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The best home 3D printers 2013

3D printing has a long road to travel before becoming a regular fixture in homes, but the potential is staggering. Rather than rely on manufacturers to create the objects we desire or need, home 3D printers allow us to do the job ourselves – and from the comfort of our computer. So here are the best home 3D printers (2013) to get your printing revolution started.

Formlabs Form1

Formlabs Form 1 3D printer

Into 3D printing? the Formlabs Form 1 will need no introduction. If not, know that it uses stereolithography, a technique reserved for very costly machines that allows printing accuracy up to 25 microns thin (0.001 in). A few patent infringements threatened to take things off track but thankfully you can still buy it. Not cheap, but one of the best.

Price: $3,299.00 (£2,126) – available from June, 2013
Build area: 125 x 125 x 165mm
Print material: Acrylate Photopolymer Resin
Website: Formlabs

CB-printer

CB-printer home 3D printer

It looks a little like a futuristic bottle opener but the CB-printer would be pretty lousy at taking out corks. Fortunately for budding modellers, it can print 3D models using its 0.2mm extruder head that feeds in the heated, gooey plastic. The unconventional design supposedly allows for faster printing.

Price: From €1,550 (£1308)
Build area: 200 x 200 x 180mm
Print material: Acrylate Photopolymer Resin
Website: CB-printer

Ultimaker

Ultimaker home 3D printer

The Ultimaker is another popular home 3D printer and for good reason. It combines a relatively large print area with a modest footprint so it will leave you some room on your desk or wherever you decide to put it. It comes in either a make-it-yourself kit or ready made – go for the latter unless you feel particularly brave.

Price: €1,194 (£1,008) for kit, €1,699 (£1,434) assembled
Build area: 210 x 210 x 205mm
Print material: Acrylate Photopolymer Resin
Website: Ultimaker

MakerBot Replicator 2

MakerBot Replicator 2 home 3D printer

Yet another veteran of the original RepRap scene, the MakerBot Replicator is now in its second generation and all the better for it. It looks strangely cool (in a geeky way), has a sizable print area and it can use two different coloured plastics at once, thanks to two extruder heads.

Price: US£2,199 (£1,415)
Build area: 285 x 153 x 155mm
Print material: ABS, PLA
Website: MakerBot store

RepRap Prusa Mendel

MakerGear Prusa Mendel RepRap home 3D printer

The RepRap Prusa Mendel is currently the most popular RepRap model in the world and for good reason. The Prusa Mendel costs much less than nearly all of its competitors, helps you build an understanding of how 3D printing works as you construct it and it can be upgraded with printed parts. Yes, this printer can near enough print itself.

Price: £500
Build area: 200 x 200 x 100mm
Print material: Acrylate Photopolymer Resin
Website: RepRap

Objet Connex 350

Objet Connex 500 home 3D printer

If you have very deep pockets and want only the very best, the Objet Connex 350 should be considered. US$20,000 gives you the ability to print as many as 14 materials simultaneously while ensuring your model is very accurately recreated in a physical form.

Price: Price on application
Build area: 342 x 342 x 200mm
Print material: Acrylate Photopolymer Resin
Website: Objet

CubeX

CubeX home 3D printer

This stylish 3D printer comes would make the perfect accompaniment to any desk, thanks to its stylish, industrial design. There’s enough print area to make your own basketball, too, and it comes with its own Cubify software to help you get started.

Price: From US$2,662 (£1,713)
Build area: 275 x 265 x 240mm
Print material: Acrylate Photopolymer Resin
Website: Cubify 3D Systems

RoBo 3D

RoBo 3D home 3D printer

The Robo 3D smashed its Kickstarter target by some margin back in February of 2013. Why, you ask? Even though it’s incredibly cheap, the RoBo 3D is easy to use, has a hefty print area and very high accuracy. An open source community means you can get any help you need when starting out, too.

Price: From US$599 (£386)
Build area: 254 x 254 x 203mm
Print material: Acrylate Photopolymer Resin and PLA
Website: RoBo 3D

3DTouch 3D Printer

3DTouch 3D printer

This beauty of a 3D printer may be the precursor for the CubeX, but if you can find one you will gifted with quality object-oriented printing in a see-through package made of stainless steel and aluminium. Controlling it is done with a touch screen – hence the name.

