Compare 3D Printers

Compare the 10 Best 3D PrintersAugust 2017

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Every week we analyse the technical specs, reviews and prices of every 3D printer on the market in the UK to determine our top 10 list. In total we compared over 86 3D printers, 368 reviews and 446 prices. Last updated 18 August 2017.

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£239.99

#1 XYZprinting da Vinci Mini

da Vinci Mini
The highest scoring 3D printer under £500, with very low running costs and good features
94
Reviews
6 Reviews
97
Value for Money
Excellent
77
Features
Good Features
90
Age
1 Year Old
93
Running Costs
£21 / 5 Years
90
Overall Score
Excellent
Jun 2016
Release Date
Ebuyer £239.99
View Details
£1,078.80

#2 Ultimaker 2+

2+
pcforalla.idg.se - Best in TestDigitaltrends.com - Editor's ChoicePC Mag - Editor's Choicetomsguide.com - Editor's Choice
A very cheap and multi award winning Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, with good features and low running costs
90
Reviews
4 Awards
94
Value for Money
Excellent
75
Features
Good Features
87
Age
1 Year Old
75
Running Costs
£61 / 5 Years
86
Overall Score
Excellent
Apr 2016
Release Date
IJT Direct £1,078.80
Ebuyer Business £1,163.03
Wellindal £3,002.99
View Details
£229.98
Save £120.00 (34%)

#3 XYZprinting da Vinci Junior 1.0

da Vinci Junior 1.0
A bargain price and critically acclaimed Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, with good features
83
Reviews
1 Review
98
Value for Money
Excellent
73
Features
Good Features
76
Age
2 Years Old
81
Overall Score
Excellent
Apr 2015
Release Date
Ebuyer £229.98
Ebuyer Business £349.98
Wellindal £396.49
View Details
£603.32

#4 XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro 3‑in‑1

da Vinci 1.0 Pro 3-in-1
The highest scoring 3D printer under £1,000, with alright running costs and good features
78
Value for Money
Very Good
71
Features
Good Features
81
Age
1 Year Old
50
Running Costs
£96 / 5 Years
72
Overall Score
Very Good
May 2016
Release Date
Amazon UK £603.32
View Details
£465.00

#5 Up! Mini 3D Printer

Mini 3D Printer
hothardware.com - Recommended
A sensationally good value for money and award winning 3D 3D printer, but with not very good features
80
Reviews
1 Award
93
Value for Money
Excellent
27
Features
Missing Some Features
72
Age
2 Years Old
65
Overall Score
Good
Sep 2015
Release Date
The Office Supplies Supermarket £465.00
Maplin Electronics £549.99
Rapid Online £557.99
View Details
£979.00

#6 ST3Di ST3Di

ST3Di
A moderate value for money and 2 year old 0.1mm accuracy 3D printer, with only middle of the road features
58
Value for Money
Average
58
Features
Average Features
75
Age
2 Years Old
59
Overall Score
Average
Feb 2016
Release Date
Staples £979.00
Ebuyer £1,220.98
View Details
£419.99

#8 XYZ Printing Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro 3D Printer

Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro 3D Printer
A low cost but marginally out of date 0.1 DPI print resolution 3D printer, with poor features
78
Value for Money
Very Good
34
Features
Missing Some Features
75
Age
2 Years Old
58
Overall Score
Average
Feb 2016
Release Date
Ebuyer £419.99
View Details
£443.99

#9 XYZ Printing da Vinci 2.0A 3D Printer

da Vinci 2.0A 3D Printer
A cheap but 2 year old Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, with poor features
86
Value for Money
Excellent
20
Features
Missing Some Features
69
Age
2 Years Old
55
Overall Score
Average
Sep 2015
Release Date
Ebuyer £443.99
Misco £457.20
Ebuyer Business £467.57
View Details
£448.98

#10 XYZ Printing da Vinci 1.1 Plus 3D Printer

da Vinci 1.1 Plus 3D Printer
A good value for money but 2 year old Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, with not very good features
82
Value for Money
Excellent
19
Features
Missing Some Features
69
Age
2 Years Old
54
Overall Score
Average
Sep 2015
Release Date
Ebuyer £448.98
Misco £510.00
Ebuyer Business £598.59
View Details
£898.80

