Best 3D Printers

What’s the Best 3D Printers 2020? Here’s the best 3D printer 2020 for your jobs and budget. Read our 3D printer reviews & Buy the best 3D printer on the market today. When the printers introduced in the market, it completely changed the concept of technology and increase its reach. Shifting the gears from the current trend of printers, advancements have produced some of the marvels that turn imagination into reality; 3D printers are one of the most innovative products on the market. Here we take into account the usage and performance of the endless models and provide the list of the best 3d printers 2020. For those who don’t know, 3D printers synthesize 3D objects from the digital data. We provide the information and guidance for choosing the best ones in the market.

Check the comparison table below to see our top choice 3D printers to choose from.

What Is 3D Printing?

3D Printing is the process of converting a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) into a physical model through various methods. A 3D printer is a piece of equipment that brings this digital model into a physical model. The transformation from digital to real-life happens by applying continuous layers of the elected material onto a flat, which is part of the 3D printer and melting the selected extrusion material to start forming the model. The 3D printers that we will be discussing have a price range from $300 to $2000. 3D printers have USB ports that you can upload your models; they usually come with their software or have free software to download them. I can tell you my personal experience that the best way to learn about 3D printers is to buy one and play with it.

Types of 3D printer:

3D Printing has evolved within the years, bringing new technology due to innovation or application needs. The model used depends on the process, material, and industry. Some applications require to be extremely precise. Below are some of the most common types of 3D Printing:

  1. Fused deposition modeling (FDM): Its main characteristic is that it prints plastic parts. The process consists of Printing thin layers of melted material to create a physical model. FDM is typically found as desktop 3D printers. Its pricing can be affordable, and it is practical to develop a prototype.
  2. Stereolithography (STL): It produces final physical products highly detailed. Its primary use is in the medical industry. Models are created by layer with photosensitive liquid plastic, and ultraviolet light helps to harden the material.
  3. Selective laser sintering (SLS): This process uses powder melted with a laser beam. It melts together nylon-based powders into solid plastic. It also enables us to print with metal. This type of Printing is one of the most expensive due to the process and cutting edge technology. 
  4. Digital Light Process (DLP): This process is very similar to STL but with a difference that it uses a digital light projector screen instead of a UV laser. Since DLP can project an entire layer at once, the speed of the print will be faster.
  5. Multi Jet Fusion: This process is similar to Selective laser sintering with the difference that MJF implements an inkjet arrangement to apply fusing agents to the powder’s bed. This process allows us to have more homogenous material than SLS. Another benefit of this process is the printing time; it is faster than SLS, which in the long term, can help you save money. 

What are you printing?

One of the main questions you need to ask when starting this journey is what you want to print. This answer is fundamental when selecting a 3D printer since different 3D printers have various applications. Maybe if you are trying to get into the medical field, materials and precision will play a significant role in this decision. If you are trying to use this as a hobby, maybe you will want your final product to look beautiful to keep yourself motivated and show it to your group of friends. If you are trying to use this device to teach the basics of 3D Printing to your students, a 3D printer with an easy user interface and modifiable equipment will be ideal. If you are an engineer, you might want your final product’s precision and stability to test it.

The final decision will be based on your goals. Maybe you are not a big fan of repairing equipment, so picking a 3D printer that is durable and reliable will be essential. But if you are going to show your physical product to the public, a printer that can handle multiple colors and print thin, detailed layers will be ideal. If you are in the manufacturing area and are trying to service a particular type of industry that involves large machinery, it will be evident that focusing on a 3D printer that can print large volumes will do the job.    

Does printing size matter?

When deciding what 3D printer to buy, the chances are that desktop categories appear on your search because they tend to be more economical and accessible. This information should not outweigh your decision on what device you should buy.  Another misconception is that your print size will be the size of your base, which is false. In most cases, the extruder won’t be able to reach each base’s end, reducing your printing area. Standard 3D printers have a build area of 6 to 9 inches square.

Printing Materials?

When deciding what 3D printer to buy, the chances are that desktop categories appear on your search because they tend to be more economical and accessible. This information should not outweigh your decision on what device you should buy.  Another misconception is that your print size will be the size of your base, which is false. In most cases, the extruder won’t be able to reach each base’s end, reducing your printing area. Standard 3D printers have a build area of 6 to 9 inches square.

