Best 3D printers Reviewed in 2018

Best 3D printers Reviewed in 2018

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Best 3d printers

With a large number of options available in the market, “Which 3D printer should I buy?” is the most common concern.

Today, 3D printers are not limited to factories only. A 3D printer also serves a valuable educational purpose. It can be used in schools and colleges for classroom activities and projects making study an entertaining task.

Well, selecting that “BEST” 3D printer in one go can be a challenging task.

That is why we have created a list of 10 best 3D printers available in the market. This list has been created after extensive research so that you can make your choice in no time.

You can begin your search for the best 3D printer by looking at the below comparison table.

Best 3D Printers 2018

Scroll the table left & right

Printer NameDimensionsWeightMaximum Build AreaFrameLED/LCD screenTechnologyNumber of ExtrudersNumber of coloursHighest ResolutionPortsSD card slotUSB Type A portWireless ConnectivityMaterials Supportedprice
Lulzbot Mini Desktop 3D Printer15.2 by 17.1 by 13.4 inches18.8 lbs6 by 6 by 6.2 inches (HWD)OpenNoFused Filament Fabrication (FFF)1150 micronsUSB 2.0NoNoNoneABS, PLA, Nylon, HIPS
FlashForge Creator Pro22.1 x 19.3 x 16.3 inches24.2 lbs8.9 x 5.9 x 5.7 inchesClosedyesFused Filament Fabrication (FFF)Dual1100 micronsUSB 2.0YesNoNoneABS, PLA, HIPS, Nylon, and PVA
MakerGear M213.77 x 9.64 x 10.23 inches28 lbs8 x 8 x 10 inchesOpenNoFused Filament Fabrication (FFF)11100 micronsUSB 2.0, EthernetNoNoNoneABS, PLA, HIPS, Nylon, and PVA
ROBO 3D R1 Plus18.2 x 17 x 15 inches28 lbs8 x 10 x 9 inchesOpenNoFused Filament Fabrication (FFF)11100 micronsUSB 2.0YesNoNoneABS, PLA, Nylon, HIPS
FlashForge Finder16.5 x 16.5 x 16.5 inches28 lbs5.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inchesOpenYesFused Filament Fabrication (FFF)11200 micronsUSB 2.0NoYes802.11b/g/nPLA
MonoPrice Select Mini13.5 x 11.3 x 7.5 inches9.9 lbs4.7 x 4.7 x 4.7 inchesOpenYesFused Filament Fabrication (FFF)11100 micronsUSB 2.0YesNoNonePLA or ABS
Qidi Tech 118.3 x 12.5 x 14.7 inches55.1 lbs8.8 x 5.9 x 5.9 inchesClosedYesFused Filament Fabrication (FFF)Dual1100 micronsUSB 2.0YesNoNonePLA or ABS
RepRap Prusa I3 V220 x 20 x 7 inches20 lbs8 x 8 x 7 inchesOpenYesFused Filament Fabrication (FFF)12100 micronsUSB 2.0YesNoNoneABS, PLA, Nylon, PETG, HIPS
FlashForge Dreamer19.1 x 13.2 x 15.8 inches24.2 lbs9.1 x 5.9 x 5.5 inchesClosedYesFused Filament Fabrication (FFF)Dual1500 micronsUSB 2.0YesNoWi-Fi connectivityABS, PLA, Nylon, HIPS
Sindoh 3DWOX DP20016.6 x 16.9 x 17.3 inches44.8 lbs8.3 x 7.9 x 7.7 inchesClosedYesFused Filament Fabrication (FFF)Dual1400 micronsUSB 2.0YesYesWi-Fi connectivityABS, PLA, Nylon, HIPS

3D printing has transformed into a popular sensation. Ready to explore the best 3D printers? Here is everything you need to know to make the experience of purchasing a 3D printer a lot easier.

1. LulzBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer – Best 3D Printer under $1500

If you want a super reliable and versatile 3D printer, then the LulzBot Mini is just a great starting point. The LulzBot is known for its simplicity and dependability. There are a lot of printers on the market that cater to beginners, but very few of them do it correctly.

