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. So, if you want to print 3D objects, this is the machine to buy.
For instance, if you need something at home, like an organizer, you can use a 3D printing machine to create one instead of buying the item. 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 it, you are just on the right page.
I will also give you a list of the best 3D printers for 2021 on the market 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 FFF, FDM, SLA or resin printer, we have it all on our list in different price ranges.
|FlashForge Finder||4.9/5||Click Here To Check Price||16 kg||140 L x 140 W x 140 H mm||40 to 200 mm/sec||100-400 micron, adjustable||220ºC||1.75 mm||FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)||1 year limited||Beginner||$$$$$|
|FlashForge Adventurer||4.8/5||Click Here To Check Price||28.7 lbs||150x150x150mm||100mm/s||100-400 micron, adjustable||200°C||1.75 mm||FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)||1 year limited||Beginner||$$$$$|
|M3D Micro+||4.2/5||2 lbs||110 x 107 x 73.5||55 mm/s||50 micron||ABS - Up to 265 ºC; PLA - Up to 210 ºC||1.75 mm||FFF||1 Year||Beginner||$$$$|
|Dremel Digilab 3D20||3.9/5||15.43 lbs||9 x 5.9 x 5.5 inches||150 mm/s||100 micron||Up to 230°C||1.75 mm||LPD||1 Year||Beginner||$$$|
|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||$$|
|FlashForge Dreamer ||4.9/5||Click Here To Check Price||24.2 lbs||230 x 150 x 150 mm||up to 200mm/s||100~500 micron||255ºC||1.75 mm||FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)||1 year limited||Hobbyist||$$$$$|
|Creality Ender 3 Pro||4.8/5||18.96 lbs||20.94 x 15.04 x 7.91 inches||180 mm/s||100-400 micron||110℃||1.75 mm||FDM||1 Year||Hobbyist||$|
|FlashForge Creator Pro||4.8/5||Click Here To Check Price||24.3 lbs||227 L X 148 W X 150 H mm||60mm/s||100~500 micron||220-240ºC||1.75 mm||FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)||1 year limited||Hobbyist||$$$$|
|LulzBot Mini 2||3.9/5||9 Kg||160 x 160 x 180||300mm/s||50 micron||Up to 120°||2.85mm||FFF||1 Year||Hobbyist||$$$|
|Makerbot Replicator||3.5/5||16 Kg||252 x 199 x 150||150 mm/s||100 micron||15 ºC to 26 ºC||1.75mm||FDM||6 Months||Hobbyist||$$|
|FlashForge Guider ||4.9/5||Click Here To Check Price||83.8 lbs||280 x 250 x 300 mm||100 mm/s||50–400 micron||300 °C||1.75 mm||FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)||1 year limited||Professional||$$$$$|
|Ultimaker S5||4.8/5||20.6 Kg||330 x 240 x 300||300 mm/s||0.25 mm nozzle:60 micron|
0.4 mm nozzle:20 micron
0.8 mm nozzle:20 micron"
|180 - 280 °C||2.85 mm||FFF||1 Year||Professional||$$$$$|
|ELEGOO Mars Pro ||4.7/5||7.5 kg||7.87 x 7.87 x 16.14 inches||22.5 mm/h||47 micron||--||--||SLA||1 Year||Professional||$|
|Zortrax M300||4.6/5||30 Kg||300 x 300 x 300||100mm/s||90 micron||Up to 290˚ C||1.75 mm||LPD||2 Years||Professional||$$$|
|BIQU B1 FDM 3D Printer|
|4.5/5||19.8 lbs||10.63 x 9.25 x 9.25 inches||60mm/s||50 micron||15°C - 32°C||1.75 mm||FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)||1 Year||Professional||$|
Best 3D Printer Buying Review Guide
Choosing a high-quality 3D printer can be a daunting task especially that there are tons of manufacturers claiming to deliver the best 3D printer 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 point– The cost of the best 3D printer differs depending on its features and capability.
There are affordable and expensive machines but their price is determined by their 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 on 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 also give you more options on what you can do with them.
Print Speed – This refers to the time required for printing a finite distance in the z-direction because many 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 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 ones on the market to see which among them suit you best.
What’s the Best 3D Printer?
Best 3D Printers for Beginners
The machines in this category are mostly plug-and-play. These printers don’t need any assembly and rarely fail which makes them 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, but it has a tiny build volume. It is very attractive for novices design-wise and when it comes to ease of use that’s why it makes into our list.
