If we were to look back just a few years ago, nobody even imagined that some day we would have printers that create objects. 3D printing was more of an abstract thing seen only in movies. Today it has become a hobby for many individuals that have the money to buy a 3D printer. The technology is simple, and the concept itself is not difficult to understand, but when 3D printers were initially made commercially available, the prices were just too high for the average consumer. Today, 3D printers are closer to what most would consider affordable technology.
3D printing is now more affordable than ever mostly due to competition and technology that is easier to manufacture. There was even a case of a printer printing 3D printers. Things have evolved to such a degree that some 3D printers can even self-replicate. The only downside that some might see in 3D printing is the fact that the size of the objects is limited. Each printer has a limit that is closely related to its size. Smaller printers will print smaller objects. The bigger the printer is, the more expensive it gets.
Best 3D Printers in 2018
Fortunately, since 3D printers are more affordable now, more and more people can actually consider buying one. With this thing in mind, we went ahead and selected 10 models that work well and come with a lot of positive feedback from the ones that were fortunate enough to try them. Let’s go ahead and jump to our list of the top 10 best 3D printers in 2018 reviews.
- 10. AFINIA H480 3D Printer
- 9. WER® Prusa I3 M201 3D printer Self-assembly DIY Kit
- 8. WER Mostfun 3d Printer
- 7. Dremel Idea Builder 3D Printer
- 6. Prusa Original i3 3D Printer
- 5. Dremel 3D40-01 Idea Builder 2.0 3D Printer
- 4. MakerGear M2 Desktop 3D Printer
- 3. MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
- 2. XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 3D Printer
- 1. FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro
- 3D Printers – Buying Guide
10. AFINIA H480 3D Printer
AFINIA H460 is a compact 3D printer that comes with a decent price tag. The model comes fully assembled with a simple design that makes it very easy to use and takes very little desk space.
One of the things that stand out about this particular model is its resolution. Its output can go as down as 0.15 mm which is great when printing objects with a high level of detail. The model has an auto platform leveling and a nozzle level detection. In terms of object size, the model can print objects of 5 by 5 by 5 inches.
9. WER® Prusa I3 M201 3D printer Self-assembly DIY Kit
The WER Prusa is an interesting new printer that comes with an innovative technology. What the printer does is to combine two different colors at the same time. It can obtain multiple shades, gradient colors, and variations just by using the two.
In terms of performance, the printer is quite fast. It uses an ARM Cortex M3 processor that is capable of speeding up the process and optimizes operation time. The model does not come assembled since it is rather large when compared with other printers. Last but not least it is inexpensive making a great pick for the ones that are looking for a cheap 3D printer.
8. WER Mostfun 3d Printer
The WER Mostfun takes this a bit more seriously. It is a reasonably priced 3D printer that comes with a metal frame and a lightweight aluminum enclosure. The printer itself is designed as a closed windowed room which makes it much safer to operate.
Unlike other printers, the model comes fully assembled. It has a simple installation and can work with SD cards as long as the printing files are in the correct format. In terms of performance, the model has a decent resolution and can print objects of 135 by 130 by 110 millimeters.
7. Dremel Idea Builder 3D Printer
The Dremel Idea Builder is a decent pick for the ones that want to get more serious about 3D printing. It is a well-built model with a large platform and a full enclosure that creates a safe printing room with a durable see-through window.
6. Prusa Original i3 3D Printer
The original Prusa i3 printer has been a commercial success due to its performance and low price tag. Even if it was one of the first models introduced it remains relevant when compared with newer models.
The printer does not come assembled, but it includes detailed instructions. It has a large working platform, and a can print rather large objects. An interesting fact about the model is that it was made by Josef Prusa and all its parts are open source which means that anyone can actually go ahead and develop it further.
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5. Dremel 3D40-01 Idea Builder 2.0 3D Printer
Dremel 3D40-01 Idea Builder 2.0 is the successor of the original Dremel 3D printer. The newer version comes with a higher price which is justified by the use of superior technology. It prints at a higher resolution, and it can make larger objects.
