Category Guides and Resources

How to Find the Best Nylon 3D Printer in 2021

Best Nylon 3D Printer

Nylon is designed to give you a next-level experience with 3D printing. As a printing material, it’s just as versatile as more common filaments like PLS or ABS, but it has the added advantages of flexibility, tensile strength, and extraordinarily high layer resolution.

Its low friction coefficient and high melting temperature (and melting point) make it great for parts that have to move against each other without breaking like gears; other types of filaments are too brittle for the kind of wear and tear inner workings often exhibit.

Nylon is also called Polyamide, which means it’s a synthetic polymer that is made by linking an amino group of one molecule with the carboxylic molecule of another. That makes nylon plastic with super long, heavy molecules built from short but endlessly repeating sections of atoms. Think of chains made out of lots of individual links to get the idea.

Nylon’s structure is what gives its strength to any 3D filament made from it, and it also gives nylon filament material the stretchability that makes it so easy to spin into a filament in the first place. It’s got a lot of usage beyond industrial parts, too – anything you need to print with strong flexibility is a great choice for nylon 3D filaments.

Unfortunately, you can’t just switch out your current filament with nylon material and start printing without a few key considerations. But after you read these recommendations, you’ll be ready to either adjust your own flexible 3D printing rig or find a whole new one that’s more than up to the task.

What Are Some Good Nylon 3D Printers?

These are the best nylon 3D printers we’ve tested:

Nylon 3D Printer Pros and Cons

Pros of Working with Nylon

Strength and Flexibility

These are the traits you will hear touted over and over again when you work with nylon, and there are plenty of good reasons for this. Most notably, you’ll get around the inherent brittleness found in a lot of other common thermoplastics that stop them from being truly useful replacements for machine parts that experience a lot of grinding. Parts printed with nylon filaments don’t have that issue.

The thinner nylon is stretched, the better it can show off its strength, which it exhibits so easily from the fact that its molecular structure lets it bend under pressure. These traits let you experiment with animating 3D printing objects that you may have previously used only for show.

High Layer Resolution

Most people think of layer resolution as the amount of material used for each layer and how detailed that can make your final object. But that aspect of resolution is only half the story. It’s important to look at all the axes – X, Y, and Z – to calculate the true level of detail you’ll be able to get, and nylon is a star on all sides.

Its flexibility lends its the ability to produce thinner layers of print, which lets you get extremely detailed, and depending on your nozzle size, its precise melting temperature makes it stick to itself like Spiderman’s web holding a bus together. Plus, it won’t shrink down as much as more brittle materials like the more common PLA or ABS.

Resistance to Impact

Nylon’s strength is truly in its flexibility. Since the material has given, it rolls with the punches, which for 3D printed objects translates to not shattering into a million pieces you spent hours putting together in the first place when it’s dropped. And this is great for more than an insurance against clumsy hands and shaky shelves. If you’re looking to print an object that you want to put through the wringer, nylon’s the perfect material.

One fun project to test this is to print an egg cradle, like old school physics classes used to show the impact of gravity. If you’re into pitting things against each other, print one from PLA, one from ABS, and one from nylon, and see which one keeps the egg nice and cozy. (Hint: it’ll be the nylon!)

No Unpleasant Odor

Most thermoplastic filaments give off a distinctive and, let’s be honest, gross smell when they’re being used in a 3D printer. Not that we blame them; plastic is going to stink however you decide to melt it. But if you’re resigned to it as just an unfortunate quirk of the 3D printing process, you need to try printing with nylon. At its optimal bed temperature, it doesn’t give off any odor.

If this sounds like a trivial issue to you, try it once, and see how much more pleasant your experience is. And this is key to working well in either an enclosed area where you don’t have ventilation technology or a shared area where more than one person will be 3D printing or where multiple machines will be in constant use (like a fabrication shop).

Resistance to Continuous Abrasion (Abrasion Resistance)

Of course, this is good news for more than your eggs. Nylon’s refusal to get chipped or worn down from repeated beatings makes it a favorite for internal industrial machine work like gears.

Its resilience and print quality makes it perfect for parts that you can’t afford to replace regularly, especially if that’s because the parts are going to be grinding against each other or another abrasive surface for hours at a time multiple times a week.

Thanks to nylon’s affordable availability, this applies just as much to the desktop operation of your favorite movable action figures as it does to your pro level machine shop, so it’s a great material to invest in for your rugged 3D printing needs.

Availability and Cost

With all these specialized perks, nylon sounds like it’d be an expensive, difficult printer filament to find. But it’s not – it’s just a few bucks more per spool than more popular material, and your favorite source for PLA or ABS more than likely stocks nylon, too. It’s plentiful enough to experiment with and get to know, which is something you’ll be glad you did.

NOTE: You can check out the selection of nylon printer filament here on Amazon, or the specialty options here on MatterHackers.

Cons of Working with Nylon

Attracts Water Very Easily

Nylon attracts and absorbs moisture at a rate far greater than other 3D printing filaments. It can absorb up to 10% of its own weight in less than 24 hours; nylon is a polar structure, which means within its molecules, positive and negative charges are arranged asymmetrically.

This makes it easy for water molecules to latch onto them and absorb into the nylon’s structure, zapping it of its strength and making it unravel. This means that you have to do more than make sure you don’t use nylon to print flower vases or coffee mugs – you need a special storage system to make sure your unused printer filament doesn’t absorb any moisture from the air when you’re not using it, and you have to monitor the humidity of your work environment to make sure it stays optimal for working with this material.

If you print with nylon filament that isn’t dry, the water it retains explodes within the printer filament, causing air bubbles that will ruin the layer adhesion and surface finish. You can make sure your nylon filament is dry by heating your oven to 160 – 180 degrees Fahrenheit (70 – 82 degrees Celsius) and “baking” the nylon for 6 – 8 hours.

Otherwise, you need to keep it in an air-tight container and make sure it stays in a dry storage environment. The desiccant is another handy tool you can use. It’s those packets of small beads labeled “do not eat” you find in new purses, shoes, or other goods that don’t need to attract moisture, and you can buy them with a simple internet search.

NOTE: We picked up some premium air-tight containers to maintain our print quality at this listing with MatterHackers.

Warping

Because of nylon’s flexibility, its structure is more prone to warping than filaments with less give. You need to keep a close eye out on the adhesion your filament makes with your heated bed, especially if you are not working with a specialized gripper surface.

Applying a PVA-based adhesive to your printing surface makes a world of difference, and if you’re worried that sounds too fancy for your budget or skill set, don’t be – it’s those same Elmer’s glue sticks you used all through school.

Laying down a solid base for the first layer’s adhesion builds a good foundation for the rest of the object. Plus, don’t use that parts cooling fan you rely on to speed up your object’s completion. If you use that on nylon, it will weaken the material’s bond and encourage warping in the overall shape.

Needs a Higher Head Temperature Than Most Built-In Nozzles Can Deliver

Nylon’s trickier manipulation quirks mean it needs a specific temperature range that standard 3D printers are not built to handle straight out of their boxes. Generally, it needs an extruder temperature of 240 – 260 degrees Celsius, depending on the specifics of the flexible filament brand.

Standard heater heads are made of PEEK (polyether ether ketone / polylactic acid) and PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), both of which start to break down and emit noxious fumes at the low end of the temperature range you need to print with nylon. Find yourself an all-metal extruder nozzle, and you should be good to go since those are able to heat up to high temperatures without any structural issues.

NOTE: Determining the right hot end is key here. We’ve had luck with retrofitting all kinds of 3D printers with the E3D V6 hot ends from MatterHackers here.

Needs to Fully Cool at Its Own Speed

As tempting as its ability to cut your finish time in half may be, don’t use that parts cooling fan you rely on to speed up your object’s completion. If you use that on nylon, it will force water and air bubbles into the layers of your print, and as we mentioned above, that will turn your filament into a mess of un-sticky noodles.

So let your nylon print cool away from any winds or drafts, intentionally made or otherwise, and you’ll preserve that buttery surface finish for which nylon is so coveted as a filament.

What to Look For in Your Gear

Don’t let nylon’s quirks keep you from enjoying its perks. If you’re worried about working with a tricky material, you can rest easy knowing that just a few simple, accessible adjustments can make your 3D printer work great with nylon.

  • If you’re looking for the best and quickest adjustment, get a detachable all-metal extruder nozzle. They’re sold separately and cheaply, and after you’re done printing with nylon, you can go right back to your printer’s original head without more trouble than changing a light bulb. And heck, if you want to set up a nylon-exclusive printer, there are plenty out there that come with permanent metal-only extruders, so you don’t have to even think about your heater head’s temperature.
  • Another easy fix that will make dramatic improvements to your nylon builds is making sure your heated bed is covered in the right surface. If you are using a glass print bed, make sure it can be heated. That is vital for the stability of your nylon print. Alternatively, you can use Garolite for your heated bed. It’s a linen-based phenolic sheet made by impregnating glass cloth with an epoxy resin under pressure and heat. You will need a build plate that can transfer heat to the Garolite build surface, but it’s worth it for the print bed adhesion you will get.
  • You should also look for airtight containers that can store your nylon – some 3D printers have compartments built into the printer body itself, but check the seals before you decide those are enough. Those that aren’t specifically made for nylon may have air leakage issues, but airtight storage is good for several other types of durable filament material as well, so they are more common than you might think.

There are also 3D printers available built exclusively to print with nylon filament types. If you’re done testing the material and are ready to use nylon on an industrial scale for durable additive manufacturing, it may be worth investing in one of these bad boys, so you have all the settings and parts already adjusted as needed.

Conclusion: Top Nylon 3D Printers

Nylon is a great durable filament to work with. It’s got strength and flexibility beyond what you can find in the more popular PLAs and ABSs, and in spite of its tricky reputation, it’s not that much more difficult than working with either of those introductory materials.

You’ll fall in love with its layer resolution as well, which brings exquisite detail to your finished prints. You do have to keep several things in mind before you work with it, but once you’ve gotten those easy couple of pointers down, you’ll be ready to print with nylon in no time.

Recommended Reads

Getting Started With 3D Printing – Steps for Learning How to 3D Print

The secret’s out of the bag – 3D printing is revolutionizing the world we live in. If you are like me, then you’ve already thought of a bunch of different ideas for 3D printing. However – if you are also like me – the technology seemed a bit daunting at first. When I first was introduced to a primitive desktop printer via a friend, it opened my eyes to a whole new world. Since then – and many 3D printers later – I’ve begun to master the ins and outs of desktop 3D printing. I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I’ve gained so much knowledge already. The following article is the resource I wish I had when I was just getting started!

3D Printing Is Becoming Affordable

how to 3d printIn case you’ve missed it, 3D printers are actually becoming more affordable. As more companies jump into the fray, costs will only continue to fall. Right now there is a “race to the bottom” for the most affordable desktop 3D printer. There is no one clear market leader. There are; however, a bunch of sub-par machines and top performing ones as well. Around these more popular 3D printers, strong online communities have developed to help users troubleshoot and modify as needed.

That said, 3D printers still aren’t “cheap” for most people. Best case scenario, you can spend around $600, but more realistically, $1000-2000 for a basic starter printer. More advanced printers can easily exceed $2000.

In an effort to help expand the number of people who can benefit, communities have sprung up to share 3D printing resources. Libraries are one example of such a community resource. While it really depends on where you live, many libraries have embraced the idea of 3D printing. For small projects and learning the basics, this can be a great option. A good example of this is Montclair Public Library in NJ or the Sacramento Public Library in CA.

Another new emerging “co-use” option are “hackerspaces”. The parameters and rules around this spaces can vary quite a bit. You will probably only easily find them in and around larger cities, but it’s still worth checking out hackerspaces as an option.

What is 3D Printing? A Quick Primer

While 3D printing is becoming more common everyday, there is still some confusion about what it actually is. At the most basic level, 3D printing is the art and science of taking a digital 3-dimensional model and bringing it into physical form as a printed 3D object.

3D printing actually has been around for a while, but the original CNC style printing (common since the 1980s) varied critically from the type of 3D printing that has emerged recently, beginning in 2009-2010. CNC printing – which is still very common – refers to the more industrial process of removing material to create a 3D object. In this scenario, a solid block of metal takes shape via welding and CNC “milling”, removing the excess material until the desired object takes form.

Modern 3D printing, the kind that desktop 3D printing is based on, takes the form of “Additive Material” (AM). Conceptually, you are using print material (or “filament”) to build an object from the ground up, as opposed to removing material. Industrial AM printing has been around for over 20 years, but it has only recently achieved significant scale and started emerging as a “personal” or “desktop” option. For a more information on the history and contextual information, check out this Wikipedia page.

3D Modeling – An Important Skill to Learn

As referenced earlier, much of 3D printing depends on quality 3D modeling. Poor models will invariably lead to poor results. As such, learning digital modeling (otherwise known as CAD or “computer aided design”) is an important step for advancing as a 3D printer.

