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Best FDM 3D Printer – The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide in 2020

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FDM is a technology that was created by Stratasys. The technology was founded in 1988 and to date remains the most applied technology in 3D printing.

There are plenty of options out there, only one Google search for best FDM 3D printer would land you a plethora of choices. However, not everyone could help you meet your requirements.

There are budget constraints as well as varied feature sets that are chosen and embodied in the FDM 3D printer for serving different levels of users.

Hence, companies that are into additive manufacturing offer 3D printers of varied price ranges. The lowest ones amongst those price ranges are also termed as domestic 3D printers because they have found the application in that area.

Very often, because they are lower in cost than others in comparison, they are also considered safer options for beginners. On the contrary, the high-priced machines are termed as industrial printers because of their application in that area.

Whilst the ones that fall in the middle range are recommended to intermediates and experts who cannot afford to buy industrial printers.

The mid-range ones are professional 3D printers aimed at providing makers, enthusiasts, and small businesses the 3D printing solution.

FDM 3D printer under $500

FDM is the most popular technology, has a huge variety of offerings in every price range. Here are the top three of the most recommended FDM 3D printers under $500.

Monoprice Maker Select V2

Monoprice Maker Select V2 3d printer

This 3D printer is priced at $219. Being manufactured by a company based in the USA, Monoprice Maker Select V2 has a long list of amazing features.

To start with its list of features, the printer comes with dual extruders and can offer a minimum layer thickness of 100mm. The list of printing materials includes ABS, PLA, HIPS, PET, VPA, and more.

In addition, to this, the printer weighs only 20 pounds and is portable too. The credit for too many features in this printer should be given to the 18-year-old manufacturer of this printer.

PROS:

  • Has a good support team.
  • The printer is simple to operate.
  • You can use any software to generate the printer’s G code.
  • Monoprice Maker Select V2 comes with a huge heating bed that is rare to be seen in a printer that is available at such a low price.

CONS:

  • The printer’s electronics does not come included inside its body. Unlike every other printer, Monoprice Select V2 has an external unit for its controls and electronic systems.
  • Because of its overall structure, the printer is often claimed as a “difficult-to-use-for beginner,” printer.

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Creality Ender 5

Creality Ender 5 3d printer

Cubic in design, this 3D printer is well-known in the market for being stable during the printing process. It is rare for an FDM 3D printer priced at $349 to offer negligible vibrations.

Creality Ender 5 possesses this quality, because of which, it is able to produce parts with greater surface finish than its competitors. Ender 3, a version prior to Ender 5 is also much known in the market.

But Ender 5 produces taller prints that Ender 3. The resolution offered by Ender 5 is 50 microns. This 3D printer can print faster without compromising the quality of prints.

PROS:

  • The printer is manufactured by a reliable company.
  • It has power and micro USB slots which are rare for a printer in the same price range to offer.
  • The print quality of Ender 5 is commendable.
  • Unlike other printers, it produces a negligible amount of noise while printing.

CONS:

  • The magnetic bed of this printer is flimsy.
  • Wires that need to be connected with the printer are to be dragged on the build plate.
  • There isn’t any sensor inside the printer that can trace the absence of filament.
  • The leveling of the bed offered by Creality is tricky.

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Tronxy X5SA Pro

Tronxy X5SA Pro

Producing print volumes up to 330 mm * 330 mm * 400 mm, X5SA Pro produces good print quality with accurate resolution up to 125 microns.

The manufacturer of this printer is often claimed to be the king of producing FDM 3D printers under $500. This printer is priced at $479.

It is to be noted that this is the Pro version of the previously available Tronxy X5SA. Because of this, the printer comes with modifications that eliminate the limitations of the former 3D printer.

This is a heavy printer, and that’s why it is also more stable than most of the printers available in a similar price range.

PROS:

  • Compared to its competitors in the same price range, it is large and is able to produce parts of larger volume.
  • There is an ease in assembling this 3D printer.
  • The printer’s print quality is exceptional considering its price.

CONS:

  • It is quite heavy
  • The printer offers lesser variability in printing materials.

FDM 3D printers under 5000$

This price range is such that is preferred the most by buyers of 3D printers. If chosen wisely, an FDM 3D printer from this range can even produce the output of industrial printers. So, here are our recommended top 3.

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Raise 3D Pro 2

Raise3D Pro2 3d printer

Voodoo manufacturing uses this 3D printer to offer custom online 3D printing services. Raise 3D Pro 2 is a printer that falls in a price range that is in between domestic and industrial printers.

Priced at $3,999, the Pro 2 has dual extruders to attract customers who wish to print in multiple materials and colors. The printer has an inbuilt touchscreen to operate itself.

Although not being completely an industrial printer, it is used by those customers who cannot afford industrial printers, worldwide. Pro 2 is also chosen over its competitors because of being small-sized.

PROS:

  • The printer can print heat-sensitive materials such as ABS and HIPS.
  • Pro 2 is robust and strong frame.
  • Even with a 0.2mm nozzle, the printer can handle 10-micron layer resolution.
  • This 3D printer comes pre-calibrated and has two print heads.
  • The touchscreen control interface is an anomaly for FDM 3D printers in the same price range.

CONS:

  • The software which is used to operate this printer has a few complicated settings.
  • Printing using Pro 2 is more time consuming than its competitors.
  • There are complaints about Pro 2’s difficult-to-operate software. Especially about the temperature settings.

