Top 10 Personal 3D Printers 2014
This annual list of the best personal 3D printers is my own, individual assessment. It is based on a wide range of factors that include observing each 3D printer in operation and inspecting final prints. I also consider build quality, market reputation, performance relative to price, and features relative to price. The ranking has also been significantly influenced by conversations and electronic communications with many personal 3D printer users, manufacturers and retailers.
Within the 3D printing industry, "personal" printers are generally regarded as those that cost less than $5,000. This makes any ranking of the best models a somewhat subjective exercise, and my own Top 10 list is no different. It just not sensible to do an absolute comparison based on, for example, print quality, as a $599 printer (like the Printrbot Simple Metal) is a very different purchase proposition to a $4,399 printer (like the Cube Pro Trio). Allowance also needs to be made for the fact that different personal 3D printers can output differing ranges and numbers of materials, as well as having different levels of user control. And some printers work better out of the box than others and have different reputations for reliability!
In presenting this list I have tried to take all of the above factors into account. You may not agree with me. But this list is presented in good faith as an informed, personal view that hopefully some people will find useful. I would suggest that every 3D printer here -- including the extra three I add right at the end -- are all excellent pieces hardware.
More information on 3D printing can be found in my book 3D Printing: Second EditionIf you like, you can discuss this video on YouTube.
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