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15 Best 3D Printers 2017 (Guide & 3D Printer Reviews)

best 3d printer

Looking for the best 3D printer 2017? Here's a selection of the latest and greatest 3D printers you can buy today, plus 3D printer reviews.

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Are you shopping around for a desktop 3D printer? Wondering where to start and what to buy? We hear you. There’s a huge range of machines out there on the market, and for first-timers it can be hard to tell which from which.

The simplest approach is to first identify your budget. The next thing to do is research important criteria like ease-of-use, features, supporting documentation, and customer care. Now pick the best 3D printer that fits within that budget.

A distinction to be aware of is whether the desktop 3D printer is based on Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) or Stereolithography (SLA) technology. They’re quite different, and each provides their own set of advantages and disadvantages to the user.

Something else to look for is whether the hardware and software are proprietary or open-source. The differences are not just philosophical; they can impact operational costs, too. If the machine is not compatible with 3rd party filament, for example, you’re locked into buying future supplies direct from the manufacturer.

The one thing you absolutely should not do is buy a 3D printer on the basis of brand name recognition. Just because you’ve seen or heard about a particular make on the TV is by no means a guarantee of quality.

Without further ado, here are our suggestions for the best 3D printers you can buy today. Did we miss any of your favorites? Tell us your suggestion for the best 3D printer in the comments and we’ll consider it for a future update.

15 Best 3D Printers 2017 (Guide & 3D Printer Reviews)

3D Printer Tech Build Volume (mm) Category Market Price ($) Check Price
Ultimaker 3 FFF 197 x 215 x 200 Prosumer 3495 Available at Amazon
Formlabs Form 2 SLA 145 × 145 × 175 Prosumer 3499
Original Prusa i3 MK2 FFF 250 x 210 x 200 Budget 845
Zortrax M200 FFF 200 x 200 x 185 Prosumer 2100 Available at Amazon
Lulzbot Taz 6 FFF 280 x 280 x 250 Workhorse 2500 Available at Amazon
BCN3D Sigma R17 FFF 210 x 297 x 210 Workhorse 2,695 Available at Amazon
Lulzbot Mini FDM 152 x 152 x 158 Plug & Play 1250 Available at Amazon
Printrbot Simple Pro FFF 200 x 150 x 200 Budget 999
CEL RoboxDual FFF 150 x 210 x 100 Plug & Play 2000 Available at Amazon
Tiertime UP Mini 2 FFF 120 x 120 x 120 Budget 600 Available at Amazon
FlashForge Creator Pro FFF 145 x 225 x 150 Workhorse 899 Available at Amazon
Monoprice MP Select Mini FFF 120 x 120 x 120 Budget 220 Available at Amazon
Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus FFF 200 x 200 x 180 Budget 359 Available at Amazon
MakerGear M3 FFF 203 X 254 X 203 Workhorse 2350
Ultimaker 2+ FFF 230 x 225 x 205 Prosumer 2499 Available at Amazon

Best 3D Printer 2017 #1: Ultimaker 3

This is the flagship of the Ultimaker empire, a refined machine that’s packed to the rafters with cutting edge technology. It’s got dual extrusion, swappable “cores” for quickly changing print heads, wireless connectivity, and much more besides.

Best 3D Printer Review: Ultimaker 3 Review: Revolutionary Dual Extrusion 3D Printer

On the software side, the Cura slicing engine is optimized for use in tandem with the Ultimaker 3, with a smooth interface to manage the print job with the minimum of fuss. A regular update schedule ensures that innovations and improvements are shared with users on a timely basis.

If money is no object, then the Ultimaker 3 is undoubtedly the best 3D printer for your workspace, studio, or office. With a solid design, tidy operation and excellent customer support, it’s practically the Rolls-Royce of 3D printing.

Best 3D Printer Features: Ultimaker 3

  • Technology: FFF
  • Material: PLA, ABS, PET, HIPS, Exotics
  • Build Volume: 197 x 215 x 200 mm
  • Min Layer Height: 20 microns
  • Max Layer Height: 200 microns
  • Open Source: Hardware & Software
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Onboard Control Panel: Yes
  • Connectivity: USB, Wifi, Ethernet

Best 3D Printer Price Check: Ultimaker 3 on Amazon Ultimaker 3 available on Amazon

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Best 3D Printer 2017 #2: Formlabs Form 2

The Formlabs Form 2 is underpinned with stereolithographic (SLA) technology, and is perhaps the very best 3D printer in its category and price bracket. SLA works by curing resin in a tank with a high powered laser that draws each layer, providing solid objects with exceptional levels of detail.

