Best 3D Printers in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 13, 2018
Check out our recent review of such hi-tech and rapidly becoming more and more popular devices as 3D Printers. In the review we summarized the data on 5 best 3D printers available for the online purchase to help you make the right choice. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Printing Technology
Materials
Printing Parameters
Build Chamber Specifications
Software
Data Exchange Interfaces
Size and Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

The nozzle diameter allows for printing models with a thickness of 0.1-0.5 mm. Additionally, the high precision of the printing also helps to create complex high-definition objects with a smooth surface.

CONS

PLA is the only material that can be used with this model.

OUR VERDICT

The model has a protected extruder which makes it safe and easy to use. Moreover, a 3.5-inch touchscreen with a simple interface significantly simplifies the control over the printer. The base of the printer is easy to remove and clean. On top of that, the rigid and stable body ensures high-precision printing.

detailed parameters
Printing Technology

FFF (FDM)

Materials

PLA

Printing Parameters

Print speed: 40-200 mm/s

Positioning precision: XY: 0.011 mm, Z: 0.0025 mm

Layer resolution: 0.1-0.5 mm

Build Chamber Specifications

Build volume: 140 x 140 x 140 mm

Number of extruders: 1

Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm

Build chamber heating: Not available

Software

Flash Print

Data Exchange Interfaces

Wi-Fi, USB

Size and Weight

420 x 420 x 420 mm, 20 kg

Warranty

90 days (extruder), 12 months (other parts)

PROS

A patented heating UltraBase, in combination with a smooth lower panel, provides the opportunity for hassle-free removing of your finished projects. One of the biggest build volumes on the market.

CONS

The initial setup is somewhat complicated.

OUR VERDICT

A reliable model that has been stress-tested for 24 hours before shipping. Resumes the printing from the latest point in case of power outage or if the machine is running low on the filament. Features a 3.5-inch TFT touchscreen for easier control. The high printing precision allows for making complex objects.

detailed parameters
Printing Technology

FFF (FDM)

Materials

PLA, ABS, HIPS, Wood filled filaments

Printing Parameters

Print speed: 20~100 mm/s

Positioning precision: 0.05-0.3 mm

Layer resolution: X/Y 0.0125 mm Z 0.002 mm

Build Chamber Specifications

Build volume: 210 x 210 x 205 mm

Number of extruders: 1

Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm

Build chamber heating: 110° C

Software

Cura

Data Exchange Interfaces

SD Card, USB

Size and Weight

405 x 410 x 453 mm, 15 kg

Warranty

3 months return policy, Lifetime technical support

PROS

The nozzle diameter of just 0.3 mm will allow you to create highly complex objects.

CONS

The assembly takes a considerable amount of time.

OUR VERDICT

A budget-friendly 3D printer model with a quality to match. The printer comes unassembled and thus, it takes some time to put it together. Allows for working with various software of your choice, which makes it a great option for beginners.

detailed parameters
Printing Technology

FFF (FDM)

Materials

PLA, ABS

Printing Parameters

Print speed: Not specified

Positioning precision: 0.1-0.3 mm

Layer resolution: 0.1-0.3 mm

Build Chamber Specifications

Build volume: 200 x 200 x 180 mm

Number of extruders: 1

Nozzle diameter: 0.3 mm

Build chamber heating: 110° C

Software

GT-Host, Repetier-Host, Printrun

Data Exchange Interfaces

USB, SD Card

Size and Weight

450 x 440 x 680 mm, 9.5 kg

Warranty

90 days (extruder), 6 months (other parts)

PROS

Can be used with almost all types of filaments and software programs, which makes this 3D printer truly unique.

CONS

The device base can degrade over time.

OUR VERDICT

Light and compact model that comes fully assembled and calibrated at the factory allows for printing right out of the box. The process of refilling the filament is easy and hassle-free. What is more, the printer has an LCD screen with easy to read buttons.

detailed parameters
Printing Technology

FFF (FDM)

Materials

ABS, PLA, XT, Copolyester, PET, TPU, TPC, FPE, PVA, HIPS, Jelly, Foam, Felty

Printing Parameters

Print speed: 55 mm/s

Positioning precision: 0.1 mm

Layer resolution: 0.1-0.4 mm

Build Chamber Specifications

Build volume: 120 x 120 x 120 mm

Number of extruders: 1

Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm

Build chamber heating: 260° C

Software

Cura (recommended), Repetier-Host, ReplicatorG, Simplify 3D

Data Exchange Interfaces

Wi-Fi, USB, MicroSD Card

Size and Weight

430 x 360 x 270 mm, 1 kg

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

Two extruders can use two filament threads for printing. The high-precision MK7 and the universal extruder can work simultaneously, which significantly speeds up the printing process.

CONS

The fans have to be turned off manually.

