Examining the Market: Key Features of Top 5 3D Printers Currently Available

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The additive manufacturing industry has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with projections indicating that the 3D printer market will more than double in the next decade. According to a report by Grand View Research, the number of shipped 3D printers reached 2.2 million in 2021 and is expected to reach 21.5 million by 2030. Consequently, the market now offers an increased variety of 3D printers. From FDM to SLS to DED and more, there are numerous options available for each 3D printing technology. However, this wide selection can make it challenging to make the right choice. To assist you in navigating the market, we feature five printers each month in our comprehensive comparison, which encompasses hundreds of 3D printers, including desktop, RepRap/kit, professional, and industrial models. Check out the selection below to discover the current popular choices in 3D printers!

The UltiMaker S5, an FDM 3D Printer with a Wide Range of Materials

Though not the latest release from UltiMaker, the UltiMaker S5 remains one of the company’s most popular 3D printers. This composite-ready dual extrusion FDM solution boasts a larger build volume than previous models such as the S3, measuring 330 x 240 x 300 mm, the same as the UltiMaker S7. Indeed, the company considers the best features of the printer to be its increased space for larger parts and compatibility with more materials (over 280) including PLA, PETGABS, CPE, Nylon, PC, TPU and PP, among others. Other characteristics include filament run-out detection, auto-nozzle lifting system and UltiMaker’s iconic swappable print cores though do note that like all UltiMaker machines, the compatible filament diameter is 2.85 mm. The printer also boasts a partially closed build chamber that is passively heated, a heated build plate and nozzle that goes up to 180 – 280 °C.

The TruPrint 3000, a Flexible Choice for Industrial Metal 3D Printing

Trumpf, a producer of machine tools and 3D printers, offers a wide variety of machines that utilize both laser metal fusion and laser metal deposition techniques. One of its offerings, the TruPrint 3000 3D printer, is a semi-automated and highly productive solution for industrial series manufacture. This printer has truly revolutionary uses in several industries due to its build volume of 300 x 300 x 400 mm and its maximum print density of 20 µm.

The Formlabs Form 3B, an SLA Printer for Medical Professionals

The American stereolithographic 3D printing giant Formlabs has a resin 3D printer called the Form 3B. This printer, designed for healthcare professionals, was first released in 2019, with the latest model, the 3B+ introduced in 2022. Its 146 × 145 × 185 mm build volume and compatibility with Formlabs’ complete SLA materials library, which includes sterile and biocompatible materials, make it perfect for medical and dental additive manufacturing projects.

Carbon M2: High-Speed, High Quality

The Carbon M2 is a resin 3D printer crafted by the American company Carbon. It presents a print size of 189 x 118 x 326mm, a significant increase from its forerunner, the Carbon M1. It utilizes Carbon’s unique DLS (Digital Light Synthesis) technology, a process that escalates the print speed by 25 to 100 times in comparison to other standard resin 3D printing methods. In this method, light is directed through an oxygen-infused window into a container of UV-reactive resin. This not only ensures extraordinary speed, but also durability of printed objects. The Carbon M2 supports carbon-based materials such as rigid polyurethane (RPU) and elastomeric polyurethane (EPU), among others. Sporting dimensions of 540 x 654 x 1734 mm, this 3D printer is provided with a comprehensive service package inclusive of installation, training and technical assistance.

The Samylabs ALBA 300, a Compact Metal Solution

Samylabs, a firm operating out of Bizkaia, Spain, excels in SLM (Selective Laser Melting) additive manufacturing technology. Their 3D printer, the ALBA 300, demonstrates compactness and can be employed in expansive factories as well as smaller offices or laboratories. The ALBA 300 has a print volume of 160 mm x 200 mm. Distinguishing features of this 3D printer include a 300W laser and a sealed compartment for working with Argon and Nitrogen, making it possible to print with stainless steel and various alloys. It is noteworthy to mention that all aspects of this printer, be it software, mechanical or electrical were developed by Samylabs and ONA. Furthermore, to ease the operator’s job, the machine is designed in the most user-friendly way, including a simplified cleaning process.

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