Compare 3D Printers

Compare the 10 Best 3D PrintersAugust 2017

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Every week we analyse the technical specs, reviews and prices of every 3D printer on the market in the US to determine our top 10 list. In total we compared over 86 3D printers, 368 reviews and 198 prices. Last updated 22 August 2017.

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$283.03

#1 XYZprinting da Vinci Mini

da Vinci Mini
A phenomenally cheap and stunningly economical to run Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, with terrific expert reviews and very good features
95
Reviews
6 Reviews
97
Value for Money
Excellent
86
Features
Fully-Featured
96
Running Costs
$16 / 5 Years
90
Overall Score
Excellent
Sep 2016
Release Date
Walmart $283.03
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$499.00

#2 Flashforge Finder

Finder
The top rated 3D printer under $500, with good features and a recent release date
78
Reviews
1 Review
97
Value for Money
Excellent
76
Features
Good Features
81
Running Costs
$32 / 5 Years
78
Overall Score
Very Good
Apr 2017
Release Date
Adorama $499.00
Gear Best $635.61
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$1,199.00

#3 Ultimaker 2+

2+
pcforalla.idg.se - Best in TestDigitaltrends.com - Editor's ChoicePC Mag - Editor's Choicetomsguide.com - Editor's Choice
A cheap and multi award winning Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, with low running costs and good features
89
Reviews
4 Awards
80
Value for Money
Excellent
73
Features
Good Features
70
Running Costs
$48 / 5 Years
74
Overall Score
Very Good
Apr 2016
Release Date
MCM Electronics $1,199.00
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$239.99

#4 Monoprice 15365

15365
A very economical to run and low cost 0.1 DPI print resolution 3D printer, with a recent release date and good features
91
Value for Money
Excellent
72
Features
Good Features
84
Running Costs
$26 / 5 Years
73
Overall Score
Very Good
Apr 2017
Release Date
Walmart $239.99
Compare
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$855.10
Save $43.90 (5%)

#5 Flashforge Creator Pro

Creator Pro
The top rated 3D printer under $1,000, with OK reviews and satisfactory running costs
66
Reviews
1 Review
85
Value for Money
Excellent
67
Features
Good Features
45
Running Costs
$75 / 5 Years
65
Overall Score
Good
Apr 2017
Release Date
Walmart $855.10
Adorama $899.00
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$583.43

#6 XYZprinting da Vinci 1.1 Plus

da Vinci 1.1 Plus
A good spec but average value for money Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer
68
Value for Money
Good
63
Features
Good Features
57
Overall Score
Average
Apr 2015
Release Date
Walmart $583.43
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$2,299.00
Save $700.00 (23%)

#7 3D Systems CubePro Trio 3D Printer

CubePro Trio 3D Printer
A good spec and enormous print resolution Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printer, but representing only middle of the road value for money
57
Value for Money
Average
62
Features
Good Features
53
Overall Score
Average
Sep 2015
Release Date
Adorama $2,299.00
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$1,041.21
Save $57.79 (5%)

#8 Flashforge Dreamer

Dreamer
A good spec but inferior value for money Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, with satisfactory running costs and a recent release date
40
Value for Money
Mediocre
60
Features
Good Features
36
Running Costs
$75 / 5 Years
47
Overall Score
Mediocre
Apr 2017
Release Date
Walmart $1,041.21
Compare
View Details
$2,999.00

#9 Ultimaker 2 Extended+

2 Extended+
An inferior value for money and middle of the road spec Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, with average running costs
30
Value for Money
Mediocre
59
Features
Average Features
51
Running Costs
$48 / 5 Years
45
Overall Score
Mediocre
Mar 2016
Release Date
MCM Electronics $2,999.00
Compare
View Details
$3,499.00

#10 Ultimaker 3

3
An average spec and not very good value for money 0.0125mm accuracy 3D printer, with satisfactory running costs
25
Value for Money
Mediocre
59
Features
Average Features
64
Running Costs
$48 / 5 Years
44
Overall Score
Mediocre
Oct 2016
Release Date
MCM Electronics $3,499.00
Compare
View Details

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Buying a 3D Printer

3D printing is a new but rapidly growing field of printing and creating. Also known as ‘additive manufacturing’, 3D printers are very different from all other printers. Below we will give you an introduction to what 3D printers are, how they work and what attributes to consider when choosing a model.

