Best 3D Printers 2022

Jun 5, 2021
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Recommending the Ender 3 Pro instead of the Ender 3 v2 in a list of the best printers in 2021 is silly.
 

LolaGT

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The differences between the base non-pro 3 to the v2 is convenience(faster warm up, quieter running). There is not one bit of difference in print quality. There are literally dozens of comparisons and results videos online for the E3 line.
The thing to determine is what one is willing to pay for the added convenience, quieter running, etc.
I found a E3 Pro X(glass bed option included in the box, extra nozzles) for 200 bucks to my door. A v2 would be pushing well over 250 to my door.
That is three kilos of good PLA for me for the same money, which is what I went with(pro x and the PLA).
Regardless, the best printer is the one that fits one's needs, wallet, and makes them happy.
If money was really tight the base plain non-pro Ender 3 is the best buy at 150 bucks right now. One can get a glass bed for a few bucks, and look up videos for the endless (basically free) mods for it and they would be good to go for a long time.


Recommending the Ender 3 Pro instead of the Ender 3 v2 in a list of the best printers in 2021 is silly.
 
Jun 5, 2021
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I have to say I'm concerned when I see superficial articles like this that don't really have nuance. There is a ton more nuance to FDM vs SLA printers. Like mSLA tends to be faster since it exposes a layer at a time. Or that mSLA printers are generally easier to fix due to less moving parts. Or that FDM prints tend to be a lot less brittle SLA resins. Or that print orientation affects physical properties of FDM but has less effects on SLA. Or SLA is more brittle. Etc. Also there are water washable resins that don't need alcohol for cleaning. Like either you assume people are experts and don't bring up the differences or assume people are beginners and give enough information for them to make an informed decision. This is in some no man's land in between.
 
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durahl

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A little bit of a wall of text... I guess? 😉

So far, I've owned two Formlabs SLA 3D Printers ( a Form² and a Form³ ) a Prusa i3 MK3S with a MMU2S attached to it and as of recently a 350 sized Voron 2.4 that is planned to replace the i3 entirely once I built the Voron EnragedRabbit equivalent of the Prusa MMU2S.

I never owned an mSLA 3D printer but from what I read about them, despite their ability to print faster than the SLA ones AND being a lot cheaper, I still wouldn't trade my two Forms in for one... Especially not the Form³ with the practically nonexistent suction force it has allowing for much greater flexibility in the parts selection - Everything works and with resins you bet you want things to work on the first try considering the mess you'll be dealing with when it doesn't. You'll also definitely want to buy an automated washing station - You'll never get a resin part as clean by hand than you'll with a washing station - Why I pull my washed parts out of the IPA bath they're almost ready to work with - Just some fanning with like a Hairdryer and you're done.

Now as for the i3... It served me well as a workhorse - No doubt about that - But since owning a Voron 2.4 I honestly got to say that the i3 is a royal <Mod Edit> pain in the ass to do maintenance on. I already knew of that when I assembled my i3 but with it having been, at the time, my only DIY 3D Printer I couldn't compare it to anything, but boy did I have a 2nd awakening when working with the Voron 2.4.

Toolhead disassembly for maintenance on the V2.4 is a 2min thing... Maybe less if you use power tools. Remove 1 screw to remove the Toolhead Cable Connectors Cover for disconnecting the Heater and Thermistor Cables, remove another 4 easily accessible screws to remove the Toolhead holding the Hotend for easier servicing at a more convenient location while the bulk of the 3D Printer remains at it work location and depending on Hotend another 2-4 screws to remove the Hotend from the Toolhead should that be necessary for a more in-depth servicing.

On the i3... May the makers mercy on your poor soul. If the Hotend has an issue you'll basically have to disassemble the entire E and X-Axis plus free up the entire umbilical of cables coming from the control board to the E-Axis - It's at least a 30min job - Most likely 1h - to fix any problem related to the Hotend.