You can still start 3D printing without being an expert digital designer, however! There are many places online to find pre-configured models which you can download and print, leveraging the design expertise of others. Perhaps the best example of this is Thingiverse, a repository of a wide array of both useful and off-the-wall 3D print models. The main consideration here is compatibility with the software for your 3D printer (or the 3D printer you are using). CAD models must be converted to the proper file extensions, usually .STL or .OBJ file types.

There are many CAD programs (many of which are “Open Source”) that you can download for free like Google SketchUp or a more advanced option like OpenSCAD. For larger endeavors and certainly as your 3D printing workshop expands, it might be worth investing in higher end commercial software like AutoCAD or Solidworks.

While still in it’s infancy, “3D scanning” is also emerging as an alternative to design-heavy qualifications. While most 3D scanners still have problems and require additional digital design modifications, it is not unreasonable to expect this to be an increasingly reliable method of procuring replicated designs quickly.

Recommended Reading: Top Resources for Learning 3D Modeling and Printing

. Some of the information on 3D printers is a bit outdated, but the section on 3D modeling software – Slicer and TinkerCAD (now part of AutoDesk) in particular – was critical to my learning process. Again, it’s not the definitive guide but it’s a really good start for most beginners and even many intermediate aspiring 3D printers.

What Can You Make? Filament Types and Possibilities

One of the best parts about 3D printing is imagining what you can make. The possibilities can be endless. However, you’ll want to keep in mind the capabilities of your 3D printer or the 3D printer you’ll be using.

Filament Types

Knowing the various types of filaments available for 3D printers can help focus your project goals, whether it’s simple ornaments or more complex objects. Below I’ve listed the common (and less common) 3D printing materials (filaments):

PLA: PLA is by far the most common filament material. It is compatible with almost every 3D printer and often is the exclusive preference of 3D printers. PLA stands for “Polylactic Acid”. It’s one of the more environmentally friendly materials and features a “low warping” and odorless construction. It is a composite of petroleum derivatives and corn based products (renewable).
ABS: ABS is the second most prevalent printing materials, coming in right on the heals of PLA. The key element required for ABS filament is a heated 3D printing bed. Any printer that says it is compatible with ABS should come standard with a heated bed. ABS stands for “Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene”. It’s an optimal material for objects requiring more durable (and less brittle) applications, able to withstand higher temperatures and pressures.
Laywood: Laywood is an emulation of wood material, ideal for projects where a wood-like consistency and appearance is needed. Much like “real” wood, Laywood can be painted, stained, and otherwise decorated with after production details. Laywood can even be sanded down, if needed. To attain different wood-grain colors, you can heat it at different temperatures.
Laybrick: Similar to Laywood, Laybrick is meant to emulate real stone in almost every way. It maintains the qualities of plastic while also having the texture of stone. Lower temperatures will yield smooth surfaced rock-like material, while higher temperatures will provide a more “pock-marked” sandstone appearance.
PVA: PVA (“Polyvinyl Acetate”) is not really a stand-alone print material. It operates as a “support material” and is water soluble. Why would you want a water soluble material? Dual-extruder printers commonly use PVA as a secondary support material to architecturally maintain a printed object (say with ABS or PLA). The object is then soaked, allowing the PVA to dissolve away and the underlying material to remain.
Nylon: Nylon is another versatile 3D printing material, ideal for dying with colors. It’s naturally white, but works as a blank slate for coloring combinations. Nylon is sensitive to moisture, so be sure to take appropriate drying procedures after printing and prior to coloring.
HIPS: HIPS stands for “High Impact Polystyrene”. It is virtually the same as ABS, but contains Limoneone. This key difference essentially leads to less warping. Think of it as ABS “grown up”.
Bendlay: Bendlay is a relatively new material that has a number of important implications. It absorbs far less moisture than ABS, leading to fewer issues with warping. It’s also very flexible and translucent, allowing over 90% of light to filter through. This combination leads to a remarkably pliable and nearly clear printed objects. Bendlay is made of Butadiene, a material that is safe for food and child-friendly products.
TPE: TPE is the closest thing 3D printers have to rubber-like material. It’s pliable but also very strong, ideally suited for objects designed to bend (like belts, bands, iPhone cases, etc…).
PC: PC – or Polycarbonate – is an incredible strong print material. It’s both temperature resistant and extremely durable, often used as a key ingredient for bullet proof glass.

3D Printer Objects Gallery (for inspiration!)

For some inspiration, I’ve selected a handful of 3D printed objects for inspiration.

3D Scanning/Copying – The Next Frontier

. It’s the scanner that I’ve had the most success with as the other brands have a number of “deal breaking” issues to work out.

Buying A 3D Printer – Things to Consider

There are a number of important considerations to take into account if you are ready to purchase a 3D printer.

Printer Size: The first thing to consider is size and dimensions. Many entry level 3D printers have smaller print volumes and are best suited to similarly sized models. It’s not that larger is better than smaller, but that every volume is best suited to certain kinds of projects.
Print Material: Another key consideration is the compatibility of the respective 3D printer with various types of filaments. Most 3D printers will be able to print PLA or ABS material (or both!), but some have even more options. If you are looking to create unusual or specialty material prints, look into this first!
Ease of Use: There are some very good, precise, fully calibrated machines out there that are almost impossible for beginners or even intermediates to properly leverage. Especially as you go towards the “experimental”, “DIY”, or “open source” variety, ease of use can become a concern. What to look for? Look for brands with excellent customer support, strong online communities (often offering free advice and “hacks”), strong documentation, and an intuitive interface/controls.
Reliability: This might be a bit cliche, but a reliable printer is far more important than the latest sexy printing technology. Many of the experimental or DIY printer kits end up being less than fully calibrated or suffering from sub-standard design. Because there are so many brands jumping into the marketplace, reliability and track record take enhanced prominence. So what do you look for? Mainly quality reviews and recommendations from more experienced 3D printers. A lot of times new printers will be released to the market and receive rave reviews initially, only to become undone after extended and persistent use over 6+ months. Buying a new printer from a new company can be even more of a gamble.
Price: Obviously price is a very important consideration. 3D printers can be relatively expensive, even for a more entry level option. If you are just starting out, I’d recommend checking out this affordable printer page for a good overview.

3D Printer Companies: There are actually quite a wide array of 3D printer companies currently out there. This is a good thing, but it can make purchasing one a difficult endeavor. Below I’ve highlighted some of the main companies/brands currently making 3D printers:

MakerBot
FlashForge
Dremel (Idea Builder)
Cubify
Printrbot
Robo 3D
XYZPrinting (creators of the Da Vinci)
Tiertime (creators of the UP!)
3D Systems (creator of the CubePro)
RepRap (open source 3D printers)
MakerGear
Solidoodle
Velleman
Zortrax
Leapfrog (the Creatr)
MBot3D
Afinia
LulzBot (known for the popular “TAZ” line, uses “RepRap” technology)

This list will be kept up to date as new brands emerge. Kickstarter as been pretty active recently with 3D printing projects, so be sure to check it out if your interested in new concepts.

Popular Models

Below I’ve highlighted some of the more popular 3D printers in table format. You can compare cost, dimensions, and other key features at a glance:

Attention: The internal data of table “1” is corrupted!

Top 11 Ways to Make Money with a Desktop 3D Printer

11 Ways to Make Money with a Desktop 3D Printer

So, you’ve recently bought yourself a 3D printer, or you have one sitting around not giving it much work, and you want to make some extra cash on the side. Or maybe, you want to get a 3D printer but find it hard to justify the cost and are looking for some sort of return on your investment. Well luckily for you, there are a ton of ways to make money with a desktop 3D printer.

Whether you are looking to start a small business, print objects for a hobby, or print special orders, there is a way for you to make a profit. Some ways require a little more skill and creativity.

Others can be started just as you finish reading this article. To help make sure you are making as much as possible with your 3D printer we will lay out the best 11 ways to make money with that machine.

The list is in no specific order meaning the first option is not better, more profitable, or guaranteeing you any more money than the lost option on this list. We just want to show you all what we think are some of the best ways to utilize your 3D printer for something more than personal use.

If you have any ideas that are not on this list, feel free to share them with the rest of us in the comments below. Or if it’s too good to share, why not share your product or offering with all of us? Who knows, you just might get some new customers.

First things first, you need to get your hands on a 3D printer. Next, read through this list and decide which way you want to start making money. If it’s only one way or multiple, the choice is yours. Finally, start printing, renting, and selling and watch the money pile up!

Now let’s get this list started.

#1: Sell 3D Printed Products Online

EtsyThis option is fairly easy and straight forward. There is little risk involved as you are only investing your time and some filament into the products you want to create and sell.

There are a ton of options available through the internet that offer marketplaces for you to freely sell anything you want. A couple of the more popular are Etsy and EBay. Both sites have massive followings and will get your products and objects in front of a lot of eyeballs.

All you need are some cool or useful designs and you can start printing and selling your stuff. You can even just create one at first to take pictures for your listing and then print the objects when ordered. This will save you a lot of filament if the design is not as popular as thought, but hopefully, that’s not the case.

Etsy - Shop for handmade, vintage, custom, and unique gifts for everyone

Join the creative marketplace where millions of shoppers spend billions each year purchasing directly from creative entrepreneurs like you.

Join Now Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

#2: Rent Your 3D Printer

Do you have a friend who really wants to create a prototype themselves? Or maybe you know someone who wants to get involved in 3D printing but doesn’t want to throw down the cash for it? Simply, rent them your 3D printer.

Charge them a flat rate per print, hourly, or even daily depending on how long they want to use it for and collect the easy paycheck. You can even charge them separately for the filament or add that into the overall price. Be sure you can trust the person you are renting it to so that it doesn’t get returned broken or damaged or not get returned at all.

#3: Create an Online Store with Shapeways

Shapeways is a great place to open an online store for your 3D printed products. The site allows you to setup a store, take orders, and process payments. Everything is print-to-order so you don’t need to worry about wasting material. You will find people who want everything from a prototype to a finished product. This is similar to EBay and Etsy, but it is solely for 3D printing.

#4: Create Prototypes

A great option for people who know how to network and market their skills. You will need to have some contacts or know people who can help you find clients for this. Every business and engineer have great ideas that they need to test before bringing them to production. The only problem is that prototyping can be expensive.

With a 3D printer, the cost of creating prototypes can be greatly reduced.

They will save time and money by having you create their prototypes for them. So, what are you waiting for, start contacting your local businesses and find some engineers who need your help!

#5: 3D Print Prosthetics

This is a bit different as you will specialize in a specific area. You may need a larger machine too depending on the need. But, a large problem in the prosthetics industry is that every person has a different body, which means prosthetics are typically one-size fits all.

However, with modern 3D scanning and printing technology the prosthetics industry is changing. Now you can scan a body part and create custom-fit prosthetics for individuals. There are some companies out there who are currently offering this service.

Why not get your slice of the market while it is still early? It may require you to be a little more tech-savvy but it is very possible and a rewarding experience.

#6: Offer 3D Printing Training Courses

Have you been 3D printing for a while? Do you consider yourself an expert when it comes to 3D printing? Or do you believe you have enough knowledge to help someone else learn the ropes of 3D printing?

Then why not profit from this special skill set? You can use your printer and teach others the ins and outs of 3D printing. Not only will you an extra buck or two, but you will help someone else learn a new skill. And that, my friend, is priceless. You can structure out a class that lasts several weeks or offer private tutor lessons.

#7: 3D Print Jewelry

Know how to create eye-catching fashion accessories or have a passion for rings, earrings, necklaces, and other jewelry? This can be a great option for you. People are always looking for the newest fashion trends and accessory to pair with their new outfits.

Why not create inexpensive, beautiful pieces of jewelry to sell. It is easy to print, doesn’t use a lot of material, or take a long time to print. Sounds like a win-win situation for you.

#8: Print Products for Others Using 3D Hubs

Another 3D printing marketplace, but a little different from what we’ve seen here. 3D Hubs is a local 3D printing service. What this means is a customer will request a 3D printing service and 3D hubs will pair them with someone nearby who offers 3D printing services.

You can use this marketplace to help you find designers and engineers who are in need of a 3D printer near you. It is a great option if you don’t want to have to deal with shipping products to customers.

#9. Print for iMakr3

imakrSimilar to Shapeways, this is another 3D printer marketplace. Here, customers will reach out to you with special requests on prints they need made.

Print for the store or for individuals. You will receive a lot of requests as the owner of a 3D printer. Checkout their site to learn more about this opportunity.

#10: 3D Print Home Decor

Just like the jewelry option, but you will create objects for the home. There are a ton of free models available or you can create your own for objects you see in every home. Flower vases, picture frames, kitchen utensils, the possibilities are endless. People love having beautifully crafted, customized items in their homes. You can easily print these objects for cheap and flip them for a profit.

#11: Printer Repair Services and Custom Parts

For this, you will need to let your services be known to others so marketing skills may benefit you. People are always looking for a custom tool for a job or a specific part that has been discontinued. Now, you can step in and help these people out.

Create customized objects for any job and save the day for these people who need your help. Just think of how happy someone will be when you give them the exact part they couldn’t find anywhere else. You’re a modern-day superhero.

