Sandboxr and Summit Entertainment Team Up for Unique Merchandising Venture
Fans of the major motion picture “Ender’s Game” can order exclusive replica battleships from the film generated by cutting-edge three-dimensional printing technology by visiting sandboxr.com.
The plans for the ships come directly from the files used for the movie produced by Summit, a subsidiary of industry giant Lionsgate Media.
That means it doesn’t get any more authentic than this for memorabilia collectors, Sandboxr spokeswoman Rebecca Lee said.
She also noted that visitors to the site can expect more content and features to be unlocked over the coming weeks. Currently battleships range from $19.99 for a 3-inch model to $39.99 for a 4-inch model and $59.99 for a 5-inch-version.
The ships also come with free, standard display bases, but premium bases are available for an additional charge.
“This is the first 3D experience of this type to coincide with a major cinematic movie release, and Summit is excited to work with Sandboxr to offer this amazing experience and great new technology to our ‘Ender’s Game’ fans,” Nancy Kirkpatrick, Summit’s president of worldwide marketing, said.
“Ender’s Game” tells the story of how a shy, but strategically brilliant boy named Ender Wiggin leads Earth’s forces against an alien invasion in the near future.
Asa Butterfield, of “Hugo” and “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” plays the title role alongside Ben Kingsley, of “Iron Man 3” fame, and Harrison Ford, from too many blockbusters to mention.
Sandboxr, which launched in Salt Lake City in 2011, offers an application that allows people who don’t own a 3D printer and who have never seen 3D modeling or CAD software to create impressive 3D printed scenes, as if they were movie directors or photographers.
Not sure what’s the best speed for your 3D printing project? Do you want to know how to figure out the perfect 3D print speed?
Beginners usually find themselves experimenting with printing speed because they aren’t sure how to choose the correct setting for their project.
However, aside from delaying production, poor printing speeds could also lead to imperfections and flawed outputs.
Thus, it’s something you should be sure of whenever you do your 3D object, especially if it’s for rapid prototyping.
If you need to learn more about setting your printing speeds, you are just on the right page. By the end of this article, you will know how to determine the perfect speed to produce a quality 3D printed object. Also, I will give you several tips if you want to print faster.
It refers to how fast your 3D printer’s motor moves, including the X- and Y-axis control and the extruder motor. It is usually measured in seconds (unit of time) and kg, mm or cm3 (unit of manufactured material).
You can download a print speed test model to test your printer’s speed. The test model comes with instructions on adjusting the correct settings because the model linked will essentially print the same shape at gradually increasing speeds, allowing you to see for yourself the optimal setting to achieve a flawless output.
There are many factors when we talk about printing speeds like retraction speed, travel speed and more.
Retraction speed is the speed at which the extruder motor drives back the filament. A good retraction speed is between 1200-6000 mm/min (20-100 mm/s) where retraction performs best. When the retraction speed is too fast, the drive gear may grind away pieces of the filament.
Travel speed is the moving speed of the print head during non-printing status. It refers to the movement of the print head without squeezing the printing material out from the nozzle.
When travel speed is too slow, it could lead to stringing issues on the 3D printed object. A good travel speed for a 3D printer is 100 millimeters per second. But the optimum travel speed might differ for each 3D printer.
Here’s why you should aim for the accurate speed:
When the print speed is too slow, it could cause deformation due to the nozzle sitting on the plastic for too long. And when the speed is too fast, it results in ringing, which is caused by overly excessive vibrations.
Also, when you go too fast, the extruder might not be able to keep up and end extruding less filament than it should.
Hitting the sweet spot will enable the 3D printer to work fast, accurately, and flawlessly without sacrificing the quality of the output.
Print speeds and quality go hand-in-hand; that’s why it’s very important to use the right speed to achieve the desired results.
Overall, you will get a better quality output if you use a lower speed than a higher speed. However, that is only true when your 3D printer is not operating at its optimal conditions.
Also, some would argue that printing speed doesn’t impact print quality. That’s because other factors directly impact the print quality, which is as follows:
Type of 3D printer
The type of 3D printer will also affect the quality of the 3D prints without being influenced by the print speed.
A high-quality 3D printer can be set in a high-speed setting and achieve first-class quality 3D prints.
However, if you use a 3D printer of lower quality with the same speed, you won’t get the same high-quality results.
Type Of 3D Printing Material
The speed will be faster when using a high-quality support material because you do not need to keep unclogging the nozzle.
Also, you do not need to deal with support material getting stuck.
When you are done printing, you will remove the material without reducing the print quality.
How Fast Is A 3D Printer?
Several factors could affect a 3D printer’s speed and it’s necessary that you are aware of them, so you will have the proper expectations from your machine on how fast it could work.
Regardless of whether you are using a slow 3D printer or the fastest 3D printers, several factors directly affect how fast your printer could finish a certain project.
Let’s get into more details below.
Resolution of the 3D printed part
Part of the process before 3D printing is slicing the model into layers on a 3D slicer such as Cura or Repetier-Host.
The more layers, the thinner each layer and the longer it will take to print. For instance, a part printed with 50-micron layers will have twice as many layers as the same part printed with 100-micron layers and take twice as long at the same speed.
Quality of print
Theoretically, you could run a budget 3D printer at its maximum speed — make it work at extremely high speed.
However, do not expect it to yield a result the same as on your slicer. Instead, it will probably result in a mess because the speed was too fast.
Some 3D printers, especially fast 3D printers, can handle high-speed 3D printing, but others don’t, especially budget 3D printers with limited capacity.
3D printing technology
The technology used is another factor that affects the speed. Resin 3D printers are faster than FDM 3D printers.
Yes, that’s true; even expensive FDM printers are slower than low-cost LCD 3D printers.
Aside from resin technologies used in SLA, DLP and LCD 3D printers, the fastest 3D printing technologies include Multi Jet Fusion.
Here’s an overview of the different printing speeds of the different 3D printing technology.
Maximum speed (claimed)
Multi Jet Fusion
2800 cm³/hr to 4000 cm3/hr
Materials or type of filaments use
3D printers cater to different filaments — ABS, PLA, PVA, PET, metal, sandstone, conductive PLA and more.
However, the filaments mentioned above have different complexity.
Some are easier to print than others because they put less demand on the printer and make it print faster.
The 3D object you are about to print could also affect the speed of your machine. Printing a simple box will be easier for a 3D printer to finish than an intricate 3D printed jewelry piece.
Printing a larger object that’s not complex could make the printer work at a faster print speed without significant loss of quality because there are no intricate details needed.
However, the more complex or intricate the model, the more slow the speed is to ensure that it could follow the design as it is.
This factor affects the amount of materials extruded — depending on the level of the infill percentage; it could be between 10% to 100%. Infill settings affect the 3D printing space depending on the complexity.
The more complex the pattern, the longer it will take to finish printing. The effect of infills on printing speeds is through density.
A heavy density infill could promote the strength of the model. However, it also means that 3D printing will take more time or the printing speed is slower.
Size of print
Obviously, the larger the object to 3D print, the longer it will take for the 3D printer to finish. A full-size vase printed using an FDM printer could take 12 hours or more. But a small statue could only take under an hour.
It is true, provided that the two models are not very complex and have a significant difference in their sizes.
For FDM 3D printers, the nozzle size matters in speed and performance. Smaller nozzles are great for working on models with intricate details.
Larger nozzles are not the best when printing objects with intricate details, but they can print faster.
How Fast Can The Fastest 3D Printer Print
There are a lot of fast 3D printers on the market today and the fastest FDM 3D printer — WASP 2040 PRO Turbo — could work as fast as 500mm/s.
Some said it could even print faster than that. Another great thing about it is that it is extremely accurate. However, DLP/SLA printers will always work faster than the fastest FDM 3D printer.
What Is A Good 3D Printing Speed
In 3D printing, everything is about speed — be it print speed, retraction speed, travel speed, low speed. Yes, everything revolves around speed. Thus, it is critical to get the right print speed to get a good print.
Here’s the recommended setting:
For slow 3D printers, it’s best to use 40 mm per second to 80mm per second. Mid-speed printers work best with 100mm per second. If you want to print faster, you can go 150mm per second. Fast-speed 3D printers can work beyond 150mm per second.
But you should note that there is no general print speed that works for all. There are many things that you need to consider to get the best print speed for your 3D desktop printer.
Here are some factors to consider:
Model’s outer wall. You should ask yourself, “how fast do you want the exterior of your model to be printed?” If your priority is surface quality, you better reduce the speed or opt for lower print speed settings.
Interior walls. For the interior, it is recommended that you use the same print speed in printing the overall model. The 3D printer speed needs to reduce the print time without lowering the 3D print strength.
Infill printing speed. For this, you also need to reduce printing time without compromising stability.
Bottom and top layers. For the last speed setting, you have to consider the top and bottom layers, and the best option is to go for a slightly lower print speed for better surface quality.
Print Speed Settings for PLA, ABS & More
Finding the right speed can be quite challenging, especially if you are new to 3D printing.
But after a bit of trial and error, you will surely be able to find what works best for your 3D printer’s software and hardware.
The different 3D printing materials have different recommended print settings.
Here’s the good print speed for PLA, ABS, and more, so you will know how to get started when using them. You can refer to the following section for that.
What is a good 3D printing speed for PLA? When using PLA, you can start in the 40-60 mm/s range. It will give a good balance of print quality and speed.
However, depending on your 3D printer type, stability and set-up, you can increase the speed up to 100 mm/s. Some achieved great results at a higher speed, but the quality of your printer matters too.
A good print speed for ABS is typically similar to PLA between 40-60 mm/s. However, you can increase if you have an enclosure around your printer.
You can print ABS filament at a speed of 60 mm/s and keep the first layer speed to 70% of that and see if it will work for you. It works well for adhesion in some cases, ensuring that enough plastic is extruded out of the nozzle for proper and safe adhesion.
For PETG filament, a good print speed starts in the range of 50-6- mm/s. The filament could rise to string issues, so some will usually opt for 40 mm/s, and according to them, they find good results. PETG is a blend of ABS and PLA; that’s why the recommended print speed is not too far from the two’s recommended settings.
If you are using TPU, you can start with a speed between 15 mm/s to 30 mm/s. The filament is soft and should be printed much slower than the average filament. But if you are using a Direct Drive extrusion system, you can increase the speed to about 40 mm/s.
You can go a bit higher from the recommended speed of 15 – 30 mm/s and experiment. But then again, always remember that this is best printed at a low speed.
A good 3D print speed for nylon is between 30 mm/s to 60 mm/s, but most print with 40 mm/s for great quality and great details. You can also go higher, like 70 mm/s, because it is still sustainable if you increase the nozzle temperature side by side.
10 Tips to Get the Best Print Speed Calculation
Print speed setting is important because it helps you to improve print quality, dimensional accuracy, and print strength.
In addition, it reduces problems such as warping or curling.
Yes, speed is very important because it has to do with your 3D printed model’s quality, accuracy and strength. With the right print setting, you can strike a perfect balance to achieve the three.
Here are some tips to increase print speed from 3D printerly. However, you should note that some of them might affect the quality of your print.
1. Increase print speed in slicer settings
Find the balance of your print speed in the slicer settings. It will be very helpful, especially if you depend on how big the print is because the size of the object is relatively related to printing time. Again, experiment to find the perfect balance of speed and quality, and in time, you will find it.
2. Adjust acceleration and jerk settings
Jerk settings refer to how fast the print head moves from a still position. When setting this, you want its movement to be smooth and fast at the same time.
You can test jerk settings by printing the vibration test cube and seeing whether the vibrations are visible on each axis by inspecting the corners, edges and letters on the cube.
Acceleration settings are how the print head gets to its top speed. A low acceleration means that the printer won’t get its top speed with smaller prints. Acceleration depends on several factors and is not the same in all of your 3D printing projects.
According to AK Eric, who did the test, comparing low jerk values (10) to high ones (40) on a 60 mm/sec speed made no difference in print speed. However, the lower value had better quality.
Increasing the speed at 120 mm/sec decreased printing time by 25% but at the expense of the quality. So, you can use the print speed settings to get what you want, but you might have to choose between speed and quality.
3. Infill pattern
For this, you can choose an infill pattern that prints faster than the others to save much time on increasing the print speed. The best has to be the “lines” pattern due to its simplicity and lower number of movements compared to other patterns. Depending on your model, the infill pattern can save you up to 25% of printing time.
The infill pattern is the strength of your model. It’s the honeycomb pattern. The more detailed it is, the more time it will take, because it will include more turns and movements to follow the pattern. If you want to print fast, you can adjust the infill pattern not to be that high.
4. Infill density
Density is what’s inside your print. An infill density of 0% means that the inside of the model is hallow. On the other hand, a 100% density infill means the inside will be solid. The density could depend on the purpose of the model.
For example, if you want a functional print, you should not sacrifice infill density to achieve the strength of the model. However, if it’s for aesthetics, it’s up to you to go all out for the density or skip it and focus on speed to reduce the print time.
5. Wall Thickness/shells
There is a relationship between the wall thickness or shells and density, so you should consider the other when adjusting either one. The good thing is getting a good ratio will help you achieve a great structure.
The thicker the wall, the longer the print till will be. To speed up the printing time, you can decrease the number of shells or perimeters of your prints in the settings.
You can play around with the print speed settings to find the perfect number, so you can maintain the strength while keeping it low to speed up the printing time.
6. Dynamic layer height/adaptive layer settings
You can adjust the layer height depending on the angle. Cura has this feature called adaptive layers or dynamic layer height.
It can improve the print speed and save you a decent amount of time compared to using the traditional layer method.
For example, printing a chess piece without the adaptive layers setting takes 2 hours and 13 minutes.
However, using this featured in the speed settings could reduce the printing time by up to 30% down to 1 hour and 33 minutes.
7. Print multiple objects
To speed up the process, you can utilize all the space in the printer bed rather than doing one print at a time. To make it possible, use the center and arrange function in the slicer.
It will make a significant difference in the printing speed. However, this method might not apply to big prints.
Printing small objects will allow you to copy and paste the design multiple times on the print bed and print them all together simultaneously to speed up the entire process. Those who have tried this approach agreed that printing multiple objects could increase the speed.
8. Remove support
If your 3D object doesn’t need support, the printing time will be shorter. You can eliminate the need for support in many cases when you split the model in the right place and orient them properly.
So use the best orientation for your model, and you’ll definitely reduce the printing time. It is perfect if you want to increase printing speed.
9. Use a large nozzle when practical
Another great way to speed up the printing time is to use a large nozzle. However, doing so might not apply to all models and could reduce your print quality.
Using a large nozzle might not work when you are printing intricate models. But if your 3D objects are not as complex or intricate, go for a large nozzle to increase the printing speed.
There are many sizes of nozzles to choose from. Choose one that is most appropriate for your model.
The lower the layer height, the better the quality of your prints, but the longer the 3D printing time takes. If quality is not the top priority, you can increase the layer height and improve the printing speed.
You have to familiarize your printer and explore its print speed settings to get the optimal speed and enjoy quality outputs without the unnecessary long wait.
There are many ways to increase print speeds like using a large nozzle and reducing layer thickness, but always consider the results because when the printer works too fast, it might not achieve the quality you desire.
Also, always remember that the different 3D printing technologies offer different 3D printing speeds. SLA printers will always work faster, even when compared to the fastest FDM 3D printer.
The printing speed will affect the quality of your 3D printed object, so always make sure to strike the right balance, so you will achieve the strength, quality, and look you desire for your 3D project.
Can 3D printers be used for art? How do artists use 3D printers?
The best 3D printers have been proven very useful in almost all industries, including the arts.
Yes, some artists also use 3D printing technology for their artworks.
If you are interested in using additive manufacturing in your arts, you are just on the right page!
I will be sharing with you how an artist uses 3D printing to take their works to the next level. You will surely be surprised to know the wonders of 3D printing, especially as your partner in your next artwork.
Even art adapts to the changes in technology that’s why there is 3D art.
And with that said, yes, 3D printing artwork is possible. You can use 3D printing to create artwork.
Some artists are already using this technology to channel their artistic side.
Even those renowned for their creativity and innovation. Artists can use 3D printing to further their creativity.
A 3D printing machine has the means to help artists do almost anything they have in mind. Also, 3D printing works in different sectors of art. In the next section, we will share details on how various artists use 3D printing for their craft and businesses.
How Is 3D Printing Used In Art?
How can 3D printing be used in art? In this section, I’ll show you concrete examples to answer your questions.
As mentioned, 3D printing makes an artist and a designer more creative. It allows them to explore their artistry at great lengths because 3D printers are versatile.
