In this article to buying the best 3D printer for engineers, we will help you understand which one to choose by comparing the 9 most interesting models of the moment. We will evaluate the different printing technologies and recommend the Best 3D printer For Engineers according to your needs. We will also analyze factors such as price, printing accuracy, technical characteristics, printable materials and much more
Best 3D printer For Engineers | 2024
Table of Contents
At the end of the comparison you will also find a very useful guide on how to choose your next 3D printer for enginnering and some useful tips to get the best out of your 3D prints.
Let’s start with a little insight into printing technologies.
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Best 3D printer For Engineers | 2024 Comparison Table
|Dremel DigiLab 3D45 Award Winning 3D Printer w/extra supplies, 30 Lesson plans, Professional Development course, PC & MAC OS, Chromebook, iPad Compatible, Built-in HD Camera, Heated Build Plate
|4 Spools of 3D Printlife Filament Bundled with The Dremel Digilab 3D40 Flex 3D Printer
|BIBO 3D Printer Dual Extruder Sturdy Frame WiFi Touch Screen Cut Printing Time in Half Filament Detect Demountable Glass Bed
|FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro2, Independent Dual Extruder W/2 Spools, Metal Frame Structure, Acrylic Covers, Optimized Build Platform, Works with ABS and PLA
|MakerBot Replicator + 3D Printer, with swappable Smart Extruder+, Black (MP07825EU)
|4 Free Spools of FormFutura Filament Bundled with Dremel Digilab 3D45 Award Winning 3D Printer, Idea Builder with Heated Build Plate to Print Nylon, ECO ABS, PETG, PLA at 50 Micron Resolution
|Dremel DigiLab 3D40 FLEX 3D Printer w/extra supplies, 30 Lesson plans, Professional Development course, Flexible Build Plate, Automated 9-Point Leveling, PC & MAC OS, Chromebook, iPad Compatible
|Flashforge Dreamer 3D Printer Dual Extruder Color Print WIFI Touchscreen W/2 Spool Fully Enclosed Chamber 3D Printer
|FlashForge Adventurer 3 Lite FDM 3D Printer with Quick Removable Nozzle, Auto Leveling, Super Cost-Effective, High Precision,Mute Cloud Printing, Build Volume 5.91 x 5.91 x 5.91inch
Best 3D printer For Engineers | 2024 Products Overview
The Dremel DigiLab 3D45-EDU 3D Printer Bundle is a top-of-the-line 3D printer that is designed for professionals and small businesses. It is the winner of PCMag.com’s 2024 Editors’ Choice Award for Best 3D Printer and is a Google For Education Partner. The bundle includes the Dremel 3D45-01 printer, 30 standard-aligned student lesson plans, a self-paced online training program with 4 PD credit hours, and additional 3D printer filaments and supplies.
Designed specifically for teachers, the Dremel DigiLab 3D45-EDU 3D Printer Bundle is the perfect tool to introduce students to the world of digital fabrication. The bundle includes 30 ready-to-implement, standards-aligned lesson plans for students from 3rd-12th grades. These lesson plans allow students to create their own models and prototypes in a variety of materials, including Nylon, ECO-ABS, PETG, PLA, and more at up to 50-micron resolution. Additionally, the included self-paced professional development training course will help teachers master the implementation of 3D printing in the classroom and is valid for 4 hours of PD credits.
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The Dremel DigiLab 3D40-FLX-01 is a fully enclosed 3D printer that offers a variety of features to make 3D printing quick and easy. One of the standout features of this printer is its flexible build plate, which makes it much easier to remove parts after printing. This is one of the biggest challenges with most 3D printers today. The printer also includes a direct drive, an all-metal extruder that is clog-resistant and delivers smooth prints. The extruder can heat up to 230°C, and if the filament runs out, the built-in detection pauses the print and resumes printing where you left off when the new filament has been added.
The Dremel DigiLab 3D40-FLX-01 also includes an automated 9-point leveling sensor that detects any variations in the print bed and automatically accounts for them for more successful printing. The printer has a 3.5” color touch screen for easy operation, a flexible build plate with ergonomic handles and a magnetic snap-on mechanism, and a complete 3D printer enclosure made of ultra-durable plastic. This printer is easy to use for anyone from a 3D printing novice to a professional, with its hassle-free, guided set-up, you can get your first print started within minutes.
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Another useful feature of the BIBO 3D printer is its filament detection system, which automatically pauses the print if the filament spool runs out. This can be especially useful for large-volume object printing, as it eliminates the need to constantly monitor the printer and manually pause and restart the print process.
The BIBO 3D printer also features a full-color touch screen that is easy to use and navigate. The screen is designed with no threshold, which makes it more user-friendly and easier to operate. In addition, the printer comes with WiFi control, which allows you to control the print process remotely via a phone or PC. This can be very convenient for users who want to monitor the progress of their prints from a different location. Additionally, the BIBO 3D printer includes copy printing feature, which allows to print two same objects at one time, which can significantly reduce the printing time.
