This post was most recently updated on January 12th, 2019
That’s right, we’re mixing it up and asking, “what is the best 3D printer?” For those of you not yet aware, 3D printers are machines that use some type of filament, often plastic based, to physically print digital 3D models. 3D printers have a variety of applications, both professional and personal. For this list, we are looking primarily at 3D printers for home use.
When looking to purchase a 3D printer, the choice ultimately comes down to how good of a printer you can get for what you can afford. High-end 3D printers can go for tens of thousands of dollars. For home use, we’ll look at printers between 500 and 2,000 dollars.
I’ve also broken the printers into three categories; good, better, and best. As you may have guessed, the price goes up as quality goes up.
I’d recommend doing some more background research to see what features you need in a 3D printer. What materials you need to print with, what your modeling software works well with, etc. This is not an impulse buy; you need to be an informed shopper.
However, if you are a hobbyist looking to start 3D printing for fun, here are some suggestions for what the best 3D printer for home use on Amazon is.
The QIDI Tech 3DP-QDA16-01 is a great 3D printer for anyone who is going to be printing for the first time. It has an all-metal frame with plastic panels and an aluminum printing bed. It works with ABS and PLA filaments, and works well with QIDI Print, Simplify 3D, Replicator G, and Makerware software.
By far the best part of the QIDI machine is the support. They are quick, responsive, and helpful. I’ve spoken to one person who was having a problem with their 3D printer. QIDI talked them through the process of completely disassembling and reassembling their 3D printer. Customer service doesn’t get much better than that.
You aren’t going to print anything of superior quality or remarkable intricacy with this printer, but this is one of the best 3D printers for a beginner to learn with.
The Creator Pro is a beloved 3D printer by its users. Check it out on Amazon; it has almost all five-star reviews.
Creator Pro owners typically rave about FlashForge’s excellent customer service, which is included for life with purchase. The Creator pro also has a sturdy metal frame and a thick aluminum bed that won’t warp from the heat. Like the QIDI, this printer prints in both ABA and PLA filaments, and includes a limited warranty from the manufacturer.
The Creator Pro is also for beginners, so if you are looking to get into 3D printing with something a little more reliable, this may be the best 3D printer for you.
So, our choice for the best 3D printer for beginners is going to the MakerGear M2. The M2 is going to cost you quite a bit more than the Creator Pro; usually over double. However, for the extra money, you get much more.
The MakerGear M2 prints objects up to 8”x10”x8”. This is much larger than either of the other two we’ve recommended. The M2 can also print with ABS and PLA, as well as PET, HIPS, TPU (i.e., flexible filament), Polycarbonate, composite (Metal-, Carbon Fiber-, or Wood-Filled), and more. Basically, if you can 3D print it, the M2 can do it.
The M2 is accurate to less than 50 microns and features a glass bed printing surface that is easy to replace. It is compatible with any open source 3D printing software, but MakerGear recommends Simplify3D.