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Lulzbot Taz Workhorse

LulzBot TAZ Workhorse

Lulzbot, the company that has manufactured this printer is known for creating only open-sourced 3D printers.

The reason behind it is that often when 3D printers are not open-sourced, their software has to be operated using too many specifications which becomes difficult.

For this reason, many beginner and intermediate level users prefer this 3D printer. However, the most notable upgrades in this printer are the XYZ backlash compensation system that is inspired by innovative CNC machines.

This upgrade enables one to send electric currents through a calibrated cube to the print head for measuring backlash. Priced at $ 2,950, the 3D printer stands out because of being an open-sourced printer and its upgrade.

PROS:

  • This 3D printer has a very high speed of printing.
  • It has a feature of automatic bed leveling and nozzle cleaning.
  • The surface of this 3D printer is PEI coated.
  • It comes with swappable tool heads.
  • Despite being a speedy printer, it is able to take care and offer a considerable amount of accuracy.

CONS:

  • Unlike competitors, this printer does not offer Wifi connectivity. Hence, users cannot connect to it remotely and need to be physically present for printing.

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Ultimaker 3

Ultimaker 3 3d printer

Manufactured by a company based in Holland, Ultimaker 3 has a build volume of 197 mm * 215 mm * 200 mm.

Being in the price range of under $5000, it is an anomaly that this printer comes with a dual extruder. Ultimaker 3 costs $3,500 and is able to generate incredible accuracy of up to 20 microns.

Ultimaker 3 was designed by the manufacturer keeping in mind prototyping, small business doers in the area of additive manufacturing. Ultimaker 3 comes with a camera which is eccentric for printers in this price range.

PROS:

  • The printer offers high print quality.
  • Ultimaker 3 is very easy to operate.
  • The noise level that the printer generates because of its print procedures is 50dB.
  • The printer comes with Wi-Fi, LAN, and USB options for connectivity.

CONS:

  • There are complaints about the time that the printer takes in producing prints.

FDM 3D printers under 50000$

Below mentioned are the top 3 recommendations for industrial printers.

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T3500 from Tractus 3D

T3500 from Tractus 3D

Offering a print volume of 1000 mm * 1000 mm * 1000 mm and a speed of 300mm per second, T3500 is very efficient while talking about industrial printers.

Manufactured by a Dutch company, this printer has a heating bed that can produce temperature up to 100-degree centigrade.

A higher range of temperature production is to ensure its customers that they can produce using materials like PLA, ABS, and other thermoplastics.

T3500 has an internal storage space of 4GB and to control itself, it comes with a 7 inch colored touch screen. The manufacturer of this printer has priced it at $40,500. This printer also has an option to use dual extruder in its printing process.

PROS:

  • The printer is capable of manufacturing parts up to 3.5 meters high.
  • It can print at a speed of 300mm per second.
  • The nozzle of this 3D printer can generate a temperature of about 300-degree centigrade.
  • One can produce parts at a good speed and high accuracy using this printer.

CONS:

  • The printer has a very large size because of which transporting it from one place to the other is always difficult.
  • It is an industrial printer and so, like its competitors, it’s very noisy.

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Delta WASP 3MT Industrial by WASP

Delta WASP 3MT Industrial by WASP

This 3D printer comes with an enclosed camera that is given the responsibility to report vibrations and errors while printing. Having a print volume of 1000 mm * 1000 mm * 1200 mm Delta WASP 3MT is priced at $ 25,200. Two of the most amazing features of this 3D printer are a) it has an auto feeder pellet tank and b) It comes with an end pellet sensor. These features instill a sense of satisfaction in its costumers to find their prints even more reliable.

PROS:

  • One can produce parts of greater volume using this printer.
  • Products of higher accuracy level can be manufactured by Deltas WASP 3MT.
  • Because of the capability of the printer to generate a higher temperature range, it can be used easily with materials such as PLA, ABS, and PETG.

CONS:

  • The printer comes with a complicated construction that is not very easy to use and assemble if you are a beginner in the field of additive manufacturing.
  • Compared to others in a similar price range, it vibrates more and sometimes leads to unstable printing.

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Extreme 2000 by Builder

Extreme 2000 by Builder

Delivering a layer resolution of 0.05 to 0.06mm, Extreme 2000 has a print volume of 700 mm * 700 mm * 1820 mm.

This printer is capable of withstanding a temperature of 60 degrees centigrade at its heating platform. An integrated camera allows its user to monitor the printing process and report for errors.

Extreme 2000 comes with two extruders that help itself to achieve the layer resolution and print with materials such as PLA, PET, and other materials that come in a similar temperature range. This printer is priced at $29,000.

PROS:

  • It is flexible while working with different thermoplastics.
  • The printer requires a negligible amount of post-processing work.
  • Dual extruders in the printer ensure a good amount of print quality.

CONS:

  • Compared to other printers in the price range, this one offers lesser print volume.
  • The temperature that the bed of this printer can withstand is lower than its competitors.

Conclusion

Irrespective of whether you are new to 3D printing, or an intermediate or an expert, this guide can help you better choose the right FDM 3D printer. Hence, take a look at the various recommendations and find out the one that fits your needs.

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Editorial Team

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