It allows them to design exactly what they have in mind for whatever purpose it may serve, be it for production, new equipment, or sculptures and artworks.
Here is a list of artists who use 3D printing in their field of artwork.
One of the most obvious uses of 3D printing is in visual arts. In fact, you will find 3D-printed art installations and sculptures virtually anywhere.
The good thing with additive manufacturing technology is that it gives an artist more freedom to produce even the most complex structures easily and in a much lesser time. With 3D printing, you will just work on a CAD design and feed it into the 3D printer.
Here are some of the unique visual arts produced by 3D printers.
Josh Harker is responsible for 3D printed, sugar-like skulls.
The digital artist is also considered the father of 3D printing art due to his innovative approach to sculpture design.
He is the pioneer and visionary in 3D art and sculpture. He combines CT and 3D scans to create accurate facial and skeletal structures using plastics.
“Bolstered by the advent of organic modeling software, 3D printing technologies and material engineering, my visions are now able to be realized sculpturally in archival materials,” Harker said about using 3D printing in his work.
“Never before have forms of this organic complexity been able to be created. This boon of technology is a revolutionary time for the arts and one which will be boldly marked in history. I am honored to be considered one of the pioneers in the medium.”
Kate Blacklock is popular in 3D printed ceramics. The Providence-based artist has an undergraduate degree from the University of California and an MFA from The Rhode Island School of Design (RSID).
She has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rhode Island College. She also co-chaired the Ceramics Department at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
Blacklock’s studio work has moved from sculptural to functional ceramics to 3D printing, photography, and painting.
You can see the different works of art she created using a powder and binder printer on her website. The ceramics are all glazed and inspired by the Vessel Series of paintings and some of them are available for sale in her shop.
Danny van Ryswyk
Ryswyk is a Dutch digital painter and sculptor. He produces prints and 3D sculptures of moody and contemplative characters, often with dark themes and settings. You can find most of his works on Instagram.
He produces unique artwork by reflecting the essence of art through one’s emotional responses.
His works combine mystical fascination, extraterrestrial experience, and deep passion wrapped into a dark fantastic figure with steampunk style or Gothic atmosphere.
The nature of his artworks reflected in their names like “Close to madness,” “Deleted Souls,” “Black Flame,” and “Tender Loving Darkness,” to name a few.
3D printing has also made a way to be as useful in the world of music. Musicians have already started 3D printing instruments because the process can build more elaborate, personalized equipment without the long wait and expensive cost.
Here are some of the musicians who use additive manufacturing technology in a different level of creativity.
He records voice recordings of sound waves and transforms them into what many thought was impossible — tangible structures!
Among his most popular works are the cries of his pal’s newborn baby and former president Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address.
Olaf Diegel was a sound engineer and professor who switched careers to become a 3D printer guru. He took his love for music to create ODD Guitars — his line of customizable 3D printed electric guitars.
For those interested, he explains on his website how he designs and processes the customizable guitars he produces.
3D printing has a massive application in theater arts, where live performers present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience.
In theater, there are tons of props and materials needed to bring a set-up appropriate for a scene, but 3D printing makes it easy. 3D printers can even print a house. It also makes set pieces, props, customers more accessible because you can just 3D print all of them.
Here are some 3D printing applications in theaters.
Wasp used in opera
WASP was used to print the scenery of the “Fra Diavolo” play of the “Opera” Theater in Rome. The 3D printed scenography for a theater play was the first of its kind.
Initially, 3D printers have been used to create masks and furniture components but not a scenic stage before the “Fra Diavolo” play directed by Giorgio Barberio Corsetti, and conducted by Rory McDonald, on Oct. 8, 2017.
To do so, WASP mounted a Delta WASP 3MT Industrial 3D printer next to the entrance of the Roman Opera and it worked until Oct. 8.
“We are sure that what we experienced for the first time how to perform a scene in the technique of the future: 3d print,” said Carlo Fourtes. “Moreover, the story of theatrical performance has always been a story of inventions and experimentation of techniques and materials.”
“Today 3d printing is already present in all design work but also in building elements in various productive areas. Here, for the first time, thanks to WASP’s commitment and work, it is employed to build the scenery of a lyric.”
Massimo Moretti, the WASP founder, said the Opera Theater presented them a very risky challenge because 3D printing had never been applied to such a large size project. They used cheap materials and the output could easily be recycled when the scenery would no longer serve its purpose.
The University of Lynchburg uses 3D printing in production.
Christopher Otwell, an Assistant Professor of Design and Technical Director at the university uses 3D printing to help them with props and set design. 3D printing enables them to produce realistic models with little expense.
“3D printers have just revolutionized theater,” he said per Trimech. “If you have the time, you can make exactly what you want.”
ASU Theatre for Ajax Costumes. Arizona State University’s
Makerspace, located in the Hayden Library, is a space dedicated to students where they can explore new skills. The ASU students used a MakerBot Replicator+ 3D printer to create costumes for the production of Ajax.
The students needed to add teeth to their costumes to make them look real and 3D printing made it easy for them to achieve it. Otherwise, they would have had to outsource or fabricate the teeth and likely increase the cost.
“I emphasize to my students that they should use technology to solve a problem,” said Sarah Lankenau, Clinical Assistant Professor of Costume Technology at ASU. “With the maker movement and the emergence of these makerspaces, it’s become such an open and collaborative community.”
3D printing is also applicable in dancing. While it may sound absurd at first, the technology is helpful to dancers in customizing their footwear so that they will enjoy their performance from start to finish.
Several dancers struggle to perfect their routine due to uncomfortable costumes or footwear, which sometimes leave them bleeding, bruised, or worse, injured. But 3D printers can give dancers the perfect footwear to help them love each minute of their practice up to their performance day!
Hadar Neerman is a graduate from Israel’s national school of art at the Bezalel Academy of Art and has designed personalized pointe shoes using additive manufacturing technology.
Each pointe shoe is designed exactly as the dancer’s foot contour. Whatever the shape of the ballerina’s feet is, her shoe will be designed to fit her perfectly.
“I learned about pointe shoes and the more I got into the field, the more I realized that there was a lot of potential for improving the existing shoe and improving the quality of life of the dancers.”
Neerman designs them by scanning the dancer’s foot via a phone app. She will then create a digital model of the shoe, including the personalized features. The sole can be modeled or printed using a lattice structure from an elastomeric polymer to fit an individual foot perfectly.
Aside from using 3D printing for customs, props, and sets in a theatrical play, it is also used to precisely design end products. For example, in cinemas, it is used to replace broken equipment because it is cheaper and faster.
Here are some of the applications of 3D printing in the movie industry and some of them you might have missed. So, let’s get started!
Hela Costume in Thor: Ragnarok
If you are a Marvel fan, you have probably watched Chris Hemsworth’s movie “Thor: Ragnarok.” In the film, Cate Blanchett, who played Hela, Thor’s half-sister, also popularly known a the Goddess of Death, wears a black headpiece.
The costume was actually 3D printed using SLS technology and composite powder reinforced with carbon fibers, so it is light and stable.
Also, to make it perfect for Blanchett, the manufacturer used 3d scanners to scan her head to achieve the perfect size and shape best suited for the actress. It was printed in several parts and put together as what Marvel wanted it.
Thor’s Mjölnir in Thord: The Dark World
The God of Thunder is known for his hammer called Mjölnir, which only he can support. So, where did the production get Thor’s Mjölnir? Yes, your right, they 3D printed the Mjölnir.
The prop was 3D printed using the Binder Jetting process and polymer powders on a printer from the manufacturer Voxeljet. The 3D printing process allows an incredible amount of detailing to achieve the look and feel of the hammer suited for a God.
Queen Ramonda of Wakanda’s costume in Black Panther
There is no doubt that Marvel is a fan of 3D printing technology because they use the same approach in designing the costume of Queen Ramonda of Wakanda in the 2018 superhero movie Black Panther.
Artists Julia Koerner and Ruth E. Carter were behind the design. 3D printing technology is often preferred because it allows designers to manufacture custom models in a short timeframe.
3D Natives also learned that the production is integrating Artec 3D’s 3D scanning solutions in customizing a Lexus LC 500 for Black Panther 2, scheduled for a 2022 release.
“For fashion in general, it’s the ease of wearing and aesthetics that count, while costume design must also take into account the story, the actors, the set, post-production, etc,” said Julia Körner, known for her 3D printed collections and the creation of the 3D costumes for the American blockbuster “Black Panther.”
Iron Man’s 3D printed suits
One of the most well-loved and popular superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Robert Downey’s Jr.’s Iron Man.
I’m pleased to tell you that the production also used 3D printing technology to bring to life Tony Stark’s impressive costumes.
In the movie series, Stark creates his costume. But behind cameras, special effects studio Legacy Effects designed the prosthetic makeup, animatronics, and special suits for the superheroes.
Marvel opted to use 3D printers because it saves time and cuts costs. The Iron-Man suits are 3D printed within the Maker community.
Filmmaker Gilles-Alexandre Deschaud, a 3D designer with more than 10 years of experience and best known for his short film “Chase Me” — in which all characters and props are 3D printed — has nothing but good things to say about 3D printing’s contribution to cinematography.
“3D printing allows two main things: a considerable time-saving in the production of elements (thus a significant financial gain) and a gain in quality. The models printed in 3D can be very precise and detailed. It is also easy to do iterations to improve the part or correct things,” he said per 3D Natives.
How Has 3D Printing Changed Art?
3D printing changed the game for artists and designers big time. Contrary to the belief that 3D printing takes artists’ work, the technology actually enables them to perfect their craft.
For that reason, many designers and artists use 3D printing technology for fashion, jewelry, and more. Many also use the technology for their prototype! So here are some examples of how technology changed art per Invaluable.
1. Building Maquettes
Kevin Caron of Kevin Caron Studious in Phoenix, Arizona, uses a 3D printer to expand his techniques as a sculptor.
He also uses them to create models or little versions of his works.
“I use them as models, or maquettes, to show patrons,” he said.
“It’s something to have on their desks to show off while a sculpture is being created.”
Also, 3D printing models help him find answers to some questions before labor, money, and time are spent.
“Will a sculpture stand up? How does it look compared to what I expected?” are two of the questions that a smaller model can help him answer before working on the big or actual size.
2. Efficiency and Accuracy
Southern California sculptor Cosmo Wenman uses 3D printing, scanning, and design to incorporate digital techniques in their traditional workflows.
He usually works on life-size sculptures in bronze, portrait sculpture, and ancient artifacts.
“In my work, 3D printing is just an intermediate step that is mixed with conventional workflows, and the final works typically show no traces of their digital origins,” Wenman said about the 3D printing.
“It may look like a traditional work, but my clients know they were made faster, more economically, and with more precision and versatility than would have been possible with conventional techniques.”
He also took pride in how the technology helped him produce a life-sized bronze cast of a gorilla, chimp, orangutan and gibbon for the National Zoo while preserving the intricate details, including fingerprints.
“This kind of detail would not have been practical without 3D scanning and printing,” he said.
3. 3D printed art is the future
Artists and designers are expected to use 3D printing in the future. The technology is expected to make things easier for them because it allows them to focus on creativity and conceptualization instead of the actual work.
“I can focus on the art rather than reproduction. It’s particularly useful in bronze casting, eliminating the steps of mold making and wax castings to create the master patterns. I’d been practicing Surrealist automatism through the 1980s and 1990s, but the associated two-dimensional work I was creating was too complex to create three-dimensionally.” said Harker, a pioneer in 3D printed art and sculpture.
“My pursuit of a process to develop these visions sculpturally culminated after nearly 20 years in a perfect storm of software development, materials engineering, and 3D printed technology advancements.” said Harker.
How Do You Make A 3D Sculpture?
Digital sculpting, sculp modeling, or 3D sculpting is the use of software that offers tools to push, pull, smooth, grab, pinch or manipulate a digital object as if it were made of a real-life substance such s clay. The creative process enables artists to end up with photorealistic detail.
Here’s an overview of what to do to create a 3D sculptor.
1. Sculpt a base using a sphere in ZBrush.
2. Tweak the pose to have better control and start sculpting using DynaMesh.
3. Create the mold. Mask the noisy area, extract it and use a low-poly sphere like a NanoMesh over the extracted area. And randomized the placement to create the moldy feeling.
4. Finalize the model and texture. You can use XMD brushes for the damages and old cracks.
5. Use Corona Renderer to build the material fast and work on the lookdev to achieve the result you need. Explore the setting to achieve the translucency and other attributes that you want to add to your artwork.
6. Add lights to create a dramatic scene.
7. Composition and rendering. Composition is very important because it guides the viewers’ eyes to the areas you wish to emphasize. For rendering, Corona Renderer’s default settings are already very good.
8. Polish. Once you are done with the previous steps, it’s time to re-examine your work. You can control the tones, contrast, brightness and other factors. Adjust if necessary to achieve the look you want.
You can check this out for more detailed instructions.
3D printing doesn’t take away artists’ and designers’ jobs. Instead, it helps them be more creative, aesthetic, and artistic because it gives them the opportunity to focus more on conceptualization, and enables them to achieve complex designs and artworks that are close to impossible in the traditional approach.
3D printing is a huge help in the art industry. It revolutionized the process by allowing artists to be ahead of the game.
For instance, creating small models of their artwork could help them decide how to manage it before spending on the labor, time and materials for the actual thing that might fail.
Overall, 3D printing proves to be great too for artists in their crafts. If you wish to learn more about 3D printing, check our 3D printing home page.
Let’s start by defining 3D printing. You are probably asking yourself, “What is the concept of 3D printing?”
3D printing or three-dimensional printing is an additive manufacturing process that creates a physical object from a digital design.
As the name suggests, it creates a three-dimensional object. You can think of it as the opposite of a subtractive manufacturing process.
In the latter, a final design is cut from a larger block of material. With additive manufacturing, the material is built layer by layer and it creates less material wastage.
3D printing has many applications because it produces something that you can touch and use. They are popularly used for rapid prototyping because they work fast, cut costs, and enable you to alter the design conveniently.
With 3D printing, you only need to alter the model or its digital file and feed it to the 3D printer to get the new object. And voila! you will see the changes you made, whether it’s minimal or not, once the 3D printing machine is done with the job.
What Is 3D Printing In Simple Words?
If it’s still difficult for you to understand, you can also think of it this way — it uses a 3D printer that works like the regular inkjet printer.
The latter uses ink to print text, graphics, and images that can be used for brochures, flyers, or documents.
3D printing materials are plastic or filament. The printer will melt the plastic and forms the object based on the 3D model layer by layer so that you will end up with a three-dimensional object in your hand.
Yes, 3D printing delivers an object with weight, height, and volume. You can touch it and even use it. You can 3D print a desk organizer and it will work as it should.
You can also 3D print tools like scissors, pliers, hammers or wrenches and expect them to serve their purpose. Yes, 3D printing is that powerful!
So, what is the objective of 3D printing? To deliver a 3D-printed object that you can touch, feel and use!
If you have a 3D printer and need something, not on hand, let the machine do its magic. It can give you anything you need, provided that you have the 3D model for that object.
What Benefits Does 3D Printing Provide?
• Cuts cost
• Reduces waste
• Fast turn around time
• Makes customization easy and convenient
There are different types of 3D printers and they work differently — Fused Deposition Modeling FDM and Selective Laser Sintering SLS
Also, its formulation offers you a wide range of optical, mechanical, and thermal properties to match the standard, engineering, and industrial thermoplastics.
It is widely used in engineering and product design to manufacturing, dentistry, jewelry, model design, and education.
You might also hear about selective laser sintering, direct metal laser sintering, metal laser sintering dmls, digital light processing, selective laser melting and more in when it comes to 3D printing. If you are interested in these terms, check this out.
What Is The Basic Principle Of 3D Printing?
All 3D printers work similarly because they are built with the same basic principle — it starts with a digital model and will be molded by adding the material layer by layer.
Compared to the traditional manufacturing technologies like subtractive (CNC machining) and formative (injection molding), 3D printing is a totally different technique in producing parts.
Here are some principles of 3D printing from BotFeeder.
In traditional manufacturing, complex design costs more. However, that’s not the case with 3D printing because a 3d printing machine can produce complex items while cutting the overhead cost of retaining human operators or retooling factory machines.
Fast time-to-market turnaround
Consumers want products that cater to their personal needs that’s why “personalization” and “customization” have become key terms in marketing.
You would want a shoe that fits perfectly on your feet, which may not be comfortable for others. You would want a personalized diet that may not be the best for others.
3D printing enables businesses to meet that the consumers’ demand by reducing the design-to-production times.
