The Anycubic Predator Review [2020]

Build volumes pretty much dictate how big a 3D model you can print with a 3D printer. Bigger build volumes mean that you can print objects that can cover a bigger area, or if you need to put it together into one bigger object, you’d need to have less moving parts.

What’s more, if you’re currently using a mini printer, having access to one that has a bigger build volume means that you can print your current models on a larger scale with more details.

Usually, when you see a 3D printer that has a large build volume, you assume that it’s expensive. Not the Anycubic Predator. This Delta-style printer has a sizable build volume and a frame that’s made with quality materials but with a price tag that you will certainly love.

What are the things that you should know about this 3D printer? Are there some downsides to owning an Anycubic Predator? Are there any alternatives that you can consider? Further, should you buy the Anycubic Predator? Read on and find out.

Anycubic Predator: What You Need to Know

anycubic predator

A do-it-yourself 3D printer kit, the Anycubic Predator is made with solid metal, making it very durable. The frame is also very stable so you don’t have to worry about the 3D printer shaking too much when in use.

The Anycubic Predator has a build volume of 14.6 by 14.6 by 17.9 inches (370 by 370 by 455 millimeters), which is larger than most 3D printers out there. It has a layer resolution of anywhere from 0.05 to 0.3 millimeters and positioning accuracy of 0.0125 millimeters on all three axes.

What’s more, it can use any PLA, ABS, HIPS, wood filled, or TPU filaments that have diameters of 0.4 to 1.75 millimeters. Print speed range from 20 to 150 mm per second (0.79 to 5.9 inches per second).

The Predator comes with an auto leveler that keeps track of 37 points. Plus it can do real-time adjustments, without you having to do anything. The nozzle height is also automatically adjusted in real-time. Other features of the Predator include:

  • Ultrabase Pro: The print bed, which can hold the models in place but still be easily removed. The bed is very durable.
  • Filament sensor: Can alert you when filaments run out or when they break.
  • Touch display: Operate your printer with ease with the full-color control panel with its intuitive user interface.
  • Resume: The printer can resume printing after it’s been interrupted by a power trip. You don’t have to worry about wasted prints that take a long time to finish.

What’s in the Box

The good news is that Anycubic has included everything you need to print and maintain your printer in the box, including the:

  • 10 screws
  • Card reader
  • Gloves
  • PLA filament
  • Plier
  • Scraper
  • SD card
  • Toolset
  • Tweezers
  • USB cables
  • User manual

That means that you can assemble your printer the moment it arrives, and then print your first model shortly thereafter.

What You Would Like About the Anycubic Predator

The Anycubic Predator is a well-built, sturdy, and stable 3D printer that feels rock solid. It does not rock when printing and the extrusions are quite uniform and work as they should. The hardware you see here is excellent, made with quality materials.

What Can Be Better

Some users complain about the Ultrabase Pro because the objects being printed don’t really adhere to the print bed. A good workaround is to use regular school glue before you print anything. You will also need to let the print bed cool off before you remove the print to avoid damaging it. You should not even try to remove it using the scraper that comes with the package.

What some people do not like is that the firmware is not open source. This means that you will not be able to tinker with it, or you might have a challenge doing so.

The biggest tradeoff, however, is the lack of support. If you need to buy parts for your Predator, you might find that the customer service is not that responsive. They do not provide shipping updates, tracking numbers, or general feedback for your purchase.

Also, this printer is huge at 22.8 by 20.5 by 40.2 inches (580 by 520 by 1,020 millimeters). You will really need to find a place for it on your worktable.

Anycubic Predator: The Bottom Line

The Anycubic Predator is an excellent printer with all the great technologies you will expect to find in a more expensive model. It’s also perfect for those who like to tinker with their 3D printers because you will need to assemble it and then twiddle with it to make it better. It uses sturdy and durable materials, offers a sizable print volume, and print quality is okay.

It is, however, bogged by the lack of customer service. That is, it’s a good printer until you need to have some parts replaced.

Anycubic Predator Alternatives & Competitors

If you’re looking for a budget 3D printer that doesn’t scrimp on the quality, the Anycubic Predator can be the right choice for you. But it’s not the only affordable printer out there that offers a huge build volume, excellent prints, and an attractively low price tag.

1. Geeetech A20M 3D Printer

Geeetech A20M 3D Printer

The Geeetech A20M 3D Printer is a 3D printer kit that has an aluminum alloy body and uses a Bowden extruder. Assembly is quite easy, especially if you have another person to help you.

Perhaps, the biggest feature that will intrigue you is the mix-color feature. The A20M has two slots for two different filaments, but it uses only one nozzle. This means that you can blend colors while printing.

You can easily achieve color gradation or having the spectrum effect, using the slow transition from one color to another. You can also have the printer print in the two colors without blending it, making it seem like you’ve changed the filament midway.

What You’d Like About the Geeetech A29M

If you assemble this 3D printer right, you will probably have no problems with it. It’s very stable, and the materials used are durable. It has a high-quality look that makes it more expensive than its price tag.

The color mix feature is a good addition as well. What’s more, the electronics are at the bottom, which makes the printer even more stable.

What Can Be Better

Some users might find it difficult to level the bed, as it can wobble too much if not installed properly. Also, the user interface is not that intuitive. For some reason, the company didn’t include a touch display, so you have to tweak the setting using a dial.

Having to turn the dial is a departure from the tap and click type of interaction that we’re all used to by now. Plus, it might not be easy to find the features that you need.

Geeetech A20M: The Bottom Line

Compared to Anycubic Predator, the Geeetech A20M has a smaller footprint at 17.4 by 17.6 by 18.9 inches (442 by 447 by 480 millimeters), still bigger than your regular desktop FDM printer. It also has a smaller build volume at 10 by 10 by 10 inches (255 millimeters all around).

However, it is also cheaper than the Predator and delivers pretty much similar print quality.

Barring some mechanical issues such as having loose or tight adjustments to the print bed, the Geeetech A20M is an affordable 3D printer kit that does a good job overall.

Pros

  • Sizable build volume
  • Print quality is fine and detailed
  • Can support two filaments with color mix features
  • Affordable

Cons

  • If not properly installed, the base can be wobbly

2. Artillery Sidewinder X1

artillery sidewinder

The Artillery Sidewinder X1 comes from a new company that started offering 3D printers in late 2018. That’s both a good and a bad thing. To be honest, the company’s first products received a lot of bad feedback. But the nice thing about Artillery is that they took these feedback and incorporated changes into their later products.

The Sidewinder X1 features some nifty features such as a silent set of fans and the equally noiseless motherboard. It also has a heated bed and a direct drive system. It boasts of a build volume that measures 11.8 by 11.8 by 15.7 inches (300 by 300 by 400 millimeters) on a body that measures 21.7 by 15.9 by 25.2 inches (550 by 405 by 640 millimeters).

The chassis is very sturdy and durable. And it looks great as well. One of the notable design differences that the Sidewinder X1 has is the use of ribbon cables. The ribbon cables reduce the cluttered look of loose cables used by similar printers.

The heated print bed is made with a porous ceramic that is covered by a glass protector. It only takes about 45 seconds to heat the bed to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celcius).

What You Would Like About the Artillery Sidewinder X1

The Artillery Sidewinder X1 is a budget printer that doesn’t look or work like one. It has quality materials that make up the sturdy frame and a fast-heating print bed.

What’s more, it features a direct drive setup that is rare if you consider its price range. The user interface is intuitive and the 3.5-inch (89 millimeters) touch display is easy to see. Installation and setup is a breeze and fast.

What You Might Not Like About the Artillery Sidewinder X1

One of the things that this 3D printer lacks is the sensors that will allow you to automatically level the bed. Instead, you have to do some manually leveling.

There are also concerns about the durability of some of the printer’s components. For instance, you might find that the ribbon cables can break over time. What’s more, the printer does wobble when you print something tall using certain filaments.

Should You Choose This Printer over the Anycubic Predator?

There are some things that the Sidewinder X1 has that you cannot find in other affordable Cartesian 3D printer. It’s refreshing to see a direct drive extruder as well as a directly heated print bed on a budget device. It has a sleek look and can work quietly, while also delivering a decent quality for your prints.

Compared to the Anycubic Predator, this printer has a smaller build volume. Plus, you will probably need to fiddle with the settings a bit to get the best quality prints out of this device. The Sidewinder X1 is also more affordable than the Predator.

Pros

  • Well-designed and sleek-looking
  • It heats up quickly allowing you to start printing in a matter of seconds
  • Silent worker
  • The helpful online user community

Cons

  • The filament holder needs to be replaced
  • Uneven heat

3. Qidi Tech X Plus

quidi tech

The Qidi Tech X Plus is yet one of those budget printers that aims to surprise you with quality prints. You can get layers that are as thin as 50 microns. you can also use a wide assortment of filaments.

The Qidi Tech X Plus has two extruders, filament compartments, and a double-sided bed. These accessories allow you to easily change out the various components so you can get the perfect prints depending on your preferred filament.

What’s more, it gives you several options on how to connect Wi-Fi, tethered and untethered USB, and Ethernet. The build volume for the Qidi Tech X Plus is the smallest out of this bunch, measuring only 7.9 by 7.9 by 10.6 inches (200.7 by 200.7 by 269.2 millimeters).

What You Would Like About the Qidi Tech X Plus

There are a lot of nifty features on this printer that you will like. There’s the two-extruder setup, where you can use the A Extruder for general printing materials such as TPU, ABS, or PLA. There’s also the B Extruder for special filaments such as carbon fiber, PC, and nylon.

The difference lies in the maximum temperature that each extruder can get. The A Extruder can get as hot as 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260 degrees Celsius) while the second extruder can get as hot as 572 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees Celsius)

It also has a dual-sided print bed that can handle different sets of materials as well. There are two filament holders as well.

Plus, unlike other printers in this roundup, the Qidi Tech X Plus arrives fully assembled, so you don’t have to worry about screwing things together and all that. It’s also fully enclosed, so noise levels are kept at a very quiet 40 decibels.

What You Might Not Like About the Qidi Tech X Plus

Qidi Tech has a language barrier problem in that they seem to be struggling to find English speakers and writers who can write their instructions pretty well. The instructions included in the package are confusing and some steps are missing, making it difficult to follow.

Even their customer service and website can be quite confusing. Thankfully, the QiDi Tech X Plus is easily assembled following what you can understand in the manual.

Also, some online tutorials and forums can help you figure things out if you’re stuck.

Qidi Tech X Plus: The Bottom Line

When it comes to budget printers, Qidi Tech X Plus shows you that you can save money and still expect quality prints. This 3D printer makes it easier for you to work with a wide variety of filaments without having to go through the trouble of manually changing out the print bed and extruders.

What’s more, there’s no assembly required, so you can start printing once you get it out of the box.

Pros

  • You can use a wide range of filaments
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Good quality prints

Cons

  • Badly written documentation and customer service representatives can use English lessons

FAQs

1. What is an extruder?

The extruder is one of the most important components of 3D printers. The extruder pushes the filament to the hot end where it is melted.

2. What is the difference between a direct extruder and a Bowden extruder?

A direct extruder is one that is attached to the hot end itself. It’s part of the print head and delivers the filament straight to the hot end.
Because the filament travels for a short distance, direct extruders have better extrusion and retraction and the filament is more responsive to it. It also doesn’t take too much power from the stepper motor. Further, direct extruders work with more filaments, even the abrasive and flexible ones.
A Bowden extruder, on the other hand, is not attached to the print head, but someplace else, usually the printer body. It uses a tube to deliver the filament to the hot end.
Because of this, the print head is much lighter, more accurate, and faster because it doesn’t carry the additional weight of the extruder. Products that use a Bowden extruder tend to have higher quality or faster prints.

3. Do you need an auto-leveling 3D printer?

Making sure that the print bed is level is one of the key considerations when you work with a 3D printer. You can do this manually, or you can rely on a printer’s automatic leveling capabilities to do the job for you.
Auto leveling uses sensors attached to the print head to check several points on the bed. It will then send this information to the printer’s computer so that it could adjust the nozzles as it works.
As such, it makes your life a whole lot easier, and your 3D printing jobs a whole lot faster. It’s also a must for beginners who may not have an idea on how to level the printing beds.

4. What are Delta and Cartesian 3D printers?

A Cartesian-style printer uses the Cartesian coordinate system. A Cartesian printer moves linearly on both X and Y axes. They can move:
– Up and down
– Front to back
– Left to right
Cartesian printers can have moving parts that are inordinately heavy and can shake your printer strongly enough to dislodge prints from the bed. It can sometimes lead to inaccurate prints.
It’s also close to impossible for Cartesian printers to change directions in an instant. However, Cartesian printers do shine with horizontal prints and are easier to understand. It’s also user friendly and cheaper than Delta printers in general.

Delta Printers

Delta printers, for its part, have three arms that can go from one point to another but also change the angles as it moves. Delta printers are much lighter than Cartesian mechanisms, which helps make it responsive to changes in angles and directions.

Delta printers use fewer parts, so there’s less chance that it will break down, but it takes up too much space as well. Delta printers are also more lightweight than a similar Cartesian printer and it’s very easy to upgrade or maintain. It also allows for fast and accurate printing.

Should You Buy the Anycubic Predator?

For its price, the Anycubic Predator is surprisingly an excellent printer that delivers finely detailed prints and has a huge build size. You can use this 3D printer for bigger models. It’s very stable and the construction is solid.

There are competitors for the Anycubic Predator, but it wins in one way or another that makes this printer very easy to recommend. For instance, the Sidewinder X1 can give the Predator a run for its money, but it doesn’t have automatic bed leveling.

The Qidi Tech X Plus is better suited for semi-professional print jobs, but it’s more expensive than the Predator and has a smaller build volume. Meanwhile, the Geeetech A20M has a more affordable price tag, but also a smaller build volume.

Further Reading on Anycubic 3D Printers & Competitors:

Our Best CoreXY 3D Printers [2021]

In this guide, we’ll show you the best CoreXY 3D printers on the market right now. Since 2013, CoreXY has been growing in popularity in the 3D printing market for a number of reasons.

As 3D printers vary quite considerably in price range, CoreXY generally isn’t that expensive. That being said, any upgrades and modifications that you need can add to the overall cost.

We’ll have a look at what a CoreXY designed 3D printer actually is, their pros and cons, and also what you need to consider when buying one. We’ll also show you the best CoreXy 3D printers that you can buy.