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The Creator Pro 2 3D printer is a high-performance machine equipped with independent dual direct-drive metal extruders, allowing for the printing of two different colors and materials simultaneously, resulting in increased productivity and more possibilities.
It also features a rapid, steady heating bed that prevents model warping and allows for the use of a variety of materials, such as PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU, PC, PA, Wood, ASA and PVA. Additionally, its anti-scrape design reduces cross-contamination when using dual-color printing. Flashforge provides efficient after-sales support, including a one-month free return and exchange, lifetime technical support, a one-year warranty, and reliable 12-hour response service.
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The MakerBot Replicator+ 3D Printer is a popular choice for professionals, educators, and hobbyists looking for a fast and reliable 3D printing experience. The printer comes with a swappable Smart Extruder+ in black, as well as a PLA spool, flexible build plate, power and USB cables. The dimensions of the printer are 17.4" W x 20.8" L x 16.2"H and it has a build volume of 7.6” W x 11.6” L x 6.5” H / 573 Cubic inches. It requires a power input of 100-240 V, 50-60 HZ, and can use material with a diameter of 0.069”. The camera resolution is 640 x 480 and it is designed for use in environments with temperatures between 60-90°F.
This 3D printer is compatible with MakerBot PLA Material - Large Spool, Small Spool & MakerBot Tough Material - Large Spool, and Additional materials such as bronze fill, copperfill, and woodfill. It has been tested by NIOSH for environmental safety in the classroom or office space. Its features also include Aluminum Casting and Extrusions for Motion Components. It has received awards such as PC Mag Editor’s Choice Award, iF Design Award, and Techcrunch's best Classroom 3D printer.
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The Dremel DigiLab 3D45-01 3D Printer is a top of the line option for advanced 3D printing materials. It is compatible with ECO-ABS, Nylon, PETG, and PLA filament, and has an all-metal 0.4 mm nozzle that can heat up to 280°C and a removable glass build plate that can heat up to 100°C, allowing you to print a wide range of 1.75mm filament with ease. It has been recognized for its excellence, winning PCMag.com’s 2024 Editors’ Choice Award for Best 3D Printer for Professionals and Small Businesses, and is a Google For Education Partner, built to withstand daily use, making it perfect for architecture, engineering, university use, or commercial 3D printers.
The Dremel DigiLab 3D45-01 3D Printer is also very user-friendly, with a guided setup process that will have you printing in just a few minutes. The 4.5-inch full-color touchscreen has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate through different functions, and the built-in RFID reader detects the 1.75mm Dremel filament that you place inside, automatically choosing the best print settings for you.
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The Dremel DigiLab 3D40-FLX-EDU 3D Printer Bundle is designed for ease of use and versatility, making it a great option for classrooms and educational settings. The flexible build plate allows for easy removal of parts after printing and the automated 9-point leveling sensor detects any variations in the print bed for more successful printing. The 3.5" color touch screen makes for easy operation and the complete 3D printer enclosure is made of ultra-durable plastic.
The Dremel DigiLab 3D40-FLX is a 2nd generation 3D printer that is easy to use for both beginners and professionals. It offers advanced printing capabilities and hassle-free, guided set-up so you can start your first print within minutes. This bundle includes 30 ready-to-implement lesson plans for students from 3rd-12th grades and a self-paced training course that is valid for 4 hours of professional development credits.
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The Flashforge Dreamer 3D Printer is a dual extruder machine, allowing for dual color and dual material printing. This feature allows for more complicated prints to be created with ease. The heating bed rapidly heats up, preventing warping of the model and making it easier to remove the finished product. The printer is compatible with a variety of filaments such as PLA, ABS, PETG, and TPU.
The Dreamer also features an intuitive calibration detection system that assists with leveling. The touchscreen display provides clear messages to guide the user through the calibration process, making it more precise and easier. The Dreamer is suitable for a variety of industries such as industrial design, tool design, architecture, and mechanical design.
The FlashForge Adventurer 3 Lite is a fully assembled, lightweight, and minimalist desktop 3D printer with a build volume of 150 x 150 x 150 mm. One of the key features of this printer is its quick removable nozzle, which can be removed with just one push. The printer also has an auto leveling feature, which makes it easier to use. It has a super cost-effective and high precision, and is very quiet with a noise level of less than 45 decibels.
Another notable feature of the Adventurer 3 Lite is its removable flexible platform, which makes it easy to take down the model after printing. This printer is also versatile and can handle a variety of 3D printer filaments, such as PLA, ABS, PETG, and TPU filament.
