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Best Of 2019

The Best 3D Printers Your Money Can Buy in May, 2019

We review the best-selling 3D printers

So you want to buy a 3D printer? You’ve heard so many great things about what they can do, and you want to get started on printing models of your own – a custom phone case, cosplay materials, figurines, musical instruments – the possibilities are endless. But what’s the reality?

3D printing is a broad term that covers the technologies required for producing physical items from a 3D image. Currently there are a few major 3D printing methods and printers that incorporate these methods. However, there are two main printer types suitable for the average consumer, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Stereolithography (SLA).

FDM is the process of heating a thermoplastic filament. It is then extruded and the model is created by layer by layer building. These printers are widely available and are very cost effective.

SLA is the more complicated method of exposing a layer of photosensitive liquid to a ultraviolet laser beam. The liquid solidifies forming polymers. These polymers then make up the body of a three-dimensional solid, layer by layer, with each layer going through the same process. This produces a higher quality, more detailed printout than FDM, and is popular in industries such as jewelry and cosmetic dentistry as it’s possible to build castable molds.

What do I need to 3D print?

Poly Lactic Acid (PLA), processed from corn starch, is an excellent material for beginners to 3D printing. It’s biodegradable and environmentally friendly, and available in reels of every colour under the rainbow.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) is a popular material for 3D printing. It’s a strong, yet flexible, petroleum based plastic. Great for interlocking pieces, however it can give off fumes during processing. So it should only be used in a well ventilated area.

So, what else is important to think about?

There are two other important factors to consider – resolution and speed.

Print resolution is measured in microns, or dots per inch (dpi), and refers to the level of detail that can be achieved by the printer. The fewer microns, the higher the resolution, and therefore the end result is more detailed.

Print speed is how fast the printer can print. You may wish to look for a slower printer, as this creates better results, especially for larger models. The higher the resolution, the slower the process, but the better the result.

Here we introduce our top choices for the best 3D printers in May, 2019:

1) BIBO 2 3D Printer

Overview

With a footprint the size of a microwave, the BIBO 3D printer has a sturdy aluminium frame, and is completely self contained, making it safer than many other models. Being enclosed also allows for an even heat throughout.                                               

What We Like

The ease of setting this up makes a refreshing change, and there are videos if you get into difficulties, but it almost prints straight from the box.

For a novice to 3D printing, this does it all for you, and we were really impressed with the usability of the touch screen controls, along with the option to use WiFi if required.

The laser printing ability is a great idea, and thank you, BIBO, for including everything we needed, including safety glasses.

The print quality, both for the laser and for the 3D, is astounding, considering the price bracket. It’s quick, produces a quality end result, quiet to run and doesn’t getting hot on the outside. 

What Needs Improving

Other than it could be a little bigger for larger printing, we can’t find fault with this printer.

9.7Expert Score
The Final Verdict

If you’re looking for an excellent printer with everything you need to start creating, all at an amazingly low price, this BIBO is the one for you. Very happy to give this one our seal of approval.

BIBO 2 3D Printer Sturdy Frame Dual Extruder WIFI Touch Screen Cut Printing Time In Half Filament Detect Demountable Glass...

Free shipping
Last update was on: May 25, 2019 5:47 am
in stock

 


2) QIDI TECHNOLOGY Desktop 3D Printer

Overview

This QIDI 3D printer, from Xindi, has a well made, very sturdy metal case with transparent acrylic panels. The pieces are very high quality and fit very nicely into the recessed areas making a neat cube, but being magnetic, are easily removable. With side mounted handles, it’s easily to move around, and fits comfortably onto a desk, or countertop.

What We Like

One you remove the QIDI from the box – it is incredibly well packaged, there is very little to do in terms of assembly.

We found the large touch screen easy to navigate and very touch responsive, and the included software, welcomingly user friendly. Once tuned up, the QIDI is great fun to use, and equally good in single extruder or dual extruder modes.

Our prints came out clean and accurate, whether we were using PLA or ABS. All in all, very impressive.

