In its American edition, Tom’s Guide, the website specializing in news and testing high-tech, has recently published a ranking of the best 3D printers. We discover a selection of 6 printers, each rewarded in a specific category: Printer at the best price / quality ratio, the easier to use printer, the best printer kit, optimal printer for occasional use, the ideal printer for small businesses and finally the most innovative printer.
In the category “Best Budget 3D Printer” winner is the Solidoodle 3rd generation, a 3D printer at only € 674 * for a large printing capacity 203x203x203 mm, a solid metal frame and a minimum thickness of printing 300 microns. It can print from PLA or ABS due to the presence of a heating plate. 3rd generation Solidoodle is obviously not the cheapest printer in the market, but is the most interesting price / quality ratio on the low-cost printer market.
In the category “Best 3D Printer for Beginners” is the Cubify Cube that was selected. Available in 5 colors, it offers a sleek design and an easy grip for those who wish to learn about 3D printing. The package includes software Cubify Client and a selection of pre-configured 3D printing models.
Priced at € 1499 *, it can print up to 200 micron layers from PLA or ABS, sold in cartridge form on the website of Cubify (25 filaments colors available). Also for simplicity, the Cube offers free Wi-Fi, with ability to link multiple computers at a time. Regrettably, however, guarantee is limited to 90 days and a relatively low print volume of 140x140x140 mm.
In the category “Best DIY 3D Printer”, the model RepRap MendelMax emerges as the most likely to meet the requirements of makers. The product is sold in kit form for assembly even at the price of € 1,255 *. The machine can print models up to 230x310x225 mm with a layer thickness of 100 microns minimum. With a print speed of 150mm / s, the MendelMax is one of the fastest on the market. A motivated amateurs, can improve this DIY printer by adding more extruders, to mix colors or materials such as ABS, PLA, but also the PVA, nylon filament or even wood.
In the category “Best 3D Printer for Use Light”, the MakerBot Replicator 2 is the winner. With little experience, it allows you to quickly print complex 3D objects using the included MakerWare software, and it offers a minimum resolution of 100 microns for a print volume of 285x153x155 mm. The Replicator 2 is considered one of the best desktop 3D printers on the market and has already been sold in tens of thousands. The MakerBot printer is priced at € 2,490 *.
In the category “Best 3D Printer for Small Businesses,” we find the Stratasys Mojo. The 3D printer Mojo part of the Idea Series range Stratasys. Volume reaches impression of 127x127x127 mm. It provides an affordable and professional 3D printing for designers, architects and SMEs by producing high quality models from ABSplus, a solid thermoplastic and more durable than traditional ABS. The machine is sold for 8750 €.
Finally, in the category “Best 3D Printer for Experimenters” is the Hyrel E2 Hobbyist printer that is elected. The Hyrel E2 allows to push the boundaries of 3D printing offering up to 4 extruders integrated to mix materials and colors. The machine has a print capacity of 200x200x200 mm. For $ 250 more, the EMO25 extruder can even print from experimental materials such as dry clay, silicone, Play-Doh or Sugru, a material for printing flexible objects. Hyrel 3D is a young company but has not yet been proven in the industry. The printer is available at an affordable price of 1600 €.
The study of Tom’s Guide is available here.