Some of the most common 3D printers use the Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technique, which consists of a plastic filament on a roll, being fed, and melted through an extruder and sometimes deposited on a heated plate. The extruder moves on an XYZ direction to extrude the filament in a specific area of the printing working area. Filament materials include thermoplastics such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polylactic acid (PLA), high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and aliphatic polyamides (nylon), wood, bronze, and copper composite filaments, UV-luminescent filaments, nylon, Tritan polyester, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), polyethylene terephthalate (PETT), polycarbonate, conductive PLA, plasticized copolyamide thermoplastic elastomer (PCTPE), and PC-ABS. Material analysis is needed to know what material will be ideal for your work and compatible with your 3D printer since some of these materials have a higher melting point.

Some 3D printers accept generic rolls of filaments, others not. Since most of the company’s goal is to generate recurring revenue, they will try to create a way to have you hook buying their material. This decision is essential when selecting a 3D printer since a physical model can use a large quantity of filament.

Stereolithography (SLA) is used in the medical field. It provides precision and detailed final products. This precision can be achieved using a photochemical process where light causes chemical monomers and oligomers to cross-link together to form polymers. One of the disadvantages of this process can be high costs. This process can be messy and will need some work after the final product is printed.

A 3D printer will depend on the materials you select. It is essential to understand what type of materials the device can handle. The more filaments the device can manage, the more option you will have when making a final decision. Look at the material spec and to the 3D printer spec and make sure both materials are compatible.

Is resolution Important?

A better resolution is equivalent to more details. A 3D printer lays successive layers of melted materials, which leads us to conclude that the thinner the segment, the more feature you will be able to show. The unit of measure for resolution is the micron, which is equivalent to 0.001 mm, and the lower this number, the higher resolution you will get. One thing to consider is that since resolution measures the height of the layer, it does not guarantee a quality print. Multiple considerations can affect the quality of the print, like material, temperatures, environment.

A good question to ask yourself is what you would be Printing. If your final product is to prove a concept, maybe resolution won’t play a significant role in your product. If you are an artist and your final product involves fine details, you should go for a better resolution.  A higher resolution tends to have a higher price since more precise components will be needed. Additionally, a higher resolution will increase your printing time. In conclusion, you will need to evaluate your final product and use to be able to determine what print resolution you will need.

Is the printing surface important?

The surface you print is as important as any other component of a 3D printer. A good and functional platform will improve your product quality and resolution since the material printed will be able to adhere and remove without a problem. Imagine the printing surface as the foundation of the building; if it fails, there is a big chance you will have issues with the rest of the structure. A common platform found in multiple 3D printers are heated glasses with a painter’s tape on the top. The object sticks to the tape and makes it easier to remove. The benefits of having a heated surface are beneficial for the printed material to maintain its printed shape. Having a smaller differential of temperature between the printed material and the surface will help reduce the stress and curl the material’s corners.

With some 3D printers that don’t have painter’s tape that help adheres to the printed material, you can apply glue to the surface manually to help the material to adhere. You might lose consistency in your products, but if it is something that can help you save money, it is an excellent short-term solution.

Perforated boards are another option that appears on the printing surface. The way it works is that some material is deposited on the holes. The material on these holes will act as support to hold the object during the Printing. The problem with this printing surface is that sometimes the print can be challenging to remove, and additional work will be needed post-printing to smooth the base of your product.

Finally, I will suggest getting a 3D printer that automatically levels the build platform and Z-axis calibration. Since having the correct settings calibration will reduce mistakes in the long term.

Do I need a Close frame?

The need for a close frame will depend on the environment your 3D printer will be located. Having a closed structure with an enclosed with doors and glass have the benefit of being safer for kids or pets around. It will also reduce the noise, smell, and potential foreign material affecting your print.  An open frame will provide easy access and complete visibility of jobs in progress. 

