Best 3D Printer Reviews 2017

Creating three-dimensional objects is not limited to software conglomerates anymore. Average consumers can also watch their imaginations come to life, thanks to a wide range of 3D printers that are easily available on the market. Unfortunately, choosing the right printer among these options is no piece of cake. That’s why we’ve had some of our top technical experts put together a handy list of five of the best 3D printer brands available for 3D printing.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Build Volume
Resolution
Technology
Speed
Connectivity
Our Top Choice
FlashForge 2016 New Creator Pro 3D Printer
Known for its efficient and reliable 3D printers, FlashForge is a reputed name in printing. Its upgraded pro 3D printer provides excellent precision and superior quality.
Works with ABS and PLA. FlashForge Creator Pro compatible. Strong metal body. Premium aluminum build plate. Insulated protection for ABS prints.
May consume more power. Slightly noisy
9 x 5.5 x 6 Inches
100-500 Microns
Fused Deposition Modeling
40-100 mm/second
SD card
Best Value
ROBO 3D R1 +Plus Fully Assembled 3D Printer
ROBO 3D is synonymous with affordable, home-friendly 3D printers and materials. Its latest R1 +Plus printer is sure to get all creative minds to stand up and take notice.
Ready to use. Bigger prints with better resolution. Pre-leveled 9-point bed. Prints with a vast assortment of materials.
Z mount may need adjustment. Could be slightly slow
10 x 9 x 8 Inches
100 Microns
Fused Deposition Modeling
50 mm/second
USB cable, SD card
MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer
MakerBot is credited with some of the most innovative 3D printing tools. Using cutting-edge technology, it now brings you the power-packed replicator desktop 3D printer.
Faster prototyping. MakerBot Smart Extruder+ compatible. Seamless integration with MakerBot ecosystem. Mobile control. Wide HD display
There could be instances of air printing
9.9 x 7.8 x 5.9 Inches
100 Microns
Fused Deposition Modeling
150mm/second
Wi-Fi, USB, Ethernet cable
The MakerGear M2 3D Printer
MakerGear’s “think global,build local” philosophy stems from the idea that great parts make great products;its M2-3D printer uses reliable parts for unparalleled quality.
Can be used immediately once unpacked. All spare parts manufactured in the USA. Great for places with no access to PCs. Adjustable and strong 4-point leveling system.
Reduced layer thickness at times. Not suitable for flexible filaments
8 x 10 x 8 Inches
50-300 Microns
Fused Deposition Modeling
450 mm/second (Max.)
SD card, USB, LCD machine control
XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 3D Printer
XYZprinting recognizes the artist in you. So all you need to do is think big and the super cool da Vinci 1.0 3D printer will do all the hard work for you.
Plug and play. Enclosed design for better safety and sleeker look. Efficient temperature maintenance. Automatic nozzle cleaning
Only accepts proprietary filaments
7.8 x 7.8 x 7.8 Inches
100-400 Microns
Fused Deposition Modeling
150 mm/second
USB 2.0

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best 3D Printer?

If someone had talked to you about in-house 3D printing a couple of years ago, it would have sounded like rocket science, right? Perhaps it’s because the technology was initially limited to prototypes and executed by design engineers. Today, what used to be considered a luxury venture has become relatively affordable.

However, the fact that you can finally purchase a 3D printer doesn’t mean you can simply walk into a retail shop and pick a random device. It may be especially overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the technical industry. For instance, you’ll most likely bump into acronyms such as SLA, SLS, and FDM, which may not make sense the first time. That’s why we’ve reviewed some of the best 3D printers from trusted brands, to clear up the confusion and make your work easier as you shop for your new device.

One of the misconceptions people have concerning 3D printers is that choosing a 3D printer is like buying a laptop - you just need something with the best specs! 3D printers are a whole different category, and what matters is the purpose. There are several factors to consider, including printing methods, printing speeds, and the materials you can print on.

The common 3D printer uses FDM (Filament Deposition Manufacturing), and you may need to consider the availability of the 3D filament the printer uses for easy maintenance and replacement. It operates by melting the filament and spraying it through a nozzle. The process is similar to how an inkjet printer operates. The only difference is that a 3D printer generates a solid object, layer after layer. Let’s now dive into the consideration factors before we check out our top picks.
Price
3D printers come in a wide range of prices, depending on their functionalities. You’ll find cheap 3D printers between $199 and $400, but you may have to make a few compromises, as the functionalities may be limited or the print quality below your expectations. To choose a 3D printer, look at your available budget. The general rule of thumb is to get something between $400 and $4000. Of course, the higher the price, the better the print quality and the more features you have to work with.

