How to Choose your Next Professional 3D Printer

Posted By on Mar 14, 2017 | 1 comment


Whether you are using 3D printing for rapid prototyping, production or any other purpose, choosing the right 3D printer for your business is the key to success. When it comes to choose the right machine, you have to consider several drivers of materials or costs. We draw up a list of the 2017 professional 3D Printers and how to choose one. 

 

5 Things to Consider before buying a 3D Printer

3D Printing Technology

The first thing to consider before buying a professional 3D printer is the 3D printing technology that fit your needs. SLS, FDM, DMLS or SLA serves different purposes and uses like prototyping or to go into production. The 3D printing technology is also related to the printing resolution that needs to be checked.

 

Material offer

According to the chosen 3D printing technology, you have to look at the material offer of the machine. It is indeed very important to know what material feedstock can be used in a professional printer: plastic powder, metal powder, metal wires, resins etc.

 

Building Size

3D printing is a technology that can be limited by the building size of the machine. Creating very large object or large scale batches requires larger building size and larger machines. However, if you need a professional printer for rapid prototyping of small parts, consider smaller and faster 3D printer.

 

Required Accessories

When one think about 3D printing, it is often mistaken as a nearly automatic technology but it is more complicated than just pushing a single button. Without talking about the CAD design and the preparation of the machine, running a 3D printer also requires to consider support removal, post processes, finishes and maintenance. When it comes the choice of a professional 3D printer, remember to take a look at the associated accessories needed to properly run your 3D printer.

 

Support

Finally, as a professional 3D printer is a complex industrial machine, you have to take a look at the technical support and all the resources to keep your 3D printer in working order. Manufacturers can offer training, tutorials and individual support to the machine owners.

 

3D Printer or 3D Printing Service?

This guide will help you determine the best 3D printer for your business needs but there are other solutions where you don’t have to buy your own 3D printer. You can use our online 3D printing service and take the virtual control of our professional quality 3D printers. More, you have access to a larger material offer, great optimization tools and our qualified expertise to manufacture your parts.

If you hesitate between buying a 3D printer and using a 3D printing service, you can use this tool to facilitate your choice.

The guide is organized by printer technology. For details explaining each process, check out The Different Technologies Behind 3D Printing.

 

 

Note on pricing: Because commercial 3D printers are sold through third-party, licensed resellers, there is not a standard retail price for each printer. Prices are only available via a quote from one of these resellers. We have recorded the pricing below based either on a quote from a reseller that asked to stay anonymous or from another online source (with a link).

 


SLS – Selective Laser Sintering

Applications: designs with moving parts, prototypes, consumer products, architectural models, hardware, electronics housing, sculpture, promotional items

3D Systems sPro 230

3D systems sPro 230 price

Description: One of 5 printers in the Production line of SLS printers.

Feature highlight: Exceptionally fast printing speed.

Price: $850,000

Material: 7 DuraForm® materials

Build capacity: 22 x 22 x 30 in / 550 x 550 x 750 mm

Build rate: 185 cubic inches per hr / 3.0 L/hr

Resolution/Layer thickness: 0.004 in / 0.1 mm

 

EOS Formiga P110

 

EOS P110 price

Description: One of 4 plastic SLS machines from EOS.

Feature highlight: Minimized energy consumption.

Price: $250,000

Material: 4 Polyamide materials & 1 Polystyrene material

Build capacity: 7.9 x 9.8 13in / 200 x 250 x 330mm

Build rate: 0.79 inches per hour / 20 mm per hour

Resolution/Layer thickness: .0024-.0047″ / .06-.12mm depending on material

Machine dimensions: 126 x 137.8 x 118.1 inches / 1320 x 1067 x 2204mm

Note: Sculpteo uses the Formiga P110 as well as the earlier Formiga P100 version for 3D printing in nylon plastic materials.

 

EOS P396

 

EOS_System_P_396

Description: One of 4 plastic SLS machines from EOS

Feature highlight: EOS P 396 consumes for a typical building job (filling ratio 5.8%) about 38% less energy and is up to 32% faster.

