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Best 3D Printers 2022: FDM, Resin and Sub-$250 Models

Anycubic Photon Mono
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

There's never been a better time to join the world of 3D printing or, for experienced makers, to upgrade. With the right printer, you can make models, toys, hooks, stands, replacement parts for electronics or a new case for your Raspberry Pi. You can get one of the best 3D printers and plenty of material for well under $300 in 2022, so consider what you’ll be making with it and read on to learn more. 

The two most common types of home 3D printers are resin MSLA (Masked Stereolithography) and filament FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling). The best 3D printers for beginners or those with children, FDM printers use reels full of plastic filament that is fed into a hot nozzle and extruded out layer-by-layer to form a solid model. MSLA printers use a UV-cured resin material to form a model layer-by-layer as it rises from a vat of liquid that requires very careful handling.

There are several factors to consider before buying the best 3D printer for you, so be sure to consider the questions before making a choice.

Shopping Tips for Best 3D Printers 

  • Resin MSLA or Filament FDM? The two most popular styles of desktop 3D printing, resin MSLA and filament FDM 3D printers offer various strengths and weaknesses, and choosing the style more suited for your application will help you get better results. For many , especially beginners, filament 3D printers are a better choice because they are easier to use and offer a wide variety of colors. They are also far safer for anyone with children or pets around.

    Resin 3D printers can provide a bit more detail, so they are popular among folks printing out game pieces. However, you need to handle toxic chemicals and wear a mask when setting up a print and, after the printing is over, you must wash and cure your prints. We have some resin printers on this list but also maintain a more detailed article where we name all of the best resin 3D printers.
  • How much build volume do you need? If you want to print out large parts in a single print, you’ll need a printer with ample build volume. This is usually directly tied to the price of the machine, so a larger printer is going to cost more money. Printers with a 100mm cubed or less build volume are on the smaller side, 150 to 220mm cubed are average, and 250mm inch cubed and above are considered large format.
  • Manual or automatic bed leveling? Leveling the bed of a 3D printer is an important part of the printing process, and it can be time-consuming and difficult if you’ve never done it before. Some printers have the ability to automatically level the bed which can get you up and printing faster.
  • What’s your experience level? If you’re an absolute beginner to 3D printing, you’ll want to find a first printer that offers a good out-of-the-box experience without too much tinkering. If you’ve already logged some print time, than you might be more interested in printers with advanced or unique features or ones that are open-source and easily modified.

Best 3D Printers You Can Buy Today

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

1. Creality Ender 3 Pro

Best 3D Printer Overall

Specifications

Technology: FDM
Build Volume: 220mm x 220mm x 250mm
Build Platform: Heated Removable Textured Sheet
Interface: 3.25-inch LCD w/ Dial Button
Bed Leveling: Manual
Connectivity: microSD, USB

Reasons to buy

+
Highly modular and modifiable design
+
350W power supply offers quick heating

Reasons to avoid

-
Noisy stepper motors and cooling fans
-
Two-tone LCD screen feels outdated

If you ask someone involved with 3D printing what their first machine was, there’s a good chance they’ll tell you it was the Creality Ender 3 Pro. A wildly popular 3D printer, the Ender 3 Pro packs a powerful punch in the form of a low-cost machine that has an almost endless supply of readily available upgrades to adapt it to your specific needs. Whether you want a 3D printer to convert into a laser engraver, a pen plotter, or just a printer to print specialized high-temperature materials, the Ender 3 Pro can accommodate you with no issues. 

The Ender 3 Pro arrives as a kit in need of assembly, so you’ll want to put aside at least a few hours to build, calibrate, and possibly troubleshoot your new machine before using it. The Ender 3 Pro has a 350W power supply, so the bed and heated nozzle heat up quickly and keep a consistent temperature when printing.

Creality has released all of the mechanical and electrical schematics for this machine under an Open Source licence, so it’s easy to find upgrades and modifications that have been built using these blueprints. If you love to tinker and can’t wait to turn your 3D printer into a custom build, it’s hard to go wrong with the Creality Ender 3 Pro. 

More: Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer Review

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

2. Anycubic Kobra

Best 3D Printer for Beginners

Specifications

Technology: FDM
Build Volume: 220 x 220 x 250 mm
Build Platform: PEI Spring Steel, Heated
Interface: 4.3-inch Color LCD Touch Screen
Bed Leveling: Inductive Auto Leveling
Connectivity: MicroSD/USB

Reasons to buy

+
Quality prints
+
Direct drive
+
Auto bed leveling 
+
Easy assembly

Reasons to avoid

-
Difficult to upgrade
-
Tool head hard to maintain

If you’re looking for a 3D printer that delivers excellent quality while also being easy to operate, the Anycubic Kobra is for you. a fun hobby.  

