It is currently a good time to buy a 3D printer, but which is the best 3D Printer for a small business? Growth among 3D printers has made it harder to know which one to buy. That's why today we list the best and cheapest 3D printers that you can buy right now.
This guide suits those who are looking to buy for private home use or a small business/school
Are you going to buy for a bigger business? When purchasing more advanced FDM and PolyJet printers, you'll do well to read more about metal 3D printers.
While the price has fallen and made 3D printers cheaper, the technology has also improved at the same pace. Before you buy a 3D printer, there are important things you should think about as we go through further down the page.
10 best 3D printers for small business and home use.
Whats the difference between cheap and expensive 3D printers?
3D printers have, up to now, been too expensive for it to be worthwhile for them to be acquired for private use. Prices have been under pressure over the last few years and there are currently now really cheap 3D printers. See examples of cheap 3D printers further down. 3D printers in kits are generally cheaper but also require a certain skill to use and often a lot of computer experience by the user. Most 3D printers that can be bought ready to use today are around $400 - $2000, with there are also many more lavish models of over $3000 that are more targeted at companies for professional use. The second variant of 3D printers is a large colossus designed for industry or for areas where the smoothness of the surface and the precise dimensions are of the highest importance.
In general, price differences in 3D printers are because of areas such as:
- 3D printer's maximum volume for printing
- If you think it is important to be able to use different materials or colors for your prints.
- Printer speed
- Surface finish and precision is a big factor where more expensive 3D printers generally do a better job than a cheap 3D printer can do
How much should you spend on a 3D printer?
As always when a new technical gadget is to be purchased, you have to weigh the functions, design, and benefits to your wallet. If you are something of an amateur with 3D printers and do not have a larger budget available for this type of purchase, you are right to invest in buying a variant around $500.
Want to spend a little more and 3D printer Ultimaker 2 Extended or SLA printer Form 2 from 3d-print company Formlabs may be worth a look.
3D printer kit
The attentive user notes great advantages in the price of buying 3D printers in kits instead of betting on an already assembled model.
3D printers in kits mean that you as a user build the 3D printer yourself by assembling the machine, as well as installing any software.
This often requires a lot of computer skills and prior knowledge, but for those who are technical, this can be seen as a fun challenge in itself. Generally speaking, the quality of prints is at the same level as in already assembled machines, and once properly assembled, there are few differences inbuilt and pre-assembled. The benefits are that a 3D printer in kits can be modified to suit the individual user perfectly and the machine can be upgraded with new software and modifications on how the prints are managed can be modified to perfect the result. Again, however, this requires technical knowledge and computer skills, but for those who possess these skills, a model in the kit is often a cheap option compared to already assembled.
kodak 3D portrait
This 3D printer is well suited for both the modern home and small businesses that needs fast prototype printing. If you'd rather spend more time on the design of the model and the use of it, this printer fits perfectly, as it does most of the work for you. The steel frame provides a stable print and the built-in chamber with HEPA filters makes the printer suitable in all environments, such as schools, offices, and home.
0.020 mm (20 micron)
200 × 200 × 235 mm
Formlab form 2
Formlab 2 is the sequel to the bestseller Form 1+ and delivers a variety of improvements. Better quality, extremely user-friendly features, simple but powerful software and a varied range of materials are just some of the benefits. Form 2 is an SLA printer and supports, to the delight of many, materials from external parties.
There is no doubt that Form 2 belongs to the absolute top layer of modern 3D printers. But it is rarely a product that is completely complete, and this is the case here too. Form 2 is a bit expensive. Also, running costs are high, something that can be good to keep in mind. If you can afford it, Form 2 is well worth a purchase.
0,025 mm (25 micron)
145 × 145 × 175 mm
Good things often come in iterations. And that's also true for the 3D printers in the popular Ultimaker series. Ultimaker 3 is the latest addition to the family and delivers a variety of improvements, including high-quality printing materials and user-friendly software.
Although Ultimaker 3 is expensive (it costs over $4000) and relatively large there is much to cheer over. The model, characterized by a stylish white color, has built-in LED lights and a large glass wall on the front. The Ultimaker 3 has the ability to print items up to 21.5 x 21.5 x 20 cm.
The drawbacks include the price and the fact that the printing time is a little longer. Otherwise, Ultimaker 3 is a top-class 3D printer and a really good choice.