Print Detail and Quality

When selecting a 3D printer, it is essential to identify which are the components that will make your physical model look as close your digital model. The following settings affect the print:

  1. Resolution – The unit uses to measure resolution is micron. Details involve the thickness and height of each layer. It is preferable to look for thinner layers for better quality since they can provide more details. In conclusion, a thinner layer is a lower resolution number, which will have a detailed final product.
  2. Layers -Since the physical model is printed in sheets, lines between layers will be visible. Some 3D printers will do a better job of reducing the visibility of the tracks. The thinner the segment, the details are better, as mentioned before. A smoother and more detailed model comes with a prize; it will take longer. Sanding and tumbling are recommended to obtain more continuous surfaces. It can be done by machine but keep it simple; just do it by hand. 
  3. Nozzles – plays a significant role in the detail of your final product. The smaller the nozzle, the thinner will be the layers meaning a more detailed physical model will be produced. A bigger nozzle will print your product faster because it can use more material per segment, but your product will not be as detailed as using a smaller nozzle. If you are a beginner, I recommend going for more detail since having a physical model as close to your digital model will help you aim for perfection!

Best 3D Printer 2020: Comparison Table

SpecificationsMonoprice Voxel 3D PrinterFormlabs Form 3 LulzBot Mini 2 Polaroid PlaySmartUltimaker 3Peopoly PhenomToybox 3D rinterXYZ da VinciNanoDremel DigiLab 3D45 3D Printer
Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price
Build Area150 x 150 x 150 mm145 x 145 x 185 mm160mm x 160mm x 180mm4.7 x 4.7 x 4.7 inches197 x 215 x 200 mm276x155x400 mm7x8x9 cm120 x 120 x 120 mm (WxDxH)10″ wide x 6.7″ deepx6″high
Layer Resolution0.05 – 0.4 mm25 microns0.05mm-0.4mm50 - 300 microns0.4mm nozzle: 20 - 200 micron3840 x 2160 pixels200 microns100 - 300 microns (Orange) 100 - 400 microns(White)0.05mm
Print Speed10 ~ 100 mm/secondHigher70mm/s80mm/s30 - 300 mm/s80mm/s60mm/secMax. 70 mm/s60mm/s
MaterialsABS, PLA, PETG, ExoticsLiquid resinPLA, Natural-Metal PLA-Blends,TPU,ABS, PETG,nGen,HIPS, Polyamide,Nylon, PolycarbonatePCPLA, Other plastics, ABSABS, CPE, PETG, PLA, PVA405 nm UV resinPLAPLA/ Antibacterial PLA / PETG / Tough PLAABS, Nylon, PLA
SoftwareMP FlashPrint PreForm, Dashboard Printer ManagementCura LulzBot EditionPolaroid SmartPrepCura 2 - Official Ultimaker SoftwareChituboxNOXXYZmaker SuiteDremel DigiLab 3D Slice
Supported Input Formats3MF, STL, OBJSTL, OBJ.stl, .obj, .x3d, .3mf, .png, .jpg.stl, .obj, .x3d, .3mf, .png, .jpgSTL, OBJ and 3MFSTL, OBJ, AMFSTL, OBJ, gCode.stl, .3mf, .obj, .igs, .stp, .ply, .amf, XYZ Format .3w),.nkg(.stl)STL, OBJ
ConnectivityUSB, WiFi, EthernetWiFi, EthernetUSBUSB Serial and Included 8gb SD CardWi-FiEthernet, USB cable, WIFIUSB, EthernetUSB, WiFiUSB 2.0 CableWIFI, Ethernet, USB
OS CompatibilityWindows XP/Vista/7/8/10, Mac OS X, LinuxWindows 7 (64-bit)+, MacOSX10.10+GNU/Linux, Mac, WindowsWindows 7, 8, 10 and Mac OS 10.13 or laterWindows, Mac OSX, LinuxWindows / Mac OSX /LinuxIOS, Android, or Any BrowserWindows 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10 (64 bits),macOS 10.12/ 10.13/10.14Mac OS X (v10.9+) Windows (7, 8, 8.1, 10)
Dimensions400 x 380 x 405 mm (15.7″ x 15.0″ x 15.9″)405x375x530mm58.4cm x 45.7cm x 53.3cm290(w)x330(h)x270 (d)mm343x505x586mm11x11x14.6inches7.4"x7.4"x9.05"378 x 280 x 355mm(WxDxH)20.5”widex16”deep x 15.9” high
Weight9.0 kg (19.8 lbs)17.5 kg12kgapprox. 5 kg10.6 kg42 kg3 kg7.3 kg42.8 lbs.

