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You are in: Future Technologies : 3D Printing Directory
3D Printing Directory

3D printing creates real, solid objects one layer at a time using digital data. 3D printing may therefore soon do for manufacturing and medicine what computers and the Internet have already done for the creation, processing and storage of information. For an explanation of 3D printing technologies, opportunities and implications, please see the 3D Printing page, my 3D Printing videos, or my book 3D Printing: The Next Industrial Revolution.

The 3D printing marketplace is now evolving extremely quickly. This directory brings together links to many of those organizations currently developing and producing 3D printers, as well as some of those pioneering their application. If you know of a site that should be included, please let me know.

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Industrial 3D Printer Manufacturers

The following all manufacture 3D printers for commercial applications that range from rapid prototyping to direct digital manufacturing (DDM):

  • 3D Systems
    3D Systems is the largest 3D printer manufacturer, and makes hardware for both high-end industrial clients and end consumers. The company's various 3D printer models are based on a wide range of technologies, including laser sintering, binder jetting, material jetting and material extrusion.
  • Arcam
    Arcam produces 3D printers based on its electron beam melting (EMB) technology. This allows fully-dense metal parts to be produced for medical implant, aerospace and defence applications.
  • Asiga
    Asiga produces high-resolution, sub-$7,000 desktop stereolithographic 3D printers. Their hardware has a 'pico' build intended to accommodate the production of dental pieces, jewelry and similar small items.
  • Blueprinter
    Blueprinter produces a desktop 3D printer that uses its own selective heat sintering (SHS) technology to build objects out of a thermoplastic powder.
  • Concept Laser
    Concept Laser produce 3D printers based on their unique laserCUSING technology. This very accurately creates object layers out metal powders for aerospace, automotive, medical, dental and other industrial applications.
  • EnvisionTEC
    EnvisionTEC produce a range of photopolymerization 3D printers that are used for a wide range of dental, medical, mould making, prototyping and other applications. The company also sells its 3D-Bioplotter for tissue engineering (bioprinting).
  • EOS
    EOS manufactures a range of industrial selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printers, with different models available that are dedicated to making things in metals, plastics or sand (for 3D sand casting.
  • ExOne
    ExOne sells industrial 3D printers that use binder jetting to build objects in sand (to enable 3D sand casting), as well as stainless steel, bronze and glass.
  • Mcor Technologies
    Mcor Technologies makes 3D printers that use laminated object manufacture (LOM) and inkjet technology to produce full-colour 3D objects using standard copier paper.
  • Nanoscribe
    Nanoscribe produce a nanolithograhic 3D printer that uses two photon polymerization (2PP) to create 3D objects on a nanoscale.
  • Optomec
    Optomec produces 3D printers based on its 'laser engineered net shaping' (LENS) technology that deposits a metal powder that is melted with a laser to produce fully-dense, end-use metal parts. The company also sells 'Aerosol Jet' hardware that can print working electronics onto 3D surfaces.
  • Organovo
    Organovo are a bioprinting pioneer who produce a 3D bioprinter called the Novogen MMX.
  • Prodways
    Prodways are a groupe Gorgé. company who produce 3D printers based on their vat photopolymerization "MOVINGLight" technology.
  • Renishaw produce a powder bed fusion 3D printer than builds metal objects using laser melting.
  • SLM Solutions GmbH
    SLM Solutions produce a range of 3D printers that build objects from powders using selective laser melting (SLM).
  • Stratasys
    Stratasys is the second-largest 3D printer manufacturer, and makes 3D printers based on material extrusion and material jetting technologies that it terms fused deposition modelling (FDM), PolyJet and wax deposition modelling (WDM). Stratasys also owns MakerBot Industries
  • Solido3D
    Solido3D makes 3D printers that use laminated object manufacture (LOM) to produce 3D objects from sheets of plastic.
  • Voxeljet
    Voxeljet produces a range of 3D printers that use binder jetting to produce either plastic objects or 3D sand castings from powders. The company's largest model -- the VX4000 -- has an incredible build volume of 4 x 2 x 1 metres.

Personal 3D Printer Manufacturers

The following are just some of the companies that sell 3D printers (and 3D printer kits) with a smaller price tag, and which are intended for personal/desktop use. Some of these models do, nevertheless, have the potential for small-scale commercial application.