5 Best CoreXY 3D Printers

There are a lot of different 3D printers that are based on CoreXY available. We have whittled the list down to the 5 best CoreXY 3D printers.

1. Two Trees Sapphire Pro

twotrees sapphire pro

The Two Trees Sapphire Pro is one of the most popular CoreXY 3D printers and it has built up a solid reputation as high quality but an affordable 3D printer machine.

The Pro version isn’t going to break the bank while you can assembly this 3D printer in less than a couple of hours or so. It isn’t actually that hard to get it up and running but there are a few parts that need careful attention. There is a decent community built up around the Sapphire Pro as well so you’ll find various upgrades and mods for this printer.

Overall the Sapphire Pro from Two Tree’s is a well-built machine that features a dual-drive extruder nozzle and precision linear rails (linear rail modification).

Pros

  • Affordable CoreXY 3D printer that produces high-quality prints
  • Dual-drive extruder and precision linear rails
  • Easy setup and plenty of additional online resources beyond the instruction manual
  • Active community for support, modifications, and upgrades

Cons

  • Accessing the print bead could be easier
  • Can be a bit noisy
Top Pick
Why Go With Two Trees Saphire Pro?

Incredibly affordable (under $300), dual drive extruder, easy to set up and with an active community for support, mods and upgrades. Our top pick in this category!

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Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 235 x 235 x 235 mm
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Drive Mechanism: Bowden
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Connectivity: USB, TF-Card
  • Interface: Touchscreen

2. Creativity 3D Elf Printer

creativity corexy

The Creativeity 3D Elf Printer has a large build volume of 300 x 300 x 350mm and in terms of its costs, it is very competitively priced too.

This CoreXY 3D printer is also fairly quiet as well which is a bonus. In terms of actual operation, the touchscreen is handy and it is one of the easier 3D printers to get set up. Like all the CoreXY printers it does require some careful assembly.

It features power failure support so if you are in the middle of printing and suffer an unexpected outage, the printer can pick up where it left off. Overall this is a very good CoreXY 3D printer that certainly challenges some of the bigger names on the market.

Pros

  • Fairly easy to set up and can be assembled in around an hour
  • Large build volume which may be more suitable to our needs
  • Affordable CoreXY 3D printer
  • Doesn’t produce a lot of noise

Cons

  • Some reports of the bed leveling springs being too short
  • Support options aren’t as great as some other manufacturers
Runner Up
Creativity CoreXY 3D Printer
$479.99

Easy to set up, large build area, and quiet printing make the Creativity CoreXY a great pick for larger projects in non-industrial settings.

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Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 300 x 300 x 350mm
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Drive Mechanism: Bowden
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Connectivity: SD
  • Interface: Touchscreen

3. Tronxy X5SA Pro

tronxy x5sa

This is one of the larger CoreXY 3D printers and the Tronxy X5SA Pro is certainly worth consideration.

It comes with various great features which include an auto-bed leveling system, double-axis guide rail in addition to a filament runout sensor.

One thing to mention is that a lot of people have found that you need some modifications right away. While they shouldn’t be too expensive, it is something to factor into the cost.

You’ll find instructions to assemble this 3D printer but in all honesty, it is a bit harder than some of the others on this list. Getting support from the community isn’t as readily available or widespread either but it is there. Overall, not a bad CoreXY 3D printer at all but one that does have a few drawbacks.

Pros

  • Comes with a variety of great features
  • Solid CoreXY 3D printer at a decent price
  • Not a large community support but very helpful
  • User friendly once assembled and working properly

Cons

  • Assembly can be a bit tricky and can take a while
  • Needs modifications right away
Easy to Use
Why Go With Tronxy X5SA Pro?
$399.00

Easy to use and affordable, this is a great option for beginner 3D printers.

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Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 330 x 330 x 400 mm
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Drive Mechanism: Bowden
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Connectivity: USB, SD Card
  • Interface: Touchscreen

4. Vivedino Troodon CoreXY

vivedino

We’re going to finish off with the most expensive CoreXY 3D printer on our list – the Vivedino Troodon CoreX.

It is controlled by a WiFi board and has belts on the Z-axis which helps reduce wobbling and the effect this has on your 3D print runs. The printer dual drive extruder, filament runout sensor, and an auto-leveling feature. You’ll also find a built-in HEPA filter with this CoreXY 3D printer as well.

The big upside to purchasing this printer is that you don’t really need any modifications or upgrades. Some of the other printers do require some upgrades pretty much straight out of the box however the Troodon doesn’t.

You get it fully assembled as well which is an added bonus however there isn’t a big community around this 3D printer which could very well be down to its price tag.

Pros

  • A ton of features including a dual drive extruder, filament runout sensor, and an auto-leveling bed
  • Comes fully assembled so no need to spend hours putting it together
  • WiFi controlled and has a HEPA filter
  • No need for upgrades or mods out of the box

Cons

  • A lot more expensive than other printers on our list
  • Doesn’t have a large community following
Best High End
Why Go With the Vivedino Troodon?

Full WiFi control, HEPA filtration, dual drive extruder and comes fully assembled! This is one of the best CoreXY 3D printers money can buy.

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Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 300 x 300 x 400 mm (also 400 x 400 x 500 mm available)
  • Enclosure: Closed
  • Drive Mechanism: Bowden
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Connectivity: WiFi
  • Interface: Touchscreen

5. SainSmart Coreception CoreXY

sain smart

This CoreXY 3D printer has a direct drive extruder and a 300 x 300 x 330 mm build volume. The SainSmart Coreception CoreXY isn’t a million miles away from the Saffire Pro from Two Trees and many of the features are quite similar.

It doesn’t have an auto-leveling bed which is one drawback. It is very easy to assemble though and should take less than an hour to get up and running. You’ll find a small but enthusiastic community for this 3D printer too as well as various support options.

For the price, this 3D printer presents a very good deal especially when you consider the build volume and some other features such as the direct drive extruder.

Pros

  • Powerful CoreXY 3D printer with direct drive extruder
  • Assembly is fairly straightforward
  • Good community support and help options
  • Great cost for the size of this printer

Cons

  • No auto-leveling bed
  • Manuals can be a bit technical for beginners

Printer specifications

  • Build volume: 300 x 300 x 330 mm
  • Enclosure: Open
  • Drive Mechanism: Direct
  • Filament diameter: 1.75mm
  • Connectivity: SD Card
  • Interface: Touchscreen

What is a CoreXY 3D Printer?

Until 2013, most FDM 3D printers used what is known as a Cartesian design. This is a system that uses individual motors for each axis on the printer. So, the X and Y axes would be used for the nozzle while the print bed would move on the Z-axis.

A new system was then developed by MIT and it became known as CoreXY. The difference is that the belts on a CoreXY printer move in different planes so this reduces the impact on twisting when printing. The X and Y motors are kept in one place so the overall weight of the parts on the printer is reduced as well.

If you pull on the belt of the CoreXY 3D printer it will move the tool head at a 45-degree angle whereas on a Cartesian system this will move at zero or ninety degrees.

Using a CoreXY 3D printer has several advantages but there are also a couple of downsides too.

Advantages of CoreXY 3D Printers

Fast print speeds

Probably the biggest advantage of using a CoreXY 3D printer is that it allows for faster print speeds without reducing the quality of your objects.

It achieves this by having very little moving parts. Many other 3D printers have a moving gantry with stepper motors that move around during the printing process. This can result in vibrations which often cause issues with printing off high-quality models.

A CoreXY 3D printer has stationary stepper motors and the print bed itself will only move vertically. In actual fact, the only real part that moves with any speed is the tool head. So, there is less chance of vibrations and poor quality prints.

Smaller dimensions but the same build volume

Another advantage of using a CoreXY 3D printer is that the overall size and dimensions of the printer is pretty small. This is useful if you don’t have a ton of space in which to house it.

This doesn’t mean that the build volume is impacted. It achieves this by the fact that the print bed moves vertically. This is a feature that is also present on H-bot printers such as the Creality Ender 4.

On other FDM 3D printer designs, the base is about two times the size of the build volume. This is because the print bed needs to move back and forth – this isn’t the case on a CoreXY. With a CoreXY printer, the printhead can freely move around the build plate so it doesn’t need the extra space.

Open-source

open source printer

The third big advantage of using a CoreXY 3D printer is that it is open source so it is compatible with a wide range of firmware and software.

Open-source 3D printers have been growing massively in popularity. The design and technology behind CoreXY printers mean that there are many open-source projects out there. People have been putting their own spin and modifications on these printers which have produced a variety of great results.

Disadvantages of CoreXY 3D Printers

Belt system

Not everything is rosy with CoreXY printers and there are a couple of downsides to telling you about. The belt system is one.

If the belts aren’t aligned correctly on a CoreXY printer or if the tension isn’t exact (too high or too low), this can cause a multitude of problems. This includes the accuracy of printers and mechanical malfunctions.

It is something to keep in mind because the way CoreXY printers work means that it is heavily reliant on the belts. This can result in higher maintenance costs and more time spent ensuring they are set up properly. If you are a beginner it can seem a bit daunting but with experience, it becomes less of an issue.

Frame

Another potential downside to using a CoreXY 3D printer is the frame. The frame needs to be a perfect square when it is assembled. If it is not, this can cause accuracy problems with your prints.

There are things you can do which will help negate any issues with the shape of the frame. This includes using a set square when assembling the CoreXY 3D printer and to add corner brackets to help maintain its shape.

If it is assembled correctly you shouldn’t have any problems however it is a bit more work at the beginning to ensure accurate prints.

What to look for in a CoreXY 3D Printer

Before we get into our best CoreXY 3D printers that you can buy, there are a few things you should consider before you make a purchase.

Cost

Cost is a factor before buying any 3D printer. Even though the affordability of desktop and home models of 3D printers has improved massively, they can still be quite pricey.

If the initial cost is quite low you still need to think about any modifications, upgrades and additional parts you might need to buy. This can often bring up the overall cost of the printer quite considerably.

Support and community

If you are new to 3D printing or have very limited experience, having good support options is a must.

Depending on what CoreXY 3D printer you purchase, the level of community engagement around it can often be different. Look out for 3D printers that have a good maker and designer community because this can be imperative when it comes to getting modifications and upgrades.

Ease of use

Finally, something else to consider is how easy is the CoreXY 3D printer you are thinking of buying to use?

Even though many 3D printers have been aimed at the beginner market, some will be for more advanced users and have more complicated designs and features.

If you are just starting off with a 3D printer, don’t get too far ahead of yourself and pay a lot of money for a printer that is hard to operate. Luckily many CoreXY printers do factor in ease of use to their design and operation but it is something to keep in mind.

FAQs

What is a CoreXY 3D Printer?

A CoreXY 3D printer differs from FDM printers with a Cartesian design. It features individual motors for each axis and the overall design is more complex. They are usually smaller overall too without sacrificing build volume.

Do CoreXY 3D printers provide good quality prints?

Yes. In fact, in many cases, they provide higher quality than many other FDM printers. This is because they don’t have many moving parts so there is less room for wobbling and vibrations.

Are CoreXY 3D printers more expensive?

Not necessarily, in fact they are commonly considered as the cheap 3D printer option. They are often cheaper than many other FDM models and this is because many CoreXY 3D printers require more modifications and upgrades.

Is assembling a CoreXY 3D printer difficult?

It depends on the printer however overall they can be a bit harder than others. This is because the frame needs to be perfectly square. If it isn’t it can cause printing problems. Some do come fully assembled but generally cost a lot more money.

Are CoreXY 3D printers easy to use?

For the most part, yes. They are easier to use than some other 3D printers and if you are a complete beginner you should be able to learn how to make quality prints fairly quickly. Some of these 3D printers often have large communities that can help out.

Which is the best CoreXY 3D Printer?

We’ve looked at the advantages and disadvantages of CoreXY 3D printers, had a glimpse at 5 of the best and their pros and cons – so which one do we choose?

I think all the CoreXY 3D printers we’ve mentioned do a very good job of offering high-quality models for an affordable price. OK, the Vivedino Troodon CoreXY is certainly on the pricey side compared to the rest. In saying that, it removes the need for assembly and upgrades right away so I suppose the extra cost is kind of worth it.

So, which one do I think is the best? I’m going to choose the Two Trees Sapphire Pro. It is one of the most popular CoreXY 3D printers on the market and not only does it provide high quality and precision prints, but it has also been tried and tested time and time again.

Some CoreXY 3D printers have a fairly limited community following but not the Sapphire Pro. There is a very active community on board to help and provide mods and upgrades for this printer.

There is a bit of assembly required that can take a while especially if you are new to CoreXY printers. That being said, its low cost, high-quality prints, and the fact that it is a well-known and respected device with a devout following edge it for me.

Top Pick
Why Go With Two Trees Saphire Pro?

Incredibly affordable (under $300), dual drive extruder, easy to set up and with an active community for support, mods and upgrades. Our top pick in this category!

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Further Reading on 3D Printers:

Anycubic Photon vs Wanhao D7: Which is Best?

Our Anycubic Photon vs Wanhao D7 comparison is going to put these two DLP resin 3D printers against each other.

These printers are a bit different than some of the other 3D printer models we have reviewed in the past. Resin DLP printers use liquid resin to produce detailed prints. They use a process called Vat Polymerization to print objects and the Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7 are two popular printers in this category.

So, let’s find out how these 3D printers compare against each other and discover which one is the better 3D Printer to buy.

Bottom Line Up Front Summary: I personally prefer the better firmware support (and updates), built-in slicing software, better layer resolution range, and SD Card / USB connectivity offered by the Anycubic Photon here. While the Wanhao D7 is quite capable, it’s typically at least $100 more expesnive than the Anycubic Photon (current deals here). 

Main Differences Between Anycubic Photon vs Wanhao D7

The main differences between Anycubic Photon vs Wanhao D7 are:

  • Anycubic Photon has its own dedicated software, whereas Wanhao D7 does not have one.
  • Anycubic Photon has a build volume of 115 x 64 x 155mm, whereas Wanhao D7 has a build volume of 120 x 68 x 180mm.
  • Anycubic Photon has both USB and SD Card connectivity, whereas Wanhao D7 only has USB connectivity.
  • Anycubic Photon has a layer resolution of 25-100 microns, whereas Wanhao D7 has a layer resolution of 35 microns.
Our Pick
We love the AnyCubic Photon [Cyber Deal]

Dead simple to set-up, comes pre-assembled, intuitive touch-screen and exceptional level of detail. This machine empowers CREATORS, without expecting you to be a mechanic. The small - but precise - print bed is perfect for miniatures.