3D printing, as the name suggests, involves taking a blueprint of an object and creating a fully-realised 3D model as a physical object. The object is not so much ‘printed’ as ‘constructed’ - the printer breaks the blueprint down into hundreds of small layers, then nozzles pump a special plastic material into the shape required for the layer. It then moves up the tiniest fraction, and repeats for the next layer, and so on. Using this method the model is constructed from the base up, and at the end you have a fully 3D version of the blueprint!

Because 3D printing is such a versatile technology, the scope of what you can print is astounding. People have successfully 3D printed everything from extremely-intricate toys and clothes to replacement parts for machines. Someone has even managed to print a fully-functional camera! Many of the blueprints used to create such things are freely available online, meaning that anyone with access to a 3D printer can download and fabricate the item!

Because the process is far cheaper and faster than creating many of the objects normally, 3D printing is increasingly being used for the creation of artificial limbs., especially for children. This is because they grow so quickly that they outgrow the size of their limbs, so cheaper, fast-produced replacements will utterly change the game.

3D printing is not just limited to medical or mechanical objects - there is a growing field dedicated to 3D printing food! While still in it’s infancy, people have already successfully used fine sugar syrups or protein pastes to create a wide array of foods, from sweets to savoury snacks.

In short, it’s an astoundingly exciting field, with a lot of potential. The tech has a long way to go still, but consumer models of machines are already available on the market for early adopters.

Pricing

Because 3D printing is such cutting-edge technology, models for early adopters come with a hefty price tag attached. Some small, lower end models can be got for around £300-400, but most come in between £750-1000. As with all very new tech, it’s expected that as more and more consumer models appear on the market, the prices will start to drop in the years to come. However right now, the price will form a substantial barrier to entry.

Size

Once you’ve decided to buy a machine, the next consideration is the size. Because there has to be enough space in the machine to fit the finished object, what you can create will be limited by the size of the machine. Small printers may only be able to fabricate objects a few centimetres across, while larger, more expensive machines allow for correspondingly bigger creations.

Also, it’s worth noting that even the smallest 3D printers have quite a large footprint, so will take up a substantial amount of space wherever you set them up.

Speed

The current generation of 3D printers are not particularly fast, but this tech is evolving and getting faster all the time. That said, there is a substantial difference in speed even between current brands of printer. Look for a model with more than one nozzle for faster printing speeds.

Accuracy

Finally, 3D printers don’t yet always create a perfect 1-to-1 replica of the blueprint. This can be due to many factors, such as sub-standard quality of nozzles - nozzles that are too big don’t allow for very fine precision work, meaning it will create more of a vaguely thing-shaped lump than a delicate construction. The 3D printers on our site have an ‘accuracy’ rating - look for one with very high accuracy for the highest fidelity between the original blueprint and your finished product.

3D Printer Retailers, Prices and Features

3D Printer Prices

The price range of 3D printers is from $239 to $4,299 and in total we found prices for 12 3D printers. On average, a new 3D printer costs $1,582 and 80% of 3D printers are priced between $283 and $3,499. The Monoprice 15365 is the cheapest 3D printer at only $240, and Ultimaker 3 Extended is the most expensive at $4,299.

3D Printer Brands - Price Range

Ultimaker 3D printers start at $1,199 and the most expensive Ultimaker 3D printer costs $4,299. The highest average 3D printer price out of all brands is Ultimaker 3D printers with an average price of $2,999.