It’s so easy to assemble, you’ll be printing within 30 minutes of unboxing. It has an easy to load direct drive and an auto bed leveling system that takes the headache out of achieving a perfect first layer. The print surface is a magnetic plate with a PEI coating that grips while hot and magically releases when cool.

Be sure to add a roll of filament to your cart when buying the Anycubic Kobra because you’ll be printing up a storm on its generous 220 X 220 X 250 print volume.

More: Anycubic Kobra Review

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

3. Prusa MK3S+

Best High-End 3D Printer

Specifications

Technology: FDM
Build Volume: 250mm x 210mm x 210mm
Build Platform: Magnetic Heatbed with removable PEI spring steel sheets
Interface: 3.4-inch Mono LCD and click wheel
Bed Leveling: Automatic
Connectivity: SD Card, USB

Reasons to buy

+
PrusaSlicer provides best-in-class model slicing
+
Swappable flexible build platforms make switching materials easy
+
Automatic bed leveling sensor is fast and accurate
+
Stealth Mode enables a nearly silent printing experience

Reasons to avoid

-
Assembled printer is pricey
-
Monochrome interface feels outdated

Considered the best 3D printer overall by many aficionados, the Prusa MK3S+ has received countless industry accolades and awards, and with good reason. The MK3S+ is a powerhouse 3D printer that combines reliable hardware, feature-rich software, and a support channel that makes the Prusa signature black and orange hardware a common sight in 3D printing farms. The MK3S+ is based on the i3 platform and has benefitted from several generations of incremental upgrades which have resulted in one of the best 3D printers on the market.

Silent stepper drivers, removable textured build platforms, automatic bed leveling probe and more; the list of features that come stock on the Prusa MK3S+ is certainly impressive, but that’s only part of the story with the MK3S+. Prusa has developed their own slicer app, PrusaSlicer, for processing 3D models and is actively adding new features requested by the community. Features like the ability to paint-on support material, create variable layer heights and generate custom printer profiles are examples of how PrusaSlicer enables the MK3S+ to leap ahead of the competition.

At a price point of $999 for an assembled printer and $749 for a DIY kit, the MK3S+ is one of the most expensive machines on this list. That price may raise some eyebrows among 3D printing enthusiasts who have become accustomed to printers in the sub-$300 price range, but for power users who need uncompromising performance and industry-leading documentation and support, the MK3S+ is at the top of the list. 

More: Prusa MK3S+ 3D Printer Review

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

4. Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K

Best Ultra High Resolution 3D Printer

Specifications

Technology: MSLA
Build Volume: 165 mm x 72mm x 180 mm
LCD Resolution: 7500 x 3240
LCD Size: 7.1 inch
XY Axis Resolution: 0.022mm
Connectivity: USB Thumb Drive

Reasons to buy

+
Highest resolution on the market
+
Pre-built, unbox, calibrate and go 
+
Laser etched build plate for superior adhesion

Reasons to avoid

-
Twice the price of competitors with similar build volume
-
Build plate difficult to clean

If you’re looking for the most precise prints around, the Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K is your best choice. This MSLA resin 3D printer sports a 7.1-inch mono LCD screen that operates at 7500 x 3240, which results in a show-stopping 0.22mm XY resolution, the highest on the market. It comes fully assembled and is easy to use, just calibrate and go. 

It also boasts native integration with both the ChituBox and Lychee Slicer apps. Combine the Sonic Mini 8K with Phrozen’s Aqua Gray 8K resin and you’ll see smoother prints with more crispy details than ever before.

The Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K has a sturdy metal build, dual rails and an all-metal vat with feet that prevent the FEP sheet from touching your work surface. The build plate is laser etched for amazing adhesion.

Selling for a retail price of $599.99 the Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K is targeted towards miniature makers and jewelry designers who are ready to level up their prints. For beginners looking for a high-resolution machine at a lower cost, the Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K offers .035mm XY with the same speed and precision for $349.00.

