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- One of the advantages to large-format 3D printers is that you can use an 0.8mm nozzle on there and tear through some large prints, which is a lot of fun
- The larger 3D printers get, the less efficient they become- that means printing small objects is always more difficult than printing them on an equivalent smaller machine (Source)
- Another consideration- if/when your big print fails, it is much worse than failures when printing a multi-part model
- Plus, if you damage the printer, it can be pricier to repair
- The Ender 5 Plus is a Reddit favorite and All3dp’s top pick
Large format 3d printers are extremely versatile.
The benefits are that large format 3D printers have a much larger build volume than desktop 3D printers.
This allows for the creation of larger, more complex parts and products. In addition, large format 3D printers typically have better print quality and accuracy than smaller desktop 3D printers.
But these larger, more expensive printers can be harder to situate in your home and pricier to fix if/when they break down.
The best option we’ve seen is the Ender 5 Plus- it’s not going to break the beak and packs a lot of performance punch:
Our Top Pick: The Ender 5 Plus
- This is a budget option in the large format 3D printing class
- Positives include quick setup that makes it easy to get up and running out of the box
- Supportive community available for for mods and upgrades
- Downsides include some sagging cabling, dual Z-axis steppers that are unsynchronized
- One buyer summarizes it, saying that the build plate is enormous, the quality is excellent, and prints fail maybe only 1% of the time.
- And of that 1%, it’s usually his fault for pushing the limits too far
One downside of large format 3D printers is that they can be quite expensive. Another downside is that they often require specialized knowledge and expertise to operate, which can make them inaccessible to some users.
Overall, large format 3D printers offer a number of advantages over desktop 3D printers, including a larger build volume, better print quality, and greater accuracy. However, they can be expensive and may require specialized expertise to use.
Why Do You Need a Large Format 3D Printer?
There are a few reasons you would need a large format 3D printer.
- Knowing the limitations of a 3D printer, they are often set up in small formats with limited printing volume.
- With 3D printing becoming more popular, machines are being produced in larger sizes to accommodate bigger designs and parts.
- Large formats of 3D printers can be set up to work with multiple materials such as ceramic and metals like aluminum, steel, etc. in addition to the usual ABS and PLA plastics.
- If you’re a university or college student, 3D printers are ideal for doing research in a variety of fields.
- Large formats of 3D printers allow you to print bigger model parts at higher resolutions than those on desktops and small printer models.
What to Look for in a Large Format 3D printer?
One of the most important things to look for in a large format 3D printer is accuracy. If a height over 0.2mm that can be seen by the naked human eye is not accurate, there would be no point in buying it!
2. Build Volume:
The build volume defines how much space the machine takes up when printing and how much volume can it take up when the printer is printing.
3. Material Formats:
3D printers require different materials for each model and different types of materials to create a single model.
One thing to look for in a large format 3D printer is the print resolution. The higher the resolution, the smaller the area that can be printed in one go and the less time it will take to complete your design.
5. Design Programs:
The variety of programs compatible with a large format 3d printer is another important factor. Some printers can only work with BMP and STL files while others support more formats.
6. Z Positioning Accuracy:
A large format 3D printer should have some level of accuracy when it comes to the Z-axis movement, which refers to the moving part involved in printing.
7. Easy to Set Up:
If you’re a beginner, it would be better to get a printer that is easy to install and use.
8. Separation Screens/ Kapton layers:
A large format 3D printer needs to have the ability to print without compromising on quality and of course, the thickness of the material used in printing must be able to withstand their pressure in order for the model part to come out without any defects or problems.
9. Speed/Speed Control/Movement Accuracy:
The print speed of a printer is an important factor to consider since your machine could end up taking hours or even days to complete a task. Look for printers that come with a high resolution and are capable of printing at higher resolutions.
A large format 3D printer needs to have support from the manufacturer in terms of technical issues and customer service.
The price you pay for a 3D printer should be in proportion with its features and quality. Don’t compromise on quality for a price that is too low. Price is a very important factor when it comes to purchasing a machine and you should take note of this.
The 15 Best Large Format 3d Printers
1. Prusa i3
The Prusa i3 is an open-source 3d printer designed by Josef Prusa which has exploded in popularity. This printer runs on a single-core, Raspberry Pi computer, which allows the user to print without a PC. As one of the most popular and successful models of large format 3d printers, it comes as little surprise that this model tops our list as the best large format 3d printer.
It comes as a kit and is recommended for intermediate users only. To be successful you must be willing to tinker, re-install and figure things out for yourself. This printer is also compatible with other operating systems besides the Raspberry Pi such as Octoprint directly from your smartphone or PC.
2. FlashForge Dreamer
The FlashForge Dreamer is an open source 3D printer that can fit into just about any space. The printer is relatively lightweight and comes with a fan for quiet operation and to keep the build plate from getting hot. Not only does this model come with a variety of resolution and filament size options, but it also has 1.75mm filament included at no extra cost.
Although the printer is not specifically designed for any other software besides Cura, you are able to download and use the slicer that comes with Windows. Nowadays most people use a user-friendly 3D printing platform such as Arduino or Ultimaker that loads your print directly off your computer and doesn’t require the 3D printer to be connected.
3. Xinkebot Orca2 Cygnus
The Xinkebot Orca2 Cygnus is a high-quality, open source 3d printer that comes with all the standard features you would expect from a quality printer such as an aluminum build plate, 1.75mm filament and automatic bed leveling. Although the price is a bit higher then the other models, this machine is definitely worth it. Just like our number one pick, this model was also designed by Josef Prusa.
The Orca2 uses an 8m stepper motor controlled by Marlin firmware.
