The Best 3d Printer In Australia For 2020

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A 3D printer is one of the best tools for designing and creating products, gadgets and prototypes. They offer a quick, convenient, and reliable way of testing out your ideas and allow you to create an unlimited variety of products in impressive time.

The best 3D printers are cost-effective, easy to use, and offer consistently high print quality. As you may have already seen, there are lots of 3D printers available ranging from hobbyist desktop models to expensive professional models, and choosing between them can be confusing.

To help you find the best 3D printer for you we’ve reviewed some of the top options available in Australia. The buyer’s guide later in the article will help you find the one that best suits your printing requirements.


1. Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer (Top Pick)


Comgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer with Removable Build Surface Plate and UL Certified Power Supply 220x220x250mm

The Comgrow Creality Ender 3 is a great value option that is ideal for a first 3D printer. It comes at a low price point and is easy to modify to suit your requirements.

The magnetic build surface plate provides all-round protection to the build plate and ensures the build surface maintains a consistent temperature. The Ender 3 has a safe, stable and efficient power supply and is protected from power surges. If there is an unexpected power outage the printer can resume from the last recorded position once the power returns meaning your printed item won’t be impacted.

The 40 x 40 axis frame improves the stability of the printing platform. After cooling, removing the printed models is easy. The set comes semi-assembled and is fairly simple to set up, there are many online videos that can help with this process if needed. This 3D printer comes with a 12 month warranty as well as lifetime technical assistance and 24 hour customer service.


What We Like:

Value for money
Stable power supply
Resume printing function

What We Don’t Like:

Putting the printer together can take time (it’s recommended you watch the videos and carefully read the instructions to ensure it is assembled correctly)


2. Monoprice MP Select Mini 3D Printer V2


The Monoprice MP Select Mini 3D Printer V2 is a low-cost printer that comes fully assembled, calibrated and ready to print.

The heated build plate and wide range of temperature options mean the Select Mini 2 can be used with all types of filaments from basic ABS or PLA to more advanced conductive PLA, dissolvable PVA and wood or metal composites.

This model’s small footprint makes it compact and perfect for being used on a desktop. The printer also comes with a micro SD card with preinstalled models so you can start using the printer right away. This desktop 3D printer is compatible with PC and Mac and can be used with a range of software including Repetier and Cura.


What We Like:

Versatile
Ready to use out of the box
Compact size

What We Don’t Like:

Small print area


3. Ultimaker S3 3D Printer


If you are looking for a 3D printer that can handle advanced printing and can instantly be part of your in-house production the Ultimaker S3 may be the best 3D printer for the job.

It has a small footprint but offers massive performance abilities making it one of the best 3D printers for versatility. The Ultimaker S3 has a user-friendly touch screen to access the interface and operate the machine. This is a closed frame model, the glass door at the front of the printer creates a more controlled environment making the 3D printing more reliable.

The Ultimaker S3 can print via wi-fi, LAN, cloud or USB. The print quality is excellent and this model is capable of printing with composite materials so can handle more demanding and advanced applications. The filament flow sensor ensures your printer never runs out of material and the advanced active levelling enables unattended use. Creating a 3D print is made easy with this model and you can expect great results from every use.


What We Like:

Best 3D printer for handling advanced applications
Compatible with composite materials
Filament flow sensor

What We Don’t Like:

Expensive


4. Creality LD002R UV Photocuring LCD Resin 3D Printer


The LD002R from Creality are low-cost 3D printers that are user-friendly and convenient to use. The printers work by using a powerful UV light that produces fast, precise 3D printing and the settings can be changed using the 3.5 inch colour touch screen display.

The LD002R has a robust build and is capable of printing larger print volumes and bigger prints. The ball linear rails keep the Z axis stable to produce a smooth surface on each 3D print. The system also uses anti-aliasing to reduce jagged edges on prints.

Another useful feature is the quick levelling print plate, this means it will lower to the vat and align with the level of the screen. The print plate is perforated which is a feature typically only seen on larger machines to help remove the models from the 3D printers once complete. The LD002R also has an air filtering system built in to help remove the smell of exposed resin from the build area.