What Needs Improving

Inconveniently, the power switch is located at the back, so it’s best not to place the QIDI in a corner or pushed against a wall.

9.7Expert Score
The Final Verdict

QIDI have produced a great 3D printer - it does everything you could wish for, effectively and accurately, and without complaining.

QIDI TECHNOLOGY Dual Extruder Desktop 3D Printer, New Generation QIDI TECH I,Fully Metal Frame Structure - Acrylic Cover,W/2 Free Filaments

Free shipping
Last update was on: May 25, 2019 5:47 am
in stock

 


3) Comgrow Creality Ender 3

Overview

This Creality 3D printer has a compact and sturdy build, and feels strong and rigid thanks to its all metal construction.

When it comes to aesthetics, it’s a very open in design with the black metal components giving it a ‘meaning business’ look, and a decently sized work area. The large, smooth rolling wheels reduce noise and allow for any necessary level adjustments.

What We Like

While assembly can be done quickly, we found it worthwhile to take your time in getting everything right the first time around. Happily, Comgrow have included several spare parts  and all the necessary tools are in the box, along with some extras such as a metal spatula, pair of cutters and a nozzle cleaner.

We were impressed with both the usability, and print quality of this printer. It’s so simple to print even the most complicated designs. The detail achievable is very good, and it rose to the challenge every single time.

What Needs Improving

Some may find this a little loud, but it’s a minor issue when you’re getting such a great printer.

9.4Expert Score
The Final Verdict

Comgrow have designed a printer that can take on all, but the largest, printing tasks with a quality result that belies the price.

Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer Aluminum DIY with Resume Print 220 * 220 * 250mm

Free shipping
Last update was on: May 25, 2019 3:45 am
in stock

 


4) Anycubic 3D Printer

Overview

Made from heavy duty steel, the Anycubic has a fashionably industrial style. Like the Comgrow, this is an open design printer, and its Z action is taken care of by linear bearings and rails which add more strength and stability to the printer’s construction.

What We Like

There is minimum assembly required with the Anycubic, and it arrived almost ready to go.

The touch screen is a decent size, and very responsive, and we really like the auto-resume feature. Meaning that it will continue where it left off in the event of a power cut, this is a feature only a handful of printers offer.

Another feature rarely offered at this price bracket is the filament sensor, which alerts and pauses the printing if it detects an outage issue.

What Needs Improving

Like other open designed printers, it can be a little noisy.

9.3Expert Score
The Final Verdict

Anycubic have pulled out all the stops when designing this printer. For the price, you get a whole heap of features that will make any printing task that much easier.

ANYCUBIC i3 Mega 3D Printer Full Metal with Patented Heated Bed and 3.5 inch Touch Screen Large Print Size UK...

4 used from £180.00
Free shipping
Last update was on: May 25, 2019 9:45 am
in stock

 


5) Flashforge 3D Printer

Overview

The body of the Flashforge is square with neatly rounded corners and edges. Although made from brightly colored plastic, this open framed printer looks strong and feels very sturdy. The print bed doubles as a sliding tray and is effortless to insert and remove.

What We Like

Arriving fully assembled was a real treat, meaning we could just tune up and get going with our tests.

The touchscreen interface is great – very sensitive and simple to use, and having WiFi connectivity is a nice touch. Loading the spool looks more complicated than it actually is, and once we got the hang of it, it was straightforward.

The slicer programme – Flashprint, allowed us to really play around with our plan. Any angle, distance, scale up or down, even rotate our design. The software is very user-friendly.

The print quality is excellent and very smooth, reproducing even the tiniest detail perfectly, and with no problems.

What Needs Improving

The menu has been updated since Flashforge took screenshots for their user guide, but this was easily rectified.

9.6Expert Score
The Final Verdict

For ease of use, build quality, and great print results, this is an excellent 3D printer. It has plenty of little design touches, such as a really quiet operation and the slide-out print bed, that make this printer easy to recommend.

Flashforge 3D Printer Finder Single Extruder Printer

Free shipping
Last update was on: May 25, 2019 9:45 am
in stock

 

 

Best Of 2019
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