Print bigger at no extra charge: giant 3D printers from 245 euros

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The 3D printer market is constantly evolving. In addition to improving technology and falling prices, the growing installation space is especially exciting. In the past, if you wanted to print large objects, you had to print them in multiple individual parts and then glue them together. Printers that also allow large prints in one piece are much more convenient. Examples of such large capacity printers are the X5SA (test report), X5 SA Pro (test report), Sapphire Plus (test report) or ET5 Pro (test report). But when is it worth buying a great printer?

Resin-Drucker

Resin printers offer the smallest print size. Device and resin costs have fallen sharply, but printing costs are still significantly higher than with the FDM process. In addition, handling the resin is much more complex than using the filament, which is why the devices are only really useful for a few applications. More information on this in the UV resin or plastic filament guide: 3D printers comparison.

Larger resin printers have also been on the market for some time. Technically, they are no different from the smaller models. However, the price differences compared to standard devices are huge. The Anycubic Mono X (test report) with a space of 192 × 245 × 120 mm for around 500 euros is such a model. The Voxelab Proxima 8.9 4K (test report) is the second large resin printer to enter the newsroom. It has an installation space of 192 x 200 x 120 mm and costs just under 600 euros.

Small printer

As a small FDM printer, we define devices with a maximum size of less than 20 × 20 × 20cm. Due to their construction, these printers are compact and also fit on the desk or on a shelf. However, these printers often do without a heated print bed, which limits the choice of filaments. If you want to process materials like ABS or PETG, you need to look carefully. However, when using PLA this is not a problem.

Due to the short process paths, only low mechanical loads act on the individual components and the structure is therefore often not very stable. An extreme example of this is the wobbly Labists X1 (test report), which we cannot recommend despite the competitively priced under $ 80. Even with more massive models, the individual axles are often only attached to one side of the frame. If sensitive components are used, this has no influence on the print result, as we saw when we tested the Wanhao Duplicator i3 Mini (test report) or the Davinci Mini w + (test report ).

If you only want to print small building parts of models, figures or the like, you will also achieve your goal with a small installation space. However, a look at the price comparison shows that this is not reflected in the purchase price and that small FDM printers are relatively expensive. The Wanhao Mini i3 with an installation space of 120 × 100 × 135mm, for example, currently costs around € 170. Significantly larger printers are available for the same price.

Mid-size printers

As mid-size FDM printers, we define devices with an installation space of 20 × 20 × 20 cm up to 30 × 30 × 30 cm. This is the standard size, so most printers are available in this category. These are for example the Ender 3 models that we tested (test report) and our price-performance tip Artillery Hornet (test report), which are available between 130 and 170 euros. Our FDM test winner, the Anycubic Vyper (test report), is available from around 350 euros. However, the external dimensions of these devices are also considerably larger, so you need to specify in advance where you want to install the printer.

If you don’t want to do crafts, you can get ready-made devices in this size as well. Although these are immediately ready to use, they are significantly more expensive. For example, the Qidi X-Plus (test report) with a space of 27 × 20 × 20 cm costs 750 euros.

Printers of this size are generally more stable than smaller printers. Due to the longer travel distances, the loads are also greater and the axes are therefore usually connected to the frame at two points each. The most popular design of such printers is the so called bed pushers. Here, the print bed moves along the y axis, while the print head is responsible for the movements on the x and z axes. The XY base design devices, such as the Qidi X-Plus mentioned above, are a bit more stable, but more expensive and bigger.

In addition to the more space available, the printers also offer great value for money. The popular Ender 3 or the Artillery Hornet, for example, are available for less than 150 euros. If you have enough space, then you should always go for the standard size instead of a mini printer.

Excellent printer

We call large FDM printers with a space of 30 × 30 × 30cm or more. Like the tested Anet A8 Plus (test report), the A8 Plus or the Ender 3 Max, these are available from 245 euros and are therefore not much more expensive than the standard-size models.

Devices like the X5 SA Pro (test report) or the Sapphire Plus (test report), available from around 300 euros, offer even more usable space (over 40 cm3). Since a lot more forces act on the components here, these high capacity printers often use the so called XY-Core design. Here, the print head moves along the x and y axes, while the print platform and heat bed move exclusively along the z axis. While this construction is more complex and requires more space, it is also more stable, which in turn benefits print quality.

In terms of price and equipment, these XL printers are very attractive. However, you need to think well in advance to find out if you actually have enough space available for this. The exterior dimensions of such cars can easily reach 58 × 65 × 66cm (Tronxy X5 SA Pro), which roughly corresponds to a large moving box.

Fully assembled printers with a large installation space are rare and very expensive. The Qidi X-Max (test report) is not yet a real XL printer with a space of 30 × 25 × 30 cm, but it already costs more than 1000 euros.

Conclusion

Very high resolution resin printers have the smallest installation space and the highest costs. Even inexpensive models are significantly more expensive than FDM printers in terms of consumables, and are therefore only attractive in exceptional cases. If you are not using the printer exclusively for detailed thumbnails, you should use a filament printer. If it is a resin printer, we recommend the inexpensive Creality Halot One (test report) or the relatively large Anycubic Mono X (test report).

If there is enough space available, from our point of view it is always worth the little extra cost of a large printer like the Sapphire Plus (test report) or the Tronxy X5 SA Pro (test report) . Large projects can then be implemented here without resorting to glue.

Disclaimer: This article is generated from the feed and not edited by our team.

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