OUR VERDICT

A fairly precise printer with a stable, rigid steel housing. Thanks to the noise-free cooling fans, the model works quietly enough to print 24/7 anywhere without disturbing the neighbours. The aluminium platform features temperature control. The assembly of the printer will take around 1 hour.

detailed parameters
Printing Technology

FFF (FDM)

Materials

ABS, PLA

Printing Parameters

Print speed: ~50 mm/s

Positioning precision: 0.1 mm

Layer resolution: 0.1 - 0.2 mm

Build Chamber Specifications

Build volume: 150 x 225 x 150 mm

Number of extruders: 2

Nozzle diameter: 0.4 mm

Build chamber heating: 120° C

Software

ReplicatorG, Makerware

Data Exchange Interfaces

USB, SD Card

Size and Weight

470 x 320 x 380 mm, 10.6 kg

Warranty

1 year limited, 18-24 months product shelf life guaranteed

FlashForge Finder

Accessible for Everyone

One of the most accessible models on the market, the FlashForge 3D printer is a perfect entry-level 3D printer that will be suitable for schools and workshops. This model is capable of printing right out of the box and requires very little tweaking before you can start working with the filament.

With a 3.5" HD IPS touchscreen, you won’t need your PC or laptop to make a 3D print, just 4 taps will be enough to start the device, allowing the latter to bring all of your ideas to life. Additionally, you can connect to your printer from anywhere using an Internet connection to control and overwatch the printing process.

As for the software, the cube 3D printer has a FlashPrint program that allows for converting 2D images into 3D models with ease. Just load the picture of your choice to your PC or laptop or directly to the printer and, with just a few clicks, you will be able to create a three-dimensional model. On top of that, you will have the option of cutting, slicing, and generating the supports for your 3D piece. To output better and more complex prints, you can add or remove the treelike (dendriform) supports. The app itself has a fairly simple and intuitive user interface, which will be easy to navigate through for beginners. Suitable for newbies, it has a large number of presets so it is easy to select the build quality and press start. On the other hand, the 3D print experts will be also pleased with a wide range of different parameters that can be changed manually. Specifically, you can change the melting temperature, printing speed along with the thickness of the layers, and the pause height.

Review of FlashForge Finder 3D Printer Finder Single Extruder Printer

Safety is Key

This particular 3D printer from FlashForge is extremely quiet, producing no more than 50 dB of noise at the highest output level, which makes it as quiet as a modern PC or a gaming console. Thus, you won’t have to worry about disturbing your neighbours or family members.

Furthermore, if you care about the environment, you will be glad to know that this model uses strictly PLA plastic filament, which is completely recyclable and non-toxic. Safe for children, the Finder printer does not have any sharp edges and all the heating elements are touch-protected. On top of that, the build plate that usually gets very hot is made of heat-resistant glass that ensures that no heat will be emitted.

All in all, the FlashForge 3D printer is a good pick for you if you need a model that can be used for printing out of the box without unnecessary calibration.

FlashForge Finder 3D Printer Finder Single Extruder Printer in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Anycubic I3 Mega

No Limits to Your Imagination

The Anycubic I3 Mega is a printer with, perhaps, one of the largest building volumes on the market today. To be more specific, the build volume of 210 x 210 x 205 mm that leaves a lot of room for your creativity. With this model, you can create medium-sized 3D models or smaller parts of much bigger projects, featuring a level of complexity that is only limited by your imagination.

Although the TFT touchscreen is a handy addition to this model, the screen itself is not the most responsive one, unfortunately. You will have to apply some pressure from time to time in order to select an option and sometimes it takes two tries to push a button.

The initial installation and setup of the printer are somewhat complicated without reading the manual first. Although it only takes 8 screws to screw and 3 wires to connect, you will have to familiarise yourself with different parts of the machine before you can start printing. Other than that, the printer is fairly user-friendly and will be a good pick for a starter kit in case you can’t tell the difference between the extruder and the hot end yet. The body of the printer itself is made of rigid metal that is sturdy enough to hold all the moving parts, while the strong steel case protects all the electronics inside of it. Aside from the initial setup, this product does not require any additional calibrating and is ready to print right away once assembled.

Review of Anycubic I3 Mega 3D Drucker Kit

Absolutely Hassle-Free

Additionally, this model features a unique Ultrabase that will allow you to easily remove your projects after they have been printed. Unlike other models, the base of I3 Mega is covered by a patented microporous coating, which makes removing even the largest of your projects with a scraper hassle-free. What is more, the printer has a filament detector that will notify you when the machine is running low on the material used for producing the models. The printer supports various types of filament, including PLA, ABS, HIPS, and wood filled filaments that add more flexibility to your projects. Furthermore, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that this model is capable of printing using a flexible filament without any issues or additional modifications and hardware. In order to do so, you will need to adjust the temperature of the hot end to 200° C to avoid clogging.

