What is a 3d printer and what is the hype all about?
Well, a 3D printer is the machine behind making this possible. 3D printers provide room for making three-dimensional objects, which means that you can create almost anything in your mind. While there are a variety of 3D printer models for you to buy, it is worth it knowing that not all models are designed to offer the best user experience. That said, keep reading since we have narrowed down to the top 8 best buy 3d printer for all you handicrafters and DIYers out there. The reviewed products are suitable for professional applications, educational use, industrial applications, and hobbyists.
Why it’s essential to buy the right 3D Printer
There are many types of 3d printers and each has their own uses. For those who are contemplating to start a 3d printing business, it can be used for creating jewelry moulds, d&d 3d models, product scale models for vehicle parts, construction components, and model houses. However, each person has different reason why they needed a 3d printer. But in general, let’s have a look at some of the essential reasons why should you consider buying a 3D printer…
1. 3D printing is fast compared to ordering
A 3D printer provides room for you to obtain a particular item fast compared to ordering. The reason is that you simply need to stand in front of the printer and operate it as you watch your item grow layer and layer. Later on, you can get the final product fast, unlike waiting for it to ship across the country.
2. Create personalized gifts and accessories
If you want to save money on gifts, then you should consider a 3D printer. Such a printer can help you design and 3D print a unique piece. Better, it provides room for downloading and modifying the existing designs or designing 3D objects from scratch based on your creativity.
3. See the bigger picture
Imagine getting the chance to interact with a design before creating the real thing? That’s what 3D printing allows you to do. You can use it to create any model, even that of a building or giant-scale city models. By doing so, you can see the model physically and interact with it. The result is the ability to determine how to overcome real challenges and learn how the design will interact with the environment.
4. Create unique objects
A 3D printer lets you exploit the endless possibilities of designs. Moreover, it provides room for enhancing your creativity by coming up with inspiring DIY projects. So, using 3D printers acts as a perfect way to spend your free time, improve your creativity, and enhance kid’s problem-solving skills. There are also plenty of printable patters you can download in the internet, so in case you are an avid fan of D&D miniatures 3d print, you can use these patterns by DM Workshop or a lot more cool patterns from Shapeways.
PS: You can save 15% off your first print if you use this discount code at checkout — OWNBZX
5. Avoid wastage of resources
Another reason to adopt a 3D printer is that it eliminates the chances of wasting resources. This is true because a 3D model allows you to get real-time feedback and see a problem before creating the real object. Hence, 3D printing can help you understand the design fully and determine the changes you need to make before coming up with the real thing, which means fewer resources wasted in the real project.
Factors to consider when buying a 3D printer
1. Size of the print bed
You will want to consider the print Bed’s capacity before purchasing a 3D printer. That being said, consider the size of the object you want to print so that you can find a compatible printer. If you’re going to print big, opt for a bigger bed. Moreover, if you want to print several works at a time, go for a bigger print bed. That way, you can be sure to benefit from more convenience, given that it takes time to set up before making a print.
2. Printing technology
3D printers adopt varying 3D printing technologies, all with various advantages and disadvantages. For instance, you ought to come across FDM, SLA, DLP, SLS, DMLS, SLM, and binder jetting technologies. So, which one should you settle for so that you can get the best 3D printer? Ideally, this depends on what you want to do with the printer.
- FDM is suitable for applications such as architectural models, industrial prototyping, POC, and concept models. This technology is the cheapest one that is available. However, its speed is low, and the finish is usually rough.
- SLS is suitable for prosthetics, complex parts such as automotive parts, and intake manifold. The advantage of this technology is that it doesn’t require support structures, whereas it is high-chemical and high-heat resistance. On the downside, the printing technology results in a rough surface finish, and the accuracy is dependent on the size of the particle.
- SLA/DLP are technologies suitable for jewelry models, aesthetical products, surgical guides, gifting items, and dental models. The fact that these technologies provide a smooth finish, high-precision printing, and a high-resolution makes it worth trying out. On the downside, the technologies require support structures that can damage the finish. Moreover, there is a limited range of materials compatible with it.