4. Ender-5 Plus
The Ender-5 Plus is of professional quality, an open-source 3D printer that is designed for more experienced users. This printer can print materials from ABS to Nylon with ease. Assembled and ready to use, this model offers a 1.75mm hot end for PLA filament and a 0.4mm nozzle for TPU and ABS materials.
The printing surface on the Ender-5 plus is heated to prevent warping and features a 50-micron resolution with any PLA filament. With such detail, you can expect your prints to be truly astonishing.
5. Vivedino Troodon
The Vivedino Troodon is a top-of-the-line mid-sized 3D printer that is designed for people who care about their 3D prints.
This printer has a large build volume with a dual-extrusion system, which allows you to print with multiple materials. This printer also comes with wireless capabilities and an LCD touch screen, allowing you to print uncomplicated prints at home.
The Mendel90 is a large format 3D printer that was designed and developed by Josef Prusa, the same designer behind the Prusa i3. With a built-in slicing software and heated build platform, the Mendel90 has an incredible open-source feedstock support system that can handle PLA, ABS or nylon. This printer also comes with a heated bed and requires no proprietary filament.
This item includes all the electronics, parts and assembly instructions needed to get you started working with your Mendel90.
7. LONGER LK1
The LONGER LK1 is an open-source 3D printer that was designed and built by a team of students in the Netherlands.
Based on the Lulzbot TAZ 5, the LONGER LK1 can be purchased as a kit starting at $2,200. The printing bed on this machine is heated and equipped with a built-in heated build platform for PLA filaments.
8. FlashForge Dreamer Pro
The FlashForge Dreamer Pro is an open source 3D printer that can fit in any space. The printer runs on a single core Raspberry Pi computer, which allows the user to print without a PC. As one of the most popular and successful models of large format 3d printers it comes as little surprise that this model tops our list at the best large format 3d printer.
It comes as a kit and is recommended for intermediate users only. To be successful you must be willing to tinker, re-install and figure things out for yourself. This printer is also compatible with other operating systems besides the Raspberry Pi such as Octoprint directly from your smart phone or PC.
9. Modix Big60 V3
The Modix Big60 V3 is a high-end large-format 3D printer designed especially for professional users. This printer is perfect for those who are looking to make professional-looking products that are in high demand, like prototypes and large objects.
This model comes with a 60 x 60 x 180mm build volume with a resolution of 0.2mm on auto-levelling z-axis. It is compatible with most slicers and offers easily replaceable hot-ends that allow for changing materials without any soldering.
10. Ultimaker 3
The Ultimaker 3 is an affordable, professional, large format 3d printer. It is a top choice that consistently ranks among the top reviewed large format printers. It has a large printing volume of 1000x1000x710mm and can use multiple materials such as PLA, ABS, PVA, and Nylon.
The Ultimaker 3 also offers high build speeds and excellent quality. It was awarded Editors’ Choice on Make: magazine. Its size makes it ideal for building objects that would be challenging with a smaller printer.
12. Makerbot Replicator 2X
The MakerBot Replicator 2X is a great choice if you don’t have an ultimaker printer and want to work with PLA plastics or need the extra space that the larger build volume can provide.
This large-format 3d printer can use multiple types of materials such as PLA, ABS, and PVA. MakerBot Replicator 2X is capable of printing at a speed up to 70mm/sec.
13. Creality Ender 3 – Large Format 3D Printer
This G1-Certified large-format 3D printer from Creality is a great choice for professionals that need extremely high print speeds or PLA plastics because it utilizes UL-certified components for long-lasting reliability.
The Ender 3 is capable of printing at a speed of up to 75mm/sec in addition to high print quality. This large format printer has a large build volume of 1000x1000x710mm, which makes it ideal for professionals who need a lot of work space or people who would like to have the option of working with multiple materials.
14. Lulzbot TAZ 6 – Large Format 3D Printer
The Lulzbot TAZ 6 is a high quality FDM large format 3d printer with a large build volume of 300x300x400mm. It offers high speed and top notch quality.
The Lulzbot TAZ 6 can print at 70mm/sec and is capable of printing with multiple material types such as PLA, ABS, Nylon, PVA, Canvas Flexibles, and more.
15. Makergear M1
The MakerGear M1 is a professional large format 3d printer with an affordable price tag. The large build volume of the Makergear M1 allows it to print with multiple materials such as ABS, PLA, PVA and more. This high quality machine is capable of printing at speeds up to 50mm/sec in addition to optimized print quality for excellent results.
what can large format printers that smaller ones can’t do
They’re often used to print banners, posters, trade show graphics, and other large-format prints. Large format printers can also print on a variety of materials, including fabric, vinyl, canvas, and more. Additionally, large format printers typically have higher resolutions than smaller desktop printers, which means they can produce sharper images and photos. THis is great for business marketing purposes .
One major advantage that large format printers have over smaller desktop printers is their ability to print on a variety of materials. Large format printers can print on fabric, vinyl, canvas, and more, giving you more options for your prints. Additionally, large format printers typically have higher resolutions than smaller desktop printers, which means they can produce sharper images and photos. This is great for business marketing purposes.
What is a 3D Printer?
A 3D printer is a machine that uses computer-aided design software, feedstock such as plastics and light metals, and an extruder or UV-curable resin to produce a three-dimensional object from a digital file.
The 3D printing industry is still in flux with new products coming out on the market every day. As competitors work diligently to make their own printers stand out, let’s look at the best large format 3d printer for prosumers and professionals alike.
Buying an open source 3D printer can seem overwhelming to an inexperienced user. One of the ways that these printers differ from their proprietary counterparts is in the way they are constructed and the features they include. By identifying your print needs and using this guide, you will be well on your way to finding the best large format 3d printer for your needs.
Whatever your reason for buying a large format 3D printer, it seems inevitable that one day soon, you will be adding one to your collection.