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

These two DLP 3D printers definitely fall into the budget category and you won’t be breaking the bank by purchasing either. How do they both shape up with their features?

Exploring Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7 features

photon

Printing

Printing objects and designs with a DLP 3D printer is a bit different than using the FDM 3D printers that we often review. They don’t use filament. With these two 3D printers you use a liquid resin that is cured by light to create objects.

The Anycubic Photon has a build volume of 115 x 65 x 155mm and a laser resolution of 25-100 microns. The prints with the Photon are extremely good. Even with the well known 3DBenchy test – which we use for our FDM 3D printers – the results were fantastic.

The models came out to an extremely high quality and when you consider the cost of the Anycubic Photon, it represents real value for money. Even with complex layers on the print models, this printer was able to handle it with ease.

The Wanhao D7 offers similar results and it has a build volume of 120 x 68 x 180mm with a layer resolution of 35 microns. It uses the same technology to produce highly detailed prints and we also found that it handled the 3DBenchy test very well. There are a lot of printers that are much more expensive that don’t produce the high quality at the Wanhao D7 especially when it comes to complex models.

In terms of print quality, there isn’t much between these two printers. One thing to note is that because they are DLP 3D printers, the print time will generally be a good bit longer. This means they aren’t necessarily designed for mass-producing objects but given their cost, they are certainly ideal for home use.

Post-processing

Both of these printers are aimed at experienced people and they aren’t made or marketed at novices and beginners. This is due to the post-processing tasks that you need to carry out.

With many other affordable 3D printers that use a filament, they can often be a ‘plug and play’ device. While they take some getting used to, most hobbyists can get the basics and produce good prints in no time.

With both the Wanhao D7 and the Anycubic Photon, you need to do something called post-processing. This involves cleaning your printed objects with isopropyl alcohol and the resin that is used when printing the objects is hazardous as well. The post-processing is the same for both of these printers and it is something to keep in mind because it adds an extra task before your models are ready to go.

Cleaning

wanhao duplicator 7

These printers will require a bit more cleaning than many others due to the processes they use to create objects.

You need to clean the Wanhao D7 and the Anycubic Photon before and after you print. This can be a slightly arduous task. It involves pulling out the resin vat and removing any solid parts. The build plate needs to be cleaned each time too.

Both of these 3D printers require more cleaning than the majority of the FDM models. It is something to keep in mind because it does add to the time to print things off. It is also important that you wear all the required safety equipment when printing, post-processing, and cleaning.

Software

With the Anycubic Photon, you will get slicing software provided with your purchase. It is actually one of the easier pieces of software to use with these kinds of printers. It can be a bit limiting with the settings you can change – the adjustable settings including normal exposure time, layer thickness, off time, and bottom and exposure time – but there are preset settings available too. The software allows you to modify things such as scaling and rotating models and it works pretty quickly too.

One thing that is a bit of a downside is the fact that you don’t get much explanation or descriptions of the settings.

There is no dedicated software with the Wanhao D7 but you do get access to Creation Workshop. It isn’t that easy to find the actual download file and many people have complained that it isn’t readily available on their website. You can use other slicer software with this 3D printer but this is the one that you get access to with the product.

In many ways, the lack of a dedicated software with the Wanhao is more indicative of the lack of specialized software with DLP printers. There certainly aren’t as many good options as there are for the FDM 3D printers.

Specifications for Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7

Anycubic Photon Wanhao D7
Build Volume: 115 x 65 x 155mm Build volume: 120 x 68 x 180mm
Software: Has its own dedicated slicing software Software: Doesn’t have its own slicing software. You get access to Creation Workshop
Connectivity: USB, SD Card Connectivity: USB
Layer Resolution: 25-100 microns Layer Resolution: 35 microns
Our Pick
We love the AnyCubic Photon [Cyber Deal]

Dead simple to set-up, comes pre-assembled, intuitive touch-screen and exceptional level of detail. This machine empowers CREATORS, without expecting you to be a mechanic. The small - but precise - print bed is perfect for miniatures.

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

Comparing Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7 pricing

These two models of 3D printers certainly come in at the budget end of the spectrum and that is very much the market they are aimed at.

That isn’t to say that because you pay a budget price you get budget quality. As we’ve shown when looking at the printing features above, both produce great prints even with complex models.

So, how do they compare in cost?

The Anycubic Photon really isn’t expensive at all and even when you add in the cost of the resin, it is still coming in very cheap compared to many other models. You will need to add resin which will add to the cost (it is more expensive than filament) but overall it is still very cheap.

The Wanhao D7 3D printer is a bit more expensive. Like the Anycubic Photon, you’ll need to pay for resin as well to produce your prints. This is a bit more than filament so it is something to factor in when you are looking at these 3D printers. That being said, the cost of the Wanhao D7 is still a lot lower than many other models on the market. Even though it is pricier than the Anycubic Photon, it is still an inexpensive DLP 3D printer.

Anycubic Photon vs Wanhao D7 ease of use

Neither of these 3D printers are made for beginners. This is down to the fact that using DLP printers and working with resin is a lot more hazardous than using filament.

The toxic resins require you to use various safety products such as goggles, gloves, and masks. You really don’t want this stuff to touch your skin and even the post-processing and cleaning of the printer isn’t something for novices to do.

In terms of the actual printing of the objects, it is a bit trickier than other 3D printers and that goes for both the Anycubic Photon and the Wanhao D7. If you are a beginner or even if you have a bit of experience with 3D printing, you might find the process a bit cumbersome and long-winded.

That being said, the software isn’t that hard to use. The software with the Anycubic Photon is very easy to operate and the fact that it is dedicated software adds to this. The Wanhao D7 doesn’t have its own software and the one provided is fairly straightforward as well.

Overall, both of these printers are a bit more complex than your average model but that is as much down to the fact that they use resin than anything else.

What support is available for the Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7

As both of these 3D printers are a bit more complicated, you’ll need to have some decent support options available.

You can find the firmware and software downloads easily on the Anycubic website and they are handily on the actual product page. The manual can be found here as well. They have a contact form on their website as well as a dedicated after-sales support portal you can log into. Overall the support isn’t fantastic but it isn’t terrible either. It is easy enough to get in contact and the software, firmware, and manuals are easily found on the product page.

Wanhao’s support isn’t that great. The actual support section of their website is completely empty. You can find some FAQs, manuals for your 3D printer as well as other information on the product pages. It was difficult to locate the software as well. They don’t offer great options for getting in contact. Whether that is down to where they are based I’m not sure but there are manufacturers that are much easier to get in contact with.

Pros and Cons

Anycubic Photon

Pros

  • Very affordable DLP 3D printer that products high-quality models
  • Isn’t for beginners but easy enough for experienced users
  • Good size of the printer and won’t take up a lot of space
  • Dedicated slicer software which is easy to use
  • Has some support options and manual/downloads straightforward to find

Cons

  • Pre-print and post-processing can be time-consuming
  • Need various safety equipment due to working with toxic materials

Wanhao D7

Pros

  • Low-cost DLP 3D printer that is much cheaper than many other models
  • Produces very good resin prints even with complex designs
  • Well designed and won’t take up too much space
  • Easy to use for those that are experienced with DLP printers

Cons

  • Like all DLP printers, printing, cleaning, and post-processing takes time
  • Doesn’t have dedicated software
  • Support options and the website isn’t great

Are there any alternatives?

Creality LD-002R LCD Resin 3D Printer

creality ld

If you want an alternative to the Anycubic Photon and the Wanhao D7, the Creality LD-002R LCD Resin 3D Printer is definitely an option. With a 119 X 65 X 160mm print volume and ability to print off high-quality models, it is a very good entry-level option.

People who are getting to grips with DLP 3D printers will find this one from Creality ideal. It is also priced in and around the same bracket as the Anycubic Photon and the Wanhao D7 (albeit a bit closer to the Anycubic Photon) so you won’t be shelling out a lot of money for this printer. The active carbon air filtering system is a good addition as it cuts down on the smell from the resin too.

Sparkmaker SLA 3D Resin Printer

lcd 3d printer

For anyone that wants a smaller build size as well as a cheaper price, the Sparkmaker SLA 3D Resin Printer is a good resin 3D printer to buy. It has a build volume of 98mm x 55mm x 125mm and like all resin printers, the usual caveats apply around safety and working with toxic resin.

Again, this isn’t really a printer for a complete novice but it is an easy to use the device. You don’t need to have a ton of experience to operate the Sparkmaker SLA 3D Resin Printer but it isn’t a ‘plug and plays’ machine. That being said, this is a great resin printer if you want a smaller build volume and a cheaper price.

Our Pick
We love the AnyCubic Photon [Cyber Deal]

Dead simple to set-up, comes pre-assembled, intuitive touch-screen and exceptional level of detail. This machine empowers CREATORS, without expecting you to be a mechanic. The small - but precise - print bed is perfect for miniatures.

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

FAQs About Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7

What is a resin 3D printer?

The difference between a resin DLP 3D printer and a FDM 3D printer is that they don’t use filament. These printers use a liquid resin that is cured by light to create objects.

Is the printing process slow with the Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7?

Printing will be slower with these two models and an FDM 3D printer. This is because the process takes longer and you also need to clean the machine more often. Post-processing also has to be carried out on the printed models which can add more time.

Where is the Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7 made?

Both the Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7 are manufactured in China.

Does the Anycubic Photon come with slicing software?

Wanhao don’t have their own slicing software but you do get access to Creation Workshop. Their website isn’t that easy to find things and the information is patchy so accessing can be a bit difficult.

Do I get a warranty with the Anycubic Photon and Wanhao D7?

Yes. Both of these 3D printers come with a warranty. You can find information on the warranty for the Anycubic Photon on their website as different parts have different warranty cover and you get a 1-year warranty with the Wanhao D7.

Verdict: Anycubic Photon vs Wanhao D7 – Which is better?

If you are looking for a budget DLP resin 3D printer and want to know what one to choose between the Anycubic Photon and the Wanhao D7, I’m going to let you know my preference.

Bottom Line Summary: Both of these printers produce great results. It is really hard to try and distinguish between the two but I am going to choose the Anycubic Photon.

The actual process of using resin can be cumbersome and it definitely involves much more work than using filament on an FDM 3D printer. There isn’t any real difference in the cleaning/printing process between these printers and also the print quality is very similar. So, why did I choose the Anycubic Photon?

Well, they have their own dedicated slicing software. It might not seem like a massive deal but it does make a difference in my opinion. The Photon also has a bigger layer resolution range and even though the build volume is a bit smaller, they have SD card and USB functionality.

The Anycubic website is also a lot better and more advanced. It is much easier to find downloads for firmware, software and a manual on the product page. Their support options are clearer than Wanhao too.

Overall you can’t really go wrong with either of these 3D printers. They are powerful, budget-friendly, and produce great results. The Anycubic Photon is just better and more user friendly overall and that’s why I would choose the Photon over the Wanhao D7.

Our Pick
We love the AnyCubic Photon [Cyber Deal]

Dead simple to set-up, comes pre-assembled, intuitive touch-screen and exceptional level of detail. This machine empowers CREATORS, without expecting you to be a mechanic. The small - but precise - print bed is perfect for miniatures.

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

Further Reading on Comparable 3D Printers:

FLUX BeamBox Review: Our Complete Guide

While we here at All 3D Printing tend to focus on 3D printers, there are some one-off devices that need to be included. These are items like laser cutters, engravers, or any other tools that creatives might make use of on a regular basis.

There are plenty of 3D printers available that come with these features included. They’re usually hybrid devices that give users a way to perform multiple tasks. Sometimes they make things easier, sometimes they don’t. Regardless, they are designed to perform more than one function.

One such device is the Flux Beambox. This combination of laser cutter and engraver is pretty new to the market, but it still offers plenty of features for its users. But is the Flux Beambox worth the price attached to it?

Let’s take a look at what this device has to offer.

Flux Beambox

Flux says that with its Beambox, you can easily bring your designs and ideas to life. The device has a sleek design along with a user interface that’s easy to use no matter what your experience level. It’s the perfect item to add to your design studio.

The Flux Beambox is fully capable of engraving or cutting a wide variety of materials and plastics. Basically, no matter what kind of material you’re using, you’re always just a few steps shy of creating an incredible finished project with the Flux Beambox.

Flux Beambox Design

Even though the Flux Beambox design isn’t going to set the world on fire, it gets the job done. The device is a simple square-shaped black box. On the right side of the box is an LCD screen that allows you to control how the Beambox behaves. It’s a simple and straightforward design that isn’t going to create a lot of confusion or anxiety for its users.

Features

Flux Beambox has plenty of features for its users. It offers all the tools and options you would expect to find on a quality laser cutter and engraver. Here are just a few of the features you’ll experience with the Flux Beambox.

Water Cooled

No one wants their device to catch on fire while in the middle of an important project, which is why the Flux Beambox using a closed-loop water cooling system. This system aids in keeping the device at just the right temperature when its in use, circulating water throughout the machine.

High-Quality Ventilation

With a top of the line, ventilation fan integrated right into the Flux Beambox, you don’t have to worry about fumes or smoke getting in your way while you’re working on your latest project.

Built-In Camera

With an HD quality built-in camera, the Flux Beambox offers users a way to preview their work using their laptop or smartphone before they get started. This provides a way to view the finished product is exactly the way the user wants it before they get started cutting or engraving.

Prioritize Safety

Not only is the Flux Beambox a completely enclosed device, but it will also immediately pause a process if something goes wrong. The case is enclosed to protect you from fumes and laser lights, but Flux doesn’t believe that’s enough in terms of safety.

That’s why, if the device senses that the lid is opened in the middle of a task, then it will automatically stop. Plus, if you run into an issue and the box doesn’t shut off, Flux has an emergency power switch that you can use to shut the device off immediately.

High-Resolution Laser

Flux Beambox comes with a carbon dioxide laser that works in the 10,640nm wavelength. The thickest cut you’ll get with this laser is 10mm, however, keep in mind that you may get different thicknesses depending on the material you’re using.

You can get thicker cuts if you go across the same cutting area several times or you slow down the machine.