There you have it, 11 great ways for you to start making money with a desktop 3D printer. As we mentioned before, some of these are easier than others, just as some are riskier than others. Whichever you choose, we hope you are very successful in your 3D printing endeavors.

Further read:

Top 15 Easy 3D Printing Ideas for Beginners

15 Easy 3D Printing Ideas

It is hard to go a day without hearing about the next “revolutionary” technology. The reality is that the next revolutionary technology has been around for quite a while now. We are referring to 3D printing. While it may be a new technology for some people, some forms of 3D printing date back to the 1980s.

3D printing took its time breaking into the mainstream. More people are getting involved with the technology since it is becoming cheaper and more readily available. It is now possible for just about anyone to purchase a printer and begin creating anything they can think of with simple and affordable software.

The best part is you don’t need to be an expert in specific computer programs to begin printing.

Many websites offer affordable, if not free, ready to print files. So what are you waiting for? Get your hands on a printer and join the revolution.

Our Pick
Official Creality Ender 5 Pro 3D Printer Upgrade Silent Mother Board Metal Feeder Extruder and Capricorn Bowden PTFE Tubing 220 x 220 x 300mm Build Volume
$399.99

The Ender 5 3D printer is a very well-designed device, with faster printer, and more build volume than it's predecessors. If you can afford it, it's worth the additional investment long term.

Check price Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/16/2021 10:09 am GMT

To help you take full advantage of a 3D printer we are providing you a list of the 15 best 3D printing ideas for beginners. Sure, we can make a list of little cube pencil holders or smiley face paper-weights. But what fun is that? We want to give you something more, something special.

Our list is composed of 15 easy prints that are also extremely useful. On this list you find home decor items, food utensils, and designs to organize your desk. Trust us, you will likely find yourself using all of these things every day.

Here Is Our Top 15 3D Printing Ideas for Beginners:

1. Self-Watering PlanterSelf-Watering Planter
You can thank the creators, Parallel Goods, for adding a little greenery to your life. This two-piece print makes for a great low-maintenance home or office decoration. Simply print the two parts, add your favorite water-intensive plant, and fill the bottom reservoir with water.

This planter is designed to be easy to create, clean, and maintain while also being customizable. Mix and match your favorite color combinations of the two pieces to really make this your own.

2. Sliding Gate BoltsSliding Gate Bolts
This 4-piece lockable gate bolt is another great print for beginners. You can have a great sense of pride knowing your sheds, gates, or doors are secure thanks to your printing abilities. Depending on the material you use for printing will determine the strength of this object.

It might not stop everything from breaking in, but it will help sleep at night knowing your doors are securely closed and locked.

3. Tent/Hose SpikeTent Hose Spike
This one is for the outdoor enthusiast. A solid spike to hold down your tents, cables, or hoses. Those spikes that come with tents seem to break easily and always at the worst times. Luckily, with this file you can now practice printing and put a few extra spikes in your bag for your next adventure.

Can be used to secure your tent while camping or keep the neighbor kids from tripping over your extension cords.

4. One Handed Page HolderOne Handed Page Holder
Simple, straight-forward tool. Take your reading game up a notch with this handy little object. No more using two hands to hold a book open, you’ll be able to firmly keep your place in your book with just one hand.

Great for personal use, or print a few for all the readers in the family.

An easy one-piece sleek design makes this a great beginner print.

5. Jar HandleJar Handle
Turn any glass jar, or cup, into your new favorite mug. The simple design makes printing this a breeze. No more burning your hands on the side of a glass cup when all the coffee mugs are dirty. Just like many others on this list, the jar handles double as a great gift for friends and families.

Customize each handle with different colors and materials.

6. Garlic PressGarlic Press
For those of you who love to cook or just know someone who loves to cook. Whoever it is doing the cooking, they need one of these in their kitchen. Four separate pieces let you practice your printing skills. Once you have it printed, just peel a few cloves of garlic and toss them into the main chamber. Get cranking, soon enough you will have fresh garlic to put in your next dish. Easy to put together, and just as easy to take apart and clean.

*Pro tip: depending on your printer, it may be easier to print the main chamber as a solid structure and drill holes using a ⅛” bit on the bottom once you are finished printing. Also, double check the threads on the screw align with the threading at the top of the cap.

7. Citrus JuicerCitrus Juicer
Another great kitchen tool for the beginner printer. Simple, convenient, useful. Make fresh juice from your favorite citrus fruits every day. You get files for two versions, a solid juicer and a hollow one with ribs. Might as well print both and see which one you like better.

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Be sure to make note of the creator’s instructions – the default size may be a little large (good for grapefruits) so make sure to adjust accordingly.

8. Drink CoasterDrink Coaster
Do yourself and your table favor and print these awesome tree silhouette coasters. No more ruining your wooden furniture with those awful rings from your cups. The beautiful design of these coasters will look great on any coffee table, side table, or even your desk.

Get creative with the coloring to make sure they match the rest of your furniture.

9. Headphone Stand by MakerBotHeadphone Stand by MakerBot
This headphone stand designed my MakerBot is extremely useful and visually pleasing. A great design, which prints as one solid piece without any supports. It will help you organize your desk or gaming area.

You will love to show off this print and soon enough all your friends will be asking for their own. A professional design that is easily created with your printer.

10. Laptop StandLaptop Stand
Clean up your desk or work space with this awesome laptop stand. A simple 3-piece design, which can be altered, before printing, to fit your laptop. It is a great way addition to your desk and the angle and height of the stand helps give you a better view of your screen.

While you can find many different designs for a laptop stand we like this one for its simplicity and the fact it is separate pieces. You can easily take apart the stand, pack it in your bag, and take it wherever you want.

11. Phone StandPhone Stand
Your headphones and laptop aren’t the only pieces of technology that should benefit from your 3D printer. Your phone deserves its own new 3D printed stand as well.

This one is designed for an iPhone 6, yet it will work with other models as well. If you prefer, you can customize the design to be a perfect fit for your phone through the work file.

The arch at the bottom allows cables to be easily plugged into your phone while it is on the stand.

12. Cable HoldersCable Holders
A simple and very useful design. Use these cable holders to finally organize your tangled electronic cable nest. You can choose which design you like best – a solid object that can be taped or tacked to the table or a design with a coin hole on the bottom so you can insert coins and add weight to the cable holder.

Whichever you prefer, we are positive you will love these easy to print pieces.

13. Thin ManThin Man
Finally, you can have your very own 2mm thick best friend. Share your desk with one, or a ton, of these fun little characters. Create yourself a little army of thin men to protect your desk and belongings. Tosh, the creator, has downloadable files for Thin Man part 1 and 2.

Each series comes with thin men in multiple positions with varying degree of printing difficulty. While all positions are fairly easy, some require support parts where others don’t. Give them a try and see how many you end up with.

14. VaseVase
This may be a slightly more troubling print, but when done correctly the end result will blow you away. These beautifully designed vases are sure to make anyone smile. Whether you want one for yourself, or you are trying to surprise someone else with a thoughtful gift, this is a great print. Fill it with water, put in some fresh, colorful flowers and you have yourself a nice piece of home decor straight from your 3D printer.

15. Spinner ToySpinner Toy
A great toy for everyone who needs to keep busy. This fidget spinner toy is an easy print for endless entertainment. You will need to add a few ball-bearings to the design. The creator suggests using a pair of vice grip pliers to insert the ball-bearings. When they have been inserted, simply spin away. Once you start, you will not want to put this toy down.

This concludes our list. All objects included on our list can be found on Thingiverse. In order to obtain the files for printing, just click on the title of the object you want, which will bring you to the Thingiverse page. From here, click on the Download All Files button.

Be sure to read over the licensing policies for the files and tip your favorite designers to support their efforts. Once the file is downloaded, open it using the 3D printing software of your choice and put your 3D printer to work.

We hope you have enjoyed this list. Show off your prints you create from this list with a comment below. Also, if you have a favorite print that we left off the list be sure to share it with us and the rest of the community. Who knows, your idea may just be number one on our next list.

Keep reading! We have prepared for you the top 11 Ways to Make Money with a Desktop 3D Printer.

Our Pick
Official Creality Ender 5 Pro 3D Printer Upgrade Silent Mother Board Metal Feeder Extruder and Capricorn Bowden PTFE Tubing 220 x 220 x 300mm Build Volume
$399.99

The Ender 5 3D printer is a very well-designed device, with faster printer, and more build volume than it's predecessors. If you can afford it, it's worth the additional investment long term.

Check price Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/16/2021 10:09 am GMT

The Top 6 Best Open Source 3D Printers for 2020

Top 5 Best Open Source 3D Printers for 2017

In the relatively short time 3D printing has been around, few things have largely contributed to the growth of the industry. One of the biggest factors is open source printers. Open source printers allow the industry to evolve and grow to fit consumer needs as users themselves find ways to upgrade printers.

Many big names in the industry are known for creating awesome printers with open source technology and these printers are some of the best you can get.

Luckily, for those of us who own or want to own our own 3D printer there are a lot of great options available to us. The hard part is trying to decide which open source 3D printer is the right one to buy. We want to make this decision a little easier for you. Below you will find the 3D printers that we think are the best open source printers you can get in 2020.

To create this list of printers we looked at a few categories to help us rank the printers. Those categories are ease of use, reliability, print and build quality, value for money, and support, which includes customer support from the company or an online community of users.

You will find printers that will give you consistent quality prints all day, printers ready to go right out of the box, and everything from budget-friendly to high-ticket printers. Hopefully, you will find the perfect open source 3D printer you have been looking for on this list.

Here are the 6 best open source 3D printers for 2020:

LulzBot Mini 2

Why Go with the Lulzbot Mini 2?

Compact, reliable and capable, the Mini 2 is among the best performing open source 3D printers we use (on a regular basis). It's a bit pricey, but worth it for how consistently good it is.

Check Price Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

A lot of people in the 3D printing industry want a printer that does not require a lot of tinkering. Being able to pull a machine out of the box, plug it in, and start printing is a huge draw for a lot of people.

Aleph Objects delivers an amazing plug n’ play product with the LulzBot Mini 2. In Just 15 minutes you can have the printer unboxed, connected, and printing high-quality objects. The Mini is the smaller of the two LulzBot printers. The Mini is a reliable easy to use printer, which makes it great for anyone from beginners up to advanced users.

Since this printer is the “mini” it has a smaller build area of 152x152x158mm. It is equipped with some more advanced features, such as a self-balancing bed and self-cleaning, all metal nozzle. The LulzBot Mini has essentially unlimited possibilities when it comes to the printing material.

An open filament system with a heated bed and a hot end on the nozzle allows you to print anything from plastics to industrial-grade materials.

As with the other printers on this list, the noise level is one of the biggest drawbacks. There are a few ways to help with the issue with motor adjustments and enclosure accessories. Another downside is the fact is must be connected to a computer.

Since there is no interface on the printer itself, a computer is necessary for operating the machine. Again, not the worst thing in a world. Both are minor issues that shouldn’t push you away from this printer.

Starting at $1495.00, but check:

Ultimaker 3

Taking over for the Ultimaker 2+ is the latest 3D printer from Ultimaker. We have always been a big fan of Ultimaker machines and the Ultimaker 3 does not disappoint. It maintains the classic sleek white box design and appearance of its predecessors. Although it may look similar, the new features and upgrades of the Ultimaker 3 are what set it apart from the previous models.

The printer has been upgraded to a dual extruder setup giving you the freedom to print with different filament and colors. Along with the dual extruders, it comes with filament feeders and a spool holder big enough to hold two spools of the filament at once.

The Ultimaker 3 also has a great build area, which is 215x215x200 mm. As well, we get more connectivity options with this printer than most of the others on this list.

This printer will connect via USB cable, wifi, or ethernet. Another upgrade for this printer is the new cooling system, which new, low-noise fans help create better airflow. The new cooling system gives you better cooling, bridging and smoother print surfaces on your final product.

Of course, something as advanced as the Ultimaker 3 will cost you a bit more. While we would have this printer higher on the list for its performance and features, not everyone is willing to shell out the money for it. However, if you have the money and are willing to spend it then this printer is a great investment as it will provide you with beautiful, high-quality prints every time.

Where to Buy? Starting at $3495.00, head over to MatterHackers here (they frequently have great bundles).

Further Read:

BCN3D Sigma R19

Why Go With the BCN3D Sigma?

Easy to operate, reliable prints, and outstanding customer service make the Sigma R19 an easy pick for this list.

Check Price Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

A top trending printer this year that appears on almost every list of the best 3D printers is the BCN3D Sigma from BCN3D Technologies. The BCN3D Sigma is an absolute beast of a printer with an overall size of 465x440x680mm. The large semi-opened frame 3D printer comes with dual extruders and the ability to handle multiple types of filament.

This printer has a large build area (210x297x210mm) and is most admired for its reliability, print quality, and build quality. It is hard to find a better nonstop and reliable printer than this one.

BCN3D Technologies equipped this printer with an innovative system for the dual extruders, IDEX (Independent Dual Extruder). This system allows each extruder to function separately, which allows users to print some of the most complicated designs.