It comes with a sturdy, slide-in build plate for easy set-up or removal. This also contributes to its stability and good quality prints. 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. This 3D printer uses PLA filament and the brand offers proprietary filament.
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, supports multiple languages and Wi-Fi, USB and 3D cloud connectivity.
- Sturdy built
- Operates quietly
- Competitive price
- Easy to set-up and use
- Supports various types of filaments
- Slide-in, the non-heated build plate
- Touchscreen for easy operation
- Wi-Fi, USB, 3D Cloud connectivity
- Software is not the best
- Limited build volume
#2 Flashforge Adventurer III
Flashforge Adventurer III is among the great tools 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.
Plus, it 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, build volume, and performance, I must say it goes beyond my expectations for its price. It is definitely among the best, so I highly recommend it.
- Competitive price
- Easy to set-up and use
- Fully enclosed design for safety
- Sturdy design
- Automatic feed filament technology
- Small build area
#3 M3D Micro+ Review
For those looking for a great-performing, convenient to use, and a 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.”
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. This 3D printer uses PLA filament. It also supports ABS filaments.
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 due to its build volume size and has a slow printing speed but delivers great print quality.
If your budget is tight and you desperately need the best tool to get started this is a great starter kit. If you need 3D models for your first project, check out these links:
- Super Compact
- Very Affordable
- Very quiet
- Easy to set-up and use
- Great print qualityand layer resolution
- Heated print bed for better quality results
- Fused Filament Fabrication FFF technoflogy
- 14-day money back guarantee
- Slow print speed
- Subpar quality
- Small build volume
- Needs to be physically connected to the computer
#4 Dremel Digilab 3D20 Lab Review
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. With a little tweak, it works straight out from the box. 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 screen that makes it easier for you to modify settings, lookup files on 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 high quality prints but an impressive service, too.
Dremel offers you an entire ecosystem of benefits making it a go-to brand for whatever your 3D printing needs are. It’s a great 3D printer that’s why the brand is a go-to if you are looking for the best 3D resources.
- Good print quality
- Best value for money
- Requires little to no maintenance
- 1-Year warranty
- World-class customer service
- Combines ease of use and professional quality
- Not easy to use for some
#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 because it doesn’t need assembly 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 different materials and has a medium-sized build volume.
This is a great 3D printer 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.
- Heated print bed
- Quick print settings
- High-quality prints
- Medium build volume
- Small and compact design
- Supports a wide range of materials
- Comes with excellent software
- Portable with easy to carry handle
- FDM technology
- Requires computer connection
- Include stray material and needs cleaning
Best 3D Machines for Hobbyists
The best 3D printers in this category are more demanding than those for beginners but not as advanced as those designed for professionals. So, here are the printers we have for hobbyists in this section.
#1 FlashForge Dreamer- Best 3D printer for hobbyists
FlashForge Dreamer is beginner-friendly that even first-time users won’t have a hard time operating it. At the same time, it is very versatile and has enough build volume to 3D print most items you want 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.
- Efficient and powerful
- Highly versatile
- Enclosed chamber
- Fasting computing
- Enough build volume
- Impressive layer resolution
- Very functional and handy
- High-end plastic-alloy frame body
- New 3.5” HD IPS touchscreen LCD Panel
- A bit pricey compared
- Can be noisy due to the fan
#2 Creality Ender 3 Pro Review
Creality Ender is one of the leading brands when it comes to affordable 3D printers. Creality Ender 3 Pro is a powerful machine and a great value for its price.
You can assemble Creality Ender 3 in under an hour because it is semi-assembled. It’s also safe and ideal for kids making it a great present for Christmas. It’s also great for beginners and anyone who wants to learn the basic construction of a 3D printer. It’s the best option for STEM projects too!
It has an improved build surface that offers protection from a heated bed and easy removal of the printing model after cooling. Creality Ender 3 is stable and smart because it has resume printing after the power outage function. Its upgraded extruder design significantly reduces the risk of the clogged nozzle and bad extrusion.
Creality Ender 3 Pro is comparable to the Original Prusa i3 MK3S. Both have the same open design and are also open source.
Overall, Creality Ender 3 Pro is reliable, sturdy, and efficient. Most importantly, it is easy to use and it delivers outstanding print quality comparable to expensive 3D machines making it a great option for hobbyists!
- Easy to assemble
- Compact design
- Decent print volume
- Fully open source
- Great print quality
- Solid printing capabilities
- Tricky bed leveling
- Have issues with brittle filaments
- May need additional adhesion materials
#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 technology 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 of its competitors because it has dual extrusion, 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 FDM 3D printers, this is highly recommended.