More: Phrozen Sonic Mini 8K Review 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

5. Voxelab Aries

Best 3D Printer Under $300

Specifications

Technology: FDM
Build Volume: 200mm x 200mm x 200mm
Build Platform: Heated Removable Glass Platform
Interface: 4.3" Color LCD
Bed Leveling: Semi-Automatic
Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi

Reasons to buy

+
Fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection
+
Simple three-point bed leveling
+
Partially-enclosed frame keeps fingers away from moving parts
+
Sturdy, well-built motion system

Reasons to avoid

-
Hot end cooling fan is noisy
-
VoxelMaker software has limited preset profiles

It can be hard to find a single 3D printer that does everything well, but the Voxelab Aries is an impressive machine that offers high-performance printing at a budget price without compromising on build quality. The Aries is designed to be a beginner-friendly machine, and the semi-automated three-point bed leveling process means you can be up and printing in less than an hour after opening the box. 

The Aries features a CoreXY motion system, which means the build platform remains stationary during printing, and only moves down in the Z direction during layer changes. This means that the printed part is not moved back and forth during printing which makes it easier to print tall, thin parts without worrying about them toppling over. In addition, features like the built-in Wi-Fi allow the Aries to be started remotely, which is ideal for anyone who doesn’t like moving files back and forth via microSD card or USB flash drive.

Selling for a very reasonable $299 (currently $279.99 on Amazon), the Voxelab Aries is a 3D printer that punches way above its weight class, and offers a lot to anyone interested in a plug-and-play 3D printer. The simple, guided set-up and easy-to-read LCD screen on the Voxelab makes it ideal for classroom and library use, and the durable plastic enclosure is perfect for young learners. For anyone interested in a more hands-on experience who wants to build the printer themselves, the Creality Ender 3 Pro is slightly less expensive and offers a more modular system. 

More: Voxelab Aries 3D Printer Review

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

6. Voxelab Aquila S2

Best High-Temperature 3D Printer

Specifications

Technology: FDM
Build Volume: 220mm x 220mm x 240mm
Build Platform: Heated PEI Magnetic Plate
Interface: 4.3-inch color, non-touch screen
Bed Leveling: Manual
Connectivity: microSD card, USB cable (direct to PC)

Reasons to buy

+
Can print high-temp materials such as nylon
+
Flexible magnetic build plate
+
Affordable price

Reasons to avoid

-
Manual bed leveling

If you want to print with PLA filament, any competent FDM printer can get the job done. ABS and PETG materials are a bit more demanding, but still usable on a high-quality machine. But if you want to use more exotic materials such as nylon or carbon fiber, you’ll need a printer that can get much hotter than the 240-degree cap we see on popular models like the Creality Ender 3 Pro.

Able to reach up to 300 degree temperatures thanks to its aluminum nozzle, the Voxelab Aquila S2 can produce gorgeous prints with filaments that other models can’t handle. In our tests, it produced a highly-detailed print of “benchy,” a boat commonly used as a test model, in nylon. It also provided strong output when we tried a detailed bust of Groot with PLA.

Aquila S2’s magnetic build plate is flexible, with both a textured side and a smooth side. The open-air printer is fairly easy to set up and uses a 4.3-inch display with a dial as its interface. It  comes with two different slicer apps: Ultimaker Cura and VoxelMaker, though the former is the industry standard and the one you’ll most likely want to use. The biggest downside to Voxelab’s printer is that it requires manual bed leveling so you’ll need to do that work if you want to ensure you get a good first layer.

More: Voxelab Aquila S2 Review 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

7. Creality Ender 2 Pro

Best Budget 3D Printer

Specifications

Technology: FDM
Build Volume: 165 x 165 x 180 mm
Build Platform: Textured Magnet on a heated bed
Interface: LED screen with Control Knob
Bed Leveling: Manual
Connectivity: Micro SD, Micro USB

Reasons to buy

+
Quality Prints
+
Easy to assemble
+
Small footprint
+
Silent stepper motors

Reasons to avoid

-
No assisted leveling
-
Tiny build volume

If you’re looking for your first 3D printer and don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Ender 2 Pro is a great choice. The machine retails for $169, but can often be found on sale for much less (we bought it for just $129 at Micro Center). Many printers at this price point are novelties built of cheap plastic, but the Ender 2 Pro is a solid workhorse (or perhaps pony) that shares many parts with its big brothers of the Ender 3 line. 

In our tests, the Ender 2 Pro delivered great print quality when used with decement filament and a slicer. Our prints of 3D Benchy (a model of a boat people often for testing) and a crystal dragon looked fabulous. 

Need to move the printer around the house? The Ender 2 Pro is a compact machine that weighs under 10 pounds. Its top mounted handle makes it portable enough to be stashed in a closet when not in use – perfect for the weekend hobbyist. The main trade-off is that the 165 x 165 x 180mm build volume is tiny compared to most printers.