#11 MakerBot Replicator+

Replicator+
Digitaltrends.com - Editor's ChoicePC Mag - Editor's Choicetomsguide.com - Editor's Choiceljudochbild.se - Best in Test
A relatively new and economical to run Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printer, with multiple awards but representing poor value for money
78
Reviews
6 Awards
18
Value for Money
Mediocre
25
Features
Missing Some Features
81
Age
11 Months Old
79
Running Costs
£27 / 5 Years
49
Overall Score
Mediocre
Sep 2016
Release Date
DPS Business £898.80
View Details

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Buying a 3D Printer

3D printing is a new but rapidly growing field of printing and creating. Also known as ‘additive manufacturing’, 3D printers are very different from all other printers. Below we will give you an introduction to what 3D printers are, how they work and what attributes to consider when choosing a model.

3D printing, as the name suggests, involves taking a blueprint of an object and creating a fully-realised 3D model as a physical object. The object is not so much ‘printed’ as ‘constructed’ - the printer breaks the blueprint down into hundreds of small layers, then nozzles pump a special plastic material into the shape required for the layer. It then moves up the tiniest fraction, and repeats for the next layer, and so on. Using this method the model is constructed from the base up, and at the end you have a fully 3D version of the blueprint!

Because 3D printing is such a versatile technology, the scope of what you can print is astounding. People have successfully 3D printed everything from extremely-intricate toys and clothes to replacement parts for machines. Someone has even managed to print a fully-functional camera! Many of the blueprints used to create such things are freely available online, meaning that anyone with access to a 3D printer can download and fabricate the item!

Because the process is far cheaper and faster than creating many of the objects normally, 3D printing is increasingly being used for the creation of artificial limbs., especially for children. This is because they grow so quickly that they outgrow the size of their limbs, so cheaper, fast-produced replacements will utterly change the game.

3D printing is not just limited to medical or mechanical objects - there is a growing field dedicated to 3D printing food! While still in it’s infancy, people have already successfully used fine sugar syrups or protein pastes to create a wide array of foods, from sweets to savoury snacks.

In short, it’s an astoundingly exciting field, with a lot of potential. The tech has a long way to go still, but consumer models of machines are already available on the market for early adopters.

Pricing

Because 3D printing is such cutting-edge technology, models for early adopters come with a hefty price tag attached. Some small, lower end models can be got for around £300-400, but most come in between £750-1000. As with all very new tech, it’s expected that as more and more consumer models appear on the market, the prices will start to drop in the years to come. However right now, the price will form a substantial barrier to entry.

Size

Once you’ve decided to buy a machine, the next consideration is the size. Because there has to be enough space in the machine to fit the finished object, what you can create will be limited by the size of the machine. Small printers may only be able to fabricate objects a few centimetres across, while larger, more expensive machines allow for correspondingly bigger creations.

Also, it’s worth noting that even the smallest 3D printers have quite a large footprint, so will take up a substantial amount of space wherever you set them up.

Speed

The current generation of 3D printers are not particularly fast, but this tech is evolving and getting faster all the time. That said, there is a substantial difference in speed even between current brands of printer. Look for a model with more than one nozzle for faster printing speeds.

Accuracy

Finally, 3D printers don’t yet always create a perfect 1-to-1 replica of the blueprint. This can be due to many factors, such as sub-standard quality of nozzles - nozzles that are too big don’t allow for very fine precision work, meaning it will create more of a vaguely thing-shaped lump than a delicate construction. The 3D printers on our site have an ‘accuracy’ rating - look for one with very high accuracy for the highest fidelity between the original blueprint and your finished product.

3D Printer Retailers, Prices and Features

3D Printer Prices

We currently list 23 3D printers ranging from £179 to £2,292. A new 3D printer costs on average £847 and 80% of 3D printers are priced between £239 and £1,899. The 3D Systems CubePro Trio 3D Printer is the most expensive 3D printer that we found at £2,292, and the XYZ Printing da Vinci Junior 3D Printer is the cheapest at only £180.

