For decades, the idea of being able to print three-dimensional things that you want from the comfort of your own home has been the stuff of science fiction dream. Rather than going to the store in order to get, say, a new dinner plate, or a cup that you could use to hold your pencils, or even a vase, you could just print it! What a world that would be, right?
Well, that is the world that we live in. Sure, it’s not as simple as the various ‘futurists’ of the time thought it would be (it’s not that easy yet, anyway), but it is becoming easier and more cost-effective to purchase your own 3D printer for home use to build various things, from art projects to parts.
Best 3D Printer 2018 – Comparison Table
This is a complex topic to breach, though, so let us begin by making sure that we have a good comparison chart of the various contenders for the title ‘Best 3D Printer’. The list below is up-to-date as of May 2018.
|3D Printer||Connections||Remote Viewing||Max Build Volume (inches)|
|Sindoh’s DP200 3DWOX||USB, Wireless, WiFi Network||Yes||8.3 x 7.9 x 7.7|
|Dremel Idea Builder 3D20||USB and SD Card||No||9 x 5.9 x 5.5|
|Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer||USB and Micro SD Card||No||4.7 x 4.7 x 4.7|
|FlashForge Finder||Wifi Network and USB||No||5.5 x 5.5 x 5.5|
|XYZ Printing Mini||SD Cards and WIfi Network||No||5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9|
|FlashForge Creator Pro||USB or SD Cards||No||8.9 x 5.7 x 5.9|
|MakerBot Replicator +||Wifi, Ethernet, USB Stick, USB Cable||Yes||11.6x7.6x6.5|
|QIDI Technology X-ONE||USB or SD Card||No||5.5 x 5.5 x 5.5|
|LulzBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer||USB||No||6 x 6 x 6.2|
|JG AURORA 3D Desktop Printer||SD Card and USB||No||11 x 7.1 x 7.1|
|Prusa i3 Do It Yourself Kit||USB or SD Card||No||7.9 x 7.9 x 8.7|
Now, 3D printing (or rather, utilizing software and commands to extrude various polymers in shapes at will) is not a new thing. In fact, companies making things like toys and figures have been doing it for quite some time. But the ability to do it at home without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars on the machine alone is a new thing.
Before we talk more about which one of these amazing 3D printers might be the best one for you, it might be good to go over the basics of how they work. They are, in essence, printers that, instead of printing with ink on paper, print with the use of various blends of plastics. It builds whatever you’ve instructed it to print in layer after layer, starting with the bottom layer and working up, most commonly. The compound used in the build is fed through the extruder nozzle as it is heated, and is then ‘printed’, or layered appropriately in accordance with software, and after some time, you have the item that you have printed.
So, now that we have a basic grasp of how this whole thing works, let’s take a look at a couple of the best 3D printers on the market.