#1: Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer

PROS

The advantage of the Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer is that the setup and use are simple. It is affordable, and most importantly, the extruder material is accessible as well. It supports PLA, ABS, and diverse filament types, which gives you the freedom to browse for a lower price. You have three options to print: Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or USB drive.

CONS

The disadvantages of the Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer are that it isn’t as precise as I would like.  The user interface isn’t as slick as I would expect for 2020/2021.

Characteristics

Printer Type: FFF | Layer Resolution: 50 to 400 microns | Materials: ABS, PLA, Wood Fill, Copper Fill, Steel Fill, Bronze Fill | Build Volume: 6.9 x 6.9 6.9 inches | Printer Size / Weight: 15.9 x 15.7 x 15 inches / 19.8 pounds


#2: Formlabs Form 3: Industrial Quality

PROS

The advantages of the Formlabs Form 3 are their speed at which it can print. It has a competitive price for the quality and performance of the 3D printer. It has a closed body, meaning that the risk of foreign objects or damaging your print is lower than an open-frame structure. The quality of the final product is good. 

CONS

The Formlabs Form 3 will need support structure for 3D Printing, meaning that you will have to get crafty when designing your model. The need for support will add some time to get the final product.  

CHARACTERISTICS

Printer Type: SLA | Layer Resolution: 300 to 25 microns | Materials: Resin | Build Volume: 7.3 x 5.7 x 5.7 inches | Printer Size / Weight: 15.9 × 14.8 × 20.9 inches / 38.5 pounds


#3: LulzBot Mini 2

PROS

The advantages of the Lulzbot Mini 2 are the reliable 3D printer that will get the job done. The design is compact and durable and has a large build volume. It can work with different advanced materials. Its user interface is intuitive, and it has an automatic bed leveling.  

CONS

The disadvantages of the Lulzbot Mini 2 are that the extruder and filaments can have some changing problems. Thus, the print quality can be affected, depending on what type of material is used.  I think that it is expensive for what you get, and it has a limited build volume. 

CHARACTERISTICS

Printer Type: FFF | Layer Resolution: 50 to 400 microns | Materials: PLA, TPU, ABS and others | Build Volume: 7 x 6.3 x 6.3 inches | Printer Size / Weight: 4 x 18 x 13 inches / 19. 9 pounds


#4: Polaroid PlaySmart

PROS

The Polaroid Playsmart advantages are that it is a small and light 3D printer designed for small spaces. It is suitable for starters since it is easy to set up and use. It is an excellent practice to discover if 3D printer is for you before spending extra money on other devices. Compatible Filament are PLA, PETG, P-Wood. It supports multiple colors. It can print from USB drives,s SD cards, or mobile devices.

CONS

The disadvantages of the Polaroid Playsmart 3D printer are its printing size is limited. The warranty is very short. Even though it is an entry-level “just for fun” 3D printer, it needs to include more instructions.  

CHARACTERISTICS

Printer Type: FFF | Layer Resolution: 50 – 300 microns | Materials: PLA, P-Wood, PETG | Build Volume: 4.7 x 4.7 x 4.7 inches | Printer Size/Weight: 12.6 x 11.8 10.6 inches/11 pounds


#5: Ultimaker 3

PROS:

Ultimaker was one of the first 3D printer brands I was introduced when I started this journey of 3D Printing.  It is noticeable that the company began to move in the direction of the less amateur 3D printer to the more manufacturing sector and useful products. The advantages of the Ultimaker 3 are that it is easy to use and reliable. Their final product is robust. It has dual extruders to print with two separate filaments.  It has multiple connection choices making it friendly for users. This 3D printer is a good transition if you are trying to go more to the manufacturing side of 3D Printing and not “just for fun.”

CONS:

The disadvantages of the Ultimaker 3 are the extended printing times, and it can be expensive. 

CHARACTERISTICS:

Printer Type: FDM | Layer Resolution: 20 to 200 microns | Materials: Nylon, PLA, ABS, CPE and PVA | Build Volume: 8.5 x 8.5 x 7.9 inches | Printer Size / Weight: 23 x 19 x 13.5 inches / 23.4 pounds


#6: Peopoly Phenom

PROS

The advantage of peopoly phenom is that its price compares to leading resin printers. It also supports a wide variety of resins. Since it has a large print area, you can get some prints of 15.8″ wide.

CONS

The disadvantage of the Peopoly Phenom is that it is loud. It has no Wi-Fi connection, and it has adhesion problems. The interface is not user friendly, and it has to miss a fill indicator. 