Most of the “beginner friendly” 3D printers strip away the user's available choices with their oversimplified UI. Most of the time they let you choose from three different resolution options(high, medium or low), and have zero access or control over advanced settings like extrusion speed, infill density, or hot end temperature. This lack of access makes these printers too straightforward to use and ineffective to some extent.

So, what makes LulzBot Mini stand out from the crowd of user-friendly 3D printers? If you are a newcomer to the 3D printing world, LulzBot mini is simple and straightforward when you’re still learning things, yet it also doesn’t prevent you from going deeper, increasing your knowledge, and getting more out of your 3D printer.

What more you can expect from this best 3D printer under $1500? In addition to excellent UI, LulzBot mini is also the most reliable and consistent FDM printers. Sure, it doesn’t have a large build envelope or creates high-resolution prints, but virtually everything else about this printer is amazing. LulzBot Mini allows you to print with different materials, making it versatile with a variety of printing ecosystem. It’s also highly upgradeable, so if you ever feel like tricking out your setup, you totally can. Cleaning a 3D printer can be a boring task but the LulzBot Mini starts each print with a nozzle cleaning and probing sequence that ensures a clean and perfectly level first layer.

Backed up with award-winning documentation and one-year warranty The LulzBot Mini is built-in Loveland, Colorado and is backed by award-winning documentation and a well-known technical support team. Your LulzBot comes with a full one-year warranty that includes a year of phone and email support. LulzBot’s community forum is highly active and is a great place to get tips and tricks, and to share images of your awesome creations.

Learn various modelling tools before using LulzBot Mini If SketchUp is the only modelling program you are familiar with, learn something new before you buy a LulzBot mini. SketchUp doesn’t work with this 3D printer.

A Big Bang for few bucks If you are a hobbyist who loves to create miniatures and models, LulzBot can prove out to be a great choice to generate all your loving and expensive models by spending very little only on the cost of materials.

PROS

  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Capable of high resolutions.
  • Self-leveling print bed
  • Prints with a variety of filament types
  • Accepts third-party filament spools.
  • Supports open-source hardware and software
  • Easy to remove finished objects from print bed

CONS

  • Inconsistent print quality
  • Only includes a small sample length of filament
  • Open frame increases risk of burns from a hot extruder


2. FlashForge Creator Pro – The Most Popular in the Market

If you want a quality build, yet pocket-friendly and the best 3D printer then FlashForge Creator Pro should definitely be on your list. The metal build is loaded with many upgrades that differentiate it from its predecessors.
The build platform of this 3D printer is carved from aviation-grade aluminium adding extra strength and premium look to it.

Maximum protection and Thriving Community


FlashForge 3D comes with a standard 90 days warranty. In addition to it, FlashForge ProCare warranty gives to extended 6 months or 12 months protection inclusive of all parts and labour costs. This extended warranty program is available at the time of purchase or within 30 days of purchase.

What’s not to Love?
If you want to ease in printing your models and a user-friendly interface, then FlashForge Creator Pro will definitely impress you. The print jobs can be run directly through USB cable or from SD card. To provide a better user experience FlashForge Creator Pro comes with an LCD screen and mechanical buttons for a manual control over your print jobs.

Real WorkHorse Machine
FlashForge Creator Pro can run printing jobs continuously on long runs delivering both print quality and reliability. Hence it definitely deserves a place among the best 3D printers.

But Nothing is perfect!!
The FlashForge Creator Pro is affordable but it can quickly get little expensive for beginners. Some complaints regarding issues with the second extruder and some noises while printing has been observed in the community.

Community and Support are Always there to help
If you are thinking that this 3D printer is cheap and not reliable then you should drop the thought. FlashForge Creator Pro is most popular and among the best 3D printers in the market. Thanks to its community and support. The community is full of quick solutions available on the go for almost any problem with this 3D printer.

To Sum up all the points, “This is clearly the most reliable and best 3D printer for the price.”

PROS

  • Premium build quality
  • Dual extruders
  • Manual control over printing jobs with LCD and buttons
  • Maintenance is straightforward
  • Excellent Customer Support

CONS

  • Noise while printing
  • Small adjustments might be needed all the way


3. MakerGear M2 – Superb in Every Way

If you are looking for FDM(Fused Deposition Modelling) 3D printer that truly beat the others and stands out, then MakerGear M2 can be your choice. The M2 model of MakerGear is currently in its 3rd generation.