3D printing all the ABS parts for my Voron on my i3 I practically melted the Hotend area and had to rebuild it ( i3 printed the parts for the Voron and the Voron printed the parts for the i3... what irony ) due to the elevated temperatures and PETG being used in the fabrication of the i3 forced me to go through the entire procedure ending up with a weird error where the recalibration wizard would tell me there being an error with the X-Axis - What error exactly? To long? To short? No idea... Everyone and the Manual told me to ensure the ZipTies around the Umbilical being tight enough for them not to collide during homing - I pretty much finished an art degree on ZipTie Bondage that day to no success until some random passerby told me to loosen the screws holding the E-Axis to the X-Axis - Almost having the entire Extruder just dangling around basically - Success!? Turns out the Linear Rails are super finnicky with pressure and the Limitswitchless Homing interprets the slightest bit of resistance during calibration as having reached the end of the rail causing the problem - This, IMHO, is bad design.

I also noticed that the i3 has gotten a LOT louder over the years despite Stealth Mode being on - Probably the Bearings kicking the bucket - Again... Royal <Mod Edit> pain in the ass to do maintenance on them due to how the entire i3 is being assembled.

Quite honestly, If you have the money for an i3 I'd rather recommend spending it on a Voron ( the Trident seems interesting ) - You can use the same PrusaSlicer AND you'll most likely learn a lot more about 3D Printing with FDM than the spoon-fed method of going with an i3 arriving with all the preset profiles - which you can still use if you want! - and your cap of how fast you can 3D print will also raise significantly - Just don't expect to go much past 300mm/s as someone who just built their first Voron and has never before used anything but an i3 / Ender. Those Videos about Vorons pushing 400-1000mm/s you'll not be doing anytime soon but printing 2-3x faster than on an i3 - Oh yes... It'll take a week or two of time to find the perfect recipe of Temperatures, Accelerations, Speeds, etc... but that you can do.
 
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samiup

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Umm... no. I bought into the hype and got an Ender 3 V2, and it works... that is if you are ready to spend 45mn calibrating it before every single print...
The experience was frustrating at best, till the point where I decided it is actually useless and returned it.
 

grrmisfit

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Umm... no. I bought into the hype and got an Ender 3 V2, and it works... that is if you are ready to spend 45mn calibrating it before every single print...
The experience was frustrating at best, till the point where I decided it is actually useless and returned it.
a few minutes of research and one would see updating the firmware to a custom one and doing some minor maintenance makes it easier to maintain a proper bed level, one of the big selling points was the open source and modding of this printer so installing a custom firmware should come to no surprise. manual mesh available with that firmware helps alot. the ender has its quirks but some google foo goes along way.

tho the artilce should mention the v2 now as its solves most of the cons listed with the pro
 

comedichistorian

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You need to change "2021" to "2022" in that first big paragraph. Also, is the article about the best sub-$250 printers like the opening sentence states or is it a general list of the best 3d printers like the title of the article states? If it's the former then there shouldn't be two $450 printers on the list and if it's the latter, well, I don't know where to begin.
 

comedichistorian

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tho the artilce should mention the v2 now as its solves most of the cons listed with the pro
Hey you joined on my birthday 12 years ago. Is that fact interesting to anyone but myself and softheads? No. But I'm drunk and felt the need to point it out. Have a lovely evening!

Also....if your birthday is June 26 I'll fill my pants.

Also also....holy cats we've got the same number of points as well! WHAT IS HAPPENING?!
 

Optix1974

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The Prusa Mini+ does not have a "touchscreen." It does have a color LCD, but not all color LCDs are touchscreens.
 

edzieba

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Might be an interesting crop of compact foldable printers coming soon: Positron V3 is an upside-down coreXY design, and while Positron itself is currently an assemble-the-kit-yourself open source printer in best classic RepRap fashion, expect clones to arrive rapidly once component manufacturing ramps up. Even if you don't care for the folding capability, the inverted coreXY layout allows for fast print speeds due to the low CoG reducing vibration (can't have structural bending modes if you don't have any structure!).
 

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