Designers will design the CAD software based on the consumer’s profile, use the 3D model to evaluate the design and production, and test it. Once it’s good, 3D print it. The whole 3D printing process will only take days.
No assembly needed
3D printing enables you to print objects with interlocked parts in one go. Traditionally, factories would make identical objects that are assembled by robots or humans. The longer it takes to assemble the item, the more expensive it becomes.
With 3D printing, you can print an item with interlocking hinges, so you don’t have to assemble it.
With this, supply chains will be shortened and you can cut the cost significantly because you do not need to pay that much for labor and transportation (when the items are produced in different places and will be transported for assembly).
Ability to print-on-demand
3D printing is very popular because it makes customization so easy. Yes, you can print on demand when it is required. It enables you to cater to your individual customer’s request without the additional cost of long-distance shipping and extensive labor because iteration isn’t that difficult and won’t take that long.
3D printers come in different sizes. Some of them are lightweight and small, so you can freely move them around when needed. You can 3D print wherever you are.
Precise physical replication
3D printing is very accurate. You can replicate anything no matter what it is as long as you have the digital file. From there, you can 3D print it to bring it to the real world.
Thanks to this technology, you can scan, edit and duplicate objects to create replicas or improve them.
What Are The 3 Stages Of 3D Printing?
3D printing involves the use of 3D printers to build objects using raw materials. 3D printers contain a nozzle where the raw material or filament is extruded onto a print bed layer by layer to construct the object from bottom to top.
Although there are different types of 3D printers, most of them require a similar method of operation that centers on three basic stages, which we will discuss in this section.
Stage 1: Preparation
The first stage of 3D printing is preparation, which is also known as the pre-processing stage. It involves designing the object in a computer program and positioning and preparing the 3D printer itself.
Before you start 3D printing, you need to design an object in a computer program. Computer-aided design (CAD) allows manufacturing companies to build digital object models, which are then saved and transferred to a 3D printer for processing.
Manufacturing companies design the object in a CAD program, after which they transfer the CAD file to a 3D printer. This stage covers CAD design and other tasks associated with preparation —deciding what to 3D print, what material to use, what 3D printer to use, and more.
Stage 2: Building
The second stage of 3D printing is building. The 3D printer will build the object by extruding material out of a nozzle. As the material is extruded out of the nozzle, it is deposited onto a print bed.
The build stage involves the complete production of the object. The 3D printer will move and extrude raw material based on the specifications of the CAD file with which it’s used. This stage covers the production of an object as the 3D printer extrudes material out of a nozzle onto a print bed.
Stage 3: Finishing
The third and final stage of 3D printing depends on the specific type of 3D printer used and the object you are printing. The finishing stage may require the removal of support structures.
Objects are often constructed with supports so that they don’t collapse. Once the printing process is done, then you will need to remove the support.
Finishing may also involve refining the printed object’s surface. If the printed object has a rough or grainy surface, you may need to sand it to achieve a smoother surface. This stage encompasses all post-production touchups.
In the next section, we will go into more detail as to how 3D printers work.
How Do 3D Printers Work?
How 3D printing works step by step? If you are completely new to 3D printers and wonder how these excellent machines work in helping you get the job done, you will find the answer here.
In this section, I’ll explain to you in detail how 3D printing delivers the 3D printed object you desire.
3D printers are becoming more and more popular today because they work fast and cut costs significantly. They are also very handy because they come in various sizes.
There are desktop 3D printers that are portable and compact to fit even the smallest working place.
3D printers are easy to use because they utilize computer-aided design (CAD) to create 3D objects from various materials like molten plastic or powders.
A typical 3D printer is very much like an inkjet printer operated from a computer. It uses additive manufacturing technology and builds up a 3D model one layer at a time.
Steps In 3D Printing
Here are the four steps in 3D printing.
To start a 3D printing task, you have to create a blueprint or three-dimensional digital file of the object you want to 3D print.
Yes, start with a 3D model. You can create one from the ground up or download it from a 3D library.
You can also use 3D software to create a 3D model. You can opt for an industrial-grade or open-source tool. For beginners, we suggest that you use Autodesk Tinkercad. It is free and works in your browser. Thanks to this, you do not need to install the app on your computer.
Also, for more fun and convenient 3D printing experience, Tinkercad offers beginner lessons and has a built-in to export your model as a printable file e.g. STL or OBJ.
Once the 3D model is ready, the next step is to slice it. Slicing basically means slicing the 3D models into hundreds or thousands of layers and is done with slicing software.
When the file is sliced, it’s ready for 3D printing. You can feed the file to the 3D printer using a USB, SD, or Wi-Fi, and the 3D printer will 3D print it layer by layer.
Assuming there are no errors in the STL or AMF file, the 3D printer will use the 3D printer’s instructions in the perspective file to dictate where and how the material is deposited — this is how the 3D printed object is created.
It will print the 3D model layer by layer from top to bottom because it uses the additive manufacturing process. Each of the layers can be seen as a thinly sliced cross-section of the object.
It’s the opposite of subtractive manufacturing, which is cutting out or hollowing out a piece of metal or plastic with a milling machine. 3D printing enables you to produce complex shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods.
Removal of support structures
This is something that you should never overlook because the process can be challenging.
Can you imagine waiting for hours to 3D print your 3D model only to snap off part of the 3D printed model because you were not careful enough when you removed it from the 3D printing bed?
Before And After 3D Printing Tips
There are some things that you need to do before and after printing to ensure a perfect removal from the bed.
Here are some tips for easy removal to ensure that your 3D printed object is safe.
For example, when printing on a glass bed without any tape or adhesives, you should clean the surface of the bed thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol to remove any residual adhesives from the previous projects.
Meanwhile, some set the nozzle height at a too low Z-setting for the first layer to make the base stick to the bed too well. It’s a rule of thumb to set the home position of the nozzle at a Z-setting that is about 70% to 80% of the height of the first layer.
Once 3D printing is done, you have to remove it slowly and deliberately to get it off the print bed. The goal is to remove the print without getting damaged and without the bed itself getting damaged.
How To Remove 3D Printed Objects Safely
More tips to remove a 3D printed object safely from the bed without damage.
Cool it down
Let the object cool down to room temperature from several minutes to an hour to make the print solidify and more durable.
However, it also results in a slight contraction in the filament material, which would have little to no effect on the visual appearance but help it lift off from the print bed.
In most cases, letting it cool is enough to pop the item right off the bed, especially when the filament used is PLA or others that don’t require any adhesives.
Use a bit of force
If the print has already cooled down but doesn’t pop right off, you have to apply some force depending on how big or sturdy the material is.
You can push, pull or twist it to some degree to fully remove the print from the bed.
Tap with a screwdriver
Even 3D printing professionals use this method because it works. Simply take a flat head screwdriver and place it near a corner of the base of the print and give it one sharp tap on the handle. The 3D printed object should come right off.
Scrape it off
If you have tried the first recommended suggestions and they do not work, it’s time to remove the print bed from the build platform. The next steps could damage the clamps that hold the print bed in place.
Use a thin, flat object and insert it on any clearance that you can find between the base of the print and the bed.
Most 3D printing professionals keep a flat-edged steel scraper or a razor blade with a handle. Slide and lift to lift the bed off the print gradually. Make sure not to apply too much force not to damage the print.
It could potentially damage the print bed and make it uneven. So, it’s best to use the other methods first before you resort to this.
Cool it down even more
Cooling is very helpful in removing a print from the bed. You can cool your print lower than the room temperature to make it contract more and self-lift off the print bed.
You can place the whole print and the bed inside the refrigerator for an hour or so. If the print is too big for your refrigerator, you can use ice packs and place them on the underside of the print bed.
Rise with warm water
If you use an adhesive like glue stick, ABS slurry, or hairspray on your print bed, this method could work.
Lukewarm water or anything below 50 °C should rinse off the adhesive without damaging the filament material.
If warm water doesn’t work, then rinse off the adhesive and use some isopropyl alcohol. This works especially if you used blue painters’ tape to get your print to stick onto the print bed.
However, the downside is that you have to remove the tape afterward and apply a new layer before the next print project.
And most, if not all, do not want the process of applying tape to a print bed. So, this should be your last resort.
For this, pour a liberal amount of alcohol on the edges of the print because you need to soak it up with alcohol and dissolve the adhesive. The print should just come right off with a little bit of prodding.
Use Dental Floss
If it only needs a small force to dislodge the 3D printed object from the bed, the best material to use could be a piece of dental floss.
Simply hold the dental floss between your hands and place it at the back of the print close to the bottom. Then, slowly pull it towards you. Several users shared success stories using this method.
Heat the print bed
Cooling works, so as heating. If the former does not work, you might try the latter. Reheat the print bed to about 70°C because, at times, heat can also make the print pop off.
The temperature changes to manipulate the print is a great method because print materials react to heat. Higher heat can soften the material enough to reduce adhesion to the print bed.
Freeze the print bed
If cooling doesn’t work, try freezing it. By spraying compressed air onto your stuck prints, you can make the object pop off due to the temperature change.
To do this, you can place the print and bed in the freezer. The cold temperature will cause the plastic to contract a bit resulting in the print bed loosening its grip on the print.
What Is A 3D Printer Used For?
By now, you are probably asking yourself, what is 3D printing used for? 3D printing has a lot of applications in various fields — business, medicine, construction, and more.
It can almost do anything you have in mind, from simple things like organizers to more complex items like guns and huge items like houses and buildings.
What is 3D printing examples? To give you a concrete overview of how useful 3D printing is — I’ll categorize them in different fields.
Some also use 3D printers to offer new solutions to patients with skin problems, wounds, or burns.
James Yoo, a researcher at the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine, invented a portable printer to graft skin straight onto the wounds of burn victims.
The machine scans the wound and fabricates the appropriate number of skin layers needed to fill the wounds. The technology is very helpful, especially for treating the soldier’s injuries on the battlefields.
3D printing can also be used to replace human tissues or cells to treat different diseases, including macular degeneration, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart diseases, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Stem cells can now be bio-printed.
3D printing is also popular for manufacturing items that are expensive and difficult to obtain, especially in medicine.
3D printers had proven very useful during the COVID-19 outbreak when the global supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical devices was scarce. Many healthcare facilities turned to 3D printing to solve the shortage.
Isisnnova chief executive Christian Fracassi and his colleague mechanical engineer Alessandro Romaioli used a 3D printer and came up with a prototype to produce working valves, and it worked, so they started 3D printing new valves.
And they saved lives by doing so because valves were so in-demand at the time.
3D printing only involves three steps for rapid prototyping — prototype, refine and iterate, and review.
Many use 3D printing for rapid prototyping because it creates models faster than the traditional process. Aside from a faster turn-around time, it has a lower cost and involves easier procedures.
Unlike traditional prototyping like injection molding, which requires weeks or months for each iteration, 3D prototyping only takes hours, significantly improving the speed and cutting the cost.
3D prototyping is perfect jewelry design, architecture, engineering mechanical parts, architectural models, props, functional consumer products, and more.
Here are some of the benefits of why 3D printing is best for rapid prototyping.
Fast turnaround time. The traditional prototyping strategies take long, at least a week, and more. But as mentioned, using 3D printers cuts the processing time. So, if you need the prototype fast, it’s the best choice.
Reduced cost. Aside from improving the speed significantly, it also allows you to cut the overall cost so that you can save more. The average product prototype costs at least $100.
However, with 3D printing technology, you can get the same results at a fraction of the cost. If you have the standard FDM 3D printer, you can create prototypes that are $1 cheaper or more.
Smoother workflows.The process is smooth and convenient. You will start by designing the model using computer-aided design (CAD) and upload it directly into a 3D printer software.
From there, you can feed the file into the 3D printer, and it will start printing. Once the process is done, you will get the prototype the way you design it.
Flexible 3D printing materials. Another great thing about 3D printing is its flexibility. 3D printers can accommodate different types of 3D printing materials, so you will surely find one perfect for your prototypes.
Among the most popular filaments are ABS, PLA, PVA, PETG, PETT, HIPS, and more. There are wood, sandstone, metal, magnetic, carbon fiber, and more.
Allows change and rapid iteration. Rapid prototyping is called as such because it needs to be done fast. 3D printing allows you to make iterations of your 3D model fast and easily.
You do not have to start from scratch or go through an extensive process again to make a minimal change in your prototype.
You just have to change the 3D model or update the CAD file and once it is sliced and ready for 3D printing, then feed the file to the 3D printer again, and you will get the updated prototype with the changes you just made.
3D printing enables you to test, change and refine a design in a matter of minutes or hours.
Have you heard of 3D-printed houses or buildings?
Yes, there are already houses and mansions that have been constructed using 3D printers.
3D printing is revolutionizing the construction industry, and you will be surprised at how fast and sustainable 3D printed structures are.
Among the most popular uses of additive manufacturing in construction is 3D printing concrete, which can speed up a 2-week job in just 3 to 4 days.
It also keeps the workplace safer because it doesn’t require many people, so the risk of injury is less. Plus, it will reduce the labor cost because you won’t be paying too many people — the 3D printer will make the majority of the job.
Also, 3D printing is economical because it uses fewer materials and produces less waste than the traditional construction processes. Furthermore, it reduces the environmental impact.
3D printing has a very promising future in the field of construction. Founder and CEO of Russian company Apis Cor Nikita Chen-in-tai is optimistic that it is the solution to the housing crisis. He also believed that more and more construction companies would adopt the technology in the future.
Here are some of the most famous 3D-printed buildings in the world.
Office Of the Future Building in Dubai by Apis Cor. It measures 20 feet high, 120 feet long, and 40 feet wide. The entire structure was printed using a giant cement printer and assembled on site. Yes, the building was huge, but it only took 17 days to 3D print it and two more days for the installation.
Since it used 3D printing technology, only three workers were involved when it was built. The 3D printer moved around the side by crane. Additional contractors were brought to install windows and the roof.
Dubai took pride in the largest 3D printed building because it is sustainable. It uses local materials and efficient insulation that reduces energy consumption.
WinSun’s 3D-Printed Apartment Block. Chinese Company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. is among the leading construction company to test the limits of 3D printing in construction.
In 2015, the company built 3D-printed houses in under 24 hours, and it made history when it constructed the world’s tallest 3D printed structure — the apartment block.
The company used a 20-feet tall, 33-feet wide, and 132-feet long 3D printer to do the job. It also uses a mixture of glass fiber, steel, cement, hardening agents, and recycled construction waste for the material. Plus, the block was designed to be flexible, self-insulating, and earthquake-resistant.
The company saves between 30 to 60 percent of construction waste. The production time was decreased by 50 to 70 percent.
Most of all, labor was significantly reduced by 80 percent. Plus, the buildings comply with the national standards, so they are safe and reliable to be your next home.
3D Printed Houses In Europe. Europe is one of the continents that embrace 3D printing in construction. In Belgium, Kamp C built a prototype 3D-printed house with two floors using its largest 3D printer — COBOD BOD2. They only hire a human workforce to put the finishing touches.
The building was a typical Belgian house with an entrance hall, two conference rooms, and a tiny kitchen area. It was completed on-site in just three weeks.
According to Marijke Aerts, the project manager, the materials were very strong and three times greater than the conventional quick build brick. Overall, it saved an estimated 60 percent on material, time, and budget.
Another 3D printed house was built in the Netherlands by firm Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix in the Eindhoven suburb. It was the first habitable and commercially rented 3D-printed property in the city.
It only took 120 hours or fives to 3D print the house. Bas Huysmans, chief executive of Weber Benelux, a construction offshoot of its French parent company Saint-Gobain, credited the speed to the printer not needing to eat, sleep or rest.
Elize Luz and Harrie Dekkers retired shopkeepers from Amsterdam, purchased the home. They were given a digital key to open their two-bedroom bungalow at the press of a button, and they loved it.
“It is beautiful,” Lutz said about their new home.
“It has the feel of a bunker – it feels safe,” Deckers added.
Pastry chefs are among the first to take advantage of 3D printing. Dinara Kasko is an internet-famous pastry chef who uses 3D printed molds to design the shapes of her cake.
She became an Internet sensation for baking cakes with unique structures.
Kasko is an architect and switched to baking. She integrates her love for architecture and baking into her artistic and delicious cake.
The architect-turned-chef won’t disappoint you when it comes to using 3D printing in her food business.
Some businesses use 3D printing to sell products. BeeHex, the creators of Chef 3D — the bot designed to bake a pizza in six minutes — has an app where customers can order their favorite pizza. They can customize the size, toppings, dough shape, and more.
Also, another amazing characteristic about 3D printed food is its long shelf life. The 3D printed edibles can last up to 30 years when placed in special plastic bags. They are perfect for feeding astronauts on long space missions.