0,4 mm (20 micron)
215 x 215 x 200 mm
Ultimaker 2 Extended
Ultimaker 2+ is an innovative 3D printer that offers all that and a little more as users expect from the Ultimaker series. The printer has optimized cooling fans that ensure a better airflow, interchangeable nozzles of different sizes and an "Olsson Block" kit that speeds up the time it takes to change the nozzle. And not only that – it can even print most filament types and works as well with Windows and Mac as with Linux.
The drawbacks include Ultimaker 2+ open frame design. Admittedly elegant, but also sensitive to changes in the atmosphere around it. Some users are not completely happy when the printer works with ABS filaments, which may be useful to know if you plan to have the printer in the apartment or close to others.
0,4 mm (20 micron)
223 x 223 x 205 mm
WiFi (upgradeable)/USB/SD card reader
Greater build volume, faster and more high-resolution printing, improved reliability and excellent software. The advantages of Makerbot Replicator+ are many, and it's a clear upgrade over predecessor MakerBot Replicator Desktop. Replicator+ can spit out prints day and night, making it perfect for schools, larger companies or universities where 3D design is part of the business. Also, we dare say that it is of the best prints on the market.
Unfortunately, MakerBot Replicator+ has no support for third-party filaments, which feels slightly outdated. The price tag is also relatively high (the printer costs about $3000) which can scare off potential buyers. But if you can look past it, MakerBot Replicator+ is a fantastically good printer that we are happy to recommend to both hobby and professional users. If you like MakerBot, you can also check out makerBot Replicator 2X from the same series.
0,1 mm (100 micron)
295 x 195 x 165 mm
The Zotrax M200 is a fantastic direct-out-of-box printer that allows you to start printing 3D items in just a few minutes. It comes in a functional and stylish black design – excellent to have at home or in the office – and has a price tag of just over $2000, which may be considered a good price in terms of what the machine offers.
Zortrax M200's build quality feels incredibly good and surpasses many other 3D printers, and thanks to its weight and size, disruptive vibrations are kept to a minimum.
Unfortunately, the down side (no printer is perfect) features disadvantages such as limited material access, some connectivity problems, and slow software. If you can live with it, the Zortrax M200 is a highly rated 3D printer that offers high-quality print quality and robust build quality.
0,09 mm (90 micron)
200 x 200 x 180 mm
SD card reader
Yes (up to 110 °C)
Flashforge Creator Pro
- Construction speed: 200mm/s
- Filament diameter: 1.75mm
- Technology: FDM
You can read more on the Flashforge Creator Pro in our Vs Prusa I3 MK3 comparison
Compact, easy to use and affordable. A 3D printer suitable for both new and experienced users. It is quiet, delivers good print quality and connects comfortably via a USB 2.0 cable, making it perfect for the office and home use. Flashforge Finder also has a stylish and high-resolution 3.5" HD touch screen on the front for intuitive use.
With a price of just under $5000, Flashforge Finder is a great choice for anyone looking for a good but budget-friendly 3D printer. However, it may be useful to remember that the machine can only print with PLA filament and that it does not have a heated bed. The printer has also been shown to have problems connecting to WiFi repeatedly, and some users have reported that they have been unable to connect to Flashforge Finder's WiFi at all.
0,05 mm (50 micron)
140 x 140 x 140 mm
Flashforge Dreamer is a user-friendly 3D printer that is easy to get started with and excellent for first-time users. The machine, which holds a very high standard in terms of its price range, does a great job of optimizing temperature conditions and has two writing heads. The latter means that you can build models in two different colors and materials making Flashforge Dreamer a powerful 3D printer for most types of purposes. A unique feature is also that the filament roll does not sit on the outside but the inside of the machine.
That said, there are drawbacks. It has a high volume of work, closed design (if you modify the printer, you break the warranty rules) and problems with the filament sticking and messing up. The latter is Flashforge Dreamer may not be alone in, but it can be a potential annoyance that is good to know in advance.
|Precision||0,1 mm (100 micron)|
|Volume||230 x 150 x 140 mm|
|FILAMENT DIAMETER||1,75 mm|
Popular 3D printer kits
Velleman Vertex K8400
Velleman k8400 is a solid and affordable quality printer for DIY enthusiasts, highly customizable when it comes to both hardware and software. The model will be delivered as a kit and must be fitted before use. In its assembled form, the large, transparent design with a large writing roar makes it possible to print even larger objects with great precision – the resolution can be set at least 0.05 mm. For around $600, this printer allows you to create objects with the same detail as far much more expensive models.
The software for the printer is based on open source. You build your models in Repetier and use CuraEngine and Slic3r to prepare them for printing with PLA or ABS filaments. The printer settings are made using buttons on the printer itself, and downloaded files must be customized based on the model's specifications on filaments, temperature, and fans. The jobs are fed via USB or SD cards. An SD card can also be used to update the printer's built-in software.