Some downfalls of the printer are it does not have the ability for wireless connectivity. Also, one of the biggest complaints is the overall noise level of the machine. Since the printer is relatively large for a hobbyist printer, you will need to have a lot of desk space to fit this machine next to your computer.

However, both the noise level and connectivity limitations are easy to forgive with a printer as powerful as this one.

Where to Buy? Starting at $2995.00 (check MatterHackers here for the latest price)

Flashforge Creator Pro

FlashForge Creator Pro | 3D Printers Online

FlashForge Creator Pro makes some of the best printers for beginners that you can buy. For the moderate price tag, you’re getting a workhorse of a 3D printer.

Check price Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

The Flashforge Creator Pro is a reasonably priced printer with a sturdy metal frame that creates high quality prints and can handle a lot of them. Any skill level can easily use this 3D printer, however, beginners to 3D printing might run into a few issues that give them a headache or two.

Luckily, there is a huge online community of user groups, videos, and forums that will help you quickly solve any problems you may run into.

The Creator Pro is loaded with great features, such as dual extruders, a metal build plate, and a guide rod. The new guide rod is one of our favorite features as it really improves the stability and durability. It has an average build area of 225 x 145 x 150 mm, but the reduced build area is easily justified with the lower price.

The printer can handle spare parts from many different vendors, which makes it easy to fix or improve your machine.

This certainly isn’t a plug n’ play printer like some other ones. One of the biggest drawbacks of this printer is the difficulty some have during initial setup. The instructions are rather vague, but again, the online community will surely be a help for anyone struggling with it.

Where to Buy? You can pick up the Flashforge Creator Pro at this Amazon listing.

Further Read: Flashforge Creator Pro Review.

Creality CR 10

Our Recommendation
Creality 3D Printer CR-10S | Creality 3D Official

The CR-10S comes with a convenient monitor that will detect when the printer has run out of filament, automatically pausing the print, and will alert the user to restock the Filament before continuing. Say goodbye to wasted Filament and time.

Check price Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

The Creality CR-10 was developed in 2016 after the success of the CR-7 and the CR-8.

The primary selling point of the CR-10 is the huge print area and three size variants. The only difference in the three variants is size, so the features and capabilities of the different options are consistent across the board.

While the CR-10 takes a while to heat up to the higher end temperatures and may require an extruder cover to maintain these high temperatures,  it only prints as well as your settings, so if you dial into them correctly, it can achieve excellent prints.

While the preparation process can be a bit tedious, it truly lives up to the hype when you use it consistently.

Where to Buy? You can pick the CR 10 up at Amazon here.

Further Read: 

Original Prusa i3 MK3

Official Creality Ender 3 3D Printer Fully Open Source with Resume Printing All Metal Frame FDM DIY Printers 220x220x250mm
$195.00

For most users, I recommend STARTING with this Creality Ender 3 Prusa i3 model here. It produces more consistent quality prints and is MUCH easier to assemble, let alone being more affordable. A clear choice for me.

Check Price Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/16/2021 10:09 am GMT

 The Original Prusa i3 MK3 is the best open source 3d printer you can find in 2017. This printer creates high quality objects, which easily rival almost any printer out there. Also, the relatively cheap price tag on this machine makes it the best value for your money. It is a simple overall design and one of the most popular printers internationally.

You can either get the printer preassembled, or for slightly cheaper in kit form, and requires zero tuning to begin consistently printing quality parts. The build area is fairly large, 250x210x200mm, and handles multiple types of filaments.

The MK42 heated bed is one of the best new features of the printer, and we can’t ignore the “silent mode.” This allows for a quitter printing process if the overall weight of the print is under 400 grams.

A couple downfalls that have been noted by users are the noise level, when not in silent mode, and the lack of a dual extruder. While the 3D printer does not have a separate second extruder, you can preorder a multi-material upgrade kit.

This kit will enable you to print with up to 4 different materials or colors. The kit will have 4 feeders that all connect to one hot end, which makes it calibration free and easy to use.

Starting at $599.00 for the kit (check here for the latest price) and $899.00 preassembled (check here for the latest price)

Additional Related Research:

That completes our current list of best open source 3D printers for 2020. Do you have a favorite that isn’t on here? Tell us what it is and why I think it should be on the list, and it might just make an appearance on the next one.

The ULTIMATE Best 3D Printing Services for 2021

Finding a good 3D printing service isn’t easy in rapidly changing 3D printing space. With the costs of even desktop 3D printers still inaccessible to many, a service can greatly reduce the headaches associated with the process.

But what exactly IS a 3D printing service…

What is a 3D printing service?

3D printing services are companies that will print out objects on your behalf. One of the most important benefits of such a service is that an individual can have access to very expensive, industrial-grade 3D printers. Then there is the fact that you send scans, photographs, stl or even physical items to be fabricated using a 3D printer.

You can choose any material, color, size you want and the customization options are endless. Another great benefit of using such a service is that it’s convenient. The company will take care of everything for you and you will end up with a high quality printed item in your mail.

All the logistics, settings, materials and all the hard work will be done by professionals to ensure the best quality print delivered to you at a reasonable time frame.

1) Treatstock

Treatstock is another web service that bundles the forces of 3D printing services all over the world. Its instant quote system is very well designed for newcomers as you can choose between major 3D printing applications (prototyping, jewelry and dental), and special materials (multi-color and metal). Each category displays the relevant printing materials in a wide range of colors.

Another great feature that Treatstock offers to its users is a 3D model selling platform. Treatstock invites artists to open storefronts and upload their designs so customers can purchase and 3D print them. What is more, Treatstock features a handful of apps on its website that enables the creation of braille labels to make life easier for the visually impaired, and relief 3D images based on photos.

Treatstock can fabricate items in materials like metal, plastic, gypsum, paper, powder, resin, wax as well as wood. They accept payments via Credit Card and can ship worldwide.

Treatstock website: treatstock.com

2) Sculpteo

Like Shapeways and i.materialise, Sculpteo is an online 3D printing service that allows anyone to upload 3D models and have them fabricated in a wide variety of materials. In keeping with its competitors, Sculpteo also allows individuals and professionals to open up an online store front and sell their designs to the public.

Sculpteo’s stable of printers includes high-end machines by 3D Systems, EOS, Stratasys, and ZCorp. Its extensive technical documentation will help you detect design flaws and choose the right material for your project.

Sculpteo is able to print items in materials like metal, plastic, ceramic, resin and wax. They accept standard Credit Card, Debit Card and PayPal payments and are able to ship worldwide using UPS or other services for specific locations.

Sculpteo website: sculpteo.com

Further Reading:

3) i.materialise

Materialise is a company that works with industrial clients to produce prototypes and 3D printed products. But for the general public and individual designers, Materialise offers an online 3D printing service called i.materialise.

Like Shapeways, the 3D printing service allows anyone to just upload their 3D models, have them analyzed and then printed by the company for you. Once an object has been uploaded and successfully printed, a designer can offer it for sale either via the gallery on the i.materalise online store, or embedded on their website.

I.materialise gives the ability for items to be printed in materials such as plastic, metal, ceramic, resin or wood. They support all the major payment methods like Credit Card and PayPal and ship worldwide using UPS.

i.materialise website: i.materialise.com

4) Stratasys Direct

One of the leading manufacturers of industrial-grade 3D printers, Stratasys is also offering a high-quality 3D printing service. Fittingly, Stratasys sports a dazzling assortment of materials, from which its user can choose from. This online 3D printing service is aimed at professionals in engineering, medicine, and industrial design. Another great feature of its online quoting page is the ability to create and edit styles (consisting of the printing method, material, finishing and surface treatment) that can be applied to successive projects. Stratasys is also sharing its expertise with companies interested in switching to additive manufacturing.

Stratasys Direct allows for items to be printed in materials such as metal, plastic, acrylic, ceramic, foam and wax. Since they are in direct contact with professionals, the payment details, as well as the shipping methods, are internally chosen.

Stratasys Direct website: stratasysdirect.com

5) Shapeways

We will start off with Shapeways, the worlds most popular online 3D printing service. Shapeways offers 2 services.

The Shop service, where you can choose from a big collection of items designed by professionals, customize them and then have them printed at your specifications That means that professionals can also use the platform to upload their work and get for it when people decide to print their creations.

The Make service is exactly what it sounds like. You give Shapeways an object or 3D design of what you want to print, you tell them your needs, being material, color, etc, and they will take care of the rest for you. You will also get a quote of how much your print job will cost instantly. It really is as simple as that.

Their material selection varies from metal, plastic, ceramic, sandstone and even wax. As far as payments go, they accept Credit Card, PayPal, and Bank Transfer. Shapeways ships worldwide using services such as DHL, UPS, and USPS.

Shapeways website: shapeways.com

6) Protolabs

With 500 machines placed around the world, Protolabs services industries worldwide since the early 2000s. This 3D printing service offers the full spectrum of rapid prototyping technologies since you can order parts made with injection molding.

Consequently, you can produce high-quality prototypes that have similar properties to the finished products. These parts can be used for promotional photo shootings and be subjected to extensive functional testing. After uploading the 3D design files, you get an instant quote of how much the parts will cost for the selected settings and materials.

Protolabs can print using materials such as metal, plastic, and nylon. They accept payment using invoices or PayPal and are able to ship worldwide.

Protolabs website: protolabs.com

7) Ponoko

Ponoko provides an online 3D printing service plus laser etching and engraving too. The company has designers, 3D printers and robots on hand, and pricing starts as low at $5 depending on what needs printing and the materials you choose. Ponoko also offers same day shipping if you order before a cut-off point. In theory, that means it is possible to convert your STL or CAD files into actual physical products and have them in your hands within the space of a day. Ponoko’s professional 3D printers are from 3D Systems and ZCorp.

Ponoko’s services can only print in metal and plastic materials using ColorJet, FDM or SLS processes. They seem to accept PayPal as their main payment option and ship worldwide using services such as UPS and USPS.

Ponoko’s website: ponoko.com

8) 3D Hubs

3D Hubs is a little different from the standard 3D printing services, in that there is not one company that does all the printing, but individuals all around the world. This is a different approach to the concept of ordering 3D printed parts but it works, and give bigger flexibility to the user.

The way it works is very simple. You upload your 3D designs to 3D Hubs, you select the material you want, and you get a list of different Hubs in the selected area. Hubs can be either big companies or individuals that will do all the 3D printing for you. A big benefit of such a service is that if you choose a local Hub, you can go and pick up your order for free. You get a different quote of the price for every Hub you see, so you have many options and price ranges to choose from.

3D Hubs officially has support for Hubs that can print any material, such as metal, plastic, paper, resin, stone, and wax. As for payments, they support all the major payment methods like Credit Card and PayPal, as well as some local payment methods depending on your location. Shipment is dependent on the Hub itself, but there is always the free option of picking it up yourself if the Hub is nearby.

3D Hubs website: 3dhubs.com

Further Research

Best Dental 3D Printer for Dental Models [2021]: Dental 3D Printers

Best Dental 3D Printer

3D printing is amazingly versatile. It’s not just a novelty process for toys or collectibles – it can actually help save lives and keep people healthy while making both of those easier and less expensive.

Dental 3D printing is a great example of this. It’s a niche process born from refining the details of general 3D printing so that they fit the needs of dental professionals and dental technicians, so that does mean there are specific characteristics of equipment and process that you’ll have to consider if you’re looking to get into this area yourself.

Our Pick
Ultimaker S5 3D Printer
$6,355.00

These versatile 3D printer is ideal for higher volume printers, looking for capacity, reliability, and dental customization.

Check Price Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/16/2021 10:11 am GMT

But don’t worry, we’re here to help you take your first taste of this unique application for the dental industry!

What are the Best Dental 3D Printers?

To show you what our list of tips looks like in product form, we’ve rounded up a few of the internet’s (and our) favorite 3D dental printers.

1. Ultimaker S5 3D Printer: Best Overall Dental 3D Printer

Our Pick
Ultimaker S5 3D Printer
$6,355.00

These versatile 3D printer is ideal for higher volume printers, looking for capacity, reliability, and dental customization.

Check Price Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/16/2021 10:11 am GMT

2. MoonRay S Printer: Best Small Desktop 3D Dental Printer

Compact Pick
SprintRay MoonRay S | Matter Hackers

Best Compact Dental Printer. Short on space? This desktop 3D printer excels with precise details like dental prints.

Check Price Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

3. Peoply Moai SLA Printer: Best Small Desktop 3D Dental Printer

Further Read: Peoply Moai Review

How does dental 3D printing work?

Dental 3D printing needs the highest level of exactness possible, and that is achieved by using stereolithography (SLA) or digital light processing (DLP). These methods are closely related, and both use a light on the UV end of the spectrum to basically carve out shapes from liquid resin.

First, you design your object on a computer-aided drafting (CAD) program, like you do for any other 3D printing project. Then, your project file goes to the printer’s UV light, which is focused onto specific areas of the liquid resin based on your pattern (resin 3D printer).