As for more convenient features, this model can continue printing from the last stopping point in case of power outage. Finally, the Anycubic 3D printer will prove to be a great choice if you need a device that can print large high-quality models quickly and hassle-free.

Anycubic I3 Mega 3D Drucker Kit in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Geeetech Pro B

Buit for Professionals yet Simple Enough

Designed for DIY 3D printing, the Geeetech Pro B desktop 3D printer feels more like an industrial model than a product for enthusiasts. The main reason for that is the XYZ axes that are made of resistant, high-wear, industrial grade materials that ensure a longer service life of the device and smoother gliding of the moving parts that, in turn, ensure high-precision printing.

The process of assembling the printer can be somewhat tiresome and will take a considerable amount of time (from 4 to 5 hours). All parts come numbered and organised in plastic bags, so the process is time-consuming but not necessarily complicated. If you are an inexperienced 3D enthusiast, this may be a turnoff point for you, however, the instructions provided in the manual are quite straightforward and the assembly is rather easy, once you get the hang of it.

On the bright side, the new and updated Pro B model features an upgraded extruder barrel that allows for working with multiple filaments such as PLA, ABS, flexible ABS, and wood. With a GT2560 controller board inside, the printer supports up to two extruders that can print simultaneously (the additional extruder must be purchased separately). As for the extruder itself, this model comes with an MK8 extruder that has a higher printing resolution, which can create much smaller 3D objects than its predecessor. Once assembled and calibrated, this high-precision printer can compete with more expensive industrial models that are unavailable for sale, which is simply amazing, to say the least, especially considering its rather modest price.

Review of Geeetech Pro B Acrylic Prusa I3 Pro B Unassembled 3D printer

Offline Capabilites

Print without a laptop or a PC! All you will have to do to create models is plug in the SD card with a 3D model into the machine and select the printing parameters on the LCD screen. While working with various types of filament, you can conveniently select the melting temperature of each type using the control board on top of the device. Unfortunately, the firmware can lag and desynchronise from the PC or an SD card from time to time. In order to continue printing, you will have to restart the unit alongside with the software and continue the process from the last point where the printer stopped. We just hope that future firmware updates will fix these bugs in the near future.

To wrap things up, the Geeetech Pro B is a high-quality printer that is an excellent choice for its value, despite some minor flaws that will not affect the printing quality of your projects.

Geeetech Pro B Acrylic Prusa I3 Pro B Unassembled 3D printer in the use

 

Monoprice 124166

Features Well Combined

This one of the best 3D printers for home use by Monoprice stands out from the rest of its league because it combines convenience, simplicity, and compactness. Such combination makes this model an ideally-suited solution for those who are just beginning to study and try printing three-dimensional models and parts.

Contrary to the most DIY 3D printers, this device is shipped in an almost completely assembled state, all you need to do before you begin printing is unpack and attach some elements to their places according to the included manual. Monoprice designed this model with a completely open frame so you could conveniently view your models being printed from all directions. The device is equipped with a printing platform that is pre-calibrated at the factory and offers a preheating feature. However, we recommend you to verify its correct position to prevent the resulting models from being skewed. This can be easily done with a paper sheet, aligning the position of the platform according to the print head. As for the filament spool, it attaches to the printer frame's side, and for easier handling, the filament thread is secured with a special spring-loaded clip, which also simplifies its release when you need to replace it.

The well-matched structure elements enable this device to work with various materials, such as PLA, ABS as well as with more advanced ones like wood, composite filaments, and dissolving PLA. The print speed is 55 mm per second, which makes the wait for your model to be finished relatively short. As the name suggests, the Monoprice Select Mini is more suitable for a fabrication of small and medium-sized models. The model's maximum build volume is 4.7" x 4.7" x 4.7". For a better control of temperature conditions, in addition to the heating of the platform, Monoprice fitted the Mini with 2 cooling fans, one of which is directed at the metal nozzle of the extruder, and the second one is integrated into the lower part of the device.

Review of Monoprice 124166 3D Printer with Heated Build Plate

Ready for Work out of the Box

Yet another distinctive feature of this model by Monoprice is that the printer is compatible with almost any software. The manufacturer recommends using Cura, but if you wish so, you can easily install such popular software applications as Repetier-Host, ReplicatorG, Simplify 3D and other similar solutions to use with the Select Mini. The support of operating systems is quite advanced and allows you to control and configure your printing device in Windows and Mac OSX, as well as in Linux. As a modern digital device, this model features a built-in Wi-Fi module and a USB port for connecting to your PC or a laptop. To start the printing of your model right away, you can load pre-set models in .stl and .obj formats to a supported memory card and print directly from the card with no host device connected.

You can control and configure the printer directly from the control panel conveniently located on its body. The control panel itself consists of two elements: a 3.7-inch IPS screen and a turn-push button. The menu is fairly simple to navigate through as all the menu sections are broken down into categories.

