The 20 best 3D printers in 2017 🏆
Our goal is to cut through the clutter and select twenty of the best 3D printers currently on the market. For this list, we focused on the top-rated consumer 3D printers, also referred to as desktop 3D printers. This 3D printers ranking is based on the metascore we use on Aniwaa, which is calculated using ratings provided by four reliable sources. Please see our methodology below for more details on how we made this ranking of the top 3D printers currently available.
The 20 best 3D printers in 2017
|Rank||3D printer||Metascore||Build volume (mm)||Country||Price (MSRP)||Price check|
|1||Original Prusa i3 MK2||4.7||250 x 210 x 200||Czech Republic||$899|
|2||Makergear M2||4.7||203 x 254 x 203||United States||$1,825|
|3||Formlabs Form 2||4.7||145 x 145 x 175||United States||€3,925|
|4||Craftbot Plus||4.7||250 x 200 x 200||Hungary||$1,044|
|5||SeeMeCNC Rostock Max||4.6||275 x 275 x 400||United States||$999|
|6||BCN3D Sigma||4.5||210 x 297 x 210||Spain||$2,795|
|7||Flashforge Dreamer||4.5||230 x 150 x 140||China||$1,099|
|8||Lulzbot Taz 6||4.4||280 x 280 x 250||United States||$2,500|
|9||3DWox DP200||4.4||210 x 200 x 195||South Korea||$1,299|
|10||Ultimaker 2+||4.4||223 x 223 x 205||Netherlands||€2,499|
|11||Zortrax M200||4.4||200 x 200 x 180||Poland||$1,700|
|12||Lulzbot Taz 5||4.4||298 x 275 x 250||United States||$2,250|
|13||Type A Machines Series 1||4.4||305 x 305 x 305||United States||$3,595|
|14||Lulzbot Mini||4.3||152 x 152 x 158||United States||$1,250|
|15||Flashforge Creator Pro||4.2||225 x 145 x 150||China||$1,299|
|16||Beethefirst 3D printer||4.2||190 x 135 x 125||Portugal||$1,650|
|17||Velleman K8400 Vertex||4.2||180 x 200 x 190||Belgium||$659|
|18||Wanhao Duplicator i3 Plus||4.2||200 x 200 x 180||China||$425|
|19||DreamMaker OverLord Pro||4.2||170 x 170 x 260||China||$949|
|20||Ultimaker Extended 2+||4.2||223 x 223 x 305||Netherlands||$2,999|
The Original Prusa i3 MK2 grabs the top spot of our best 3D printer ranking.
Overview of the best 3D printers in 2017
- Price: $899
- Build volume: 145 x 145 x 175 mm
- Metascore: 4.7/5
The Original Prusa i3 MK2 is an affordable 3D printer made by Prusa3D, a manufacturer based in Praha, Czech Republic. The Original Prusa i3 MK2 is the newest version of the famous Prusa i3 3D printer, packed with many improvements. All parts of this 3D printer are Open Source and are part of the RepRap project. The Prusa I3 design is well known for its reliability, robustness and upgradability. It is also easy to repair and maintain.
- Price: $1,825
- Build volume: 203.2 x 254 x 203.2 mm
- Metascore: 4.7/5
The MakerGear M Series M2 is a desktop 3D printer made by MakerGear, a manufacturer from Ohio, USA. The MakerGear M Series M2is a high-quality and reliable desktop 3D printer. This 3D printer offers a solid combination of features, speed, quality, and price. The M2 can print using ABS and PLA, with its heated print bed. The MakerGear M Series M2 3D Printer is one of the most praised 3D printer and has excellent feedbacks from its users.
- Price: €3,925
- Build volume: 145 x 145 x 175 mm
- Metascore: 4.7/5
The Formlabs Form 2 is manufactured by Formlabs, a Massachusetts-based company founded in September 2011. The Formlabs Form 2 was introduced in September 2015 and replaced the well known Form1+. The Form 2 is based on the Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing technology and uses a laser to selectively cure liquid resin and build an object layer after layer. The Formlabs Form 2 is praised for its high print quality and reliability, however the cost of the printing material (proprietary liquid resin) is quite high. The Form 2 is the top choice SLA 3D printer for professional applications when high resolution is required, in Dental or Jewelry for example. The Form 2 is by far the top resin 3D printer on the market, as shown by its excellent ratings across various sources.
- Price: $1,044
- Build volume: 250 x 200 x 200 mm
- Metascore: 4.7/5
The Craftbot Plus is a desktop 3D printer from Hungary, made by Craft Unique. The Craftbot Plus has a quite large build volume (25 x 20 x 20 cm) and some nice features such as a touchscreen to operate the 3D printer. The Craftbot Plus deserves its spot in the top 5 of the best 3D printers, with its impressive first place if the Plug’n’play category in the 2017 3D printers guide from 3D Hubs. The Craftbot Plus might not be as iconic as other desktop 3D printers such as the Ultimakers, but it’s nonetheless one of the top-rated 3D printers and an attractive product.
