ZMorph VX Review [2020]: A Strong Multi-Tool 3D Printer?

ZMorph VX Review

The ZMorph VX claims to offers 3 different fabrication methods: 3D printing, laser engraving, and CNC carving.

Polish manufacturer, ZMorph, developed this machine as a multiple function desktop system in 2017. With so much more than meets the eye, it’s a 3D printer that many industry experts want to put to the test.

If you’re shopping for a great 3D printer, ZMorph is one you may want to look at more seriously. With enhanced features and multiple functions, this could be a robust solution to all of your creative and design needs.

Before you look at investing the big bucks, we’ll give you a rundown of its features and functionality so you can decide for yourself.

Zmorph VX 3D Prtiner Overview

The ZMorph VX features robust and sturdy construction, meant for prolonged use. It has multiple interchangeable toolheads, a paste extruder, and a dual extruder for more dynamic and versatile printing. The toolheads can be transferred easily, and a free ZMorph Academy course allows you to learn how to operate them correctly.

The ZMorph VX is a multitool machine with Laser PRO and CNC Pro toolheads and unmatched FFF 3D printing quality. At least that’s what ZMorph claims, so we’re squashing the rumors and bringing the truth into the light.

Where to Buy the ZMorph VX?

It can be hard to find th ZMorph VX reliably online. I've had the best luck with MatterHackers as they have outstanding customer service, and excellent secondary parts and add-ons. PLUS, they just "get" 3D printing as a digital native 3D specialist.

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

Zmorph VX Unboxing and Setup

It only takes about 5 minutes to unpack the ZMorph VX and about 3 minutes to attach the spool holder. In 8 minutes, your new 3D printer can be ready to go. The setup guide is quick but comprehensive, and give you a detailed explanation of each of the five operational modes.

You can manually or automatically calibrate your print bed using the touchscreen attached to the printer, and you can find additional tutorials and help on the website as well as the free ZMorph Academy, which is a huge benefit over other printer manufacturers.

Design

The ZMorph VX offers an efficient spool holder design that can hold up to four rolls of filaments at one time, making it easy to switch from one build to the next quickly. Only two spools can be extruded simultaneously via the dual extruders, but you can line up two backups if you think you may run out, or you can queue up your next print job, so you don’t have to change the spools out later.

The dual extruder of the ZMorph VX has two feeders, two inlets, and a single nozzle. The open feeders on the nozzle make it easy to spot clogging so you can resolve the issue and get back to printing more quickly. The modular heating element can heat up the area when experiencing a clog so you can clean it easier.

Each toolhead is mounted by a single screw, making it easy to change them out quickly, making the printer more versatile and quick to manipulate. They can be changed in less than a minute, making it easy to switch between print jobs.

The ZMorph VX also has a built-in touchscreen with ZMorph’s own Voxelizer software, giving every user an easy interface to learn how to operate the machine. During setup, you can calibrate the machine using the touchscreen for easy, or you can do it manually. Auto calibration is easier and faster and usually suitable for any print job.

One downside to the ZMorph VX is that it only takes two types of filament. While other 3D printers take most of the filament types available, the ZMorph VX only takes ABS and PLA. However, what it does, it does efficiently.

The ZMorph VX is not enclosed like some of the other 3D printers on the market, but it does have a heated bed capable of up to 100 degrees Celsius. It can maintain a constant temperature for all of your most complicated printing jobs.

Performance

Using a ZMorph pyramid sample print in PLA silver, you can run a test of your new 3D printer to analyze performance. It shows you how the printer handles angles, edges, spaces, and designs. Because the sample design has delicate features, it’s a challenging object to print, and it will put your 3D printer to the test with its intricate details.

The ZMorph VX also handles benchys flawlessly. You can print many different shapes and sizes using different types of filaments without experiencing stringing across any difficult areas like windows. However, sometimes stringing does happen, and it’s not necessarily unusual. It occurs when objects are very small.

The stamina of the ZMorph VX is to be admired. Even large projects that take more than 24 hours to complete are printed well. The ZMorth VX can also handle hinges, bridges, and floating strings without any hiccups. You won’t find a 3D printer that can handle intricate designs any better.

ZMorph VX Large Prints

The ZMorph Voxelizer software can easily handle any dual extrusion capabilities you throw at it. It’s easy and quick to combine processes, and the preprogrammed blending options make the instructions clear and understandable. The software gives the user plenty of blending options like gradient, 5050, texture, and separate.

When compared to single extrusion print jobs, the dual extrusion surface finish isn’t of quite the same quality, but still well-executed and high quality. Adding images to the surface of 3D objects works better on larger objects, allowing for more definition in the characters, pictures, or logos.

Extra Features

The ZMorph VX can also be used for laser engraving (laser engraver), CNC carving (CNC milling), and paste extrusion. In order to switch over to CNC carving, you first need to switch the print bed out for the CNC router work table. The magnetic design of both the print bed and the work table make them easy to exchange when needed.

The simple design also allows for easy planar aligning and calibration every time you swap out the print bed for the CNC mill work table or vice versa. ZMorph includes sample files for carving and engraving as well as printing, so you can test this feature.

The ZMorph Academy provides a tutorial on how to convert any image to the .gcode engraving file extension needed to use the printer. The quality is impressive, even when dealing with intricate details and complicated designs.

ZMorph VX Print

ZMorph includes all five types of cutter tips needed for CNC carving, and they’re easy to mount on the toolhead. Carving at all speeds is thorough and efficient, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results whether you’re laser cutting at 75% or 125% high speed.

One of the best things about a 3D printer is that you can 3D print your own parts, accessories, and upgrades. With a 3D printed paste extruder, you can achieve thick, guided paste extrusion that’s great for consistent decorating or experimenting with gels.

Customer Service

ZMorph offers a ZMorph Academy for free where you can learn about your new printer and how to use it to print anything you want. They also offer an extensive online knowledge base so you can get extra help or view tutorials from experts.

You can also access many online help documents or reach out to the team directly via email if you need additional assistance. ZMorph provides comprehensive instructions with your 3D printer purchase and more tools than many other 3D printer manufacturers, making it easy to find exactly what you need.

Where to Buy the ZMorph VX?

It can be hard to find th ZMorph VX reliably online. I've had the best luck with MatterHackers as they have outstanding customer service, and excellent secondary parts and add-ons. PLUS, they just "get" 3D printing as a digital native 3D specialist.

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

VX Multitool 3D Printer Specifications:

  • Printer Type: FDM
  • Filament Type: ABS, PLA
  • Build Volume: 25cm x 23.5cm x 16.5cm
  • Minimum Layer Height: 100 microns
  • Open Source: Hardware and software
  • Compatible with 3rd-Party Fabrication Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75mm
  • On-Printer Controls: Yes
  • Connectivity: USB
  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Ethernet: Yes

ZMorph VX Pros:

  • Fast
  • Reliable
  • CNC carving, laser engraving, 3D printing, and paste extrusion
  • User-friendly printer
  • Efficient design
  • Quality results
  • Access to free help
  • Components are easy to switch out
  • Free ZMorph Academy
  • Large knowledge base

ZMorph VX Cons:

  • Price
  • Limited filament types

Where to Buy the ZMorph VX 3D Printer?

It’s not available everywhere, but I’ve had good luck with the following online retailers:

ZMorph VX: The Verdict

Because the ZMorph VX is so easy to set up, calibrate, and use, it’s an exceptional 3D printer for workshops, schools, and other beginners. It’s a brilliant tool offering excellent performance across all of its functions including 3D printing, CNC carving, laser engraving, and paste extrusion.

The printer can provide great layer adhesion and handle fine details. The supports are easy to remove, the bed is easy to change out for the work table, and it can navigate hinges, floating strings, and bridges with grace.

The Voxelizer software provided with the printer offers ease of use and intuitive, enjoyable experience. The touchscreen also helped with setup and use, making it easy to calibrate and operate. The parts and components of the printer are easy to mount, and the frame is sturdy and built to last.

The free ZMorph Academy allows you to test your product and all of its modes easily and contains clear instructions that are simple and to the point. Multitool features like laser engraving, CNC carving, and paste extrusion makes the ZMorph VX so much more than a 3D printer. It can handle all of these tasks well. It’s a great addition to any classroom, workshop, or home for anyone interested in a comprehensive tool that’s easy to learn how to use.

Bottom Line: I LOVED the ZMorph VX because it was incredibly accessible to beginners and learning settings as a complete desktop solution. Flexible for milling, printing, or CNC routing, I’ve added the ZMorph VX printer to my toolkit.

Where to Buy the ZMorph VX?

It can be hard to find th ZMorph VX reliably online. I've had the best luck with MatterHackers as they have outstanding customer service, and excellent secondary parts and add-ons. PLUS, they just "get" 3D printing as a digital native 3D specialist.

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

Further Reads

Tevo Tornado vs Creality CR 10: Which is the Best Choice?

Tevo Tornado vs Creality CR10

Both companies are based out of China. Tevo has been around since 2015, but Creality is a little newer as the company was founded in 2017. They are both on a mission to create the best affordable 3D printers.

However, as we have learned in the past with inexpensive kit 3D printers, you get what you pay for. We are going to take a look at two of the companies most popular 3D Printer models, the Tevo Tornado and the Creality CR-10. These two models seem to give you a little more than what you pay for in terms of size, and performance.

The Tornado and CR-10 both are based on the very popular open source Prusa i3 design. With the simple, but towering, all-metal frame designs these machines go up quickly and are sturdy enough to last a long time.

The pricing with the Tornado and CR-10 fluctuate quite often as most 3D printers from Tevo and Creality often do. In most cases, you will find the Tevo Tornado is around $50 cheaper than the CR-10.

Be sure to keep your eye on the one you want for a little bit to make sure you are getting the best price possible. Recently, we have seen the Tornado for $358.00 and the CR-10 at $399.00.

Both models come in multiple variations in terms of size. We are going to be comparing the standard 300 x 300 x 400mm variations. The main difference between each variation is the size, so most of what you find below will apply to all models.

Now let’s dive and find out what the Tevo Tornado and Creality CR-10 are all about.

Initial Overview of the Printers:

Tevo Tornado

While Tevo may be the older company, the Tornado 3D printer is actually the newer of the models. The Creality CR-10 is more of the benchmark for the industry in terms of large scale Prusa replicas. But Tevo took their time, waited for feedback or other models before releasing the Tornado. They listened to the customers to understand some of their dissatisfactions and improve on them.

With the Tevo Tornado, you get the all aluminum build in a bright green and black color scheme. The control box is separate from the printer itself but connects to the printer with three bundled cords. Unfortunately, the wiring and cables are rather short, and that limits how you can set up the machine. The front of the box features a small knob controlled LCD which you use to operate the entire machine. It does have a full-sized SD card, so you don’t need an adapter for any micro SD cards

A great minor detail you will find inside the control box of the Tevo Tornado is the removable stepper drivers. They have a bit of a plug and play style that allows users to easily remove and replace any broken drivers or even replace them for better ones. Where most 3D printers do not have removable motors, this is a great little feature to keep your 3D printer running longer.