- Good quality prints
- Reliable Support
- Has dual extrusion
- Supports wide range of materials
- Perfect for educational and home use
- FDM technology
- Produces professional quality and high-resolution prototypes and models
- Not easy to fix
- Not fully assembled
- Extruders are critical but not reliable
#4 LulzBot Mini 2 Review
LulzBot 3D printer delivers hardware improvement in Mini 2. It includes a redesigned 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.
- Not noisy
- Open source
- Compact design
- Large print volume
- Tetherless Operation
- Intuitive user interface
- Automatic bed leveling
- Good print quality
- Quick-change print bed
- Has fast printing capabilities
- Supports a wide range of materials
- Fused Filament Fabrication FFF technology
- Produces high-quality prototypes and models
- Extruder/filament change issues
#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 print 3D objects and improve their 3D printing experience because this machine delivers unmatched print quality. In addition, 3D printer enthusiasts will surely appreciate its extra features which include dual extrusion. It’s also open-source like the Original Prusa i3 MK3S.
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 machine, MakerBot Replicator is one of the best 3D printers to buy.
- Open source
- Solid print quality
- Dual extruder 3D printer
- Compatible with MakerBot Smart Extruder+
- Perfect for educational and home use
- Professional quality and high-resolution output
- Reliable Support
- Wi-Fi, USB and Ethernet connectivity
- Not easy to fix
Professional 3D Printers
These 3D printers are designed for enthusiasts, professionals, skilled designers, engineers, and businessmen.
#1 Flashforge Guider 2 – Best 3D printer for professionals
FlashForge Guider 2 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 Fiber Filament, TPE, and more. It also works well with 3rd party high-temperature filaments. If you find the proprietary filament expensive, you can try other brands.
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 that’s why it’s the editor’s pick.
- Easy to use
- Large build volume
- Built-in multiple language setting
- Accommodates different types of filaments
- Can adapt objects to fit printer size
- Heatable build plate, adjustable platform temperature
- Patented extruder structure with steady filament loading
#2 Ultimaker S5 Review
Ultimaker S5 is the most advanced desktop 3D printer from the company. It is built with the capabilities of Ultimaker 3 but with lots of improvements — larger build volume, bigger build area, and better layer resolution.
It has 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 extrusion. 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 dual extruder 3D printer with superb print quality and layer resolution. Plus, it has a large build volume, industrial-grade parts and materials, accurate and high-resolution prints making it a complete professional 3D printing solution.
- Open source
- Enhanced reliability
- Easy touch control
- Impressive print quality
- Bigger build volume
- 12-month warranty
- Fast set up, high uptime
- Dual extruder 3D printer
- Large build area
- Impressive layer resolution
- Lifetime technical support
- Expensive (not a budget 3D printer)
#3 ELEGOO Mars Pro MSLA Liquid Resin 3D Printer Review
ELEGOO Mars Pro is designed to upgrade your experience with resin printers. This resin 3D printer has upgraded main parts, filter system and ChituBox exclusive features. It has a user-friendly and simple design with remodeled resin vat made of aluminum alloy. It is light and sturdy.
Aside from its impressive design, it has superior features that include matrix UV LED light source form uniform light emission that saves time by 25%, a built-in active carbon filter that absorbs and filter the irritant resin odor for a fresh and safe printing experience, and a new sliced file (.ctb) reducing the file size by an average of 90% compared to .cbddlp format. It has a silicone rubber seal to prevent resin odor from leaking. It also contributes to its low-noise printing.
Overall, this SLA 3D printer stands out in terms of quality. It also delivers impressive prints and offers a safe printing environment and experience. Plus, it’s affordable it only costs around $200. This resin printer is a great value for money!
- Very precise
- Minimal setup
- Ease of use
- High quality prints
- Quiet printing process
- Excellent performance
- 1-Year warranty
- Improved built plate
- Has built-in active carbon filter
- Offers safe printing environment
- New slice format reduces file size
- Small build area
- Prints stick to build plate
- Gasket is pointless
#4 Zortrax M300 Review
Zortrax M300 is one of the few desktop 3D printers with a large build volume. This produces big prints with remarkably high quality making it a great option for professionals.