Best 3D Printer Review: Formlabs Form 2 Review: The SLA 3D Printer Benchmark

This premium device is equipped with a peeling mechanism, a heated tank, a touchscreen display, wireless controls, and an automated resin system. It also has some cleverly designed software to make fabricating models as painless as possible, and the customer support is well established.

Printed objects will require some post-processing, however, and the resin tanks are consumable components that must be replaced regularly.

Best 3D Printer Features: Formlabs Form 2

  • Technology: SLA
  • Material: Resin
  • Build Volume: 145 x 145 x 175 mm
  • Min Layer Height: 25 microns
  • Max Layer Height: 100 microns
  • Open Source: No
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Onboard Control Panel: Yes
  • Connectivity: USB, Wifi, Ethernet

Best 3D Printer Price Check: Formlabs Form 2 at Formlabs

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Best 3D Printer 2017 #3: Original Prusa i3 MK2 Original Prusa i3 MK2

The Original Prusa i3 MK2 is a proven open source design with a huge international user base. This unit was engineered by Josef Průša himself, and whether you buy it in kit form or ready assembled, it’s probably the best 3D printer you can buy in 2017.

Best 3D Printer Review: Original Prusa i3 MK2 Review: It Doesn't Get Any Better

Topline features of the Original Prusa i3 MK2 are a new MK42 heatbed, a PEI print surface, integrated leadscrew Z axis, full mesh bed auto-leveling, improved construction, faster printing and more materials with an E3D V6 hotend. All that, plus improved firmware and printer self-test.

Best 3D Printer Features: Original Prusa i3 MK2

  • Technology: FFF
  • Material: PLA, ABS, PET, HIPS, Exotics
  • Build Volume: 250 x 210 x 200 mm
  • Min Layer Height: 50 microns
  • Extruder Head: 1
  • Open Source: Hardware & Software
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75mm
  • Onboard Control Panel: Yes
  • Connectivity: USB, SD card

Best 3D Printer Price Check: Original Prusa i3 MK2 at Prusa Research

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Best 3D Printer 2017 #4: Zortrax M200

Zortrax is one of the enduring successes of the desktop 3D printing revolution, and justifiably so. Constructed from sturdy aluminum, the Zortrax M200 can 3D print out of the box with very little setup, and it produces reliable and consistent results.

Best 3D Printer Review: Zortrax M200 Review: Easy to Use, Great Quality

The Zortrax M200 has automated bed leveling, which makes calibration precise and simple, and a build area with a perforated platform to mitigate warping. This bed is a key feature and makes it the absolute best 3D printer for working with ABS material.

There’s also a growing range of additional materials from Zortrax providing different mechanical properties, plus optional perspex panels to enclose the build space and provide additional protection from atmospheric changes.

Best 3D Printer Features: Zortrax M200

  • Technology: FFF
  • Material: ABS, HIPS, ULTRAT
  • Build Volume: 200 x 200 x 185 mm
  • Min Layer Height: 90 microns
  • Max Layer Height: 400 microns
  • Extruder Head: 1
  • XY Precision: 1.5 microns
  • Printing Speed: 100 mm/s
  • Open Source: No
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75mm
  • Onboard Control Panel: Yes
  • Connectivity: USB, SD Card

Best 3D Printer Price Check: Zortrax M200 on AmazonZortrax M200 available at Amazon

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Best 3D Printer 2017 #5: Lulzbot Taz 6 lulzbot taz 6 knockout

There’s no getting around it, the Lulzbot Taz 6 is gigantic. It’s massive. It’s humongous. A small child could probably sit inside its frame. But don’t be intimated by the size. Because this machine is actually a B.F.P. (Big Friendly Printer).

Best 3D Printer Review: 15 Best 3D Printers 2017 (Guide & 3D Printer Reviews)

The Lulzbot Taz 6 has a brilliant auto-leveling feature which, together with solid print quality and straightforward setup, makes it the single best 3D printer you’ll ever want to use. There’s no calibration or guesswork, it all simply functions as it should.