Price: $450.000

Material11 materials : PA 2200, PA 3200 GF,
PA 2201, Alumide, PrimePart PLUS (PA 2221), PA 2202 black, CarbonMide,
PrimeCast 101, PrimePart ST (PEBA 2301), PrimePart FR (PA 2241 FR), PA 1101

Build capacity: 13.4 x 13.4 x 23,6 in / 340 x 340 x 600mm

Build rate: up to 48 mm/h (1.9 in/h)

Resolution/Layer thickness: 0.06 mm (0.00236 in), 0.10 mm (0.00394 in), 0.12 mm (0.00472 in), 0.15 mm (0.00591 in), 0.18 mm (0.00709 in)

Machine dimensions: 72.4 x 46.3 x 82.7 in / 1,840 mm x 1,175 mm x 2,100 mm

 

EOSINT P760

eos int p760 price

Description: One of 4 plastic SLS machines from EOS.

Feature highlight: Large build volume.

Price: $800.000

Material: Nearly all 18 EOS materials including Alumide and Carbonmide

Build capacity: 27.6 x 15 x 22.9 in / 700 x 380 x 580mm

Build rate: 1.3 in per hour / 32mm per hour

Resolution/Layer thickness: .0024-.00709″ / .06-.18mm depending on material

Machine dimensions: 88.6 x 61 x 82.7 in / 2250 x 1155 x 2100mm

Note: Sculpteo uses the EOS INT P760 as well as the earlier EOS P395 version for 3D printing larger objects and bulk orders in plastic and alumide.

 

EOSINT P800

Description: One of 4 plastic SLS machines from EOS.

Feature highlight: processing high performance polymers at temperatures of up to 385°C.
Price: N/A

Material: PEEK HP3

Build capacity: 27.6 x 15 x 22.9 in / 700 x 380 x 580mm

Build rate: 0.3 in per hour / 7mm per hour

Resolution/Layer thickness: .005″ / .12mm

Recommanded installation space: 189 x 189 x 118 in / 4.8 x 4.8 x 3m

Note: Sculpteo offers PEEK 3D printing service only on demand – you can request a quote at contact@sculpteo.com

 

Norge ICE 9

ice9_norge

Description: One of 2 plastic SLS machines from Norge

Feature highlight: Low cost SLS 3D Printer

Price: $30.000

MaterialArzauno PA2200 Polyamide (+3D Systems SLS materials)

Build capacity300X300x450mm

Build rate10 to 30mm/hour

Resolution/Layer thickness0.1 – 0.15mm

Machine dimensions: 1500 x 1025 x 410mm

 

3D Systems Pro X 500

3DSystems_pro_500

Description: One of 5 printers in the Production line of SLS printers

Feature highlight: fast SLS 3D printer, up to 7 times faster than average

Price: $500.000

Material: DuraForm® ProX™

Build capacity15 x 13 x 18 in (381 x 330 x 457 mm)

Resolution/Layer thickness0.003 – 0.006 in (0.08 – 0.15 mm)

Machine dimensions68.7 x 48.3 x 90.3 in (1744 x 1226 x 2295 mm)

 

 


Full Color 3D Printing

Applications: figurines, character concepts, decorative objects

3D Systems ProJet 660Pro

projet660 zcorp650 price cost

Description: One of 4 printers in the Professional line of full/multi-color printers.

Feature highlight: Uses CMYK 4 color process for full color 3D printing.

Price: $59,650

Material: VisiJet® PXL (also known as sandstone)

Build capacity: 10 x 15 x 8 inches / 254 x 381 x 203 mm

Resolution/Layer thickness: 0.004 inches / 0.1 mm

Machine dimensions: 74 x 29 x 57 inches / 188 x 74 x 145 cm

Note: Sculpteo uses ProJet 660Pro and its predecessor (the Zcorp 650), for multicolor 3D printing.

 

MCor IRIS 

iris_printer

Description : One of the 4 printers in the Professional line of full/multi-color printers.

Features highlight: Uses a SDL (Selective Deposition Lamination) process that prints directly on paper sheets. Sheets are then glued together and cut.

Price: $15,866 per year for the three-year plan that includes maintenance and supplies.

Material: Paper

Build capacity: 9.39 x 6.89 x 5.9 in / 256 x 169 x 150mm

Build rate: 1.3 in per hour / 32mm per hour

Resolution/Layer thickness: x, y & z axis: 12μ, 12μ, 100μ (0.0004in, 0.0004in, 0.004in) / 0.1 mm (0.004 in) and 0.19mm (0.007in ply colour only)

Machine dimensions: 88.6 x 61 x 82.7 in / 950 x 700 x 800mm

 

3D Systems ProJet 4500

projet-4500-3d-printer

Description: One of 4 printers in the Professional line of full/multi-color printers.

Feature highlight: Combines CMYK 4 color process with durable plastic materials.

