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Last updated on September 1st, 2020 at 03:41 pm

5 Best 3D Printers For Prototyping

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Last updated on August 17th, 2020 at 09:52 pm

A lot of businesses offer 3D printing prototyping. But, what happens when the 3D printed prototype doesn’t come out the way you want it? You have to go back and let them make the changes which are an extra cost and lost time.

Fortunately, there are 3D printers that easily create small and medium-sized prototypes. This allows you to fine-tune the details and letting it come out the way you want it.

Here are the best 3D printers for prototyping.


Position
First Place
Runner Up
Best Budget
Snapshot
Dremel DigiLab 3D45 Award Winning 3D Printer w/Filament, PC & MAC OS, Chromebook, iPad Compatible, Network-Friendly, Built-in HD Camera, Heated Build Plate, Nylon, ECO ABS, PETG, PLA Print Capability
QIDI TECH Large Size Intelligent Industrial Grade 3D Printer New Model:X-max,5 Inch Touchscreen,WiFi Function,High Precision Printing with ABS,PLA,TPU,Flexible Filament,300x250x300mm
ELEGOO Mars C UV Photocuring LCD 3D Printer with 2.8'' Smart Touch Color Screen Off-line Print 4.53"(L) x 2.56"(W) x 5.9"(H) Printing Size
What You Need To Know About The 3D Printer

The best 3D printer for professional prototyping.

The QIDI TECH X-max is a solid printer for prototyping. Easy to set-up and supports a wide-range of filament types.

The Elegoo Mars is a SLA/Resin 3D printer that has one of the highest accuracy and resolution. In short, your prototypes will look awesome.

Prime
-
Rating
-
-
-
Position
First Place
Snapshot
Dremel DigiLab 3D45 Award Winning 3D Printer w/Filament, PC & MAC OS, Chromebook, iPad Compatible, Network-Friendly, Built-in HD Camera, Heated Build Plate, Nylon, ECO ABS, PETG, PLA Print Capability
What You Need To Know About The 3D Printer

The best 3D printer for professional prototyping.

Prime
Rating
-
Position
Runner Up
Snapshot
QIDI TECH Large Size Intelligent Industrial Grade 3D Printer New Model:X-max,5 Inch Touchscreen,WiFi Function,High Precision Printing with ABS,PLA,TPU,Flexible Filament,300x250x300mm
What You Need To Know About The 3D Printer

The QIDI TECH X-max is a solid printer for prototyping. Easy to set-up and supports a wide-range of filament types.

Prime
Rating
-
Position
Best Budget
Snapshot
ELEGOO Mars C UV Photocuring LCD 3D Printer with 2.8'' Smart Touch Color Screen Off-line Print 4.53"(L) x 2.56"(W) x 5.9"(H) Printing Size
What You Need To Know About The 3D Printer

The Elegoo Mars is a SLA/Resin 3D printer that has one of the highest accuracy and resolution. In short, your prototypes will look awesome.

Prime
-
Rating
-

Last update on 2020-09-20 at 23:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Preview
Name
Build Volume
Nozzle Diameter
 
Dremel DigiLab 3D45 Award Winning 3D Printer w/Filament, PC & MAC OS, Chromebook, iPad Compatible, Network-Friendly, Built-in HD Camera, Heated Build Plate, Nylon, ECO ABS, PETG, PLA Print Capability
255 x 155 x 170mm
0.4mm
QIDI TECH Large Size Intelligent Industrial Grade 3D Printer New Model:X-max,5 Inch Touchscreen,WiFi Function,High Precision Printing with ABS,PLA,TPU,Flexible Filament,300x250x300mm
300x 250 x 300mm
0.4mm
FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro, Metal Frame Structure, Acrylic Covers, Optimized Build Platform, Dual Extruder W/2 Spools, Works with ABS and PLA
227 x 148 x 150mm
0.4mm
ELEGOO Mars C UV Photocuring LCD 3D Printer with 2.8'' Smart Touch Color Screen Off-line Print 4.53'(L) x 2.56'(W) x 5.9'(H) Printing Size
115 x 67 x 150 mm
N/F
Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer with Removable Build Surface Plate and UL Certified Power Supply 220x220x250mm
220 x 220 x 250mm
0.4mm

Here Are The Best 3D Printers For Prototyping


Pros

  • Easy To Set-up & No Assembly On Your Part
  • Great Quality 3D Prints
  • Quiet & Solid Build Quality
  • Great Customer Support

Cons

  • Spool Holder Doesn’t Support Standard Size Filaments
  • Dremel Filaments Are Expensive

Printing Technology: FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) | Build Volume: 255 x 155 x 170mm | Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm | Printing Speed: N/F | Levelling Type: Semi-auto

Here are a few things to know about the Dremel Digilab 3D45 before purchasing it. The spool holder doesn’t support standard size filaments. So you have to purchase Dremel filament types which are three times the normal price.