Price: US$4,000 (£2,575)
Build area: 275 x 275 x 210mm
Print material: Acrylate Photopolymer Resin
Website: BitsFromBytes

Printrbot jr

Printbot jr home 3D printer

Most 3D printers are sizable beasts but the Printbot jr is the exception to the rule. Not only is it dinky, it can be folded when you need to take it anywhere. This is thanks to the PLA plastic-only approach that allows it to ditch the use of a big-old heated platform. Great for younger users and newbies alike.

Price: US$400 (£257)
Build area: 100 x 100 x 100mm
Print material: PLA
Website: Printrbot

DeltaMaker

Sumpod Delta Maker home 3D printer

The DeltaMaker was born out of a simple design ethos; that a 3D printer can look like something else other than a microwave. It’s built around the delta robot platform, allowing it to print more quickly than some of the competition.

Price: US$1,799 (£1,158)
Build area: 254 x 279mm
Print material: Acrylate Photopolymer Resin
Website: Sumpod

Up! 3D PlusUp! 3D Printer

 

Rather than use wood, the Up! 3D Plus is made of cold, hard steel, making it tough as old boots. This particular 3D printer comes fully assembled and while relatively slow at creating your models, it does with impressive accuracy given the price. Software that calculates how much a model will cost to print sweetens the deal.

Price: US$1,549 (£997)
Build area: 140 x 140 x 130mm
Print material: Acrylate Photopolymer Resin
Website: Up! 3D USA

Seemecnc Rostock Max

Seemecnc Rostock Max home 3D printer

Looks slightly familiar? That’s because it uses the delta robot frame we saw earlier with the DeltaMaker. Except the Seemecnc Rostock Max looks more industrial. Apart from that, the printing accuracy is top-notch and the build area is plentiful, particularly in terms of height.

Price: US$999 (£643)
Build area: 230 x 250 x 330mm
Print material: ABS, PLA and other 1.75mm filaments
Website: Seemecnc

Makibox A6 HT and Ramen

Makibox A6 HT and Ramen home 3D printer

Yes, I know you’re thinking the Makibox A6 HT looks a bit, well, unfinished. But what it lacks in style it more than makes up for in value. If you want the added Ramen, a device for turning pellets of plastic into filament, the full kit costs just US$400. Go a little more basic and the A6 LT is a mere US$200 – cheap as 3D printed chips.

Price: From US$400 (£258)
Build area: 150 x 110 x 90mm
Print material: Acrylate Photopolymer Resin, PLA, 1,75mm filament
Website: Makibox

Eventorbot

Eventorbot home 3D printer

Easy to assemble? Check. Able to print out new parts? Check. Reasonably priced? Check. It’s even got a sizable print area and accuracy to boot. Minus the microscope-esque styling, the Eventorbot is a good way to start your home 3D printing revolution.

Price:
Build area:  x  x mm
Print material: Acrylate Photopolymer Resin
Website: Eventorbot

Filabot

Filabot

The Filabot is actually not a 3D printer but it deserves a mention. Why? Because this clever ex-Kickstarter project allows you to turn household plastic waste into the filament you can use to print out new objects. Shame you will have a hard time tracking one down – deliveries are currently only being serving those who backed the project.

Price: From US$350 (£226)
Build area:  N/A
Print material: N/A
Website: Filabot

Leapfrog Creatr

Leapfrog Creatr home 3D printer

The Leapfrog Creatr looks most like a professional 3D printer but it will spare you the need to remortgage your home to afford it. It can have one or two extruders and can print models using just about any type of plastic. And who doesn’t like frogs?

Price: €1,250 (£1.055)
Build area: 230 x 270  x 200mm
Print material: ABS, PLA, PVA
Website: Leapfrog

Lulzbot AO-101 3D Printer

Lulzbot AO-101 home 3D printer

Ignore the internet slang name, the Lulzbot AO-101 3D Printer is the RepRap printing system on steroids. The build area is good and the accuracy is top-notch plus you can print out parts and upgrades at your whim. What really sets this 3D printer apart, though, is the seriously rugged build quality.

Price: US$1,725 (£1,110)
Build area:  x  x mm
Print material: Acrylate Photopolymer Resin
Website: Lulzbot

Bukobot 8 Vanilla

Bukobot 8 Vanilla home 3D printer

Open source fans who love software freedom and shared innovation will love the Bukobot 8 Vanilla. Like the RepRap, it can self-replicate and upgrade itself but it can do so faster and without as much assembling knowledge required. Documentation aplenty will ensure you rarely feel clueless.

Price: US$1,199 (£773)
Build area: 200 x 200 x 200mm
Print material: ABS, PLA and other filaments
Website: Deezmaker

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