Anything the UV light hits will harden, and anything it avoids will stay liquid, so once all the parts of your pattern have been exposed, you can pull them out of the rest of the resin. We’re pretty sure that’s how they made the Terminator, but it’s also great for when you need a tooth capped.

What is dental 3D printing used for?

3D dental printing is a great way to ease the expense and effort of a few mouth and tooth molding, a denture set, and replacement processes that are necessary for dental health. The industry is new but expanding rapidly, so this list is growing all the time.

3D Printed Night guards and Orthodontic Aligners

Anyone who has gone through the pure torture of wire and banded braces can understand how big of a deal aligners are.

They are plastic smooth surface trays that you wear in your mouth fitted over your teeth – the aligner doesn’t fit your current teeth exactly, but is in a stage of the shape you want your teeth to become so that it gently and gradually guides your teeth into their new places.

They’re replacing the obvious tugs of traditional braces with invisible straightening, so they present a great leap forward in personal orthodontics. And since you go through several aligners in stages to get to your final teeth settings, 3D dental printing cuts down on the time and cost it takes to get those done.

Plus, with 3D dental printing and additive manufacturing, you can now get an industrial grade manufacturing nightguard that will last you a much longer time than plastic ones you can buy at the drugstore.

Getting a nightguard 3D printed from your dentist will also ensure a much more personal fit, since it will be molded to your own teeth and not a generic set of sizes that may or may not account for your mouth’s true shape. They may be more expensive, but the custom fit and shape will cut back on how much you grind your teeth in so much more comfort, you won’t even notice it’s happening.

3D Printed Dental Crowns

Another orthodontic dental process that is traditionally burdensome but also a mainstream necessity is getting crowns and bridges, or having part or all of a tooth replace when it’s broken.

Instead of having to send out for a molding that could take several weeks, dentists can now equip themselves with a 3D printer that scans the broken tooth, adds in part needed to make the tooth whole, and 3D print it themselves, all in less than an hour. No external parts or labor necessary.

And depending on your coverage, this will cost either you or your dental insurance company a lot less. Either way, if you’re putting off getting any part of your tooth fixed because you don’t have the cash, see if your dentist offers 3D dental printing for their services – you’ll be surprised what they can do with that.

Surgical guides

Dentistry is one area where you don’t want to skimp on precision, and additive manufacturing with 3D printing is a huge asset to this area of need. One way it helps dentist professionals is by giving them the means to 3D print exacting guides for oral surgeries.

This is when a dentist scans a patient’s mouth to us computer drafting to add holes for the areas where they’ll be performing fixes.

Then they 3D print the surgery guide like an aligner, so it goes right over the person’s teeth, and use the gaps as their work areas without the fear of drilling or extracting the wrong thing. It’s a great way to help eliminate spatial errors and make sure everything’s ship-shape during delicate procedures.

3D Dental Models / Orthodontic Models

You don’t want your dentist to be trying something out for the first time on your mouth without plenty of practice first, and that’s where 3D printed dental models come in.

If your dental professional can print an exact replica of your teeth, they can have a perfect place for the trial and error that will ultimately prepare them for any and all details – both expected and not – that come up during procedure for dental implants

Any quirks that your teeth may be hiding, any unexpected hitches in equipment, any possibilities that things won’t exactly match your dentist’s expectations can be worked out in a harmless resin model that guides the surgeons to perfection by the time they touch you.

Plus, since these models aren’t meant to go into your mouth themselves, they don’t require special material, and the dentist can alter them as much as they want to experiment with technique and results. 3D dental printing is a great teaching tool.

3D Dental Printing Pros and Cons

Additive Printing for Dental Pros

Flexible applications

As you can tell, 3D printing technology serves a lot of dental needs. Because this is an industry that is heavily dependant on material that can be extremely precise for the infinite variations of the human mouth, 3D printing is a perfect fit for many dental operations.

Small, one-chair practices can benefit from this technology just as much as multi-office groups, and that brings a lot of dentists onto a more level playing field, especially if they are the only ones around in an area bereft of traditional resources. When you can print your own materials instead of waiting weeks to have them shipped back to you, you make the whole process easier on yourself and your patients.

Easy corrections

Even dentists are human, and all humans make mistakes. But luckily, 3D dental printing makes correcting those mistakes so much faster and easier than traditional dental methods that you won’t even notice they had to be done. And they can usually be done in-office instead of outsourced to a lab that would add even more time to correcting it, so 3D printing is a win all around.

Constantly evolving

By the time you read this article, at least one new 3D dental printing innovation will have been approved for human usage – the industry is expanding that quickly.

Besides the points mentioned above, 3D dental printing is moving into areas as diverse as developing anti-bacterial material specifically for all the gross stuff found in the human mouth, to making flossing easier by developing a machine that can floss all your teeth at once. We’re not quite sure how that last will end up working, but we’re excited for the future of 3D dental printing.

Cons

The need for extreme precision

Because of the tiny spaces in which dental procedures are done, they have little to no room for error. That’s necessary for their 3D printing as well, even for 3D prints that don’t actually go into your mouth.

If you can’t get a 3D printer to the level of detail you need for the real thing, it’s going to lose all its usefulness as a teaching tool and as a real-world appliance. Luckily, 3D printing has gotten to the precision point needed in the dental world, but it’s by no means the default, so you still have to be careful to make sure you’re getting what you need.

Startup and maintenance prices

Although you can find a DLP 3D printer (dental appliance) and SLA 3D printer for less than $1,000, those are mostly aimed at hobbyists, jewelry makers, and others that don’t use their rigs for medical purposes. The general cost for a 3D dental-grade resin printer is going to average out to around $3,000.

This doesn’t include materials, but the good news is those parts of your 3D dental printing experience are going to cost relatively little, way more in line with those used for desktop machines. However, one more thing to keep in mind is how fast 3D dental printing is evolving.

This might entail investing either constant money or constant time for you to make sure you’re keeping up as much as you need to. You don’t have to jump onto every new trend you see, but you do have to be ready to give your patients the most up to date services that you can, and that may cost more than you originally expected.

New training needed

Dentists have to go to more school than most non-medical students will ever want to think about, so they’re not all psyched to have yet another combination of computer skills to learn.

They have to keep up with the non-3D printing science and trends in their field as well, which is a lot even before you consider it’s not likely to be in their sphere of expertise. However, you could spin this as a positive since dentists are used to continuous learning. But don’t assume that all will want to pile more onto their plates.

What do you need to look for in a 3D dental printer?

Precision, precision, precision

We can’t state emphatically enough how important tiny detail accuracy is in a good 3D dental printer. DLP and SLA technology printers harness the power of lasers to make sure this happens for you. Make sure you’re aware of the exact specifications of the layer size you need for the specific work you’ll be doing.

Ability to accommodate add-ons

If the 3D dental printer you’re looking at isn’t capable of evolving with your own growing knowledge and practice, don’t buy it. Move on to one that has a greater capacity than you think you need right now, because you’ll find out new processes and new applications that you want to try, but if you can’t, it will stunt both your own interest and your dental capacities.

Compatible with your favored design software

This is another area that’s going to help you expand your 3D dental printing horizons. Just because DLP and SLA machines work differently on the mechanical side doesn’t mean you have to totally relearn any computer-aided drafting work you’ve already got under your belt – you’ll be able to find a pretty decent selection of 3D dental printers to go with your software of choice, especially if you’re comfortable with market leaders like AutoCAD.

It is approved to work with biocompatible resins

If your machine isn’t able to work with materials that are safe for people to have in their mouths 24/7, then you will miss out on the majority of the 3D dental printing game.

Technically, you could still make mouth and tooth models (dental model), which do have respected places in dental technology, but you will get your best worth out of a 3D printer that can let you give your patients a direct fix. Most printers rated for 3D dental printing will cover this, but make sure you aren’t getting one that is specifically and only for models unless that’s all you’re planning on building.

Which 3D Printing Brands Cover Industrial Dental Manufacturing?

  • Formlabs. Their reputation precedes them, and they’ve taken their general excellence into a dental direction with their resin DLP and SLA machines.
  • Formlabs Form 2: This isn’t exclusively a dental printer, but it is very capable in the dental arena.
  • Stratasys. These guys go industrial, and while they may not be the cheapest options around, they are definitely the hardest. We recommend these printers for a single office that houses several dentists so the cost is shared and the machine gets to flex to its maximum capacity.
  • EnvisionTec. Want to get in on the latest 3D dental printer research for a dental lab setting as well as the tech to handle it? EnvisionTec has both, and you’ll be all the way out on the cutting edge with their products and services.

There you have it – all you need to know about successfully using 3D printing for dental industry needs. Use our advice to find what you need, and you’ll be smiling in no time.

Our Pick
Ultimaker S5 3D Printer
$6,355.00

These versatile 3D printer is ideal for higher volume printers, looking for capacity, reliability, and dental customization.

Check Price Buy at Amazon.com
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
05/16/2021 10:11 am GMT

Further Reading on 3D Printer Applications

Best 3D Printing Filaments: A Comprehensive Guide to 3D Printing Materials

You’ve got your design perfected and your dimensions on point. You’ve beasted your computer-aided drafting program and your 3D model is perfection. The only decision left is when to hit print. Right?

Not quite! Before you continue, make sure you take the time to figure out what materials and filaments you want to use. There’s a huge variety, and their properties can drastically change both the art and the utility of your piece. Let us guide you through the options so you can figure out that final important detail.

What’s the Difference Between 3D Printing Material vs Filament?

First of all, let’s distinguish between material and 3D printer filament as they apply to 3D printing. Materials are the general properties of what you are using to print: for instance, plastic, wood, or nylon filament (yep, you can 3D print with wood filament!).

Filaments are the thread-like pieces of those materials that are wound on spools and pushed through your 3D printer’s heating mechanism to weave your design.

How do I figure out the best material and filament for my needs?

The majority of materials for 3D printing are thermoplastics, especially if you are looking for beginner materials. These materials are designed to melt instead of burn when they’re heated, and they come in two sizes, 1.75 millimeter and 3 millimeter. Those measurements refer to the width of the filament.

Check whatever 3D printer you’re using to see which one you need; the standard for basic printers is 1.75, but it’s always good to double check. Filaments are sold by weight ranging from 0.5 to 2 kilograms, which tells you how much filament you’re getting on each spool, and they come in a wide variety of colors.

If you have a dual extruder 3D printer, meaning your printer has two nozzles that deposit 3D Printer filament onto the printing surface, you can do some amazing things with filament color mixing.

But you can also find composite filaments, which have bits of other materials blended into the mix. This is where you can find wood filament blends, as well as stone and metal varieties.

These filaments have elements of the non-plastic materials that are blending into them, which means they will behave a little differently than thermoplastics on the final product but still print the same.

So if you use a carbon fiber composite filament, for instance, your finished product will gain some of the strength of carbon without you having to adjust your printing process.

Be aware that composite filaments are more expensive than thermoplastics because of their composition, which takes the added materials’ cost into account.

Another option is resin-based printing, which does not use fused filament fabrication or fused deposition modeling printers but stereolithography equipment.

This tends to be a more advanced method of 3D printing, but if you’re on that level, keep that in mind when looking for the perfect type of filament for your pieces. These types of printers are the first type of 3D printing technology developed, and they produce very detailed high-resolution prints.

They began as professional grade equipment and are priced as such, but in the last few years more affordable options have been developed for artists and hobbies. If you’re into this area of 3D printing, you choose the kind of resin you want to use instead of filament.

Stereolithography uses ultraviolet lasers to trace a shape on UV-sensitive resin. The resin that’s exposed to the laser hardens to form the 3D printed object.

Another type is digital light processing, which has the same process except with a projector that uses visible light instead of UV light. Using either of these methods means you’re choosing what kind of resin to pour into the printer’s vat or tray.

They come in 500 milliliter or 1 liter bottles, and the prices start at about $100 per liter. There are special blends made for strength, flexibility, or other properties, and you’re generally limited to gray, black, white, or clear unless you’re willing to dig and/or pay more money.

What is the Best 3D Printing Filament for You?

Now that we’ve gotten through the basics of 3D printing materials and filaments, it’s time to get specific about your options. We’ve divided these into sub-categories that let you know what each kind does best and how much it costs so you know at a glance what you need.

Standard Filament

These are your go-to filaments. Some of them will come with your new 3D printer, others you will want to use on a daily basis. They have a range of attributes from strength, to durability, to flexible or even transparent. They can be used by a range of experience levels and will come in just about every color you can imagine.

PLA – Polylactic Acid

PLA is the most common material used in 3D printing. It is the default option for many printers, and you will typically find a spool of PLA in the box when you first get a new 3D printer. It’s an inexpensive plastic that is made from renewable products (cornstarch-based plastic).

PLA is one of the easiest filaments to use. It is a great option for all experience levels when it comes to 3D printing. Some benefits of PLA are that it’s an odorless filament when heated and printed, it holds its shape and rarely warps, and it does not require a heated bed to use.

PLA is offered in a variety of colors in two sizes. It has good strength and durability but is a very stiff material, so please don’t try to bend it or it will break.