The Taz 6 is also open source and carefully documented, with scope for additional upgrades like the Flexystruder (optimized for printing flexible materials), dual extrusion, and the MOARstruder (for printing large objects with fat layers).

Best 3D Printer Features: Lulzbot Taz 6

  • Technology: FFF
  • Material: ABS, PLA, HIPS, PVA, Bronze, and more
  • Build Volume: 280 x 280 x 250 mm
  • Min Layer Height: 50 microns
  • Max Layer Height: 500 microns
  • Extruder Head: 1, 2 (optional)
  • Printing Speed: 200mm/sec
  • Open Source: Hardware & Software
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Filament Diameter: 3.00mm
  • Onboard Control Panel: Yes
  • Connectivity: USB, SD Card

Best 3D Printer Price Check: Lulzbot Taz 6 on Amazon Lulzbot Taz 6 available on Amazon

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Best 3D Printer 2017 #6: BCN3D Sigma R17 best 3d printer

Dual extrusion doesn’t have to be a pain in the ass. That’s the starting proposition with the BCN3D Sigma R17, and with the IDEX (Independent Dual Extruder) system it admirably proves its point. The build space is generous, the operation is simple, and the industrial design is unique. This makes it the best 3D printer for dual extrusion.

But the BCN3D Sigma R17 also works exceedingly well in single extrusion mode, providing quality 3D prints that are frankly spectacular.

Minor niggles are that it doesn’t have wireless connectivity; the firmware has a few teething troubles; and frugal makers may be troubled by the waste product generated by dual extrusion. But these are trivial in comparison to the versatility and performance of the BCN3D Sigma R17.

Best 3D Printer Features: BCN3D Sigma R17

  • Technology: FFF
  • Material: PLA, ABS, PET, HIPS, Exotics
  • Build Volume: 210 x 297 x 210 mm
  • Min Layer Height: 50 microns
  • Max Layer Height: 300 microns
  • Extruder Head: 2
  • XY Precision: 125 microns
  • Open Source: Hardware & Software
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Filament Diameter: 3.00
  • Onboard Control Panel: Yes
  • Connectivity: USB, SD card

Best 3D Printer Price Check: BCN3D Sigma R17 on Amazon BCN3D Sigma available at Amazon

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Best 3D Printer 2017 #7: Lulzbot Mini Lulzbot Mini

The Lulzbot Mini is the smallest FFF machine offered by Aleph Objects, with a six-inch square build volume. The benefits are that the printing process is much easier when it comes to warping. And the print head can move and accelerate faster, which means it will finish faster, and give you cleaner results on the rim of a part with pointy corners.

Best 3D Printer Review: LulzBot Mini Review: This Mighty 3D Printer Does the Job

Other reasons why it’s considered a “best 3D printer” is its reliability, easy setup, and the lively community surrounding the company. Overall, the Lulzbot Mini is proof positive that an open source philosophy and a great user experience don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Best 3D Printer Features: Lulzbot Mini

  • Technology: FDM
  • Material: ABS, PLA, HIPS, PVA, Exotics
  • Build Volume: 152 x 152 x 158 mm
  • Min Layer Height: 50 microns
  • Max Layer Height: 500 microns
  • Extruder Head: 1
  • Printing Speed: 275 mm/s
  • Open Source: Hardware & Software
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Filament Diameter: 2.85 mm
  • Onboard Control Panel: No
  • Connectivity: USB

Best 3D Printer Price Check: Lulzbot Mini on AmazonLulzbot Mini available at Amazon

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Best 3D Printer 2017 #8: Printrbot Simple Pro Printrbot Simple Pro

The Printrbot Simple Pro is a substantial upgrade to the original Simple.

As before it carries over the same open design that shows the printer functioning from every angle. And it remains compact and portable, with a sturdy metal construction to withstand dings and dents. Where it differs is the addition of a built-in color touch screen, plus wifi connectivity and a free optional cloud service to simplify the printing experience.

The Simple Pro is also powered by a 32-bit motherboard that provides a smooth and speedy motion. Remarkably, with all these advanced features, this best 3D printer is available for a low price tag of $999.