As an additional extension, Velleman supports vertex k8400 two-color prints through double ejection in two printer heads. Some users also choose to trim the printer by building a warm-up printer roar on top of the included glass disc. The 3D prints can be quite audible, so the model doesn't suit you who need a discreet printer to be able to drive in the background while doing other things in the same room. Nor is this a suitable model for those who want a printer that works by itself without further care and fine adjustments.
Velleman K8400 is an excellent and affordable choice for 3D enthusiasts who do not fear some adjustment and assembly work. Properly set produces this precision sprinter object of very high quality. With its great writing and good extension possibilities, it's perfect for instructive experiments and tailored prints. In order for Velleman vertex k8400 to achieve its full capacity requires both experimental lust and dexterity. The model is a great choice for hobbyists, 3D geeks, and beginners who want to familiarize themselves with the self-building of 3D printers.
|Precision||0,05 mm (50 microns)|
|Volume||180 x 190 x 200 mm|
|FILAMENT DIAMETER||1.75 mm|
Velleman k8200 is the forerunner of the company's vertex k8400, and just like its heir, it is a quality printer for enthusiasts who are happy to take on a lot of assembly and adjustment work. However, there are a couple of key differences between the two models. k8200 is equipped with a heated writing roll, even more, modification possibilities and works faster and quieter. On the minus side it should be mentioned that it prints in lower resolution and does not have an SD connection. The open design also makes it a worse option for families with children.
The printer is delivered as an add-on kit. Expect a lot of work on both the electronics, mechanics, and software, although the accompanying instructions are well written and easy to follow. To save time and avoid frustration, it is recommended to ensure that the parts end up right already the first time, as any MIS installation can be difficult to correct retrospectively.
Once mounted, Velleman creates k8200 objects with a precision of up to 0.05 mm. Even at high resolutions, the printer jobs are handled quickly and efficiently. The models are opened in the customizable program Repetier and prepared for printing in Slic3r or Cura. Support is available for both ABS and PLA filaments, but ABS printing is not recommended, as they tend to detach from the printer surface. Both software and hardware are built on open source code and can be modded in all sorts of directions, not least because of the printer's open design.
Velleman k8200 is a 3D printer directed to the GDS market that properly set and well-managed can match the results achieved by up to four times more expensive models. With its speed, quietness and extension possibilities, it will remain a relevant option for 3D enthusiasts who know to appreciate montages and adjustments as part of the art itself.
Velleman k8200 is a true 3D printer classic for finger-ready hobby users that value flexibility. Fast, quiet and efficient, it rewards a proper assembly work with prints of really high class. With its price tag below 4600 SEK and extension-friendly design, it stands well against more expensive competitors.
Precision 0,5 mm (500 microns)
Volume 200 x 200 x 200 mm
FILAMENT DIAMETER 3 mm
Weight 9 kg
WARMED BED Yes
which 3d printer for a small business?
Which one is the best 3D printer depends on what you want to achieve?
The models differ depending on several factors such as the type of material and filament you want to use. But also how detailed the end product's surface needs to be in combination with the size, material, precision, and coloring.
There are generally two large groups of 3D printers on the market today:
- Relatively simple 3D printers applied to personal use or smaller companies, which are cheaper choices.
- Professional 3D printers are often quite expensive and are at a sum of around $3000 to $5000.
Key specifications to consider before purchase
The different 3D printers that exist today differ a lot from the current volume, and when prioritizing a quieter machine you may have to pay more. The same applies if specific requirements for materials exist – perhaps if it is important that your 3D printer can print in metal, wood or glass depending on the desired end product.
Which CAD program should you use?
Different CAD software products work very differently which makes it important that you choose a CAD program that works with your 3D printer.
Double writing heads?
Another thing to consider is a 3D printer with double writing heads.
Heated construction platform
This provides increased precision and smoother printing, a heated construction platform, known as a heated bed, can affect both price and performance.
Can you rent 3D printers?
To determine if a 3D printer is something for you or not, it can be smart to rent one and try it, before you make a blow to the bank account and buy your own. Since they are still relatively expensive, it may be useful to try the new technology via a rented 3D printer, whether you plan to use it at home or in a more professional environment.
Depending on the material you choose to print in, even a certain smell can spread in the room, such as a smell of melted plastic.
This means that especially those who require a printer for home use, or in a smaller workplace, do well to rent a machine and test how performance, results, the volume of sound and possibly other aspects affect the site in general.