This filament is highly recommended beginners to avoid major headaches and get the hang of 3D printing.

PLA is good for hobbyist tinkering with their printer, creating prototypes, home goods, and simple toys.

Some notable subtypes:

  • Carbon Fiber PLA – lightweight and very strong
  • High-Speed PLA – produce quick-turn parts by maxing out your print speed
  • Glow in the Dark PLA – who doesn’t like toys that glow
Avg. Print Temp  180 – 220 °C 
Diameter  1.75, 3.0 mm 
Bed Adhesion  Blue painter tape 
Highlights  Easy to use 

ABS – Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene

The second most popular filament type for 3D printing, and by popular, I mean most widely used. It is a very durable plastic, slightly stronger and much more durable than PLA, and it can withstand impact.

ABS filament also can take higher temperature the PLA; however, it is slightly more difficult to print with than PLA. Unfortunately, this filament will warp when cooled too quickly so it is recommended using a heated print bed and/or an enclosed printing area.

You are able to post-process ABS in acetone, which will add an amazing glossy finish to your prints. Be sure you use this a well-ventilated area as it will put off some strong fumes will printing with it.

ABS filament is good for functional prototype parts and toys, anything that involves moving parts, phone and other electronic cases for its high impact tolerance.

Avg. Print Temp  210 – 265 °C 
Diameter  1.75, 3.0 mm 
Bed Adhesion  Kapton tape 
Highlights  High impact tolerance 

Note: ABS and PLA are by far the most widely adopted and compatible filaments. To learn more about their specific contrasts: ABS vs PLA Compared

PC – Polycarbonate

Very similar to ABS, Polycarbonate filament is a strong and impact resistant material. It is so strong that it is used in the making of bulletproof glass, although I am not saying your 3D prints will stop bullets.

It requires very high temperatures to melt and print with it, which makes it more difficult to use. If you can handle the heat, it is a great filament for its strength and durability.

Another key characteristic is its ability to withstand temperatures. Polycarbonate will hold its form up to 110°C. This filament has a little room to flex too so don’t be afraid to give it a little bend if necessary.

Polycarbonate is good for parts that need to stay strong and durable, drone accessories, mechanical and automotive parts, various screens and lighting situations due to its transparent appearance.

Avg. Print Temp  270 – 310 °C 
Diameter  1.75, 3.0 mm 
Bed Adhesion  Gluestick 
Highlights  Impact resistant 

Nylon

This is the most cost-effective filament in terms of its strength, durability, versatility, and weight. Often used for mechanical and structural parts. You will typically see it used as the inlay, or base layer, for many composite 3D printers.

A downfall is there are mostly branded materials, which can sometimes be made specifically for one type of printer or another. This filament prints white, but it will absorb color through post-processing in colored dyes.

It is extremely sensitive to water so be sure you have a dry box to store it in. Pelican cases are a great option as storage. It may not be the most used filament, but it is definitely a contender for one of the best 3D Printing filament options available.

Nylon filament is good for tooling, inlays, functional and working prototypes, mechanical parts, and pretty much anything else.

Avg. Print Temp  240 – 275 °C 
Diameter  1.75, 3.0 mm 
Bed Adhesion  PVA glue 
Highlights  Cost-effective 

PET (PETG PETT) – Polyethylene Terephthalate

While most PET filaments will not be a true PET, but a slight modification, they still make great filaments for 3D printing.

PETG filament is one of the more common variations of PET. It’s known for the industrial strength of ABS and the ease of use of PLA. It is more flexible than PLA but much easier to print with than ABS.

It is a great middle ground filament. You need to be careful with PETG as it absorbs moisture just like nylon. Be sure you have a dry box for storage and the filament is completely dry before printing with it.

PETT is another very popular variation of PET. Transparent in color slightly stronger than PETG filament, PETT is another great choice. It is almost identical to PETG except for the two things just mentioned.

PETG/PETT is good for mechanical parts, functional prototypes, electronic cases, and clear parts.

Avg. Print Temp  230 – 260 °C 
Diameter  1.75, 3.0 mm 
Bed Adhesion  Blue painters tape 
Highlights  Strength and impact tolerance  

ASA – Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate

Asa is very similar to ABS with one key distinction, it is UV resistant. This filament remains strong and keeps its original appearance after spending some time in the sun. ABS tends to crack and yellow during its sunbathing sessions.

ASA is a great option for creating things that will spend the majority of their life outdoors. It is still a dense, durable, and strong material just like ABS. This is a temperature sensitive filament when it comes to cooling. Be sure you use this with a heated bed and enclosed print area to prevent cracks.

ASA is good for automotive parts, and camping/outdoor gear and decorations.

Avg. Print Temp  230 – 260 °C 
Diameter  1.75, 3.0 mm 
Bed Adhesion  Hairspray 
Highlights  Strength and impact tolerance  

Most Flexible Filaments for 3D Printing

These filaments are materials that can be twisted, turned, and bent without breaking and still return to its original shape. You can find a range of stiffness for the flexible materials depending on your application of your final product. If you are able to master the art of printing with flexibles though you can really have some fun with the items you print.

TPU/TPE

TPE and TPU filament are two of the most common flexible filaments you will find. These materials are very rubber like and can bend or move however you want them to. It is a difficult material to use as it can lead to a lot of clogs if you don’t have the right equipment and aren’t sure how to print with this material.

You need to print these flexible materials at much lower speeds to prevent clogging and stringing. This is one of the least common filaments and usually is only used for special projects or one-off prints.

TPU/TPE filament is good for: parts that need to be stretched, formed, or twisted – stoppers, belts, caps, cases, etc.

Avg. Print Temp  200 – 240 °C 
Filament Diameter  1.75, 3.0 mm 
Bed Adhesion  Blue painters tape 
Highlights  Pliable 

Composites Filaments and Specialty Filaments

Now that we covered your standard filaments let’s take a dive into the world of specialty filaments. These filaments are not the most common and will mostly be used for special projects. But who knows, you may just find your new favorite filament in this bunch.

There are a variety of different characteristics you will find in this category. Multiple finishes, post-processing techniques, super-hero strength, the list goes on. Now let’s dive into the different types.

Wood

The different brands of wood filaments will give you 3D object the look and feel of fiberboard, or real wood. While it may look like the real thing, don’t be mistaken, it’s actually just a PLA filled with wood fiber.

This mixing of the materials is necessary to be able to 3D print the filament. You can’t really just stick a 2×4 on top of an extruder and expect anything to happen. Either way, this composite material gives you the majority of the characteristics of real wood.

Your objects can be cut, painted, and even sanded to put your finishing touches on them. Maintaining your print temperature is a must with this filament. Get it cooking too hot and the wood fibers will begin to burn and give your printed 3D object a darker look than you may have wanted.

Wood is good for: The objects have a great finished look to them so consider this for any objects you will want to display on a desk or shelving, bowls, figurines, and small-scale 3D model objects, or creating your own sculptures.

Avg. Print Temp  200 – 240 °C 
Filament Diameter  1.75, 3.0 mm 
Bed Adhesion  Blue painters tape 
Highlights  Appearance 

Metal

Don’t like the look of plastic parts and you’re not a fan of a wooden appearance either? Then how about metal. This is another blended filament. The composite is a mix of PLA or ABS with a powdered metal.

Often the metal will be brass, bronze, aluminum, steel, or copper. Typically, you will find a 50/50 mix of the plastic to metal ratio. Occasionally, you can find up to a 85/15 metal to plastic ratio.

These filaments have the look, feel, and weight of a metallic object. If you are going for the shiny look, just a little post processing polish will do the trick.

Metal filament options are rather abrasive and will wear down your nozzle rather quickly. Be sure you are ready to replace your nozzle if you are using this filament.

The metal filament is good for jewelry, tools, toys, props, pretty much anything you would create with PLA or ABS.

Avg. Print Temp  200 – 240 °C 
Diameter  1.75, 3.0 mm 
Bed Adhesion  Glass 
Highlights  Metallic look and feel 

Color-changing

Remember when the cool kids use to wear those “mood rings”? Well, the same idea with this filament. It will change its physical characteristics, mainly color, based on its temperature.

While some of the colors, the filament can change to may be somewhat limited, the filament is still a lot of fun to use. The base material is again PLA or ABS mixed with the color changing particles. These filaments will be very similar to printing with standard PLA or ABS filaments.

Avg. Print Temp  200 – 250 °C 
Diameter  1.75, 3.0 mm 
Bed Adhesion  Blue painters tape 
Highlights  Color-changing 

I hope this guide helps you better understand the world of 3D printing filaments. There are so many that it can get very confusing very quickly. No matter what your project is, I am sure there is a filament for it.

Just be sure you understand your filament before trying to use it. You need to know the print temperatures, speeds, chemical properties, and characteristics as a start. If you do your research before, you will save yourself a lot of headaches, time, and wasted filament.

With that said, don’t be afraid to experiment and learn on your own if you have the resources. Let us know what we left off and we will be sure to get it on our list.

Sandstone

Mixing sandstone into your printing filament will make your finished products ideal for architectural, museum, or landscape display and structural needs.

Because of it’s made of chalk dust particles mixed in with PLA, it’s not food safe, and it will be more brittle than non-composite materials. This is for more look-don’t-touch types of projects.

Magnetic iron

You can 3D print your own magnets with this kind of filament. It’s another type that needs special monitoring of its printing temperature and flow, but it comes out strong and ready to stick to conducive surfaces.  

Conductive PLA

This kind of filament combines PLA with a conductive carbon particle that lets you print low-voltage electrical circuits. If you’ve got a dual extruder, you can 3D print a whole circuit board in one go. But just like anything that conducts electricity, be careful! Apart from breaking if bent too much, this kind of filament is expensive to replace and can be dangerous if you’re careless.  

Carbon Fiber

Think of this as an upgraded PLA. It prints the same but adds extra layers of rigidity, layer adhesion, and easy support removal, making it great for protective casings and other high durability applications. Just be warned that it can wear out your printer’s nozzle if the nozzle isn’t made out of or protected by a harder material.  

Resin Filaments

These are for all your stereolithography and digital light processing needs. Keep in mind that each of these types cater to a niche of a niche in 3D printing, so it may be difficult to find reviews of specific brands. If you’re uncertain, search for photos of finished projects using the materials you’re thinking about buying to see how the details will come out. 

General purpose

These resins are the basic photopolymers first designed for 3D printing. In their first iterations, they were limited to a transparent yellowish cast, but since SLA and DLA printing has become cheaper and more accessible, their colors and opaqueness have expanded. 

Tough

As more companies begin using 3D printing for practical purposes rather than strictly aesthetic, they need less fragile resins that can stand mechanical wear and tear.

Resins that combine the flexibility and strength of ABS other filament-based printing materials with the unique layering process of SLA or DLA printing are popular with printers who need high wear resistance.    

Castable

Castability has always been high priority for SLA and DLA printing. Industries such as dental and jewelry manufacturers fabricate parts that are designed to be cast in metal, and with this type of resin, it’s easy for their prototypes to translate into whatever shapes are needed. A good castable resin has a high burnout so the polymer material will burn completely off the finished product.    

Flexible Filament

Like their traditional 3D printing relatives, resin 3D printing resins are for goods that need a little give, like water bottles or door handles. But be careful about bending these too far – they’re prone to tearing if pushed beyond their limits. If you are looking for a 3D Printing to use with flexible filament options, read our guide here. 

High-temp

Formlabs has created a unique resin designed to withstand heat up to 289 degrees Centigrade. It’s deflective enough for industrial use as well as desktop SLA, great for printing injection molding tools, thermoforming tools, and heat testing channels.  

Biocompatible

Dentistry is the main industry that currently benefits from a resin that’s safe for human contact, but the whole medical trade can take advantage of this special blend. It’s great for the fabrication of surgical and pilot drill guides.     

Ceramic

Once printed into a 3D printed object, this resin can be fired in a kiln, glazed, and treated like a general ceramic. The polymer binds to ceramic and add its density to the final product.  

Daylight

If you can’t afford a laser or specialty light source, this resin may be just what you need to get into SLA printing. These photopolymers react to ordinary sunlight filtered through an LED screen, which has the potential to drive down SLA costs for a mainstream audience. 

Open-source

Resins are improving all the time, and many folks are putting their recipes up for grabs. Just be mindful of what you need from your SLA or DLA experience, and you can even make your own based on what you find. 

FAQs

Are is 3d printing filaments expensive?

Certain 3D printing filaments that offer a higher level of quality and makeup are generally more expensive and you can expect to pay $25 per kg or more..

What 3D filament is food safe?

3D filaments that are considered food safe include PLA, PP, co-polyester, PET-G, HIPS, nylon-6 and specific brands of ABS, ASA, and PEI.

Is PLA Filament toxic?

PLA can release toxic fumes known as Volatile Organic Carbon (VOCs) which are usually not toxic to breathe, but, sometimes they can be.

Is it safe to 3D print indoors?

Not entirely. Particles emitted during the 3D printing process can have a negative effect in your indoor environment and reduce the quality of the air you breathe and can potentially harm the respiratory health. This is more true for certain filaments than others.