This machine is an upgrade to 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 printing machine. 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 users 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
Large build volume
Thin wall detection
Multiple infill options
Rock solid repeatability
Intuitive model processing
Excellent print performance
Accurate and precise output
Wide variety of filament selections
Not open source
Not fully assembled
Bowden tube anchors can fail
Onboard and offboard softwares are limited
Perforated build plate makes part removal difficult
#15 BIQU B1 FDM 3D Printer Review
BIQU B1 FDM 3D printer has a soft magnetic patch making it easy to remove the printing models after cooling. In this way, you can assure that there is no damage to your 3D models. The models easily stick on the surface.
It also comes with a new integrated adapter board that works as a protective effect. It operates with a dual operating system that supports both Marlin and touch to working modes with a single click. It also has a full-color 3.5-inch touchscreen for ease of use with RGB lighting.
This 3D printer is a great addition to your office even in your bedroom (if need be) because it works silently thanks to its ultra-silent drivers. It is also designed with a
Type-C connector making it super tidy and convenient to use.
For more convenient use, this 3D printer supports up to 15 multiple languages, including English, Japanese, French, Italian and more. If you want to upgrade from Ender 3 V2, this is a good upgrade.
Overall, I’m very happy with my experience with BIQU B1 FDM 3D printer. It’s one of the best professional 3D printers I get my hands on. It’s also affordable and has enough build volume which make it a good beginner 3D printer too because it is user-friendly. I immediately fell in love with it.
Has large build volume
Auto-resume for power outage
Supports different types of material
Excellent adhesion, easy removal
Supports up to 15 different languages
USB port and flash drive are not very convenient to access (located behind the filament spool)
Buying 3D Printers
All of the brands mentioned above are great, but take in mind that it has different features, specifications, sizes, and prices. The best 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.
On the other hand, 3D machines produce things that you can touch and feel. It produces objects with texture, volume, and weight. More importantly, they are usable.
3D printing builds three-dimensional physical objects by dividing the digital model into layers.
A 3D printer 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 printer, you can start 3D printing with 3D drawing pens.
Types of 3D Printers
There are two main types of 3D printers — 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 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 joins 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 s fused depositional modeling (FDM), a popular type of 3D rapid prototyping.
Each layer 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.
What is the best 3D printer under $500?
3D printers are already very popular today, so you can easily find great 3D printing machines that are within your budget. If your budget is tight and you only have $500, that’s already good enough.
Creality 3D Printer is one of the most amazing budget 3D printers. It only costs less than $300 but works really well. It’s a solid 3D printer for beginners.
Also, Comgrow Store, the manufacturer of the 3D printer offers lifetime technical assistance and 24 hours professional customer service.
If you can stretch your budget a little, the FlashForge Finder 3D printer is highly recommended. It’s a little over $500 but less than $600. It is made of sturdy plastic allow with an LCD screen and 3D Cloud Connectivity. It also comes with a slide-in non-heated build plate for safe usage. Most importantly, it delivers high-quality output
What is the best 2021 3D printer?
Many 3D printers — FDM and resin printers — claim to have the ability to print high quality outputs. All of them are designed to 3D print but not all deliver. Our list above includes the best budget 3D printer and the expensive ones. If you want to print three-dimensional objects any of the printers above work really well including the low cost 3D printers on the list.
However, the best 3D printer on the market today may vary depending on the user’s budget, personal preference, or probably experience. But this year, we highly recommend FlashForge Guider. It just doesn’t have the ability to print three-dimensional objects, it has a larger build area compared to others with a great layer resolution between 50 microns to 400 microns.
FlashForge Guider has a large build volume because it is 70% larger than the standard printers. So, it’s a great tool if you want to 3D print big models. Also, it delivers professional and high-quality 3D prints. Furthermore, it comes with advanced features like automatic resume function after a power failure and filament run-out detection system that make it easier and more convenient to operate the machine.
What is the most popular 3D printer?
There are a lot of 3D printers in the market already and among the most popular are FlashForge 3D printers. The manufacturer offers a variety of printers to cater to different types of users — beginners, hobbyists, and professionals. Whatever your experience or budget, FlashForge has it all for you.
For beginners, you can opt for a FlashForge Finder or FlashForge Adventurer. If you are a hobbyist, we recommend FlashForge Dreamer. And if you are professional and need a more advanced tool to work with, we suggest FlashForge Creator Pro.
FlashForge has it all that’s why it is very popular. Also, since many use FlashForge 3D printers you can attest that their products are high-quality, solid, and reliable.
We hope that our list above which includes both low cost and expensive 3D printers 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 Original Prusa i3 MK3s because these are great 3D printers, too.
If you know other great 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.
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