What We Like:

Can produce large prints
Anti-aliasing
Quick levelling print plate

What We Don’t Like:

LCD touchscreen could be better quality


5. Formlabs Form 3 3D Printer


If you are looking for a 3D printer that can grow with your business the Formlabs Form 3 is a great option. It produces consistent printing with precise control.

The Form 3 monitors printing performance and helps maintain ideal print conditions while alerting you to problems. 3D printing is fast thanks to the high-frequency galvanometer and you can easily switch between filament or material type using the cartridge system. Prints can be sent over wi-fi, previous jobs can be reprinted and the print queue can easily be managed through the touchscreen interface.

For ease of use, many of the components are user-replaceable so your workflow doesn’t need to be impacted by minor repairs. This printer is ready to be used immediately and offers good print quality with a fast turnaround time.


What We Like:

Easy to use
Fast, precise printing
User-replaceable components

What We Don’t Like:

Cartridges can be wasteful


6. Flashforge Creator Pro 3D Printer


The Flashforge Creator Pro is a compact printer that is a great option for anyone looking to try 3D printing without having to pay a fortune for the equipment.

This model has an LCD display and keypad to make the controls easily accessible. The build plate is thick to help it hold its temperature even if the environmental temperature changes suddenly. The heat retention chamber helps to reduce warping of fragile items such as ABS 3D printed parts.

The Flashforge 3D printers can be used with the Flashforge Flashprint 3D slicing software but you can use it with other software too.


What We Like:

Good price point
Easy to use
Produces high quality prints

What We Don’t Like:

Requires an SD card to load prints rather than offering the ability to send prints over wifi


7. Prusa I3 MK3S 3D Printer


Prusa I3 MK3S is a reliable and trusted 3D printer. It is one of the best 3D printer options if you are just starting out. The frame is strong and rigid, allowing it to produce a steadier print with higher accuracy.

The I3 MK3S needs to be assembled but the assembly is straightforward and requires minimal tools (the required equipment is included in the box). Each section comes with its own bag and size chart to make it as easy as possible to assemble the printer. If you aren’t sure about building it yourself, you can request it is assembled and tested before shipping too.

One of the best 3D printers for beginners, this model offers crash protection that detects crashes and potential issues ahead of time. If the power does go out, the 3D printer will smoothly power down and up so the transition won’t impact your work and no information will be lost. This means when the power returns the Prusa 3D printers can continue where they left off and you don’t have to worry about setting or re-entering information.


What We Like:

Reliable option
Crash protection
Simple assembly

What We Don’t Like:

High price


3D Printer Buyer’s Guide


When choosing between 3D printers there are lots of factors to consider from build volume to filament type and print resolution. Before we take a look at what features you may or may not need, let’s see what printing technology you plan to be using:

3D Printing Technologies

When it comes to 3D printers, there are 9 different printing technologies that are commonly used. These include:

  1. Fused deposition modelling (FDM)
  2. Stereolithography (SLA)
  3. Digital Light Processing (DLP)
  4. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  5. Selective laser melting (SLM)
  6. Laminated object manufacturing (LOM)
  7. Electronic Beam Melting (EBM)
  8. Binder Jetting (BJ)
  9. Material Jetting (MJ)

We won’t go into detail about all 9 technologies as Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) and Stereolithography (SLA) are the two options that are most commonly used by 3D printing hobbyists:

  • FDM is the most common technology for home use, as FDM 3D printers tend to be the least expensive option. They are also the easiest to find and there are a number of options with different sizes, features and abilities to choose from. These desktop 3D printers work by heating and shaping a thermoplastic filament layer by layer. The print table or build plate lowers slightly with each layer so the next layer can be applied on top.
  • SLA 3D printers are also one of the best 3D printer options for home use because they offer high print quality with a smooth finish. The SLA printers don’t work with filament like the FDM 3D printers, instead, they work by exposing a photosensitive resin to an ultraviolet laser beam. The resin then hardens and solidifies to create the 3D object (this process also happens layer by layer). SLA 3D printers cost more but offer high-quality results.

