In recent years, 3D printers have grown in popularity for their innovative ways to make a three-dimensional object. They’re rapidly entering a variety of fields like jewelry, medicine, art, etc. Compared to regular printers, they operate differently. They can make for a fun way to creatively express yourself or build useful trinkets for your home. Some of the best 3D printers create realistic and artistic objects that will impress your friends.
3D printing is taking the world by storm and is even contributing to food production. In fact, a recent study by Qingrong Huang, a professor in the Department of Food Science at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, is revealing a new low-fat chocolate created using a 3D printer. Even better, this new, healthier chocolate can come in “pretty much any” shape one desires.
Just slightly more high-tech than sweets, a new medical innovation has surfaced featuring a personalized 3D-printed artificial heart that beats just like the real thing — enabling doctors to tailor implants for individual patients. Scientists at MIT, who are creating the new technology, say no two organs are alike, with size and shape varying from one person to the next. The robotic device is a soft and flexible replica which can mimic the organ’s blood-pumping ability.
While we won’t assume, it’s plausible you’re not printing chocolate or hearts at home, and these models will be perfect for less complex projects. StudyFinds selected the top five best 3D printers from 10 expert tech websites to make your job easier. Let us know if we missed one of your favorite models in the comments below!
The List: Best 3D Printers, According to Experts
1 – Anycubic Vyper
Price: 343.99$ | From: Amazon
Tech Advisor says this one meets the mark: “It ticks all the right boxes: (proper) auto levelling, a touchscreen, a PEI sheet and a decent build volume of 240x240x265mm. It’s easy to assemble, prints reliably and offers good quality with minimal tweaking. You’ll get better quality from Creality’s Ender 3 S1 Pro, but that’s more expensive, and you’ll forego fully automatic bed levelling. For most people, the Vyper offers good-enough quality at a sensible price with reliable first layers every time.”
“If the world of 3D printing ever seemed too intimidating for you, look no further than the AnyCubic Vyper. While perfect for beginners with its minimal assembly, seasoned printing hobbyists will also appreciate what it can offer, albeit with a few adjustments,” adds Tech Radar. “It’s fast and accurate, saving time when setting up your first print, which makes setting up and getting started a breeze. The touchscreen control panel is satisfyingly fast and easy to use, but we found that the estimated print completion time was consistently incorrect. Once the printer is properly optimized, you’ll enjoy impressive print quality.”
“It comes partially assembled, with the remaining steps (bolting the frame to the base, plugging several cables into their sockets, and attaching the filament spool holder to the frame) simple and straightforward. As for filament, the Vyper supports the standard ABS and PLA, plus TPU and PETG. The printer only comes with a small starter coil, so you will want to buy at least one spool when you buy the Vyper,” writes PC Magazine.
About ANYCUBIC Vyper 3D Printer:
Large Print Size & Auto Leveling, Small body but Large printing volume of 9.6″(L) x 9.6″(W) x 10.2″(H) / 245 x 245 x 260mm, ANYCUBIC Vyper 3D printer equipped with intelligent leveling system, accurately detect 16-point and automatically adjust the height of nozzle to platform, 1 click to auto leveling, which is friendly use for both veterans and recruits.
Accurate & Silent Printing, Vyper FDM 3D printer Equipped with new 32-bit motherboard and high-performance Cortex -M3 architecture main control chip, enable the system to run faster and smoother. TMC2209 silent driver makes the motherboard have both silent printing and precise voltage output control, ensuring a more accurate and silent printing.
PEI Spring Steel Magnetic Platform, Vyper 3D printer adopted a new platform of a special coating combined with spring steel, which features non-deformation at high temperature, scratch-resistant coating and easy model removal by bending or popping. Widely compatible with PLA/ABS/PETG/TPU filaments.
Fast Printing, Vyper printing head adopts a double fan two-way heat dissipation system, helping to cool down models rapidly. Compared with ordinary 3D printers, the printing quality is the same while the printing speed is faster, which can reach 100mm/s. Patented Z-axis Gap Elimination Module can avoid print layer marks and ensure printing precision.
More Function, A, Fast Assembly, integrated structure and modular design. B, 4.3 inch large-size touch screen, easy to operate. C, Double-gear extrusion system, is able to reduce the chances of filament tangle and compatible with PLA and flexible filaments. D, Resume print and Material breakage detection. E, Safe power supply.
