Best 3D Printer 2018 Review – Read This Before You Buy

Best 3D Printer 2018 Review – Read This Before You Buy

What is the best 3D Printer in 2018?

3D Printers were invented in the 1980's.  They were very expensive initially.  Since 2010, the prices have been falling.  In 2015, the RepRap Project was started to replicate 3D Printers themselves, making them even more affordable.

Now there are hundreds of options – so many that I prepared this Best 3D Printer 2018 Review to help you figure out your best option.

The best 3D Printer in 2018 for your home will depend on your budget and on your planned use.  According to the RepRap site, it is estimated that a family that makes only 20 products a year with their printer will save between $300 and $2000.  20 products is 2/100's of a percent of all the possibile products that can be made.

3D Printers are fast becoming household staples.  Their place in a home Maker Space for your child or for the adults in the household not only helps in-depth learning, but it can be economically efficient.

How a 3D Printer Works

creative maker space and workspace planning; best 3D printer 2018 review

creative maker space and workspace planning needs a 3d printer

3D Printing is a printing process, much like any printer, but it prints one thin horizontal layer on top of another.  The layers are very thin, but thicker than the toner from a two dimensional printer.

The first step is the design, called a CAD or Computer-Aided Design.  There are many available at no cost online, for many objects, done by the extended community of 3D Printing enthusiasts.  A CAD file can be built from an object by using a 3D scanner.

The next step is the scan gets sliced into horizontal building blocks, which you then feed into your printer with a USB stick or a SD card or wirelessly.

There are two types of 3D Printing methods:  FDM and sereolithography.  FDM is the most common.  It stands for Fused depostion modeling.  The printer melts or softens the resin materials and then extrudes them onto the surface, one layer at a time.

Stereolithography (SLA) uses a laser instead of melting the material.  The most common materials with FDM's are thermoplastics and metals, although wood and nylon are also used.  This review is on FDM's.  They are best for starting out, for kids, and less expensive than SLA's.

The Best 3D Printer 2018 in th Lower to Mid Range Cost

I define mid-range as $300-$750. There are some at $200 and lowerm but you lose a lot of capability when you go that low.

Best MidRange 3D Printer- Creality CR 10SA good value is the Creality CR10S Kit, most recently at for $450.  Even though not usable straight from the box, the set-up is easy and will help you to know your

Best midrange 3D Printer Review - Flashforge FinderAn alternative is the FlashForge Finder for $399.  This is a little smaller at 16.5 x 16.5 x 16.5.

The FlashForge Finder has USB and wireless connectivity.  One big advantage is its safety concerns with a HEPA filter and how quiet it is.

The print area is small, at 5.5 x 5.5 x 5.5 inches.  It uses only PLA filaments.

 

HigherEnd Best 3D Printer 2018 Reviews

Higher End Best 3D Printer Review - MakerBot Replicator +The MakerBot Replicator + is designed not only for home use but for the classroom.  It can be used for boh PLA and ABS thermoplastics.

The build volume is 6.5″ x 11.6″ x 7.6″.

It has both wireless and USB connectivity.

This open machine measures 16.2 ” x 20.8″ x 17.4″ and weighs 40.4 lbs.  It has STEM projects for no charge.

The MakerBot Replicator + can be found for $2899..  This printer gets 34 4/5 star reviews.

best higher end home maker space 3d Printer - Ultimaker 3Another highly rated multifunctional 3D printer is the Ultimaker2.   It can use 30 different printing materials, has dual extrusion and swappable cores to change the print heads.  It comes with very clear instructions and is quiet.

The extended community is large and supportive.

This machine has exceptional build quality at the sacrifice of speed.  The quality and capabilities are very efficient, but there has not been much attention paid to the design, with the filament loader in the back.

Measuring 23 x20 x13, and weighing 23.3 lbs , this printer has both wifi and USB connectivity, and gets wireless updates.

The cost is $3030 plus shipping from the manufacturer.

Choose your 3D Printer - Home Maker SpaceWhat's Your Choice?

Having this all sorted out, what kind of capabilities are you looking for?  Can you see how having a 3D printer can inspire your children to experiment and learn and design?

And what about you- gettting a set and forget project for something you want or need in your home, thereby saving over the cost to buy it retail, will give you payback over time, as well as convenience.

How many times have you gone to the store to look for a way to store your electronics neatly, only to be frustrated?  What if you could build something instead?  And choose the materials that will go best with your home decor?

Which one of these makes the most sense for you?  Think what it can do for your kids, and you can save money with a best 3D Printer – 2018.  Get yours today!

Any time you click on one of my links, you will be taken to the lowest prices on the web for the product I am reviewing for you. 

You will be able to see other details and reviews there, and if it is the right thing for you, and you buy using my link, Annie's Tips will get a small commission that helps to support this blog.  Our commission does not cost you anything extra

We appreciate your support in our mission to give you relevant information to enhance your creative living.

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Published by Annie Collyer

Annie is a mom of four, a business owner and blogger. She and her husband live in New Hampshire, where they are both active volunteers in their community school district. She writes about designing our lives with proven design thinking principles. Join her in creating the life we each want.

  • aysha says:

    hey, hope you doing well
    that’s printer is really cool, incredible how it can be saving that much money.
    I’m amazed it is really handy and useful for different ages.
    This is really interesting I will add it to my wish list.
    I think it is challenging to use but worthy to improve skills and way thinking
    thanks a lot for the amazing effort
    keep it up

    • You are very welcome, Aysha.  I am glad to inspire you to look into a 3D printer as both a creative and a money-saving addition to your household.  Let me know which one you decide to buy, and how it works for you please.

  • wolfgins says:

    I love this article. Such a great read. Loaded with valuable information. I am actually looking to get a 3D printer for my home business office and this article helped me to get a broader understanding of the variety of 3D printers that are available.

    I will definitely be sharing this site and bookmarking it for when I am ready to purchase mine. Happy New Year

    • Hey, so glad to help with this for you.  There are so many options for 3D printers these days- I want to help your selection process be more focused when you are looking for the right option for you.!

      Thank you for taking the time to visit and make a comment!  Let me know what you decide on please and why.  It may help other readers.

  • Kenneth says:

    I’ve always been interested in 3D printing – it just seems so cool to me. I didn’t realize they had such affordable mini printers for sale – I can afford ~$220 for a new toy, but not thousands of dollars!

    Thanks for pointing this out to me, and thanks for writing this article! :3

    • Josh Bourgey says:

      You bet.  It is amazing how much the prices have fallen into reach, isn’t it?  Pretty exciting.  

      I find it interesting that having a home 3D printer is becoming a household necessity and even results in savings that mount up so much over time.  That plus how much fun you can have!

  • Lisa says:

    Annie,

    These 3D Printers are so neat. I really like the XYZ Printing daVinci Mini. The fact that it has a 4 star rating is another great reason to get this printer. I think the mini is the route to go if you are budget conscious. Your review was very helpful.

    Lisa

    • Hi Lisa,
      I am glad you found this review helpful! 3D printers are becoming household staples, like a vacuum cleaner. And they can save money in the long-run, besides being a creative resource. Amazing how affordable they have become!

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