A clear winner for the 3D printing Hobbyists and Professionals
The design of MakerGear M2 is very basic but its strength and reliability are the outcomes of its simplicity. It is a professional level and the best 3D printer under $2000 appreciated for its all-around solid engineering.

Do you want to use different materials to print?
If you want to print using different filaments, MakerGear M2 can do this also as long as filaments are 1.75 mm. M2 owners can also utilize a wide range of materials ranging from common thermoplastics to Flexibles, Nylons, Polycarbonate, and more. It is one of the best 3D printers that brings WOW factor to the printing industry.

It brings versatility and flexibility to complete your printing job your way.

Maintenance is a Breeze with the modular design
The interchangeable nozzles and swappable dual-extruder upgrade make this printer’s design modular and maintenance easy. This means less time troubleshooting and more time innovating.

Users can adjust and fine-tune this 3D printer according to their needs with the help of some open-source electronics and firmware.

M2 Means Quality
The high-quality components of MakerGear M2 provide high precision print quality over time.

There are some cheap 3D printers in the market that can produce high-quality prints.

So, Why spend more on MakerGear M2?
The answer to the above question is consistency and best-of-breed customer support. Consistently getting high-quality prints from the cheap 3D printer can be a difficult task. The more you use the printer, the more problems will show.

The MakerGear M2 is designed to be very consistent and durable even on a long run.
MakerGear have a very reliable and quick customer support. They respond almost instantaneously to their customer email and solve any problem with the machine in a very short timeframe.

Can this 3D printer be called a Real Deal?
A big YES. With its ease of use, versatility, flexibility, premium quality prints, a sturdy design and MakerGear’s quick support, you really get it all with this 3D printer under $2000.

PROS

  • Great for both beginners and experienced users
  • Modular design and easy maintenance
  • Best-of-breed customer support
  • High precision printing
  • Sturdy design and reliable build

CONS

  • Not easy to use if ordered in Kit
  • No dual extruder
  • Noise while printing


4. ROBO 3D R1 Plus – One of the best 3D printer under $1000

If you want all important features available in a filament-based 3D printer under $1000, then Robo 3D R1 plus will be a perfect choice.
It is really hard to find a 3D printer with a larger build area, a heated bed, a strong and stable frame and an extruder that can work with different materials at such a low price.

Honestly, Robo 3D R1 plus is the only 3D printer under 1000 with such features. Unless you are willing to buy a kit and put everything together.
If you are a beginner, then Robo 3D R1 plus will definitely impress you because it is very easy to calibrate. It reduces all the hassles of calibration for a newcomer in the world of 3D printing. It ensures high-quality print jobs with multi-point auto levelling feature.

Massive build volume The Robo 3D R1 plus comes with a build area which is 2X larger than the average 3D printer under this price category. Larger build area allows you to fit multiple small parts thus reducing the production time.

Do you like to print with different materials? The open-source architecture of Robo 3D R1 plus along with all metal hot end allows you to print with more than 15 materials including PLA, ABS, Wood PLA, Stainless steel PLA, carbon 4fibre PLA and more!

Build to last The makers of Robo 3D R1 didn’t compromise with the quality. There are no 3D printed components in this printer.

Idle for multiple users If you want multiple users to use the 3D printer then Robo 3D R1 plus can be nestled into a corner. It’s SD card support which eliminates the need to keep it wired and hence, multiple users can do the print job using the single 3D printer.

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Large build area
  • Can print with tons of different materials
  • SD card feature allows multiple users support

CONS

  • Slow printing speed
  • High noise while printing
  • At default settings, print quality is not up to the mark


5. FlashForge Finder – Easiest to Use, Safe and Affordable

FlashForge Finder is a perfect choice for those looking for a user-friendly and entry-level 3D printer at their home or classroom. This printer features a clean and professional design with cables concealed from sight in the plastic alloy body.

Do you struggle to level the print bed?
If you struggle to do so, this printer will make your print job easy. FlashForge finder has auto-levelling feature for smooth and easy calibration of printer bed. Also, the glass printer bed’s sliding ability makes it easy to load and unload the 3D prints.