2 – Original Prusa i3 MK3S +
PC Magazine‘s list is topped by this device. Why? “Original Prusa i3 MK3S+ is the latest iteration of a machine that has undergone a decade of advances and tweaks. The result is a polished open-frame 3D printer devoid of obvious flaws, supported by an extensive network of community and help features. While user manuals for many 3D printers are rudimentary, the i3 MK3S+ includes a beautiful, professionally printed guide that covers both the preassembled version (which we reviewed) and the kit. In our testing, the printer’s operation proved smooth, with no misprints, and our test prints were consistently of above-average quality.”
“The Prusa i3 MK3S has a rather clumsy name, but it’s the latest in a series printers that Czech company Prusa Research has been producing since 2012,” says Forbes. “The combination of a heated print bed (up to 248F/120C) and a maximum print nozzle temperature of 572F/300C means that it can print using a wide variety of filament materials, including the usual PLA and ABS plastics, plus Nylon, Polystyrene, and others that mimic wood and metals. The printer is not enclosed, though, and cold drafts and breezes can cause print errors. You’ll need to put it in a sheltered spot or build an enclosure.”
“The Prusa i3 MK3S+ is a worthy upgrade from the Mini+ for its 9.9-by-8.3-by-8.3-inch printing area, more stable z-axis, and better extruder. It comes with parts that are likely to last longer (though no color screen as on the Mini+) and an upgraded motherboard that can better detect and correct errors while the machine is printing. Its setup is also faster and easier than that of the Mini+,” notes The Strategist.
About Original Prusa i3 MK3S+ 3D Printer:
Price: 1.299$ | From: Amazon
- Brand: Prusa
- Material: Plastic, Metal
- Color: Silver
- Product Dimensions: 19.6″D x 21.6″W x 15.7″H
- Item Weight: 10.9 Kilograms
The Original Prusa i3 MK3S+ is the latest version of our award-winning 3D printers, equipped with US Power Supply and 8GB SD card
This is an assembled and tested printer, so to start your first print, simply plug it in, run the initial calibration, and you are good to go
Fully automatic Mesh Bed Leveling process, IR filament sensor built-in, supports filament auto-loading; Print pauses when filament runs out
Genuine Gates belts, Bondtech drive gears, EINSY RAMBo motherboard, and many other features are the reason why the MK3S+ is the perfect 3D printing workhorse
The printer includes a free 1kg filament spool of Silver PLA; Prusa Research offers lifetime technical assistance and 24 hours professional customer service. This printer is sold directly from Prusa Research.
3 – Anycubic Kobra Max
Price: 219.99$ | From: Amazon
Tom’s Hardware adds this printer to its list and states, “The Anycubic Kobra Max is freaking huge. No really. It’s that big. Once you find a spot to put it, the Anycubic Kobra Max is a great machine that’s easy to use. It has an auto leveling system that physically taps the glass surface, giving very accurate results that can hang with any of the best 3D printers.”
“With its massive build volume of 400 x 400 x 450 mm, the Kobra Max can output huge prints. We found no real effort was necessary on our part to confidently achieve full-plate prints,” points out All3DP. “A robust chassis, dual-geared extruder, and Volcano-style hot end give the Kobra Max almost all the tools for large 3D printing. For a printer designed to print big, Anycubic skimps out on the spool holder and provides one only capable of holding standard 1 kg spools. Likewise, you don’t get a large bore nozzle to help cut full plate prints down from days to hours. Thankfully both are easy, inexpensive fixes, but they’re the small details that could’ve made the Kobra Max an even better out of the box experience.”
According to CNET, “It can be a mistake to think a 3D printer is great for beginners just because it doesn’t cost a lot. Sure, it’s possible to buy a 3D printer for as little as $180, and it will work, after a fashion. Most likely, though, a beginner will buy it, spend too long trying to get one good print, then give up because they think it’s too tough or not worth their effort. The lesson: Even at those very low prices, if something is frustrating to use, it’s not a good investment. The Anycubic Kobra Max is not $180; it’s closer to $650, but I still think it’s a great entry point to 3D printing. Yes, this is a $650 3D printer, but it feels like it should be a $1,000 printer. In that sense, it’s a good deal.”
About Anycubic Kobra Max 3D Printer
- Modular Design & Easy Assembly: ANYCUBIC KOBRA is an all-in-one frame 3D printer, can minimize the shaking to improve the print quality. The modular design allows the printer to be assembled only in 10 minutes
- Intelligent Auto Leveling 3d printer: ANYCUBIC KOBRA captured with the Self-developed Anycubic LeviQ Leveling Function equipped with 25-point precise leveling up, which can compensate the unevenness of the heated bed automatically, to achieve easy, fast and precise leveling, providing you with a more intelligent printing experience.
