Looking for the fastest 3D printer in the world? Here’s a list of current 3D printers which get the job done in no time.
Creating a list of the fastest 3D printers in the world is no easy task. Sometimes, it feels like of comparing street cars (meaning consumer 3D printers) to F1 racing machines (professional 3D printers, which cost $50.000 up). Whereas parameters like size and resolution can be compared with relative ease, comparing different technologies makes things very difficult.
So, how can you measure the fastest 3D printers? That depends on many factors.
- First, it’s type and properties of the materials printed. Some 3D printing materials are more forgiving when printed at high speed.
- Second, the type of the 3D printing process implemented. For example, the speed of laser sintering depends on how many objects are present in the print chamber: in many types of 3D printing, the more objects, the faster the rate per object.
- Third, quality is an issue of the fastest 3D printer. Quality is only important in certain aspects, mostly those concerned with the production of end use parts and objects. When it comes to prototyping, speed is irrelevant, since even the slowest 3D printer is significantly faster and more affordable than any traditional prototyping method.
So that‘s why we chose to show a not a ranking, but a mix of the fastest 3D printers in the world. All of them deliver quality at extraordiary speed, but you wouldn’t want to compare them directly.
Fastest 3D Printer #1: BAAM
The BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing) is an industrial sized 3D printer which uses Cincinnati based CI industrial machines (including the laser platform, machine frame, motion system, and controls) to extrude several types of plastic in a huge build platform. BAAM was designed to allow 3D printing to be used for production manufacturing. The large size and speed allow large parts to be made quickly and the ability to use common thermoplastic materials means that the cost per part is still reasonable. The system also offers an open architecture for material vendors, which means cost are kept low.
The BAAM was used to manufacture the first (almost) fully 3D printed car, the Strati, for together with Local Motors. With a deposition rate of up to 38 lbs of material per hour, it is possibly the fastest machine currently on the market.
Technology: BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing)
Use: Industrial manufacturing
Speed: 38 lbs of material deposited per hour
Fastest 3D Printer #2: Massivit 1800
Israeli company Massivit, whose founders come from previous experiences in large format 2D printing, created a new 3D printing technology called Gel Deposition (3D) Printing. This system works by extruding a photopolymer gel which is immediately cured by a UV source on the printhead. Because this is a cold process the can machine can deposit thick layers of up to 1000 micron very rapidly.
The large size Massivit 1800 is one of the fastest machines currently on the market, capable of reaching speeds of up 1000 mm/s on two print heads working at the same time, which brings the final top sped to 2000 mm/s.
Model: Massivit 1800
Technology: GDP (Gel Deposition 3D Printing)
Use: Visual Marketing
Speed: 1000 millimeters per seconds times 2 print heads (with layers up to 1000 micron).
Fastest 3D Printer #3: HP MultiJet Fusion
HP announced its 3D printer at the end of 2014. Its new “thermal inkjet technology”, aka MultiJet Fusion, is expected to radically change 3D printing enabling by enabling production of full color, multi-material and highly stress resistant parts at lower costs and speeds that are up to 10 times those of current SLS machines (which generally are about 2 to 3 cm per hour on the Z axis). In all powder based technologies, the rate of printing per part is dependent on the number of parts being printed, however, all things being equal, HP’s machine – expected to debut this year – will be significantly faster than anything on the market today.
Model: Name to be announced
Technology: MJF (MultiJet Fusion)
Use: Visual Marketing, Consumer end products
Speed: About 3000 mm per hour on Z axis, (Up to 10 times faster than SLS)
Fastest 3D Printer #4: University of Sheffield
Since speed in powder bed 3D Printing technologies depends on the number of parts being printed, the HSS technology developed by Professor Neil Hopkinson takes this concept to the next level. He is using heat radiation (infrared) to sinter even more parts at the same time. While the laser needs to “draw” the object’s slices one by one, HSS can simply do all objects inside the printing chamber at the same time by using heat. This means that while the actual process of sintering the powder with heat is slower than using lasers, the end result is significantly faster.
Company: University of Sheffield
Model: Not commercially available yet.
Technology: HSS (High-Speed Sintering)
Use: Consumer products, serial industrial components
Speed: 3000 to 30000 cm per hour on Z axis, 10-100 times faster than SLS.