Flux Beambox Rotary

flux beambox laser cutter

For those interested in Beambox addons, the device offers a rotary add-on that lets you unlock the full potential of your unit. This add-on allows users to engrave on curved objects, like bottles or other pieces of glassware.

The rotary add-on is easy to install on your Beambox and opens up a whole new world of creative opportunities.

Smartphone Monitoring

Additionally, since the Beambox is powered by the Flux in-house software, users have the option to install the Android or iOS software that works with the devices. With the companion app, users can edit text, modify images, make adjustments, and more, right from the convenience of their smartphone.

Beam Studio

Also part of the Beambox is its Beam Studio software. Integrated into the Flux units, Beam Studio works with Linux, Windows, and macOS. It’s easy to use interface gives users the ability to quickly and easily access all the features that come with the Flux Beambox.

Flux Beambox Product Specs

Laser 50W CO2
Speed 0-300 mm/s
Cutting Thickness 0-12 mm (thickness will vary based on material)
Wavelength 10640 nm
Total Weight 105 pounds
Dimensions 9.8” x 40.5” x 26.3”
Work Area Depth 3.14”
Work Area 23.6” x 14.7”
Power AC 110v/220v
Touch Panel 1024 x 600 LCD
Camera HD CMOS
Camera Preview Area 23.6” x 14.1”
Mode Graphic/Vector (gray scale/monochrome)
Connectivity Options Ethernet and Wireless
Operating Systems Supported Linux, Windows, macOS
File Types Supported PNG, JPG, DXF, SVG

Flux Beambox Alternatives

If the Flux Beambox doesn’t sound like something you’d like or isn’t in your budget, there are plenty of alternatives available on the market. Here are some of the more prominent options you’ll find.

VEVOR Laser Engraver – Best for Anything Non-Metal

vevor laser engraver

The VEVOR 40W Co2 Laser Engraver is a great device if you want to cut through leather, paper, wood, cloth, plastic, ceramic, or rubber. However, if you want to cut through metal you’ll have to find another machine to get the job done.

Users get a generous engraving area of 12 inches by 8 inches, along with a cutting speed of roughly 0-1.38 inches each second. Additionally, the VEVOR laser engraver also offers a minimum shaping character or 0.04 inches by 0.04 inches.

A built-in fan ensures that smoke or fumes from the laser engraver are properly removed, and a USB port lets you connect the unit to your computer. Plus, it will work with almost any type of scanner or printer you have.

The VEVOR laser engraver also offers support for TIF file types, along with JPG, PLT, BMP, EMF, and WMF files. This precise and strong laser engraver comes with high-quality motors, a versatile and accurate control board, and a water cooling laser tube to ensure the unit is always the temperature it should be.

VEVOR Laser Engraver – Best for Budget Minded

morph laser engraving machine

Mophorn’s laser engraver is a machine that requires 40W of power. With this device, users can cut through leather, wood, plastic, crystal, and fabrics. It also works well for seal engraving toys or garments.

With an engraving area of 12” x 8”, you’ll have plenty of room to get your work done. Plus, an engraving speed of 0-300mm per second, along with a cutting speed of 1-10mm per second, means you can work as fast, or slow, as you want.

The cutting precision when you’re engraving using the Mophorn is 2500dpi, with an accuracy of 0.01mm, which is pretty darn precise. Plus, the unit comes with CorelDraw, so it will support all the file types that the software supports. Even though the Mophorn laser engraver is on the cheaper end, it still has a high-quality laser that will get the job done.

Ten-High CO2 Engraver Machine – Best for a Variety of Materials

ten high co2

If you use a lot of different materials for your projects, then the Ten-High Engraver might be the machine for you. With the ability to cut and engrave a wide assortment of materials, the Ten-high Engraver is one of the most versatile machines on this list.

This machine works with a variety of materials, including glass, bamboo, wood, paper, leather, and glass. Basically, if it’s not metal, the Ten-High Engraver can handle it. Plus, the Ten-High engraving machine comes with LaserDraw, which is specially designed for the unit itself.

The engraver is also compatible with CorelDraw software, however, CorelDraw does not come with the machine. Plus, the unit will work with any Windows OS you may have, but keep in mind that it’s not compatible with macOS devices.

If you do have a Windows machine, you can connect the Ten-High engraver to it through a USB cable. Unfortunately, this device is not wireless, so you have to be close to the system so you can connect to it manually.

Orion Motor Tech Laser Engraving Machine – Best for Those Who Need a Large Work Area

orion motor tech 40w

Last on our list is the Orion Motor Tech Laser Engraving Machine. At first glance, many confuse this device for a generator or a toolbox, since its black and red design gives it a more rugged look than you’d typically find with an engraver. However, this engraver is designed to work with a wide variety of materials, so you aren’t limited in that area.

In addition to what most other engraving machines can handle, the Orion Motor Tech machine will work with marble, ceramic, mylar, crystal, vinyl, leather, plastic, and rubber. Plus, this machine has one of the largest work areas you’ll find on the market.

The Orion Motor Tech engraver supports a work area of 20 inches by 28 inches, so you have plenty of space to get your work done. Like many other units on the market, the Orion Motor Tech engraver has its own software that comes with the device.

But, unlike other options, this machine gives you the ability to work with many other software selections on the market. You may already own many of these, like CAD or CorelDraw. The Orion engraver also has a built-in air compressor, so any toxic vapors or fumes that you produce are immediately removed.

Part of having a large work area is having a large device. The Orion engraver weighs upwards of 500 pounds, so once you get it where you want it, it’s not moving. Be sure to place it somewhere you can keep it safe. Probably not on your computer desk though.

FAQs

There are plenty of questions that come along with laser cutters and engravers. Here are some of the more commonly asked ones:

How does laser cutting work?

Laser cutting requires using a high-focused, high-powered laser beam to cut through materials. This leaves a smooth, clean-cut when you’re finished. Some laser cuttings work using a continuous beam, while others might use a pulse beam.
A laser cutting starts when the laser puts a small hole in the material and then continues from that point until the cut is complete. You can control the laser’s heat output, length, and intensity, which means you can cut your materials in a variety of ways.

What metals can be cut with a laser?

There are plenty of metals that can be cut using a laser. These include aluminum, nickel, steel, copper, brass, titanium, and many others. Metal is one of the most common materials you’ll find that is cut with lasers.

How accurate can you get when using a laser to cut materials?

Arguably the largest benefit of using a laser to cut your materials is the precision and accuracy that it offers. If you use a narrow, focused laser beam, you can cut your material to a width that’s as small a 0.1mm. That’s pretty accurate if you ask me.

Where to Buy the Flux Beambox

The most reliable online retailer for the Flux Beambox model is definitely with MatterHackers at this listing here. They have best in class pricing, excellent customer service, and specialize in 3D printing and cutting. 

Is the Flux Beambox Right For You?

This is a tricky question to answer because everyone’s needs are going to differ. If you like to use a single device to engrave and cut, then yes, the Beambox might be a solid choice for what you’re doing. But if you want more out of your machine, then you may have to look elsewhere.

There’s plenty to like about the Beambox, including the number of features it offers and the fact that it is relatively small. Sure, 100 pounds is a lot of weight, but in the world of laser engravers, it’s not too bad.

Overall, the Flux Beambox is a solid choice. It’s a quality laser engraver and cutter that will get the job done. It supports a wide variety of materials and has user safety in mind. Plus, it works with your smartphone. If that doesn’t have you running out to get one, I don’t know what will.

Further Reading on Engravers and Laser Cutters:

Is Ultimaker S3 Worth It?

It used to be that industrial-grade 3D printers are so bulky that they often take up most of the room you put it in. Today, you have compact 3D printers that are affordable but still delivers excellent quality prints. Ultimaker S3 is one of these printers.

What should you know about the Ultimaker S3? What features and technologies does it have? And are there worthy alternatives for this 3D printer?

What Is Ultimaker S3?

One of the selling points of Ultimaker S3 is how easy it is to use. You get a high-quality 3D print that is composite ready using only the printer and a desktop computer. This 3D printer proves that the latest technologies shouldn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

What Is Ultimaker S3

Features

The Ultimaker S3 boasts of the following features:

  • A sizable build volume of around 9.0 by 7.4 by 7.9 inches (230 by 190 by 200 millimeters) that means that you can create bigger 3D prints with very minimal hassles.
  • A very fine 20-micron, or 0.001-inch, layer resolution, which gives you very fine details and ultra-smooth surfaces.
  • Uses an open filament system that allows you to work with carbon and glass fiber composites and third-party materials.
  • A big 4.7-inch touchscreen interface that allows you to easily tinker with teh settings and options, as well as when operating the printer.
  • Dual filament flow sensors that can tell you when it is time to buy new filaments.
  • A smaller footprint at only 15.5 by 19.3 by 25.1 inches (394 by 489 by 637 millimeters), which means that it doesn’t take up too much space on your desk top. It is also lightweight at only 31.7 pounds (14.4 kilograms).
  • Build speed of around 24 cubic millimeters per second.
  • Silent operation at less than 50 decibels, which is as loud as a normal conversation at home or living in a quiet suburb.

Printing with Two Materials

The Ultimaker S3 allows you to use two different materials in one print job. Ultimaker has perfected its print cores, which is a collection of hot ends that can handle specific materials and print properties.

The print cores can easily be placed inside the printer with just one button push so that it’s easy to set up your prints and maintain the printer.

What’s more, the print cores bring with it a lot of benefits. For one, you don’t waste filaments because the printer doesn’t purge materials when printing.

Automatic Bed Leveling

The Ultimaker S3’s build volume is impressive, but that is made even more remarkable by the heated bed that comes with a removable glass sheet. Plus, the Active Bed Leveling feature ensures that the materials are extruded evenly across the surface.

The S3 also has a semi-enclosed printing space, with a glass door that protects the front of the printer. The semi-enclosed environment ensures a stable atmosphere inside the printing area that is beneficial for those materials that are sensitive to temperature changes.

Connectivity

The Ultimaker S3 connects to the Cura software via Wi-Fi, so you can send print jobs over the air. With this wireless connection, you can allow for remote viewing of any printing in progress and manage printing jobs on queue.

If you have more than one Ultimaker S3 or other printers from the same company, one printer can act as a network host and connect to the other. As such, a networked Ultimaker S3 can scan the network and send printing jobs to printers that have the right materials or print cores.

ultimaker s3 features

What You Would Like About the Ultimaker S3

One of the things that you’d love with the Ultimaker S3 is how reliable it is. It has an advanced active leveling mechanism, as well as a stiffer build platform, that allows you to get the best quality prints.

You will also love how there are a variety of support options that you can use when learning how to use the Ultimaker S3. For one, there are training modules online that you can use to help you understand how to create with your 3D printer. Ultimaker’s local service partners can also provide you with the training, should you need it.

The Ultimaker S3 has a 12-month warranty period, as well as expert technical support via phone or e-mail. They also have online resources as well as an extensive manual for you to learn from. Plus, they maintain a very thorough and detailed knowledgebase as well.

But you may not need all that training because this printer is easy to use. It has a touch interface that allows you to input whatever it is you want it to do. What’s more, the print cores are very easy to swap, while you can get preset print settings so you spend less time trying to figure out what settings to use for a particular print.

The Ultimaker S3 also has an open filament system, so you can choose what kinds of material you want to use. When it comes to materials, you will never be limited to Ultimaker S3.

Out of the box, this 3D printer is compatible with a wide assortment of both proprietary and third-party filaments

What Can Be Better

There is no question that the Ultimaker S3 is one of the best professional 3D printers available now, but that kind of reputation comes with a hefty price tag. Starting prices for this 3D printer starts at more than $3,800. Buying it bundled with some filaments can easily jack the price up by around $500 to $1,000, depending on the types and number of filaments you choose.

If you want to print glass or carbon composites, you will need to buy a separate print core, the CC Red 0.6.

ultimaker s3 pros and cons

Pros and Cons

To sum up the pluses and negatives for the Ultimaker S3, here are its pros and cons.

Pros

  • You can use a wide variety of materials, which allows you to opt for more affordable third-party filaments or specialized ones such as glass fiber
  • Easy management and monitoring because of the included network connectivity
  • Filament flow sensor and automatic bed leveling features
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • This 3D printer is more on the expensive side

Alternatives to the Ultimaker S3

Ultimaker S3 is one of the best 3D printers for professionals, businesses, and prosumers, thanks to its high-end features and technologies. However, the world of professional 3D printers is getting larger every minute, with more and more brands joining in the fray. Here are three other 3D printers that you can consider along with the Ultimaker S3.

1. Ultimaker S5

ultimaker s5

If you are currently on the lookout for a professional 3D printer, there is no doubt that you would have come across the Ultimaker S5. If you are wondering what’s the difference between the S3 and the S5, the short answer is: not that many.

The S3 and the S5 share a lot of the same technologies and offer similar features. But what makes the S5 more expensive is the bigger print volume at 13 by 9.4 by 11.8 inches (30 by 240 by 300 millimeters).

The Ultimaker S5 is also compatible with several peripherals such as the Material Station and Air Manager, which the S3 doesn’t have.

The Material Station allows you to add six front-loaded material spools for increased productivity, automatic switching between different filaments, and humidity control. Meanwhile, the Air Manager can filter out up to 95 percent of fine particles within the build chamber.

When it comes to deciding between the Ultimaker S3 and the Ultimaker S5, it will boil down to two considerations:

  • Do you need the extra build volume?
  • Can you afford it?

Pricing for the Ultimaker S5 is at least $2,000 more than the S3, so if you are not frequently printing larger prototypes, you might want to go with the S3. What’s more, the S3 uses less power than the S5 because of its smaller build plate.

See how Ultimaker S3 compares to S5 here.

2. Zortrax M200 Plus

Zortrax M200 Plus

Sometimes, you need a 3D printer that can work for long hours without you needing to worry about it overheating or getting overworked. The Zortrax M200 Plus is designed as a workhorse with its advanced cooling system and industrial-grade construction.

This sturdy piece of 3D printing equipment can work for long hours and has a built-in camera that allows you to monitor the print job from anywhere in the world. It works with a wide number of filaments, as well.

It’s easy to use and set up, with a plug-and-play concept. Because it connects to your Wi-Fi network, you can operate this printer remotely. What’s more, the four-inch IPS touchscreen panel it has not only makes it easier for you to control and set up print jobs, but it also displays a preview of your models.