- Ultra Smooth Printing: Direct drive extruder provides greater conveying force and preciser filament control. Compatible with PLA/ABS/PETG/TPU flexible materials. It can reduce jitter in filament transmission and ensure printing precision.
- Removable Magnetic Platform: The models can be removed by bending the spring magnetic platform gently after printing. The platform can withstand high-intensity printing and is corrosion free, saving you a lot of maintenance cost.
- Fast Printing & Large Printing Size: ANYCUBIC KOBRA 3D Printer maximum printing speed is 180mm/s, Average speed is 80mm/s, 167% faster than industry standard, enable you save more time on waiting. Large build volume of 8.7×8.7×9.84in / 220x220x250mm, which has enough space and freedom to realize your fantastic creativity.
- ANYCUBIC KOBRA is equipped with 4.3-inch LCD touch screen, which brings sensitive response and brighter display, offering better using experience;
- All ANYCUBIC 3D printers backed with lifetime technical support and 24 hours professional customer service.
4 – Toybox 3D Printer
Price: $ | From: Amazon
Ideal for children who want to try their hand at 3D printing, ZDNet says, “The easy, one-touch control makes it self-sufficient for younger children, especially with its WiFi connection. No adjustments are needed while it runs, and the small size makes it easy to handle. Plus, thousands of toys are available within the Toybox catalog to keep your child busy for weeks to come.”
According to Tom’s Guide, “The process works, mostly: We were able to print some of the best toys like trains, track, castle parts and walls and small action figures from the simple-to-use web interface. But, like growing up, there are a few teething issues you need to get through first with the Toybox, such as the odd failed print and an interface with a few rough edges. Still, if you look at 3D printing as a hobby for you and your kids can enjoy together, Toybox is one of the best 3D printers you can buy.”
“How do kids learn? Through play. That’s why there is no better way to get your kids familiar with 3D printing than the Toybox, a small and simple 3D printer that can print toys that help them learn. Oh, and they will have fun, too. The Toybox is a small, compact printer that uses PLA filament, which the company refers to it as printer food. This non-toxic material comes in plenty of food-related colors (like Apple and Bubblegum) and costs $11 a reel. The Toybox can print things up to a maximum size of 2.7 inches wide, 3.14 inches deep, and 3.54 inches tall. That isn’t especially large, but it is plenty big enough to print some fun stuff,” adds Forbes.
About Toybox 3D
- Brand: Toybox
- Color: White
- Product Dimensions: 7.4″D x 7.4″W x 9.05″H
- Item Weight: 15.21 Pounds
- Compatible Devices: Personal Computer
KID FRIENDLY: Built to be used by children, Toybox can be controlled with simple one-touch functions. No adult assistance needed, no need to adjust removable print bed, easy filament loading and novel print bed design that doesn’t require a knife to remove prints like most 3D printers
UNLIMITED CATALOG OF TOYS: Thousands of awesome toys are available at your fingertips in our Toybox catalog. New toys added weekly and seasonally
CREATOR SPACE AND EASY IMPORT: Upload designs to create your own toys or draw them and bring them to life through our user-friendly apps and tools. Your creations are stored on the cloud for easy access
SMALL CONVENIANT SIZE: Our printer has a great form factor. It is a small convenient size and can connect to the cloud through Wi-Fi, making it a standalone computer
5 – Original Prusa Mini +
Tech Radar likes the size, affordability, and hassle-free set-up of this product: “There’s a Network LAN and USB port for simple connectivity and a user-friendly interface. The 2.8-inch 65k colour screen makes navigating the options and settings easy, and on first starting the machine, it takes you step by step through the set-up process. This entry-level printer should be the first choice for crafters, modelers, and engineering enthusiasts. The Original Prusa MINI+ is a replacement for the Original Prusa MINI (minus the plus), the key advantage being that it now comes with a superPINDA sensor, which is not temperature dependent allowing the first layer calibration to be faster and more reliable.”
“The Mini Plus is one of the best small-footprint printers you can buy,” mentions CNET. “It has everything you would expect from a Prusa machine: Auto bed leveling, crash detection and great print quality, all for under $450. Building it with my son gave us a lot of good insights into how a 3D printer works, and potentially how to fix one.”
“The consistency and the thoughtfully chosen, repairable parts of the Prusa Mini+ will please more advanced users who need a dependable 3D-printing machine. It’s also a bargain, with unusual features at this price such as a large, 7-by-7-by-7-inch printing area (also known as the print volume, or the total space you can print within) and a color display, as well as 24/7 customer support. Prusa printers are the quietest models we’ve tested, too, and they’re compatible with a wide range of plastic types,” adds The Strategist.