Some of the most exciting features of the Tevo Tornado is the E3D Titan extruder replica and the silicone and ceramic heated print bed. A top of the line extruder combined with an even heating and powerful print bed means the Tornado can print with a lot of different filaments. The Tornado ships as a single extruder setup but can convert to a dual extruder system. Quick and easy setup instructions are available online.

As well the Tevo Tornado has fairly low operating noise thanks to the fan only running when necessary rather than running throughout the whole printing process. Especially given that it is an open design 3D printer, this is a nice to have when working in enclosed or smaller work areas while running the printer nearby.

Creality CR-10

Creality exploded onto the scene when they released the CR-10. The industry had not seen such a large 3D printer for so cheap, and the industry reacted quickly. Enthusiasts bought in right away resulting in a massive online following from all around the world. It is often held as the standard for it is size and design and is often compared to new 3D printers as they must meet the CR-10 even to capture a small chunk of the market.

As we have mentioned, the Tevo Tornado is based off the Creality CR-10, which is based off the Prusa i3. So, you are getting a very similar design with the minimalistic all aluminum construction and a control box separate from the 3D printer. The control box features a very similar knob controlled LCD display to operate the machine. But unlike the Tornado, the CR-10 has a spool holder built onto the control box. Although you could easily print one of these, it is a nice touch to have it as part of the machine right from the get-go.

The control box on the CR-10 has a cleaner, more professional look and finish to it than the Tornado. It has a solid metal front without any holes. The cables and wires are wrapped with a much cleaner appearance going from the back of the control box all the way to the back of the printer. And the cables are longer than on the Tornado, which gives you a little extra flexibility in how you place your 3D printer.

The CR-10 does operate with more noise although Creality is combating that with quieter fans in new models. This is a bit nit-picky as all 3D printers run with some noise. It may be minimal amounts in differences of decibel level, but some of you may be really bothered by this, so it is worth noting.  

As well, it does not meet the same performance on the heated build plate as the Tevo Tornado nor the performance of the extruder. Where Tevo replicated one of the best, Creality settled for a non-geared extruder which you will see on most Creality 3D printers. The CR-10 still prints very well with this extruder, so this should not be a deciding factor between the two.

Key Specs Comparison:

  Tevo Tornado Creality CR-10
Build Volume: 11.8 x 11.8 x 15.7 in. 11.8 x 11.8 x 15.7 in.
Build Speed: 150 mm/s 100 mm/s
Resolution: 50 Microns 100 Microns
Desktop Space: 19.7 x 23.6 x 24.4 in. 19.3 x 23.6 x 24.2 in.
Build Platform: Heated Ceramic Heated Aluminum/Glass
Dual Extruders: Can upgrade to Dual No
Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 mm 0.4 mm
Connectivity: Micro SD, USB Micro SD
Filament: ABS, Carbon Fiber, Flexible Filaments, PETG,

PLA, PVA, Wood

PLA, ABS, TPU, Wood, Carbon Fiber, Copper

Tevo Tornado Pros and Cons:

Pros: Cons:
E3D Titan Extruder replica No Auto-leveling
Ability to Expand Build Plate Difficult to level  
Silicone Bed Heating No Spool Holder  

Creality CR-10 Pros and Cons:

Pros: Cons:
Clean, Professional Appearance Poor Instructions
Dual Z-Axis Lead Screws Non-geared Extruder
Noisey

Given these are budget friendly kit 3D printers there will be a lot to love and a lot to not love about each. Where the Tevo Tornado really sets itself apart from the Creality CR-10 is with the heated build plate. Both 3D printers have heated build plates; the Tornado’s is light years ahead of the CR-10. The Tornado uses a large silicone mat below a ceramic plate. The silicone mat takes in 110v of power, which results in heating very quickly and reaching higher temperatures. It easily heats the entire plate too. On top of the ceramic plate is a buildtak-esque material that works very well with all filaments. You get very minimal movement from prints during the printing process. The ceramic plate is also extremely flat and smooth and very lightweight.

With the CR-10, you get a two-piece print bed, which is glass on top of an aluminum plate. this makes it slightly heavier than the Tornado. Creality is known for warped glass beds. You may hit the lottery and get a very flat one but don’t be surprised if there is a slight warp.  Of course, these are replaceable, but you are paying for a flat printing surface, and you may not get that with a CR-10. As well there is not an adhesive layer on the bed so you will need to purchase or hack together your own. The biggest difference is the power supply where the CR-10 uses a lower voltage of 12v to 110V of Tevo. This makes the bed take much longer to heat up to printing temperature. Many users will complain they can’t get the bed to ever break 100°C without making an enclosure for the printer.

Creality does have a much better design for adjusting the build plate. While neither is equipped with auto-leveling, the CR-10 is much easier to adjust. The nuts and bolts and a bit easier to reach and the bolt is pushed into the build plate on the CR-10. Because of this, you are able to twist the nut below without the bolt spinning and the need for a second tool. On the Tornado, however, the bolt is not built into place and tends to spin as you try to rotate the nuts. You will typically need a tool to hold the bolt in place while leveling the bed on the Tevo Tornado.

Packaging: What’s Included with the Printer:

Tevo Tornado includes:

  • Tevo Tornado 3D Printer Kit
  • Control box
  • Assembly Tool Set
  • Assembly Instructions
  • SD Card
  • Power Cord

Creality CR-10 includes:

  • Creality CR-10 3D printer (Mostly assembled)
  • Control box
  • Filament Holder
  • 1 Spool of white PLA filament
  • Assembly tools and instructions
  • SD card
  • Power cord

Final Verdict: Which is Better?

Creality may have set the stage for large format Prusa 3D printers, but Tevo certainly benefited from waiting before releasing their own version. Both 3D printers are extremely similar, and most differences come down to being a little nit-picky.

The Tevo Tornado is a bit more user-friendly with a larger menu on the control box, easier and more detailed instructions, and quieter operating noise. But the Creality is the better looking of the two with a much larger community and following online. The biggest difference is the build plate and heating elements as we detailed above.

The choice ultimately comes down to personal preference between the two. If you are going for the more popular, better-looking printer, then the Creality CR-10 is a great option. Have if you want slightly better performance, slightly better components, and a more user-based design then the Tevo Tornado is the right one for you. No matter which one you decide to use you will surely be happy with your decision once you have the 3D printer put together and running.

Further Reads:

Creality Ender 4 Review – The Best Budget-Friendly Option?

A recently popular 3D printing company, Creality, is well known for their inexpensive and high performing 3D kit printers. The company was founded in 2014 and is located in Shenzhen, China. They offer two series of DIY 3D printers and one line of completed machines. Most known for the popular CR-10 3D printer. Creality is becoming a well-known name in the 3D printing industry.

Not surprisingly, Creality 3D printers have grown large followings on the internet and amongst like-minded 3D printing enthusiasts. A quick internet search will return a ton of content around the Ender 4 3D printer. You will see anything from first impressions, unboxings, assembly how-to’s, first prints, and best practices. The list goes on and on.

If you have a question about the Creality Ender 4 or need some advice, you will surely find it on the internet.

Now, this large following and popularity doesn’t just happen for any 3D printer. The Creality Ender 4 is a budget-friendly 3D printer that is well-built and well-designed. It is a fairly compact and lightweight machine. The frame is sturdy and simple but does a great job at what it is designed to do.

creality ender 4

It is a pretty impressive machine that can be found for around $300 online. This pricing is pretty on par with the rest of the kit 3D printers on the market. Since it is a budget printer, it is not the best of the best. But the Creality Ender 4 is a great 3D printer for hobbyists and those looking to get their hands on their first 3D printer. Now let’s look at what it offers.

Core Features of the Ender 4:

User-Friendly: Overall, the design of the Ender 4 is quite easy to work with. It has an all-aluminum frame that forms an open cube for easy access to the print bed. The front of the machine has a knob-controlled small LCD display, which gives the user almost total control of the machine from basic settings to auto-leveling and start or stopping prints. The back on the machine can mount a filament spool. This is an ideal spot as it is out of the way of you and the nozzle.

As for getting the Ender 4 built and running, users can accomplish this through an easy 6 step process. The pre-loaded SD card that is packaged with the prints has all the instructions for the Ender 4 and Cura software.

Once you have the machine built and begin printing with it you will notice just how little noise the Ender 4 operates with. Occasionally, you may notice a slight high-pitched whine from the motors. But other than that, it is almost silent while printing.

Unique Aspects: The Ender 4 can also be equipped with a laser engraving head. We have seen this on a few other machines and seems to be somewhat of a gimmicky feature. However, there are users out there whole really enjoy using the small engraver to add a personal touch to their creations. Most people will use it on wood, but some fabrics and a handful of other materials will work as well.  

An LED Strip on the Ender 4 really lights up the print bed. It runs along the top cross-sectional pieces of the printer and is very bright. Some may opt to turn it off, but using it really allows you to see just how fine of detail the Ender 4 is capable of printing.

Ability to Adapt: One of the best parts of a DIY 3D printer is how versatile they can be. The Ender 4 uses a swappable nozzle so you can adjust the diameter depending on your print. You can get the very fine details with a 0.2mm nozzle or print with speed and thick lines using a 0.8mm nozzle. You can always stick with an in-between at 0.4 or 0.6mm. The print head can move up to 200mm/s and will reach temperatures up to 260°C. The flexibility of the print head and nozzle means you can print with a wide range of filaments.

Keys Specs of the Creality Ender 4:

Build Area 8.6” x 8.6” x 11.8”
Print Speed 200 mm/s
Filament Types PLA, ABS, FLEX, Wood PLA, Rubber (TPU), PETG
Layer Resolution 50 microns
Extruders 1
Nozzle Diameter 0.4 mm (adjustable to 0.2 – 0.8mm)
Price Find the latest pricing here

Pros of the Creality Ender 4:

A few things to love about the Ender 4:

Easy Upgrades: If the Ender 4 isn’t up to your standards right out of the box or you feel it is missing an important piece you can easily print and purchase your own upgrades for it. For example, you can easily make yourself a part cooling fan that attaches to the extruder. Since the Ender 4 doesn’t come with the fan you may notice some slight warping in a few prints depending on the filament. You can either design your own or reach out to the online community for a 3D model to print the fan that you need.

Some other popular upgrades we have seen include flexible filament adapters, spare parts for the machine, and corner brackets to attach to the frame and add a little extra stability and strength. There are dozens of ideas online and we are sure you can think of some on your own.