One way around this is by modding the device to use third party filaments. However, Dremel won’t help you if something happens when using a third party filament. Also, the camera feature that allows you to view 3D printing in real-time remotely is buggy. It shows a few frames per second and so it’s not reliable.

Now for what the Dremel Digilab 3D45 gets right. This 3D printer is very easy to set-up and no assembly needs to be done on your part. In short, it is a plug & play 3D printer. This makes it great for beginners or users who like to start printing right out of the box.

For 3D printing, this pretty much can produce high detail 3D prototypes. A 50 micron 3D printer that can easily print figurines, miniatures and objects that require high resolution.

The Dremel Digilab 3D45 has solid build quality. It is also quiet and doesn’t make a lot of noise when working. Customer support is great and responsive. They are super-helpful and try to solve your 3D printer problems to the best of their ability.

Overall, aside from the issues mentioned. The Dremel Digilab 3D45 is one of the best for rapid prototype 3D printing.


Where To Buy

$1,150.00

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • High Detail 3D Print
  • Removable Heated Build Plates
  • Great Customer Support
  • Significant Build Volume

Cons

  • Confusing Touchscreen
  • Custom Hotend Makes It Difficult To Upgrade

Printing Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) | Build Volume: 300 x 250 x 300 mm | Nozzle Diameter: 0.4 | Printing Speed: 30 – 150 mm/s | Levelling Type: Manual

The QIDI Tech X-max is a great 3D printer for making high detail prototypes. It has one of the highest accuracies and can extrude a minimum of 0.05mm layer thickness.

Additionally, it supports a wide range of filaments types. PLA, ABS, TPU, Carbon fibre, PC, etc. to name a few. That means you can 3D print your prototypes in a wide variety of materials.

The QIDI Tech X-max has a quite large build volume (300 x 250 x 300) that allows you to make some large prototypes. The build plate is also removable and interchangeable. This allows you to print another prototype as soon as possible.

The 3D printer is the plug & play type. Minimal assembly is required on your part. And it works straight out of the box so you can start 3D printing as soon as possible. Moreover, their customer support is great.

However, there are a few things to know before getting the QIDI Tech X-max. The touchscreen interface has a few Chinese characters which make using it quite difficult. You have to play around it to understand their functions.

The 3D printer has a custom hot-end which makes upgrading it almost impossible. To get an upgrade you have to purchase one from their website.

Even with these downsides, the QIDI Tech X-max is a solid 3D printer for prototyping.


Pros

  • Able To Produce Consistent & Reliable 3D Prints
  • Solid Customer Support
  • Strong Build Quality

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Software Sucks. Simplify 3D Is Recommended
  • You Need Patience With The Bed Levelling

Printing Technology: FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) | Build Volume: 227 x 148 x 150mm | Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm | Printing Speed: 20 – 100mm/s | Levelling Type: Manual

The FlashForge Creator Pro is a solid prototype printer. However, to unlock its full capabilities. You have to get rid of the already installed software and get Simplify 3D. This will make your life easier.

Because in all honesty, the included software has a lot of limitations and its obsolete. Simplify 3D is light years ahead of it and highly recommended. Once this change has been made.

The Flashforge is can create consistent and reliable 3D prints. You will also have no problem getting in setting up and getting to run it. Also, assembling it is a breeze. Most of the parts have already been assembled. So all that’s left is to screw a few parts.

Unfortunately, bed levelling is not a breeze and requires patience on your part. You need to check all corners a few times. Also, the dual extruder nozzle is not on the same level and one of them might get in the way. In this case, you have to remove the one, not in use.

Finally, the FlashForge Creator Pro is a noisy 3D printer. Still, the 3D printer has a strong build quality and stable. Furthermore, customer support is great and do their best to help you with any problems.

