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Compare the 10 Best 3D PrintersOctober 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 93 3D printers, 497 reviews and 410 prices. Last updated 13 October 2017.

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£233.99

#1 XYZprinting da Vinci Mini

da Vinci Mini
PC Mag - Editor's Choicetomsguide.com - Editor's Choice
The highest rated 3D printer under £500, with two industry awards and good features
91
Reviews
2 Awards
98
Value for Money
Excellent
78
Features
Good Features
90
Age
1 Year Old
93
Running Costs
£21 / 5 Years
90
Overall Score
Excellent
Jun 2016
Release Date
Ebuyer logo
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£229.98

#2 XYZprinting da Vinci Junior 1.0

da Vinci Junior 1.0
A critically acclaimed and impressive value for money Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, with good features
85
Reviews
1 Review
98
Value for Money
Excellent
76
Features
Good Features
78
Age
3 Years Old
83
Overall Score
Excellent
Apr 2015
Release Date
Ebuyer logo
Ebuyer Business £349.98
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69% Off
£826.61
Save £1,832.94

#3 MakerBot Replicator+

Replicator+
Digitaltrends.com - Editor's ChoicePC Mag - Editor's Choicetomsguide.com - Editor's ChoiceLydogbilde.no - Best in Test
The top rated 3D printer under £1,000, with multiple awards and very low running costs
86
Reviews
6 Awards
96
Value for Money
Excellent
54
Features
Average Features
86
Age
1 Year Old
84
Running Costs
£27 / 5 Years
80
Overall Score
Excellent
Sep 2016
Release Date
Amazon UK logo
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67% Off
MakerBot Replicator+
£826.61
Was £2,522 (7 days ago)
Amazon UK
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£576.00

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

da Vinci 1.0 Pro 3-in-1
A fairly new and very popular Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, with good features and a reasonable price
83
Value for Money
Excellent
74
Features
Good Features
84
Age
1 Year Old
75
Overall Score
Very Good
Sep 2016
Release Date
Amazon UK logo
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19% Off
£787.98
Save £181.02

#5 bq Hephestos 2

Hephestos 2
A good value for money but moderately out of date Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, with good features
85
Value for Money
Excellent
68
Features
Good Features
77
Age
2 Years Old
72
Overall Score
Very Good
Jan 2016
Release Date
Ebuyer logo
Flubit Deals £898.53
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£1,078.80

#6 Ultimaker 2+

2+
pcforalla.idg.se - Best in TestDigitaltrends.com - Editor's ChoicePC Mag - Editor's Choicetomsguide.com - Editor's Choice
A multi award winning but slightly out of date Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, with an Editor's Choice award from three expert review websites and an additional award from another expert site
77
Reviews
4 Awards
55
Value for Money
Average
61
Features
Good Features
78
Age
2 Years Old
54
Running Costs
£61 / 5 Years
66
Overall Score
Good
Apr 2016
Release Date
IJT Direct logo
Ebuyer Business £1,163.03
Wellindal £2,963.39
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£393.99

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

Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 Pro 3D Printer
A good value for money but 2 year old 0.1 DPI print resolution 3D printer, with only middle of the road features
89
Value for Money
Excellent
45
Features
Average Features
76
Age
2 Years Old
66
Overall Score
Good
Feb 2016
Release Date
Ebuyer logo
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£465.00

#8 Up! Mini 3D Printer

Mini 3D Printer
hothardware.com - Recommended
An award winning and breathtakingly good value for money 3D 3D printer, but with inferior features
81
Reviews
1 Award
91
Value for Money
Excellent
30
Features
Missing Some Features
71
Age
2 Years Old
66
Overall Score
Good
Sep 2015
Release Date
The Office Supplies Supermarket logo
Rapid Online £557.99
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5% Off
£299.18
Save £16.50

#9 Velleman Vertex Nano

Vertex Nano
A top-value and fairly new Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, but with not very good features
93
Value for Money
Excellent
32
Features
Missing Some Features
84
Age
11 Months Old
64
Overall Score
Good
Nov 2016
Release Date
Amazon UK logo
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£179.98

#10 XYZ Printing da Vinci Junior 3D Printer

da Vinci Junior 3D Printer
A low cost but moderately out of date Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer, with not very good features
95
Value for Money
Excellent
25
Features
Missing Some Features
69
Age
2 Years Old
60
Overall Score
Good
Sep 2015
Release Date
Ebuyer logo
Maplin Electronics £199.99
Ebuyer Business £254.99
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£826.61
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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 29 3D printers ranging from £179 to £2,200. On average, a new 3D printer costs £864 and 80% of 3D printers are priced between £300 and £1,539. The cheapest 3D printer that we found is the XYZ Printing da Vinci Junior 3D Printer at only £180, and the most expensive is the Ultimaker 2 Extended+ at £2,200.

3D Printer Brands - Price Range

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

3D Systems 3D printers start at £800 and the most expensive 3D Systems 3D printer costs £1,764. The average price of 3D Systems 3D printers is £1,291 which is the second highest average price of all 3D printer brands.

Bq 3D printers start at £788 and the most expensive bq 3D printer costs £1,539. The average price of bq 3D printers is £1,220 which is the third highest average price of all 3D printer brands.

3D Printer Brands - Average Ratings

We have analysed 86 expert reviews and 105 user reviews for 3D printers written online and used these reviews to evaluate the average rating for each brand of 3D printer. The top rated 3D printer brand is Flashforge with an average rating of 84%. The second best brand is Formlabs with 82% and the third best brand is Dremel with 82%.

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 11 offers. That means Ebuyer Business is slightly bigger than Ebuyer when it comes to 3D printers. Rapid Online is the third biggest retailer with 5 current offers.

When Are Most New 3D Printers Released?

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

How Fast Do 3D Printer Prices Drop After Release?

New 3D printers drop in price by an average of 1% in the first 6 months after they wer first released. That means that on a typical 3D printer costing £864 you could save on average £7 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.

Across the range of 3D printers, the accuracy range from 0.0125mm to 0.25mm. The accuracy of most 3D printers range from 0.013mm to 0.036mm. The ST3DiST3Di, which currently retails for £979.00, has the biggest accuracy and is a 0.1mm accuracy 3D printer. The ST3DiST3Di, which is priced at £979.00, has the smallest accuracy and is a 0.1mm accuracy 3D printer.

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.

Comparing all 3D printers, the print resolutions range from 0.025 DPI to 50 DPI. The print resolutions of the majority of 3D printers range from 0.025 DPI to 79,000 DPI. The PolaroidModelSmart 250S has the biggest print resolution. This 3D printer is a 50 DPI print resolution 3D printer and is priced at £1,129.97. The PolaroidModelSmart 250S, which sells for £1,247.58, has the smallest print resolution and is a 0.025 DPI print resolution 3D printer.

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

We found 30 3D printers that are Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printers, which makes this the most common print technology amongst new 3D printers. The second most common print technology amongst new 3D printers is Stereolithography (SL). We found 9 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 slightly bigger than the second biggest retailer, Ebuyer for whom we found 11 current offers for 3D printers. The third biggest retailer is Rapid Online with 5 current 3D printer offers.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for 3D Printers?

Ebuyer most frequently has the cheapest 3D printer prices (found to be cheapest for 9 3D printers).

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

With the cheapest price on 81.8% of its 3D printers, Ebuyer is most frequently the cheapest 3D printer retailer.

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