- SLM/DMLS is a technology that is suitable for industrial prototyping. The technology is advantageous based on the fact that it delivers prints that closely resemble the original properties. However, this 3D printing technology requires complex post-processing, and it is not also suitable when used with large objects.
- Binder jetting is suitable for prosthetics and complex geometries. The technology is advantageous because of the fast printing speeds and full colors. However, it requires post-processing, its accuracy is low, and the surface finish is usually poor.
Therefore, consider the reason you are buying a 3D printer and match that to the available technologies. Do not forget to access the advantages and disadvantages of each of the technologies so that you can make the right decision.
3. Print resolution
The print resolution refers to the level of detail the printer can deliver. Resolution is measured in microns. The smaller the microns, the higher the level of details the printer can deliver, and the larger the microns, the lesser the details it can provide. It is worth considering the type of object you want to print before considering the resolution. Opt for a printer with high resolution when you want to print the tiniest features.
4. Auto leveling / Calibration
Some 3D printers require manual leveling while others are auto-leveling capable. For those that need manual leveling, you are required to calibrate the bed, which means that you are required to place a piece of paper on the print bed and use software to move the print bed toward the nozzle until contact is formed. This can take up to 10 minutes, which results in time wastage. To avoid that, opt for an auto-calibrated 3D printer, even though this feature comes at a higher cost.
5. Filament type and cost
So, how much does a 3d printer cost really comes down on which filament does the 3D printer use? Is the compatible filament readily available? And, how much will it cost you to get the filaments? This is a question that you will need to answer before settling for any model. Most 3D printers use ABS and PLA filaments. ABS is made using oil, but this is highly toxic. On the other hand, PLA is made using corn starch, which is quite safe. Filaments also range in prices with an approximate pricing ranging from $35 to $70 per kilogram. Always consider the filaments’ availability since some models work with their filaments alone and the cost you will incur with purchasing them.
The FlashForge is a sturdy 3D printer and perhaps the best 3d printer under 1000 with over 900+ reviews in Amazon. It features a metal frame that is more durable while compared to a wood frame. On top of that, the printer includes a warp-resistant 6.3mm aluminum-build platform. The platform stays even under the stress of high heat, assuring you of getting a durable 3D printer. Another addition of the printer is the heat-resistant metal platform and heavy-duty Z-axis guide rod.
The metal platform support replaces plastic supports while the guide rod ensures steady and precise movement. The FlashForge 3D Printer is a perfect choice for a versatile 3D printer. The reason is its wide filament compatibility, having in mind that you can use it with a flexible filament, wood filled filament, conductive filament, metal-filled filament, PLA color change, ABS, PP, PVA, TPU, PETG, HIPS filament, among other filaments.
- The SD slot is perfectly positioned to guarantee easy access.
- The button board functions and LCD screen are error-free.
- An LED light plays a role in illuminating the printing area.
- An enclosed acrylic chamber insulates and protects the ABS prints.
- External handles for a safe and comfortable carrying experience.
An excellent choice for a 3D printer designed for use in education, research, and professional institutions with limited spaces is LulzBot Mini 2 Desktop 3D Printer. The printer features flexible materials so that you can switch from printing PLA to TPU without the need for changing tool heads. Adding to that, it features a belt-driven Z-axis and a GLCD controller. The belt-driven Z-axis provides for high-quality prints and fast cycle times while the GLCD controller supports a tetherless 3D printing. LulzBot Mini 2 Desktop 3D Printer features a variety of certifications. These include CE, CSA, FSF-RYF, UL, OSHWA, WEEE, ETL, and FCC to guarantee safety and durability.
- Premium igus polymer bearings and Trinamic TMC2130 stepper motor drivers ensure whisper-quiet printing.
- High-quality hardware guarantees professional results for years with minimal maintenance.