Overall, the FlashForge Creator Pro is a solid option for ABS and PLA prototype printing.


Where To Buy

Price not available

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • Easy to set-up & software is simple to use
  • Incredible detail & resolution
  • Low maintenance 3d printer
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Slow printer
  • Small build volume
  • Resin is messy & smelly

Printing Technology: LED Display Photocuring | Build Volume: 115 x 67 x 150 mm | Nozzle Diameter: N/F | Printing Speed: 22.5mm/h | Levelling Type: Manual

The ELEGOO Mars is a high precision 3D resin/SLA printer that can print between 0.01mm – 0.2mm layer thickness. A 10-micron 3D printer that will create the finest 3D prints.

Moreover, the ELEGOO Mars is easy to set-up no requires little assembly on your part. The software is user-friendly, simple to use and understand. No fancy complexities here.

And the documentation provides clear instruction on how to use it. This makes it beginner friendly for those who like to start high detail resin 3D printing.

However, there are some cons with ELEGOO Mars. First, because it is a resin 3D printer. Things can get really messy and smelly. Plus, you need methanol or isopropyl alcohol to effectively clean it. There is also the issue of wearing gloves and a nose mask. The only redeeming factor is that the ELEGOO Mars is easy to clean.

Secondly, it is a slow printer. 3D prints can take quite a while to finish. More often than not slow printers are produce high detail prints.

Finally, it has a small build volume and so it is not able to print large objects. Overall, the ELEGOO Mars is the best resin/SLA 3D printer for high detail prototyping. The detailing is incredible – highly recommended.


Where To Buy

$236.00

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • Sturdy Build
  • Breakpoint Printing
  • Heated & Removable Build Plate
  • Great Touchscreen

Cons

  • No Filament Detector
  • Spool Holder Can Only Hold 64mm wide Spools

Printing Technology: FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) | Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 250mm | Nozzle Diameter: 0.4mm | Printing Speed: 180mm/s Max | Levelling Type: Manual

Before we get to what the Creality Ender 3 Pro gets right. Let’s talk about the challenges.

If you are a beginner to 3D printing, know that you will spend a considerable amount of time assembling it. Even if you have sufficient experience tinkering or assembling 3D printers a lot. You will spend quite an amount of time putting it together. Also, the documentation doesn’t help much because the instructions aren’t clear.

Fortunately, the Ender 3 Pro has a large community of users that are super-helpful. This makes assembly a little bit easier. Because the community has a lot of information from assembling to operating the Ender 3X.

Furthermore, it comes with a complete kit of tools for the assembly. In short, everything you need is included from community support to tools for assembly.

Now for the things the Ender 3 Pro gets right. First is the price. The 3D printer is affordable making it a solid option for those on a budget. For 3D printing, it is great. An affordable 3D printer that can produce consistent and reliable 3D prints.

The printing resolution is also decent. It can extrude a layer thickness of 0.1 to 0.4mm. Also, for an affordable 3D printer it comes with a glass bed which is a major plus.

Overall, Creality Ender 3 Pro is a great value 3D printer. But, keep in mind that you will spend quite an amount of time assembling it.


What Is 3D Printing Prototyping?

With the help of 3D printers. Companies can create prototypes born from their ideas a lot faster than before. It allows businesses to determine how great and useful the product will be. That is before entering into mass production.

3D printing prototyping is all about creating prototypes of ideas to determine its feasibility. And it has a wide range of uses. From engineering to medical fields.

Is It Worth Getting A 3D Printer For Prototyping?

There are small businesses that offer 3D printing prototype services. However, if you want to 3D print your prototypes. Be prepared for the steep learning curve that you will encounter.

There are several brands of 3D printers and there will be bound to be differences. Most are easy to set-up and you can start printing right away. Others take a considerable amount of time to assemble. You should also be prepared to do some modding and tinkering.

There is also maintenance of the 3D printers. Getting a 3D printer is worth it if you have sufficient experience or like to take it up as a hobby. That way even if you are a beginner the learning curve will be an interesting journey.

But, if you are not up to the task. Then it is best to let a small business handle the 3D printing of prototypes for you.

Final Thoughts

3D Printing your prototypes allows you to fine-tune it as much as you. Plus, you get it to do it from the comfort of your home or office.

You can easily make the changes and save money and time in the long run. That’s it for the best 3D printers for prototyping.

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