The Zortrax M200 Plus has a build volume of 7.9 by 7.9 by 7.1 inches (200 by 200 by 180 millimeters). Pricing starts at $2,290.

3. Original Prusa I3 MK3S

Original Prusa I3 MK3S

If you are looking for a 3D printer that can give you excellent quality prints without making your wallet thinner than it should be, then go for the Original Prusa I3 MK3S.

This 3D printer retails for $1000 if you want it to come fully assembled, or $750 if you choose the kit. It has a build volume of 9.8 by 8.3 by 8.3 inches (250 by 210 by 210 millimeters) and it’s pretty straightforward to use.

It has an easy to access extruder, a stable frame, a removable heated bed, filament sensor, and automatic bed leveling. In short, it has the features that you will expect from higher-end and more expensive printers.

Plus, this open-source 3D printer is pretty much customizable. Hack it to upgrade it or make it do what you need it to do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions are normal if you are trying to decide on a 3D printer that you can use for your business. It becomes more important to ask questions if you consider how much you are going to pay for one. So here are some of the most often asked questions regarding professional 3D printers.

1. How do you choose the best professional 3D printer?

Choosing the best professional 3D printer will depend on what you plan to print. If you want to print bigger models, then choose one that has a big build volume. If you want to save on energy, then get one with a smaller heated bed.
Choose a 3D printer that has high resolutions and allows you to easily adjust the final print’s resolution. Some important factors to consider is the layer height and belt tension.
Also, look for high-quality features that can spell the difference between an excellent and headache-free 3D printing and one that is fraught with problems. These features might include dual filament support, heated glass beds, and touch interfaces.
Lastly, don’t scrimp on safety features. Safety features usually mean a well-designed 3D printer. For instance, a well designed printer will move the nozzle away from the object when you pause printing, and this will prevent excess filaments from getting onto your printed object.

2. Will having a 3D printer with dual extruders help me print faster?

It’s a common misconception that printers having two extruders mean that it prints a whole lot faster, maybe even cutting printing time in half.
However, this is not true. Having two extruders means that the 3D printer can have two or more filaments in place and ready for use. Usually, only one of the extruder is used, while the other is on standby.

3. Are dual extruders worth the extra price?

If you are a hobbyist, you will probably do fine with a single extruder. But for professional printing, you will want a printer with dual extruders to help save time when doing multi-colored prints.
If only for the fact that dual extruders help to make your job easier and save you time in having to change out extruders, it’s worth the extra dollars you pay for a 3D printer that has it.

Ultimaker S3: The Bottom Line

There are a few printers out there that can rival the Ultimaker S3. This 3D printer gives you high-quality prints with excellent resolutions. It offers a wide range of high-end features that makes your printing jobs a whole lot faster and easier to deal with.

What’s more, it works with both proprietary and third-party materials, so you can have the flexibility in your 3D models and prototypes. But it can be quite expensive.

If you are impressed with the features and technologies you see on the Ultimaker S3 but you need a 3D printer with a bigger build volume, go for the Ultimaker S5.

Go for the Original Prusa I3 MK3S if your budget is a bit limited, but you don’t want to sacrifice quality.

If you are looking for a plug and play professional 3D printer that is easy to use without the hefty price tag of the Ultimaker S3, then you can’t go wrong with Zortrax M200 Plus.

Further read:

Glowforge vs Epilog: Which One Can Win This Battle?

Glowforge vs Epilog: Which Laser Cutter is Better?

In this Glowforge Pro v Epilog Zing 16 Laser comparison we’re going to find out which of these two laser cutter models is better. While we normally put our focus on 3D printers, laser cutters are important too. They are ideal for cutting shapes and creating different objects as well as engraving on different materials.

In fact, having a laser cutter either as a hobbyist at home or in your workplace can open up a range of possibilities when working with woods and metals. In this comparison we’ll look directly at the features both of these laser cutters have, what their overall specs are, pros and cons and we’ll find out which one you should choose.

Main Differences Between Glowforge vs Epilog

The main differences between Glowforge and Epilog are:

  • Glowforge has an internal closed-loop cooling system, whereas Epilog uses air-cooled laser tubes and fans to regulate the temperature.
  • Glowforge can be used on many platforms as it is cloud-based, whereas Epilog can only be used for Windows.
  • Glowforge requires an internet connection, whereas Epilog does not.
  • Glowforge has a 45w laser, whereas Epilog has a 30w or 40w laser.

Exploring Glowforge and Epilog features

glowforge

Cutting

OK, so the primary reason you’re looking at these two models is for laser cutting. So, how do the laser cutters from Glowforge and Epilog match up?

The Epilog Zing 16 Laser has two laser options – 30w and 40w. The engraving area is ideal as a desktop laser cutter as well and the dimensions are 16” x 12” (406 x 305 mm). We’ve always found the Zing 16 Laser to be very fast and precise when cutting objects. Epilog is often seen as a more ‘traditional’ brand to use however this means that they are dependable. As far as a desktop laser cutter goes, the Epilog Zing 16 is not only reliable but can cut and engrave into a wide range of materials too.

You’ll find a stronger laser on the Glowforge Pro – 45w – and it is a step up from the other Glowforge models such as the Basic and Plus. Like the Zing 16, the Glowforge cuts at a very good speed but also combines this with precision and accuracy. Soft materials like leather and certain woods can be cut into easily and you can engrave other materials like metals too. The bed dimensions are 11″ x 19.5 (279 mm x 495 mm).

Overall you won’t find many materials that both of these laser cutters are not able to handle.

Cooling

One important aspect of any laser cutter is its cooling system. The process of laser cutting and engraving means that the machine can get very hot so it needs a cooling system in order to regulate the temperature. This prevents overheating, allows the machine to operate for longer, and improves efficiency too.

The Epilog Zing 16 Laser uses air-cooled laser tubes in order to ensure that the temperature is kept consistent and doesn’t overheat. There are also cooling fans and cooling vents that are located on the side of the machine as well. You don’t need any additional cooling systems in place with the Epilog Zing 16 and the technology used in the lasers in addition to the cooling vents and fans do a good job of keeping the temperature down.

The Glowforge is a little different as you’ll know if you’ve read our previous review of the Glowforge laser cutters.. You don’t need an external cooling system with the Glowforge Pro but it does have its own internal cooling system which helps to regulate the temperature. It is a closed-loop system and it uses air from the room that the laser cutter is placed in to ensure the machine doesn’t overheat.

The cooling system on the Glowforge works between temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16C) and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24C)

Software

epilog laser

In order to cut accurately and engrave different types of material, laser cutters need to use the software much in the same way that a 3D printer does.

The Zing Laser uses the Epilog Job Manager to control cutting, engraving, and all the jobs you send to the machine. It is natively installed on your computer and the Epilog Dashboard is also provided as a CD or you can download the drivers.

The good thing is that you don’t necessarily need to be connected to the internet in order to use the Zing 16 Laser from Epilog. You can also buy additional software from Epilog such as PhotoLaser Plus Software which is used for photoengraving.

Glowforge uses cloud software in order to control the machine and ensure accurate cutting. You will need to be connected to the internet to use it because it is all done through the cloud and a web app. There are upsides and downsides to this.

On one hand, the cloud technology is continually updated and if you have a decent internet connection things should run smoothly. On the other hand, internet service interruptions can disrupt the process. The cloud software does some with a wide range of presets which makes your life a lot easier with this machine.

Platforms

One of the big differences between the Epilog and Glowforge is the platforms that the machine and the software can be used on.

Glowforge is cloud-based so can be used on any platform to access the web app as long as you have an internet connection. So regardless of whether you have a Windows computer, Mac, Linux you can use the Glowforge Plus. It can also be operated via a tablet or Smartphone as well.

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MakerGear M3 Review: A Complete Guide

The idea of owning a 3D printer is exciting and invigorating as you consider the possibilities that exist. But even though these devices are now manufactured for users like you and me, they were initially made for large corporations or universities.

Fortunately, there exist printers that blur the line a little between mass manufacturing and individual use. The MakerGear M3 is one such 3D printer. Let’s take a closer look at this interesting 3D printer.

MakerGear M3-ID Desktop 3D Printer

MakerGear’s M3 3D printer is a high-quality printer that can easily make the transition from manufacturing to home workshop.

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MakerGear M3

3D printers typically fall into one of two categories: consumer and industrial. The MakerGear M3 falls into the latter category, manufacturing commercial-grade printers for schools and businesses that need them.

Founded in 2009 in Beachwood, Ohio, MakerGear is one of the largest industrial-grade 3D printer manufacturers in the United States. The company focuses heavily on creating and producing 3D printers with the best degree of precision on the market.

MarkerGear’s M3 device is a solid steel unit with an aluminum framing. This 3D printer is easy to calibrate and sets up quickly. Once it’s done, you don’t have to mess with calibrating it again. The M3 has a compact and simple design that still offers plenty of room to print your favorite objects.

Plus, the device supports all metals and can reach a temperature of up to 300-degrees Celsius, which means you can print with nearly any material you want. The intention of the M3 is to provide a device that removes the pain point that’s often associated with stock printing kit extruders.

When 3D printers first came into the market, the extruders were typically poorly designed and implemented, causing users problems they didn’t expect. Even the best 3D printers at the time experienced these types of issues.

That’s why MakerGear chose to become one of the best 3D equipment and printer manufacturers in the world. Their goal is to create 3D printers that set the standard for durability and precision.

MakerGear M3

Setting Up the MakerGear M3

Overall, setting up your MakerGear M3 is generally simple and straightforward. This 3D printer offers users exceptional quality when printing. Plus, the craftsmanship of the M3 sets the standard for all other companies that manufacture 3D printers.

User Guide

One of the best things about the MakerGear M3 is that it comes with a user guide that walks you step-by-step through unpacking and setting up your 3D printer. The M3 offers wifi connectivity through Bonjour Print services, while also including OctoPrint as part of its default package.

OctoPrint, for those not familiar with the software, is a Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS interface that you can pull up in your browser. MakerGear walks you through getting the M3 connected to your wireless network so you can access the printer’s full potential.

Another cool feature you get with the OctoPrint software is how the top of the models are printed. OctoPrint pauses the hot end of the printer between layers while the small surfaces are printing.

This type of behavior allows for the material that exists between the layers to cure, which helps to prevent blobs and clumps from forming. As a result, users get a clean top surface that is free of blemishes.

Nozzle Changing

Changing the nozzles on the M3 is a bit different than what you’ll experience with other 3D printers. The hot end of the printer is completely taken off while the nozzle is changed out using a proprietary tool.

This task is performed by using a threading process that won’t allow the nozzle to go straight into the heater block. As a result, users experience less damage and fewer installation errors in both the heater block and the nozzle.

setting up makergear m3

MakerGear M3 Features

If you’re in the market for a well-built, reliable, sturdy 3D printer, then the MakerGear M3 just might be the printer you need. Hobbyists will have no trouble using this 3D printer, however, keep in mind that it’s intended for large manufacturers.

As a result, the M3 has no shortage of features. Let’s take a closer look at what the MakerGear M3 has to offer.

Wireless Connectivity

The MakerGear M3 will connect through either Ethernet or wifi connectivity, which users can set up through their browser. Once this is set up, users can control their OctoPrint software and begin printing objects.

Additionally, users can begin to load their favorite designs by using .obj or .stl files. When these are uploaded, they can make adjustments and edits, then send the finished product to the M3 for printing.

Profiled Rails

Instead of using standard round rails for its 3D printers, MakerGear implements profiled rails, which creates precision linear motion. Located on both the y-axis and the x-axis, these rails are used to provide excellent accuracy on the x-y plane.

The printer has shown to have an accuracy as small as 20 microns as it creates objects. With the help of the profiled rails, MakerGear is significantly reducing the chances that imperfections and issues will occur while a 3D object is printing.

Steel Components and Frames

The pieces for the MakerGear M3 printer that users can’t buy straight off the shelf are all made of steel. None of the pieces are 3D printed or made of inferior materials. This is quickly evident when you lift the machine, as it checks in at a hefty 26.5 pounds.

Calibration Using True Leveling

Part of the MakerGear M3 that users like is its True Leveling feature that aids in calibrating the 3D printer. This is a particularly useful feature because many 3D printers use a calibration method that requires the user to jump through a series of hoops to get their device properly calibrated.

This is completed by asking the user to look at three pictures and determine which one is closest to what they see in regards to the offset distances between the bed and the nozzle. This step is continued until both the picture and the offset are where they should be.

Hot End

This feature is exclusive to MakerGear 3D printers with its uniqueness lying in the configuration and size of the hot end. The device’s heater block is small, which allows for consistent heating of the filament that lies on the z-axis.

As a result, users get a consistent filament feed throughout the printing cycle. Plus, MakerGear printers offer unique nozzles that you won’t find on many other printers. These nozzles have female threads as opposed to male threads.

Giving their nozzles this type of flexibility allows MakerGear users to have the option of doing a cold nozzle changeout. Typically this type of change would result in damage to the heater block, however, since the nozzles are female threads, users won’t run into this issue.

makergear m3 print

Cooling

Most 3D printing companies on the market create a cooling system for their devices that is something of a hybrid. Typically these systems work for both the filament and the hot end at the same time.

However, MakerGear’s M3 3D printer, the fans are already set up so that they provide cooling explicitly for the area intended, with no bleed over occurring. For example, the cooling fan for the filament is pointed directly at it and sits parallel to the print bed.

Additionally, the hot end fan aim straight at the gearing mechanism used for the extruder. This, along with the heat break that sits in the middle of the heater block and the heat sink, means users won’t experience heat creep. Plus, it ensures that the nozzle and heat block are continually hot throughout the print.

Multiple Models

Users will discover two available models of the MakerGear M3. The original MakerGear M3 includes the standard heated build plate, a .35mm nozzle, and wifi connectivity. The MakerGear M3 Dual Extruder also comes with wifi connectivity and a heated build plate.

The latter model also includes two direct-drive tool heads, both of which have an extruder combination and a moving hot end. As a result, users can print objects with two different colors.

Accessories

Also included with the MakerGear M3 are plenty of accessories. These include tweezers, brushes, filament guide tubes, hex keys, an M3 driver, extra fastening clips, and a feeler gauge.

MakerGear M3 Specs

MakerGear M3-ID Desktop 3D Printer

MakerGear’s M3 3D printer is a high-quality printer that can easily make the transition from manufacturing to home workshop.