- A self-cleaning and self-leveling technology guarantees ease of use.
- A built-in carrying handle allows for 3D printing on the go.
Designed for and by engineers, the 3D45 Award Winning 3D Printer acts as an excellent choice for printing nylon, Eco-ABS, PLA, and PETG. This printer features an all-metal 0.4mm nozzle that heats up to 280°C. Moreover, it includes a removable glass build plate that heats up to 100°C. The result of these features is the ability of the printer to print any 1.75mm 3D filament with a lot of ease. Another plus of the printer is a 5" full-color touch screen. The touch screen includes intuitive icons designed to support easy operation and set up.
Dremel Digilab 3D45 3D Printer features a fully-enclosed sturdy plastic design. This design offers a 6.7" x 10" x 6" build volume to enhance safety, better prints, and reduce the chances of warping. Asides that, the printer adopts a proprietary sensor technology. This technology allows it to run smoothly and resist clogging, which means lesser maintenance and surpassed prints. You can use this printer to print and monitor your prints remotely. The reason is the remote printing software and WiFi connectivity that allows you to print over a local network and without the internet or using a USB. Also, you can use the printer for printing advanced materials because of the advanced filaments.
- Built-in particulate filter and carbon filter.
- Smart sensor technology supports accurate calibrations and easy setup.
- A 720P HD camera supports fleet management and capturing of time-lapse videos.
- The wifi-enabled design supports cloud printing while allowing users to slice files online and print from a 3D45 printer wherever there is an internet connection.
- RFID Filament Recognition allows the printer to update the G-code automatically and ensure faster print speeds and feeds.
From R QIDI TECH, we have this Industrial-grade 3D printer. The printer features a 5" full-color touch screen. The screen features intuitive icons assuring you of getting a printer that is easy to operate. Adding to that, it features a full metal support. The structure of the support is more stable while compared to plastic support, CNC machining aluminum alloy, and aviation aluminum to assure you of getting a durable printer.
The printer is a great choice for one that is designed to deliver large prints because of the double Z-axis designed for solid and stable prints. Also, it is a perfect choice to print different types of material. The reason is the ability to place the filament inside so that it can print material such as nylon, PC, and carbon fiber, as well as the ability to place the filament outside so that you can print material such as PETG, TPU, and PLA.
- A Double Z-axis offers stable and solid support for large-size prints.
- An A Qidi Tech Third-Generation extruder supports the printing of ABS, TPU, and PLA materials.
- The plate’s reverse side allows for printing advanced material, including PC, nylon, and carbon fiber.
- The plate’s front side prints ABS, PETG, PLA, and TPU.
- A B Qidi Tech Third-Generation extruder supports the printing of PC, nylon, fiber, and carbon materials.
Designed to ensure friendly and easy operation, BIBO 3D Printer features a full-color touchscreen without a threshold to guarantee easy operation. Adding to that, the printer is laser engraving enabled. As a result, you can use it to engrave objects such as paper, leather, wood, and plastic, or cut thin material such as plastic. Another advantage of the printer is the filament detection capacity. This feature allows the machine to automatically detect when the filament spool runs out, enabling it to pause for you to load a fresh spool.
You can get the printer when looking for the right printer designed to deliver a high-quality printout. The reason is its dual extruders designed to use a dissolvable filament support so that the support material can dissolve, leaving the finished model. Moreover, the dual extruders can print two objects at the same time, allowing you to cut the printing time to at least half.
- Wifi control capability allows the user to control the print using a PC or phone.
- G-code file tells the printer when to use each color.
- 6mm thick aluminum composite panel is reliable than a plastic frame.
- An acrylic hood and front door ensures better temperature control to support printing with ABS filaments.