A surprising fact about it is its reduced size. The model is a bit more compact and can print at higher resolutions. It has a full enclosure with a windowed front panel which makes it safer to use. The model is capable of printing directly off a USB flash drive as long as the files are in the right format.
4. MakerGear M2 Desktop 3D Printer
The MakerGear M2 desktop 3D printer looks more like an industrial machine. It is also a bit more expensive but it can print larger objects, and it can use PLA, ABS, PET and several other materials.
In terms of performance, depending on the material used for printing the resolution can vary but it is more than decent when compared with other models. It ca print in great detail, and it even works with files directly on a USB flash memory.
3. MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
MakerBot Replicator 2 is the newest version of the notorious 3D printer. The model has been long awaited by fans, and now that it is out positive feedback started to pour in. It is a large printer that comes with a premium all-metal body and a high-resolution printing head.
The model was made to work only with PLA. It is capable of obtaining printing resolutions that go as low as 0.15 mm which means more detailed objects. Due to its size, the printer can handle large objects and offers relatively decent print speeds.
2. XYZprinting Da Vinci 1.0 3D Printer
XYZprinting offers the most affordable 3D printer in our list. Their Da Vinci model was made to be a consumer friendly product that is capable of offering a simple means of creating 3D objects using a laptop or a personal computer.
The model can print objects of up to 475 cubic inches. It can be fed with ABS or PLA and comes with a closed enclosure that makes it very safe to use. The kit also comes with a free 3D gallery that can be used to create objects straight away.
1. FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro
FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro has been the model of choice for many enthusiasts. It is a great model that works with ABS and PLA. The printing resolution is excellent which means it can print objects in great detail.
The printer comes with a decent price tag and has a full metal construction. The front side has a see-through window that makes it easy to check the progress of the printing job. Last but not least the printer is reasonably priced making it a decent pick for the ones that cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars.
3D printers changed a lot over the past few years. The most important thing that happened is the price drop. They are now more affordable, and the printing resolutions are better. For our list, we managed to round up the best models that are currently available. The most difficult part is actually choosing one model since the printing resolutions tend to be the same. A notable difference is the size of the object they can print. This also determines how big is the printer. These things should matter a lot for an average user which is why we included a lot of different models on our list.
3D Printers – Buying Guide
A 3D printer allows you to create impressive three-dimensional designs and objects that originate from your digital file. The object is created through the laying down of multiple layers of the printing material that appears as a horizontal, thinly sliced cross-section pieces of the design you are trying to produce. With a 3D printer, you can make functional and complex shapes with less material needed, as compared to conventional manufacturing techniques.
To help you choose the best 3D printer for your needs, here are some features and specifications to look for during your search:
- Extruder: This is the part of the printer where your printing unit is melted, which is then extruded so each layer is placed to form a design. There are some printers with just a single extruder, and in this case, it is only possible to print a single color or material at a time. If you prefer to print more colors and more objects, then multiple extruders should work best for your needs.
- Building Section: How big is the object that you want to create? The building area will dictate the size of the material that the unit can build. The common choice is an area with the following dimensions – 5 x 5 x 5 inches (width, depth, height, respectively). This should suffice for most 3D objects. But if you go for a smaller area, you will only have a limited size for your print jobs.
- Width of the Filament: There is a plastic filament used in 3D printers, and this is sold on a kilogram or 2.2 pounds rolls. The width may vary between 1.75 and 3 millimeters. Most models of 3D printers use the 1.75 millimeters wide type of filament, and this depends on the extruder of your unit. You may also purchase the filament from your choice of manufacturer, but some printers require you to buy the filament cartridges from a specific manufacturer at a higher price.
- Speed of Printing: If you want to print designs faster, then go for a faster print speed. But then, the speed is affected by the material used, as well as the print’s complexity. So, if you are printing a more complex model, the print speed is not as fast. Generally, a speed of 20 millimeters per second is a practical choice.
Do not forget to consider the horizontal and the vertical Z resolution of the printer. These aspects determine the detail level and the thickness or realistic appearance of the prints. If you want a more life-like print, then a higher vertical Z resolution is a smart choice. But then again, there will be more layers created, which slows down the entire process.