Safe for You as well as Environment
If you are concerned about safety, this 3D printer has all heated elements protected from touch. Also, the printing material of FlashForge Finder is non-toxic PLA making it environment-friendly as well.

The limitation to using only one type of material for printing can turn out to be a pain for 3D printing professionals. But, this drawback can be considered as it is helping in saving the environment.

Can 3D printer be smart? 
Yes. FlashForge Finder’s incorporates a smart filament management technology. When the filament is running out, the cartridge housing detects it and alerts you to change the filament. Wow, this is something that can really make a 3D printer “SMART”.

Next Generation user experience – Second to None
FlashForge Finder is the easiest to use and user-friendly 3D printer in our list. It comes fully assembled and with just minor calibrations gets ready to use. It sports a 3.5-inch HD IPS touchscreen control pad. The touchscreen buttons get displayed after booting up the printer making it easy to manual settings and print commands. This screen also provides real time view printing so that you can know when printing will be completed. It also has multi-language support thus making operation simple, just like your smartphone.

Another outstanding feature of this smart printer is the ability to transfer file using Wi-Fi. It features a 2ndgeneration Wi-Fi connection for file transfer. Other than this, the file can also be transferred using a flash drive or a wired connection.

PROS

  • Auto levelling feature for smooth calibration
  • Very Quiet while printing
  • Good quality print job
  • 2nd generation Wi-Fi connectivity
  • SMART technology detects when filament runs low and alerts user
  • Prints with non-toxic PLA

CONS

  • Limited to printing with PLA only
  • Average build volume


6. MonoPrice Select Mini – VERY impressive for the price

If you are looking for a 3D printer without cutting your pocket much, this 3D printer is the one to try. It is priced under $300. Yes, this is not a typo. MonoPrice Select Mini is a pocket-friendly 3D printer in the real sense.

The other BIG thing that is hard to believe is the build quality of this printer. It is made up of folded sheet metal giving it a sturdy and strong look. Everything is readily accessible but not too much, making it very safe to use around children.

 

If you want a compact 3D printer, this printer will easily fit on your desk.
It has one of the finest and handy user interface with a bright and coloured display. It displays all the necessary information to load filament and print. You should note that rarely such an inexpensive printer comes with a display screen.

Freedom to select Filament
If you like to experiment with different types of filament, this printer will allow you to do so. MonoPrice Select Mini works fine with any standard 1.75 mm spool of PLA or ABS thermoplastic.

However, there is one drawback in the operation of this printer. The Hotend part has a fluctuating temperature while printing. It has been observed that the temperature might vary +/- 5 degrees while printing. This doesn’t seem to be a serious problem but if you are working with temperature sensitive materials then it can be a big pain.

Hackable for a low price
If you are brave enough to pop it open, this printer can be upgraded with some high-end features. First priority can be given to changing the hot plate and firmware upgrade. A glass can be also be laid down on the print bed. All these upgrades can be done at a reasonable price.

Is this printer recommended for a newcomer to the 3D printing world?
Yes, definitely. It is very simple to operate and produces very reliable and consistent prints.

There are flaws but this printer provides a lot of entertainment and education for a very low price.

If you’re looking for a versatile desktop 3D printer for use in a small business or studio environment, you should continue looking.

If you are an owner of a business and looking for a flexible and adaptable 3D printer, you should keep looking. This is because it has very low build volume and slow printing speed. However, this printer is highly recommended for students and newcomers to the 3D the printing world.

PROS

  • Highly affordable 3D printer
  • Sturdy design and simple to operate
  • Highly recommended for newcomers and students
  • Hackable for customization

CONS

  • Low build volume
  • Slow printing speed
  • Inconsistent hot-end temperature


7. Qidi Tech 1 – Low-cost alternative to the premium 3D printer

If you are aware of the premium 3D printers like FlashForge Creator pro and MakerBot, then this printer will seem identical but with really low price.

Easy to assemble
The Qidi tech 1 requires some assembly before you can actually start printing. The assembly instructions are very easy to understand. You can start with your print jobs in few hours.

Users might feel frustrating while looking for the SD card slot. The SD card slot is hard to find as it is located inside the printer on the lower side. But this won’t trouble a lot after the first use.