Here are some of the benefits why the technology is very helpful in the food industry.
• Easy to transport
• Food customization
• Food personalization
• Reduces food waste
• Fast and convenient preparation
• Allows use of new components or ingredients
• Delivers aesthetic and functional customization
• An economical and efficient way for mass personalization
• Longer shelf life (best for astronauts who will be staying in space for long periods)
3D printing is also very popular in the manufacturing industry because it helps companies produce items that are perfect for the size and taste of their various customers.
3D printing technology is very helpful in personalizing products because it considers the customers’ size, preferences, comfort, the purpose of the product, and more.
For example, Adidas’ 3D printed shoes for athletes work as designed. It even helps them perform better.
“I believe that shoes with 3D printed midsoles are the future of running. They’re shoes made for athletes. The possibilities are really exciting, and it’s amazing to be a part of that journey with Adidas,” said Miri Dattke, a German long-distance runner.
Also, 3D printing is a perfect solution to enjoying a new level of design freedom. Although additive manufacturing is not always the ideal technology, it’s very helpful in the manufacturing industry.
“A lot of parts are being manufactured with 3D printing that could be done more effectively using traditional manufacturing methods,” said Peter Rogers, APAC Additive Manufacturing Product Specialist at Autodesk.
“Alternatively, though, with the right design, traditionally manufactured parts could be done a lot more effectively, increasing part performance and reducing waste by using additive manufacturing. It is not about pushing all designs to additive at all, rather making sure that the right design is going into the right manufacturing technology to achieve the most desirable outcome.”
3D printing delivers three-dimensional objects. It is a great solution to save on assembly costs and cut turnaround time.
With this technology, it is cheaper for companies to experiment with new ideas and numerous design iterations with no ample time or tooling expense. This technology could even challenge mass production in the future.
3D printing has already been applied in various industries, including automotive, medical, business, industrial equipment, education, architecture, and consumer-product industries.
If you have a business, you should learn how to use 3D printing in your craft because it always has a purpose and is efficient and practical!
Do you want to learn more about the 3D printing materials, their uses, and how to choose the best material for your project, check our home page.
Is 3D printing used for rapid prototyping? What is the use of 3D printer for rapid prototyping? What is rapid prototyping 3D printing?
If you are looking for answers to any of the questions above, then you are on the right page. I understand that 3D printing and rapid prototyping are often associated with each other.
However, many confuse the pair and use them interchangeably when they aren’t necessarily the same.
In this article, we will discuss the rapid prototyping process, 3D printing, and additive manufacturing to clear your mind about the confusion between the three. We will also answer some of your questions related to the matter. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What is rapid prototyping (RP) and what are its benefits? Which type of model is created in rapid prototype? In this section, I will explain rapid prototyping and why it is beneficial.
A prototype is an early sample, model or release of a product built to test a concept or process. You will often hear it in various contexts, including semantics, design, electronics, and software programming.
Designers and engineers use prototypes to evaluate a new design for product development and to enhance precision by system analysts and users.
Rapid prototyping refers to a group of techniques used to quickly fabricate a scale model of a physical part or assembly using three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) data.
It usually uses 3D printing or additive manufacturing (AM) technology to construct the part or assembly.
Is 3D Printing Rapid Prototyping? Yes.
Rapid prototyping refers to the cycle of quickly iterating to reach a final design. The term “cycle” is used because it involves a few steps to bring one’s idea to delivery.
In its simplest terms, it involves three steps — prototype, refine and iterate, and review.
Each stage of successive prototype gets the cycle one step closer to completion, and refine and iteration move you closer to an acceptable conclusion.
Rapid prototyping uses a few technologies, including CAD design software, to manufacture processes and create a series of 3D printed prototypes.
What Are The Advantages Of RP?
Rapid prototyping is beneficial because it is a cost-effective way to prototype products. It is an automated process that requires less staff, less time, and less cost.
Also, it is extremely precise because it uses computer-aided design (CAD) that reduces material wastage and does not require special tools for prototyping each new product.
Here is a list of advantages of rapid prototyping.
• Requires less staff
• Reduce material wastage
• Reduced development time
• Ability for functionality testing
• Eliminates risk during production
• Cut down overall product development cost
3D Printing vs. Rapid Prototyping vs. Additive Manufacturing
To avoid confusion, let’s differentiate the three.
3D printing is used for product development and tactile prototyping. It uses various technologies, including Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Stereolithography (SLA), Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) and more.
RP is synonymous with 3D printing but encompasses several different technologies like CNC machining, RTV molding, and urethane casting.
Although it uses the word “rapid,” speed can be subjective. However, compared to traditional prototyping, it is better in terms of speed, efficiency, and accuracy.
AM is the advanced application of 3D printing for production.
Regardless of which term you use, it’s important to note that there are subtle differences that you need to take note of when you talk about the three.
Why Is 3D Printing Used For Rapid Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping uses additive manufacturing to create models faster than the normal process. It can be completed using 3D printing or additive manufacturing technology.
3D printing is a good tool for prototyping because it offers tons of benefits like faster turn-around time, lower cost, and easier procedure.
It is also useful for prototyping, jewelry design, architecture, engineering mechanical parts, architectural models, props, functional consumer products, and more.
What is prototyping in printing? Rapid prototyping is also known as 3D prototyping, but it not only limited to 3D printing.
Traditional prototyping techniques like injection molding requires weeks or months for each iteration. But 3D printing significantly improves the speed and cuts the cost.
What Is Rapid Prototyping Examples?
Creating prototypes with rapid prototyping applications is very easy.
Here are some of the rapid prototyping examples that will surely be helpful for beginners in UI/UX design.
1. 3D Printing
One of the most common and frequently used examples of rapid prototyping is 3D printing.
The additive manufacturing technology or 3D printing allows you to produce a quick 3D model using a print variant, which saves you a lot of time, energy, and cost.
Some equate rapid prototyping with 3D printing. However, there are other variants of rapid prototyping, including sketch, a video, flyer or other forms of visualization of products and services. You will read more below.
2. Paper Prototyping
It is flexible and accessible. You can use pen and paper for it and draw anything from a mobile app to a website. But it has a main drawback; you cannot save and reuse the work.
3. Rapid Prototyping for Mobile App (Kitchen Stories)
It is an interactive prototype of a mobile app, and millions of users love it. Kitchen Stories enables users to find delicious recipes with beautiful pictures. In addition, it offers many free recipes and how-to videos.
4. Rapid Prototyping for Website (Sketch)
It is a high-fidelity prototyping example for a website. The great thing about it is that it allows you to open your original files in Mockplus software and create a website for yourself.
Is Rapid Prototyping The Same As 3D Printing?
Again, rapid prototyping and 3D printing are often used interchangeably. And 3D printing is often used interchangeably with additive manufacturing.
So in this section, we will also answer a similar question — Is additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping the same?
Rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing are closely related but not the same, according to Wei Zhou from Nanyang Technological University.
Rapid prototyping, as the name suggests, is about producing prototypes rapidly. 3D printing or additive manufacturing means manufacturing products by gradually adding materials. 3D printing is one of the popular rapid prototyping processes.
However, one should note that additive manufacturing is NOT 3D printing. Any manufacturing process which leads to an increase in weight is called additive manufacturing, and those, in contrast, is called subtractive manufacturing.
Welding, adhesive bonding and thermal spray coating all lead to an increase in weight and are called additive manufacturing processes but not 3D printing.
When additive manufacturing is carried out using a printing head technology, either powder bed selective laser melting or FDM, then it’s called 3D printing.
Note that 3D printing is additive manufacturing, but it is incorrect to say the other way around.
What Is The Difference Between 3D Printing And Rapid Prototyping?
3D printing and rapid prototyping are often confused as the same thing, but they are actually not.
3D printing is a method of additive manufacturing, while rapid prototyping is an application of this technology.
But 3D printing is a newer and more cost-effective method of additive manufacturing.
To make the comparison between the two clearer, we will compare them using the following factors.
3D printing is much cheaper than rapid prototyping due to machine depreciation, materials used, labor system, maintenance, and more factors. Rapid prototyping technology can cost twice as much.
3D printing is easier to do than rapid prototyping because the former uses CAD, which is much easier to learn than the parameters you need to adjust for rapid prototyping.
Also, once the CAD model is ready, you can just edit it for future iterations. Thus, creating prototypes is cheaper, faster, and easier.
What are the different materials used in rapid prototyping or additive manufacturing? Rapid prototyping allows you to use many choices for your materials, including liquid-based, powder-based, molten material and solid sheets.
3D printing also offers you a number of options because the technology has already expanded and more materials are now ready to be used including plastic (ABS filaments, PLA, PVA, PC), powder, metal, carbon fiber, graphite and graphene, resin 3d printing, and more.
When it comes to accuracy, rapid prototypes systems deliver accurate and better finishes because they utilize more advanced specific part-accuracy technology.
Also, 3D printers are limited to producing smaller parts depending on the size of the 3D printer available.
Why Is 3D Printing Better Than Prototyping?
3D printing is a method of additive manufacturing, while rapid prototyping is an application of the technology.
3D printing is better than traditional prototyping because it is more cost-effective and less complex.
Can 3D Printers Produce Prototypes?
Does 3D printer create 3D prototypes? Yes, they can help you create prototypes, and they could do it fast; that’s why they are among the most popular examples of rapid prototyping.
Many large corporations have been using 3D printing technology to prototype their products because it offers the following advantages over other rapid prototyping procedures.
Fast turnaround time
Initially, businesses didn’t have extensive in-house prototyping sources and would turn to third-party shops to create their prototypes.
However, the process takes long, and the usual turn-around time is at least a week. But with 3D printers, you can create prototypes in 24 hours or less.
Aside from fast delivery, 3D printing reduce the overall cost of the prototyping process. The average product prototype costs at least $100, but with 3D printing technology, the same results can be achieved at a fraction of the cost.
3D printing enables you to deliver prototypes faster without any issues because using additive manufacturing in prototyping uses CAD files that can be uploaded directly into a 3D printer software. From there, a 3D printer will print the model into a tangible object.
The use of the CAD program to print parts enables you to save time and eliminates the extra work or programming of other machine tools. CAD software has become more user-friendly and intuitive. Even business owners without extensive drafting or design experience could use it.
3D printing offers tons of materials for you to choose from for your prototypes, including ABS, PLA, PETG thermoplastic, nylon, copper, wood, glow in the dark, and more.
The best part about 3D printing’s flexibility is that you can test different materials for your prototypes or use certain filaments better suited for the specific part or product you are 3D printing.
Allows change and iterate rapidly
When doing prototypes, the product design rarely ends with the first one. Most products go through an extensive process of iterations before getting the final product.
3D printing is one of the best ways for businesses to speed up iterations because changes can easily be made by updated the CAD file, send it to the 3D printer and start 3D printing. You can create many iterations in such a very short time.
With this technology, testing, changing and refining a design that used to take weeks or months can be done in under a matter of days or even hours.
Rapid prototyping significantly reduces the design-to-product timeline from months to weeks or even days, cuts down cost by 2 to 10 times, and makes iterations quick and easy.
3D printing, an additive manufacturing technique, is one of the most popular rapid prototyping examples and several businesses have already invested in them.
Rapid prototyping is also known as 3D prototyping, but it’s not limited to 3D printing. It refers to a group of techniques used to fabricate a scale model quickly.
3D printers are popular examples for rapid prototyping because they deliver fast, are much cheaper, have simpler workflows, and allow you to use flexible materials.
Plus, when it comes to iterations, you only have to edit the CAD file, which makes the whole iteration process a breeze and a lot cheaper.
And within a few hours, your functional 3D printed prototypes are ready.
3D printing has almost invaded every aspect of our lives. It’s in every corner of our home, including the kitchen!
3D food printing is the process of manufacturing edible products using additive manufacturing technology. The process enables you to create three-dimensional dishes or meals.
It uses food-grade syringes to hold the printing material which is deposited through a food-grade nozzle layer by layer.
It is also called Food Layered Manufacturing (FLM) that allows you to create new shapes and designs that are inaccessible or very difficult to prepare by hands like designing cakes with openwork spatial solids or a variety of geometric figures with carved ornaments and logo.
The most advanced machines come with pre-loaded recipes. But they also allow the users to design their recipe on their computers, phones or IoT devices. 3D printing food is popular for customization. You can customize the shape, color, texture, flavor, and nutrition of the meal you are preparing.
Also, it allows you to personalize meals. Furthermore, it opens doors for unconventional food consumption.
For example, it makes processing nutritious plants and protein-rich insects possible. It produces healthy, nutritious and mouthwatering 3D printed foods that you won’t mind asking about the ingredients.
Plus, it’s very easy to share 3D printed recipes! Unlike cooking where you have to follow everything, with 3D food printing you’ll leave it to your machine! It is just as easy as transferring a digital file over the internet.
Just prepare the raw materials, printing settings and compatible equipment. After that, you can expect the same meal in your kitchen with less to no little effort.
However, although the food 3D printing process is great, there are also drawbacks. According to Choc Edge, a 3D printer manufacturer, a very simple six-layer design can take 7 minutes and 3D printing more detailed 3D models can take over 45 minutes, so just imagine how long you would need to wait to get your meals.
Also, there are a lot of things to consider like weight and heat. During the printing process, the layer needs sufficient strength to maintain its own weight as another layer is added without significant deformation and change of shape.
The heat from the laser, hot air, heating element or sprayed binder or solvent may be used for fusing and joining layers.
Lastly, although you are expecting a 3D printed food, that doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t be doing anything. Sometimes, you still have to prepare the ingredients which may require pre-cooking or pre-processing to achieve the consistency required.
Which Foods Can Be 3D Printed?
Many foods can be 3D printed and among the easiest ones are desserts! Here are some of the 3D printed food that you will surely enjoy, per Aniwaa.
As mentioned, food 3D printers use paste-like ingredients and chocolate melts at the temperature of the human body and solidifies when it cools down.
So, you can easily make a customized chocolate dessert without altering its taste!
Choc Edge is designed to make all types of chocolate designs which is perfect if you love chocolates.
Sugar can take any form and color. It can be melted or used as powder making it a perfect material for food 3D printing. 3DSystems have created 3D machines that are designed to print sugar and candies. If you love sugar and sweets, then rejoice because it can be 3D printed!
Oreo joined SXSW 2014 festival and during the exhibit they allow customers to choose the color of their creams, resulting in colorful sweets with some opting for blue, green, orange, green, purple, pink and yellow creams. So, yes, 3D printing allows you to create outputs with unique shapes and beautiful colors.
Pancakes and Waffles
Since it can be customized, you can add your face or put your name on your pancakes. Get creative and just experiment, the most important thing is that — it tastes like the regular pancake! The same can be done for waffles.
Pizza is another all-time favorite in every party or event and you can order a box of 3D printed pizzas.
A pizza printer called Chef 3D had been created a few years back.
Only one person is needed to operate it to lay the dough, sauce and cheese for the 12-inch pizza in a minute before popping it in the oven, Business Insider reported.
Jordan French, the cofounder of BeeHex’s bost a.k.a Chef 3D said that the 3D printer was connected to a computer that tells it which dough, sauce and cheese to use.
Cakes are an all-time favorite no matter what the occasion is birthdays, anniversaries or weddings.
No matter what the event is, a cake will always be a treat! Using 3D machines can help you create a simple chocolate cake or customize one with intricate details, unique shapes. However, when designing cakes, you might need to still assemble them.
Food 3D printers can do more. The foods I mentioned above are only a few of the edible things that you can enjoy from food 3D printers.
Can 3D Printed Food Be Eaten?
3D printing has a lot of applications and food is the most delicious one!
I understand that it’s difficult to imagine especially because 3D printers use plastic filaments to 3D print, but that’s not always the case.
The additive manufacturing technology uses various materials copper, metal, wood, and more. 3D printing buildings use cement and construction materials to get it done.
It’s the same with food 3D printing, it uses edible ingredients and the byproduct is consumable! You can create edible food for real!
It is completely safe to eat 3D printed foods as long as they are prepared in an appropriate machine and a clean environment.
Is 3D Printed Food Safe?
Since 3D printed food is edible, the next step to consider is its safety. What does food safe mean?
Let’s start by defining this to weigh in if it is up to our standards.
First, the material should be safe for human consumption. Next, you should use food-grade materials that meet the requirements determined and will not create a food safety hazard.
The surfaces must be made of non-toxic materials and should withstand the environment of their intended use like exposure to cleaning compounds, sanitizing agents and cleaning procedures.
To ensure that the food is safe, you should look for FDA and EU approval. Here’s a checklist from the FDA Food Code that must be met.
