Best Personal 3D Printers: Guide to DIY 3D Printers | Sculpteo Blog

Best Personal 3D Printers: Guide to DIY 3D Printers

Posted By Romain Cabanis on Feb 10, 2015 | 9 comments

There’s a 3D printer for everyone on the market today. It doesn’t matter if you’re an individual designer looking to hack objects around the house, a large company looking to manufacture goods for a global market or anyone in between – there’s a printer for you. But it can be a bit confusing having to choose between all of the printers that are available and that’s why we’ve put together this guide to personal 3D printers (if you’re looking for a guide to professional printers that’s available here).

We’ve arranged the information into the following categories:

From there we give you the price of the printer, the printer bed size and a quick review of the printer qualities.

Most of the printers under $10,000 use either Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) or Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). Both of those technologies rely on extruding a heated plastic filament from a nozzle which creates a model layer by layer in varying layer thicknesses. These printers are particularly versatile, as the filaments used during the print can range in material from plastic to ceramics, metallics, and even wood variants!

More recently, stereolithography has emerged as another exciting type of at home 3D printing. These printers feature extremely fine resin prints, utilizing a liquid base which is solidified using a UV light to create the solid objects.

Personal 3D printers differ from professional-grade printers, in that they are much less expensive and the software needed to run them is much more user-friendly. Those factors come at the compromise of quality finishes. Prints from a professional grade SLS printer (like those used at Sculpteo) allow for much greater quality and freedom in design.

We hope this information can help you make the best decision when it comes to a personal printer – but keep in mind that Sculpteo’s 3D printing service is often cheaper and higher in quality (especially when you take the high startup cost of buying a personal printer into consideration).

« 3D Printers for Beginners »

3D Printers for Beginners is a kind of melting pot which contains at the same time good quality printing and good ergonomic. Moreover, some of them can be modified or upgraded. Their handiness is as adapted for beginners for designers, hobbyists and even small businesses.


Makergear M2 (Intermediate)


Price: $1,475
Build area: 254x203x203(mm)
Material: ABS, PLA
Minimum Layer Height: 20 microns

MAKERGEAR M2 has a good precision, quality of prints, build and customer support. Even if noise level can be disturbing, there’s a lack of dual extruder support and not that easy to use.


Ultimaker 2 3D Printer review (Everyone)

Price: $2,500
Build Area: 230x225x205(mm)
Materials: ABS, PLA
Minimum Layer Height: 20 microns

Ultimaker has a good print and build quality, has heated platform and benefit from a big community. Its weaknesses are that it has a lack of dual extruder support and a high cost


Zortrax M200 (Everyone)

Price: $1,990
Build area: 200x200x185(mm)
Minimum Layer Height: 25 microns
Materials: ABS

Zortrax M200 has a good quality of precision, print and build. But a lack of connectivity and dual extruder support and too little materials available.


BEETHEFIRST (Intermediates)

Price : $1699
Build area: 190x135x125(mm)
Minimum Layer Height: 50 microns
Materials: PLA

Beethefirst is nice to look and practice, easy of use, it has also a good print quality. However, it is an expensive 3D printer, not really rapid and has a lack of connectivity.


Stratasys Mojo Professional 3D Printer Starter Package (For everyone)

Price: $5,999
Build volume: 5x5x5 inches
Minimum Layer Height: 178 microns
Materials: ABS

Mojo is easy of use, has a good quality of build and print and a nice reliability. But suffer by its expensive cost and its lack of customer support and open source.

« DIY 3D Printers »

DIY category concerns 3D printers sold in kit. Rather reserved for 3D printing practitioners, the render and quality depend of the machine driver talents. The 2 strong points of DIY 3D printers are that you can totally customize your printer with modifications and upgrades and that prices are kinda accessible.


rockstock max

Rostock MAX (Intermediate/Pros)

Price: $999
Build are: Ø 280mm, h 375mm
Minimum Layer Height: 20 microns
Materials: ABS, PLA

Rockstock MAX by SeeMeCNC is a good machine for its print speed, has a heated platform and a great community. However, it does a lot of noise and has a lack of dual extruder support and calibration


MakerGeeks RepRap Mini Kossel (Intermediate/Pros)

Price: $799
Build area: Ø170mm, h 240mm
Minimum Layer Height: 30 microns
Materials: ABS (optional), PLA

Mini Kossel by MakerGeeks RepRap is recommended for its print speed and quality and also for its pleasant design. Though, it makes a lot of noise, has no heated platform and the volume of renders are restricted relatively small.