Creality ender 4

Heated, Auto-leveling Bed: Something that is often missed on budget DIY 3D printers is a heated bed and auto-leveling. Luckily, Ender 4 has both. The auto-leveling works fantastically and is very consistent each time. This is always a great thing to have as fidgeting with the small fasteners and nuts can be a pain when trying to level the bed in between prints on your own.

The aluminum bed heats evenly and quickly. It is a great addition as this is a crucial feature for using some filaments that you don’t want cooling down too quickly.  

Compact with a large build volume: Another great feature on the Ender 4 is the large build volume stored in a fairly compact design. The printing area at 8.6” x 8.6” x 11.8” is on the mid to higher ender of build space when it comes to 3D printers. And you get all of that with an overall footprint of just 14.5” x 14.5” x 20”. The Ender 4 does not require a ton of desk space, which is great for small workstations or tight areas where you want to set up your machine.

Con of the Creality Ender 4:

Something that is not the greatest about Creality Ender 4:

H-bot Design: The Creality Ender 4 is often mistaken for a CoreXY 3D printer when it is an H-bot printer. CoreXY printers are square shaped like the Ender 4, but they utilize two belts and two stepper motors to control the movement of the extruder. Some people believe a CoreXY system is better than the H-bot, but two belts and motors just means that there are more chances of something going wrong. Often the tension of one of the belts will be the main issue. This main concern of an H-bot design deals with uneven forces on the x-axis, which can lead to misalignment and warping over time.

Final Take:

A great printer for the price, but you may run into some headaches.

Creality did a great job with the Ender 4 as they have with their other 3D printer models. By now, you know what to expect from Creality and the budget-friendly kit machines. They produce sturdy, consistent, and surprisingly accurate machines. The Ender 4 is no different. It has a large build area, an all-metal design, user-friendly set up and operation. As well, you get the large online followings and communities to help you along the way.

But it is still a kit 3D printer. You may run into some issues with parts not always aligning or missing a screw or two from the box. It’s not the end of the world and you get what you pay for, but this just might not be for everyone. If you don’t mind challenging yourself to build a 3D printer and want to have the ability to customize it and upgrade it how you please, then the Ender 4 would be a great option for you.

Recommended Reads

The Best 3D Printing Courses & 3D Printing Certifications [2020]

One outstanding feature of 3D printing is its accessibility. Sure, it helps to have previous drafting or engineering training, but if you don’t, there are plenty of ways to learn as you go. Here’s our list of the best 3D printing classes you can find.

And remember, 3D printing technology is ever-evolving, so if you don’t find a course you like here, there are a lot more available for whatever your niche need.

But first, here’s a high level summary of the best 3D printing courses for 2020:

  1. Additive Manufacturing: Tips, Tricks and Techniques (via LinkedIn Learning) [Best Practical 3D Printing Course]
  2. 3D Printing Software (University of Illinois via Coursera) [Best Software 3D Printing Course]
  3. Designing for 3D Printing with Fusion 360 (via Udemy) [Best 3D Printing Design Course]
  4. The 3D Printing Revolution (Unvisity of Illinois via Coursera) [Best 3D Printing Survey Overview Course]
  5. Shapeways 3D Modeling [Best FREE 3D Printing Course]
Our Pick
Try Additive Manufacturing: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

I really love this course because it features bite sized increments, but is action packed with PRACTICAL techniques you can put to use right away. The best way to learn 3D printing is to do guided tinker sessions and this course provides a great foundation without overdoing the theoretical history.

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

Before we go into specific classes, let’s go through the types of 3D printing classes that are on offer. Knowing what each type of class covers, how it’s delivered, and what you’re expected to get out of it will help you find what you need with minimal issues.

It will stop you from getting frustrated while combing through all the possibilities because there are a lot and it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t know exactly which type of class you need or want, pick a free version of a type that looks interesting. If you don’t end up liking it, no big deal, you can always stop it whenever you want and move on without feeling obliged to finish because you paid for it.

Also, 3D printing courses are a little bit like recipes: they’re a lot easier to understand if you take an overview of the whole process before you start on the specific steps.

So, keep that in mind – courses that cost money won’t let you view all their content for free before buying, of course, but check out their outlines, presenters, and final projects before you decide to purchase. That will save you a lot more than cash if you are looking at something that doesn’t end up working for you.

best 3d printing courses

First, decide what you want to use this class (or classes) for. Is it for your enjoyment to experiment with a new hobby? Do you want a way to create your designs to sell professionally? Are you going to be teaching other people how to 3D print based on your own knowledge? Will you be using these instructions on one especially tricky project, or will you need to be able to refer to it for a variety of printings?

These answers are going to be crucial for your choosing process, so make sure your project parameters are defined before you search for a class.

Now it’s time to decide what kind of class will best suit your needs.

Here are your options:

Self-paced

These are the most common type of courses for people who are looking to explore 3D printing as a hobby. These are typically a series of instructional videos that break down the 3D printing process into steps, with each step being its own video.

They’re posted in an order that’s meant to progress on what you learn, but nothing is stopping you from going through them in whatever order suits you best. Some have quizzes and projects meant as progress checkpoints.

These are especially useful if you end up having to go through at non-regular intervals. Plus, you can always go back to previous lessons for a refresher and repeat them as many times as you want, which is great for beginners and people who learn best by repetition.

If you want to learn about 3D printing on your schedule and in your workspace, self-paced classes are awesome. You can find a lot for free on YouTube from people who started at your same skill level and are now further along so they know what questions you might have, but the helpfulness of these is as varied as the personality of the posters, so make sure you find someone you like and understand if you go this route.

3D Printing Course

Many learning sites also offer self-paced courses in 3D printing with more regulated teachers and curriculums. If you’ve ever gone to LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda) to learn another language, for instance, the same sort of structure and delivery applies to their 3D printing courses.

Learning sites almost always charge for the courses, but their costs are a lot lower than courses taught through universities or colleges, so if you’re looking for flexibility with just the smallest bit of structure, they may be worth it.

  • Top pick: We briefly mentioned LinkedIn Learning in the previous paragraph, but it can’t be said enough how awesome their whole catalog of courses is. The selection for 3D printing is wide enough to cover any skill level, and you’ll get the same expertly measured pace as you do for everything else on the site. You don’t pay per course, but rather subscribe to the site for $25 – $37.50 per month. That includes all the courses you can take, and oftentimes, public libraries have a deal where you can join the site for free with your library card. Either way, Lynda gives you a free trial month, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
  • Honorable mentions: Shapeways Beginner 3D Modeling for 3D Printing. It’s free, on demand, and covers a variety of programs used across the 3D printing world. Plus you know Shapeways knows what it’s doing since it’s been in the 3D printing game since 2007.
Our Pick
Try Additive Manufacturing: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

I really love this course because it features bite sized increments, but is action packed with PRACTICAL techniques you can put to use right away. The best way to learn 3D printing is to do guided tinker sessions and this course provides a great foundation without overdoing the theoretical history.

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

Massive Open Online 3D Printing Courses

Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are gaining immense popularity as Ivy-league colleges and universities are harnessing the internet to reach anyone who wants to learn from their top experts without the expense or inconvenience of attending the actual institutions. It’s a great way to get a thorough education in a specialized subject without going through a whole degree course.

Massive Open Online Courses

MOOCs are college courses that are offered online. They’re structured like traditional classes, with scheduled lectures, coursework to turn in on deadlines, final exams or projects, all that fun stuff.

Except you access everything through a specific class login on the web that lets you take the course from anywhere as a non-degree student. You can learn about 3D printing in your pajamas on the opposite coast as your lecturer and without the pressure of your future career relying on how well you do – but keep in mind, these are still classes.

The Massive Open Online Courses much more structured than self-paced ones in that they don’t let you set your own schedule, and a lot of them require you to turn in your progress work to a third party for judgment. If you can’t rely on your own internal motivation to carry you through a full 3D printing learning experience, a MOOC may be a great option. You’ll also have the advantage of choosing seasoned experts who have impeccable credentials and formal teaching experience to boot.

MOOCs can vary widely in their pricing structure, with some being offered freely by their college and some costing as much as a full course would so make sure you know your budget as well as your ability to commit to a whole semester-like schedule before you pay for any.

  • Top pick: Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies. It’s an online course that will let you earn continuing education credentials as well as take you on a thorough guide of 3D printing, and its cost of $195 will save you plenty of money to spend on some sweet hardware.
  • Honorable mention: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, through Coursera, has a series of 3D printing courses that encompass a multilevel viewing of the process that gives you a great broader context of 3D printing’s history and applications. You also get discounts on software through the course, so if you’re worried about not being able to afford to follow along, you should check this one out.

Accredited 3D Printing Programs

Accredited 3d printing courses

Close on the heels of MOOCs are full, degree-granting accredited college programs that let you get a BS or higher in 3D printing. Since 3D printing is typically part of an engineering program, be ready for some intense math and physics – if you don’t enjoy or aren’t good at both of those subjects, you should choose a lower stakes way to learn about 3D printing.

But if you want to make 3D printing your livelihood, programs are popping up in many accredited colleges and universities that you can go through to become a true expert with the piece of paper to prove it (and job search support that many institutes of higher learning give their students).

  • Top pick: Penn State. Its Masters of Engineering in Additive Manufacturing and Design concentrates on how 3D printing is changing manufactory industries like aerospace and medical technology. A degree from Penn State is a major endorsement of your skills, so this program will take you far into the future of working with 3D printing.
  • Honorable mention: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the premier engineering school in the United States, has its own 3D printing course. It’s not a full degree program, but it’s a five-day crash course in everything 3D from MIT, so you’ll definitely learn a whole lot.

3D Printing Continuous Education

continuous 3d printing courses

A sort of hybrid that combines the open access of MOOCs with the hands-on learning style of accredited courses, continuous education courses are often a happy medium for 3D printer users who learn best in person.

These are courses that are taught at local education centers, community colleges, or public libraries, which also makes them great for people who can’t afford or access their own 3D printing equipment. You go in person to a single program or series of them and listen to the instructor, then watch and participate in demonstrations of the techniques you heard.

Often you’ll get to take away a 3D printing souvenir that you’ve made yourself with your new skills. Like MOOCs, the price range of continuous education courses vary; for these, it usually depends on where the course is given.

If it’s through your local library, recreational center, or other public places that offer educational programming for free or with a small general membership fee, it will probably be free, with the institution absorbing the fee for the materials. If you take a continuous education course through your local community college, they may charge you as they do for fully enrolled students, albeit only for the single class.

  • Top pick: You should definitely check out your local offerings, but, New York University’s 3D Printing and Fabrication is top notch if you’re able to get there in person and pay the $810 course charge. You’ll get hands-on access to 3D printers from the LaGuardia Studio for practice, not to mention continuous education credits from an Ivy League school.
  • Honorable mention: Another good one is Blue Ridge Community College’s 3D printing group of courses. You can choose either their live or online sessions (they’re based in Weyers Cave, Virginia), and the tuition per course is considerably less than a four-year college. Blue Ridge Community College also offers related courses on Adobe and other design programs that are useful additions to your 3D printing knowledge.

