So, you have heard all about how 3D printers are reshaping the world of manufacturing, or maybe you recently learned about all the cool things you can 3D print from your desktop.
Whatever your reason, there has never been a better time to get a 3D printer. Not only is the technology far more reliable and precise but getting a high performing 3D printer at a reasonable price is no longer a far fetched fantasy. However, with so many great printers out there, where should one start?
Picking the Right Printer
When selecting a 3D printer one should consider a host of factors before going out to purchase the first shiny new printer that they see. Factors to consider when purchasing a 3D printer should be the price, what the device will be used for, the type of materials you want to print, the size you would like to print, and of course your own knowledge of 3D printing.
Some 3D printers simply allow you to upload a file and you will be printing in seconds while some other models require users to be a little more involved, requiring knowledge that is not so common for beginners.
Regardless of what you decide, it is important to outline your needs for printer first, not everyone needs a semi-professional printer at home. These printing needs will direct you to the 3D printer of your dreams and will have you creating amazing DIY projects that are sure to turn a few heads.
Here are some of the best desktop 3D printers in 2019 to jump-start your journey into the world of 3D printing.
Prusa i3 MK3
You cannot go wrong with Josef Prusa. Based in the Czech Republic his printers have been the go-to printers for both beginners and veterans in the game. One of the latest iterations of the MK line, the Prusa i3 MK3 is no exception.
This FDM printer is both reliable, durable, and built with impeccable quality for its price. With its 250 x 210 x 210 you won’t be getting the largest prints but you are sure to get some the highest quality at this price point. Pair that with its open source philosophy and large community, the Prusa i3 MK3 is a great starting place for those looking for an intro into printing.
The Ultimaker 3 is on everyone’s Christmas list for good reason too. Considered the Rolls-Royce of 3D printing, the pricey 3D printer is reliable and easy to use. Perfect for the classroom setting, the printer features dual extrusion, swappable “cores” for quick nozzle changes, wireless connectivity, and print cam for monitoring your prints, just to name a few features.
The intuitive software allows you to easily upload projects in seconds, and never worry about them again. Artists, startups, and designers love this 3D printer for a reason. However, expect to spend well over a few grand if you are planning to get one.
Creality Ender 3
Creality is an excellent brand if you do not have Ultimaker money but still want good quality prints. Another great place to start off if you are just getting into 3D printing, the Creality Ender 3 has a build volume of 220 x 220 x 250 and can print a host of materials like PLA, ABS, PETG, and Exotics.
Floating just under $200 the printer is very budget friendly.
Anycubic i3 Mega
Another brand favorite among the 3D printing community, the Anycubic i3 Mega is another great hassle free, well priced 3D printer for your desktop. At $300, this is one of those rare gems that offer users reliability and good quality prints.
The printer prints PLA and PET-G without any hiccups and could be great if you plan to design most of your projects in these materials. It is good to mention that you do have to assemble the printer once it arrives and the filament sensor is not the best. Nevertheless, it is another strong candidate for your desktop.
The Creality CR-10 is a legend, with the ability to go toe to toe with some of the higher end 3D prints on this list. Right under $500 this 3D printer has a huge build volume of 300 x 300 x 400, printing ABS, PLA, HIPS, PETG, Nylon, and Exotics with ease.
Simple and basic without all the fuss seen of other printers, this printer does require some construction and knowledge of 3D printing beforehand to ensure great prints. However, once you get over that learning curve you will be impressed with the quality of prints this device can churn out.
Formlabs Form 2
If you are thinking of upgrading or even switching from FDM printing to a resin-based printer, you should seriously consider the Formlabs Form 2. This SLA printer can acquire levels of intricate detail that is just not possible on some of the FDM printers above.
Printers like this are great for those who want to create detailed models or figurines for projects. These printers are reliable, fast, well designed and fun to use for those who want to break away from the FDM mold.
However, there are some downsides to getting such a device. Not only is Formlabs Form 2 going to set you back over $3,000, but you are also somewhat limited to the type of materials you can use and the size of your build is not the biggest. Nevertheless, these printers are great if you are starting a small business that requires tremendous detail.
Raise3D Pro2 Plus
Bigger can sometimes be better when printing. With one of the biggest volumes on this list, the Raise3D Pro2 Plus has an enormous print volume of 305 x 305 x 610. As one of the more professional printers on this list, this beast can print PLA, ABS, PC, PET-G, Flexible, TPU, HIPS, Exotics, Carbon, and Metal Composites.
Reliable and great for small businesses, it would be hard to pass up this 3D printer, yet the price tag is the biggest downside. If you want to bring this printer home, expect to spend close to $6,000.