In general, 3D printer prices are direct reflections of the functionalities and output quality. But given the rising popularity of 3D printers and the stiff competition among manufacturers, the prices are likely to keep coming down as print quality improves. Our selections are relatively cost-effective, given the functionalities they offer. Printer type is the major factor that affects prices. FDM (Filament Deposition Manufacturing) printers are generally cheaper as compared to SLA (stereo lithography) alternatives. Other factors may include print volume (the object size that can be produced), printing materials, and extra features like automatic material recognition, cameras, and display screens.

Before you make your final decision on what 3D printer to purchase, decide on the critical specs you need for your applications and check them against what’s on offer. Then you’ll be making the right choice!
Features
Let’s now look at the features to look for when choosing a 3D printer:

Printing materials
    It’s important to pay attention to the kind of materials a 3D printer can use to print before you purchase one. Filament materials used by FDM printers come in different material types, such as nylon, PLA (a brittle biodegradable material), ABS (a kind of plastic used in Lego blocks), TPE (a very soft material similar to rubber), and HDPE (a tough polystyrene that’s light in nature).

Print volume
    All 3D printers are limited in the size of 3D prints they can create. The size is determined by the size of the print bed and how far its printhead can move. It’s measured in cubic inches or millimeters (width x depth x height).

Print speed and quality
    Presently, 3D printing is a pretty slow business, and there’s nothing much we can do about it. A three- to four-inch model typically takes about 6 to 12 hours to complete. Again, this depends on the print quality you select. The technology prints in layers, and thicker layers will take minimal time to print but generate a lower print quality. You must compromise between print speeds and quality. The best 3D printers should offer a broad range of quality settings to provide options for slow (but high quality) to fast (but low quality).
Construction and Design
Just like other desktop printers, 3D printers are designed and constructed to offer different aesthetic levels and color preferences. The construction will depend on two particular parameters: the printer type and the build volume. Here’s is the analysis:

3D Printer Technology
    There are two major types of 3D printers: SLA (stereo lithography) and FDM (Filament Deposition Manufacturing). SLA printers operate by using ultraviolet (UV) lasers to create a solid model by solidifying a resin, while FFM printers operate by melting a plastic filament over a moving printhead to create a model. FDM provides multi-material printing capabilities, making it quite versatile, easy to use, and relatively affordable. SLA technology provides superior print quality, but comes at a much higher price, maintenance cost, and post-processing needs. It’s more popular for prototyping and end-user applications.

Build Volume/Print Area
    The size of the 3D printer will directly correlate with the build area, and, consequently, the size of the object that the printer can create. Currently, the largest build volume provided by commercial 3D printers is available with SLA (stereo lithography), which allows engineers and designers to produce objects of up to one square meter. Most desktop / hobby 3D printers will offer build volumes not exceeding 380mm³.
Performance and Ease of Use
When shopping for a 3D printer, the critical question to ask is: what features and properties are most critical to your needs? A high school teacher looking to introduce a class to the principles of STEM will most likely consider safety, low-cost, and “plug and play” options. A mechanical engineer who wants to customize a 3D printed prototype may consider higher resolutions, multi-material capabilities, and printing speeds. The bottom line is to find a printer that’s easy to use, but meets all your specifications. Let’s look at the performance of 3D printers in terms of speed, resolution, extruders, and extra features:

Printing Speed/Resolution
    A typical FFM desktop 3D printer prints at a rate of ~40mm/s to 150mm/s. This means the device can extrude 40-150 mm/sec molten filament each second. However, the speed will depend on the resolution you choose; the higher the resolution, the slower the speed.

Extruders
    An FFM printer uses an extruder assembly with a heated printing nozzle, which melts and extrudes the printing material. A motor in the assembly forces the filament into the nozzle, and a temperature sensor controls the melting temperatures. Sometimes, there will be a cooling mechanism for the motor to avoid overheating. The number of extruders a 3D printer has determines whether the printer will generate an object in different colors and use different materials. Most 3D printers use a single nozzle for every extruder. Other advanced options have two nozzles for each extruder, which improves printing speeds by up to 300%.

Extra Features
    Other than printing 3D objects, more advanced 3D printers offer several interesting features that can make your experience more easy and enjoyable. These will come at additional cost, but may be necessary for some applications. Some of these extras include:
  • Connectivity - Along with the usual USB connection, some printers offer wireless compatibilities through Wi-Fi, ability to print via Ethernet, and slots for USB and SD cards.
  • LCD and Display - A graphical LCD display on a 3D printer makes it easy to visualize the progress of the printing process.
  • Assembled vs. Kit - Some manufacturers build 3D printers that come in parts and allow users to easily assemble the device on their own.
  • All-in-One 3D Printer - Some 3D printers combine copying, scanning, faxing, and printing, all in one unit.
There are several other features like built-in cameras and automatic material recognition that you can get if you’re looking to enhance your 3D printing experience, but be prepared to spend a few extra bucks!

