Survey of the Top 5 3D Printers on the Market for 2013

2013 is said to be the year when people start paying more attention to the technology available for them.

In 2012, 3D printers started to get noticed, but not many people were interested in them as they see no use for such a bulky machine.  As more companies focus on this market and people finding more use for the technology, 3D printers are attracting a lot of attention.
There are already a number of 3D printers available in the market and if you’re a first time buyer, the task of picking the best may seem a bit daunting.

So here’s SiliconANGLE’s Top 5 3D printers to help you get started:

Printrbot LC

If you’re not entirely sure about your future with 3D printers and you just want to try it without having to break your bank, the Printrbot LC is the perfect starter kit.  It’s a do-it-yourself kit, which means assembly skills are needed.  It comes with a user manual and all the thing you need to build the printer.  It’s expandable so you can go from small scale to large if you get the hang of 3D printing.  Costs $549.

Afinia H-Series

This is great for people who can’t be bothered with assembling parts as it ships fully assembled.  It is ready to use and delivers good print quality.  It also has a flash memory on the printer itself so after transferring the file to be printed from your computer, you can disconnect or turn off your computer.  The printer’s software accepts industry standard SDL files so it won’t matter if you use AutoCAD, TurboCAD, SolidWorks, SketchUp, 3ds Max, or other drafting and modeling tools.  You work with what you know and print with the Afinia H-Series.  Costs $1,499.

Ultimaker

This do-it-yourself printer takes 3D printing to a whole new level as it prints out faster than other printers while still maintaining good quality prints.  This printer requires some technical skills since you have to build the printer yourself, but don’t worry too much since it comes with a manual and all the parts you’ll need to build it plus a free reel of PLA Silver to get you started on your project.  If you want faster printing, be prepared spend about $1500 for this printer.

Cube

If you want to earn cash and you think selling 3D printed items will bring you good fortune, then the Cube is the 3D printer for you.  You can use it for long period or printing a number of items without having to recalibrate it in order to maintain good quality prints.  It comes with 25 3D file designs so if you can’t think of anything to print, you can just choose from the pre-made designs.  The Cube comes in five colors so it’s quite pleasing to look at plus you can transfer files to be printed via WiFi.  The Cube costs $1,399 or $1,499 for the Cube Print Pack that comes with the Cube, additional cartridge 3-pack, and Cubify Invent.

Replicator 2X

MakerBot is probably the company to beat when it comes to 3D printing especially with its latest printer, the Replicator 2X.  The Replicator 2X debuted at CES 2013 and sparked some outrage when it was announced that it will not be entirely open source, it still made a huge impact in the tech world.  Aside from having a resolution capability if 100 microns which means the outcome has smooth surface, and a build volume of 410 cubic inches, it is able to print in two colors without having to swap filaments of pause printing because of its side-by-side extruders.  Costs $2,799.

Sources: Engadget, Business Insider

About Mellisa Tolentino

Mellisa is a staff writer for SiliconAngle, covering social and mobile news. She is fascinated by technology and loves imparting what she learns through her journey as a writer. Got a news story or tip? Send it to mellisa@siliconangle.com