Material: VisiJet® PXL (also known as sandstone)

Build capacity: 10 x 15 x 8 inches / 254 x 381 x 203 mm

Resolution/Layer thickness: 0.004 inches / 0.1 mm

Machine dimensions: 74 x 29 x 57 inches / 188 x 74 x 145 cm

Note: Sculpteo uses ProJet 660Pro and Zcorp 650, for multicolor 3D printing.

 

 


SLA – Stereolithography, PolyJet & other Photopolymer Processes

Applications: concept models, prototypes, high-detailed parts & casting moulds

SLA 3D printing examples

3D Systems Projet 3510SD

projet3510 sd price

Description: One of 10 PolyJet printers in the Professional line.

Feature highlight: Sub $100k price tag.

Price: $69,500

Material: 6 VisiJet UV-cured plastic materials + melt-away wax support

Build capacity: 11.75 x 7.3 x 8 inches / 298 x 185 x 203 mm

Resolution/Layer thickness: 32μ (microns)

Machine dimensions: 29.5 x 47 x 59.5 inches / 749 x 1194 x 1511 mm

 

 

3D Systems Projet 5500X

3D systems projet 5500x price
Description: One of 10 PolyJet printers in the Professional line.

Feature highlight: Multi-material parts in a single build

Price: $250,000

Material: VisiJet® 5500X Composites Family (1 ABS-like, 1 rubber-like, 1 polycarbonate-like)

Build capacity: 21 x 15 x 11.8 in / 533 x 381 x 300 mm

Resolution/Layer thickness: 0.0012 in / 32μ (microns)

Machine dimensions: 67 x 35.4 x 65 in / 1700 x 900 x 1650 mm)

 

3D Systems iPro 8000

3D systems ipro 8000 price

Description: One of 3 SLA printers in the Production range.

Feature highlight: Interchangeable Resin Delivery Modules for multiple build envelope capacities.

Price: $540,000

Material: 18 Accura® materials

Build capacity: 11.75 x 7.3 x 8 inches / 298 x 185 x 203 mm

Resolution/Layer thickness: 15μ (microns) depending on material

Machine dimensions: up to 59 x 29.5 x 21.65 in / 1500 x 750 x 550 mm

 

 

EnvisionTEC Perfactory 4 DSP

envisionTEC perfactory 4 price

Description: One of 5 printers in the Perfactory Standard Family.

Feature highlight: Uses a proprietary liquid curing technology.

Material: 6 “E-Shell” plastic materials in a variety of colors

Build capacity: 6.3 x 3.9 x 6.3 inches / 160 x 99 x 160 mm

Resolution/Layer thickness: 15μ (microns) depending on material

Machine dimensions: 29 x 19 x 53 inches / 73 x 48 x 135 cm

 

EnvisionTEC ULTRA 3SP

envisionTEC ultra 3sp price

Description: One of 3 printers in the Ultra Family.

Feature highlight: Uses “ground-breaking 3SP™ (Scan, Spin and
Selectively Photocure)” process

Material: 3 3SP™ materials including ABS-like and glass-like

Build capacity: 10.5 x 7 x 7.6 in / 266 x 177.8 x 193 mm

Resolution/Layer thickness: 0.004″ / 100 µm (microns)

Machine dimensions: 29 x 30 x 46 in / 74 x 76 x 117 cm

 

EnvisionTEC Xtreme 3SP

envisiontec xtreme 3sp price

Description: One of 2 printers in the Industrial Printer Family.

Feature highlight: Large format, high speed.

Material: 3 3SP™ materials including ABS-like and glass-like

Build capacity: 10 x 15 x 13 in / 254 x 381 x 330 mm

Resolution/Layer thickness: 0.004″ / 100 µm (microns)

Machine dimensions: 64 x 55 x 72 in / 162.5 x 140 x 183 cm

 

Stratasys Objet30 Pro

Objet30 Pro price cost

Description: One of 10 PolyJet printers in the Design Series.

Feature highlight: Sub $50k price tag.

Price: $43,000

Material: 5 Vero resin materials, 2 advanced fuction materials + support material

Build capacity: 11.57 x 7.55 x 5.85 in / 294 x 192 x 148.6 mm

Resolution/Layer thickness: 0.0011 inches / 28µm (microns)

Machine dimensions: 32.28 × 24.4 × 23.22 in / 82.5 × 62 × 59 cm

Note: Sculpteo uses an Objet30 Pro for 3D printing resin.