  • BeeVeryCreative
    BeeVeryCreative make a very stylish and easily portable material extrusion 3D printer called BeeTheFirst that prints in PLA bioplastic.
  • BitsFromBytes.com
    Bits from Bytes is part of 3D Systems, and sells a range of low-cost 3D printers and 3D printer kits including the 3D Touch and RapMan 3.2.
  • Boots Industries
    Boots Industries produce a low-cost thermoplastic extrusion 3D printer called the Rostock, and also make nice 1.75mm PLA filament.
    BUILDER make some very solid thermoplastic extrusion 3D printers, including a model with a dual extruder that can mix two thermoplastics in the same build.
  • Cubify is part of 3D Systems, and sells several thermoplastic extrusion, consumer-grade 3D printers. These range from the single-material Cube, to the larger, multimaterial Cube X Duo and Cube X Trio.
  • CB-Printer.com
    CB-Printer is the first domestic 3D printer to be produced in Poland. Its '3D Printer CB-printer' is available either fully assembled or as a kit.
  • Delta Micro Factory Corporation
    The Delta Micro Factory Corporation is a Chinese 3D printer manufacturer. Under their PP3DP brand, the company sells the UP! range of low-cost, desktop 3D printers which use thermoplastic extrusion to build plastic objects. The same printers are also imported into the United States and resold by a company called Afinia.
  • Eckertech
    Ekertech makes a thermoplastic extrusion 3D printer called the eksbot, as well as supplying parts for RepRap printers and related 3D printing supplies.
  • Edison
    Edison sell a range a thermoplastic extrusion 3D printers can can output not just thermoplastics, but also pastes including a metal-clay material and chocolate.
  • FormLabs
    Formlabs produces a low-cost desktop stereolithographic printer called the Form 1.
  • GermanRepRap
    German RepRap produces material extrusion 3D printers for the B2C and B2B markets.
  • Leapfrog 3D Printers
    Leapfrog produces a range of material extrusion 3D printers, with several of its models offering a large build volume and the ability to extrude multiple materials, including a soluble support.
  • Lulzbot
    Lulzbot produce a cool thermoplastic extrusion 3D printer called the Taz 2, which can use a varient of filaments including ABS, PLA, nylon and Laywoo-D3.
  • Makerbot Industries
    Makerbot produces a range of low-cost, desktop 3D printers that use thermoplastic extrusion to create plastic objects. The company claims around a 20 per cent share of all 3D printers sold, and was recently purchased by Stratasys
  • MakeGEAR.com
    MakerGear develop products and services for the maker community, and sells its own M Series thermoplastic extrusion 3D printers in both kit and fully-assembled formats, as well as some RepRap open source models.
  • Portabee
    The Portabee is a small, low-cost and foldable thermoplastic extrusion 3D printer available either fully assembled or as a kit.
  • PrintrBot
    PrinterBot produces very low cost 3D printers in both kit-form and fully assembled. The company's printers are based on thermoplastic extrusion, and have iconic laser-cut-plywood body panels.
  • RepRapPro
    RepRapPro sell a wide range of kits for building open source RepRap 3D printers based on thermoplastic extrusion technology.
  • ReprapUniverse.com
    ReprapUniverse.com sells kits for MendleMax and Prussa open source RepRap 3D printers.
  • Solidoodle
    Solidoodle is a fully-assembled, low-cost 3D printer available in 'base', 'pro' and 'expert' versions.
  • Tinkerine
    Tinkerine is a publically-traded Canadian manufacturer of material extrusion 3D printers called the Litto, Ditto+ and Ditto Pro.
  • Ultimaker
    The Ultimaker is a lightweight, robust and very well respected thermoplastic extrusion 3D printer that in group tests frequently beats all rivals on the basis of its speed and quality of output
  • XYZprinting
    XYZprinting is a subsidiary of the $30bn Kinpo Group, and sells a range of very-cost-competitive Da Vinci material extrusion 3D printers. The Da Vinci 2.1 even includes integrated 3D scanning.

3D Printing Software

The following can all be used to produce digital objects for 3D printout, and/or to manipulate 3D object files.

  • AutoCAD
    AutoCAD is an high-end, industry leading CAD package from Autodesk.
  • Autodesk 123D
    Autodesk 123D is a range of free 3D printing design applications.
  • Blender
    Blender is a free, open-source 3D design package that has traditionally been used for screen-based graphics but which now includes modelling tools for 3D print.
  • Cubify Invent
    Cubify Invent is an entry-level modelling package from 3D Systems that is written from the ground up for those wishing to create objects for 3D printout.
  • Leopoly
    Leopoly is a sculpting package for creating models for 3D print. The free Leopoly.com provides a "digital playground" that runs in a web browser, while the more feature-rich LeopolyNEXT is downloadable via subscription.
  • Rhino
    Rhino is an excellent mid-range CAD package for 3D modelling.
  • Sculptris
    Sculptris is a free-version of the ZBrush 3D modelling package from Pixologic. Either application allows sculpting in a kind of expandable digital clay, making it an interesting artistic tool for creating 3D printable figurines and other sculptures.
  • Solidworks
    SolidWorks is a highly popular, professional CAD package from Dassault Systèmes.
  • SketchUp
    SketchUp (formerly Google Sketchup) is a popular 3D modelling application from Trimble Navigation. The software comes in two versions -- a personal edition which is free to download, and a paid professional edition.
  • TurboCAD
    TurboCAD is a popular, low-cost design package that can be used to create objects for 3D printout.
  • 3D Transform
    3D Transform is a free, online 3D object file converter.

3D Printer Resellers

The following sell and support 3D printers:

3D Printing Bureau

The following all offer 3D printing and related services:

3D Object Marketplaces

The following are online repositories of 3D object designs just waiting to be 3D printed:

Direct Digital Manufacturing Pioneers

The following are already manufacturing products using 3D printers:

Open Source 3D Printing

The following online communities are crowdsourcing the development of 3D printers, with all designs and construction information freely shared online:


Bioprinting is the particular branch of 3D printing dedicated to the creation of living, organic materials one layer at a time. The following are all at the forefront of this cutting-edge area of medical research:

3D Printing Videos

Here are links to some of my favourite videos that showcase 3D printing developments:

3D Printing - Further Information

The following are good sources of further information on 3D printing:

Return to 3D Printing Resources page.
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