The Best 3D Printers for 2020

best 3D printer

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The coronavirus pandemic has shown how versatile 3D printers are and has highlighted an urgent need for expertise about them. Large corporations such as HP and Formlabs as well as indie 3D model makers have been using 3D printers to design and create PPE-like face shields, clips for masks (surgical and homemade) and even hands-free door handle add-ons to help in the fight against COVID-19.

I procured an XYXPrinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0 A Pro after several weeks of working from home without access to a 3D printer. Right away, I made a few fasteners for homemade cloth masks and then tackled some face shields. 

My interest in 3D printing technology and 3D design started back in 2018, when I got deep in the weeds, creating everything from phone stands to tabletop game accessories to a sweet mini Millennium Falcon. Since then, I’ve doubled down, getting into 3D scanning and even laser cutting, which lets you sculpt real-world designs from wood and leather. Luckily, the 3D printing industry has been experiencing a boom, with new technology entering the market to meet all of my 3D printing and 3D scanning needs.

Thanks to growth in the industry, there are plenty of 3D printing options to choose from, but finding a 3D printer that meets your needs and is within your price range can still be tricky. That’s why we’re here to help. We’ve considered the pros and cons of each consumer 3D printer, along with printing speed, print quality, build volume, noise level, design, resolution, print volume, size of the print bed and build plate, whether it includes a heated build plate, conduciveness to additive manufacturing and more. These creative tools, which range from affordable (under $300) to high-end (over $3,000), are awesome gifts for a creative person in your life. And they’re great for you to craft your own personalized 3D modeling designs.

Once you find the best 3D printer and you end up getting completely addicted to 3D printing and dreaming about PLA filament, don’t blame me. (But if you do, here’s a handy 3D printing FAQ that should answer some of your questions). This list is updated periodically.

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