 

Stratasys Objet500 Connex3

objet 500 connex3 price

Description: One of 10 PolyJet printers in the Design Series.

Features highlight: 8 print heads for color 3D printing & multi-materials.

Price: $330,000

Material: Mulitple material & material combinations including ABS, Vero resins, Tango flexible materials, and advanced function materials + support material

Build capacity: 19.3 × 15.4 × 7.9 in / 490 × 390 × 200 mm

Resolution/Layer thickness: down to 0.0006 in. / 16μ (microns)

Machine dimensions: 55 x 50 x 43.3 in / 1400 x 1260 x 1100 mm

 

 

Stratasys Objet1000

 

objet1000 price
Description: One of 10 PolyJet printers in the Professional line.

Feature highlight: Extra-large build volume & multi-materials.

Price: $600,000 (quote from licensed reseller)

Material: Mulitple material & material combinations including ABS, Vero resins, Tango flexible materials, and advanced function materials + support material

Build capacity: 39.3 × 31.4 × 19.6 in. / 1000 × 800 × 500 mm

Resolution/Layer thickness: down to 0.0006 in. / 16μ (microns)

Machine dimensions: 110.3 × 70.9 × 70.9 in / 2800 × 1800 × 1800 mm

 

 


 

CLIP Technology

Applications: Prototypes, Functional objects and technical parts. Thanks to the engineering resins, you can create both functional prototypes and end-use products.

 

 

Carbon M1

Description: the unique printer from Carbon

Material: CLIP engineering resins (RPU, EPU, CE …)

Build Capacity: 142 x 79 x 330 mm / 3.94 x 3.10 x 5.5 in

Resolution/Layer thickness: 100 µm

Machine dimensions: W 540 mm x D 654 mm x H 1734 mm

 

 

 

 

 


FDM – Fused Deposition Modeling

Applications: Concept, Functional Model and Prototype, Manufacturing Tooling and Molding, End Use Parts.

FDM models

 

Dimension1200es

Description: One of 2 printers in the Design Series.

Price: $33,000

Material: ABS in 9 colors + 2 kinds of support material

Build capacity: 10 x 10 x 12 in / 254 x 254 x 305 mm

Resolution/Layer thickness: 0.33 mm (0.013 in.) or .254 mm (.010 in.)

Machine dimensions: 33 x 29 x 45 in / 838 x 737 x 1143 mm

 

Fortus 900mc

Description: One of 4 printers in the Production Series. This is the largest and prints the most materials.

Price: $400,000

Material: 9 advanced functionality thermoplastics + 2 kinds of support material

Build capacity: 36 x 24 x 36 in / 914 x 610 x 914 mm

Resolution/Layer thickness: 0.330 mm (0.013 in.) / 0.254 mm (0.010 in.) / 0.178 mm (0.007 in.) depending on material

Machine dimensions: 109.1 x 66.3 x 79.8 in / 2772 x 1683 x 2027 mm

 

 


Wax Printing

Applications: high-detail prints for moulds & lost wax casting, ideal for jewelry, replicas, figurines, and medical devices

3D Systems ProJet® 3510 CPX

projet3510 price

Description: One of 4 printers in the Professional line intended for moulds and casting.

Feature highlight: High resolution & detail, large build volume.

Material: VisiJet® Hi-Cast (100% wax)

Build capacity: 11.75 x 7.3 x 8 in / 298 x 185 x 203 mm

Resolution/Layer thickness: 16µm – 33µm (microns)

Machine dimensions: 29.5 x 47 x 59.5 in / 749 x 1194 x 1511 mm

 

 

Rapid Shape S30 L

rapid shape s30 wax printer price

Description: One of 4 Rapid Shape printers made especially for jewelry casting.

Feature highlight: Exceptionally high resolution & detail.

Price: $60,300

Material: wax resins

Build capacity: / 3.1 x 1.7 x 3.1 in / 83 x 46 x 83 mm

Build rate: 10 mm per hour

Resolution/Layer thickness: 25µm – 100µm (microns)

Machine dimensions: 9.6 x 24.4 x 12.6 in / 245 x 620 x 320 mm

Note: Sculpteo uses the Rapid Shape S30L to first print in wax before casting in sterling silver.

 

 

Find the full list of professional metal 3D printers on this blogpost

 

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1 Comment

  1. Great post! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend. Also great blog here with all of the valuable information you have. Keep up the good work you are doing here.
    Commercial Printers

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