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

Here’s a look at some of the specs and properties associated with the MakerGear M3 3D printer:

Technology FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)
Build Volume 203mm x 254mm x 203mm
Extrusion Single Extrusion
Filament Diameter 1.75mm
Build Plate Temperature 20-130 degrees Celsius
Print Head Speed Range 30-450 mm/s
Assisted Leveling Method True Level Calibration
Nozzle Temperature 180-300 degrees Celsius
Nozzle Heat Up Less than 2 minutes
Build Plate Heat Time Less than 4 minutes
Connectivity USB, LAN, Wifi
Operating Sound Less than 65 dB
Supported Materials ABS, Nylon, PET-G, PET-T, PLA, TPE, HIPS, TPU, wood composites, carbon fiber composites, metal composites

Alternatives

Of course, there’s always the possibility that the MakerGear M3 isn’t your cup of tea. If that’s the case, here are some alternative 3D printers to consider.

Creality Ender 3 Pro – Best for the Budget Minded

Creality Ender 3 Pro

If you’re on a budget, the Creality Ender 3 Pro is a solid option. This 3D printer comes with both a heated bed and LCD, which is basically unheard of at its price point. Of course, part of the reason it’s so affordable is due to the fact that you have to assemble the printer yourself.

Arguably the best thing about the Ender 3 is that it has an amazing community. You’ll find all the answers to your problems on the Ender 3 subreddit, plus ideas for prints and modifications. Overall, if you have the time and the patience to put your own 3D printer together, Ender 3 might be right up your alley.

Creality Ender 3 (Prusa i3)
$219.99

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

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01/21/2021 01:10 pm GMT

Vivedino T-Rex 3 – Best for Those Who Want Everything

For those that don’t mind shelling out a little extra money to get what they want, the Vivedino T-Rex 3 is perfect. With this printer, users get dual independent extruders, auto-bed leveling, massive build volume, Trinamic stepper drivers, and an AC heated bed.

The drawback, unfortunately, is that the microcontroller for the T-Rex is a bit underpowered for a 3D printer of its stature. As a result, users experienced reduced speeds, which make printing a painfully slow process. Still, this is an impressive 3D printer with plenty of features.

Taz Workhorse – Best for 3D Printing Enthusiasts

This vibrant and exciting 3D printer will quickly draw you in if you’re a 3D printing enthusiast. The Taz Workhorse offers a strong frame, large build volume, and one heck of a sticker price. You’ll pay for this amazing 3D printer, but there are plenty of users out there who believe it’s worth it.

For example, the Taz Workhorse has a steel nozzle, which allows users to print with exotic filaments. The include filaments that have wood, sand, and metal fillers, which could quickly wear down a brass nozzle.

The drawback to this printer is that it’s only a single extruder, but there are plenty of positives to outweigh the few negatives. Its build area is one of the largest in its market, plus the Workhorse lineup is well-known for being durable and reliable, something you don’t find with a lot of 3D printers.

FlashForge Creator Pro – Best Portable 3D Printer

The FlashForge Creator Pro comes with handles on each side, so you can easily move it wherever you need it. Plus, the Creator Pro is a durable printer, so you don’t have to worry about causing damage when you move it.

On the downside, the Creator Pro isn’t as reliable as other 3D printers. For example, one common problem users experience is the extruder jamming up on them. While this isn’t the worst thing in the world, it can be a pain if you have to consistently deal with this type of issue.

Sill, the Creator Pro is an excellent 3D printer with a fantastic community. If you’re looking for a solid 3D printer that won’t kill your budget, the Creator Pro is an excellent option.

FAQs

There are many questions associated with 3D printers, but here are some of the more commonly asked ones:

How do I prevent clogs?

If you want to prevent clogs in your 3D printer, your best bet might be what’s called a Cold Pull. This involved using old filament to stick to the current filament so you can pull it out of the printer. Another option is to remove the nozzle and soak it in acetone to loosen up any clogged filament.

What color filament is best?

Many users will tell you that the best filament color to use is typically plain white. This is especially true if you don’t plan on painting your printed objects. While other colors are pretty easy to use, there are users who experience brittle or spotty prints when using a color other than white.

Where can I find ideas for printing?

One of the best places online for printing idea is Thingiverse. This is a massive online warehouse full of 3D printing files. Anything you can imagine is more than likely in this repository.

Final Thoughts

MakerGear’s M3 3D printer is a high-quality printer that can easily make the transition from manufacturing to home workshop. However, it’s in a manufacturing environment that this printer really makes a name for itself.

If you want precision and quality and you plan on printing a lot of objects, the MakerGear 3D printer is a great choice.

BCN3D Sigma Review – An Expert Opinion

This BCN3D Sigma R19 review is going to go over all the features of this 3D printer so that you can decide if it is worth buying or not.

The latest version of the Sigma is the R19 and it is made in Barcelona by BCN3D and is a part of the University Polytechnic of Catalonia. It was released back in 2018 and is one of the many dual extruder 3D printers that have come onto the market in recent years.

It is often confused with the Sigmax which is also from BCN3D but is a larger version of the Sigma R19 with a few additional features.

We’re going to show you the key components of the BCN3D Sigma R19, how it performs as a 3D printer, what its pros and cons are and we’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about this printer too.

Key specifications of BCN3D Sigma R19

Find the main specifications for the BCN3D Sigma R19 below.

Build volume 210mm x 297mm x 210mm
Build plate maximum temperature 100 °C
Extruder maximum temperature 290°C
Filament types PLA, NYLON, PET-G, ABS, TPU,

 

PVA, Composites,

Filament diameter 2.85 mm
WiFi connectivity? No
Operating System MacOS, Windows and Linux
Warranty 1 Year
Our score 8/10
Latest price Click here find the latest price

Core features of BCN3D Sigma R19

The latest version of the BCN3D Sigma is the R19 which comes packed with a wide range of different features. It’s a powerful 3D printer but let’s look at each aspect of this device and then we’ll see how it actually performs.

Design

The latest Sigma from BCN3D has a build size of 210mm x 297mm x 210mm which means it certainly isn’t the biggest 3D printer out there but it is still a fairly big size for printing 3D models. If you want to be printing on an industrial scale then you might want to consider something bigger like the newly released Epsilon.

If you have used any of the previous versions of the Sigma (the original or R17) or even it’s larger model the Signmax you will be familiar with the design. It hasn’t strayed very far from previous models which isn’t a bad thing as the Sigma looks great and will fit in well in a modern environment.

You get various accessories with this 3D printer as well including lubricants, cleaning solvents as well as metal shims.

Two IDEX printheads

Having two IDEX printheads is what sets the Sigma R19 apart from many other 3D printers and we’ve found that the dual extruders work perfectly to create models (we’ll have a look at how it performs a little later on).

Instead of just having one printhead, the Sigma R19 has two IDEX printheads so you can print off two models at the one time.

Obviously this divides the print area so it does impact on efficiency and how big each print can be although the mirror and dual modes that we’ll look at next is a really good feature.

Mirror and dual modes

The Sigma R19 from BCN3D offers two unique printing models – mirror and dual.

The duplication mode with this 3D printer means that you can print two identical models at the same time. It basically splits the printing volume in half with a 50/50 split.

Mirror mode allows you to print off two mirror designs symmetrically. One slight drawback with this on the Sigma is that it splits the print bed 60/40 between the two extruders so it doesn’t divide it up equally giving you one larger print bed for one extruder to work with and a slightly smaller one for the other. This is something that is rectified with the larger Sigmax.

Print with two different materials

This Sigma allows you to use two different materials to print with at the one time. It features a multi-material mode which means you can combine the properties of two different materials into the same print.

The dual extruders mean that you will waste a good bit of filament as it needs to be purged regularly due to the design. Just something to keep in mind as it is a drawback of how the Sigma has been made.

Software

There is a wide range of different 3D printing software out there that helps you, design models, for printing and ultimately get those models printing on your 3D printer.

The BCN3D Sigma uses an adapted version of CURA which is one of the most well-known pieces of software and crucially it is one of the easiest to use. If this is going to be your first 3D printer or if you have limited experience using one, CURA is probably the go-to program to get accurate and easy prints.

It doesn’t come with WiFi connectivity which is a downside however you can use an SD card or a USB. The software itself is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac so pretty much everyone will be able to use it.

How does the BCN3D Sigma R19 perform?

bcn3d sigma r19

One of the best things about the BCN3D Sigma R19 is that you can keep it running for a long time and you won’t encounter any problems with your prints. It has been designed to print for hundreds of hours at a time.

There were a few issues with larger models that have been printing sticking to the print bed and the heating element doesn’t spread the heat too evenly while the nozzles will need to be cleaned on a frequent basis. The aforementioned filament wastage is another thing to make you aware of.

That being said, the actual prints from the Sigma R19 are of very high quality. We really liked how everything came out even if there are a few bumps on the road along the way. The software is very easy to use so you shouldn’t have any problems there and if you are looking for a reliable printer in this price range then you can’t go far wrong.

Sure, there are more expensive 3D printers that perhaps don’t have the drawbacks of the Sigma R19 however for the price and its affordability it prints off high-quality models.

Pros of BCN3D Sigma R19

bcn3d 3d printer

The latest version of the Sigma from BCN3D is packed full of features. Here are the best bits from this powerful 3D printer.

  • Two IDEX printheads – As dual extruders go, this is a great 3D printer and certainly one of the best on the market for its price. The two IDEX printheads will print off models to a high quality and while there are a few drawbacks when put into mirror mode, the printheads themselves are a great feature.
  • Can print for long hours – The Sigma R19 is designed to be used over long periods and even when it has been running continuously for days (and even longer) it doesn’t impact on the overall quality of the prints it produces.
  • Dual and Mirror Modes – The BCN3D Sigma R19 allows you to print in what is known as dual and mirror modes. Dual mode prints two identical models at the same time and splits the print bed 50/50 while the mirror mode lets you print off two mirror designs symmetrically.
  • Fairly inexpensive – There are many cheaper 3D printers out there and there are many models that are much more expensive. That being said, the Sigma R19 is a very reasonably priced printer for what it does and you’ll find 3D printers that cost more which don’t offer the same features or print quality.
  • Easy to use software – BCN3D has a slightly adapted version of the popular CURA software to use with the Sigma. If you are new to 3D printing or have limited experience with it, you’ll find the software very easy to use and operate.

Cons of BCN3D Sigma R19

There are a few downsides with the latest version of the Sigma BCN3D and while it is overall a very good printer for the price, these are the drawbacks that we encounter.

  • Noisy – This probably isn’t going to detract you from buying the BCN3D Sigma R19 however it is a fairly noisy device. It’s just something we think we should make you aware of because it will impact on where you have the printer and the location you will be running it from.
  • Filament wastage – This is due to the dual extrusion design of the Sigma R19. You will encounter a bit of filament wastage. This is down to the regular filament purges you’ll need to do when the 3D printer is in operation – you need to keep the hotends primed – however, it’s a price to pay for having dual extruders.
  • Some issues with mirror mode – Mirror mode allows you to print off two mirror designs symmetrically however it doesn’t split the print bed evenly as it is divided up 60/40 between the two extruders.
  • No WiFi connectivity – While the BCN3D Sigma R19 has both SD card and USB connectivity options it doesn’t come with WiFi which can be a drawback for some people. It is something that is present on other 3D printing models from BCN3D but not on the Sigma.

Are there any alternatives?

BCN3D Sigmax R19

bcn3d sigmax r19

You might think that this isn’t much of an alternative because it is made by the same people and almost has the exact same name. However, the Signmax R19 is the step up from the Sigma as it is much bigger (the build volume is 420mm x 297mm x 210mm) and does come with various other features.

Really this is an ideal alternative if you need a bigger 3D printer with pretty much the same features and you have a bit more money to spend. It also solves the issue of the 60/40 split with the mirror mode. You can have a look at our review of the Sigmax R19 which you can find here.

TierTime UP 300

tiertime up300

The TierTime UP 300 is a Chinese manufactured 3D printer that comes in around the same price as the Sigma R19. There is a mini version available as well we’ve had a look at before.

In terms of specifications, it comes with a similar build size of 205 x 255 x 225 mm although with a smaller filament size of 1.75 mm. One of the big advantages this 3D printer has is that it does come with WiFi connectivity as well as USB and SD. Its enclosed design means that it is ideal for plastics like ABS that need high temperatures although the major downside is that it doesn’t come with dual extruders.

FAQs

Does the BCN3D Sigma R19 have WiFi connectivity?

No, the Sigma R19 doesn’t come with WiFi connectivity although it does have SD and USB functions. The BCN3D Epsilon does have WiFi.

What are dual extruders on the BCN3D Sigma R19?

The Sigma R19 comes with IDEX dual extruders which means you can print with more than one material and in more than one color at the same time.

What materials can I use with the Sigma R19?

The 3D printer supports PLA, NYLON, PET-G, ABS, TPU, PVA, and other composites. Its max temperature of 290°C means that it can use certain engineer-grade materials as well.

Does the BCN3D Sigma R19 printer come with software?

The software that the Sigma R19 uses is a slightly adapted version of the popular open-source CURA which is popular among people that use 3D printers. For beginners especially it is very easy to use.
Specifications:
Windows: Windows Vista or higher, 64 bit
Mac OS: Mac OS 10.11 or higher, 64 bit
Linux: Ubuntu 14.04 or higher, 64 bit
Intel Core 2 or AMD Athlon 64 or newer
205 MB available hard disk space
4GB RAM memory

What is the max temperature for the BCN3D Sigma R19?

The maximum temperature of the build plate is 100 °C while the extruder can reach a temperature of 290°C.

What are the mirror and dual modes on the BCN3D Sigma R19?

Dual-mode means that you can print two identical models at the same time and it splits the print bed evenly at 50/50. Mirror mode is where you can print off two mirror designs symmetrically and the print bed is split 60/40.

Final Thoughts

Let’s finish off this review by saying that the Sigma R19 is a very powerful 3D printer that offers high-quality printing and you can leave it to do its work over a long time.

The cost is also very affordable for what you are getting. There are better 3D printers out there that will cost more but if you are on a budget and need a printer that is going to do the job and do the job well, it is hard to look past the BCN3D Sigma R19.