• No migration of deleterious substances
• Does not impart colors, odors, or tastes
• Safe under normal use conditions
• Durable, corrosion-resistant, and nonabsorbent
• Sufficient in weight to withstand repeated washing
• Finished to have a smooth, easily cleanable surface without breaks and sharp internal angles
• Resistant to pitting, chipping, crazing, scratching, scoring, distortion, and decomposition
• Accessible to inspection
Does 3D Printed Food Taste Good?
Is 3D printed food good? I understand that it is difficult to think about eating food from a printer, but take it from me, a 3D printer can be a good machine in your kitchen.
Trust me, 3D printed food tastes like regular food. They do not taste plastic or weird. You can 3D print cake and it tastes just like one.
3D printed food tastes as great as self-made food. You can consider 3D printing as a new method of preparing food. You are not eating artificial food because the ingredients are fresh and natural.
In fact, there is already a restaurant that serves delicious 3D printed food, in particular sweets and desserts which the consumers love.
3D ByFlow, a family business founded in the Netherlands in 2015, is very popular in the 3D food printing market.
It enables professionals to create customized foods by using fresh ingredients and other ingredients that are otherwise would have been thrown away.
Is 3D Printed Food Healthy?
3D printed food offers a range of potential health benefits.
Food production using 3D printers is healthy and good for the environment because they can help convert alternative ingredients such as proteins from algae, beet leaves, or insects.
It also allows you to use plant based ingredients and more. Plus, it opens doors for food design and customization to cater to individual needs and preferences.
Personalized nutrition has been around for years and additive manufacturing technology just brought it mainstream. 3D printing food could potentially be the future of personalized nutrition.
As with other 3D printing applications, 3D printing food allows you to personalize meals by controlling the amount of nutrients, vitamins or calories per meal.
And 3D printing food allows for precision which is extremely important in hospitals or those whose diets are restricted.
If you are wondering if anyone eats 3D printed food, the answer is a resounding “Yes.” As mentioned, there are already restaurants that serve this stuff.
Food Ink from the United Kingdom is the world’s first 3D printing restaurant. It offers guests a one-of-a-kind gourmet experience with their 3D printed food.
Aside from the menu, the utensils and all other furniture in Food Ink are produced using additive manufacturing technology.
“We are a conceptual pop-up dinner series where fine cuisine meets art, philosophy and tomorrow’s technologies,” the restaurant’s website read.
The people behind Food Ink include architects, artists, chefs, designers, engineers, futurists, industrials, investors and technologists. The team is working together to deliver the “most exquisite interactive edible experience.”
How Does The 3D Food Printer Work?
At this point, you are probably asking yourself these questions — how does food printing work? how does a 3D printer work for food? or how is 3D printing used in food?
If you are familiar with 3D printers, food 3D printers work the same as a regular FDM 3D printer.
You can think of it this way — food 3D printers heat the edible ingredients before 3D printing them on the build plate layer by layer.
There are studies that binder jetting and SLS could also 3D print food using powdered ingredients which are then solidified by the 3D printer.
Check out the video below to get an overview of how 3D printers deliver an edible product.
What Is 3D Food Made Of?
I know that at this point, you are wondering, what materials are used in 3D food printing?
Again, 3D printing food uses the concept of traditional 3D printing, but unlike the usual printers that use plastic for materials, this one uses edible ingredients in paste-form and build the food layer by layer.
The most common ingredients for 3D printed foods are chocolate, pancake batter and cream.
Also, it allows for the use of unconventional ingredients to make tasty dishes like protein-rich insects or algae.
Is 3D Printing Food Cheaper?
Normally, 3D printers are a bit expensive. You will probably spend between $1,000 to $5,000 to get one.
But with the rising popularity of food 3D printers, its price has started to drop because more and more companies are designing their own food 3D printer boosting the competition in the market and lowering down the price to the customers’ advantage.
Although food 3D printers can be expensive, the whole process makes it easier and convenient for the chefs and bakers.
With less time spent in customizing the products, you can expect that 3D printed foods would be priced fairly.
Also, 3D printing food is the new trend in the food business which only confirms that it’s a practical solution in being innovative with your baking skills.
With more and more chefs and bakers adding food 3D printers in their kitchens, there is no doubt that it is worth it.
Also, it’s the best solution for mass personalization because it is faster, cleaner and more consistent.
It may not be that cheap at the moment, but it is getting there. In the long run, it would be easier to see why 3D printing food is a lot cheaper.
How Is 3D Printing Used In The Food Industry?
With the growing popularity of food 3D printing technology, you are surely wondering how has 3D printing affected the food industry. Or How is 3D printing being used in the food industry?
3D printing has proven to be an effective kitchen partner for chefs and bakers. Many of them have already owned one to boost their business. Pastry chefs are among the first ones who enjoyed the benefits of food 3D printers.
Dinaro Kasko is an internet-famous pastry chef who uses a food 3D printer for her sweets. She creates 3D printed molds to design the shapes of her cakes making them unique and a standout in every angle.
She programs her designs and printed them into silicon molds to sculpt her cakes. She loves geometric and it is evident in her outputs. Her molds are designed with 3D Max using the Ultimaker 3D printer.
Although Kasko has been known as a pastry chef, the artist has only switched careers. She is originally an architect by profession.
Apparently, 3D printers allow her to integrate her love for architecture with her passion for baking by delivering delicious and artistic cakes. You can check out the architect-turned-chef’s output below.
3D Cake Creator John Lankford also uses it for his business. But unlike Kasko who uses additive manufacturing technology to mold her cakes, he directly prints layers of cake using mouthwatering batter filament. Batter is one of the more affordable food filaments available.
Aside from pastry chefs, a food 3D printer has been used in restaurants. Australian restaurant D’Arenberg Cube is popular for its classic lemon meringue pie with a twist. The restaurant is the first in the country to utilize 3D printers in the kitchen.
Their tangy treat is the only 3D printed food on their menu because it is very time-consuming to create. It takes 24 hours to finish.
And everything in it comes from the 3D printer. The 3D printed food gained the restaurant a sheer amount of patronage.
Head chef at the Cube, Brendan Wessels, is positive that food 3D printers will eventually play a significant role in the restaurant business.
BeeHex, the creators of Chef 3D, the bot designed to bake a pizza in six minutes are also using it to sell pizzas. Customers can customize their favorite pizza because BeeHex’s system can take any jpg file and turn it into a pizza shape for the crust.
Customers can also customize the size, toppings, dough and location. BeeHex planned to widen their customers’ options by allowing them to choose for thicker crusts and larger sizes in the future.
They are also planning to expand their products from pizza to offering bagels and scones. Pizzas are the easiest because they are flat.
That’s not all — Food 3D printing is also deemed to be the ideal technology in feeding astronauts on long space missions because the edibles it produces can last up to 30 years when placed in special plastic bags.
What Are The Advantages Of Using 3D Printing In Food Industry?
A decade ago, food printing would sound so distant and unlikely to happen.
But today, many have already incorporated the tool in their kitchens to up their game in the competition.
Aside from the convenience of having a machine 3D print your food, the technology offers many advantages that will surely make you fall in love with it.
Here is a list of the advantages of using 3D printers for cooking or food production, according to Joanna Izdebska and Zuzzana Zolek-Tryznowska.
• Food customization
• Food personalization
• Reduces food waste
• Increases food production with ease
• Meal composition adapted to individual diet
• Allows the use of new components or ingredients not popular among consumers
• Makes meal preparation easy and convenient
• Delivers aesthetic and functional customization
• Novel food textures
• Longer shelf life
• Ease of transportation which is mostly applicable to NASA and those in space
• Opens doors for new dishes, artistic designs, and culinary works of art
• Encourages one to design their own food
• An economical and efficient technique of mass personalization
What Is The Future Of 3D Printing Food?
Currently, food 3D printing is experiencing growing popularity. More and more are adding it to their professional kitchens.
Many believe that 3D food printing is the technology of the future because it is capable of delivering unique, attractive and intricate food items.
We can foresee that the “print and eat” technology will be even more popular because it is helpful in producing novel textured foods, healthy foods, smooth and easy-to-swallow foods for the elderly and foods that take years to expire for the astronauts in long space missions. It also prevents food waste.
Pretty sure, it will thrive because it is very promising and it delivers.
7 Best 3D Food Printers
Perhaps by now, you are asking yourself which is the best 3D food printer? I understand that you are looking for one after learning about all the advantages it offers.
I’m pleased to share with you my list of the top 3D food printers in the market today.
This food 3D printer is from the German startup Print2Taste. I included it because it’s the most affordable and reliable 3D printer food you can find out there.
Mycusini is small and compact to fit the kitchen countertop or cupboard. It comes with a stainless steel cartridge refilled with chocolate.
Aside from the price and size, it works well as your first 3D printer food because it comes with over 200 3D models that are already installed so you can start your food 3D printing right away after unboxing.
byFlow Focus has a sleek and futuristic design, unlike its counterparts. Also, it has been used in many restaurants and businesses already because of its reliability and ease of use. It can accommodate various materials and lets you switch quickly and easily.
The machine helps chefs, patissiers, and chocolatiers customize their recipes in ways not possible by hand or molds.
It also gives you the freedom to enjoy 3D food printing by allowing you to add your recipe. There is so much you can do with this professional kitchen tool.
This plug-and-play food 3D printer features specially formulated food cartridges and four types of different chocolate (dark, white, pink and blue).
Its newer version is equipped with an LCD display for a faster and easier operation which makes it perfect for professional kitchens.
It has dual extrusion too for simultaneous printing of two edible materials. You won’t run out of food to 3D print because its online platform, the Procusini Club has thousands of ready-to-print templates, objects, and models.
There are also tons of video tutorials and tips to help you navigate the printer.
HP is a popular 2D inkjet printing company, but it has also joined the 3D printing industry. Yes, aside from printing plain documents, HP can 3D print! It has been in the printing industry since 1939. The company has manufactured the HP Jet Fusion 3D printer technology that caters to your needs from prototyping to production.
HP Jet Fusion 5210 Pro/5210 is ideal for mid-volume production environments producing over 550 parts per week, HP Jet Fusion 5200 does the same for environments producing 200 parts per week.
The company also offers HP Jet Fusion 4200 for industrial prototyping and final part production environments producing up to 200 parts per week. It also has 500 series for small 3d printers and medium-sized product development which is great for design firms and universities averaging up to 100 parts per week.
However, only a portion of the valuation is from 3D printing activity. It is difficult to calculate the exact value of the 3D printing division because HP offers several other services aside from 3D printing.
2. Desktop Metal – Market Cap $2.5B
Desktop Metal is another US-based company that was founded in 2015. It is the biggest metal 3D printing company. Its Bound Metal Deposition (BMD) technology aims to make metal 3D printers more affordable than ever before.
The team is co-founded by a group of talented and skilled MIT researchers and venture capitalists including Ric Fulop. It has immediately grown with over 300 full-time staff already.
Desktop Metal released the Studio Systems – the easiest way for designers and engineers to print metal parts, thanks to its breakthrough two-step processing. Desktop Metal makes it possible and simpler to produce custom metal parts.
Its Studio System 2 unlocks two-step processing with a fully re-engineered materials library. The new material formulations allow printed parts to be placed directly into the furnace without the need for the typical solvent debind phase which results in an easy-to-manage two-process with a nearly hands-free experience.
3. Carbon 3D – Market Cap $2.4B
Carbon 3D has been around for less than a decade and produce some of the best resin 3d printers. It was founded in 2014 and just after seven years, it has become the biggest resin 3D printer company.
The company was founded by Joseph and Philip DeSimone. It experienced a massive investment and a sky-high market capitalization after major 3D printing services including Sculpteo have introduced CLIP technologies into their services enabling Carbon to raise over $680 million and a total valuation of $2.4 billion.
Its Carbon 3D’s layerless continuous liquid interface production technology (CLIP) , a hybrid of stereolithography that prints objects up to 100 times faster by eliminating the shortcomings to rapidly transform 3D models into physical objects.
It also manufactured a 3D printer using the Carbon Light Digital Light Synthesis process that enables the development of functional prototypes and end-use parts on a single machine.
4. 3D Systems – Market Cap $1.33B
3D Systems is among the 3D printing companies that have been around the longest. It is also one of the top 3D printer manufacturers. The company was founded by Chuck Hull in 1986 to commercialize stereolithography.
The SLA-1 3D Systems has grown exponentially enabling the company to make hundreds of millions of dollars. It has since been declared an engineering landmark by ASME.
3D Systems offers various 3D printers including metal 3D printers, plastic 3D printers, metal casting 3D printers, dental 3D printers and jewelry 3D printers. 3D Systems also offers different materials and software.
Aside from the 3D printing machines, 3D Systems is among the 3D printing companies that offer several services including appearance models, functional prototyping, low-volume production and rapid prototyping.
5. Proto Labs — Market Cap $3.42B
Proto Labs offers the world’s fastest 3d printer and digital manufacturing service. It enables rapid prototyping and on-demand production for quality parts on time. The company serves a broad range of industries from life-saving medical devices to aerospace engine components.
The company offers injection molding, CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication and 3D printing. For 3D printing, it offers stereolithography, Multi Jet Fusion, Selective Laser Sintering, Metal 3D printing, PolyJet and Carbon DLS.
“Since its lead times are twice as fast as other service bureaus, I often use Proto Labs for 3D printed and machined components. It’s extremely valuable during development to get high-quality parts, manufactured to the CAD specs, in a matter of days,” said Nathan Plow Engineer from TESLA.
6. Nano Dimension — Market Cap $2.53B
NANO Dimension is a provider of intelligent machines for the fabrication of Additively Manufactured Electronics (AME). It disrupts and reshapes manufacturing with intelligent 3D technologies.
The company’s machines serve cross-industry needs by depositing proprietary consumable conductive and dielectric materials simultaneously. Nano Dimension compels iterative development, IP safety, fast time-to-market and device performance gain thereby mandating AME for in-house, rapid prototyping and production.
Its product includes the award-winning DragonFly Pro 2020 3D printer known to 3D print a variety of functional electronics such as sensors, antennas, molded connected devices, printed circuit boards and other devices. DragonFly Pro is transforming the electronic additive manufacturing market and allows companies to take charge of their entire development cycle.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm around the DragonFly 2020 Pro 3D Printer in terms of technological breakthrough and how it can radically change development processes. Our objective is to use the system to simplify workflows and design increasingly complex parts – which will include PCBs and embedded circuits – with many more functions than are possible with traditional techniques,” said Oliver Vancauwenberghe, Sensor Research Manager at Safran Tech
7. Materialise — Market Cap $2.34B — Biggest 3D Printing Company Service
Materialise is a Belgian 3D printing service founded in 1990. It’s the biggest 3D printing company service with over a thousand employees.
The company is among the rapid prototyping pioneers. It is formed of two subsidiaries — Materialise and i.materialise.
Materialise specializes in rapid prototyping in industrial 3D printing applications. Meanwhile, i.materialise, a marketplace and B2c/C2C online 3D printing service allowing makers to upload their designs to be 3D printed and mailed to them.
Although Materialise doesn’t manufacture 3D printers, it helps democratize 3D printing and 3D design. It allows designers to create their own models on professional 3D software tools and sell the designs on i.materialise platform.
8. Stratasys Ltd. — Market Capitalisation: $1.76B
Stratasys is based in Israel and one of the largest 3D printing companies in the world by market capitalization. With a market cap of $1.76 billion, the company is undeniably something to be reckoned with in the global 3D printing market.
The company is pioneering the future with 3D printing as it believes that additive manufacturing can change everything and they are at the forefront of the transformation. The team moves forward to push its limits in the industry.
Stratasys has offices in 13 countries. Their 3D printers are helping realize big ideas and offer tailored solutions in the automotive, dental, and other business industries.
They also enable the creations of new designs and manufacturing possibilities across the globe. It already perfected three of the main printing technologies — FDM, PolyJet and Stereolithography systems that set the industry standard.
Moreover, Stratasys doesn’t stop with the 3D printer, it also provides a market-leading choice of materials, smart software integrations and expert consultation.
It is trusted by the world’s top companies from global leaders in aerospace and automotive to pioneering medical startups and giants of the tech world like Volvo, Ford, Honda, Airbus, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, and Audi.
9. ExOne — Market Capitalisation: $743.44 Million
ExOne has been in the industry for 16 years already. It offers 3D printing supply services, systems and solutions for digital age manufacturing, including industrial grade materials. Its 3D printing systems have a versatile design making them capable of handling different materials, build speeds and throughputs to achieve the desired products.
With a $743.44 million market cap, there is no doubt that ExOne is one of the additive manufacturing technologies that offers industrial 3D printing systems and services across three different continents.