Product Based 3D Printing Courses

Product-based 3d printing course

Related to self-paced courses, almost every 3D printing product you buy will have some sort of instructions or tutorials to help you figure out what to do with them. And a good chunk of them will show you multi-step courses on how to do general 3D printing processes.

Granted, these are basically ads for all that company’s products, but they are also super useful if you’re looking for courses that take into account the specific quirks and best practices of the equipment you bought (or are thinking about buying).

fThey also have the advantage of going through professional lighting and filming – from a marketing standpoint, it’s because they want to show off the goods as nicely as possible, but that also helps you the learner see the processes more clearly than an independent YouTuber may be able to provide.

Of course, beware of any part of the course that seems too good to be true from either your personal experience with the products or your general knowledge of 3D printing or engineering. Your research and purchase experiences, along with thorough review reading, should give you a sense of whether something is too good to be true.

  • Top pick: Leapfrog 3D. As a fast-growing 3D printer company, Leapfrog has been running laps around other manufacturers with its integrated educational offerings. It has a wide range of 3D printing instructions for all levels and types of education, from classroom-guided courses for teachers to individual instructional videos meant to clear up specific issues you might have as a solo printer. It’s a great range, and you can check them out before you buy anything from them, which makes it a great way to decide if their products are for you before spending a dime. 
  • Honorable mention: Printrbot. Starting at its founding in 2014, Printrbot has been crowdsourcing 3D printing information for its course offerings, which creates a huge variety of educational material that’s both open access and hardware neutral.

Whether you’re teaching yourself how to design your first figurine, or gearing up to teach a class yourself, now you’re ready to take on anything you want to 3D print. Enjoy!

Our Pick
Try Additive Manufacturing: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

I really love this course because it features bite sized increments, but is action packed with PRACTICAL techniques you can put to use right away. The best way to learn 3D printing is to do guided tinker sessions and this course provides a great foundation without overdoing the theoretical history.

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

Further Research on 3D Printing

TEVO Tornado Review [2020] All You Need To Know

Personal 3D printing is getting big in more than one way. The evolution of hardware is catching up to the needs of large build volume printing, starting with the physical size of the printing area and progressing to lower price range per square inch so that more enthusiasts can experiment with designs they would otherwise either have to pass up or print in separate pieces.

TEVO, a 3D printer company from China that gave us a lackluster printer build kit with its Tevo Tarantula model, enters this ring with its new Tornado, a large-scale printer that comes almost entirely assembled and still fits on a user’s home desk.

Its bed heated through AC and its Titan extruder (also made by TEVO), makes it stand out in the affordable 3D printing pack; and TEVO improves on its build it yourself origins by shipping this one out 95% assembled, bypassing a lot of the complaints about confusing instructions and thus improving on itself already. But is it worth it as part of the general 3D printing market? Let’s find out!

TEVO Tornado Printer Kit Overview

The Tornado Printer Kitwas introduced in 201f7 and is still technically sold as a kit, as are all of TEVO’s printers. TEVO itself was established in 2015 and has earned three international certifications: CE, which certifies it’s up to safety standards in the single market in the European Economic Area; FCC, which means it means safety standards in the United States; and ROHS.

This also means that the 3D printed parts are calibrated to hold up to but not beyond the specified maximum levels at which it’s safe to use them. This results in TEVO being able to ship to multiple areas in Europe and the United States, as well as elsewhere around the world, so wherever you happen to live, chances are you’ll have the chance to try this company if you want.

Their other products include printer kits for half a dozen models, spare parts, and a variety of filaments, so they’re striving to become your one spot for all your budget 3D printing needs. But you can also purchase a Tornado on Amazon, Banggood, or GearBeast. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.

Features

The Tevo Tornado 3D Printer has striking coloring, the bright green frame elements and red printer bed stickers combining for a Christmasy look. (Plan on replacing these stickers after a few paintings; they tended to bubble up on previous models so it’s a good plan to keep a stash of your own just in case).

It’s also got aluminum extrusions. Its frame style takes its inspiration from Creality CR 10, but the Titan extruder is all TEVO’s own design. The Tevo Titan extruder is mounted to the left of the X-axis rail when you look at it straight on, and it pushes filament through a PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) tube into the hot end.

One excellent design point is the lead screw, which is fixed at both ends and is great for stability. This is especially useful for prints that take up the whole 400 mm height of the printing area. The X and Y axes could benefit from fixed adjustment knobs, but it’s easy enough to adjust both of them by loosening nuts and pulling it taut before tightening again.

There are two major areas that need improvement. First, the control box is not part of the printer frame itself but is its own separate box attached to the frame with a cord.

The cord is short enough that the control box has to stay close enough to potentially get knocked over or interfere with the extruder during a print that takes the nozzle outside of the printer bed.

This poses a threat from cables potentially getting caught on the edge of the printer bed frame, and it can also limit the number of extras you would be able to confidentially fit onto the Tornado 3D Printer, which limits its potential to grow with your 3D printing skills.

The not so good

Another issue is a major potential safety hazard. The AC powered heating bed is great for getting the printing bed to its optimal heating temperature fast. But, this also means that you’re going to essentially have an open hot plate that you will have to be extremely careful about while using the other parts of the printer.

The wiring for the Tevo Tornado 3D Printer’s power supply is attached directly to the bed via soldering, which means there’s a chance that the live cables could work free from agitation from some part of the printer’s work and shock you through the frame because there’s no apparent grounding of these cables.

Also, the insulation on these cables is a thin single layer that can be easily slit from, for example, an attempt to scrape a print off the bed. There’s not any stress relief for the unsupported mains-carrying cables into the bed.

They are soldered into place, but the hours of continuous zagging motions that are the hallmark of 3D printing could easily knock them askew into hazardous positions. There aren’t any given strain reliefs for the cables in the original kit, either, so it’s a good idea to get paranoid and make some for yourself before you start any serious printing projects.

Specifications

Company TEVO
Price $358
Type 95% assembled kit
Weight 14 kg
Overall printer dimensions 560 mm x 600 mm x 620 mm
Print bed size 300 mm x 300 mm x 400 mm
Maximum print area 300 mm x 300 mm x 400 mm
Maximum print speed 150 mm/sec
Layer resolution 50 microns (0.05 mm)
Filament diameter 1.75 mm
Filament types PLA, ABS, PETG, wood, PVA, flexible filament
Positioning accuracy 0.004mm Z-axis, 0.012 X/Y axes
Nozzle diameter 0.4 mm
Maximum extruder temperature 260 degrees Celsius
Heating plate temperature 60 – 110 degrees Celsius
Power requirements 220V, 250W, 50Hz, 0.89A
Connection TF card or USB
File formats STL file, G-code
Compatibility Windows, Linux, Mac

The Kit

Once you decide where to order your printer from, it comes in a box thoroughly padded with foam and filled with bags of labeled screws, including extras, which comes in handy to keep around in case anything comes loose or out of true later on in your usage.

As mentioned, it’s not in nearly as many pieces as your usual 3D printing kit. But it’s not all the way constructed; you do have to put together the combined Z and X axes, the printer bed, and the control box.

You’ll also get a scraper to help you take the prints off the bed, which is a basic flat spatula-like blade with a wooden handle, an SD card with test designs, and all the necessary power cords.

It’s got the TEVO logo printed all over the pieces; make sure those are in good condition, which is how you’ll know you’ve gotten a new kit and not one that may have been refurbished and sold to you without your prior knowledge. Refurbished hardware is a great money saver if you know that’s what you’re buying, but look out for companies trying to pass off those as new.

One important area where TEVO has majorly stepped up its game is the assembly instructions. As mentioned in our Tevo Tarantula review, the kit that required more assembly had instructions that could frustrate even the most seasoned engineer, much less the hobbyists TEVO’s printers are aimed at.

But, the Tornado’s booklet has clearly printed and labeled photos as well as a logical flow to its directions. However, two things came to mind while using these: first, there isn’t a step that explicitly tells you how to attach the heated bed to the Y-axis carriage.

This will be fairly obvious for those who have worked with 3D printers before and are familiar with their general construct, but if this is your first kit, make sure you find out how to make that last attachment correctly before you proceed. Unfortunately, the Tornado 3D Printer instructions won’t be much help for that.

Secondly, you do have to remember that this kit has a lot fewer parts to deal with than the full build kit of the Tarantula, so the instructions may not actually be improved but just simpler.

No specific software comes bundled with the printer, which means you can take your pick on what you use, but it also means you’ll have to either already have a drafting program or get one separately before you use the Tornado.

But if this is your first 3D printer, there are a lot of free software options online, all of which the Tornado instructions packet tells you about. If this is another step further into your 3D printing journey, you’ll more than likely already have a preferred program that will gel with the Tornado’s system.

If you’re looking for an idea, Simplify3D has a settings profile set up for the Tornado, as does Cura. Both of these can be found with some easy Googling.

The Assembly

You won’t get a feel of how 3D printers are assembled if you buy the Tornado, but you do get an easy assembly. The tall standing part of the frame that also contains the X-axis rail, carriage, hot end, and belt and the Tevo Titan extruder goes together with the AC heating bed with its cabling.

Then you put together the base unit with its Y-axis and carriage, stepper motor, and belt with its control and power unit. It only sounds complicated because there are a lot of parts, but for the most part, they are already attached where they need to be and you’re just putting the large chunks together.

However, the process will not be completely painless. One thing that seems like it would be useful is the labeled packages of screws and attachment paraphernalia. But that gets frustrating when you realize that nothing corresponds to these labels, either on the printer itself or in the instructions, so it will take you extra time and frustration to figure out what is supposed to be used where.

Also, several of the cables are too short to comfortably reach their plugs, which while technically letting you get everything together have the real potential to become a problem sooner rather than later when you start printing in earnest.

There’s a simple solution to this, however – cut the spiral coverings of the cables, and they can reach what they need to with some safe give. The coverings, which look like landline phone cords, don’t seem to serve the purpose they’re meant to, so don’t worry about pulling them apart for a better build.

The Printing Process

The Tornado boots up well with a manual bed level, although if you power it down between leveling and printing you may come across a bug that wipes out your control box settings. That’s something TEVO has an address with a workaround that lets you connect your printer to your computer to wake it back up. This is a known firmware issue, so hopefully, there will be future updates that eliminate it.

Another issue that comes up in the middle of printing is not so easily fixed, mainly because the print itself does not give any indication of what’s actually wrong and merely stops printing in the middle of the design.

By methodically examining mechanical parts for connections that may have gotten loose and software error messages, we found an issue with the SD card that came with the printer kit.

Once we transferred the design to a USB drive and used that to feed the design to the Tornado, it printed the whole thing without a hitch, and with future projects that used a personal favorite brand of SD card instead of the provided one worked fine too.

