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Top 5 prosumer 3D printers 2014

Here is a list of “prosumer” quality 3D printers out right now that I think are worth your attention, money and time. By prosumer, I am referring to high quality 3D printing machines made for those who already know how to use the technology such as engineers, architects, modelers, etc. Some are easier than others to set up and use, so take your own skill level into consideration when choosing. Those who are new to the technology are best served learning by building their own or starting out basic – such as the Replicator Mini or the Cubify Cube 3. The typical price range for prosumer 3D printers go from $2,000-$4,000.

MakerBot Replicator (5th Generation)

MakerBot-Replicator-Mini1

  • Price: $2,899
  • Resolution: 100 microns
  • Software: MakerWare
  • Features: LCD display, smart extruder, camera, thingiverse

http://store.makerbot.com/replicator

Ultimaker 2

Ultimaker 2

  • Price: $2,699
  • Resolution: 20 microns
  • Software: Cura
  • Features: large print/size ratio, speed: 30 – 300 mm/s, heated bed

https://www.ultimaker.com/pages/our-printers/ultimaker-2

Form 1

Form-1-Isometric-View-Landscape

  • Price: $3,299
  • Resolution: 20 microns
  • Software: PreForm
  • Features: stereolithography technology, resin material, finishing kit

http://formlabs.com/products/our-printer

CubePro

CubePro-left-low-backlit-hires

  • Price: $3,299
  • Resolution: 20 microns
  • Software: Cubify Invent
  • Features: 3 simultaneous colors + materials, controlled print environment, touchscreen display and wi-fi

http://cubify.com/en/CubePro

Pegasus Touch 

Pegasus-Touch

  • Price: $3,499
  • Resolution: 5 microns
  • Features: laser precision – superior quality, touch screen with 3D app store, resin material

http://fslaser.com/products/3d-printers/pegasus-touch-laser-3d-printer-by-fsl3d


Any of these printers is a great purchase! Personally, I recommend the Ultimaker 2 for it’s combination of price, speed, quality, reliability and ease of use. It is a wonderful machine for all skill levels. And not to mention it is impeccably designed and aesthetically pleasing with it’s glowing white aura. Both the Form One and Pegasus Touch use SLA (Stereolithography) technology which many consider “true” 3D printing technology and is capable of very detailed prints however there is still a ways to go before it is far superior than the FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) process.

Those new to 3D printing who are deciding between professional grade consumer printers (prosumer) should take into account support, size of community and ease of use. Here is how I would group the 3D printers:

  • Beginners: MakerBot Replicator, Ultimaker 2, CubePro
  • Advanced: Ultimaker 2, Form 1, Pegasus Touch
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