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Best 3D Printers

Don’t let this emerging technology intimidate you. Here’s a guide to help you shop.

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3d-printer
Many 3D printers have functions that go far beyond their primary purpose. Pixabay

There are plenty of models on the market these days at a variety of sizes and price points. We’ve assembled a few that we think are worth your investment and allow you to increase your options as you increase your knowledge. Keeping up is key in the world of 3D printing, and we think these pull off that trick well.

Official Creality Ender 3 V2 Upgraded 3D Printer Integrated Structure Design with Carborundum Glass Platform Silent Motherboard and Branded Power Supply

Enhanced user experience

The printer will remember your last setting in the event of unexpected outages, saving you the time of redoing your work. Amazon

If you want a sturdy intro into the World of 3D Printers, this one is a great place to start. A self-developed Silent Motherboard is exactly what it sounds like (or doesn’t): a quiet, stable, and ultimately faster printing. A concealed power supply assures safety. The Carborundum Glass Platform facilitates quicker heat up and wards against warping. And a rotary knob on the extruder is a nice add, making it easier to load and feed filament.

Official Creality Ender 3 3D Printer Fully Open Source with Resume Printing All Metal Frame FDM DIY Printers with Resume Printing Function 220x220x250mm

A gateway model

Ideal for school-aged kids right through high school, this model comes partially assembled and is easily finished off by that inquisitive teen on your gift list. Amazon

With its open-sourced community of contributors, students or even adults new to this form, this model – which still includes the “Resume Print” technology of its more elaborate models – is the perfect gateway into the world of robotics and machinery. We appreciate how it is supported by Creality with lifetime technical assistance, a staple of this long-standing company.

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Snapmaker 2.0 Modular 3-in-1 3D Printer, Laser Engraving, CNC Carving, All Metal, Auto-Leveling, Working Volume Support up to 320x350x330mm

Versatility in a snap

We like the large work space and that it comes with tutorials to get you up to speed. Amazon

The Snapmaker 2.0 modular 3-in-1 3D printer is anything you want it to be, meaning it can be tailored to the needs of hobbyists as adeptly as it can for those in the architect, engineering, and designer fields. Changing its modules is a quick and simple process, allowing functionality that goes way beyond a 3D print. Laser engraving, cutting, modules, and add-ons give this printer staying power. And its three size models allow you to hone its use.

Voxelab Aquila 3D Printer with Full Alloy Frame, Removable Build Surface Plate, Fully Open Source and Resume Printing Function Build Volume 8.66x8.66x9.84in

Easy to build on

It’s (relatively) easy to set up and super quiet, and it is based in open source technology for access to upgrades, modifications and firmware. Amazon

One critical feature that Voxelab and others on this list have is the Resume Printing feature. Frankly, the industry needs to come up with a more apt description of this, such as Continuation Printing or any word that doesn’t conjure up the idea of printing resumes to those entering the market for the first time. It is, of course, the printer’s ability to continue printing if power is accidentally cut off during printing, and then turned back on, without any drop in quality. Voxelab’s Aquila 3D delivers here glitch-free. It’s also fast heating with a carbon crystal silicon glass plate providing strong bonding, preventing the printing model from warping.

S. Ruxton is a contributing writer to Florida Travel & Life, an online brand that inspires active, affluent travelers, providing them with insider information on discovering the best of Florida. Informative and engaging, the website showcases travel destinations, arts and cultural venues, vibrant dining scenes, recreational activities, the great outdoors and the revitalized real-estate market. A former baseball writer, S. Ruxton loves to revisit the smaller Gulf towns of Clearwater, Dunedin, and Bradenton. Historic Winter Park is also a favorite destination.

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