3D Printer Brands - Price Range

3D Systems 3D printers range in price from £800 to £2,292, and the highest average 3D printer price out of all brands is 3D Systems 3D printers with an average price of £1,664.

Ultimaker 3D printers range in price from £1,079 to £2,200, and the second highest average 3D printer price out of all brands is Ultimaker 3D printers with an average price of £1,639.

The %8highest average 3D printer price out of all brands is Polaroid 3D printers with an average price of £1,300. Polaroid 3D printers start at £1,300 and the most expensive Polaroid 3D printer costs £1,300.

3D Printer Brands - Average Ratings

We have checked 64 expert reviews and 3 user reviews for 3D printers written online and used this information to determine the average rating for each brand of 3D printer. Formlabs is the top rated 3D printer brand with an average rating of 82%. XYZprinting is the second best brand with 82% and Ultimaker is the third best brand with 78%.

Biggest 3D Printer Retailers

The biggest 3D printer retailer by number of products currently for sale is Ebuyer Business. We found 12 current 3D printer offers from Ebuyer Business. The second biggest 3D printer retailer is Ebuyer with 9 offers. That means Ebuyer Business is significantly bigger than Ebuyer when it comes to 3D printers. Maplin Electronics is the third biggest retailer with 6 current offers.

When Are Most New 3D Printers Released?

We couldn't see any clear trend in the release dates for new 3D printers over the last 3 years. June was the biggest month in 2016 for new 3D printers, with eight new 3D printers released that month. In 2015 most new 3D printers were released in September, with 15 new 3D printers released that month. Eight new 3D printers were released in September 2014 making it the biggest month that year as well for new 3D printer releases.

How Fast Do 3D Printer Prices Drop After Release?

In the first 6 months after release, 3D printers drop in price by 1% on average. That means that on a typical 3D printer costing £847 you could save on average £11 by waiting 6 months before buying.

Accuracy

This indicates the accuracy that the 3D printer can achieve in the final model, compared to the original.

Comparing all 3D printers, the accuracy range from 0.0125mm to 0.25mm. The accuracy of the majority of 3D printers range from 0.013mm to 0.036mm. The ST3DiST3Di, which sells for £979.00, has the biggest accuracy and is a 0.1mm accuracy 3D printer. The ST3DiST3Di has the smallest accuracy. This 3D printer is a 0.1mm accuracy 3D printer and can be purchased for £979.00.

A greater accuracy means that the 3D printer will be able to create replicas significantly closer to the original, making for a far higher-quality product.

Print Resolutions

This indicates the highest support print resolution for the 3D printer.

The print resolutions of 3D printers range from 0.1 DPI to 50 DPI. The print resolutions of most 3D printers range from 0.1 DPI to 79,000 DPI. The PolaroidModelSmart 250S, which currently retails for £1,299.97, has the biggest print resolution and is a 50 DPI print resolution 3D printer. The 3D printer with the smallest print resolution is the PolaroidModelSmart 250S, which is a 0.1 DPI print resolution 3D printer and currently retails for £417.14.

The higher the supported print resolution for the device, the more detailed the final model will be!

Maximum Build Sizes (WxDxH)

This indicates the largest possible size for an object that the 3D printer can generate.

A larger build size means that the 3D printer can print bigger and better models!

Print Technologies

Amongst new 3D printers, the most frequently found print technology is Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). We found 27 3D printers that are Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printers. Stereolithography (SL) is the second most popular print technology amongst new 3D printers. We found 6 3D printers that are Stereolithography (SL) 3D printers.

Biggest 3D Printer Retailers

We found 12 current offers for 3D printers from Ebuyer Business making it the biggest 3D printer retailer. That is significantly bigger than the second biggest retailer, Ebuyer for whom we found 9 current offers for 3D printers. The third biggest retailer is Maplin Electronics with 6 current 3D printer offers.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for 3D Printers?

The cheapest shop by number of 3D printer for which they offer the cheapest price is v with the cheapest price on 6 3D printers.

Proportion of 3D Printers for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

With the cheapest price on 66.7% of its 3D printers, Ebuyer is most frequently the cheapest 3D printer retailer.

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