Renting also makes it possible to try different models and machines from different manufacturers, to see which features one prioritizes and values extra high. There are several renters of these printers in the major cities and these can often deliver even to smaller rural towns.
Which 3D printers are suitable for businesses and schools?
Of course, the uses of a 3D printer vary depending on where it should be used.
Trained staff has other opportunities to handle more complicated machines in front of someone who has never used a 3D printer before. A more manageable and user-friendly model may be preferable in these cases.
XYZ printing Da Vinci Mini W
Everything with XYZ printing Da Vinci Mini W breathes agility and ease of use. Although the model is 30 percent smaller than its predecessor da Vinci Junior 1.0, it can print the same objects – and it does better in the tests. The resolution can be set between 0.1 to 0.4 mm (100-400 microns), and the quality of the prints matches or surpasses in many cases those achieved by much more expensive models.
The printer is sold pre-assembled, so it is only the protective plastic that has to be removed before you can get started. With the help of da Vinci Mini's automatic calibration, the installation goes quickly and easily. The printer itself barely has any buttons but is controlled by XYZprinting's own, downloadable XYZ ware applications for Windows 7 and Mac OS. The jobs are fed wirelessly via USB stick or WiFi, and the built-in memory allows it to start a printout, walk away with your computer and come back only when the modeling is finished. However, the printer handles prints in lower resolutions relatively quickly and efficiently – high-resolution printer jobs can take time.
Compared to many other models, the Da Vinci Mini is really quiet, despite the open design without a printer hatch. The XYZware program allows users to print multiple 3D items in the same session, but do not edit the models themselves. Please note that the model only supports XYZprinting's own PLA filament and that the easily interchangeable printer surface does not heat up during printing. Therefore, it is recommended to iron over a thin layer of glue on the interchangeable aluminum casing for larger 3D models to stay in place during the modeling.
XYZ printing Da Vinci Mini W is perfect for beginners who don't want to have to mount their own writing, teachers or parents who want a simple model to use with children and developer teams who want a simple and well-functioning 3D printer at a great price.
XYZ printing Da Vinci Mini W is the market's best 3D printer in the budget class. For under 2500 SEK you can now get a printer that does just as well or better than many more expensive competitors. With a bus-simple installation and handy size, it's perfect for the beginner who still wants to be able to make quality prints. You won't find a better 3D printer for your money!
Precision 0,1 mm (100 micron)
Volume 150 x 150 x 150 mm
FILAMENT DIAMETER 1,77 mm
Weight 8 kg
WARMED BED No
8.1 / 10 Rating
M3D MICRO 3D PRINTER
M3D Micro 3D Plus faster than its predecessor and is suitable for those who prioritize agility and ease of use over speed and large print sizes. This market's absolute smallest and lightest model lacks buttons and is controlled via USB with its own, intuitive interface. And despite its modest price, it can print objects with a precision of up to 0.1 mm.
Given the printer's user-friendly and colorful concept, it is difficult to avoid comparing it to the larger and even cheaper XYZprinting Da Vinci Mini W. A plus against this competitor is Micro 3D's flexibility. Although the printer in its basic position gets the company's own PLA filament sat under the removable printer surface, it also supports other materials. With an extra-mounted arm on the chassis, it can handle the flush sizes that have become standard in the industry. Traditional PLA is recommended, as the harder ABS filament often comes off from the printer's BuildTak – a special plastic developed to keep the objects in place on the printer surface without any need for heating.
Keep in mind that the software tends to be a little well optimistic in its estimate of how long the printing will take. You can't work in the 3D program while it's printing, so be sure to have other things to do – the Micro belongs to the slower 3D printers on the market, even in lower resolutions, and the printer must be connected to the computer throughout the print. Luckily, it stays relatively quiet during ongoing modeling.
Despite the family-friendly look, the open design is not ideal for families with children. However, easily installed and compatible with both Mac and PC suits the Micro beginners and households who want the opportunity to print smaller 3D items with almost the same ease as when printing a paper document. Read the full review for M3D Micro 3D.
The M3D Micro 3D Plus (also called the Micro Plus) suits those looking for a user-friendly and affordable 3D printer that works well already from delivery. With its compact, elegant cube design, it takes less space on the desktop than a traditional printer for paper – and it requires about the same amount of care!
Precision 0,5 mm (500 micron)
Volume 115 x 109 x 115 mm
FILAMENT DIAMETER 1.75 mm
Weight 1 kg
WARMED BED No