3D Systems 3D printers range in price from $2,299 to $2,299, and the average price of 3D Systems 3D printers is $2,299 which is the second highest average price of all 3D printer brands.

Flashforge 3D printers start at $499 and the most expensive Flashforge 3D printer costs $1,041. The third highest average 3D printer price out of all brands is Flashforge 3D printers with an average price of $798.

3D Printer Brands - Average Ratings

We have checked 64 expert reviews and 3 user reviews for 3D printers from across the internet and used this data to calculate the average rating for each brand of 3D printer. The top three 3D printer brands are Formlabs, XYZprinting and Ultimaker. Formlabs has an average rating of 82%, XYZprinting has an average rating of 82% and Ultimaker has an average rating of 78%.

Biggest 3D Printer Retailers

We found 8 current offers for 3D printers from Walmart making it the biggest 3D printer retailer. That is much bigger than the second biggest retailer, Adorama for whom we found 4 current offers for 3D printers. The third biggest retailer is MCM Electronics with 4 current 3D printer offers.

When Are Most New 3D Printers Released?

Over the last 3 years we couldn't see any clear trend in the release month for new 3D printers. Eight new 3D printers were released in June 2016 making it the biggest month that year for new 3D printer releases. September was the biggest month in 2015 for new 3D printers, with 15 new 3D printers released that month. In September 2014 eight new 3D printers were released making it the biggest month that year as well for new 3D printer releases.

How Fast Do 3D Printer Prices Drop After Release?

In the first 6 months after release, 3D printers drop in price by 3% on average. That means a saving of $50 on a typical $1,582 new 3D printer if you wait 6 months before buying.

Accuracy

This indicates the accuracy that the 3D printer can achieve in the final model, compared to the original.

The accuracy of 3D printers range from 0.0125mm to 0.25mm. The accuracy of most 3D printers range from 0.013mm to 0.036mm. The Ultimaker3 has the biggest accuracy. This 3D printer is a 0.0125mm accuracy 3D printer and can be purchased for $3,499.00. The 3D printer with the smallest accuracy is the Ultimaker3, which is a 0.0125mm accuracy 3D printer and sells for $4,299.00.

A greater accuracy means that the 3D printer will be able to create replicas significantly closer to the original, making for a far higher-quality product.

Print Resolutions

This indicates the highest support print resolution for the 3D printer.

Across the range of 3D printers, the print resolutions range from 0.1 DPI to 50 DPI. The print resolutions of most 3D printers range from 0.1 DPI to 79,000 DPI. The 3D printer with the biggest print resolution is the 3D SystemsCubePro Trio 3D Printer, which is a 1024 x 768 DPI print resolution 3D printer and is on sale for $2,299.00. The 3D SystemsCubePro Trio 3D Printer, which is priced at $239.99, has the smallest print resolution and is a 0.1 DPI print resolution 3D printer.

The higher the supported print resolution for the device, the more detailed the final model will be!

Maximum Build Sizes (WxDxH)

This indicates the largest possible size for an object that the 3D printer can generate.

A larger build size means that the 3D printer can print bigger and better models!

Print Technologies

We found 27 3D printers that are Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printers, which makes this the most popular print technology amongst new 3D printers. The second most common print technology amongst new 3D printers is Stereolithography (SL). We found 6 3D printers that are Stereolithography (SL) 3D printers.

Biggest 3D Printer Retailers

We found 8 current offers for 3D printers from Walmart making it the biggest 3D printer retailer. That is much bigger than the second biggest retailer, Adorama for whom we found 4 current offers for 3D printers. The third biggest retailer is MCM Electronics with 4 current 3D printer offers.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for 3D Printers?

The cheapest store by number of 3D printer for which they offer the cheapest price is v with the cheapest price on 6 3D printers.

Proportion of 3D Printers for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

With the cheapest price on 75% of its 3D printers, Walmart is most frequently the cheapest 3D printer retailer.

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