Best 3D Printer Features: Printrbot Simple Pro

  • Technology: FFF
  • Material: ABS (optional), PLA, Exotics
  • Build Volume: 200 x 150 x 200mm
  • Min Layer Height: 50 microns
  • Extruder Head: 1
  • Open Source: Hardware & Software
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Optional
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75mm
  • Onboard Control Panel: Yes
  • Connectivity: USB, SD Card, Wifi

Best 3D Printer Price Check: Printrbot Simple Pro at Printrbot

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Best 3D Printer 2017 #9: CEL RoboxDual Cel-UK RoboxDual

The CEL RoboxDual has a closed build chamber with a heated print-bed and automatic bed-leveling, plus dual nozzles and a proprietary extrusion system for fast printing with consistent quality.

Best 3D Printer Review: CEL RoboxDual 3D Printer Review: Dual Extrusion Redefined

Moreover, the RoboxDual is potentially the best 3D printer for future-proofing, thanks to a set of modular upgrades to enable more powerful features when you need them. With this eye on continuous development and easy accessibility, it’s a true plug and play machine.

If you’re looking for an experience that is a whole lot easier than other, more bare-bones 3D printers, then you’re probably going to have a good time with the CEL RoboxDual.

Best 3D Printer Features: CEL RoboxDual

  • Technology: FFF
  • Material: PLA, ABS, HIPS, PETG
  • Build Volume: 210 x 150 x 100 mm
  • Min Layer Height: 20 microns
  • Extruder Head: 1, 2 (optional)
  • Open Source: No
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Onboard Control Panel: No
  • Connectivity: USB

Best 3D Printer Price Check: CEL RoboxDual on AmazonCEL Robox available at Amazon

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Best 3D Printer 2017 #10: Tiertime UP Mini 2 Up Mini 2

The UP mini 2 is a “best 3D printer” thanks to some impressive high-end features.

For starters, there’s touch screen controls and wifi connectivity. But even more attractive are safety-conscious features like power failure protection — so the print can resume after an abrupt stop — and built-in HEPA air filtration to maintain a healthy working environment.

There’s also automatic nozzle height detection, and a separate, enclosed spool container to prevent the filament from spoiling from exposure to moisture in the air. Overall a very tidy package. The only drawback is that the 120 x 120 x 120 mm build volume is rather puny.

Best 3D Printer Features: UP Mini 2

  • Technology: FFF
  • Material: PLA, ABS
  • Build Volume: 120 x 120 x 120 mm
  • Min Layer Height: 150 microns
  • Max Layer Height: 350 microns
  • Extruder Head: 1
  • Open Source: No
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Onboard Controls: Yes
  • Connectivity: USB, Wifi

Best 3D Printer Price Check: Up Mini 2 on Amazon Up Mini 2 available on Amazon

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Best 3D Printer 2017 #11: FlashForge Creator Pro Flashforge Creator Pro

Manufactured in China, the FlashForge Creator Pro closely resembles the classic Makerbot Replicator 2X. It comes with dual extruders, a metal frame, and an enclosed chassis.

Other features include a platform-leveling system with a metal build plate and guide rod to help with stabilization and durability.

With nearly 800 customer reviews on Amazon, this machine is easily one of the most popular on the market. But is it the best 3D printer you can buy…? That’s hard to say when the design, feature spec and cost has since been eclipsed by other machines.

Best 3D Printer Features: FlashForge Creator Pro

  • Technology: FFF
  • Materials: ABS, PLA, Exotics
  • Build Volume: 225 x 145 x 150 mm
  • Min Layer Height: 100 microns
  • Max Layer Height: 500 microns
  • Extruder Head: 2
  • XY Precision: 11 microns
  • Printing Speed: 40-100 mm/s
  • Open Source: Hardware & Software
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75
  • Onboard Control Panel: Yes
  • Connectivity: USB, SD Card

Best 3D Printer Price: FlashForge Creator Pro at AmazonFlashForge Creator Pro available at Amazon

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Best 3D Printer 2017 #12: Monoprice MP Select Mini Monoprice MP Select Mini

The cheapest best 3D printer on this list is the Monoprice MP Select Mini, an impressive machine with a smart, compact design that’s retailing for an unbelievable price.

It has a quick release steel gear filament feeder, a nozzle cooling fan, a color LCD, a heated build plate, plus microSD and USB connectivity.