Sturdy construction
If you like rugged and strong build, this printer is really well constructed with a metal frame giving it a sturdy look. The body is rugged and looks amazing as compared to the wooden and PVC frames of other printers.

Moreover, the build plate construction has also impressed us as it is carved from aviation-grade aluminium. The build plate does not warp during the heating process.

All these features and amazing build of this 3D printer will definitely make you say “WOW”.

Do you like add multiple colours to your projects?
The Qidi Tech 1 plays with colours very well. This printer sports dual extruder allowing you to create prints with different colours. This feature adds another star and makes it run parallel in the race of best 3D printers for such a low price.

The Qidi Tech 1 sometimes requires minor calibration between the prints. However, for the price and quality of prints, this is a minor trouble.

Is warranty your concern?
The Qidi Tech 1 comes with only 3 months warranty and also it is non-extendable. However, they have compensated this with the excellent and exceptional customer service experience. Almost any glitch or trouble operating this printer is resolved within a small time frame by their best of breed customer support team.

Do you hate hanging around waiting for the replacement parts?
The support team is known to respond quickly to emails and provide solutions. The replacement parts delivery is very fast all around the globe.
If you are lucky then some parts are also replaced at no cost to the user depending on the need.

The Qidi Tech 1 is one the best 3D printers with marked reputation. This printer serves the hobbyist and professionals well throughout their project.

If not the best, this printer is certainly not the one to turn your nose up at. It is highly recommended and one of the best 3D printers available in the market under $1000.

PROS

  • Assembling this printer is a breeze
  • Excellent customer support
  • Dual extruders
  • Quick delivery of replacement parts

CONS

  • SD card slot is hard to find
  • Levelling the build plate can be challenging for beginners


8. RepRap Prusa I3 V2 – The DIY 3D Printer

If you enjoy assembling parts and play with technology, this DIY 3D printer kit is definitely for you. The RepRap Prusa I3 V2 is not a plug-n-play type of 3D printer model. You will have to assemble all the components referring to instructions to get this printer into action.

The makers of this amazing DIY kit claims that it is very easy to assemble the printer. All the necessary parts, tools and instructions are provided with this kit.

The RepRap Prusa I3 V2 is among the best 3D printers to perform 3D printing in an affordable way.

A 3D printer designed for Everyone

This 3D printer is designed in a simple way to make it easy for use by regular people. It can be used by people of different backgrounds, hence it is called as a DIY 3D printer.

The idea behind this 3D printer is to give a better and easier 3D printing experience to everyone regardless of their background.

If you are mechanically and technically inclined, the RepRap Prusa I3 V2 3D printer kit is an amazing choice to introduce you to the world of 3D printing.

It is an amazing DIY kit which saves your time for cutting, drilling or soldering and it is made in the USA.

Build Quality could have been better
RepRap Prusa I3 V2 is constructed using acrylic frames. Use of acrylic frames makes this 3D printer lighter in weight but prone to cracks.

If you are not “Handle with care type”, it is recommended to move to any other 3D printer from our list of the best 3D printers.

Do you Know How to calibrate a 3D printer?
If the answer is “No”, don’t worry. The auto levelling feature is not included in this printer, making calibration a learning experience.

Easy control with LCD
The LCD screen lets you use this printer very easily. Many other features can also be controlled using the LCD screen.

If you feel that printing job is going very slow, press the button directly from screen to speed up the process. This can be done without putting a pause to the printing process.

The LCD screen also allows you to preheat the nozzle and the print bed before you even start printing.

Assembling this printer is going to be a great experience for you. Sometimes, you might feel like a pain in back but this is how you are going to learn about the process.

PROS

  • Amazing and easy to assemble DIY kit
  • Auto levelling
  • LCD screen makes control easy

CONS

  • Not a plug-n-play printer
  • Acrylic frame looks cheap


9. FlashForge Dreamer – Making your 3D printing dreams come true

If this printer seems like a microwave to you, don't worry, you are not the only one.

The FlashForge Dreamer has been crafted using plastic alloy frames in the shape of a microwave. This design makes the printer stand out from competition giving it a presentable look.

