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3D Printers

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3D Printers


The term 3D printing originally referred to the process of depositing binder materials on to a powder bed using an inkjet printhead, layer-by-layer. The single way of printing in 3D then has evolved into nine different types of printers today.


A true 3 in 1 machine makes perfect sense, as a 3D printer, cnc and laser cutter use all of the same core mechanisms and technologies. You can build full products, produce spare parts, or just make things that you find useful in your home, office, and workshop with a top-of-the-line 3D printer. Resin 3D printers can produce models that are extremely finely detailed, but they do require a lot more cleanup and post-processing than you would expect. Some 3D printers use stereolithography–the first 3D printing technology to be developed–in which ultraviolet (UV) lasers trace a pattern onto photosensitive liquid resin, solidifying the resin to create an object.


The Mono X can print complex desktop models or D&D models with amazing detail, and it is among the best miniatures 3D printers. The first resin 3D printer on our list, the Elegoo Mars Pro is an amazing budget printer for anyone well-versed in resin printing, and does not mind adding some extra complexity compared to FDM. If you are looking for a resin printer that offers high build volumes, but do not want to compromise on poor print quality, the Elegoo Saturn is a perfect fit, but you may need to look at Amazon multiple times before finding it. We would recommend you avoid using the supplied test print files, since they are universally frustrating experiences when they come off your build plate, but otherwise, The Elegoo Saturn is one of the best options out there for people who want to get a big printer without much fuss.


You can find highly capable 3D printers around $1,000, with prices being even lower for machines targeted at beginners, educators, and amateur printers. Low-cost, desktop-grade printers run between $100 and $400, while the most accurate, larger machines run well over $1,000. For this guide, we are going to focus on 3-D printers that fall into the sub-$4,000 range, which are targeted to consumers, hobbyists, schools, product designers, and other professionals like engineers and architects. The vast majority of sub-$4 printers create 3D objects from successive layers of melted plastic, a technology known as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF).


The most widely used process for 3D printing (46% in 2018) is a materials extrusion technology called fused deposition modeling, or FDM. We also look at what kind of software a printer uses, and how different ways to manage the print, either from your computer or through the control panel on the 3D printer itself. In addition to evaluating the quality and details of each print, we timed how quickly the printer worked with various speeds, from Draft Mode up to High-Quality settings. The boost, combined with a 2.5-second per-layer curing time by Mono LCD, means the Elegoo Saturn is capable of printing a larger number of parts in a similar time frame as the smaller-format Mars line of printers.

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