3D printers are perhaps the most versatile innovation to come about in the 21st century. With a 3D printer, there are almost no limitations on what can be done. People can design and manufacture specific parts or even entirely new products with just the press of a few buttons. With essentially no limitations on what you can produce, 3D printers can be a massive asset in the manufacturing process of your company or business. However, when looking to incorporate a 3D printer into your small business there are a few different things that you need to consider.
Firstly, what is the level of expertise required to effectively utilize this 3D printer? How costly will it be to acquire a 3D printer and the subsequent materials? How reliable or durable is the printer and what is its expected lifespan? Does the printer’s software allow for integration with our business’s current software? It is essential to answer all of these questions before investing in a 3D printer for your small business.
In this review, we will cover some of the best 3D printers to consider for your small business.
Formlabs Form 3+
Our first 3D printer that we will take a look at is the Formlabs Form 3+. The biggest advantage of this printer from Formlabs is its extremely easy-to-use interface. The Form 3+ is arguably as close as you can get to a one-click 3D printer on the market today. And furthermore, unlike many other machines that require large resin bottles, this 3D printer operates using resin cartridges. These cartridges make maintenance and cleanup significantly easier than many other options.
Along with its easy use and cleanup, the Form 3+ software is great for small businesses. The dashboard allows for access from multiple different users at different terminals. In the dashboard, users can queue up their prints and monitor other projects. This utility makes it a great option for offices where multiple people will need access to 3D printing capabilities. Along with these software features, the Formlabs Form 3+ makes quality products and provides a great support network in case problems arise. Pricing for this 3D printer starts at $3,750.
Markforged Mark 2
The next 3D printer on our list is an amazing option for small businesses that need to produce products that have the strength and structural integrity of metal. Particularly useful for offices specializing in automobile or mechanical designs, the Markforged Mark 2 can produce carbon-fiber or kevlar material which takes the place of typically aluminum products. These carbon-fiber and kevlar parts can be produced at a largely reduced cost to the more expensive metallic options.
Although not as simplistic as the aforementioned printer from Formlabs, the Mark 2 is still a highly user-friendly 3D printer. The software is understandable so you won’t need to bring in an expert engineer in order to operate it. However, Markforged does offer a staff course that your business can attend if you’d like to maximize your investment. More expensive than some other options in the list, quotes for the Mark 2 generally start at around $25,000.
Raise3D Pro3 Plus
The Pro3 Plus from Raise3D is another fantastic printer option to consider, especially for offices looking to produce extremely high-quality products. The 3D printer from Raise3D offers top-of-the-line production quality and can produce larger parts than some of the other options in this list. The Pro3 Plus can be a bit more complex to operate than options like the Form 3+, but for the industrial quality output, it is still relatively simple to learn.
While the biggest advantage of the Pro3 Plus is its industrial quality and product versatility, it also offers great software. Software features include a 3D slicing program, a software template library, and cloud-based integration. Businesses utilizing the Raise3D Pro3 Plus can have multiple people utilizing the software seamlessly whether operating with one or multiple printers.
The Pro3 Plus also offers a wide array of material options ranging from plastic and wood-fill to carbon fiber. Pricing for the Pro3 Plus starts at $7,599.
Original Prusa i3 MK3S+
The final option on our list is an outstanding option for small businesses trying to operate on a budget. The Prusa i3 MK3S+ is an extremely popular option among 3D printing hobbyists. But its high quality and versatility make it a good option for small businesses as well. Although it lacks some of the upper-end features of other products in the list, the printer produces at a similar quality to products that cost nearly 10x more money.
The Prusa i3 MK3S+ is arguably the easiest printer on our list to learn how to use. It lacks some of the product monitoring and fail-safes as other printers on this list, but for its cost, this is a great beginner option. Pricing for the Original Prusa i3 MK3S+ starts at just $1,099.