Putting together the Ender 2 Pro was a breeze for us. It comes 90% assembled – screw in a few bolts and the machine is ready for use. It has silent stepper drivers and quiet cooling fans, making it a pleasant office companion. The flexible textured bed holds models tight while printing and peels right off when finished. 

The Ender 2 Pro can be easily upgraded with 3rd party hotends and more durable bed surfaces, making this a machine that can grow with you.

More: Creality Ender 2 Pro Review

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

8. Anycubic Vyper

Best 3D Printer for a Print Farm

Specifications

Technology: FDM
Build Volume: 245mm x 245mm x 260mm
Build Platform: Heated Textured Flexible Removable Platform
Interface: 4.3-inch Color Touchscreen LCD
Bed Leveling: Automatic
Connectivity: SD Card, USB

Reasons to buy

+
Automatic bed leveling system
+
High print speeds
+
Advanced cooling design

Reasons to avoid

-
Included Cura profile needs optimizing
-
Kickstater-style launch may turn off some users

The Anycubic Vyper is designed for high-throughput 3D printing, and impressed us with its rock-solid build construction and impressive list of features. Silent stepper drivers, dual Z threaded rods and a high-airflow part cooling system are just a few of the many features that make the Vyper an easy choice for anyone interested in printing out large quantities of parts.

The strain-gauge bed leveling system allows the Vyper to quickly and accurately complete an automatic mesh bed calibration. This form of calibration is ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time tweaking or calibrating the printer, and it worked well during testing and didn’t require any further adjustments to get an even first layer. 

The Vyper isn’t the cheapest printer on this list, but it earned its place by providing a fast setup and trouble-free operation throughout our testing. The Vyper was designed with an impressive level of attention to detail, and the various areas on a 3D printer that would require adjustment (extruder, X/Y belts, etc.) are all easily accessible and adjustable. The included Cura slicer app is easy to use, but the printer profile that ships with the machine might require some tweaking that beginning users may struggle with. 

More: Anycubic Vyper Review 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

9. Elegoo Saturn

Best Large Format Resin 3D Printer

Specifications

Technology: MSLA
Build Volume: 192mm x 120mm x 200mm
Connectivity: USB, Ethernet

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptionally large build-volume-to-price ratio
+
Rigid dual-Z linear rail system

Reasons to avoid

-
Difficult to find in stock

The Elegoo Saturn is the counterpart to the smaller Elegoo Mars series of printers, which offer solid build quality for a reasonable price. The Saturn takes this formula to the extreme by offering a large 7.55 x 4.72 x 7.87-inch build volume while simultaneously increasing the resolution of the masking LCD. This, combined with the 2.5-second per-layer cure time from the Mono LCD, means that the Saturn can print more parts in the same amount of time as the smaller format Mars series of printers. 

Elegoo has developed a two-bolt bed leveling solution for the Saturn that makes the leveling process a quick and painless process. This, combined with the native integration with the Chitubox slicer app, makes setting up and using the Saturn a simple process that is ideal for both beginners as well as experienced users. 

The Saturn has a build volume of 280.46 cubic inches, a dramatic increase from the 100.81 cubic inch build volume of the smaller Elegoo Mars 2 Pro. If you’re looking for a resin printer that offers a large build volume but you don’t want to compromise with a lower quality print, the Saturn is an ideal solution but you might have to check Amazon several times before you can find one.

More: Elegoo Saturn Review 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

10. Prusa Mini+

Best Compact 3D Printer

Specifications

Technology: FDM
Build Volume: 180mm x 180mm x 180mm
Build Platform: Heated Removable Textured Sheet
Interface: 2.8-inch Color Touchscreen
Bed Leveling: Automatic
Connectivity: USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi

Reasons to buy

+
High quality prints
+
Easy set up process
+
Removable magnetic print platform

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited build volume 

With a bright orange 3D printed LCD enclosure, the Prusa Mini+ is immediately identifiable as a smaller relative of the popular Prusa i3 MK3S 3D printer. Just like the MK3S, the Mini+ is designed with user experience in mind, and the color touchscreen, easily removable build platform, and automatic leveling process all come together to create a seamless process from slicing to printing a model.