- Price: $999
- Build volume: 275 x 275 x 400 mm
- Metascore: 4.6/5
The Rostock Max V3 is the latest version of the classic Rostock 3D printer by SeeMeCNC, a US-based manufacturer. The Rostock Max V3 is a Delta 3D printer and received impressive ratings from 3D Hubs and Make. If you’re looking for a performant delta 3D printer, the Rostock Max V3 might be the one.
3D printer buying guide
How to choose your 3D printer?
- Type of 3D printer
- Price range
Technical considerations when buying a 3D printer
- 3D printing technology
- Print resolution
- Build volume
- Printing material
- Heated bed
- Other Features
3D printer buying tips
In any case, we always advise to take the “best 3D printers” lists with a grain of salt. We built this list as a first step to answer the question: “What is the best 3D printer in 2017?”, which is a complex question that can be answered in many ways, depending on your specific needs, budget and experience.
We definitely recommend to get information from various sources, including 3D printing forums. Be careful in your research, many websites offer so-called 3D printer reviews or best 3D printers lists, but these are often disguised advertising with tons of Amazon links and banners on the page and we found most of these sites do not provide reliable product information. Here are some tools and links to help you further in your search for the best 3D printer:
- 3D printer comparison: we list 1,090+ 3D printers in our 3D printers comparison page.
- 3D printing forums and discussion groups: join some of these groups to get first-hand user feedback and help from the 3D printing community on about any 3D printing-related topic!
- 3D printer reviews: you can browse some of our in-depth 3D printer reviews, carried out in our lab following a strict protocol.
Our 3D printer rating methodology
The metascore: a unique 3D printer rating index
We prepared this list of the best 3D printers using the metascores available on Aniwaa. To calculate these metascores, we index 3D printer reviews and ratings from four trustworthy sources (3D Hubs, Pinshape, Amazon and Make) then calculate an average rating for each 3D printer, which we display on our product pages.
The metascore is the most trustworthy 3D printer rating available today, as it is based on reliable ratings from the four most reliable sources of 3D printing ratings and reviews.
Scope of our best 3D printer ranking
For this list of the best 3D printers, we focused on:
- Desktop 3D printers: we only list here assembled 3D printers from the desktop category. We chose not to include kit and DIY 3D printers as they require specific skills and have a different target audience.
- Under $4,000: we decided to limit the scope of this 3D printer ranking to machines under $4,000, which is already quite a significant investment.
- With enough reliable reviews: we selected 3D printers with ratings available from at least two of the trusted sources we index to calculate our metascore.
Some 3D printers are great but have too few ratings, so we chose not to include them here. For example the Raise N2 Plus got a good rating in the recent Make ranking but this 3D printer does not have reviews on 3D Hubs, Pinshape or Amazon yet. Therefore we could not include it in this list. It does not mean such 3D printers are not great, it’s just that to keep the list useful and actionable for most users, we have to follow strict ranking criteria.
Our sources of 3D printer ratings and reviews
We index four sources of 3D printer ratings to calculate our metascore, among the most trustworthy of the 3D printing industry either because of their crowdsourcing approach and critical mass (3D Hubs, Pinshape, Amazon), or because of their expertise and strict testing protocol (Make).
- 3D HUBS: the well-known “Uber” of 3D printing has collected thousands of detailed and reliable user reviews. These ratings are incredibly useful, as they are crowdsourced and the large volume of data make them statistically relevant. 3D Hubs is among the most trustworthy sources for 3D printer ratings.
- Pinshape: this 3D models platform also collects user ratings on their 3D printers, making it a reliable source of crowdsourced 3D printer ratings.
- Make: this magazine caters to makers of all kinds and their journalists are experienced product reviewers. They test 3D printers following a strict protocol and produce in-depth reviews and ratings, which we list on our 3D printer pages.
- Amazon: the E-commerce giant now offer a 3D printing store where you can find many desktop 3D printers for sale. We aggregate these user ratings on Aniwaa.
Many passionate 3D printing users run their own Youtube channel where they share 3D printer reviews among other 3D printing-related videos. We list the most interesting 3D printer reviews from Youtube on our product pages. However, since Youtubers do not give a rating to 3D printers they test, we cannot take their videos into account to calculate the metascore.
More 3D printing resources
- Do you want to compare all existing 3D printers? Check out our 3D printers comparison engine, we have over 1,000 3D printers listed.
- What’s the best resin 3D printer on the market? Find out with our ranking of the best resin (SLA/DLP) 3D printers in 2017.
- On a budget? Here are 15 cheap 3D printers under $1,000.