Is it safe to 3D print overnight?

No. Never leave the 3D printer during the process unattended. There are many cases of fires breaking out and spreading.

Is PLA safe for creating food cutters?

Natural PLA is considered food safe, but some manufacturers add other additives for enhancing the PLA’s strength, color and other features which makes the filament unsafe so make sure you know what you’re using if you want to create food cutters.

Finale Word on 3D Printing Filaments

Finding the best materials and filaments for your 3D printing projects doesn’t have to be overwhelming. When you have a good idea of why you’re making something, you’ll be able to make the best choice with the help of our handy list. Happy printing!  

Further read:

3D Printing vs Injection Molding: Know The Difference

3D Printing vs. Injection Molding

3D printing is not always a stand-alone process – sometimes it’s only the first step in a manufactured part’s journey. When paired with mass fabrication processes like injection molding, the advantages and disadvantages of both processes come into sharp relief against each other.

Though they can both participate in the same ultimate goal of creating parts for a whole, 3D printing and injection molding each have their distinct strengths and weaknesses that describe what they should be used for and what they should leave to the other.

Main Differences Between 3D Printing vs Injection Molding

The main differences between 3D printing vs Injection Molding are:

  • 3D printing is more expensive, whereas injection molding is a cheaper variant for bigger produce.
  • 3D printing is smaller, whereas injection molding machines are quieter and faster.
  • 3D printing allows you to make changes at any stage of the production process, whereas with injection molding you can’t make changes during the producing process.

Injection Molding

Injection Molding

Overview

Injection molding is a way for a large number of parts to be made at one time. Basically, a tray with printed molds of the parts carved in is created, and liquid material such as polycarbonate, metal, nylon, or anything that works for the object’s finish is poured into the molds and cooled to create the part dozens or hundreds of times over. It’s typically used in mass manufacturing where a part has to be repeated with strict fidelity for a large number of finished items.

If you’ve ever used a hand tool, you’ve seen an example of something that was built using injection molding. The handle of your screwdriver is exactly like the handle of every other screwdriver of that same brand and model, with the same bumps and dips for grip in the same places and the same flare at the collar to keep your fingers safe while you’re working.

The company used injection molding to make sure all of those design quirks translated over; however many screwdrivers were sold to stores.

Pros

Repeatability:

The injection molding process is hands down the most efficient process to produce large numbers of the same thing. The plastic parts you create are going to be virtually identical no matter how many you produce or how many times you repeat the injection molding process.

That’s a great advantage for anyone who needs branding consistency or even just reassurance that everything will fit together as planned over a long and continuous manufacturing process.

Finish:

The finish of products that have been injection molded is going to be smoother than those that have been 3D printing since injection molding does not build up the material in layers but instead creates one smooth outer layer all at once through its pouring method.

If you have parts that would suffer from the small ridges of 3D printer layers grinding together while working as a whole, injection molding solves that problem.

Of course, the higher quality your 3D printer and filament is the less of a chance of the layers being an issue, so that may not be of concern depending on your equipment.

Mass production:

Injection molding was invented for producing lots of clones of the same object, which is invaluable when you’re manufacturing on a large scale.

And if you have the up-front costs, the price to make each object goes down exponentially once you start producing. If you’re looking for this kind of efficiency, injection molding will make your life easier.

Bigger parts than 3D printing:

Although injection molding has its limits for the size of each individual piece that can be created, this process can produce a much bigger piece than 3D printing technology.

Because of the industrial scale of its tools, injection molding works on a bigger scale, which is a big advantage even if you still have to print separate parts to put together later.

Bigger pieces mean fewer connections, fewer seams, and fewer weak points, which is a major plus for objects that will see heavy mechanical or manual use.

Injection Molding Multiple Prints

Cons

Scrap rates:

Although injection molding produces much less scrap than other mass manufacturing processes, it still produces more scrap than 3D printing.

This is due to its use of a mold, which is a material negation process; whenever a shape is carved out of a larger piece of material, no matter how economically, there is going to be at least some scrap material left over because ultimately you are taking material away from the starting area to make your final shape.

If you’re using certain types of thermoplastics for your material, you’re able to gather the scrap pieces and melt them down to recycle into future printed molds.

But you’ll always have something left over from the mold because of the need to build in guide areas for the injection equipment to follow when going between parts that are meant to be separated when they are completed.

These guide areas will be broken off and discarded in the final product, so at least some scrap is expected after each batch, but these pieces of reused material may result in lower-quality prints, especially if they’re repeatedly recycled.

Up front costs:

Buying injection molding tools will set you back a lot of money right at the start of your project. Their individual costs vary depending on what you need them to do, but they are all industrial machines meant for large batch working, so the cash you need to set them up reflects that.

Plus, your costs don’t stop at the machines themselves; you also have to make sure you have enough material for the molds and for injecting into the molds. Those have to be right the first time, or else you’ll lose what you’ve invested and have to start over.

Up front time:

The expense of injection molding machines is vast but a one-time thing. However, you will always be in danger of wasting materials (and money) if you don’t invest a lot of time into your design before you even think about molding it.

Before you can start injecting, you have to design a prototype (sometimes via 3D printing), which means not only drawing a concept in a computer-aided drafting program but also rendering that design in a 3D model so you can use that model to create a mold that can replicate the prototype in volume.

Both of these steps sound simple on paper, but in practice, they require extensive testing, breaking, and refining until you come up with a mold that will work under injection molding situations and get you exactly what you need.

This level of perfection that you have to reach before you can try out your mold requires time and money that can’t be determined ahead of time – be prepared for unexpected snags to hold you up in areas you thought you had on lock. And then be prepared to start at the beginning again.

Difficulty making changes:

The reason the prototype and testing steps are so extensive in injection molding is that once you’ve started using your molds and tools for injections, it’s difficult to impossible to make design changes.

Injection molding uses heavy metals for its tooling and molds because they are in direct contact with the heated material that is poured into them. So they need to be materials that won’t warp under high temperatures – but this also means they are almost impossible to add or subtract anything from.

If you want to change anything about your molds after you’ve built them, it’s easier to shave down metal than to add pieces to it. But when you’re dealing with differences of millimeters, nothing is easy to get perfect when you are freehanding.

A mistake that would be insignificant on a larger scale design is going to compromise the integrity of an injection mold, putting all of the sections of the mold at risk of collapsing into each other during the injection process. No pressure or anything!

Uniform wall thickness:

Injection molding needs a very specific range of wall thickness to keep out inconsistencies in the cooling process and to prevent gaps while filling the mold tool.

You’ll need to make sure your design has a wall thickness of between 2 and 4 mm, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for variation if you had something else in mind.

3D Printing

3D Printing Process

Overview

Three-dimensional printing is the process of building an object through printing thin layers of the filament on top of one another to form a sculpted object.

The layers are printed by a machine with a nozzle that heats up the filament as it moves along the X, Y, and Z axes according to the design it’s programmed to follow.

3D printing technology has gained exponential popularity in the last decade, growing from a manufacturing and prototype niche to a way for many educators, artists, and just those who are curious to experiment with how it can fit into their lives.

It comes from the same family of processes like injection molding and can be a valuable step in the beginnings of that as well as its own stand-alone way to build something.

Pros

A range of accessibility:

Although you do need specialized equipment for 3D printing, it’s very easy to fit into whatever situation you plan on using it for. You can get a 3D printer that fits next to your home computer for $300 or less – about half that if you’re willing to buy a kit and put the printer together yourself.

You can get all types of filaments, standard and unique, on Amazon, and there are several free and open access design programs you can use straight off the internet, not to mention pre-designed patterns and thousands of message boards dedicated to tips, tricks, and questions about 3D printing.

If you’re an educator or an artist, you can make a good argument for bringing 3D printing into your profession as a way to teach or create. 3D printing is easy to bring on as an interactive addition to any sort of maker hobby in your life.

And it’s just as easy to go pro once you’re comfortable – you’ll find professional range 3D printers right alongside the smaller ones, and as long as you’ve done your research on brands and models, you can make that jump whenever you feel ready.

Individual adjustments:

3D printing is great for experimenting with your designs. As long as you have the patience (and filament) to fiddle with designs, printing temperatures, and finishing techniques, you can perfect your object until it’s exactly what you want during the actual 3D printing process.

A lot of 3D printers even let you stop in the middle of printing, make an adjustment, and start printing again in the same spot you left off. It’s a versatile way to learn your way around design.

Price:

Even at its most expensive, the upfront costs for 3D printing are going to come in at way lower prices than those for industrial-scale manufacturing.

Plus, your replacement and material costs are going to be relatively cheap as well; filaments go for as little as $15 a spool for PLA, the most commonly used type.

A range of materials:

You can 3D print with filaments that incorporate everything from thermoplastics to pieces of glass, in any color you can think of (and several you haven’t heard of yet).

Your object can glow in the dark, smell like wood, or hold water without spilling a drop. The possibilities are endless, and all you have to do is choose your filament.

3D Printing Print

Cons

Size:

3D printers are limited to what they can print size-wise to the printer’s physical dimensions, which are typically much smaller than industrial manufacturing machines.

You can, in theory, use a 3D Printer parts that go together for a bigger whole, but that would add many hours that you may or may not have.

Scalability:

Related to the size limitations of 3D printers, their ability to create more than one object at a time is severely limited. 3D printers use additive technology, which means they build their objects layer by layer instead of all the layers being poured at once like in a mold. That takes hours to create one completed object, and if you need to mass produce in a hurry, you’re out of luck.

FAQs About 3D Printing and Injection Molding

How much does it cost to do 3d printing?

This depends on whether you are going to use it for personal use or professional use. For personal use, the costs can be around $1000 if you decide on cheaper printer and materials, whereas for professional use, the costs can go up to $10,000, this of course meaning the printer will be around $5000.

Can I make money with 3D printing?

Yes, of course. You can list your printer for use and people can use it for creating their own objects and you get a share of the total cost, and you can also use it for a personal business and create items that you’re going to sell.

How much does a injection mold cost?

Injection molding can cost around thousand dollars, however, large production of items can cause up to $100,000 even, depending on how large the produce is, of course.

Why are injection molds so expensive?

Since the plastic injection molding molds are used more frequently, they need to be made of very durable materials in order to sustain the thousands of pounds of pressure every cycle. The most common materials used for molds is steel, thus the high costs of the metal injection molding molds.

Conclusion

Injection molding and 3D printing have advantages for different steps in your building process. If you’re looking to produce a lot of the same thing in a relatively short amount of time and you already have an airtight design, injection molding is the way to go so you can take advantage of its mass production traits – if you also have the startup cash and prototype testing time it takes.

3D printing will be more your speed if you need low barriers to beginning your build and a way to experiment with your designs without ruining your whole batch – if you’re okay with individualized printings and the time that takes. Either way, you’ll find a great way to bring your creations to life.

The Best 3D Printing Conferences to Add to Your Calendar

Best 3D Printing Conferences to Add to Your Calendar

With the increasing popularity of 3D printing, it’s no surprise that there are conferences all over the world, boasting a variety of exhibitions, professionals, and tools in the 3D printing market. 3D printing is innovative, and the evolution of the techniques has grown considerably and continues to do so.

If you’re looking for a 3D printing conference to add to your calendar, chances are you’ll find one on this list that’s close to home. You can pursue a variety of topics in additive manufacturing and 3D printing including the mathematics involved in the design process, the technology used, and the industries involved.

We want to make planning you trip to one of these events a little easier. We know it can be a daunting task trying to figure out which is best for you. We have compiled a list of some of the best and most unique 3D printing events around the world in 2019.

While this is by no means a definitive list for all 2019 events it is a great starting spot for you. All of the events below are a great place to gain insight, knowledge, and even network in the 3D printing industry with like-minded individuals and companies.

Where will you go in 2019? Let’s take a look at some options.

Asiamold

asimold

March 10-12, 2019

The Asiamold 3D printing conference is held annually in Guangzhou, China and is an important marketing and trading venue for players in the mold and die industry. It gets a lot of attention from experts all around the world and is an influential exhibition intended to highlight modern solutions in the ever-evolving manufacturing market in China.

Guangzhou is easily accessible from within China and overseas. Once in Guangzhou, you can reach the Asiamold facility via public transportation and enjoy a variety of accommodations with Asiamold travel partners. Because the event is so large, there is always someone on staff to help you with your travel arrangements.

AMForum19

March 14-15, 2019

The 3rd Additive Manufacturing Forum 2019 is in Berlin, Germany. It’s Europe’s leading conference and exhibition for additive manufacturing, growing in a number of participants year after year. This cross-industry program is user-oriented and supported by a number of prominent groups including Airbus Group, Deutsche Bahn, 3yourmind, and Stratasys.

This year’s conference includes over 700 participants from the aviation, railway, automotive, medical, engineering, mechanical, and science industries. More than 60 exhibitors will be featured in the innovation exhibition with 26 keynote speeches, 4 open discussions, and 2 panels. Enjoy pre-networking events and a champagne reception.

