel Digilab 3D45 and Creality Ender 3 Pro because these are great 3D printers, too.
If you know other great 3D printers for additive manufacturing that should be on the list, feel free to contact us and we will consider your suggestions. If you wish to learn more about 3D printing materials, you can visit our homepage.