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3D Printers You'll Love in 2024

At MatterHackers, we have tested and approved the best 3D printers available in 2024 for your specific need. Whether you're looking for a reliable 3D printer for your business for rapid prototyping, or an educator looking to advance the way your students learn, MatterHackers can find the best 3D printer to fit your requirements.

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3D Printers

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About 3D Printers

At MatterHackers, we have tested and approved the best 3D printers available for your specific need. What type of 3D printer should you buy? Whether you're looking for a reliable 3D printer for your business for rapid prototyping, or an educator looking to advance the way your students learn, MatterHackers can find the best 3D printer to fit your requirements. Our wide selection of the best 3D printers paired with our staff's expert-level knowledge ensures that your additive manufacturing experience will be a success the first time around. We want you to have the best 3D printing experience for your use-case - let us help you find the best 3D printer.

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing, which is also known as additive manufacturing, is a process where physical, three-dimensional objects, parts, or models are made layer-by-layer from Computer-Aided Design, or CAD, and digital files.

How does 3D printing work?

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process of creating three-dimensional objects from a digital design file. The process involves the following steps:

  1. Creation of a 3D design: The first step in 3D printing is creating a 3D model or design using specialized software or 3D scanning technology.

  2. Slicing: The 3D design is then sliced into multiple layers using slicing software. Each layer is essentially a two-dimensional cross-section of the final object.

  3. Printing: The sliced design is then sent to the 3D printer. The printer uses various technologies such as extrusion, powder bed fusion, or vat photopolymerization to build the object layer by layer. The printer reads the design file and creates the object by depositing or solidifying material layer by layer until the final object is complete.

  4. Post-processing: After printing, the object may require post-processing, such as sanding or painting, to achieve the desired finish.

The material used for 3D printing depends on the type of printer and the object being printed. Some common materials include plastics, metals, ceramics, and even food or human tissue. The ability to print with different materials and to create complex geometries makes 3D printing a versatile technology with a wide range of applications, from rapid prototyping to custom prosthetics and even aerospace components.

What Types of 3D printing are there?

There are three main types of 3D printing: 

  • Fused Deposition Molding (FDM)
  • Stereolithography (SLA)
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS

FDM 3D printing is also known as fused filament fabrication (FFF 3D printing), and it is the process where thermoplastic 3D printing filament is extruded through a heated nozzle that melts the plastic, allowing it to follow the path of your digital file layer-by-layer until your object is complete. 

SLA 3D printing is the process where liquid resins are cured or hardened layer-by-layer using a laser, LCD screen, or digital light projector. Once an SLA printed part is complete, it must be post-processed in UV light. 

SLS 3D printing is a type of additive manufacturing technology that uses a high-powered laser to selectively fuse powdered material together, layer by layer, to create a 3D object.

What is the Best 3D Printer in 2024?

There are hundreds of 3D printers to choose from - which one is the best? Finding the best 3D printer entirely depends on what you want to make with your 3D printer, and of course, your budget. Do you want to 3D print big parts or small parts? Do you need to print strong, functional parts, or are you more interested in making models that won't need to be strong? Do your 3D printed parts need to be as clean and detailed as possible, or do you need them to just be functional with little detail? Every 3D printer has different characteristics that will determine which is the best 3D printer for you. If you need help deciding on which 3D printer is the best, contact sales@matterhackers.com and we can help walk you through the hundreds of options available at MatterHackers. 

What are the best-selling 3D printer brands at MatterHackers in 2024?

The top 3D printer brands available at MatterHackers are: 

How Much Does a 3D Printer Cost?

A desktop 3D printer costs anywhere from $165 to $12,500. 3D Printing has become more accessible over the years as more options have become available in a wide price range. 

Is 3D printing hard?

No, 3D printing is easy to do! With the right tools and guidance from the experts at MatterHackers, you can learn to 3D print easily. Check out our article on the Top Ten Tips When Getting Started With 3D Printing and you'll be on your way to 3D printing like a pro in no time. 

Is 3D printer filament expensive?

No, 3D printer filament is not expensive. You can find base materials like PLA, ABS, and PETG for as low as $15.68 per 1kg spool, like our MH Build Series filament.

You can even print with real stainless steel metal on any desktop 3D printer for as low as $129 per 1kg spool, which in the world of metal manufacturing is an incredible rate that is much more efficient than traditional metal machining methods.

More advanced materials can be a little steeper in price based on the materials that they are made from, but all-in-all 3D printing is an incredibly cost-friendly way to create custom parts and products. You can browse all 3D printer filament here

Is 3D Printer Resin Expensive?

No, 3D printer resin is not expensive. You can find 3D Printer resin for as low as $15.97 per 500g bag, like our MH Build Series Resin

Premium resins that are made for specific applications can be a little more expensive than average model resins. However, 3D printing is still a more affordable way to manufacture parts or create models when compared to traditional methods. You can browse all 3D printer resins here

What Can a 3D Printer Make?

You can make nearly anything with a 3D printer. Many industries use 3D printers for rapid prototyping, manufacturing functional end-use parts for products, or even custom jigs and fixtures. 3D printers can also be used in the home for creating fun items, things that break around the house, or even cookie cutters. With 3D printing, the sky is the limit! 

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