As one of the best 3D printers for miniatures, the CR-10 MAX 3D Printer acts as a perfect choice for DIY enthusiasts. One of the features to support this statement is the large build volume. Specifically, the printer measures 450mm x 450mm x 470mm, allowing you to expand your creativity so that you can adapt it for professional, personal, or educational use. Adding to that, it features a unique industrial design. In this respect, the printer features an all-aluminum fuselage and a golden triangle so that you can reduce errors as a result of the Z-axis while printing.
This works best for serious hobbyists due to its dynamic level compensation, 16-point fast leveling, and precise induction. Also, the printer is a perfect choice for a 3D printer that is made to last. The reason is the two-power supplies with wide voltage designed to reduce electromagnetic interface to the motherboard. The CR-10 MAX 3D Printer is compatible with a range of filaments, including PETG, wood, PLA, ABS, and copper, allowing it to print on to a range of materials.
- Double drive gears offer a strong thrust, high extrusion, and a smooth feeding performance.
- Upgraded hardware supports the printing of models as large as the platform.
- Split flow output for hotbed and motherboard reduces electromagnetic interference to the motherboard after heating of the hotbed.
- A Capricorn tubing ensures high lubricity and better temperature resistance.
Responding to the need for an easy-to-use 3d printing for beginners is Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer. The printer is fully automated loading capable. This means that you don’t have to change the filament. Instead, you can insert the cartridge and expect the printer to do the rest. Another advantage is that it uses an assisted bed leveling system. As such, the printer can display clear instructions making it easy for you to set the perfect level.
Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 3D Printer is a perfect choice for users using 3D printing for the first time. The reason is the easy mode that allows users to modify and slice a model. Moreover, the printer is a perfect choice for one that is designed to ensure remote printing. This is because of the integrated LED lighting and monitoring camera so that you can follow up remotely using a laptop, PC, or smartphone.
- 5" LCD screen features a full-color touchscreen menu to enhance ease of use.
- A wide range of connectivity options includes Wifi, USB cables, ethernet, or USB flash drive.
- Assisted bed leveling system eliminates the need for manual bed leveling.
Turn wonderful ideas into reality with the help of the MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer. This is an award-winning 3D printer engineered and tested for fast and reliable printing. The printer prints high-quality concept models fast and easily. It features a sturdy construction and a bigger build volume to ensure improved performance and better print adhesion.
The printer is compatible with MakerBot’s new Slate Gray Tough PLA Filament Bundle. Hence, it is suitable for designers and engineers. Also, it was rigorously re-engineered and tested across multiple facilities. As a result, you can get it with an assurance of obtaining the 3d printed miniatures with consistent results.
- The cloud-enabled design allows the user to control the printer remotely using a MakerBot mobile app.
- Slate Gray tough PLA filament bundle provides for the creation of high-strength prototypes and fixtures.
- The MakerBot print allows you to import native CAD parts and assemblies and auto-arrange them so that you can print them on one or more printers.
Things you can do with your 3D printer
A 3D printer can let you make almost anything the world has to offer. With one of these, you can print any model that crosses your mind, and below are some of the models you can print with a 3D printer.
- A working gun
- Bottle opener and cap gun
- Honeycomb vase
- Toothpaste squeezer
- Multi-purpose jar dispenser
- Salt shaker
- Mechanical keyboard
- Acoustic guitar
- Self-watering planter
- Sunglass visor clip
- Adjustable wrench
- Camera lens
- Spare key
- Money clip
- Hair comb
- Pegboard collection
- Refrigerator storage box
- Electrical light shoe
- Toilet roll holders
- Electrical outlet wire wrap
- Shoe support
- Grocery bag carrier
- Pen and pencil holder
- Medical models
- Headset stand
- Phone case
Imagine the endless possibilities! One can carve their own niche and figure out ways on how to make money with a 3d printer; it only needs a sprinkle of creativity and a “looking outside the box” attitude.
So whether you are a beginner, professional, or hobbyist, you can always find the top 3D printer that suites any of your miniature project. Assess the reviews above and rest assured to find a printer that will allow you to exhaust your imagination and creativity after printing 3D objects.