All the resources you need to begin 3D printing
Top 3D Printers Reviewed
Who thought 3D printers would become this affordable? Less than a decade ago a decent 3D printer would cost you in excess of $2,000.
Fortunately, mass production and stiff market completion is counting in your favor. You can get a Large, Dual Extruder 3D Printer for bigger projects, a fully enclosed 3D Printer for use in your living room, and even a 3D Printer suitable for kids, at a fraction of the price you would have paid just a few years ago.
Choose your price category and read the review, we also included our round-up reviews of the best 3D printers from $300 all the way to $1000 price range.
In-depth 3D printing guides
We've written about a wide array of topics for 3D printing fanatics, including how to make your own 3D printed figurines! We also took a look at the various types of 3D printers, and which of these are child-friendly.
Want to know more about the materials you will be printing with the part one has got you covered.
Warning: this guide may contain calculations...we get technical!
What to know what the most common mistakes are when 3D printing and how to avoid them, then part 2 is for you.
This guide is less theoretical and focuses more on the practical aspects of setting up your 3D printer correctly.
3D Printer Filament Review
Choosing the correct plastic may be one of the hardest tasks a aspiring 3D printer. The plastic makes the print, and no, if you really to excel at 3D printing you cant always use PLA!
In this guide we discuss the various plastics and which temperatures and settings you should use when 3D printing with them.
PLA and ABS may be popular, but these aren’t the only 3D printing materials which you should use. Did you know you can use wood and even metal infused PLA?
Our top picks for each category
Robo R1 Plus 3D Printer - Value for money
The Robo R1 Plus 3D printer comes out tops in the sub-$500 category. With the unique ability to print not only PLA, but also ABS, HIPS and Nylon, the Robo really creates some separation between itself and the competition.
It is truly amazing what Robo was able to offer with this, their entry level printer. Previously these features were only available on large and expensive printers, now, for less than half a grand, you get:
Best Plastics for 3D Painting – ABS and PLA
After choosing your 3D printer, you have to make the very important decision of choosing the 3D printer filament which you will be using. In our printing with polymers guide we take a close look at the various attributes of the thermoplastics you could use and how they affect the quality and strength of your prints.The most common types of plastic which are supported are either PLA or ABS. Here are some quick guidelines for deciding between the two.
PLA (Polylactic Acid)
PLA is a biodegradable, and the most environmentally friendly plastic available. From plastic bags to plastic cups, it is one of the plastics you will encounter most frequently in everyday life.
Features of PLA
- PLA is non-toxic and easy to use – perfect for kids
- It is entirely biodegradable
- Set your printer to around 205 C when using PLA filament
ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
ABS is a strong, semi-transparent plastic with a high melting point. Contrary to PLA, ABS is not biodegradable and can be toxic at very high (400ᵒC+) temperatures. Fortunately, it “melts” far sooner than that, and is one of the best plastics to use with your 3D pen.
Features of ABS
- Impact resistant and strong
- Slightly flexible, doesn’t shatter when you bend it
- Set your 3D printer to around 240C when using ABS filament
Click the button below to go to our in-depth guide where we take a look at features, pros and cons of these two filaments
Why you should consider buying a 3D printer
Setup has become easier
The modern 3D printers require very little time to setup. Some of these printers even offer WiFi connectivity and automatic calibration with printed bed leveling.
This means that you can jump straight into creating 3D prints in less than an hour after purchasing a user-friendly 3D printer.
With the right plastic, you can print 3-dimensional objects right in front of your very eyes. 3D printers have improved dramatically in printing speed in the last few years.
Most objects which I created in my plastic art portfolio was completed within a day. Except for the wine rack, which took 238 hours!