The Ultimate Guide to Buying the Best 3D Printer

3D printing technology is now available to just about anyone, and with the right 3D printer, you can create complete products, make replacement parts, or simply create things that are useful for your home, office, and workshop. But with so many 3D printers on the market, it can be hard to know which one to buy. Here's everything you need to know before buying a 3D printer. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printers are the most common type of 3D printer and come in all shapes and sizes.

They are ideal for prototyping and creating larger objects, while resin-based printers (SLA, MSLA and DLP) allow for much more detail, usually on a smaller scale, making them a fantastic purchase for anyone looking to design jewelry or create miniatures table.

Best Cheap 3D Printers

If you're just getting your feet wet in the world of 3D printing, then an affordable open frame 3D printer is a great place to start. The Toybox 3D Printer is small enough to fit on your desk and easy enough to assemble it yourself without the need for experience. It comes in kit form and uses FDM technology to convert popular modeling materials such as PLA, PETG, ASA, ABS and Flex into precise printed products.

There is a network LAN port and a USB port for simple connectivity and an easy-to-use interface.

Best Professional 3D Printers

If you're looking for a professional 3D printer for fairly large and complex projects, then the TRILAB DeltiQ 2 should be at the top of your list. It uses FDM technology to build 3D models from filament rolls, but instead of the more common Cartesian printers, the TRILAB DeltiQ 2 has a fixed round construction plate with the extruder suspended between three arms that move the print head along three axes. It gives this model a fairly small footprint, while its tall tower design ensures that it can print some fairly large parts. And unlike most 3D printers, you have two extruder options, one for standard PLA and PETG and the other for flexible.

Best Resin-Based 3D Printers

FormLabs has been instrumental in advancing resin-based SLA 3D printing and the Form 3L is the first wide-format printer.

It uses what it calls low-force stereolithography to achieve a high level of detail and high speed, which far exceeds FDM printers in quality. As with all SLA printers, a liquid resin is used instead of a solid filament, which requires more time to prepare and finish prints. However, the widest variety of raw materials available makes the Form 3L one of the most versatile 3D printers on the market, ideal for producing prototypes for fairly large engine parts or any other project that requires precise details.

Best MSLA 3D Printer

Prusa Research revolutionized the FDM 3D printer market and their new Original Prusa SL1S SPEED model seems ready to do the same with SLA printers. While this printer uses stereolithography technology, it is in fact a mild variant known as MSLA.

It uses a monochrome LCD screen and a UV LED to expose the resin, which is cheaper than using precision lasers but just as accurate. The SL1S SPEED replaces the outgoing SL1 and is around ten times faster with vastly improved print quality.

Best Entry-Level Resin Printer

If you found the world of 3D printing too intimidating, look no further than AnyCubic Vyper. While it's perfect for beginners with its self-leveling function and minimal assembly, experienced print buffs will also appreciate what it can offer, albeit with a few adjustments. Since “automatic leveling” could involve, the AnyCubic Vyper eliminates the need to manually align the building plate if you want to move the machine to a different location.

It's fast and accurate, saving time when setting up your first impression.

Best Wide Format Printer

The Anycubic Photon M3 is the ideal entry-level resin printer to introduce you to the world of 3D printing. It's relatively easy to set up and operate, and the box includes everything you need to get started except UV resin. This model is compact which means it fits easily on your desk in any room.

No matter what type of project you're working on or what level of experience you have with 3D printing technology there's sure to be an option that fits your needs perfectly. With this guide in hand you'll be able to find exactly what you're looking for.