2015 3D Printer Guide offers purchase advice for would-be additive manufacturers
Mike McLeodAdditive Manufacturing 3D printing slideshow
3D Hubs’ list of the most highly regarded 3D printers highlights relative unknowns in additive manufacturing market.
The guide, therefore, is based on more than 2,200 reviews of 235 different 3D printer models, ranging from high-end machines down to crowd-funded prototypes, written by the site’s additive manufacturing providers. According to the site, approximately 317,000 test prints contributed to the 2015 ranking.
“A thorough and reliable 3D Printing Guide written by actual 3D printer owners was a missing resource for would be owners,” explains 3D Hubs CEO and cofounder, Bram de Zwart. “We’re making this relevant information freely accessible to everyone who is considering to buy a 3D printer.”
Organized into five 3D printer categories (Enthusiast, Plug-n-Play, Budget, Kits/DIY and Resin), the guide ranks printers in each grouping based on print quality, ease-of-use, build quality, reliability, failure rate, customer service, community support, running costs, openness, software and value for money.
While basically a popularity contest, the rankings surprisingly don’t include well-known brand names in the top spot for any particular category. In the Enthusiast group, for example, the $1,475 M2 printer by U.S.-based Makergear took the top spot based on its high precision and strong print/build quality. Similarly, the Zortrax M200 won top marks in the Plug ‘n’ Play group for its very low print failure rate and ease-of-use.