What is the Best 3D Printer?

Every user has different printing needs. You might be a regular DIY enthusiast who likes to create intricate action figurines. You could be a professional design engineer who likes to push boundaries and craft innovative auto parts that limit fuel consumption. The good news is that there are a variety of 3D printers suited to these end-user needs. But do you know what technology or material your 3D printer should use? Are you aware of the speed you need? We don’t mean to overwhelm you. It’s just our way of telling you that we’ve got your back. We have searched far and wide to bring you five of the best 3D printers – each packed with unique features to suit your requirements and budget. There you go! You are now armed with some pretty amazing 3D printing options. So go ahead and complete that masterpiece of yours.
Our Top Choice
FlashForge has one-upped itself with its new creator pro 3D printer. Upgraded through and through, this is a great buy for makers and regular creators. It’s simpler, more precise, and better looking than ever. If you are a fresh new kid on the 3D printing block, this convenient Finder 3D Printer from FlashForge could be a perfect match.
FlashForge Creator Pro with Metal Frame Structure and ABS/PLA Compatibility for 3D Printing

FlashForge 3D Printer 0709652463538


Features
If you are one of those enthusiasts who love to create, you know how annoying restrictions can be. You wouldn’t like to be tied down by a rigid printer that does not allow any modifications or software compatibilities. Make way for FlashForge – one of the most popular names in open-source 3D printers. Keeping in mind the unique requirements of makers and DIY aficionados, this brand now brings you the latest 2016 upgrade of its trusted creator pro 3D printer. What’s new? It has moved from a wooden frame to a sturdier metal one. It distributes heat more efficiently and it’s built to please with a user-friendly design. Priced at just $899, based on our latest research, this could be a great addition to your workshop.

Let’s take a look at what more this fabulous 3D printer has to offer:
  • New voltage control that adjusts automatically according to your region
  • Improved 180° front door for easy access
  • Enhanced temperature-regulating printer top
  • Extruder wiring router
  • 10mm rod for accurate movement of the Z axis
  • Perfect for printing ABS, PLA, Flex, T-glass, woodFill, copperFill and many more materials
  • External handles
  • 45° view control interface
  • Windows, Linux and Mac OSX compatible
Best Value
The ROBO 3D R1 +Plus 3D Printer is a surprisingly compact, convenient, and cost-effective option for creative makers. From PLA and ABS to Nylon and Rubber, this efficient printer works with a variety of materials thanks to the new hexagon all-metal hot end. Looking for filaments as well? Then, check out this ROBO 3D R1 +Plus 3D Hobby Pack!
ROBO 3D R1 +Plus for 3D Printing Parts up to 720 Cubic Inches with an Automatic Leveling System

ROBO 3D Printer R1PLUS


Features
Creative artists should never have to curb their imagination; more so, for the lack of material compatibility. Your fine wooden cherub artifact should not have to be replaced with plastic just because your 3D printer says, “Nope.” Displaying its printing expertise to the fullest, ROBO 3D offers the upgraded R1 +Plus 3D printer that’s perfect for over 15 different materials, including:  PLA, ABS, carbon fiber PLA, stainless steel PLA, nylon, wood PLA, HIPS, ninjaflex semiflex rubber, and many more. It has a strong metal body for greater stability and a heated bed that prevents uneven cooling to give you fine prints with smoother finishing. We are excited about this one because our latest report says it offers one of the largest build volumes for less than $1000.

Need more? You’ve got it! Read on to check out some more amazing features offered by this wonder machine:
  • Automatic calibration for accurate printing
  • Linear motion focused built for better durability
  • Includes 3D printing software
  • Precise prints of web files downloaded from thingiverse.com
  • Compatible with Mac OS and Windows
  • Completely assembled for instant plug and play
So you’ve got a pretty strong 3D printer there. You’ve got all your materials ready, too. All you need now is the right 3D scanner. Well, we’ve got that sorted as well. This versatile ROBO 3D R1 +Plus Printer is also available with the powerful Matter and Form 3D Scanner. Wow! You are getting closer to the perfect 3D printing kit.
The Replicator Desktop 3D Printer from MakerBot is the perfect blend of high-end technology, sleek design, and convenience. With an 11% larger build volume than its predecessor, and cloud and app supported 3D prototyping, this is definitely a 5th Generation machine. Need a more affordable option? Check out this amazing Replicator 3D printer from MakerBot.
MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation Desktop 3D Printer with 4 Way Connectivity