Printrbot Simple Maker (For everyone)

Price: $349
Build area: 150x150x150(mm)
Minimum Layer Height: 100 microns
Materials: ABS (optional), PLA

Benefiting of a great community, Printrbot Simple Maker has also a pretty good build and print quality for its price. Nevertheless its renders are relatively small and has a low print speed.

« Best Valued 3D Printers »

BPBP category lists all the best values for money at the market. For relatively attractive prices, and without necessary pass by 3D printers in kit, you can get 3D printers which give you satisfaction according to the sum of your expenses.



Sharebot KIWI (Beginners/Intermediates)

Price: $860
Build area: 140x100x100(mm)
Minimum Layer Height: 100 microns
Materials: PLA

For a relatively low price, you can get an economic 3D printer with good build and print quality. However, it hasn’t heated platform, relatively slow to print and build relatively small.


Printrbot simple metal (Everyone)

Price: $599
Build area: 150x150x150(mm)
Minimum Layer Height: 100 microns
Material: ABS (optional), PLA

The Printrbot simple metal has good quality of build and print and a great community. Though it stays slow and the print volumes are relatively small


Up Mini (Beginners/Intermediates)
Price: $599
Build area: 120x120x120(mm)
Minimum Layer Height: 200 microns
Material: ABS, PLA
Up Mini has a good connectivity, is easy to use and has a good print quality rate, however, it is noisy and has a small build volume.

« Connected 3D Printers »

Connective category contains largest connective supports. All in plug-and-play, this category includes all 3D printers which have WIFI, Ethernet and USB access.




Makerbot Replicator Z18 (For everyone)

Price: $6708
Maximal printing: 305x305x457(mm)
Min Layer Height: 100 microns
Materials: PLA, ABS

We recommend you this 3D if you look for a large panel of materials availability, softwares and a good precision, it also benefit from a large connectivity : Ethernet, Wifi, USB. However the print quality is not that good, not so reliable and has a lack of community.

Makerbot Replicator 5th generation (Beginners/Intermediates)

maker bot

Makerbot Replicator 5th generation (Beginners/Intermediates)

Price: $2,799
Build Volume: 252x199x150
Min Layer height: 100 microns
Materials: PLA

Like the Replicator Z18, the 5th generation benefit from the same connectivities (USB, WIFI, Ethernet). It is relatively easy of use and has a good print quality. Though not a good reliability, makes a lot of disturbing noise, few of community and has a low build quality.


AIO ROBOTICS Zeus (For everyone)

Price: 1,824
Build volume: 145 x 204 x 153(mm)
Min Layer height: 80 microns
Materials: PLA
The AIO ROBOTICS Zeus is easy to use, the price is honest and benefit from a lot of connectivities (USB, Ethernet, WIFI). However, it has not a great community (the product is not very known already) and its prints might disappoint.

« Resin 3D Printers »

Resin category contains special machines which can print in resin. Resin is the third big type of Materials and is used commonly to make transparent prints.



Formlabs F+1 (Intermediates/Pros)

Price: $3,299
Build area: 125x125x165(mm)
Material: Resin
Minimum Layer Height: 25 microns

The new masterpiece of Formlabs, easy of use, highly precise and good print quality. Though it isn’t that reliable, really expensive and has a lack in material availability.


B9 Creator (Intermediates/Pros)

Price: $3,490
Build area: 104x76x203(mm)
Material: Resin
Minimum Layer Height: 5 microns

The B9 Creator is a good choice to print in resin, prints have a good quality and build and benefit from a good community. Its  main weaknesses are it is hard and expensive to use.

« Hand-Held 3D Printers »

Tiny 3D printer category is the youngest concept of 3D printing, the 3D “Pencil”. You now can print forms directly by your hand. The print quality is essentially based on your ability and in your drawing skills.


pen 3D

3D Pen

Price: $118
Size of strands: 1,75(mm)

The 3D pen by Myriwell exists in multiple colors, its design shows that it is adapted for general public. With a very thin stylet, you will can draw fine lines. However, the price can maybe dissuade some from it.



Price: $116
Size of strands: 1,75(mm)
Materials: ABS

Created for 3D concept arts, the YAYA pen can draw fine lines with a pretty good precision. In only one color, the YAYA 3D pen is more appropriate for professionals or hobbyists. The cost stays relatively high.



Price: $75
Size of Strands: 3(mm)
Materials: PLA, ABS

Ideal for kids, 3Doodler hasn’t been created for its precision or to draw fine lines. Relatively low-cost, it will be satisfying for small decorative realisations.

Having said that, Sculpteo stays a good mean to print your objects in 3D if you look for a good render quality and an affordable service.

Thanks to Ckab and 3Dhubs for their pictures.

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