Best 3D Printer Review: Monoprice Select Mini Review: The Best Budget 3D Printer

The heated build plate and wide extruder temperature range are incredibly good value here because it means it can work with most types of filaments; from basic filaments like ABS and PLA to more exotic materials like wood and metal composites.

For those brave folks who are unconcerned about voiding their warranty — and at this price why would you be? — the unit is also easy to hack for upgrades like a new hot-end, glass bed, and wi-fi connectivity.

But there’s a limitation with the print dimensions, which are ridiculously small at 120 x 120 x 120 mm. This small size will be keenly felt as your printing ambitions grow.

Best 3D Printer Features: Monoprice MP Select Mini

  • Printer Type: FFF
  • Materials: ABS, PLA, Exotic
  • Build Volume: 120 x 120 x 120 mm
  • Min Layer Height: 100 microns
  • Extruder Head: 1
  • Printing Speed: 55 mm/s
  • Open Source: Software
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • On-Printer Controls: Yes
  • Connectivity: SD Card, USB

Best 3D Printer Price Check: Monoprice MP Select Mini on AmazonMonoprice MP Select Mini available on Amazon

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Best 3D Printer 2017 #13: Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus wanhao duplicator i3 plus

The Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus is a solidly constructed derivative of the open source Prusa i3 design. Topline features are a generous build volume of 200 x 200 x 180 mm, a metal frame for rigidity, a full-sized SD card slot, and a touchscreen control interface.

Best 3D Printer Features: Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus

  • Printer Type: FFF
  • Material: ABS, PLA, Exotics
  • Build Volume: 200 x 200 x 180 mm
  • Min Layer Height: 100 microns
  • Extruder Head: 1
  • Open Source: Software
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Onboard Printer Controls: Yes
  • Connectivity: USB, SD Card

Best 3D Printer Price Check: Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus on Amazon Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus available on Amazon

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Best 3D Printer 2017 #14: MakerGear M3

Fresh to the market is the MakerGear M3, a desktop 3D printer pitching itself as the “ultimate workhorse”. The topline features include wireless control, automatic file preparation, precision cooling, and a 12 month warranty.

Looking beyond that, there are features carried over from previous models; a solid metal chassis, a heated print bed, and interchangeable nozzles and dual-extruder upgrade.

Customers can also buy a bundle including a preconfigured tablet and Simplify3D slicing software, so you should have everything you need for a complete 3D printing workflow. Perhaps it’s too soon to call it a best 3D printer, but based on the company pedigree this is unlikely to be a step backwards.

Best 3D Printer Features: MakerGear M3

  • Printer Type: FFF
  • Material: ABS, PLA, Exotics
  • Build Volume:203 x 254 x 203 mm
  • Min Layer Height: 20 microns
  • Max Layer Height: 350 microns
  • Extruder Head: 1, 2 (optional)
  • Open Source: No
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Filament Diameter: 1.75 mm
  • Onboard Printer Controls: Optional
  • Connectivity: USB, SD Card

Best 3D Printer Price Check: MakerGear M3 at MakerGear

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Best 3D Printer 2017 #15: Ultimaker 2+ ultimaker 2+ 3d printer

Now look, just because Ultimaker have released a third generation unit with all the latest bells and whistles, that doesn’t mean you should overlook its older brother. The 2+ is still a very fine machine and one that is perfectly useable if you don’t need features like dual extrusion or network connectivity.

Best 3D Printer Review: Ultimaker 2+ Review: The Best Ultimaker So Far

What makes the Ultimaker 2+ a best 3D printer is the way it iterates on the design of previous Ultimakers, bringing in refinements on key areas to dramatically improve the overall experience. As always, the Cura software slicer is there to help tweak and optimize each individual project to your satisfaction. And lest we forget, the core experience of using an Ultimaker is still one of ease of use and, yes, even delight.

Best 3D Printer Features: Ultimaker 2+

  • Printer Type: FFF
  • Material: ABS, PLA, Exotics
  • Build Volume: 230 x 225 x 205 mm
  • Min Layer Height: 20 microns
  • Extruder Head: 1
  • Open Source: Hardware &Software
  • Compatible with 3rd Party Material: Yes
  • Heated Platform: Yes
  • Filament Diameter: 3 mm
  • Onboard Printer Controls: Yes
  • Connectivity: USB, SD Card

Best 3D Printer Price Check: Ultimaker 2+ on AmazonUltimaker 2+ available on Amazon

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