Available either as a DIY kit or a fully assembled unit, the Prusa Mini+ is a printer that is designed with trouble-free 3D printing in mind. The automatic mesh bed leveling means you’ll spend less time leveling the bed with a piece of printer paper and more time removing printed parts from the flexible magnetic print platform. Models are prepared using the included PrusaSlicer software, an easy-to-use and capable slicer app designed for the Mini+ and larger MK3S machines.

The small footprint of the Mini+ makes it an ideal 3D printer for use in a print farm or anywhere that desk space is tight. The build volume of 7-inches cubed can accommodate a wide range of geometries, and the high build-volume-to-printer-footprint ratio directly translates into a machine that can be used for pumping out parts without taking up too much shelf space. Prusa has even added an Ethernet port to this machine in anticipation of this use case, something you won’t typically find on most FDM 3D printers. 

More: Prusa Mini+ 3D Printer Review 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

11. Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K

Best 3D Printer for Miniatures

Specifications

Technology: MSLA
Build Volume: 132mm x 74mm x 120mm
Connectivity: USB Thumb Drive

Reasons to buy

+
4K resolution gives highly detailed XY accuracy
+
Native integration with ChituBox app

Reasons to avoid

-
Difficult bed leveling process
-
Review unit had some machining issues

If you’re interested in printing models with lots of fine detail, the Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K should be on your short list. Using a 4K mono LCD screen, the Sonic Mini 4K is capable of printing high resolution models with a per-layer cure time of just over 2 seconds per layer. This translates to high detail and high speed, but you’ll pay for it in the difference in cost between the Sonic Mini 4K and other MSLA 3D printers like the Anycubic Photon.

In our testing, we found the Sonic Mini 4K’s ability to produce fine features to be as-advertised, so printing table-top gaming miniatures and small sculptures is something this printer excels at. In addition to the high XY accuracy, the Z-stepping is barely visible even at a standard 50-micron layer height due to the software-enabled anti-aliasing provided by the ChituBox app.

Leveling the build platform on the Sonic Mini 4K was a little tricky, and the conflicting information provided by Phrozen can make the process intimidating for a first-time user. The quality of a print can depend heavily on the initial build platform calibration, so be prepared to spend some time getting this printer dialed in.

More: Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K Review 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

12. Monoprice Cadet

Best 3D Printer for Kids

Specifications

Technology: FDM
Build Volume: 100mm x 105mm x 100mm
Build Platform: Removable Flexible Platform
Interface: 3.25-inch LCD w/ Dial Button
Bed Leveling: Automatic
Connectivity: microSD, USB, Wi-Fi

Reasons to buy

+
Fast and accurate auto-leveling probe
+
Safety features designed for beginners

Reasons to avoid

-
Wi-Fi can be unreliable
-
No part cooling fan

The Monoprice Cadet is a 3D printer designed from the ground-up with safety in mind and is ideal for a young beginner who is interested in getting started. The motion components are hidden internally in the frame and the heated nozzle is protected by a large metal grille, keeping curious fingers away from the parts of the printer that shouldn’t be touched during operation. The printer includes a bed-leveling probe which allows for touch-free automatic bed leveling, something a beginner will greatly benefit from.

As you would expect for a printer in this price range, the build volume is modest with a roughly 4-inch cube being the largest possible print. The build platform feels like an oversized fridge magnet, and parts detach quickly and easily without requiring hand tools. 

The Cadet does have a few quirks to consider before you pull the trigger. For one, the side-mounted filament spool holder is mounted low on the printer, so most standard 1 kilogram filament spools won’t fit. You can mount 500g or smaller half-spools, or 3D print a filament stand to hold full spools. The Wi-Fi feature of the printer is also a little hit-or-miss; we were not able to get it to connect and several other users have noted the same issue online. 

More: Monoprice Cadet 3D Printer Review 

With contributions from
  • Thatoneguy7
    Recommending the Ender 3 Pro instead of the Ender 3 v2 in a list of the best printers in 2021 is silly.
    Reply
  • LolaGT
    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.


    Thatoneguy7 said:
    Recommending the Ender 3 Pro instead of the Ender 3 v2 in a list of the best printers in 2021 is silly.
    Reply
  • thisisaname
    Would have been better if you had included the price of them in the article.
    Reply
  • Mk 3D
    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.
    Reply
  • durahl
    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.
    Reply
  • Sophia John
    Nice Article. Very helpful for newbies looking for 3d printers online.
    Reply
  • samiup
    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.
    Reply
  • grrmisfit
    samiup said:
    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
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  • comedichistorian
    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.
    Reply
  • comedichistorian
    grrmisfit said:
    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?!
    Reply