And it came out fairly nicely, especially for a first print. There were a few strands across the bridgings, but they were small and insignificant enough to trim away without leaving any lasting impression on the final product.

But several oddly bulging areas warrant a closer inspection of the printer’s calibration methods, and the object showcases TEVO’s ongoing problem of “salmon skin” finish, which is a hallmark of a jerky printer head caused by the stepper motors that handle how that head moves.

You can fix that by purchasing new drivers or add smoothers between the board and steppers, but that may not be something you want to deal with.

Tevo Tornado Printing

Other designs that take advantage of the printer’s bigger size show the same tendencies, enough to warrant the fixes mentioned above or a separate finishing process that gets you the surface you want.

If you’re planning on mixing materials, printing something with a lot of sharp turns in the design, or needing to load more than one filament to finish it, the Tornado printer isn’t the best print quality you can get. However, if your designs are mostly smooth, one-filament wonders, you’ll get a good quality finished product.

Final Verdict

The Tornado is a definite improvement over previous TEVO kits in both assembly ease and final product quality. It is priced at about the point of a low-end fully-assembled machine and does have some print quality issues to overcome, but it may be worth it for you for the enlarged printing area alone. But if you’re not specifically looking for a bigger printer that is still affordable, you may want to look elsewhere.

FAQs About TEVO Tornado

What kind of materials I can use for printing with TEVO Tornado?

If you have bought the TEVO Tornado, good news for you, you can use plenty of different materials like PLA, wood, PVA, ABS, PETG and lots of different flexible filaments to create your desired object.

Which operation systems foes TEVO Tornado supports?

Unlike some other 3D Printers that only work with one system, the TEVO Tornado operates with Windows, Linux and Mac.

Can I purchase TEVO Tornado original filaments for printing?

No. Unfortunately, besides selling extra parts for the printer that make it faster at printing, the company does not sell filaments, but you can find compatible ones easily online.

Recommended Reads

The TEVO Tarantula Printer Kit – Is It The Best Bargain For The Price?

Deciding to buy a 3D printer kit instead of a fully assembled machine is a tricky proposition. They do bring the cost down to an attractive range for anyone who is looking to get into the hobby without fully committing their bank account to it. However, they come with a few catches. For instance, you don’t necessarily have to have mechanical experience in the real world but it does help. Either way, thorough and clear directions are crucial.

Another point to consider with kits is the quality of both the parts you receive and the finished products you end up with. If you’re comfortable around tools and making adjustments to pieces that won’t fit together, you might have a better time building your own printer so you can see how the whole thing works from the ground up. But not everybody’s idea of a good time is having to complete a project before they start working on what they wanted to original just to save money – we call this the “Ikea principle.” TEVO banks on you caring more about cost than convenience.

TEVO is a company based in the Guandong Province in South China and started the business in 2015. Their specialty is 3D printer kits that are designed to stay under a certain cost point so they’re more economically accessible for hobby users. A majority of their line comes in at under $200 per unit (not including taxes, or shipping and handling, which you should take into consideration, especially since kits come with helping tools that add to the weight of the package beyond the printer material itself). The Tarantula is one of the latest in this line, coming out in 2018, and below we are giving you all the details on how it handles.

Since this printer comes as a kit, we’ll be reviewing the building and printing experience as users who are moderately experienced in both. Your mileage may vary. Although with the Tarantula, you will not get very far without patience and time you may not have.

Features

First, we need to talk about what the kit is supposed to be. The 3D printer itself is designed as a basic Cartesian-style fused filament fabrication, which means it feeds a continuous filament of thermoplastic through a moving heated printer extruder head. It’s the way a lot of beginner printers are built and allows for an open surface area to print, although sometimes that’s at the expense of frame stability. This specific model has a single extruder, but the mainboard that houses the Bowden extruder leaves room for more, so if you feel like modding it out to double or triple extrusion, that’s theoretically possible.

These are all the features you find standard in beginner 3D printers, with a price significantly lower than its already-built peers; so far so good. But this falls apart, sometimes literally, when you get to the execution.

The print head moves on the X-axis with rail-mounted pulleys, as does its Y-axis. The Y-axis moves the printer bed, and the provided nuts allow for tightening if the bed gets loose. It also allows for the leveling you’ll have to do after pretty much every job – but more on that in the printing experience section. The Z-axis is fixed to the X-axis with a single lead screw for 3D movement. One thing to look out for is to that lead screw is positioned so the lead screw is in contact with essential wiring, which is a danger that may cause a major meltdown if you don’t keep a constant watch over it. The Z-axis extruder positioning also makes it top-heavy in an aluminum frame that’s already rickety even when you add modifications to strengthen it.

However, the aluminum frame does allow for easy additions of extra frame supports, modification accessories, and extra extruders. There’s a plethora of T-nuts left over from the original construction to attach these to your frame to boost it to something closer to your ideal. This does make the Tarantula a decent kit to learn how to modify; if you’re looking for that experience and already know the basics of how a 3D printer is supposed to go together, the price may make this worth it for you.

Specifications

Company TEVO
Price $179.00 Check the latest prices on Amazon.
Type Kit
Weight 7.5 kg
Overall printer dimensions 430 mm x 440 mm x 400 mm
Print bed size 200 mm x 200 mm x 200 mm
Maximum print area 200 mm x 280 mm x 200 mm
Maximum print speed 150 mm/sec
Layer resolution 50 microns (0.050 mm)
Filament diameter 1.75 mm
Filament types PLA, ABS, PETG, PVA, wood
Positioning accuracy 0.004 mm on Z axis, 0.012 mm on X/Y axes
Nozzle diameter 0.4 mm
Maximum extruder temperature 260 degrees Celsius
Heating plate temperature 60 – 120 degrees Celsius
Power requirements 220V, 250W, 50Hz, 0.89A
Connection TF card or USB
File formats STL, G-code
Main board MKS Gen L
Compatibility Windows, Linux, Mac

The Kit

When you open the box, you’re struck by the consistent branding across the packaging and pieces, which is impressive but is the only consistency you’ll experience in the process. Everything is packaged and labeled according to use. But, many users have complained that once you open the instruction booklet, what you read in there does not match exactly to what you’ll see on the labels of the parts.

A check of each bagged group of parts against the pictures in the assembly booklet is a necessary first step; this is a good idea anyway no matter what you’re building from a kit, but it’s especially needed for the Tarantula. It’s handy to create your own labels with what’s in the instructions, which seems like extra work now but will save you lots of time in the long run with this kit (trust us).

Within the kit, you get an aluminum frame that stays shaky and top-heavy because of the extruder placement, a heated printing bed that does not auto level (although that is an option with other TEVO kits, it’s not with this model), a single extruder, and multiple pins and screws to put everything together (be warned these may come loose mid-build as ours did). The tiny tools that come with it to help you complete the machine are not worth your time. Just like every cheap bookshelf you’ve brought home, the building process will transform these tools into something less than useless, so make sure you’ve got your own small screwdriver and other basics that you trust to get the job done.

There is no cooling fan, which is unusual for 3D printers of any type and not a good idea for material that heats up to the temperatures necessary to get even a basic level of quality in your finished project. It takes a lot of effort to pull finished objects off the printing bed, and the lack of any cooling method makes that almost impossible, not to mention the havoc it wrecks on the layer precision.

You do get a spare temperature probe and an 8 Gb SD card, both of which prove useful in making up for various levels of incompetence in the rest of the Tarantula’s design and build process.

The Assembly

The assembly instructions don’t get any better as you go along. The instructions often end without telling you how a certain piece fits into the printer as a whole. They tend to have you build the printer in clumps of parts that are put aside until you discover later they’re supposed to be enclosed in a section that you’ve already built; now you have to disassemble, find the step that tells you how to fit the clump of parts into the enclosed section, and finally find the step that tells you how to build the encasement. If that sentence is laborious to read, it’s even worse to act out.

And sometimes the diagrams contradict each other, which is a whole other level of a headache. The best solution to this is an internet search, which we realize is not that difficult. Especially with the Tarantula’s marketing as an entry-level printer at such a low price point, more than one engineering-savvy user has figured out the proper assembly and posted it for everyone to use freely. But the lack of correct instructions from the company itself is a representation of the slipshod way it treats this entire kit.

The Software

One feature of the Tarantula that actually keeps its promise of accessibility is its software capabilities. You can use whatever 3D modeling software you’re comfortable with here. You can adjust the details of your designs to your heart’s content. The provided SD card has more than enough memory for a big library of projects, and there’s also a USB connection if you want to print directly from your computer or external hard drive.

The Printing Process

We would like to be able to tell you that all the extra time and effort to get your Tarantula up and running is worth it once you start printing. Unfortunately, that’s not true.

A lot of the printing problems come from the printing bed itself. Its carriage is unstable enough to warrant a new leveling process after every print you make. This is mainly because you have to wrestle each project off the bed’s insanely grippy surface and, as we mentioned above, without a cooling fan to help anything solidify. If you’re fine waiting so long you might forget what else you want to print, you may be able to extract your print without damage, but that’s still going to knock your bed out of true and require another leveling.

The extra-grippy bed theoretically helps, but if you’re using filaments that need an exacting surface to get the first layer right, you are out of luck getting that to work without a LOT of trial and error. At least the print calibration process is fairly simple – you just need to adjust the thumb nuts on the four corners of the printing bed until you can comfortably slide a piece of paper underneath the nozzle with little resistance.

Another failing to look out for is the hot end temperature probe farting out on you after about twelve hours of printing. This takes away your ability to control the temperature optimal for whatever filament you’re using, and with such temperature issues on both ends of the printing process, this is a vital component to stay accurate and working. You do get a spare temperature probe in the kit, but there’s no evidence that the spare is any better than the original, so anything that involves heat level manipulation – aka the whole point of 3D printing – is a game of chance after a full day’s worth of work.

Trial runs of the straight-out-of-box assembly of the Tarantula did not go well without multiple adjustments to pretty much every physical aspect of the process. Even with constant vigilance, the prints come out average at best. And this assumes that you’ve managed to assemble everything perfectly – no knock on your building skills, just an uphill battle in general on this machine. You may not realize something went wonky until you try to use it and something jams or falls apart. The layer lines to display an ability to get to the detail level of the promised 50-micron layer height.

And if you’re really determined to work with the Tarantula, there’s a large, active membership online that shows you how to modify the basic kit so you can make it do at least an approximation of what you want. You can find plans for a cooling fan and a spool holder (both super helpful to the point of necessity in our experience), and you can find out the best assembly process that lets you throw out the confusing instructions.

