3D printing has been increasing in popularity over the last few years. It’s easy to go to any local hardware store and play around with them amongst the drills and hacksaws of the tool department. With the upswing in availability, comes more selection, more brands, and tougher buying decisions. We’ve taken a look at the now saturated market to find the best 3D printers that can be delivered straight to your doorstep or business at a reasonable price.
The best affordable 3d printers can be found in our review section. We’re also going to take a look at software for 3D printing for you, which can make or break the user experience. If you need to know more about 3D printing technology in general, click no further. We’ve got it here in your one stop SmartHome Guide.
This is a great 3D printer for beginners that maintains a larger printing space, giving the artist more room to create. Monoprice also features a heated buildplate which allows you use slower cooling materials. For a printer in this price range, this is a rare quality. Most are limited to one or only a few different kinds of filament for creation.
Compatible software includes, but is not limited to Cure, Repeater, or Simplify 3D. Monoprice Maker Select is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
YXZprinting has made a great at home 3D printer that is extremely kid and novice friendly. It has built in software and wireless capabilities that make it easy to set up and get started. It’s quite precise for an affordable 3D printer, and would even make a great addition to a classroom. They only negative is that it is only capable with XYZprinting filament that is made specifically for this model.
Free XYZMaker Software included (print from computers, phones, or tablets).
Compatible Filaments: XYZprinting PLA only
Filament size: XYZprinting PLA cartridges only
Max Build Dimension: 149mm x 149mm x 149mm
Wireless connectivity for printing- no SD card needed
QIDI Technology makes our 3D Printer Reviews list more than once, they make sturdy and high quality printers that have been tried and tested. This particular model is made with a fully metal structure, and the guide rod has been improved to add more precision to the z-axis movement. The best part is that this printer is not going to require much set up time, and you’ll be printing within the first hour of opening the box.
Compatible software includes QIDI Print,Cura,Simplify 3d, and operates on Windows 7/8/Vista, and Mac OS X platforms.
Compatible Filaments: ABS or PLA
Filament size: 1.75mm
Max Build Dimensions: 140mm x 140mm x 140mm
Warranty: No Warranty Available
SD Card included (size not specified)
Best 3D Printer Under $1000
These printers are definitely a step up in terms of size and quality- once again they are geared more towards beginners that are looking to get to know the technology better and produce things at a smaller quantity.
Equipped with custom 3D printing software called MatterControl, this 3D printer is sleek and ready to go. It might be one of the more visual appealing 3D printers, avoiding the “microwave” look, it’s quality extends beyond first impressions. The software has 20 pre-installed models that can help you get more accustomed to how the printer works. This set also comes with some filament so there is no need to order that separately.
Aside from the Robo 3D Software that is included, it is also compatible with Cura and Repatier.
A company known for making advanced technology in the world of tools, it’s no surprise the Dremel has busted into the 3D printing race. This printer is set with a color touch screen that will render any object preview before submitting the model for build. While many other PLA filament brands will work in the Idea Builder, it is recommended for using only with the Dremel brand.
The Dremel software is built in and has been recently updated as of Fall 2016.
Compatible Filaments: Dremel PLA Filament only (is compatible with other PLA filaments but the spools will not lock in and will likely void the warranty)
Filament size: 1.75mm
Max Build Dimensions: 228mm x 149mm x 139mm
Warranty: 1 Year (non commercial use) 60 Day (commercial use)
QIDI Technology will likely be one of the companies to master 3D Printing technology, and they are one step closer with the Qidi Tech 1. It’s another fully metal framed 3D Printer with a high-heat resistant metal platform that can help with slower creations. While slightly more complex than the alternative model we reviewed, the support from QIDI is unrivaled. They will be able to help you with any trouble you run into.
The software is a Simplify 3D/Replicator G/Makerware.
This MakerGear printer is made from a fabricated steel frame, and is made in the USA. It’s advertised to be a great way to bring ideas to life, and users support this notion. MakerGear is compatible with many software and supports open sourced software. It’s also available in an assembled and disassembled versions for varying prices. This home 3D printer is one of the best values you can find.
Compatible with many open-source and commercially available modeling, slicing, and printer control software available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Simplify3D software is recommended.
Compatible Filaments: PLA, ABS, PET, flexible, polycarbonate, composites and various others.
With a high quality plastic body, and internal filament feeder it helps keeps the workstation clean. It’s simple to set up and even easier to use. This is a great home printer, or for advanced classroom settings. The downside of this printer compared to others made by Flashforge, it is not open source software, but the software it comes with is highly capable.
The software used by Flashforge is called Flashprint. It is not open source.
Compatible Filaments: ABS/PLA/PVA
Filament size: 1.75mm
Max Build Dimension: 230mm x 150mm x 150mm
Warranty: 90 Day (Extended Available at 6 and 12 Months)
4GB SD card included
Best 3D Printers Above $2000
These printers are much higher quality, provide large build dimensions, and are usually capable of working with many different filaments at a thicker size.
This printer is a pretty significant upgrade from anything in one of the lower price ranges. The model has been recently updated in 2016 with improvements that have lifted it’s rankings among competitors. Equipped with an innovative feeder that is easily adjustable, it makes changing filament materials extremely easy. The warranty is sufficient, and it works with a wide range of operating systems.
Supported operating systems include Windows XP+, Mac OS X 10.6+,Linux Ubuntu 12.10+. Software included, compatible with STL, OBJ, and DAE file types.
The LulzBot TAZ 6 is a free software and open source hardware product, this company wants you to help them improve- which is always great to see in the technology field. On top of this, it is a self-leveling and self-cleaning device. This will limit set-up time for you so much, especially in between new projects. This company boasts that they are enhancing your ability to create, and we can see why this is true.
Comes equipped with Cura LulzBot Edition Software, but it is open sourced and compatible with other softwares, so you can use the best 3D printer software out there.
Max Build Dimensions: 11.02 in x 11.02 in x 9.8 in
Warranty: 1 Year
SD Card Included, Size not Specified
About 3D Printing Technology
3D Printing has only been accessible to the majority of the public for the past few years. Before that, it was only attainable and affordable in the professional realm. The 3D printing technology was still developing, and after it was functional in the manufacturing world it began to be condensed into a smaller size that could be used by artists, engineers and entrepreneurs right in their own homes and offices.
There are a variety of different technologies and software’s used by different 3D printers to deliver results. We’ll take a look at the most common ones now,
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) AKA Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) is frequently what you will find with at home 3D printers although some use Plastic Jet Printing (PJP). There are many other but these are the main ones you should make yourself familiar with if you’re new to 3D printing. FDM is more common because it can be used with a large variety of materials.
Filament and More
There are over 30 filaments made for 3D printing. It’s important that you choose a 3D printer based on what kind of filament/material you want to be working with. We’ve included some basic information about all of our 10 Best 3D Printers that we think will be helpful to you. Thankfully, because they are a newer technology most brands offer free technical support on their sites. When I visited some of them to check details many of them even had instant chat so you can get help with any questions almost immediately (during reasonable work hours, that is).
It’s important that you also understand that 3D Printers are not a perfected technology- we have yet to find a regular home printer without any flaws, but because so many of these printers have been made by companies that are allowing open sourced software and hardware to come in, that better results will soon be achieved. 3D Printer software is improving annually, and has made massive leaps in the last few years. Without a doubt, anything that you choose from our 3D Printer Reviews will be great for your home setup.
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