3D Printing is defined as any process in which material is joined or solidified under computer control to create a three-dimensional object. This process was incepted in 1981 by Hideo Kodama, who invented two additive methods for fabricating three-dimensional plastic models.
Now, the big question is, do you even need a 3D printer?
The initial cost of a 3D printer is high, so on the surface it may seem like a wasted investment, but there are many practical and financial applications of having a 3D printer. 3D Printers are environmentally friendly, produce products quicker than it takes to order, and can potentially serve as a source of income.
There are many companies that will pay you to manufacture products for them, so it could be something worth looking into. If you choose to go down this route, you can also calculate your return on investment (ROI) here.
Without further ado, let’s get into it.
5. Comgrow Creality Ender 3
Dimensions: 8.7 x 8.7 x 9.8 inches Weight: 17.64 lbs. Printing Dimensions: 220 x 220 x 250 mm Price: $229.00
This model is one of the cheapest ones on the list, but comes packed with very useful features. The Ender 3 has a feature in which it can resume printing after a power outage or lapse occurs.
According to Amazon, the “V-Slot with POM wheels, make it move noiseless smoothly and durably.” With protected power supply, it can reach 110 ℃ in 5 minutes.
The good news is that it also comes with several parts preassembled, so you’re looking at only about 2 to 3 hours to put it together.
4. FlashForge Finder
Dimensions: 420 x 420 x 420 mm Weight: 24.30 lbs. Printing Dimensions: 140 x 140 x 140 mm Price: $299.00
Speaking of useful features, the Flashforge Finder, has a unique slide-in build plate (non-heated) which allows the user to easily remove his or her printed objects.
Additionally, this model includes a 3.5-inch touchscreen and an intelligent assisted leveling system. This makes the list because it’s one of the few models that support USB, flash drive, Wi-Fi and Cloud connectivity.
3. QUIDI Tech: X-one2
Dimensions: 420 x 420 x 420 mm Weight: 41.90 lbs. Printing Dimensions: 150 x 150 x 145 mm Price: $279.00
The X-one2 is remarkable because it is one of the few models of 3D printers that have an upgraded extruder protective cover, which causes a better ventilation effect.
It’s another model with a 3.5-inch touch screen, but the key difference in this model is it’s an enclosed structure printer that has two removable panels.
This allows for better product control and better maintenance. With all metal mechanical parts, this printer is one of the most durable on the market.
2. Comgrow CR-10 S5
Weight: 48.50 lbs. Printing Dimensions: 500 x 500 x 500 mm Price: $899.00
The Comgrow CR-10 is the best of the bunch, and despite its steep price point, it’s worth it. This printer has the largest print volume and surface area of any printer.
It takes 10 minutes to assemble for a total of 3 pieces. In addition, this product also does not have any plastic mechanical parts. It has a filament monitor that detects when filament is out and stops printing, resuming when you replace the filament.
1. Monoprice Mini Delta
Dimensions: 17.5 x 11.8 x 11.0 inches Weight: 10.20 lbs. Printing Dimensions: 110 x 110 x 120 mm Price: $159.99
This printer is my personal favorite because it does everything you need a 3D printer to do, for the cheapest price. Another really cool feature that’s exclusive to this model is that it can print directly out of the box, no assembly necessary. Even though it’s the cheapest, this model comes with a ton of features.
It has continuous self-calibration (never struggle with bed leveling), Wi-Fi/USB/Offline support, completely open source software to allow for cross compatibility. It also prints up to 50-micron layer resolution. This is the best bang for your buck and it’s the cheapest model.
At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference. These were my personal picks based on the capabilities of each printer in relation to its price.
Let me know if you think I missed any in the comments below! Enjoy!