TEVO Tarantula Final Verdict

In conclusion, the Tarantula is not an especially impressive unit. As a kit, its assembly instructions and additional parts leave a lot to be desired; the directions can be confusing for anyone but definitely for 3D printer users who are not used to assembling their units before use, and 3D printers as products need such specific parts that if one in the kit doesn’t work, it’s not easy to improvise without compromising your ultimate product’s quality. At this price point, TEVO is selling these printers as great for beginners, but the intricacy of assembling the kit may be frustrating enough to discourage casual users in another direction. Yet the results are not nearly enough to entice those who may have the assembling knowledge to get it built but are looking to get into a higher standard of 3D printing, so the audience for the Tarantula is unclear.

If you can get past the frustration of assembly, the Tarantula is merely serviceable when it comes time to actually printing anything in 3D. Because you assemble it yourself, it’s hard to build to professional quality unless you have professional tools, at which point your skill level is probably beyond what this printer can give you, making it not worth your time. Bottom line: you can do better, even at this low price.

Recommended Reads

Tronxy X3 3D Printer Review [2020]

Tronxy X3 3D Printer Review

In 3D printing, there are low-cost printers and then there is the Tronxy X3. It is inexpensive, open-frame, and fun to use. It is one of the largest printers you can get for the price, which makes it tough to beat.

The Tronxy X3 is another classic kit 3D printer, which comes fully unassembled. You can expect set up to take around 10 – 12 hours if all goes smoothly.

Of course, depending on your technical skills this can swing one way or other. If you are new to kit 3D printers be sure to use the internet for help when you get stuck. More than likely someone else has run into the same issue and many online communities are ready to help.

This is a printer where the grass is greener on the other side. Right out of the box, the Tronxy X3 is not as good as other top-rated 3D Printers. But with some minor adjustments and changes, it will be creating masterpieces for you. So be warned if you are new to 3D printing. You will learn a lot with building and calibrating this machine but with a little time and patience, you will be able to get it just right.

Once you have the Tronxy X3 built you will find it has a lot of awesome features. It creates a fairly high-quality print and is consistent with its quality. There is a large community online that is willing to help and provide tips and tricks. Overall, this 3D printer pleases most who use it. Let’s check out some of the finer details.

Cores Features of Tronxy X3 3D Printer

Is the Tronxy X3 Worth it?
$309.98

If you are comfortable with the DIY build, the Tronxy X3 is one of the MOST reliable kits on the market for 3D printing. Best of all, the print time estimator is ACTUALLY ACCURATE. Among the best values under $300.

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09/30/2020 01:11 am
  • All Metal Design: An aluminum frame give it an industrial polished look. All metal pulleys improve performance and allow the machine to operate smoothly. Stainless steel rods, gears, bearings, and connectors. All of this makes for a sturdy build and a 3D printer that looks and feels like it will stand the test of time. It seems to be a much sturdier machine than the similar Anet A8.
  • Compact Design: The total footprint for this machine is only 19.2″ x 12″ x 7.8″, and it weighs less than 20 lbs. The lightweight and aluminum design make this 3D printer easy to move between workspaces. Whether it’s a new spot in the office or bedroom, you can rest assured the printer will move easily and stay intact when you pick it up all without taking up much space in your area.
  • Large Print Bed: A fairly large print bed is a big draw for many people to this printer. It allows you to create most objects that you would want to print on a desktop machine. You can create multiple small pieces in batches or a large functional prototype. As mentioned previously, this is one of the larger build volumes you will find at this price point.
  • LCD Screen: Makes printing off an SD Card a breeze as all print functionality can be configured through the screen. You can easily adjust settings and manage your printer without the need of an external computer.

Key Specifications

Here are the key specs of the Tronxy X3 3D printer:

Build Area 8.7″ x 8.7″ x 11.8″
Print Speed 150 mm/s
Filament Types ABS, PLA, Wood, Nylon, PVA, HIPS and more
Layer Resolution 50 – 100 microns
Extruders 1
Nozzle Diameter 0.4 mm
Open/Closed System Open
Warranty None
Our Score 8.3/10
Price Check here for Latest

Pros of the Tronxy X3

Here are some of the aspects I really enjoy about the Tronxy X3.

  • Supports multiple filament types: All metal, hot-end temperature: 170-275 C, Heated aluminum bed only thing missing is an enclosure, which can be easily purchased or printed.
    Upgrades: as most popular 3D kit printers, the X3 has a large following online. You are able to find many tips and upgrades from people with the same printer. One that seems to be a fan favorite is printing legs for the 3D printer to rest on. This frees up space under the printer. You can store the electronic housing box or even extra filament spools under your 3D printer and not use any more desk space.
  • Price: You will find the Tronxy X3 3D Printerfor right around $250 with that pricing varying depending on where you are purchasing the 3D printer from. It is currently listed on Amazon for $255 and can be found around that price on most other sites. Always be sure to make sure you are purchasing from a reputable seller to ensure better service and products. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.
  • Auto-leveling bed: While this does take a minor upgrade it is worth the cheap buck to improve your 3D printer. The auto-leveling feature makes it so you no longer need to fiddle with tiny screws between prints trying to get the bed perfect. Let a couple of sensors do the work for you.

Cons of the Tronxy X3

We don’t love it all, so here are the things that get to users of the Tronxy X3 the most.

  • Timely setup: Takes time to properly calibrate – As you should expect from budget 3D printers, they are not perfect. One of the most reported flaws is the time to get the machine fully dialed in. Due to the bed having a bad wobble you will need to spend some extra time getting it properly calibrated. Of course, the plus side to this is a few cheap improvements will drastically improve the performance of the machine and stabilize the bed. Many of these improvements can be printed from your machine and models can be found online.
  • Limited connectivity options: Unfortunately, the TronxyX3 does not support WiFi connectivity. You are restricted to using a usb cable to connect it to an external machine or an SD card with your models preloaded onto it. This isn’t the end of the world it just limits some of your capabilities. You will need to be with, or close to, your 3D printer in order to begin printing and monitoring the process.

Final Take – A Decent 3D printer for a Specific Group of Users

The printer is by no means perfect. But with a little bit of work, you can take this from a so-so 3D printer to an awesome 3D printer. Which is why this is a great 3D printer for hobbyist and those that want to customize and mess around with the inner workings of their machine.

This is why the Tronxy X3 is a fairly popular desktop 3D printer. Most users are the creative hobbyist types and enjoy and hands-on task. If you fit into that category then this could be a great option for you.

However, this 3D printer is not meant for everyone. Many novice users and those wanting to use the Tronxy X3 for educational purposes are better off looking at pre-assembled 3D printers. If you are looking for an easy to use, plug and play type printer then you will need to be willing to spend a little more and look elsewhere.

Is the Tronxy X3 Worth it?
$309.98

If you are comfortable with the DIY build, the Tronxy X3 is one of the MOST reliable kits on the market for 3D printing. Best of all, the print time estimator is ACTUALLY ACCURATE. Among the best values under $300.

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09/30/2020 01:11 am

Further Read

The Best Dremel 3D Printer Models to Consider

Best known for rotary and saw tools for DIY hobbyists, Dremel knows what it takes to create a quality product. They first introduced the high-speed rotary tool back in 1934. This was the birth of a company set out on a mission to help Makers create with their hands and machines.

The Dremel company continues the same mission today. Dremel wants to take their creativity that led to the do-it-all homeowner tools and apply that to the 3D printing industry. Their current offerings seem to have them on the right path.

How has Dremel impacted 3D printing?

Dremel offers a variety of high-quality 3D printers. Their products range from entry-level pricing and features, up to industrial-grade, top-of-the-line 3D printers. They offer a little something for everyone from the at-home users to educational and instructional products. Dremel wants to make a splash in all aspects of 3D printing.

Dremel wants to help everyone get started with their machines. They have a large Thingiverse page, which includes a variety of models for all users to print. From novice printers to the advanced, there a lot of great models that are sure to teach you a thing or two while printing them. As well, they have generated multiple teaching plans anyone can use to guide them through 3D printing and take their understanding of the machine to a new level.

The company is known for ready-to-use 3D printers as soon as you take it out of the box. All of the Dremel models require minimal setup, which means more time printing. And you can rest assured you are getting a high-quality printer. The Dremel 3D printers are often praised for their precision and accuracy. The final prints compete with many of the most popular brands on the market.

Now that we know a little more about the company, let’s dive into the 3D printers themselves.

Dremel Digilab 3D20 3D Printer

Like the other printers in this line-up, the Dremel 3D20 3D Printeris very user-friendly and ready to start printing pretty much right out of the box. The touchscreen guides you through the startup process. It will show you how to level the bed, load the filament, and let your imagination run wild.

This 3D printer is clearly geared towards the novice user. It is very simple to use and is a great starting point for beginners. Some of the larger models allow more customization than the 3D20.

The 3D20 is designed for Dremel’s small, and extremely expensive filament. This is a big downfall for all of their 3D printers. Some users have reported using their own filament without issues. Check out our full 3D20 Review Here.

So, you may be able to get around this glaring issue. Just remember not all other brands will fit the machine. You will need to do some research to find the one that fits and is best for your needs.

While the build area is decent for the size of the printer at 9” x 5.9” x 5.5”, the bed is not heated. This also limits the type of filament you can use with the machine. As well, the plastic build of the machine, while looks nice, is not the best.

It certainly doesn’t help keep operating noise levels down. Nor is it the sturdiest build. But, as long as you’re not trying to sleep, this shouldn’t be an issue. The 3D20 is limited but effective and gets the job done for beginner 3D printers.

The Dremel 3D20 3D Printer is $599.00. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.

Dremel Digilab 3D40 3D Printer

Moderately priced at $1,299, the 3D40 is priced in the middle of the market, but the performance is leaning towards the high end of the industry. But costs will quickly add up as you are stuck using only Dremel PLA filament. As mentioned previously, the Dremel filament is quite pricey and sold on smaller spools than most other brands. The filament is offered in 10 different colors. But this lack of customization limits the 3D printer capabilities.

The Dremel Digilab 3D40 3D Printer rocks the classic Dremel Silver and Blue colorings with a fully enclosed print area.

The clear sections of the front and top of the printer make it easy to monitor your prints. The enclosure makes a great print environment as it traps the heat. Although, this isn’t necessary when using PLA. As well, we see the same issues as the 3D20 with the 3D40 using the all plastic frame design.

A simple LCD touchscreen display is located on the front. It is easy to use, and the icons help guide you through the screen in no time to get your printer dialed in. The screen and printer as a whole are functional and straightforward.

A removable glass bed makes for a sturdy build platform. But this has its difficulties trying to remove the bed and put it back in place.

Dremel Cloud Print system is a great feature for this 3D printer. All you need is a free account, and then you can upload an STL or OBJ file to prepare for your printer. The web-based software lets you control most aspects and settings. You can adjust infill, supports, and even preview the print. Once you’re ready, you simply shoot the prepared file to a connected printer, wirelessly, and begin the process.

While the 3D40 is a great 3D printer, it will cost you extra to pay for the pricey PLA filament. The lack of ability to use more than just PLA limits the users and their creativity. But if you don’t mind the limitations, you will be extremely impressed with the quality and precision of prints from the 3D40.