MakerBot 3D Printer MP05825 - Firmware Version 1.7+


Features
Tired of babysitting your 3D prints? Bid farewell to the printing woes of the last generation and say hello to the 5th generation Replicator Desktop 3D Printer from MakerBot. You can now have better control with remote monitoring from an on-board camera. The mobile app also sends you notifications right from the printer. Need more convenience? This super powerful printer can be connected to your designs through Wi-Fi, USB (both cable and stick), and ethernet cable. It is a great option for educational use. Available at $2,499, this printer is definitely worth the price.


Looking for more? That’s exactly what latest technology gives you – more. Let’s take a look at what else this smart 3D printer has in store for you:
  • 100 microns of resolution for professional quality prints with super thin layers
  • 3.5-inch full color display
  • Automatic pictures clicked by the on-board camera and stored directly to the cloud library
  • Longer printing for over 700 hours
  • No need for post-printing touch-ups like sanding
  • Customizable settings so that you can choose from fast draft to finer resolutions
  • Glossy and minimalist look
  • Windows, Mac OS and Ubuntu compatible
If your projects do not require Firmware Version 1.7+, this Replicator Desktop 3D Printer from MakerBot also has a Standard version that comes with motion controllers and great connectivity.
The MakerGear M2 is a ready-to-use printer for 3D prototypes and models. It works seamlessly with PLA, ABS, and PET materials to give you smoother prints even for the most complex designs. Printing can be easily controlled from notebooks or desktops. If you take your DIY tasks very seriously, this MakerGear hot end kit could be just right for you.
MakerGear M2 Revision E Desktop 3D Printer with High-Precision, USA-Manufactured Components

MakerGear 3D Printer M2-ASM-001


Features
MakerGear follows a no-compromise policy when it comes to its components and spare parts. That’s why it uses highly-accurate, locally-manufactured parts to make up its M2 Desktop 3D Printer. This all-assembled printer is made from sturdy, CNC-machined aluminum and plastic parts that have been printed in-house. The result is an extremely durable, customer-friendly 3D printer that creates superior prints. Priced at $1825, this is a super smart purchase for professionals.

What’s more? Read on to find out:
  • Strong steel frame
  • Compatible with several open-source and proprietary slicing software like Simplify 3D and slic3r
  • Supports Windows, Linux and Mac OS
  • Large build area ideal for 3D printing of consumer goods
The da Vinci 1.0 from XYZprinting is an affordable 3D printer with supreme precision. It has a large build volume for great prints, turnkey solution for easy operation and a safe design that ensures that there is no exterior filament movement. Need a good 3D Printer and Scanner combo? This all-in-one 3D printer from XYZprinting could be it.
XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Printer for 3D Prints with CE Certification and ABS/PLA Compatibility

XYZprinting 3D Printer 3F10AXUS00A


Features
Keeping up with its tradition of introducing some of the most user-friendly 3D printing tools to artists and hobbyists, XYZprinting has built the da Vinci 1.0 3D printer to materialize your creativity. It’s perfect for kids’ school projects that need precision and fine finishing. This convenient machine can easily churn out bold prints that are 15-75% larger than those created by regular 3D printers. No wonder it’s called the da Vinci! How about some more good news? Our latest research says you can get all this for less than $500!

Looking for more features to make the final purchase decision? Here’s a list to help you out:
  • Includes a free starter kit with 13 bright filaments
  • Convenient refilling thanks to the easy-to-install filament cartridges
  • Automatic software upgrades
  • Assisted leveling of print bed
  • Collaborate with like-minded creators in the XYZ World Community
  • Long running hours
If you are still trying to make up your mind, here’s something that would speak directly to that artist in you. This super easy and powerful 3D printer also comes in an elegant grey color. That’s right – now, you can pick the one you like or the one that complements your work station. It’s all up to you.

Get the Best 3D Printer of 2017!

Choosing the right 3D printer is not a walk in the park! However, by asking yourself what you are going to use it for, you will be already pointing to the right one. We hope our review has helped you to find the most suitable 3D printer. But if you didn’t find a perfect fit among our picks, feel free to check out other alternatives from these brands, depending on your budget and preferences.

Our Top Choice
FlashForge 2016 New Creator Pro 3D Printer
Best Value
ROBO 3D R1 +Plus Fully Assembled 3D Printer
MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer
The MakerGear M2 3D Printer
XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 3D Printer