As a pleasant bonus to an almost completely assembled and configured condition of the printer a PLA sample for printing is included in the package as well as a memory card that contains several preloaded models for testing. You can start working with the Select Mini immediately after unboxing it and plugging the cord into a power socket.

Monoprice 124166 3D Printer with Heated Build Plate in the use

 

Win-Tinten 3DP-QD

Large and Efficient

The Win-Tinten 3DP-QD dual extruder 3D printer is a fairly efficient printer with a wide variety of features that will be suitable for both professional and amateurs in the field of 3D printing. Unlike many other 3D printer models, this one comes fully assembled and factory calibrated so you can take it out of the box, plug it in, and start printing right away.

The more experienced 3D printer users will be pleasantly surprised to know that this model features two extruders that allow you to create projects of top-notch quality. As for the extruders, the model comes with one high-precision MK7 and one universal extruder that can work simultaneously, which significantly speeds up the printing process. The extruders use a regular 1.75 mm plastic filaments such as PLA and ABS. With this printer, you can forget about models that stick to the base plate. Thanks to a heated aluminium base on board, you won’t have to scratch off parts of your projects and clean the device afterwards.

As the manufacturer states, the high precision can only be achieved with excellent hardware, configuration, and stable performance. That’s why the body of the printer is made of high-quality aluminium and metal. Thanks to a powerful step-motor, the operation of the machine is always stable even at high speeds. Additionally, you can easily control the positioning of the nozzle via the front panel. The front panel itself allows for using SD cards as a source of 3D models for your projects. This will come in handy if you don’t have a USB cable or just prefer to use the printer in offline mode.

Review of Win-Tinten 3DP-QD 3D Printer Assembled Optimized MK8 Dual Extruder

Everything You Need

The software that can be used with this model in order to start bringing your plastic creations to life is Makerware and ReplicatorG, which have a simple user interface that is easy to follow and navigate through. The latter is being updated on a regular basis, which excludes the risk of bugs that can lead to critical failures or cause damage to your 3D models in the process of printing.

Furthermore, this model comes with all necessary equipment needed for maintenance and proper operation of the device. The package includes a toolkit with all the tools required for maintenance and cleaning and an SD card that has software, drivers, and printer templates for the device.

The only downside of this model is that you have to turn the cooling fans manually when working with PLA filament. Otherwise, the extruder will overheat or even clog from time to time. Despite that, the fans work very quietly (around 50 dB), thus, the printer can be used for 24/7 printing anywhere.

To sum up, the metal 3D printer from Win-Tinten will be a perfect addition to your existing workshop or a nice starting point for those who simply want to pick up a new hobby of printing three-dimensional figures.

Win-Tinten 3DP-QD 3D Printer Assembled Optimized MK8 Dual Extruder in the use

 

What Is a 3D Printer?

3D printers are the devices that use the layer-by-layer printing method to create physical objects based on digital models. These objects can have practically any shape and geometry. In essence, the printers are peripherals relating to one of the types of industrial robots. Nowadays they are used not only in production field but also at home: after all, when you grasp the scope of possibilities a 3D printer can offer, you'll find it can help you bring your most daring fantasies to life. You can't underestimate the convenience of a device like that. In our today's review, we will talk about how to choose a 3D printer. These devices become more widespread and, which is even more important, more affordable.

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What Features to Compare

When choosing a printer you should pay attention to one of its basic parameters, such as Functionality, the parameter covers various specifications of 3D printing such as print area (area of resulting object forming) and the materials being used, which the printer utilizes. When choosing the printer according to this parameter you should take your requirements as a point of departure. To be sure, the larger print area provides the more opportunities there are for creativity.

A 3D printer does not print the whole object instantly. Additionally, it takes some time to figure out how to 3D print an object, while you learn the machine. As a rule, the printing of an object takes from a few hours to a couple of days, and when printing the big projects - weeks. Therefore, the parameter that characterizes the thickness of material a printer can lay on a detail in one pass is very important. However, one should remember that the print Speed and accuracy (mm of the material a printer layers in one second) might affect the accuracy of printing. To characterize a printer in a most accurate way the Speed and accuracy need to be summarized and one should stick to happy mean. The optimal speed of material layering a 3D printer system should maintain while ensuring the highest quality is 0.2 mm/second.

Not every 3D printer can be called easy-to-operate. For the most part, the wider capabilities of the 3D printer mean that it has the bigger number of corresponding settings, though at the same time the more complicated the software may be. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate properly such parameter as Usability. There are printers that can be run with a single mouse click. For example, some printers are equipped with a display that enables them to work in a standalone mode.

Sources:

1. 3D Printing, Wikipedia.

2. How to 3D Print an Object, wikiHow.

3.  3D Printer, instructables.

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Publish Date: 2017-08-31 12:43:05