Additive Manufacturing Users Group Conference

additive manufacturing users group expo 2018

March 31-April 4, 2019

Held in Chicago, the AMUG Conference brings the global community together to accelerate advancements and education in additive manufacturing and 3D printing. Engineers, managers, designers, and educators come together to share best practices, expertise, challenges, and relevant application and developments in the industry.

The five-day conference is packed with workshops, presentations, competitions, and food. Enjoy keynote speeches, technical sessions, hands-on training, and showcases. When booked in advance, you can also purchase all of your meals, evening activities, and the awards banquet as part of your ticket.

3D Printing Event 2019

April 16-17, 2019

This year, the Netherlands will be hosting a 3D printing event with five dedicated conferences and an exhibition that all focus on 3D printing and manufacturing. Learn all about 3D printing from initial design to end product.

While it is certainly important in the continued development of 3D printer technology, the focus of this 3D printing event is the Value Chain. The design, engineering, material choice, and the post-processing phase are important as well. There is also an entire section of the conference dedicated to the future of 3D printing.

Ceramics Expo

ceramics expo

April 30-May 1, 2019

The Ceramics Expo in Cleveland, Ohio is meant for engineers who are decision-makers in the automotive, medical, aerospace, electronics, energy, industrial, and communication industries. It’s a free event, often highlighting speakers from prominent players in these industries like Lockheed Martin, Corning, Ford, Kyocera, and more.

You can learn more about technology development and implementation solutions, cost reduction, and manufacturing. You may also learn how to improve your own processes or gain insights into the ceramic materials market. Discover the latest innovations in R&D and look into the future of performance, application, and efficiency.

Rapid + TCT

May 21-23, 2019

Where: Detroit, United States

Event website: https://rapid3devent.com/

Who can attend: Everyone is able to attend RAPID + TCT, but it will cost you. Currently, prices range from $75 per attendee to $1,400 depending on the level of access you desire. The low end of that spectrum will get you an exhibit-only pass whereas the high end will get you access to the full conference and a workshop package. Visit the event website to learn more about the pricing and what is included at each level.

Who will be there: Some big names have already announced their plans to attend RAPID + TCT this year. A few that we are eager to see what they have for us include HP Inc., Stratasys, Desktop Metal, GE Additive, TRUMPF North America, Titan Robotics and Cincinnati Inc.

What is it: The largest 3D printing event in North America. It is held at Detroit’s Cabo Center where the world’s leading 3D printing companies come to demonstrate and show-off their latest innovations and technologies. Attendees will have the opportunity to get hands-on at over 300 exhibits and network with over 6,000 3D printing industry members.

Why you should go: RAPID + TCT is a very unique experience given its vast coverage and ability to bring together industry-leading companies and professionals from all areas of the 3D printing supply chain. If you want to see the latest and greatest in technology achievements, this event is for you. If you want to network and find opportunities to grow your business, this event is for you. If you are just curious, or a fan, and want to know more about 3D printing, this is the event for you.

SIAM Conference on Computational Geometric Design

June 17-19, 2019

People interested in the geometry and mathematics behind 3D printing designs will enjoy this conference in Vancouver, Canada. If you enjoy 3D printing but would like to know more about applying mathematical methods to your projects, the SIAM Conference covers applications in geosciences, medicine, architecture, biology, and art.

Topics of discussion may include curve and surface design, CAX, reverse engineering, geometric algorithms, solid modeling, graphics and computer vision, robotics, and scientific visualization. It helps facilitate communication between government and industrial users, developers, and academics.

AMPM 2019

conference

June 23-25, 2019

Phoenix, Arizona is home to two different 3D printing seminars, the first of which is AMPM2019. This conference focuses on metal additive manufacturing and features experts presenting the latest technology and developments in the metallurgy field. The second conference, called POWDERMET2019, is very similar.

The three-day conference has six events presenting the best networking opportunities and more than 100 exhibitors with equipment, powder suppliers, and processing suppliers. The cutting-edge R&D presented at the AMPM2019 conference provides one of the world’s leading forums for metal additive manufacturing.

Formnext

Where: Frankfurt, Germany

When: November 19 – November 20

Event website: https://formnext.mesago.com/events/en.html

Who can attend: The event is open to everyone. You need to go to the Formnext website to secure your ticket for this years event. You will also find information to become an exhibitor if you wish to display your products and technologies. You can also find maps of the exhibition grounds to start planning your trip to Formnext 2019.

Who will be there: The list for 2019 exhibitors is scheduled to be released in June. Last year some of the attendees included 3D Systems GmbH, HP Inc., GE Additive, InssTek, Inc., and over 600 others.

What is it: A four day event that has over 600 companies from all around the world. Formnext is a leader in bringing together some of the greatest minds and innovators in the worlds of additive manufacturing, 3D printing, and tool and mould making. The event combines these three massive industries to showcase the some of the best ideas and products that will lead the next generation in manufacturing and the product development process.

Why you should go: One of the largest international shows in the world, Formnext will surely blow you away at the vast size and number of new and innovative products, ideas, and companies that will be on display. In 2018, the event had almost 30,000 visitors from over 30 countries. This is the place to go if you want to see where these industries are heading to next.

3D Food Printing Conference

food printer

June 27, 2019

This 3D printing conference in the Netherlands is all about the food. It’s a two-day event dedicated to learning about smart farming, healthy nutrition, and vertical farming. Because 3D printing technology is making its way into the food industry, it will be a critical part of how people interact with food.

There’s still a lot of required research to make these ideas mainstream, but this conference aims to take big steps in the right direction by putting on seminars about food industries and components that will be influenced by 3D food printing technology.

Faraday Discussion

July 3-5, 2019

This Faraday Discussion in London covers Understanding and Reconstructing Biointerfaces with 3D Soft Nanolithography. Mechanics and biology are both driven by interfacial dynamics, yet the industries rarely talk to one another. The idea of this Faraday Discussion is to bring these industries together for conversations surrounding how they can work together to tackle challenges in the industry.

Advances in 3D nanolithography, organic and macromolecular chemistry, and surface characterization will require cooperation from experts in many fields. By providing a forum where they can facilitate discussions for the betterment of these ideas, they can make progress in the field.

Sim-AM 2019

sim am 2019

September 11-13, 2019

The Second International Conference on Simulation for Additive Manufacturing is in Pavia, Italy. As additive manufacturing evolves, this conference aims to bring to light some of the benefits of 3D printing and manufacturing for those who have interest.

The main topics of the conference include CAD to part chain, material modeling, innovative application, multi-physics, and multi-scale simulation, simulation for different additive manufacturing technologies, shape and topology optimization, and validation and verification. You can attend lectures, general sessions, invited sessions, industrial workshops, and round tables.

AMM 2019

September 18-19, 2019

Poland is home to the 3rd Edition of Additive Manufacturing Meeting covering 3D printing in both industrial and medical applications. This international event addresses individuals and institutions involved in the development and implementation of additive manufacturing technologies. They intend to build a common platform for the exchange of experience and knowledge in both fields.

In the past, this conference has involved 145 participants, 12 partners, 24 talks, 3 workshops, and a networking session. It is a two-day conference conducted in English with the main focus of the panels being 3D printing implementation in medicine, industry, and R&D. There will also be a young scientists’ poster session.

AMCTURKEY 2019

amcturkey

October 11-12, 2019

This additive manufacturing conference in Istanbul, Turkey focuses on the importance of digitalization, Industry 4.0, and IoT processes as the next generation of manufacturing technologies. As additive manufacturing replaces traditional manufacturing methods, there are several industries affected.

For transformation in these industries to take place, scientific research and R&D studies are critical, and experts from these industries need to come together. The goal of the first Additive Manufacturing Conference (AMC 2019) will be to do all of these things and more.

Symposium on Graphene and 3D Printing Technology

October 30-31, 2019

The Symposium on Graphene and 3D Printing Technology provide a platform for the sharing and exchange of ideas, knowledge, experiences, and research in the arena of graphene and 3D printing. Because technological innovation is an enabler of development in lower or middle-income countries, this conference held in Tokyo, Japan reaches some of those demographics.

The theme of the 2019 event is “a novel approach to atomic assembly and emerging technologies.” Members from around the world will learn about 3D printing, graphene, advanced materials, energy technology, and two-dimensional materials. They will enjoy presentations, a wealth of information, and networking opportunities with world-renowned speakers, diving into the most recent developments and techniques.

These aren’t the only conferences involving 3D printing and other related subjects. There are plenty of opportunities worldwide to learn and share experiences in an environment that fosters the correct conversations and a desire to further the development of these technologies.

If you want to attend a 3D printing conference, this year is a perfect time. There are hundreds of them spanning the globe, bridging many industries, and focusing on a variety of topics that may be of interest to experts, professionals, and hobbyists alike.

3D Printing Europe 2019

Where: Berlin, Germany

When: April 10 – April 11

Event website: https://www.idtechex.com/3D-printing-europe/show/en/

Who can attend: This event is open to any individuals who register through the event’s website. A pass will get you access to all co-located events in Berlin and the website offers group discounts if multiple individuals are attending from one company. Pricing ranges from about $100 to $3,000 depending on the level of access you want. Head to the event website for more information.

Who will be there: While this event is not as large as Formnext in Frankfurt, you will still have the opportunity to see a wide range of companies. Some of these companies are PiezoTech Arkema, Sysco Machinery Corporation, AFELIM, and Dorey Converting Systems.

What is it: Another large conference held in Germany, this time it is in Berlin. 3D Printing Europe will have over 200 exhibitors set up and expects to see close to 3,000 attendees. Be sure to head towards “Demonstration Street” once you are there. As I am sure your could guess by the clever name, this is where the event will house a variety of interactive products, prototypes, and new technologies.

Why you should go: This is a great 3D printing specific event in Europe. It focuses on end-user case studies and opportunities with demonstrations on how you can incorporate the technology into your company or business idea. You will get the full spectrum of 3D printing processes and materials on display.

Inside 3D Printing

Where: São Paulo, Brazil, Seoul, Korea

When: June 10 – June 11 in Brazil, June 26 – June 28 in Korea

Event website: https://inside3dprinting.com/

Who can attend: Any interested in 3D printing can and should go. There is a FREE pass to the Seoul event and the paid passes are either $190 or $290 depending on how much you want to do. The Brazil event has similar pricing minus the free pass. You can find more information and discounts by purchasing through the event website now.

Who will be there: Some exhibitors you will see in Brazil are 3D Criar, Alcateia Group, AMS, UP3D, and many more. While if you attend the Seoul event, some exhibitors in attendance will be Createc, AMKOREA, 3D Real Form, Prototech, Shining 3D, and even more.

What is it: One of the largest 3D printing and additive manufacturing event series in the world. It takes place in Brazil and South Korea at two different times in order to attract individuals, companies, and creators from everywhere. Attending either event will give you access to conferences, demos, and talks from industry leaders, and some of the best companies, designers, and innovators in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industries.

Why you should go: Being in attendance at either location gives you full access to see the newest product, services, and companies launch. You can use it as a networking event to help fundraise and source investments if you trying to start oor grow your own company given each event houses thousands of attendees.

Some other events you can look into:

3D Printing Industry Awards 2019

Where: London, United Kingdom

When: June 6

Event website: https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/3d-printing-industry-awards-2019-nominations-open-145071/

3D Printing USA 2019

Where: Santa Clara, United States

When: November 20 – November 21

Event website: https://www.idtechex.com/3D-printing-usa/show/en/

Additive Manufacturing for Car Body Engineering 2019

Where: Bad Nauheim, Germany

When: April 2

Event website: http://www.automotive-circle.com/Conferences/Additive-Manufacturing-for-Car-Body-Engineering-2019

AeroDef Manufacturing 2019

Where: Long Beach, United States

When: April 30th – May 2

Event website: https://www.aerodefevent.com/

BIG IDEAS for UV+EB Technology Conference

Where: Redondo Beach, United States

When: March 19th – 20th

Event website: https://bigideasconference.com/

Business & Technology Insight Forums

Where: Boston, United States

When: May 8 – May 9

Event website: https://www.idtechex.com/forum-boston/show/en/

EASTEC 2019

Where: Springfield, United States

When: May 14 – May 16

Event website: https://easteconline.com/

INDUSTRY, From Needs to Solutions

Where: Barcelona, Spain

When: October 29 – October 31

Event website: http://www.industry.website/

Maker Faire Miami 2019

Where: Miami, United States

When: April 6 – April 7

Event website: https://miami.makerfaire.com/

PMTi2019 — Powder Metallurgy and Additive Manufacturing of Titanium

Where: Salt Lake City, United States

When: September 24 – September 27

Event website: https://www.mpif.org/Events/PMTi2019Conference.aspx

Polymers + 3D

Where: Houston, United States

When: October 31 – November 1

Event website: http://www.poly3d.org/

Polymers for 3D Printing 2019

Where: Düsseldorf, Germany

When: December 11 – December 12

Event website: https://www.ami.international/events/event?Code=C1004

WESTEC 2019

Where: Long Beach, United States

When: September 24 – September 26

Event website: https://westeconline.com/