In addition to its ease of use, the Adventurer 3 Lite also offers cloud-based capabilities, allowing for Wi-Fi printing and the ability to save, share, and download 3D printable designs on the FlashCloud platform for free. Flashforge also provides lifetime technical assistance and a one-year warranty for the printer, and offers 24-hour online customer service for any questions or assistance with product operation or software.
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Best 3D printer For Engineers | 2024 Guide
How the 3D printer works
3D printers are machines capable of making objects in three dimensions , using special software and systems that create real physical structures through a series of overlapping layers . Depending on the model they can use different types of materials for the filament of 3D printing, among which the most common are plastic (ABS or PLA), metals (aluminum, steel or cobalt), ceramics, paper and organic materials. biological. Once the project to be created with the software has been created, the device starts working, with the nozzle moving through a three-axis system and dispensing the filament after heating the material, until the object is finished by overlapping all the layers.
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Types of 3D printers: which printing technology to choose?
The 3D printer market is now very large, with products that are more accessible than in the past and very different from each other. There are different printing technologies: in this buying guide we focus on FDM / FFF and SLA 3D printers , and mostly intended for non-professional use. Let's see together what these acronyms mean:
- FDM : stands for Fused Deposition Manufacturing and is the most widespread 3D printing technology. A plastic filament is melted and extruded so that it can be used for the construction of the print layers;
- FFF : stands for Fused Filament Fabrication and is practically identical to FDM technology. The difference between the two is the origin of the patent, therefore purely of a historical nature;
- SLA : is the 3D printing obtained by stereolithography . The starting material is liquid resin, which is solidified using light. More precise in the creation of small details, it is particularly suitable for printing miniatures and very small details.
So how to choose the best 3D printer for engineers among these printing technologies? We will then explore the aspects to take into account when buying a 3D printer.
Let's say, to keep it simple, it mostly depends on what you want to print :
- To make PLA models for hobby purposes you can choose an economical FDM ;
- If you want to print accessories in technical material (such as nylon, ABS, polycarbonate, etc…) a semi-professional FDM is more suitable ;
- To build miniatures or objects with a high level of detail we recommend that you buy an SLA 3D printer and focus on professional models.
The technical specifications to take into account to choose the best 3D printer
As always, when it comes to choosing a technological product, the technical specifications are a valid guide to follow in order to orient yourself in the choice. Let's see together how to read the technical specifications of 3D printers to make a conscious purchase that does not disappoint us:
- Work area : this value represents the print size allowed by the 3D printer, expressed in 3 values corresponding to the 3 dimensions X, Y and Z. Usually the economic printers have a print size of 200x200x200 mm, the larger the print area will be the higher the price of the 3D printer.
- Types of printable materials : Always pay attention to the printable materials declared by the manufacturer. To know the printing performance of your new 3D printer with different materials, it is also useful to always read user reviews.
- Extruder : always evaluates the number of extruders (more extruders = higher speed and printable colors at the same time), the diameter of the extruder and of the filament. The smaller the diameter of the extruder, the higher the printing precision.
- Horizontal / vertical resolution and level resolution : these parameters indicate the deviation in terms of printing accuracy . The lower the declared value, the higher the accuracy of your 3D printer.
- Allowed software and file formats : also in this case, your habits / knowledge define the choice. Always evaluate compatible software and file formats to reflect your 3D modeling habits or knowledge in this area.
- 3D printer assembly and initial setup : prefer pre-assembled and self-leveling models if you are a beginner. Mechanical stability and accurate settings are key factors for accurate and successful 3D printing.
- Safety systems and sensors : if you intend to use your new 3D printer for many hours, even when you will not be present during the printing process, prefer safe models. Accidents are commonplace and can cause annoying and dangerous consequences.
Learn how to use a 3D printer before buying it
On the net you can find dozens of videos and contents to learn how to use 3D printers effectively . Do not underestimate the importance of a conscious use and dedicate time to training, you will get better 3D prints and in total safety.
3D printing machine: types of filaments
On the market we can find different types of filaments for 3D printing :
- PLA : it is a biopolymer derived from corn, economic and eco-sustainable. It is the most common material, the melting temperature is about 180 ° and does not require the use of a heated support base. Perfect for making aesthetic models, it is the best material for printing with cheap 3D printers.
- Composite PLA : it is PLA mixed with other materials such as steel, aluminum, copper, brass, wood or bronze. The purpose of this type of filament is purely aesthetic.
- ABS : it is a non-biodegradable technopolymer suitable for 3D printing of light and robust objects. This material gives off toxic fumes during the printing process, so it is recommended to use it with closed 3D printers.
- PET : polyethylene terephthalate is a strong and flexible thermoplastic resin. It is often used in the making of food containers and bottles.
- Polycarbonate : it is a material with high tensile and flexural strength. Perfect for industrial use and the production of objects resistant to mechanical stress (e.g. components for FPV drones).