On Amazon, the Dremel Digilab 3D40 3D Printer is listed for $1.599. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.

Dremel Digilab 3D45 3D Printer

Dremel makes a big leap forward. The 3D45 3D Printer has everything we loved about the other Dremel models and everything we wish the others had as well. Released in 2018, Dremel made the 3D45 to compete with some of the best 3D printers around.

This is the 3D printer, as Dremel claims, “made by professionals for professionals.” It is an absolute high performing work-horse. The 3D45 can be yours for a price of $1,799. The overall footprint of the 3D45 is 15.9″ x 20.2″ x 16″, just small enough to easily fit in your workspace or office. And it provides enough space for a 6.7″ x 10″ x 6″ build volume. Not the biggest, but the build volume is comparable to some of its closest competitors.

The 3D printer features an upgrade Dremel look with a fully enclosed system. But the 3D45 has a darker, futuristic color-scheme with larger clear sections to view the printing process and easily remove and replace the print bed. It is a very clean design. The 3D45 has a larger LCD screen, 5 inches, compared to other Dremel models.

While you are still mostly limited to a Dremel-only filament, you have more choices. Dremel offers over 11 PLA colors, an eco-ABS, and nylon filaments. Still very pricey compared to other filaments, but we at least get more options than just PLA with the 3D45.

While it is possible to use third-party filaments, it is not the easiest.  The downfall is the machine will not automatically detect the filament type, which means you need to adjust the temperature settings. As well, the most third-party filament will not fit on the built-in spool holder, and you will need another method of feeding the filament into the machine. However, you can easily build one with your 3D printer.

This is easily the most impressive 3D printer from Dremel. The print quality and reliability are as impressive as always. It features multiple connectivity options, larger build area, and touch screen, more filament options, and is really just a high-quality 3D printer.

On Amazon, the Dremel 3D45 3D Printer is listed for $1.799. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

Dremel certainly knows who they want to target with their 3D printers. The machines are fantastic 3D printers regarding print quality, ease of use, and overall reliability. However, they all seem a little overpriced for what you are truly getting.

The limited filament choice and no heated beds on any of the machines are major downfalls in my book. If you’re able to look past these flaws, any Dremel 3D printer may be a great choice for you.

Recommended Reads

3D Printing for Jewelry: How It Works? The Best Printers For The Job

3D Printing for Jewelry

One of the most exciting aspects of 3D printing is how technology can impact so many other industries. We have already seen the impact it will have on construction, toys, and manufacturing. Another industry that will be changed is jewelry. While it may still have a ways to go before it can compete with the likes of gold, silver, diamonds, and other precious gems, 3D printing is already moving into the jewelry business.

How does it work?

Now I am sure you all are thinking, just as we once were, how the heck does a 3D printer create jewelry? Well, there are more ways than one. Not all ways are the printers themselves creating the finished product. For example, Lost-wax printing and casting utilizes the printer to create a mold for metal casting. But other technology, such as selective laser melting (SLM), allows you to 3D print with metals.

Lost-wax casting can be seen as an indirect method of 3D printing jewelry. The final product was not actually 3D printed, but the process of creating the model and finished piece involved 3D printing. The process is a great blend of new and old technologies, 3D printing, and metal casting.

lost wax 3d printing jewelry

It starts with the design of your 3D model just as any other 3D printed object starts. Once you have your file ready, the next step is to 3D print the object with wax. A wax-like resin is used as a filament for this process. Next, you need to form the mold to cast the metal. You take one or multiple waxes 3D printed objects and cover them in a fine plaster. This plaster will solidify and become the mold, Now that you have the mold you need to get the wax out. To do this, you put the plaster containing the wax in a hot oven where the wax is heated and burned out of the mold entirely. What you’re left with is a solid, clean mold that is ready for casting your jewelry.

The main advantage of lost-wax casting is jewelry designers do not need all the tools. As long as they can create the 3D model, there are a ton of companies out there where they can have the model printed for them. This saves time and resources as they are out-sourcing part of the work.

The SLM process is quite different from start to finish. This process is a way to actually 3D print with metals. It is a special type of 3D printer that works similar to a desktop 3D printer in that it creates the object layer by layer. However, rather than plastic filaments we typically see, SLM 3D printers use a powered metal filament that is melted by a laser. Once melted it is pushed through the extruder to begin constructing the object.

As you can imagine, this technology is becoming very popular since you can create a lot more objects than just plastic structures. As well it is becoming cheaper as people are discovering ways to improve technology. The SLM process is ideal for custom, one-off jewelry projects that are unlike any other.

Types of 3D printers to use for Jewelry

You don’t have to be a professional Jeweler to design and create jewelry with 3D printing. Anyone with wants to make jewelry, and of course, the right 3D printer can make jewelry too. Of course, which printer you need depends on what your end goal is.

For the at-home Jeweler or workshop users, quality is the name of the game. You need a 3D printer that is reliable and consistent so you know exactly what you’re going to get each time you use it. A printer with high resolutions, accuracy, and smooth surfaces will create the best jewelry. Two that we really like for this case is the Formlabs Form 2 and the Wanhao Duplicator 7 Plus.

The Formlabs Form 2 is an SLA 3D printer. It comes from Formlabs, which is one of the pioneers of 3D printing so you know you are getting an amazing machine. What makes the Form 2 so great is the consistency in quality. Time and time again the machine performs exactly as it did the print before. This allows you to know you are going to get the perfect piece you need, every time.

The Wanhao Duplicator 7 Plus is a budget-friendly option for those looking to get in 3D printing jewelry. Although it is budget friendly, it still creates pieces just like any top of the line printer would. It comes with all the bells and whistles you need, triple cooling fans, high-speed printing, and a large user-friendly touchscreen. It may not be as consistent as the Form 2, but for the price, it is tough to beat the Duplicator 7 Plus.

Plastic Filaments 3D Printers

Some users may not need a top of the line 3D printer and would prefer something that prints with plastic filament. The classic 3D printers we typically hear about fall into this category. With these, you will be printing in PLA, ABS, PETG, and the like. While they are not metals or metal composites, you can still create beautifully crafted and designed pieces of jewelry.

One thing you need to be on the look for is the ability to swap out nozzle size. While the industry standard 0.4 mm nozzle is great for most users, we need something a little more precise. A 3D printer that allows you to use a 0.2 or 0.25 mm will help you produce those very fine, intricate details you need for jewelry. Two great printers to consider are the Ultimaker 2 and the Prusa Mk2.

Both of these printers are considered absolute workhorses in their respective category. They create high quality, flawless pieces every time. They are highly regarded amongst the desktop 3D printing community. You can’t go wrong with either of these.

Mark Two Markforged

Another option for creating jewelry is using metal 3D printers. These machines take a composite metallic material and produce amazing pieces with very high tolerances and quality. They are still fairly new to the industry, but they are picking up steam as companies are advancing the technology. Two great options are the Markforged Mark 2 and DesktopMetal 3D Printer series.

These companies produce monsters of 3D printers. The Mark 2 is more desktop friendly due to its compact size. Desktop Metal, on the other hand, was backed by multiple major companies including Google and Ford. Given their backing, you can be assured they create a high-quality machine. These 3D printers use a composite filament to create metal pieces. If you want to create jewelry solely with a 3D printer, these are the machines you need.

Final Thoughts

As you can see 3D printing is beginning to make its moves into the jewelry industry. There are multiple ways to accomplish designing and making jewelry and multiple printers that can get the job done for you. Depending on what you want to do will determine which printer and which process is best for you.

Further Read

Best Dual Extruder 3D Printers [2020] Dual Extrusion Printers

Best Dual Extruder 3D Printers

Everyone knows two is better than one. The same can said for 3D printing when referring to the number of extruders on the machine.

It used to be that Dual extruders were a very rare sighting. However, as the 3D printing industry continues to grow, we are seeing more and more manufacturers release dual extruder models.

Dual extruders open a lot more opportunities that a single extruder printer doesn’t offer. It enables users to print twice as fast, work on multiple models at the same time, use different colors and materials. Some setups will even blend two filaments (multiple filaments) for you.

Just as other 3D printers go, there are a lot of dual extruder models available. It can make you go crazy trying to research them all and decipher the differences.

Lucky for you we have gone through the dual extruder 3D printers and broken down the highlights of some of the most popular models, some of our favorites, and some you may not have heard of before.

Hopefully, this list simplifies your life a little bit and come ultimately help you begin 3D printing with not one, but two extruders.

Our Picks for the Best Dual Extruder 3D Printers in 2020:

1. Best Dual Extruder 3D Printer: BCN3D Sigmax R19

Our Pick
BCN3D Sigmax R19

It's like watching a symphony. Completely open source and designed in an academic lab, the BCN3D is the BEST fully enclosed dual extruder printer for consistent, quality 3D prints. The touchscreen display and heated print bed is well worth the higher ending pricing.

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The first dual extruder 3d printer on our list is the BCN3D Sigmax. What makes this one unique is it was developed as a project at BarcelonaTech University in Spain. The company has continued to produce more models of 3D printers. The Sigmax is completely open source.

Every bit of the printer is available for free online if you are interested in learning about the nitty-gritty or if you’re interested in designing your own professional 3D printer and need some inspiration

The BCN3D Sigmax features an independent dual extruder setup with a much larger build area than smaller Sigma 3D printer from BCN3D. This model is a high-end printer that is ideal for professionals. The Sigmax packs a professional, sleek design with its partially enclosed metal frame, heated bed, and touchscreen display.

The two extruders are separated and move independently from each other. This system lets you 3D print two objects simultaneously. This can be two of the same objects or two different 3d object items.

Either way, it will increase your productivity and cut back your total build time. While it is pricey, if you can justify the cost or need a new tool in your office, this is a great choice.

Where to Buy the BCN3D Sigmax? Pick this one up at the dedicated MatterHackers page here.

Layer Resolution 50 microns
Build Area 16.5″ x 11.7″ 8.3″
Filament Dia. (Nozzle) 3 mm
Filament Type PLA filament, ABS, Nylon, TPU, and more
Connectivity USB, SD

2. CEL RoboxDual

A British company, CEL, is taking a stab at the 3D printing market with a futuristic line of 3D printers, the Robox series. Let’s take a look at the RoboxDual dual extruder printer model, which as you guessed is the dual extruder model.

The Robox 3D printer comes with several advanced features. The innovative extruders utilize an advanced filament system. This ensures the right amount of filament is fed through the hotend at the right speed. This ultimately reduces jams. As well, the valve system provides smoother cutoffs and less oozing of filament from the extruder.

Finally, the Robox has a filament detection system. In other words, the machine quickly identifies any filament that is loaded into the extruders and automatically adjusts the temperature settings to match the type of filament material.

A major limitation is due to the dual extruders. What does that mean?

