Cheap vs. Expensive 3D Printer

The debate of whether you need a high end printer or whether you can get by with a cheaper, off the rack printer has been going on for quite a while. For this short comparison, we examine an experiment carried out between a Printrbot Simple Metal ($599 on Amazon.com) and a Stratasys uPrint SE Pro Printer (Approx. $22,000). The two end products were printed at 0.02mm and 0.01 mm respectively.

In this example, the two printers were used to print a coffee cup. The reason it was chosen is because it is a simple and common 3D model that has some curves and a handle overhang. The STL model was run through the Microsoft 3D Printing NetFabb online service to ensure that is was watertight.

In the end, it comes out less costly to print the cup with a cheaper 3D printer and the result is almost the same. The question is just whether or not you have the money to invest in an expensive printer and materials to achieve slightly better print quality.

For more detailed results of the experiment, you can visit Scott Hanselman's blog with all the details.

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Printrbot Simple Metal

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Stratasys uPrint SE Pro Printer

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Jan. 18, 2018