“This is a breakthrough in making 3D printing and sintered parts for the auto industry. High-speed aluminum 3D printing paves the way for other opportunities that we’re just now starting to take a look at because of the ability to do complex parts with aluminum that previously weren’t possible. It’s really opening doors for other opportunities,” said Harold Sears, Ford technical leader for additive manufacturing, about ExOne.
10. Voxeljet — Market Cap: $96.59 Million
Voxeljet is among the global innovators and technology drivers for advanced 3D printing solutions in the industry. Their 3D printers are powerful, cost-effective and perfect for the industry because it maximizes productivity.
The company is popular for its large 3d print format production and chemical 3D printing systems for industrial applications. Also, its additive manufacturing systems are designed to ensure competitive advantages technically and economically.
Many also love Voxeljet because it optimizes cost, has overcome the limitations of traditional 3D printing systems by catering to both small and large components, and it has a faster manufacturing time by eliminating the molding process. Plus, it makes complex geometries easy and supports automation. Overall, their 3D printers are reliable and efficient
“With Voxeljet working alongside us to supply molds and cores, we will be able to compress lead times even further for our customers while also setting new records in terms of the size and weight of parts we can cast,” said Oliver Johnson, CEO Tooling & Equipment International.
11. Organovo — Market Cap $76.65M
Organovo is a company based in San Diego and has been around since 2007. It is the 8th position of the largest 3D printing company in the world.
Organovo is pioneering a unique set of therapeutic and drug profiling capabilities using 3D printing technology. They are known to transform the future of regenerative medicine by mimicking the key aspects of human biology and disease.
12. Formlabs — Market Cap $1B
Formlabs is founded by three MIT students Maxim Lobovsky, Natan Linder, and David Cranor in 2011. The company made headlines by raising an unprecedented $2.9 million on Kickstarter when it produced Form 1 SLA 3D printer which ranked in the top 100 highest funded crowdfunding projects of all time.
The company has received $100M in total venture capital and shipped over 35,000 3D printers around the world. It has since expanded into Selective Laser Sintering. In 2016, it acquired the 3D printing marketplace Pinshape which boasts $2M annual revenue. The company has over 500 employees across North America, Europe, and Asia.
Formlabs is not stopping there because it is expanding its access to digital fabrication and every stage of production.
13. Markforged – Market Cap $300M-$500M
Markforged was founded by Greg Mark in 2013. It started the company to take advantage of carbon fiber composite printing. It later moved on from being a desktop 3D printer manufacturer to developing its first metal 3D printer — the Markforged Metal X — their industrial product range.
The company is among the leading metal 3D printer manufacturers. Its Metal X System is powerful and intuitive. It is also designed to be safe and accessible for all to fabricate complex metal parts in a wide variety of advanced metals. It is purpose-built for consistent quality and seamless user experience.
Markforged’s The Digital Forge is the platform that prints industrial parts at the speed of software. It has software, materials and printers.
Its Eiger engine secures software interfaces, its industrial-grade materials enable engineers to make functional parts for manufacturing environments, and its rugged 3D printers and systems are built to produce reliable and repeatable results.
The company received $300 million back in 2017 and another $28 million in 2019. It has since grown and is now worth between $100 million to $500 million. Markforged has worked with various giant companies including Zeiss, SIEMEN, TOYOTA, SONOS, Purdue University, Philips, Disney and Google.
14. EOS – Market Cap Between $1B-$2.9B
EOS has been around the market since 1989. The company was founded by Dr. Hans Langer and is based in Germany. EOS is among the largest Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and SLS 3D printer manufacturers.
The brand experienced huge success during the 1990s after selling some of its early SLS 3D printers to BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
It released its first DMLS 3D printer in 1995 and in the next 20 years the company controlled the DMLS industry. Dr. Langer, himself is worth $2.9 billion and is said to be the first billionaire in 3D printing.
15. Autodesk, Inc — Market Cap, 73.214B
Autodesk, Inc is an American multinational software corporation that offers software products and services for architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media, education and entertainment industries.
It is popular for its software products and services but has also made a name in 3D printing because it offers 3D digital design.
The company has a very high market cap, but we can’t tell how much is from 3D printing alone as the company offers various services and is even more popular in other areas than 3D printing.
According to reports, Autodesk has already made $3.79 billion this year. We still include this on the list because it is the leading company for 3D printing stocks.
Which Is The Best 3D Printing Stock
For those who are interested in investing in the additive manufacturing industry, we are here to help. Here are the best 3D printing stocks to buy, according to Insider Monkey.
1. Autodesk Inc.
Autodesk is the leading 3D printing company when it comes to stocks as of this writing.
It had an EPS of $1.03 beating estimates by $0.09.
It also made a revenue of $989.30 million up to 11.7% year over year, beating estimates by $24. 54 million.
Autodesk Inc has a gross profit margin of 91.95% and has gained 18.64% in the past year.
2. Raytheon Technologies Corporation
The company has an EPS of $0.90 beating estimates by $0.07. Its revenue was $15.25 billion and has a gross profit margin of 14.82%
The stock has gained 22.41% in the past six months and 24.86% year to date.
In the fiscal second quarter of 2021, the company’s EPS was $0.93 beating estimates by $0.04 and its revenue for the quarter was valued at $15.88 beating estimates by $916.77.
HP has a gross profit margin of 19.38% and a PE (price-to-earnings) ratio of 8.35. The stock has gained 16.06% in the past six months and 24.1% year to date.
In the first quarter of the year, it had an EPS of -$0.06 beating estimates by $0.01 and made $134.19 million in revenue also beating the estimates by $1.92 million.
The Company has a gross profit margin of 43.56% and has gained 51.48% in the past year.
5. Desktop Metal
In the first quarter of 2021, Desktop Metal had $.03 EPS (earnings per share) beating estimates by $0.15.
It made $11.31 million for the quarter representing a 2.58% growth year over year and beating estimates by $1.39 million. The stock has gained 2.30% in the past year.
Is 3D Printing Worth Investing In?
For those wondering whether investing in 3D printing is worth it or not, the answer is “YES.” The global 3D printing market size was valued at $13.78 billion in 2020 and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 21% from 2021 to 2028, according to Grand View Research.
In 2020, 2.1 million units of 3D printers were shipped globally and the shipments are expected to reach 15.3 million united by 2028.
3D printers alone are a worthy investment, especially if you take the time to learn the process thoroughly. Study the industry and make a smart plan because 3D printing is a worthy investment.
You may also want to check out our list of best 3D printers for beginners. 3D printing technology is very popular in the market because it is very useful.
More and more businesses are turning to it to speed up their business processes and offer more 3d printing services, products, and solutions to their customers.
3D printing is one of the booming industries today. That is why the number of 3D printing companies in the industry has continued to grow. Many of them offer 3D printing services and other 3D printing solutions to help companies experience rapid growth.
You can also invest in 3D printing companies through 3D printing stocks. The top 3D printing companies out there are 3D Systems, Proto Labs, HP and Materialise NV and Stratasys to name a few. Consider them when you are ready to join the 3D printing business. Investing in 3D printing stocks will be a wise move as the industry is expected to grow in the coming years.
Chinese Company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. is among the first to test the limits of 3D printing in construction.
It has already built 210 3D-printed houses in under 24 hours, but it made history when it constructed the world’s tallest 3D-printed structure — the apartment block — in 2015.
The apartment building was made using a 20-feet tall, 33-feet wide, and 132-feet long 3D printer, according to ArchDaily. It uses a mixture of glass fiber, steel, cement, hardening agents and recycled construction waste for the material — which are flexible, self-insulating and resistant to strong earthquakes.
The individual building sections were then assembled like a modular construction project. The walls and other structures were fabricated offsite with a diagonal reinforced print pattern and put together to come up with this 3D printed building.
The company then placed beam columns, steel rebar within the walls and insulation while reserving space for pipe lines, windows and doors.
Using 3D printers enabled the company to save between 30 – 60 percent of the construction waste and decrease production time between 50 – 70 percent compared to the traditional construction time. It also reduced the labor by 80 percent which means that the house is more affordable, per 3Dprint.com.
At about the same time, WinSun built a 1,100 square-meter 3D printed mansion that was already fully decorated. Ma Rongquan, China Construction No. 8 Engineering Bureau’s chief engineer, was hoping that both projects would pave the way for more unified standards around 3D printed construction.
“These two houses are in full compliance with the relevant national standards. It is safe, reliable, and features a good integration of architecture and decoration. But as there is no specific national standard for 3D printing architecture, we need to revise and improve such a standard for the future,” he said.
2. HuaShang Tengda Quake-Proof Villa in China
Another popular 3D printed construction in China is designed and built by HuaShang Tengda. The 3D printer building is nearly indestructible because it boasts the capability of withstanding a magnitude 8.0 earthquake, according to Digital Trends.
Although it’s a bonafide mansion and the company hasn’t released its official price, one can expect that the cost was way beyond low compared to building a similar structure in the traditional way because it uses additive manufacturing or 3D print technology. This 3D-printed mansion was manufactured for only 45 days.
It was built completely on-site in one fell swoop. However, the 3D printed structures were manufactured at separate facilities and pieced together at a later time.
The company created a new print-process technology used in these main operations — concrete mixing, transmission, electronic ingredient formulating and 3D printing. They only used 20 tons of concrete for the entire villa.
However, before they assembled the 3D structures, the crew worked on the building’s frame, rebar support and plumbing first. After finishing the 3D printing and assembly, the crew painted and decorated the home’s interior.
“Because of its speed, low cost, simple and environmentally friendly raw materials, [it should] generally improve the quality of people’s lives,” said HuaShang Tengda on its website. “Particularly with the use of the new rural construction, [it] can now improve farmers’ living conditions. [The technology] will have immeasurable social benefits.”
3. Office Of the Future Building in Dubai by Apis Cor
Dubai, the home of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, also became the home of the world’s largest 3D-printed building as verified by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2020, after Dubai Future Foundation constructed its first 3D printed commercial building called Office of the Future with the help of Apis Cor, the industry’s leading construction 3D printing company. Dubai’s achievement in 3D printing construction isn’t really surprising as the city has a track record of building extravagant landmarks.
Office of the Future was manufactured using a 3D printer measuring 20 feet high, 120 feet long and 40 feet wide. The entire structure was printed using a giant cement printer and assembled on site. The printing process only took 17 days and it was installed in only two days.
But that’s not all — the building is an engineering feat because it was built with only three workers and one 3D printer that moved around the site by crane. The 3D printed wall was placed on a concrete foundation and reinforced with more traditional construction materials or rebar and concrete. Contractors were also brought into the project to install windows and the roof.
Its walls are 31 feet tall and the entire structure is 6,900 feet making it the largest 3D printed building in the world. The government of Dubai also took pride in it for being the first two-story structure of its kind because it is gearing toward sustainability thanks to its local materials and efficient insulation that reduce energy consumption.
The two-story administrative building will be used by the Dubai municipality. And following its success, the city plans to have one-quarter of all buildings built with 3D printing by 2030, Insider reported.
4. 3D Printed House in Antwerp, Belgium by Kamp C
Kamp C built a prototype 3D-printed house with two floors using what it calls Europe’s largest 3D printer. The project measures around 90 square meters. It’s the first 3D-printed house with two fours, New Atlas reported.
It was constructed using a COBOD BOD2 printer measuring 10 x 10 meters. The process includes extruding a special cement-like mixture, building up the basic structure in layers and continuing it until the building was complete.
They only hire a human workforce to put the finishing touches like the roofs and windows. The interior of the prototype home has similar dimensions to a typical Belgian house with an entrance hall, two conference rooms, and a tiny kitchen area.
Kamp C also added sustainable and energy-saving extras including underfloor heating, solar panels and a heat pump. The company plans to use a green roof for its future projects.
The house was completed on-site for over three weeks. However, Kamp C reckoned that the time of the construction could actually be reduced to two days in the future. Overall, 3D printing the house reduces the production cost and construction time.
“The material’s compressive strength is three times greater than that of the conventional quick build brick,” explains Marijke Aerts, the project manager.
“Besides the fibers in the concrete, the amount of wire-mesh reinforcement used is extremely limited. As a result of the printing technology used, formwork was redundant, saving an estimated sixty percent on material, time, and budget.”
5. Two-Story Detached House in Germany by PERI GmbH and MENSE-KORTE
Germany is one of the countries in Europe that immediately incorporate 3D printing in construction.
In 2020, it was able to build its first 3D printed residential building in Beckum, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany with builder PERI GmbH and designer MENSE-KORTE ingenieure+architekten.
Both companies had worked together to manufacture a two-story building that measures approximately 860 square feet.
They use a special 3D printer called BOD2 by Danish manufacturer COBOD. The versatile machine allows the addition of pipes and other internal building components while it is 3D printing. It can print up to 1 square foot of double-skin wall in just five minutes, according to ArchDaily.
The building was constructed for Hous3Druck GmbH and it was considered a milestone in the construction sector in Germany because it increases the demand and popularity of residential printing projects in the country.
For the builder, 3D printing makes the job easy for them because the printer can move along its frame to any position within the construction and only needs to be calibrated once. It consists of triple-skin cavity walls, and an insulating compound. The manual work was for the installation of empty pipes and connections within the printing area which can be done while 3D printing is in progress.
“3D construction printing fundamentally changes the way we build and the process of residential construction. As this is the first building of its kind, we are making a point of printing at a slower rate than what is actually possible. We want to take the opportunity to gain further experience in day-to-day operations as this will help us to leverage the cost reduction potential of our technology to a greater extent in the next printing project,” said Leonhard Braig, Production & Supply Chain Director at PERI GmbH.
The 3D printing technology also helps designers by giving them freedom especially when it comes to the building’s cost.
“The concrete printing process affords us, designers, a high degree of freedom when we are designing buildings. With conventional construction methods, this would only be possible at a great financial cost. With our printed residential building in Beckum, we are demonstrating the potential of the construction printing process,” said Waldemar Korte, partner MENSE-KORTE ingenieure+architekten.
6. 3D Printed House in the Netherlands by Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix
There is no doubt that Europe is one of the continents that are into construction 3D printing because in several countries there has at least one 3D printed building. In April, a Dutch couple became Europe’s first tenants of a fully 3D printed house.
The couple Elize Luz and Harrie Dekkers are retired shopkeepers from Amsterdam, received the digital key — an app that allows them to open the front of their two-bedroom bungalow at the press of a button.
The building is the first of five homes constructed by firm Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix in the Eindhoven suburb. It boasts 94 square meters of living space. It was the first habitable and commercially rented property in the city where the load-bearing walls have been made using a 3D printer nozzle.
“This is also the first one which is 100% permitted by the local authorities and which is habited by people who actually pay for living in this house,” Bas Huysmans, chief executive of Weber Benelux, a construction offshoot of its French parent company Saint-Gobain, was quoted by The Guardian as saying.
The process involved a huge robotic arm with a nozzle that squirts out a specially formulated cement with a whipped cream-like texture. The cement is printed according to the architect’s design and is added layer upon layer to create a wall to increase its strength.
Roof and window frames were then fitted and finishing touches were applied before it was handed over to the market.
“If you look at what time we actually needed to print this house it was only 120 hours,” Huysmans said.
“So all the elements, if we would have printed them in one go, it would have taken us less than five days because the big benefit is that the printer does not need to eat, does not need to sleep, it doesn’t need to rest. So if we would start tomorrow, and learned how to do it, we can print the next house five days from now,” Huysmans explained.
Luz and Dekkers were both very happy with their new home. In fact, they have nothing but praises for it.
“It is beautiful,” said Lutz. “It has the feel of a bunker – it feels safe,” Dekkers added.
7. 3D Printed House in Texas by Icon
The United States has also started to embrace 3D printing in the construction sector. The country just had its first 3D printed homes in Austin, Texas, which was put to market in March at a starting price of around $450,000.
The project was hailed by 3D printing firm Icon as the USA’s first 3D-printed home. Icon welcomed investment from high-profile Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and created the project in collaboration with Kansas City developer 3Strands. The homes were designed by Logan Architecture.
Using 3D printing in construction reduces the cost and time it takes for construction. However, this project is geared more towards the people with more money because it features a hybrid construction.
The first floor of the home is 3D printed using Icon’s Vulcan printer that extrudes cement-like mixture in layers and builds up the structure. It then added doors and windows.
Meanwhile, the second floor is constructed using the traditional methods and includes a timber frame. It is not wholly 3D printed but it is designed to withstand natural disasters.