It does have some drawbacks. Namely the fact that it has no WiFi connectivity although it certainly isn’t alone in this regard for its price and there is quite a bit of filament wastage with this model. Noise is something else to take into consideration but then again that is often the norm rather than the exception with a 3D printer.

Overall it is a very good device.

It prints to high quality, has a decent size print bed, the IDEX dual extruders are great and there are several printing modes that will make your life a lot easier. Couple this with the fact that it comes with easy to use software and for a 3D printer it isn’t going to cost the earth, it is hard to look past the Sigma R19 for high quality and affordable model.

How to Find the Best Resin 3D Printer For Your Needs

You have decided to give 3D printing a try, and you’re interested in using resins to create your works of art. How do you choose the best resin 3D printer?

While there are many features, specifications, and characteristics that you should consider, choosing a resin 3D printer should focus on three things: price, speed, and build quality.

But it’s really not as straightforward at that because there are things that you should decide on first. Read on and find out how you can find the best resin 3D printer out there, and what makes them the best for you.

Our Pick
We love the AnyCubic Photon [Cyber Deal]

Dead simple to set-up, comes pre-assembled, intuitive touch-screen and exceptional level of detail. This machine empowers CREATORS, without expecting you to be a mechanic. The small - but precise - print bed is perfect for miniatures.

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

DLP or SLA? Which One Should You Choose?

There are two main types of 3D printers based on the light source. There’s digital light processing printers and stereolithography printers.

Stereolithography

SLA is the oldest printing techniques used today. SLA printers use lasers to do its work.

The laser light is guided by a pair of galvanometers that directs these beams of light to the right coordinates. As the laser beam travels over the liquid polymer, the material hardens.

Digital Light Processing

DLP printers use photopolymers to create the model you want. It uses a traditional light source such as an arc lamp.

These printers have a vat for the polymer, which is exposed to ultraviolet light in layers. The first layer of the polymer will harden and then the printer will print the next slice until the model is finished.

Unlike SLA printers, the light is not concentrated in a single spot. Instead, DLP printers form the whole layer at once.

DLP and SLA: What’s the Same?

No matter what you choose, you will need a photodegradable initiator substance or resins that can interact with light to form carbene-like compounds, cations, or free radicals. These compounds are necessary for polymerization to take place, and to create your printed object.

DLP and SLA: What’s Different?

As you can guess, the main difference between these two technologies is the light source. DLP printers use UV light with SLA uses a laser.

The UV light in DLP printers remains in place as it produces your print layer by layer. In stereolithography, the beam moves around point by point.

Benefits of SLA Printers

These mechanisms affect how accurate the printed model will be. SLA printers are more accurate because the lasers go to where the point of curing is.

As such, SLA printers produce better quality prints.

Benefits of DLP Printers

However, DLP printers work faster than SLA printers. So if you do not need finely detailed prints, you might be able to save time with a DLP printer.

If you need to change the light source, UV lights are generally more affordable than laser lights.

DLP printers allow you to adjust the intensity of its UV lights, so you can have different effects on the resin. With the lasers in SLA printers, you cannot get the same variance in effects unless you change the laser light with the right beam intensity.

DLP printers are typically easier to maintain. SLA printers require calibration, which is typically done by a professional. What’s more, an SLA printer has a much more complex architecture, so if something goes wrong, you will need a professional to come in and take a look.

DLP vs. SLA: Which One Should You Choose

Which technology should you be using? Here’s a simple guide

Choose an SLA printer if:

  • You require a high level of accuracy and resolutions for your prints.
  • You don’t like dealing with subtle remnants or jaggedness in the edges of your prints.
  • You need to print several intricate and smaller parts at the same time.

Choose a DLP printer if:

  • You want faster prints.
  • You don’t want to do too much post-curing.
  • Your prints are not that detailed.
  • You want a more reliable printer because DLP has fewer moving parts.
  • You want DIY maintenance that is also affordable.
  • You want to save money.

LCD Printers: Some Things You Should Know

Another less common 3D printing technology is LCD. It’s very much like DLP printing, but instead of using a projector, LCD uses an array of LED lights for its UV light source. The LCD acts like a mask, so it reveals only the pixels that are needed to create that particular later.

Unlike both DLP and SLA printers, LCD printers do not have a mechanism that directs lights towards particular parts of the resin.

What’s more, DLP is more of a professional’s 3D printer. Compared to desktop LCD printers, DLP devices are more expensive.

Build Volume Should Be Your First Consideration

Our Pick
We love the AnyCubic Photon [Cyber Deal]

Dead simple to set-up, comes pre-assembled, intuitive touch-screen and exceptional level of detail. This machine empowers CREATORS, without expecting you to be a mechanic. The small - but precise - print bed is perfect for miniatures.

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

Once you have decided on an SLA, DLP, or LCD 3D printer, it’s time to narrow down your choices.

Build volume will determine how big a model you can print on your 3D printer. A big build volume will allow you to print a large model in one piece. You don’t have to spend time to assemble smaller pieces to get your 3D model. Plus, if you’re forced to print on a smaller scale, you lose some important details on the model.

If the printer you use allows you to print different models in one go, a bigger build volume will also allow you to produce more products in the same batch. And even if you don’t need it now, you may need a printer with a large printing capacity in the future.

However, printers with large build volumes often have hefty price tags. If you’re not into professional 3D printing, you might want to consider a 3D printer that will accommodate most of your printing needs. For instance, if you’re printing miniatures for a diorama you’re working on, then you can probably forego having to pay extra for a larger 3D printer.

What’s more, large build volumes equate to bigger printer dimensions. If you only have a small space, there is no way you can fit a big 3D printer in there.

A Word About Build Volumes

You should know that there are printers that oversell their products’ build volumes. A ZDNet article showed that actual widths and depths can differ from those stated by the manufacturer. The typical printer will print anywhere from 0.1 to 0.4 percent smaller models than what is written in the manual.

For instance, the biggest differences in their tests were found in the Dreammaker Overlord Pro Plus with a claimed build volume of 4.9 by 4.9 by 11.0 inches (125 by 125 by 280 millimeters), but can only print objects of up to 3.1 by 3.1 by 10.0 inches (79 by 79 by 255 millimeters).

What 3D Printers Should You Consider?

What are the best 3D printers with sizable build volumes? Look for:

  • Uniz Slash+
  • Formlabs Form 2
  • Flashforge Hunter
  • Peopoly Moai

Uniz Slash+

Uniz Slash+ offers you a build area of 7.5 by 4.7 by 7.9 inches (190.5 by 121.9 by 198.1 millimeters). Plus, with all that capacity, it prints with impressive speed. It’s also designed to be precise and accurate.

This 3D printer has a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels at 75 micrometers. It works with several resins and is very reliable.

However, this is one very expensive SLA printer, costing close to $2,900.

Formlabs Form 2

Formlabs Form 2 gives you excellent quality prints, easy to use software, and powerful features that make it t a shoo-in for those who are serious about 3D printing.

It works with third-party materials and the setup is pretty simple. The prints come out with sharp and clean edges, with a lot of intricate details. It also prints out very fast.

However, this is not the printer for those looking for bigger build volumes. It costs around $3,500 and the consumables start at $150 or more.

Flashforge Hunter

Flashforge Hunter comes from a company with a reputation for affordable yet high-quality 3D printers. And the Hunter does not disappoint.

It’s an excellent plug and play 3D printer and has shorter print times than most other SLA printers. It gives you a bigger build area as well at 5.7 by 5.7 by 6.9 inches (145 x 145 x 175 millimeters).

This DLP printer is also very quiet. You will love just how easy it is to use. However, like other 3D printers we have here, it’s also very expensive, costing around $4,000.

Peopoly Moai

We know that you are hating how 3D printers with big build areas also cost a lot. The Peopoly Moai is one excellent and huge 3D printer that doesn’t cost as much. It sells for $1,200.

Peopoly positions the Moai as an affordable yet powerful 3D printer. It has a build volume of 5.1 by 5.1 by 7.1 inches (130 by 130 by 180 millimeters).

What’s more, the Peopoly Moai has an open design that makes it different from the rest. And unlike most other SLA printers, you can adjust the intensity and exposure of the lasers on this printer.

However, this printer needs some assembly, and you might end up getting frustrated trying to put it together even before you start printing.

Further, you will also need to replace the print tray frequently, and preparing your prints needs a lot of tweaking.

A Bigger Print Area Means a Higher Price Tag

If you need a 3D printer that is able to handle big prints, then you should save up and save for a long time. These 3D printers will cost you a lot.

A side-by-side comparison of our recommendations follows:

  Features Build volume (mm) Resolution (μm)

Speed (mm/hr)

Uniz Slash+
  • High-resolution 3D prints
  • Very fast printing speed
  • Works with a wide variety of resins
  • Consistent and reliable
  • Accurate

192 × 120 × 200

75

200

Formlabs Form 2
  • Compact size
  • Modern and sleek design
  • Easy to use
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Excellent customer service

145 x 145 x 175

25

30

Flashforge Hunter
  • Works quietly and fast
  • Optimized DLP projector
  • Models print out in high-resolution
  • Works with third-party materials and resins
  • Easy to use and intuitive user interface.

145 x 145 x 175

62.5

10

Peopoly Moai
  • Very affordable
  • Over the top printer resolution
  • Speedy prints
  • Stellar customer service
  • Models look like they were done by a professional
  • Perfect for big and complex structures
  • Works with a variety of resins

130 x 130 x 180

70

85

Cost: Should You Buy Really Expensive Printers?

Perhaps the biggest consideration most people have when they are choosing a resin 3D printer is how much it’s going to cost them. Some people may think that the more expensive printers are better: they have bigger build volumes, higher resolutions, and are more accurate.

For the most part, these may be true, but there are exceptions to the rule. For example, if you are looking for budget-friendly options, you can take a look at:

Monoprice Mini Deluxe

The Monoprice Mini Deluxe costs around $500. But even at that price, the LCD printer delivers excellent prints with resolutions of up to 20 micrometers.

It measures 7.8 by 7.8 by 16.0 inches (198 by 198 by 406 millimeters). It’s compact and small, making it very easy to move around where you want it.

But it does come with some tradeoffs. For instance, some users might find it difficult to configure.

The compact dimensions of this printer also mean one thing: a small build area measuring 4.7 by 2.8 by 7.8 inches (120 by 70 by 200 millimeters).

Moreover, you might find yourself maintaining this printer more often than what you’d like. You will need to change the base of the vat after every 10 to 20 prints. To do that, you will need to remove 18 different screws and then put back the whole thing after you’re done.

Monoprice Mini Deluxe

Even with a very accessible price, the Monoprice Mini Deluxe printer delivers excellent prints with resolutions of up to 20 micrometers, needing very little space.

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

Anycubic Photon

Anycubic sells the Photon printer for around $170.

It’s going to be difficult to top this printer at this very low price. This LCD printer gives you 2K resolution at 47 micrometers. It also comes assembled right out of the box.

Photon is the 3D printer that others have copied or improved on. It’s still on several best-of lists because of its price, decent printing capabilities, powerful LEDs, and its firmware. It also has a decent build volume of 4.5 by 2.6 by 6.1 inches (115 by 65 by 155 millimeters).

Photon also has a vibrant user community that has ensured that you can get help when you run into trouble, gives you tips and tricks, as well as suggest how to improve your printing with this printer.

However, this device can only print 20 millimeters per hour. See how Photon compares to its upgraded version, Photon S here.

Our Pick
We love the AnyCubic Photon [Cyber Deal]

Dead simple to set-up, comes pre-assembled, intuitive touch-screen and exceptional level of detail. This machine empowers CREATORS, without expecting you to be a mechanic. The small - but precise - print bed is perfect for miniatures.

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

SparkMaker

With a price tag that hovers around $260, you will be surprised at the set of features that this LCD 3D printer gives you. It comes with a full high-definition 1080-pixel LCD that allows for precise printing.

With a 57-micrometer XY resolution and 42 UV LED light sources, you can have some of the best quality prints from this machine. You don’t have to worry about assembling it; too, making it ready to go once you get it out of the box. The manufacturer delivers it to you with everything in place and the leveling done.

It does have a smaller build volume at 3.9 by 2.2 by 4.9 inches (98 by 55 by 125 millimeters), but that is to be expected because of its compact size. This printer measures only 6.7 by 6.7 by 10.8 inches (170 by 170 by 275 millimeters).

SparkMaker

You will be surprised at the set of features that this LCD 3D printer gives you. It comes with a full high-definition 1080-pixel LCD that allows for precise printing.

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

Affordable But Slow

These three 3D printers are going to be some of the most affordable options you have right now. They don’t sacrifice on resolution and features, but they tend to be on the lower end as far as 3D printers go.

These will be perfect for you if you’re just starting out and trying to decide whether 3D printing is something that you really want.

A side-by-side comparison of these three printers will help you choose the best affordable resin 3D printer:

Printers Features Build Volume (mm) Resolution
(μm)
Speed (mm/hr)
Monoprice Mini Deluxe
  • Affordable
  • High resolution
  • Fast printing
  • LCD touchscreen
  • Compatible with third-party resins
  • No problems sourcing inexpensive spare parts

120 x 70 x 200

20

30

Anycubic Photon
  • Has its own slicer
  • Easy to set up and use
  • High resolution
  • Excellent quality prints
  • Easy to follow instructions for assembly and cleaning

115 x 65 x 155

47

20

SparkMaker
  • Affordable and compact resin printer.
    Very quiet.
    You can use third-party resins.
    Easy to use and comes with a dedicated slicer software

98 x 55 x 125

57

25

Managing the Trade-Off

As you can see, there is a trade-off when it comes to price, build size, and speed of 3D printers. The bigger the build size, the more expensive a 3D printer gets. The faster a printer finishes the job, it gets more costly.

The best resin 3D printer would be somewhere along the middle. If you’re not particularly looking to print huge pieces in one go, but would like something that’s faster than most 3D printers without the very high price, then you can consider the following:

  Features Build Volume (mm) Resolution
(μm)
Speed (mm/h) Price Range
Wanhao Duplicator 7
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Easy to use
  • Works with low-cost resins
  • Vibrant and supportive community
  • Excellent quality prints

120 x 68 x 180

25 35

$400 – $500

Micromake L2
  • Affordable
  • Very precise
  • Has a post-curing hood
  • Multi-language user interface
  • Built-in 6 gigabytes of storage
  • Printing is speedy
  • Simple to use
  • 4.3-inch high-definition LCD touchscreen

108 x 65 x 200

57 20

$500 – $600

Best Resin 3D Printers: Other Characteristics You Should Consider

Aside from the price, speed, and build volume of the resin 3D printer, you should also look at the following characteristics in order to choose the best one for your needs:

Accuracy – A 3D printer’s accuracy will determine whether or not the printed model will look like the digital design you created in your slicer or CAD program.