Well, the Robox is not capable of printing multiple objects at once or even using two different filaments or colors. The second extruder is used exclusive for support and fill material on the models. Essentially these means better print quality vs faster print speed.

While this is not how we typically see two extruders used, it does mean much faster printing with the Robox. As well, the build area is rather small, which just about eliminates the possibility for any large prints. Either way, it is a great 3D printer if it fits your needs.

Where to Buy the CEL Robox Dual? The CEL RoboxDual 3d Printer is $1,399. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.

Layer Resolution 20 microns
Build Area 210 x 150 x 100 mm
Filament Dia. (Nozzle)  1.75 mm
Filament Type  ABS, PLA, HIPS, PETG, CO-PET
Connectivity  USB, SD Card

3. Flashforge Creator Pro

Here we have the dinosaur of 3D printers, Flashforge Creator Pro. One of the classic 3D printers as it is one of the most popular 3D printers every year and seems that it has been around since the beginning of time. But it is missing some of the high-end features we see in newer 3D printers.

Flashforge created a masterpiece with this dual extruder 3D printer that users absolutely love. It is a MakerBot Replicator clone and performs just as well in either a home use or industrial 3D printer setting. The online following is cult-like for the Creator Pro. The price is reasonable, and the printer comes ready to go once unboxed.

It is fully enclosed with the top and front panels being removable for easy access to finished prints. The software is somewhat limited, but the LCD screen makes operating the machine a breeze. A heated aluminum bed enables you to print with more filaments and handles ABS very well. The all-metal design makes it strong and sturdy throughout the printing process, which minimizes movement and minor misprints that some other machines experience.

If you ever run into any headaches just look towards the online community. There’s a great chance you’re not the first to encounter your problem, and everyone is willing to help out.

Where to Buy the Flashfroge Creator Pro? The Flashforge Creator Pro is $899. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.

Layer Resolution 100 microns
Build Area 8.9″ x 5.8″ x 5.9″
Filament Dia. (Nozzle) 1.75 mm
Filament Type PLA, ABS, PVA, Flexible, and more
Connectivity USB, SD

4. Qidi Tech X-Pro

The X-Pro is almost identical to the Flashforge Creator Pro as both machines are mirror images of a MakerBot dual extruder 3D printer machine. They are open source 3D printers, and it is common practice in the industry to base your model off a previously successful one. The metal and plastic frame allow the X-Pro to be sturdy while also save some manufacturing costs, which results in a cheaper price offered to consumers.

Ease of use is the name of the game with the X-Pro. The removable print bed makes getting to your objects as easy as can be. The touchscreen LCD display makes operations and setup faster than many knobs controlled LCD display. Overall, setup is very straightforward, and you can be printing in just a few minutes. A great little feature is the machine will pick up right where it left off if you ever experience a power outage will printing. This is another high quality, workhorse 3D printer that is based off some of the best and most reliable machines in the industry.

Where to Buy the Qidi Tech X-Pro? The Qidi Tech X-Pro is $699. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.

Layer Resolution 100 microns
Build Area 9.1″ x 5.9″ 5.9″
Filament Dia. 1.75 mm
Filament Type PLA, ABS
Connectivity WiFi, USB, SD

5. Raise3D Pro2

One of the newest 3D printers on this list, the Raise3D Pro2 was released in early 2018. The Pro2 is the successor series of the extremely popular and loved N2 series. Year after year we constantly saw the N2 3D printers at the top of every “Best of” lists. Now, the Raise3D hopes the Pro2 will do the same.

Right off the bat, the design of the Pro2 is stunning. It looks futuristic and professional, but not intimidating to a new user. The 7″ touch screen display makes using the printer easy and entertaining as you maneuver through the various menus and settings.

The Pro2 is designed for “functional manufacturing” or the ability to quickly and efficiently produced engineer-grade prototypes (rapid prototyping) and production parts. It has a large enough build volume to satisfy many of your design needs. Also, it can print very fine layers (layer thickness) to give you the best quality prints around. While it only has one print head, this contains two nozzles, which allows for very fast switching between each.

The Pro2 also comes with a built-in camera for print monitoring, a HEPA filter, and removable print bed all to benefit the user and make operating the 3D printer as easy as possible. This is one of the newest and surely one of the best 3D printers on the list.

Where to Buy the Raise3D Pro2? The Raise3D Pro2 typically retails between $4,000 – 5,000, but check this listing here at MatterHackers for the latest.

Layer Resolution 10 microns
Build Area 12″ x 12″ x 11.8″
Print Speed 150 mm/s
Filament Dia. 1.75 mm
Filament Type PLA. ABS, PP, HIPS, PETG, Glass, Metal, Wood
Connectivity Wi-Fi, USB, LAN

6. Raise3D Pro2 Plus

Of course, we couldn’t mention the Pro2 without mentioning the big brother, Pro2 Plus. Very similar to the smaller version, the Pro2 but bigger. Much bigger. This is one of the tallest available desktop 3D printers you can buy. It sits at the top of the large format 3D printers category and has an almost 2 foot tall build area for extra build volume.

You can easily create full scale prototypes or any large 3D model you have been waiting to bring to life with the Pro2 Plus dual extruder.

An enclosed body with a heated aluminum bed and high temperature dual extruder means you can use just about any type of filament you want with the Pro2 Plus. It is very similar to the Pro2 and has most of the same features as the smaller model. If you need to create large objects requiring extra build volume and want the best of the best, this is the 3D printer for you.

Where to Buy the Raise3D Pro2 Plus? The Raise3D Pro2 Plus is $5.999. Check out the latest prices on MatterHackers here.

Layer Resolution  10 microns
Build Area 12″ x 12″ x 23.8″
Print Speed  150 mm/s
Filament Dia.  1.75 mm
Filament Type  PLA. ABS, PP, HIPS, PETG, Glass, Metal, Wood
Connectivity  Wi-Fi, USB, LAN

7. Sindoh 3DWOX 2X

The second version of the 3DWOX from Sindoh is an under-the-radar gem of a 3D printer. The Sindoh 3DWOX 2X maintains the ease-of-use functionality as the previous version and improves from there. It features a removable build plate, which is held in place with magnets. This allows for a more stable surface for printing and easier leveling. As well the 2X version is equipped with an air filtration system, and of course the dual extruders.

A fully enclosed 3D printer not only maintains temperatures, but also vastly reduces the noise level while the printer is operating. What could be a forward-looking feature as voice controlled technology is rapidly increasing in popularity, the 3DWOX 2X talks to you.

While it can’t understand commands yet, it will give status updates and troubleshooting help through its voice. While this is just speculation, voice-controlled 3D printers may not be far off from commercial availability.

Where to Buy the Sindoh 3DWOX 2X? The Sindoh 3DWOX 2X is $3.499. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.

Layer Resolution  50 microns
Build Area 8.9″ x 7.9″ x 11.8″
Filament Dia.  1.75 mm
Filament Type PLA, ABS, PETG, PVA
Connectivity WiFi, USB

8. XYZprinting da Vinci 2.0 Duo

XYZprinting is spearheading the beginner and educational market with their 3D printers. The da Vinci 2.0 Duo is no different. It is a quality 3D printer with limited software. It’s print results are pretty impressive and it is an easy to use printer. It has a fully enclosed design, which reduces operating noise, makes the machine safer to use, and maintains a consistent print environment.

A significant limitation of this printer is it requires proprietary filament. This filament is typically more expensive than third-party filaments. Also, XYZprinting does not offer a wide range of colors or options for filaments.

Limitations aside, it is still a great 3D printer. It is a cheap option for a dual extruder 3D printer that is pretty much ready to print once you remove it from the packaging.

Where to Buy XYZprinting da Vinci 2.0 Duo? The da Vinci 2.0 Duo 3D Printer is $515. Check out the latest prices on BHP here.

Layer Resolution 100 microns
Build Area 5.9″ x 7.9″ x 7.9″
Filament Dia. 1.75 mm
Filament Type XYZprinting only
Connectivity USB

9. Maker Farm Pegasus 12″

The Maker Farm Pegasus is a kit 3D printer that is available in 3 different sizes with the 12″ model being the largest. Maker Farm is an American based company and offers all of their kit 3D printers with an aluminum frame and multiple hot end options. Kit 3D printers are a great option for those on a tight budget looking for a few extra features. But as implied, they are unassembled and will require some work after unboxing before the 3D printer is up and running.

The heated bed, hot end options, and open filament system mean this printer will use just about every type of filament to fit your needs. This one of the largest print beds you can get for under $800. It has an impressive print quality and can be used as a true workhorse 3D printer. It is very consistent and will produce the same results time and time again. While it is not the most user-friendly 3D printer, users with a little more experience in 3D printing should not have any issues.

The Maker Farm Pegasus is $797.50 Check out the latest prices on Amazon.

Layer Resolution 50 microns
Build Area 11.5″ x 12″ 13.5″
Filament Dia. 1.75 mm
Filament Type PLA, ABS, HIPS, NYLON, and more
Connectivity USB, SD

10. Leapfrog Creatr HS

 leapfrog creatr hs 3d printer

Leapfrog, a Dutch manufacturer that is well known for its educational toys and technology products is making a splash in the 3D printing industry. Their latest 3D printer, the Leapfrog Creatr HS, the successor to the very popular Leapfrog Creatr.

While very similar to the previous model the Creatr HS does excel in some areas where the previous model was lacking. It is still an all-metal build, but the Creatr HS comes with the dual extruders and a knob-controlled LCD screen.

The quality of prints (print quality) is just about the same, but this model prints much faster and can reach speeds up to 300 mm/s. This sure is a high-speed printer as the name suggests. A slightly larger print bed, which is heated, gives you a little more room to operate.

Some other features of the Creatr HS that has users excited about is it is completely prebuilt and ready to use right out of the box. Some users have gotten the machine up and printing within 30 minutes of unboxing. Just like many other Leapfrog products, the Creatr HS is a great educational 3D printer. Some home printers may look elsewhere, but if you want to bring a 3D printer into a classroom, this is a great option to consider.

Layer Resolution
Build Area 290 x 270 x 180 mm
Print Speed 300 mm/s
Filament Dia. 1.75 mm
Filament Type ABS, PLA, HIPS, PET, Nylon, and more

Final Thoughts on Dual Extrusion 3D Printers

That wraps us up for this. Dual extruder 3D printers are cutting-edge technology that really add a whole new layer to 3D printing. The ten printers listed above are all great machines that have received rave reviews from their users. You will not be disappointed picking any of them. So stop waiting, go get a dual extruder 3D printer and let your creativity flow.

Our Pick
BCN3D Sigmax R19

It's like watching a symphony. Completely open source and designed in an academic lab, the BCN3D is the BEST fully enclosed dual extruder printer for consistent, quality 3D prints. The touchscreen display and heated print bed is well worth the higher ending pricing.

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