“The one-of-a-kind homes designed by Logan Architecture for developer, 3Strands, are the latest homebuilding project using Icon’s Vulcan construction system to deliver sustainable, resilient and beautiful housing,” Icon said in a press release.
“The first floor of these highly energy-efficient homes were 3D printed using Icon’s advanced material that is stronger and longer-lasting than traditional building materials.
3D printing technology provides safer, more resilient homes that are designed to withstand fire, flood, wind and other natural disasters better than conventionally built homes and that can be built in a matter of weeks.
To date, Icon has delivered two dozen 3D-printed homes across central Texas and in Mexico and this marks the first mainstream housing project for the startup.”
8. Sustainable Structures in Africa
Many people in Africa do not have their own homes. According to the Homeless World Cup Foundation, the main causes of homelessness in South Africa are significant housing shortage, 28% unemployment and urbanization.
As of 2015, there are 200,000 homeless people living on the street alone and roughly 79% of the population are under the poverty line. But 14Trees, a LafargeHolcim and CDC Group joint venture, has been working on ways to bring affordable housing and schools to the continent. They take construction innovations from the lab to the lot and their 3D printed homes are sustainable and environment-friendly too.
They have been working on sustainable and affordable structures using COBOD’s BOD2 3D printer and it only requires two human operators. COBOD already sent experts to Malawi to give local workers proper training.
“We are very encouraged by the fact that 14Trees now has brought our technology to beneficial use in Africa, and we are impressed by the speed they manage to achieve for the printing of the walls of the first buildings, COBOD Founder and General Manager Henrik Lund-Nielsen told 3D Printing Media Network.
“The shortage of affordable housing and schools in Africa is overwhelming, and we do believe that our technology can play a vital role in solving this, not at least by increasing the speed of execution.”
9. Gaia House in Italy by WASP
Gaia is an eco-sustainable house model designed and built by a 3D printer called Crane Wasp. The word Gaia in Ancient Greek means land or earth. The 3D printer uses natural waste materials coming from the rice production chain like chopped straw and rice husks and has almost zero environmental impact. But the main binder of the constituent mixture is raw soil.
Gaia is a 30-square meter house with a 3D-printed outer shell and internal timber beams holding a timber roof. It was printed in Massa Lombardo, an Italian town in the region of Emilia-Romagna, in October 2018.
“Gaia is the result of a limited and optimised use of agricultural resources, which through technology have been converted into a complex building with a minimal environmental footprint,” WASP told Dezeen.
According to the company, Gaia is biodegradable.
“If the building isn’t maintained, it will turn back into soil,” it stated.
Gaia was constructed for only 10 days using the Crane Wasp with a 20 square meters surface and printed building envelope of 30 square meters.
The suspended 3D printer extruded the mixture layer by layer to create the walls with vertical cavities inside. It was then filled with rice husks for insulation to keep the temperature inside the house comfortable and to eliminate the need for internal heating even during the winter.
Rice husks are also used to create a plaster for coating the structure’s internal walls and as a layer of insulation on top of its roof.
WASP told Dezeen that using the 3D printing technology was time-efficient and cheap because it finished the job in less than two weeks.
“Gaia is a highly performing structure in terms of energy, with almost no environmental impact,” the company said.
WASP believes that agricultural waste could become a major resource in the building industry and that it’s possible to develop other materials suitable for extrusion like demolition waste from pre-existing buildings to create new structures.
3D printing has been very useful in the construction sector. It reduces the cost and labor and shortens the construction time.
More and more countries from different continents have already started 3D printing buildings and they can see how it will change the business in a few years from now. Dubai, China and a number of countries in Europe and Africa are already using 3D printers in construction.
Construction 3D printing is the answer to the housing shortage. It can also make housing more affordable and accessible to everyone around the world.
Large 3D printers build 3D printed structures or homes using a mixture of concrete cement and other materials with minimal manpower or labor. There is no doubt that 3D printing is the future of the construction industry!
Are you considering getting a dual extruder 3D printer? Are you wondering if it is worth it or not?
Dual extruder 3D printers work faster and are more convenient to use because they eliminate the need to swap out one filament for another. They are best used when 3D printing with multiple filaments or when you mix colors of different materials.
I know you are looking for the best dual extruder 3D printer and I’m here to help because I know that it’s not easy to choose one as there are a lot of dual extruder 3D printers in the 3D printing industry. So, I compiled the best dual extruder 3D printers in the market today. Check them out and see what’s best for you.
In the beginning, 3D printers only come with one extruder. However, with time, 3D printing technology has evolved and the users’ expectations have also risen which led to better 3D printers. Dual extruder 3D printers came to life due to the need to print multiple colors at the same time.
Each dual extruder 3D printer on the list comes with its own limitations and strengths. It’s up to you to determine which is the best dual extruder 3D printer for you depending on your requirements and budget. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Bibo 3D printer is among the most popular dual extruder 3D printers and it is apparent in its rank on Amazon and positive reviews on the e-commerce site.
This dual extruder 3D printer allows you to print an object in two colors and prints dissolvable filament for printing support material. It also comes with filament detection which is very helpful when the filament spool runs out during printing because the machine automatically pauses for you to load in a fresh spool of filament.
When it comes to its appearance, it looks like it’s from a different era. It has a sturdy metal frame that is made of a 6 mm thick aluminum composite panel. It has a removable enclosed cover made of an acrylic hood and front door to ensure better temperature control inside the printer. This set-up is great for ABS prints.
As for its performance, this 3D printer delivers impressive prints. Furthermore, it can be enhanced with a laser engraving module to broaden its scope of application.
It has a full-color touch screen with no thresholds making it more user-friendly and easier to operate. It also comes with wifi-control that includes a networking feature that permits you to control the print via phone or PC.
Overall, this 3D printer is a great 3D printing solution, with two print heads, an average build area, and printing volume. It costs less than $1,000 but delivers great print quality and allows a variety of filaments to support your creativity and give you all the printing possibilities. This dual extruder printer is highly recommended!
• Technology: Fused deposition modeling (FDM)
• Year: 2019
• Assembly: Partially assembled
• Mechanical arrangement: Cartesian XY-head
• Manufacturer: Bibo
• Build volume: 214 x 186 x 160 mm
• Feeder system: Direct drive
• Print head: Dual nozzle
• Nozzle size: 0.4 mm
• Max. hot end temperature: 270 ℃
• Max. heated bed temperature: 100 ℃
• Print bed material: Glass
• Frame: Aluminum
• Bed leveling: Manual
• Connectivity: WiFi, USB
• Print recovery: Yes
• Filament sensor: Yes
• Camera: No
• Filament diameter: 1.75 mm
• Third-party filament: Yes
• Filament materials: Consumer materials (PLA, ABS, PETG filaments, Flexibles)
• Recommended slicer: Cura, Simplify3D, Repetier-Host
• Operating system: Windows, Mac OSX, Linux
• File types: STL, OBJ, AMF
• Frame dimensions: 467 x 357 x 374 mm
• Weight: 16 kg
• Precise and stable
• Removable glass bed
• Average build area
• Competitive price
• Supports multiple filaments
• Heavy and stable metal frame
• Can print with multiple materials
• Can engrave many different materials
• Small footprint, easily on a desktop
• Compatible with the major computer system and software
• Average build area
• Speed can still be improved
• Laser resolution is only 20 microns
• Beginners might find it complicated. Check here for best 3d printers for beginners
Geeetech A10M is a 2-in-1 3D printer that is versatile and delivers four types of printings — single color, double color, graded color, and mixed color that will surely enrich your 3D printing experience — thanks to its dual extruder 3D design. It’s a smaller version of the Geeetech A20M!
Geeetech A10M has a modularized design that divides the printer into 6 modules — Gantry kit, Bottom Kit, Extruder motors, PSU Kit, LCD display Kit, Filament holder Kit, and everything else that you need to tighten screws, connect the wires tightly, fine-tune belt tension and adjust the heated bed.
Plus, it works smartly. This dual extruder 3D printer has a filament detection system that will alert you to change filaments when the printer runs in the air or the spool is empty. It has a resurrection system that saves real-time printing status and resumes the 3D printing job exactly where it stops in case of a power outage or printing failure.
Geeetech recommends Repetier-Host for slicing models, but it also provides Color Mixer software for importing Gcode to add gradients, color steps or mix filament colors. For your peace of mind, it comes with lifetime technical assistance in case you encounter any problem while setting it up or using it.
It also has responsive and knowledgeable customer support that you can contact via email and on Facebook. You might need to do a lot of fine-tuning to get great prints which also gives you the opportunity to familiarize your machine more.
Overall, Geeetech A10M is a great value for money considering its price and the features it offers that’s why it makes it into my best dual extruder printer list. If you need a bigger dual extruder 3D printer, you can go for the Geeetech A20M 3D printer. Geeetech is another go-to brand for dual extrusion 3D printers.
• Build volume: 220 x 220 x 260mm
• Printing accuracy: 0.1mm
• Frame: Aluminum
• Nozzle quantity: Two
• Nozzle diameter: 0.4mm
• Max. print temperature: 250
• Nozzle diameter: 1.75mm
• Connectivity: Wi-Fi, SD Card, USB
• File format: G-code, STL
• XY-axis positioning accuracy: 0.011mm
• Z-axis positioning accuracy: 0.0025mm
• Voltage: 110-240V
• Power: 360W
• Product weight: 7.6kg
• Package weight: 8.84kg
• Product size: 18.80 x 23.50 x 46.50 cm (7.4 x 9.25 x 18.31 in)
• Package size: 48.80 x 23.50 x 46.50 cm (19.21 x 9.25 x 18.31 in)
• Easy to upgrade
• Sturdy and reliable
• Very easy to assemble
• Better graphics display
• Filament run-out sensor
• Great customers support
• Lifetime technical assistance
• Easy to find replacement parts
• Mount ready for induction sensor
• Needs a lot of fine-tuning
• Flawed filament spool design
Flashforge Creator Pro is a clone of the MakerBot Replicator printers and it’s the only model from the brand with dual extruders. It has a sturdy metal frame with aviation level aluminum plate and a completely flat surface that will not warp during the heating process. It has an enclosed chamber design for protection.
Aside from allowing you to print two filaments, Flashforge Creator Pro supports various filaments, including PLA, ABS, PLA Color Change, Pearl, ABS Pro, Elastic, PVA, HIPS filament, PETG, TPE filament, TPU, Conductive Filament, and more. You can unleash your creativity because you can use different materials for your 3D project. However, the spool holders are too big for most filaments, but you can replace it by 3D printing another one.
In general Flashforge Creator Pro is easy to use from setting it up to making your first 3D print. The challenging part is locating the voltage switch that is extremely awkward to get to. If you do not have any experience, you will probably have a hard time setting this up and making it work. But you can find use the pdf file available at the FlashForge USA website to guide you.
Creator Pro 3D printer is a bit pricey compared to other dual 3D printers on the list, but it’s already very cheap given its qualities. It also delivers decent quality and consistent prints.
Overall, Flashforge Creator Pro is an affordable, efficient and reliable dual extruder 3D printer. It delivers consistent results and is relatively easy to maintain and repair. Plus, it has an active and supportive community which you can turn to whenever you need help or answers to even your basic questions.
Furthermore, Creator Pro is open source, so you are free to upgrade it and improve it to work the way you want your machine to operate. Due to the said reasons, I consider Creator Pro the best dual extruder 3D printer.
• Technology: FFF
• Year: 2016
• Assembly: Fully assembled
• Mechanical arrangement: Cartesian style
• Manufacturer: Flashforge
• Build volume: 227 × 148 × 150 mm
• Layer height: 100 microns
• Extruder type: Dual
• Nozzle size: 0.4 mm
• Max. extruder temperature: 260°C
• Max. heated bed temperature: 120°C
• Positioning accuracy: XY: 11 microns; Z: 2.5 microns
• Printing Speed: 100 mm/s
• Print chamber: Enclosed
• Bed leveling: Manual
• Connectivity: SD card, USB
• Build-in camera for monitoring: No
• Filament diameter: 1.75 mm
• Third-party filament: Yes
• Filament materials: ABS filament, PETG, PLA, PVA
• Operating system: Windows, Linux, Mac
• Recommended Slicer: Replicator G, FlashPrint (included)
• File types: STL, OBJ
• Frame dimensions: 480 x 338 x 385 mm
• Weight: 19 kg
• Open source 3d printer
• Decent prints
• Operates quietly
• Durable metal frame
• Enclosed chamber for protection
• Aluminum plate prevents warping
• Large community for support
• Printing plate can withstand high temperature
• Insufficient instructions
• Not easy to set-up for beginners
• Recommended software is mediocre
• Some users reported unreliability issues
Ultimaker S5 is a professional dual extruder 3D printer. The brand is among the most popular and trusted 3D printer manufacturers in the market. Since it is for professionals, it costs more than regular dual extruder 3D printers.
The good thing with it is that it can handle a huge variety of material, has a huge build volume, impressive software and produces big prints. So, if you are planning to make money from your 3D printing machine, this dual extruder printer is a good option.
It comes with two swappable print heads. You can easily remove them by selecting an on-screen menu option and then pressing a retaining clamp. Doing so will allow you to use printheads for different materials at once.
Also, you won’t have a hard time operating this dual extruder printer because it has an LCD screen where you can control most functions from loading and unloading filaments to printing via a USB drive. Ultimaker S5 also includes the Cura app, the software that slices the model and creates the final print file.
The print process itself is simple and straightforward, but while the software offers a lot of options, there’s not much guidance. You can monitor prints via Cura with the Ultimaker app on your phone for both iOS and Android devices because it has a built-in webcam. The app also allows you to stop, pause, cancel or start a new print.
Overall, Ultimaker S5 is the best dual 3D printer for professionals. It is expensive but exceeds most of your expectations.
• Build volume: 330 x 240 x 300 mm
• Assembled dimensions: 495 x 585 x 780 mm
• Weight: 20.6 kg (45.4 lbs)
• Maximum power output
• Assembly type: Pre-assembled
• Dimensions: 495 x 585 x 780 mm
• Build Volume: 330 x 240 x 300 mm (13 x 9.5 x 11.8 inches)
• Layer Resolution: 0.25 mm nozzle: 150 – 60 micron/0.4 mm nozzle: 200 – 20 micron/0.8 mm nozzle: 600 – 20 micron
• Print Temperature: Up to 280 ˚C
• Print Speed: < 24 mm³ /s
• XYZ Resolution: 6.9, 6.9, 2.5 micron
• Print Head: Dual Extrusion with Soluble Support Material
• Swappable Print Cores
• Heated Build Plate with Active Leveling
• Open Filament System
• Materials: PLA, Tough PLA, Nylon filament, ABS, CPE, CPE+, PC, TPU 95A, PP, PVA filament, Breakaway, Third-Party materials
• Easy to print
• High print speed
• Impress print quality
• Excellent tensile stiffness
• Detailed surface quality
• Dual extrude in two colors
• LCD screen to control functions
• Star and monitor print via Cura
• Ideal for investment casting or create metal parts
• Camera feed sometimes freezes
• Large build volume
• Support a variety of materials
ZMorph is known for being a versatile dual extruder 3D printer, in fact, VX is one of the most popular 3-in-1 3D printers. But it makes it into our list of best dual extruder 3D printers because it is an exceptional 3D printer with dual extrusion.
The dual extruder has two feeders, two inlets, and a single nozzle. It has open feeders on the nozzle which makes it easy to spot clogging. Thanks to this, users can easily resolve the issue. It has a highly polished system that is available not only as a dedicated 3D printer.
ZMorph VX is more than just a 3D printer because it can do more than just that as it is also a CNC milling machine and a laser engraver. Yes, you read it right, aside from 3D printing, it can do CNC milling and laser engraving. When it comes to quality It is a multitool 3D printer with a lot of applications making it so powerful. It’s a professional 3D printer that is sturdy and durable. It also delivers big prints with impressive print quality that is very detailed.
ZMorph dual extruder 3D printer is a bit expensive compared to other brands, but very much worth it because it’s the all-around solution to your creative needs.
• Technology: FDM/FFF, CNC Mill, Laser Engraving, Thick Paste Syringe
• Build volume: 250 x 235 x 165 mm (toolhead dependent)
• Layer resolution: 25-400 microns
• Material diameter: 1.75 mm, 2.85mm (toolhead dependant)
• Nozzle diameter: 0.2 mm-0.4mm
• Platform leveling: Automatic
• Extruder: Single, Dual (toolhead dependant)
• Platform: Glass (3D printing), Machined Aluminum w/ clamp holes (CNC, Laser)
• Connectivity: USB, SD
• Maximum extruder temperature: 250° C
• Maximum platform temperature: 100° C
• Software bundle: Voxelizer 2.0
• Supported operating systems: Mac OS X / Windows 7 and newer versions
• Efficient design
• Great print quality
• Heavy-duty construction
• No Wi-Fie connection
• Has complicated features
• Prints with limited filament
CraftBot 3 is from a Hungarian 3D printer manufacturer CraftUnique. It is reliable and easy to use and makes a good alternative for 3D printers with a high price tag.