Durability – A 3D printer can cost anywhere from less than $200 to thousands of dollars. If anything, it will be a bummer if your printer breaks down or needs a lot of maintenance. Aside from the interruption of your work, all the troubleshooting and maintenance will add costs to your printing.

Materials – Some 3D printers work only with resins from the same manufacturer. Others will not work with certain kinds of resins. To get the most out of your 3D printers, it should be compatible with different kinds of resins, to ensure that you have the flexibility to create all the 3D models you can think of.

Customer service – A 3D printer may be very complex. It’s a technology that most people, especially beginners, will not be familiar with. Having excellent customer service can get you out of any potential problems you might have with your printer.

Best Resin 3D Printers: Frequently Asked Questions

We try to answer some of the questions that are related to resin 3D printers.

1. Why should you care about resin 3D prints?

Resin printers often have better quality prints than comparable fused deposition modeling printers. This is because lasers or projectors can easily render fine details on resin. As such, they produce more accurate models.
Further, printers using filaments may have more accidents as upper layers may not fuse with the bottom layers as solidly as you would want to.
So, if you’re going for models that have intricate designs, consider resin 3D prints.

2. Is cheaper necessarily better?

In the case of resin 3D printers, you should decide against printers that are cheaper but have lower print quality. Spend a bit more for a more precise 3D printer because it may spell the difference between coming up with a great model, or tons of frustration.

3. What are some resins that you should know of?

There are a lot of materials that are used for resins. Thermoset polymers make it easy to have attractive 3D models with its smooth finish, high level of detail, and sturdiness.
Standard resin produces sturdy and high-resolution models. These are usually used to print prototypes.
Clear resin is like standard resin, but you can see what’s inside because it’s almost transparent.
Tough resins are for those models that need to be stronger, more elastic, and can withstand a tremendous amount of pressure.
Aluminum resin is resistant to wear. It’s the perfect material for those parts that need low friction and flexibility. Aluminum resin often results in a 3D model that has a smooth surface.
There are also specific types of resins for engineers, doctors, dentists, and other professionals. Plus, there are heat resistant resins, as well.
Rubber resins are perfect for parts that will be compressed or bent.
Ceramic-filled resin produces stiff models with a very smooth finish. This resin has pieces of ceramics or glass in it.

Follow This Guide and Buy the Best Resin 3D Printer Today

Our Pick
We love the AnyCubic Photon [Cyber Deal]

Dead simple to set-up, comes pre-assembled, intuitive touch-screen and exceptional level of detail. This machine empowers CREATORS, without expecting you to be a mechanic. The small - but precise - print bed is perfect for miniatures.

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

The best 3D printer for you is the one that will meet your printing requirements. It should have a large build area, prints quickly, and is budget-friendly.

You may not be able to do the models you want to create if your 3D printer doesn’t have enough space to build it. Conversely, a 3D printer that takes a long time to complete your model might not be a good idea. And lastly, you may find the best resin 3D printer with a huge build area and fast speeds, but it may not be budget-friendly.

As such, you should strike a balance between the prices, speed, and build capacity.

Intamsys FunMat HT Review: Will This Work for You?

In our Intamsys FunMat HT review, we’re going to go over why this particular 3D printer is a solid choice for small businesses on a tight budget.

While there are many affordable 3D printers out there that are mainly aimed at hobbyists and for personal use, the cost of a 3D printer to print engineering-grade objects can often be very high.

One of the main reasons for this is that industrial 3D printers need to reach much higher temperatures than those that are used at home, and they generally need to be in operation much longer and more frequently as well.

The Intamsys FunMat HT is made in Shanghai, China, and for a small business, it offers a powerful 3D printer that doesn’t have the same high cost as some other models. Does that mean that it is as good as the 3D printers that have a higher price tag?

Let’s find out.

Intamsys FunMat HT Review

Key specifications of Intamsys FunMat HT

We’ll go more in-depth with the main features of this 3D printer later on but here are the key specifications of the Intamsys FunMat HT.

You may find our informative 3D printing glossary useful if you are new to 3D printers or if you are not sure what some of the terms mean.

Build size 260 x 260 x 260 mm
Max hot end temperature 450 °C
Max heated bed temperature 160 °C
Filament types PEEK, Carbon Fiber-filled metal, PLA, ASA, PETG
Filament diameter 1.75 mm
Supports third party filaments? Yes
Operating System Windows, Mac, Linux
Warranty 1 Year
Our score 8/10
Latest price Click here find the latest price

Core features of Intamsys FunMat HT

The Intamsys FunMat HT comes with a wide range of features that you’d expect with a 3D printer that has been designed for engineering materials. We’ve compiled the core features of this 3D printer.

Design

This 3D printer has a pretty sleek and understated design, and it doesn’t take up a massive amount of space either. This is pretty useful for small businesses who perhaps don’t have a ton of room to store and use a 3D printer. However, one thing to note is that this printer is pretty heavy and weighs a lot more than you probably expect it to.

While the base model is highly effective at printing engineering-grade objects, there are some upgrades that you can get. This includes a significant upgrade to the extruder with an extruder connector kit, and the borosilicate glass can be upgraded to one made from a glass-ceramic construction.

High-temperature hot end

One of the big selling points to the Intamsys FunMat HT is the high temperatures that it can reach, and this is what sets it apart from the many of the other 3D printers that are mainly designed for home use.

The hot end is made from an all-metal construction, and it can reach temperatures of up to 450 °C, which is ideal for printing off high-end materials. This means that the filament types that this 3D printer supports, such as PEEK, Carbon Fiber-filled metal, PLA, ASA, and PETG, will print off to a high quality without any problems.

Intamsys FunMat HT materials

Heated filament chamber

Another fantastic feature of the Intamsys FunMat HT is the heated filament chamber.

This 3D printer offers a dedicated insulated chamber that is kept at a steady temperature of 90 °C, so this keeps your prints consistent. It is one of the benefits of a 3D printer in this price range, and you won’t usually find this on printers that are designed for home use.

High temperature bed

Like the high-temperature hot end, the bed can reach up to 160 °C.

If you have ever used a 3D printer that can’t reach high temperatures, you will probably have experienced curling and warping of prints on occasion. With the Intamsys FunMat HT, this won’t be a problem due to the high temperature that the bed can reach, and the two glass beds which have a magnetic connection mean that when the print has cooled, it can be easily removed from the print bed.

You can also upgrade the bed from the stock borosilicate glass to a ceramic glass model.

In chamber camera

A really good feature of this 3D printer is the in chamber camera.

A lot of 3D printers don’t give you the ability to monitor how your 3D printers are progressing in real-time. This means you can’t keep a close eye on how your print is turning out. You probably aren’t going to want to do this constantly because many 3D prints, particularly when you are printing engineering-grade materials, can take hours so you’ll want to go off and do something else.

That being said, the in chamber camera on the Intamsys FunMat HT is a really good feature that means you can watch your prints as they are developing. As a small but powerful addition, it will help you to create more accurate and high-quality prints on a consistent basis.

Back up power tool

Another core feature of this 3D printer is the fact that it has a backup a power tool.

In the event that you have a power cut, the last thing you want is for the print that has been processing for the last 3 hours to be ruined. With the Intamsys FunMat HT, if you suffer an unexpected power loss, the printer will not only save your print, but it will move the extruder to a neutral position as well.

So, when the power comes back, you can essentially start where you left off, and your print should still come out at the same high quality as if there was no interruption.

Software

There are a number of open source 3D printers out there that can utilize a number of software applications to operate the printer, and for the Intamsys FunMat HT it is recommended to use the manufacturer’s software called Intamsuite. You get a license for this software when you buy the printer.

You can also use Cura, which is an open-source slicer for 3D printers as well. In terms of operating systems, Windows, Linux, and Mac are all compatible with the software for this 3D printer.

Intamsys FunMat HT software

How does the Intamsys FunMat HT perform?

This 3D printer has been created for high-grade engineering materials, so we’d expect it to perform to a higher standard than many of the other 3D printers we’ve reviewed that are not only cheaper but also designed for hobbyists and occasional use.

One of the best tests to find out how a 3D printer performs is the Benchy Test.

This is where we give the 3D printer a complex model to print to see how it comes out. Overall this is one the best performing 3D printers with the Benchy Test that we have come across. The model came out to an incredibly high standard with great precision, accuracy, and a very good time as well.

We kind of expected this given the market that this 3D printer is aimed at, but we were still a bit surprised at how well the model was printed.

Pros of Intamsys FunMat HT

This 3D printer has many plus points that make it a high-quality printer combined with an affordable price.

  • High-temperature printing – Unlike most 3D printers that are designed for individuals, the Intamsys FunMat HT is aimed at small businesses, and because it is used to print off high-grade materials, it needs to reach a high temperature to do that. The fact that the hot end can reach up to 450 °C and the bed can reach up to 160 °C is a major pro for this model.
  • In chamber camera – Being able to continually watch your prints as they progress isn’t a feature you get on a lot of 3D printers, but it does come with this one. The in-chamber camera is a great addition to an already well-rounded printer and is ideal for ensuring your prints come out accurately.
  • Back up power tool – Similarly, experiencing a loss of power mid-way through a print can be devastating in most cases and results in poor quality prints or having to start the whole process again. The Intamsys FunMat HT has a safeguard procedure where the print is saved, and the extruder moved so it can start back up again as if nothing happened.
  • Cost-effective model– Printing engineering-grade models and using engineering plastics usually means you need to spend a lot on a 3D printer. The Intamsys FunMat HT isn’t exactly ‘cheap’; however it costs much less than a lot of other 3D printers that do the same job so it can be a cost-effective model for small businesses or individuals with a bit of money to spend.

FunMat HT Product

Cons of Intamsys FunMat HT

Even though this 3D printer offers a great entry route into using engineering-grade materials without having an extraordinarily high price, there are some drawbacks.

  • Difficult upgrades – We’ll use the extruder upgrade as an example. It is possible to upgrade the extruder with an extruder connector kit; however, the process is certainly not easy. Accessing the circuit board is hard, and many people have damaged pins and parts of the printer trying to do so.
  • Slow support – Compared to some other 3D printer manufacturers, Intamsys aren´t the quickest at getting back to you. They do offer phone support, which is a bonus, but email and their contact form can mean you need to wait several days for a response.
  • It is a heavy printer – Most 3D printers aren’t exactly lightweight however the Intamsys FunMat HT is extremely heavy. Not that you’ll probably be moving it much, but if you do need to move it around, it won’t be easy.
  • No WiFI connectivity – One big downside with this printer is that it doesn’t support WiFi connectivity. Even though you find WiFi connectivity on less expensive printers, they won’t print to the same high quality as this mode.

Are there any alternatives?

CreatBot PEEK 300

One of the defining features of the Intamsys FunMat HT is the fact that it offers a cost-effective high-quality 3D printer. The CreatBOT PEEK 300 is about the double price, which may rule it out as an alternative to some; however, it is worth mentioning.

Like the FunMat HT, this is a Chinese construction, and it is ideal for printing PEEK and engineering-grade materials. The hot end temperature goes up to 500 °C, and the bed can reach 200 °C, and it also provides a nozzle liquid cooling system.

If you have a bit more money to spend, then this is a credible alternative, although it might be out of the price range if you are looking for an affordable option.

Ultimaker 3

At the opposite end of the price spectrum, the Ultimaker 3 comes in a bit cheaper than the FunMat HT.

It won’t reach the same high temperatures – it has a max hot end temperature of 280 °C, which is significantly below the FunMat HT but still opens it up to being able to use engineer-grade materials although it won’t print to the same high standard.

If you are really on a budget, this 3D printer can be an alternative, but it may be worth paying out the extra money for the FunMat HT.

You can read our Ultimaker 3 comparison here.

Why Go With the Ultimaker 3?

I'll be honest, the Ultimaker 3 is one of my FAVORITE 3D Printers of all time. Not trying to hype it, but it's still the go-to for reliable performance and durability over time. It actually gets BETTER the MORE you use it... Weird!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Intamsys FunMat HT support engineering grade materials?

Yes. This 3D printer can reach high temperatures, which makes it ideal for using high grade materials such as PEEK, PLA, ASA, and PETG. It is also less expensive than many other 3D printers that can do this, such as the MakerGear Ultra One.

What support is available for the Intamsys FunMat HT 3D printer?

Intamsys provides several support options and methods that you can get in contact with. They have phone support, email, and a contact form on their website.

Does the Intamsys FunMat HT printer come with software?

Yes, you get a license to the Intamsuite software, which is developed by the manufacturer. You’ll need the following computer specifications to run it:
– Operating System: Microsoft XP/7 and above 32/64 bits, MacOX or Linux
– Processor: Intel or AMD Processor 2GHz
– RAM: 2GB minimum, 8GB recommended
– Hard Drive space: 3GB

What is the max temperature for this 3D printer?

The hot end can reach a temperature of 450 °C while the heated bed can reach a temperature of 160°C, which is high enough to use engineering grade materials.

Can I use WiFi to 3D print with the Intamsys FunMat HT printer?

No, there isn’t WiFi connectivity with this printer.

Final thoughts – Intamsys FunMat HT can print with engineering grade materials for a cost effective price

The main thing that people focus on with this particular 3D printer is the price. It comes in well under many other 3D printers that do the same job, and while it lacks some of the frills and features of other printers, it still prints high quality models.

I suppose that is the big selling point. For small businesses on a budget or even individuals who do have some money to spend, the Intamsys FunMat HT can produce very high-quality prints with high-grade materials such as PEEK, PLA, ASA, and PETG for around half the price of other 3D printers in the market.

The Intamsys FunMat HT does have some drawbacks. The lack of WiFi connectivity, the fact that it is strangely heavy even for a 3D printer and their support, could be quicker in responding; however, it still gets a solid 8/10.

If you want a budget option for printing from high quality materials as well as some great features like the in chamber camera, the back up power tool, and the software, you can do a lot worse than opt for the Intamsys FunMat HT.