CHARACTERISTICS:

Printer Type: SLA | Layer Resolution: 72 microns | Materials: Resin | Build Volume: 15.7 x 10.9 x 6.1 inches | Printer Size / Weight: 30.7 x 17.8 x 14.3 inches / 92.6 pounds


#7: Toybox 3D Printer

PROS

The advantages of the Toybox 3D Printer are that it is very efficient and can be set up and print fast. You can print a wide selection of toys available.

CONS

The disadvantage of the Toybox 3D Printer is that it gets hot and moving. These elevated temperatures can be dangerous for kids trying to learn without the supervision of an adult. 

CHARACTERISTICS:

Printer Type: FDM | Layer Resolution: 200 microns | Materials: PLA non-toxic plastic | Build Volume: 3.5 x 3.1 x 2.8 inches | Printer Size / Weight: 9.1 x 7.4 x 7.4 inches / 6.6 pounds


#8: XYZ da Vinci Nano

PROS

The advantage of XYZ Da Vinci Nano is its simplicity to use. It is affordable, and you will get acceptable prints for the price you are paying.

CONS

The disadvantage of the XYZ Da Vinci Nano is that it will work with its proprietary filament, meaning that your options will be limited when picking a material to print.

CHARACTERISTICS

Printer Type: FDM | Layer Resolution: 100 to 300 microns | Materials: PLA | Build Volume: 4.7 x 4.7 x 4.7 inches | Printer Size / Weight: 14.9 x 14 x 11 inches / 10.4 pounds


#9: Dremel DigiLab 3D45 3D Printer

PROS

The advantages of the Dremel Digilab 3D45 3D Printer are of high quality since it uses its proprietary materials. It is easy to start using it. It is meant to learn. It is safe and durable.

CONS

The disadvantages of the Dremel Digilab 3D45 3D Printer are that Printing with a nonproprietary material will have the chance to reduce the quality of your print.

CHARACTERISTICS:

GENERAL

Printing Technology: Fused Deposition Modeling; Extruder: All-Metal Hot End/Direct Drive/Single Extruder; Build Volume: 10 x 6 x 6.7in (402 cubic inches); Z-Layer Resolution: 50-300 microns; Filament Diameter: 1.75mm; Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm; Internal Storage: 8GB; Operating Interface: 5″ full-color IPS touchscreen; Build Platform Leveling: Semi-automated leveling; Materials: Nylon, Eco-ABS, PLA, PETG

TEMPERATURE

Max. Extruder Temperature: 280°C; Max. Build Platform Temperature: 100°C; Software Bundle: Dremel DigiLab 3D Slicer (Cura), Dremel Print Cloud (3DPrinterOS); File Types: STL, OBJ

ELECTRICAL

Input Rating: 100-240V, 47-60Hz, 0.85-2.3Amps; Connectivity: Wifi, USB, Ethernet

WEIGHT AND DIMENSIONS

Weight: 21.5kg (47.5lb); Dimensions: 20.25 x 16 x 15.9in


My Opinion

3D Printing is a revolutionary wit and is leading the way we live life. There’s no debate on the current question of is 3D printing following big thing because it most certainly is. 3D Printing can mass produce or alike anything we wish to try to. I do think 3D Printing still features a lot pioneering to face to become more mainstream. 3D Printing is similar to cloning, but I believe cloning has a more considerable moral aspect because there are logical issues that go with cloning, whereas 3D Printing doesn’t subsist. 3D Printing is going to make life simpler for humanity in a short amount of time if it hasn’t already done so because as it grows popularity, more people will pip out at a cheap cost and use it to print essential objects that we’ll need during this generation and generations to return. With time this new technology will come at a far better price; thus, more people will purchase it due to its usefulness and practicality that it serves everybody.

I think among those nine 3D printers, LULZBOT MINI 2 is the best of the following reasons:

  1. Flexible build area
  2. Layer resolution high (0.05mm-0.4mm)
  3. Excellent print speed (300mm/s)
  4. Lot of supported formats (.stl, .obj, .x3d, .3mf, .png, .jpg)
  5. Material is Nickel-Plated Copper Alloy
  6. Flexible OS capability

For your own conclusion, please see the following comparison table on 3D Printers.