CraftBot 3 also known as “The Supervisor” has a dual extrusion with a filament monitoring system and high-grade components. You can customize the setting of each extruder to allow you to work with two different filament types simultaneously.
It is also packed with several useful features that professionals will surely love. The said features plus its affordable price make it an attractive choice for those who are looking for dual extruders. However, the quality is inferior compared to the other brands, some experienced inconsistencies when it comes to the effectiveness and reliability of some of its features which’s why it’s not on the top of our list.
Also, its free slicer software is not easy to use. I ran into a number of issues due to its setting. So, I couldn’t say that it’s the best.
Regardless, Craftbot 3 is a good dual 3D printer. It’s not the best, but definitely worth buying because it offers so much more for its price. Also, it comes with a one-year warranty, which is another reason why it’s worth buying.
• Build Volume (dual print mode): 10.6 x 9.84 x 9.8″ / 27.0 x 25.0 x 25.0 cm
• Build Volume (single print mode): 10.6 x 9.84 x 9.8″ / 32.20 x 25.o x 25.0 cm
• Total Print Area: 374mm x 250mm x 250mm
• Layer Resolution: Z Axis: 50 micron / 0.05 mm
• Hotend Max Temp: 300C
• Print Speed: 50 to 200 mm/s
• Layer Thickness: 50 micron
• Filament Diameter Size: 1.75 mm
• Dimensions: 55.4 x 48.8 x 43.1 cm
• Weight: 52.9 lb / 24 kg
• Fairly quiet
• WiFi connectivity
• Mirror, parallel setting
• Filament monitory system
• Pauses and restarts print after a power outage
• Quality can still be improved
• Bed leveling is not easy
• Craftware is not the best software
• Dual extrusion sometimes wastes a lot of filament
Raise3D Pro2 is a professional desktop FDM printer with a fully redesigned dual extrusion system with a sizable build volume. Its new extruder is 1.5 times faster compared to the N2 series. When printing with two materials, the non-functioning nozzle is raised by 1.5 mm with a switching time of less than a second.
Raise3D Pro2 3D printer is the new generation from the Raise3D company and it’s very easy to use. This 3D printer is ready to operate straight out of the box. In fact, before starting to print, you only need to load the filament and check out if the default calibration was not upset during the transportation.
Thanks to its dual extrusion, it can print with either a single or dual extruder setup. The two print heads will take about one inch of the width of your total build volume but still leaves you plenty of room to work with. It uses a unique technology that automatically retracts the dual extruders when not in use. Also, the nozzles are compatible with every type of filament.
Raise3D Pro3 3D printer has a fully enclosed aluminum frame and has the ability to print with two materials and resume the printing process after a power failure. Among its powerful features is wireless connectivity that allows control, collaboration, monitoring and operating the 3D printer from afar. It’s great for teams looking to streamline the design and printing process.
The only downside of this 3D printer is its price tag. It is expensive, you’ll feel like you are paying for every feature in the machine. But, I must say, it’s worth the price because it delivers what it promises and more. So, if you have the money and you are into powerful 3D printers regardless of the price, you should try it out.
• Build Volume (W×D×H)
• Single Extrusion Print: 12×12×11.8 in / 305×305×300 mm
• Dual Extrusion Print: 11×12×11.8 in / 280×305×300 mm
• Machine Size: 24.4×23.2×29.9 in / 620×590×760 mm
• Print Technology: FFF
• Print Head System: Dual-head with electronic lifting system
• Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
• XYZ Step Size: 0.78125, 0.78125, 0.078125 micron
• Print Head Travel Speed: 30–150 mm/s
• Build Plate: Heated aluminum build plate with magnetic holding
• Max Build Plate Temperature: 110 ºC
• Heated Bed Material: Silicone
• Build Plate Leveling: Pre-calibrated leveling
• Supported Materials: PLA filament/ ABS / HIPS / PC / TPU filament/ TPE / NYLON / PETG / ASA / PP / PVA / Glass Fiber Infused / Carbon Fiber Infused / Metal Fill / Wood Filament
• Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm (Default), 0.2/ 0.6/ 0.8/ 1.0 mm (Available)
• Max Nozzle Temperature: 300 ºC
• Connectivity: Wi-Fi, LAN, USB port, Live camera
• Noise Emission (Acoustic): ＜50 dB(A) when building
• Operating Ambient Temperature: 15-30 ºC, 10-90 % RH non-condensing
• Storage Temperature: -25 ℃ to +55 ℃, 10-90 % RH non-condensing
• Technical Certifications: CB, CE, FCC, RoHS
• Net Weight: 50.2 kg
• Gross Weight (Carton Only): 62.7 kg
• Gross Weight (Carton with Pallet): 70.5 kg
• Power Supply Input: 100-240 V AC, 50/60 Hz 230 V @3.3 A
• Power Supply Output: 24 V DC, 600 W
• Slicing Software: ideaMaker
• Supported File Types: STL/ OBJ/ 3MF/OLTP
• Supported OS: WINDOWS/ macOS/ LINUX
• Machine Code Type: GCODE
• User Interface: 7-inch Touch Screen
• Network: Wi-Fi, Ethernet
• Resume Print after Power Outage: Firmware recording, no need for battery installation. Protection from any condition
• Screen Resolution: 1024×600
• Motion Controller: ARM Cortex M7.400MHZ FPU
• Logic Controller: Freescale i.MX6, Quad core 1Ghz ARM processor
• Memory: 1 GB
• Onboard Flash: 8 GB
• OS: Embedded Linux
• Ports: USB 2.0×2, Ethernet×1
• Large build area. Check here for best large 3d printers
• Extreme precision
• Compatible with various materials
3D printers with dual extruders are versatile! They can 3D print two materials at once, so you can use multiple color filaments on your project. Also, some of them also serve as CNC milling machine and laser engraver at the same time
The list of dual extruder 3D printers above supports a variety of filaments, some have support structures and others come with a larger print volume compared to the others. I suggest that you compare the 3D printers’ printing bed, build area, extrusion head, and price when choosing the best one. You should also consider the features they offer. Pretty sure, you will find one within your budget and requirement! Sigmax R19 and Sindoh 3Dwox 2X are great dual extrusion 3D printers too.
Are you considering buying an open source 3D printer? Do you need to know more about it?
Open source 3D printers are becoming more and more popular today because you can tweak them to work the way you want them to operate. They are usually cheaper and customizable.
However, they might not be the best option for beginners because they usually require some knowledge or experience. But if you are willing to learn and you are interested in working on a machine that you can upgrade or modify an open source 3D printer is the best choice.
If you are into open source hardware or open source 3D printing software, get an open source 3D printer. For novices, do not worry because I am here to help. Let’s explore the best open source 3D printers together and find the top brands available on the market.
Anet 8 is a budget and popular cheap 3D printer based on the Prusa i3 design. It is one of the most popular DIY 3D printers in the market. It’s in the low-end of the pricing range which makes it among the top choices especially to those who want to start 3D printing but are on a tight budget.
When it comes to the design, it is not different from other Prusa i3 clones on the surface level. It has an Open-framed design that most people will instantly recognize. The 3D printing material used in the frame is housed in an acrylic frame instead of aluminum.
Since Anet 8 is cheap you can’t expect it to be perfect. Acrylic frame is a red flag to most people since plastic frames are known for being less stable and a lot more fragile than all-metal frames. Also, since it has an open design its electronics are exposed.
A8 is not loaded with a lot of features – the thing doesn’t even have an actual power switch, which means the only way to power it down is to unplug it. But it is fairly easy to assemble because it includes the necessary hardware. However, if you are a complete novice with no prior knowledge or experience, you might find the assembly complicated and challenging.
But do not worry, the assembly instructions are easy to comprehend and follow. The entire assembly process can take six hours to 12 hours. If you are busy and can’t sit down for long hours, no worries, you can stretch out the initial setup to several days or an entire week!
Anet A8 has a large build volume which means you can print more complex 3D models. It has an open filament system and offers two connectivity options — USB connection and SD card.
Overall, it’s reliable, accurate, and a cheap 3d printer. It comes with with a fairly large build volume, so it’s a good value for money, so I highly recommend it.
• Affordable price
• Excellent 3D printer for beginners
• Soldi build frame
• 3D printable upgrades
• Large print volume
• Heated print bed
• High-quality printing performance
• Includes all tools needed to assemble
• Rake many hours to assemble the printer
• Electronics included are not of the highest quality
• Acrylic (plastic) frame
• Modifications recommended
Creality’s name is from their motto “Create Reality, Achieve Dreams” so it’s pronounced ‘cree-ality not ‘see-reality’. It is basic but offers you a solid experience making it a great entry-level open source 3D printer for beginners.
Creality Ender 3 is another popular 3D printer because it is low-cost and fairly easy to set-up because it is pre-assembled. Beginners will surely love it because it only requires very few steps to make it work.
Creality designed this with BuildTak-like build plate and power recovery mode capabilities. It also uses V-slot wheels in aluminum profiles for linear movement delivering smooth and precise operation.
Another reason many purchase Ender 3 is due to its massive community support. Plus, it has plenty of upgrades and mods to go around. In fact, it’s one of the best open source 3D printers under $200.
Ender 3 is affordable and delivers great quality prints for its price! If you want to get a 3D printer from Creality, you should consider it.
• Patented Bowden Extruder (against blockages)
• Heatable printing plate
• Various filaments usable
• Excellent print quality
• The anti-power failure function
• Won’t slip
• No automatic leveling of the printing plate
• Printing bed uneven
• Axles must be retrofitted
• Slightly wobbly base plate
• Possibly unclean results when using ABS filaments
• Cabling of the power supply inferior
Creality CR-10 is a large format 3D printer. It is reliable, accurate and affordable. 3D printer users love it because of its ability to produce flawless prints on a very spacious heated bell.
CR-10 has been out since 2016, yet it hasn’t lost its popularity and still is a favorite when it comes to 3D prints with large print volumes. Not to mention, large prints are very fun to work on.
Creality CR-10 is very similar to Prusa-13 but much more affordable and beginner-friendly. It is easy to assemble because it is already semi-assembled. You can just put the frame with brackets and bolts together and do the writing for the stepper motors. Another good thing with
CR-10 is that it has updated its bed leveling nuts to larger ones for finer control. Also, it has a simple design and only a few moving parts which makes it easier to troubleshoot. It also has a removable glass print bed.
Overall, CR-10 is affordable and user-friendly which makes it a great open source 3D printer for beginners.
Snapmaker 2.0 a modular 3-in-1 3D printer that unlocks your full creative potential from 3D printing to laser engraving, cutting, and CNC carving. Snapmaker 2.0 is smarter, faster, larger, and more powerful than ever before. That’s not all, it is also tough, durable and flexible!
It started as a Kickstarter and open source community, it became an instant hit to those who want a multi-functional tool because it has interchangeable modules that you can change just like changing lenses on a camera. It’s a 3D printer that can switch to a laser cutter and then to a desktop CNC.
For CNC carving, it has a router to create precision 2.5D and 3D objects. It offers a faster speed and larger working space compared to the original model.
It also caters to a wide variety of printing materials you find in daily life are laser engravable or cuttable, including paper, plywood, leather, acrylic, cardboard, fabric and even food like cookies and coconuts. Also, since you are looking for an open source 3D printer, you will love it more because it has a modular design that you can upgrade and customize.
There are a lot of great things to say about Snapmaker because it is more than just a 3D printer. It does more, so it is packed with more powerful features compared to the other open source 3D printers on our list.
• Modular design
• High resolution
• Large workspace
• Easy to assemble
• Wi-Fi connectivity
• Power loss recovery
• Lot of adds-on (enclosures, light, hand wheel, emergency stop button, camera)
Prusa SL1 is a resemblance of the Original Prusa i3 printers and is also labeled as Open Source which signifies compatible support for third-party resin with no proprietary vats, resins or. FEP films. It is well fitted with the quality of 3D printers. Also, since it is open-source, you have to build your own scratch, assemble the kit or buy one expertly pre-built by Prusa research.
SL1 is well-suited with a broad range of different resins with lower cost and better maintenance. It has a resin level sensor situated in the resin bed known as the tank. It helps determine the maximum quantity of polymer into the tank and provides a notification about resins if it is running slowly or needs a refill for better compilation and simulation.
It also comes with an impressive cooling system and vapor releasing system because good airflow is very essential for a 3D printer. It also comes with smart features, including a full-color LCD touch screen and the G-codes can be uploaded with the help of a USB flash drive.
Prusa SL1 is more refined, less forgiving but the quality is closed as you get to injection molding and therefore favored by jewelers, modelers and dentists because of the high quality detailed durable finish.
Overall, Prusa SL1 is a great option for an open source 3D printer because it is designed to save you from hassle and time by saving your progress so it can resume after a power outage. It is also very smart because it pauses when the filament runs out, so that the print doesn’t fail and can detect when the filament clogs.
• Complete ecosystem with the CW1
• Minimal setup
• Comprehensive build guide (if you get the kit)
• Slick design
• Compatible with third-party resin
• Replaceable carbon filter
• Relatively small print bed, for the price
• Washing turbine (CW!) does not function properly
• Slicer estimated time is inaccurate
• Supports sometimes lose adhesion to bed at fingers
• Bed raising not possible mid-print
Lulzbot Mini is a high-performance desktop 3D printer that is perfect for makers, designers, engineers, architects and anyone looking for an easy-to-use desktop 3D printer.
It is open source and very easy to use because it was built to work straight out of the box. Also, is easy to set up, has no complicated assembly process and has a user-friendly and straight-forward operating system. In fact, you can make it work in just 15 minutes after unboxing.
If you are a beginner and do not have enough knowledge and experience about open source systems but want to get a Lulzbot Mini, no problem, because you’re sure to get the support you need. Once you get the hang of it, you will love Lulzbot Mini even more because it is open source and open and free for anyone to improve upon.
There is a diverse community collaborating on the Lulzbot Mini and all other Lulzbot products which promises a better product rooted firmly in the needs of innovators.
Overall, Lulzbot Mini is a reliable and easy-to-use printer, which makes it great for anyone from beginners up to advanced users.
• Supports a wide range of materials
• Outstanding print quality
• Easy to use
• Fast and quiet performance
• Removable heated print bed with dual surfaces
• Automatic bed leveling system
• Professional printing out of the box
• 0.5 mm nozzle for a variety of applications
• Solid frame
• Uses its version of Cura
• The build plate a little small
• Limited build volume
• Has to be connected to a computer
• More expensive than many comparable models
Formlabs Form 3 is a high-end stereolithographic (SLA) printer that uses a laser to zap liquid resin into a solid form. It is high-quality, low hassle but expensive compared to other open source 3D printers. But if you have the budget, this open source 3D printer is very much worth it!
It has an impressive build volume with laser and optics under the resin tank in a sealed package called the Light Processing Unit that keeps it from dust. When it comes to its performance, it produces an excellent quality print with fine details and smooth finishing with organic curves and surfaces when the fastest print setting is used. The layers of the print were barely visible even on the fastest 25-micron print setting.
The assembly depends on your experience. For complete novices, it may take between 10 t o17 hours to make it work. But if you are determined to make it, you can surely pull it off. Others with knowledge and experience find it very easy to set up.
It has an excellent touch screen that allows you to control the printer directly giving you access to all of the features available. This is best for small and medium businesses in need of a high-detailed workhorse. This is a great value for money because it is reliable and consistent and delivers high-detail prints.
• The print speed is fast as compared to its predecessor
• The surface quality is improved
• Controlled monitoring is available
• Price is decent when compared to the other SLA printers
• Advanced SLA technology coined as Lower Force Stereolithography
• Closed body, hence safe
• Need support structure for prints
• Post-processing requirement
Open source 3D printers are great options for those who want to work around their machines. If you are the type who wants to customize your 3D printer, tweak and upgrade it, this is your best option. These printers give you the chance to work on different materials and a variety of software. You can even upgrade its look!
The best thing about open source 3D printers is that they are usually affordable but highly-customizable. Most of them need to be assembled and set up, so others, especially beginners, are not drawn to it. But, hear this out, some are pre-assembled and when you get this type of printer, you will have endless opportunities to upgrade it. Thus, you don’t need to buy a new one as you improve your 3D printing skills. An open source 3D printer can grow alongside you!