What You Will Be Printing?

Before comparing products on the market, think about what objects you plan to be printing and the scale of your setup. The 2 core categories relate to your build volume and the object size:

  1. Small scale/ hobbyist – these 3D printers are compact, affordable and are perfect for making small objects and gadgets. Think about how often you will be using the printer and how many objects you plan to create on a regular basis.
  2. Large-scale production – these are much larger, more expensive 3D printers that have a large build area and can handle a high build volume. Large scale models are the best 3D printers if you have a high output volume and need printers that can be part of your production line.

Common 3D Printing Materials

The 3D printing material is basically which filament or resin you choose to use for your object. There are lots of filament types available, the ones you use will depend on the object you are making. The most common filament materials include:

  • Polylactic Acid (PLA) – this is a plant-derived plastic that degrades if left exposed to the sun for a long time and can also deteriorate with too much moisture. This makes the filament suitable for use indoors but not the best choice for outside applications.
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG) – this is a food safe plastic but if you want to make food safe objects there are many other considerations and steps to take. This is because an FDM printer creates objects using layering which means bacteria, moisture or food can easily get trapped in the filament layers making the object itself not food safe.
  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) – this is a very sturdy plastic that is best suited to a closed frame 3D printer. It needs a lot of heat to set and is good for outdoor requirements.

Resin is also very popular and is used with SLA and DLP printer technologies. The liquid resins used are often either:

  • Standard resin – this is clear, grey or white and is great for desktop gadgets or prototypes. It is not well suited to creating final products as the resin is not sturdy enough.
  • Tough resin – this is best suited to engineering settings and professional use. They are tougher than standard resins so are suitable for higher impact uses.
  • Medical grade resin – this is used in medical fields and can be used to create a wide variety of items such as hearing aids.

Open Framed Vs Closed Frame

  • Open Frame – an open frame model allows you to quickly and easily access the print bed. It is a convenient option but it also leaves the printing more exposed.
  • Closed Frame – a closed frame model is safer (particularly if you have young children or pets around the house) and helps reduce odours too (the smell of burning plastic is common when 3D printing). Many people believe these are the best 3D printers because they keep the printing environment more controlled while also reducing the printing noise.

Print Speed

When it comes to 3D printing, the print speed and the print quality come hand in hand. A lower print speed means a better print quality is achieved. If you choose a printer that prints quickly it may save you time and get you the finished product more quickly but the output quality will be less. It’s best not to put any focus on the print speed until you have first determined what you will be printing.

The layer height, print resolution, size and complexity of the object you are printing will all impact the print speed. If you are deciding between two similar 3D printers, the best 3D printer is likely going to be the one offering the lower print speed as the results should be better in quality (particularly if the objects you are printing are going to be large and high quality).

Print Resolution

The best 3D printers let you adjust the resolution of your final print. Lower resolutions tend to be around 25 microns and higher resolutions are around 100. Smooth printing can be achieved with a combination of resolution, layer height and belt tension all adjusted to the right settings for the object. Ideally, you will want to get a printer that is easy to adjust and has a high number of microns (a high resolution) listed in the specifications.

Print Bed

The size of the print bed or build area is crucial as it determines the maximum size of the object you can print. A bigger print bed, the larger the print you can make.

The build area can be heated or not heated and it is important as the print bed holds the filament in place before printing begins. A heated print bed is needed if you are working with Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) but isn’t as essential if you are working with Polylactic Acid (PLA) so make sure you take into account the material you will be working with when choosing the best printer.

Features

  • Cooling function – as a safety feature, some 3D printers will cool the nozzle and heated print bed after a print job is complete.
  • Nozzle safety when paused – some models will move the nozzle away if the job is paused or finished, this prevents heat damage and stops any excess filament from forming.
  • Touch screen user interface – having a quality 3D printer is no good if you don’t know how to use it. A user-friendly control panel will help you adjust and update settings easily. Being able to clearly see and change the printers settings makes it easier for you to design and create objects exactly as you want them.