The Best 3D printers of 2021

The Best 3D printers of 2021

Which 3D printer is right for you? We've evaluated the offerings of some of the best 3D printers on the market, all capable of creating 3D objects, but with a wide range of characteristics. If you're in the market for a 3D printer, you'll find one here that fits your needs.

1. Monoprice Voxel

If you're looking to get started in 3D printing, the Monoprice Voxel 3D printer is a great choice, as it delivers high-quality prints without costing you a fortune.
Novices will particularly appreciate the heated print base on the Voxel, which means more reliable prints when you use materials like ABS. The top of the print bed slides out, too, and it's bendable, so removing prints is a snap. We also like the fact that the Voxel is enclosed, an important consideration if you're planning on using a 3D printer in a home or classroom.
Despite the low price, this is a pretty damn full-featured 3D printer, and a favorite affordable first step for testing the 3D printing waters. Print quality and printing speed are excellent, but there will be a good amount of trial and error in your first few prints. Just be sure to purchase extra filament since you'll use up the included sample roll very quickly.

2. FormLabs Form 3

FormLabs focusing on resin-based SLA 3D printers and has been instrumental in pioneering and advancing the technology. Form 3 is the smallest of their machines but has wide appeal with the use of a high precision laser that ensures unparalleled print quality, far surpassing FDM printers. As with all SLA printers, a liquid resin is used rather than a solid filament so more time is needed in the preparation and finishing of prints which will not suit all users. However, the breadth of materials and technology makes the Form 3 one of the most versatile 3D printers on the market. Ideal for high-quality prototypes, jewellery, casting and production.

3. Anycubic Photon

If you're set on a resin printer, this is the best 3D printer for you. Resin printers are the next step up in rapid prototyping design technology when you want your printing to look as high quality as anything assembled in a factory. Just be warned: The liquid resin is harder to work with, and it requires both good ventilation and a portable UV light to properly cue. This model is extremely popular with board game hobbyists who want to print pro-looking miniatures, and sometimes you'll see it fall in price from around $250 to just under $200. It's currently listed at $270 on Amazon, but you can apply a $30 coupon at checkout that brings the price down to $240.

4. BCN3D Sigma D25

A smaller, desktop-sized version of its more industrial large-format 3D printers, this recent model from BCN is a dual extruder printer, which means it can use two different spools of material at once.
That lets you either 3D print two copies of something at the same time, or use two different colors of material to create a multicolored 3D object. The build volume is also huge, at least compared to the simpler models listed above, at 420mm x 300mm x 200mm.
The build quality, menu system and bundled custom version of Cura (a 3D slicing software) are all excellent. But the instructions and documentation, at least in English, are thin, and the setup is nowhere near as plug-and-play as some of the simpler printers on this list.
Printing is fast and the built-in settings option go far beyond what normal consumer printers offer. The automated calibration tools are also much more precise than other printers I've tested. You can go far beyond the standard 1.75mm PLA filament most consumer 3D printers use, and it's set up out of the box for 3mm filament of various materials.
Note this leans more towards the industrial side than the consumer side, but if you need bigger volume, more speed or an easy easy way to create multi-material or multicolor objects, it's something that could easily fit in your workshop, makers lab or garage.

5. TRILAB DeltiQ 2

Delta 3D printers are very different from standard cartesian 3D printers, with the printhead suspended from three fully articulated arms. The approach means that the footprint of the machines can be far smaller and as the base is static complex models can be a printer with less support material. The DeltiQ 2's features include E3D hotend, Duet 2 Wifi control board, mobile control and interface and of course superb print quality.

6. XYZ da Vinci Nano

It may take some effort to track down, but the da Vinci Nano from XYZprinting remains a top choice for novices and teachers who don't want to spend big bucks getting started in 3D printing. The da Vinci Nano is an especially good bargain if you can find it for $200 or so — some retailers offer it for less if you're willing to search for a deal.
The printer is relatively compact, about the size of a bread maker, but it has a generous-for-its size build area of 4.7 inches on all sides. There's a door to close off the print area and block out some of the noise from printing, but be aware that opening the door doesn't stop the printing process.
The da Vinci Nano is no speed demon — other best 3D printers produce objects in much less time — but the prints it produced in our testing were of very good quality. The software that accompanies this 3D printer is also easy to use, another reason why we recommend the da Vinci Nano for classroom settings. A wireless version — the da Vinci Nano w — is available at the XYZprinting site for $199.

7. Polaroid PlaySmart

The brand that made its name with cameras that can instantly produce photos is now doing the same with 3D printing. The Polaroid PlaySmart is one of the best 3D printers to get if you're looking for a beginner-friendly device that also produces good-looking prints relatively fast.
In our testing, this Polaroid 3D printer churned out prints much faster than comparably priced devices. The output looks good, too — details are clean and smooth, and we had very few problems with our test prints. We also like that the Polaroid PlaySmart can work with different types of materials, and you're not locked in to buying your printing material from the manufacturer.
You can find less expensive options if you're looking to get started in 3D printing, and the print area on the PlaySmart is pretty small relative to more advanced models. But this printer takes a lot of the waiting out of 3D printing process, and we think you'll be pleased with the results.

8. Peopoly Phenom

SLA printers can be pricey, but Peopoly is doing its part to knock that cost down. With the Peopoly Phenom, you can get an SLA printer that's capable of working with a wide variety of resins for less than $2,000. And you don't even have to sacrifice on print speed or quality as the Phenom produces excellent 3D prints.
You will need to be fairly comfortable with 3D printing, though as the Peopoly Phenom has its share of quirks that require a lot of tweaking and some patience. There's no Wi-Fi connectivity, for example, and creating a print involves a few manual steps. Printing can be pretty noisy and there's a slight chemical smell, so you'll want to have a dedicated space for this printer in your workshop. (And set aside a lot of space — the Peopoly Phenom is a very big printer.)
Still, if you're a 3D printing veteran, you'll appreciate the lower overall cost of the Peopoly Phenom. And the expanded build area means you'll be able to create prints that simply aren't possible on some of the other best 3D printers. The Phenom is available directly from Peopoly for $1,999.

Considering the current and potential benefits the best 3D printers bring to the table, there’s never been a better time to grab one. You can use them to build complete products, make spare parts, or simply create things you’ll find useful for your home, office, and workshop. And, since 3D printing technologyis within grasp of just about anyone, you don’t have to utilize one to your advantage.

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