Fastest 3D Printer #5: Carbon3D
Among the promises of 3D printing to come, CLIP technology by Carbon3D is the biggest and possibly the most difficult to achieve. This technology promises to take only 6.6 minutes to 3D print an object that would take over 3 hours with standard resin-based processes like SLA and DLP. The way it intends to do this is by applying an oxygen membrane to stabilise the liquid resin so that, instead of printing each 50-100 micron thick slice one at a time, by projecting a still photo, like DLP does, it prints the object continuously, as if it was a “movie”. There are still many limits to this technology. However, Google and Autodesk have invested significantly to help Carbon3D overcome them.
Model: Not named yet.
Use: End use products, prototypes
Speed: Roughly 25 times faster than current SLA/DLP technologies.
Fastest 3D Printer #6: EOSINTP760
When we talk about SLS as the standard for comparison we usually mean EOS’s SLS technology and, specifically, its largest stand alone 3D printer: the EOSINT760. This machine can 3D print with laser speeds of up to 6 meters per second with a full production volume of 700 cubic centimes per hour. This translates to around 3.2 cm per hour on the Z axis.
Technology: SLS (Selective Laser Sintering)
Use: End use products, functional prototypes
Speed: 32 mm per hour on Z axis
Fastest 3D Printer #7: Projet 660 Pro
The current fastest powder bed color 3D printer on the market (2.8 cm or 1.1 inches per hour on the Z axis) does not use lasers but rather it uses glue to bind together mineral powder particles in a process generically referred to as binder jetting. 3D Systems Projet 660 is actually based on a decade old technology first implemented by a company called Zcorp (which was acquired by 3DS). The Project 660 apply color to the external layer to create products that, however, are extremely rigid and frail.
Company: 3D Systems
Model: Projet 660Pro
Technology: CJP (Color Jet Printing)
Use: Architectural models, decorative objects
Speed: 28 mm per hour on Z axis
Fastest 3D Printer #8: DeltaWASP Turbo
The DeltaWASP Turbo could be the fastest desktop FFF 3D printer already available commercially. Through firmware updates and thanks to its particular “hanging” extruder motor which greatly reduces vibrations, the DeltaWASP is theoretically capable of reaching printing speeds of up to 1000 mm/s, which is as much as five times faster than the fastest 3D printers commonly available.
Romanian company Symme3D claim to have achieved similar results with its delta 3D printer.
Model: DeltaWASP 2040 Turbo
Technology: Delta FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication)
Use: Functional prototypes and FDM-built consumer products
Speed: 1000 mm/s with layers up to 200 micron
Fastest 3D Printer #9: BigRepOne.2
Another way to print fast, other than making the extruder move faster, is by printing larger layers. Of course this approach works better on larger size objects, where layer resolution is relative. For example the BigRepOne (the best known among large format 3D printers) prints layers that are up to 1000 microns thick when it produces real size objects such as tales and chairs. This makes it capable of printing at a speed equivalent of 750+ mm/s when compared to 200 micron layers.
Technology: Cartesian FFF
Use: End use products, big prototypes
Speed: 150 mm/s with up to 1000 micron layers
Fastest 3D Printer #10: D3D.EVO
Dynamo3D used a particular PCB board which enables its 3D printers to reach some of the fastest speeds for any desktop 3D printer without exceedingly sacrificing surface and finish quality. The top of the line D3D.EVO can print at up to 450 mm/s (with movement speed of 700 mm/s). Watching it go is impressive.
Technology: Cartesian FFFSpeed: 450 mm/s with 200 micron layers
Use: End use products, functional prototypes
Speed: 450 mm/s with 200 micron layers
3D printing with metal is a slow process. That’s because not only do you have to heat up and then rapidly cool down the metal powder layer after layer, but also because you must deal with several hazardous conditions, including the risk of metal powder exploding.
Some of the fastest laser metal fusion 3D printer can produce parts at a rate of about 80 cubic centimetres per hour, with EBM technology achieving even faster results by enabling stackable parts. The new 3D printer currently in development at Aerosol in South Africa, due out this year, promises speeds that are up to 10 times faster than current SLM for parts that are as much as 40 times larger than most standard machines.
Technology: Selective Laser Melting
Speed: Up to 10 times faster than any equivalent metal machine on the market.
So, did we miss any of the fastest 3D printers available? Please tell us in the comments.
License: The text of "The 10 Fastest 3D Printers in the World" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.