Plastic Alloy – Sturdy or Cheap?

The idea of crafting with plastic alloy frames doesn’t go well with a price tag above 1000. The plastic body looks cheap on a printer with a such a price tag, don't you agree?

Hassle-free setup

If you are impatient to see your printer start printing, the FlashForge Dreamer requires only a few tweaks and turns to setup. Hence, setting up this printer is very quick and easy.

If you want to print using two colours, this 3D printer comprises of the dual extruder. Using this feature you can choose between two filaments without switching out after a single print. The different extruders allow you to work on different jobs at the same time.

Why enclosed printing chamber?

The printing chamber of FlashForge Dreamer is fully enclosed protecting it from the environmental temperature fluctuations. This feature is really a plus point for a good quality print jobs and less warping in the filament.

Flexibility to use different materials

If you want to experiment with different materials, this printer is designed to print using PLA and ABS. You are required to remove the top lid and open the front panel for a PLA print. On the other hand, ABS prints require all the panels and doors to be closed tightly. For more intricate printing, this printer can also utilise PVA filaments.

Are you looking for next generation features?

This 3D printer comprises of a perfect HD display screen 3.5 inches in dimension. It also supports multiple languages, thereby cutting the language barrier and enhancing the user experience.

The FlashForge Dreamer allows you to give print commands directly over the Wi-Fi. Thus the printer can be installed in any corner of your home or office and multiple users can work on it.

We all can agree that with the good comes bad. Considering the amazing features incorporated with this 3D printer, the flaws in its construction and working seems inconsiderable. Perhaps this is the reason for this printer to be ranked among the best 3D printers.

PROS

  • Inexpensive compared to other 3D printers with similar features
  • Build quali0ty is excellent
  • Very responsive customer support
  • Dual extruders allows use of different at the same time

CONS

  • Noisy while printing
  • Not an open source technology
  • ABS print does not stick to the plate easily


10. Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 – Premium 3D printing Experience

If you are concerned with safety, this printer has a sleek and enclosed design. The enclosed design also helps in reducing noise while printing and thermal stability inside the printing area.

The Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 provides greater flexibility to users. Moreover, many pain points of 3D printing have been eliminated in this printer and maintaining the premium look.

Truly Plug n Play 3D printer We noticed that this printer comes with very few parts. This is because the printer is almost ready to print right out of the box. Only a few calibrations are to be done like adjusting the print bed and refilling the cartridge. Other than this, the printer is ready to print in a very short timeframe. This gives extra stars for the “Ease of use”.

Direct Printing for SolidWorks users Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 is certified SolidWorks partner.

If you are a new user, this printer has “Easy mode” which makes 3D printing experience very similar to paper printing.

​If you are a SolidWorks user, this printer allows you to print directly without creating a g-code file. The users can also monitor the prints on the web and check the amount of filament in the cartridge. Is your 3D model is broken or damaged? Don’t worry. The Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 software is a default slicing software. This software automatically detects and repairs the broken or damaged 3D models.

Would you like to see the print progress anywhere, anytime?
Well, this printer fulfils your wish. The Sindoh 3DWOX DP200 sports a camera that allows monitoring the print status if you are on the same internet connection as the printer. Although this feature has some limitations, the camera is definitely a plus point if can’t stay around your print all the time.

PROS

  • Plug-n-play 3D printer
  • Built-in camera for real-time monitoring
  • Auto detect and repair broken 3D models
  • SolidWorks users can print directly

CONS

  • Camera works only for same internet connection
  • Design is minimalistic


Wrapping It Up

There is a continuous addition to the 3D printer market on the daily basis. Hence, it is becoming very difficult to find the best 3D printer for you easily. That’s is where lists like these come into play.

3D printers have multiple uses. It depends on how you deal with it and how far your imagination can go. Many people use this amazing gadget for nobel cause. 

Click here to read how Gaza is using 3D printers to develop medical equipment.

We have created this list to Best 3D printers considering the user requirements and most importantly their budget.

We hope that you will find this list to be of great assistance while selecting the best 3D printer for you.

We should also keep in mind that “nothing is actually perfect”. Hence each 3D printer is built according to the needs of different customers. The definition of the best 3D printer will vary according to the customers need.


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