Increasingly more manufacturers are flocking in a variety of 3D printing projects, and this can be seen easily through the latest 3D printers released on the market.
Once with the race to making 3D printers, we are all exposed to innovative technologies, open-source projects, and a process of cutting costs.
Any additive manufacturing technology is a bridge between a digital model and the final three-dimensional solid objects that can be used in the real world.
The build volumes, the speed, the accuracy, are three of the most important features for any 3D printers. Even so, we have to keep in focus the price, which is also a very important characteristic, which can range between hundreds to thousands of dollars.
In this article, I explore up to nine new 3D printer models. Some of these additive manufacturing devices are new, while others are refreshed with new and improved features.
I love open-source devices and QU-BD One Up is one of these. The 3D printer is cheap, I could say even very cheap for a printer that comes as a kit and is a powerful open-source device for hobbyists.
The final price will be under US$200, a price which cannot be compared so far with any other in the field.
The specifications reveal a build area of 100 x 100 x 125 mm (4 x 4 x 5 inch), with a 1.75 mm PLA filament, a top speed of 100mm/s and a layer height of 50 microns.
Inside, the printer is based on Arduino electronics, which is a good attraction for anyone who loves the Arduino products.
If you still have in mind to buy a cheap printer like QU-BD One Up, you have to wait until March this year when the printer will be released on the market.
The da Vinci 2.0 printer is characterized by speed, accuracy (100 microns), and a very good price for a 3D printer.
It could build objects in an area of 150 x 200 x 200 mm (5.9 x 7.8 x 7.8 inch), which is enough for a cup of tea or for a robotic hand.
The digital model of the object can be printed using materials like ABS, PLA, or PVA, all of these in a number of 12 colors.
Connected to a Windows or Mac computer, the 3D printer has full support for .stl files, or if you want to try the software of the printer, you can use the XYZ Format.
With a release date somewhere in March 2014, the printer is one of the cheapest devices for 3D printing with a price of about $499.
Available as a kit and only in the USA, the Deltaprintr will be available starting in April this year. The printer has a simple structure with three arms that allows user to expand the build area.
It supports only PLA plastic material and has a resolution of 100 microns.
The build volume is not impressive taking into account its design, but it can be easily expandable starting from the dimensions of 178 x 254 mm (7 x 10 inch).
The Deltaprintr can be easily inserted in the list of cheapest 3D printers with a price of $499.
The BI V2.0 3D is the perfect tool for hobbyist who needs an open-source printer capable of printing its own components. It has a large build volume and a robust structure designed for a maximum use of space inside the printer.
The three arms that finish with an effector head remember me by a delta robot.
With a layer resolution of 50 microns, the BI V2.0 can print a large variety of objects using materials like PLA, ABS, Nylon, or any other materials that can be melted at a temperature under 240 degrees.
The operator has available an LCD screen to set the temperature or printing speed.
The printer can be ready for work in minutes using only a simple SD card with digital models instead a computer.
With a build volume of 300 x 300 mm (12 x 12 inch), the printer has one of the biggest volume available for printing and a price around $799.
A long list of new and improved features are available once with the latest version of family 3D printer – the Cube 3.
The new design allows users to build larger objects, they have available a new mobile app for printing, a higher speed of printing, and higher resolution. All of these features are available in the same box with a cutting price under $1,000.
The printing resolution is down to 75 microns, while you can print digital models in two colors at the same time and with two materials such as ABS and PLA.
The object printed by Cube 3 has to fit in the considerable dimensions of 273 x 273 x 241 mm (10.75 x 10.75 x 9.5 inch).
Since a computer is not the single option for sending files to a 3D printer, you can connect your Android or iOS device through Bluetooth and Wifi, and then control everything at Cube 3 from the Cubify app.
The Cube 3 is planned to be released in Q2 this year at a starting price under $1,000.
With a pretty close design to a mini-fridge, the Solidoodle 4 is another 3D printer with an affordable price under $1,000.
Inside the case is available a build area of 203 x 203 x 203 mm(8 x 8 x 8 inch), which is a feature that is not impressive so far since at the same price are available 3D printers with build area of 273 x 273 x 241 mm (10.75 x 10.75 x 9.5 inch) like Cube 3.
The 100-micron resolution can be applied to the ABS or PLA filaments.
This printer impresses me with a layer resolution of 20 microns, which is one of the best printing resolutions available on the market. Besides a very low resolution, the Robox can print 3D objects from a long list of materials including here PLA, ABS, HIPS Nylon, PC, or PVA.
Even it is compatible with any device with Windows, Linux or OS X, you can print objects using a simple memory card.
Inside the printer is a space for printing with dimensions that fit in 210 x 150 x 100mm (8.3 x 5.9 x 3.9 inch).
This year in April the Robox will be available on the market at a price of around $1.318.
The new version of the TAZ 3D printer was revealed by the Aleph Objects company who choose to keep the same design principle that makes it such extraordinary simple and robust 3D printer.
The TAZ 2 can work even you don’t have a computer around, all you have to do is to insert an SD card with digital models and then select these files from the additional LCD screen.
With a print area of 298 x 275 x 250 mm (11.7 x 10.8 x 9.8 in), the printer is perhaps the best option for a price under US$5,000.
Using the TAZ 2 you can build objects from ABS, PLA, PVA, high-impact polystyrene, and wood filament. More than that, with an add-on installed, many more materials can be supported including here the nylon.
The next versions of the printer will include a series of new tools including dual extruders and cutters, or many more types of materials.
You can purchase this printer starting in November 2014 at a price around $2,395.
The Makerbot is offering up a refresh to its Replicator line, a printer that has in its name the Z axis dimension of its build volume.
Inside the Replicator Z18 you can print huge objects that can fit in the dimensions of 304 x 304 x 457 mm (12 x 12 x 18 inch).
The printer has a layer resolution of 100 microns and can be controlled from the MakerBot mobile application.
At the price of $6,499, you have available USB/Ethernet/WiFi connectivity, a 3.5-inch LCD color display, and a built-in camera to monitor in real-time the printing process, or to share on social networks your work.
As a final word, I have to mention that all these projects have one purpose and this is to bring in our houses as soon as possible the 3D printing technology. Starting from now, we can build at home our favorite products using only a digital model and a wonderful device such a 3D printer.