This British Arduino-powered printer is sold as a kit, either with an unpainted wood frame or significantly more expensive aluminium one. Sumpod estimated it will take about a day to build the machine from the parts. As well as FDM extrusion there is an option to mount a Dremel and use it as a CNC device, which helps smooth the not-particularly good extrusion finish. The platform is not heated, so will need to be rigorously cleaned between prints, especially if you have been using the Dremel. The build speed isn’t great but for a low-cost entry into the market for someone with decent engineering skills, it’s a great way to start.
More info Sumpod
Up! 3D Plus
Here we have one of the simplest 3D printers, but made of steel and it's quite robust. It takes in single colour FDM – either ABS or PLA - from a spool with a heated build platform and small desktop footprint. It's possible to construct objects with layer thicknesses of 0.2, 0.25, 0.35 and 0.4mm. There is no onboard data storage nor warning lights other than an LED that flashes when it’s up to temperature. The output quality is excellent for such a cheap printer; this might be helped by the comparatively slow print speed. The supplied software calculates an estimated print time and amount of material needed per job. It allows quite large models for a budget printer with sizes up to 14 x 14 x 13.5cm. ®
More info Denford
Ten 3D printers for this year's modellers
I have no need for a 3D printer but for some strange reason I want one.
I guess it's a sign of how far we've come that you can fill a "10 3D printers" article with credible suggestions, and still leave out some of the biggest names.
@Lee Rowling Re: Cost
"Though there are a couple of models in the "affordable" range there, they seem to be the cheap junk that has poor quality output."
How are you judging the output ?... from the minimum feature size ? Have you seen the output from all these ? Enquiring minds want to know..
"They literally look like someone's attempt to make their own inkjet printer and though I don't doubt they work and are "good enough" for a lot of things, that's all I think of when I look at them. What are we talking about? Three stepper motors, a control board, some supporting struts, belts, chains, gears, and a heated nozzle with a box of raw plastic on top. Just what is in there to cost several thousand pounds?"
The cheap and nasty looking ones don't cost several thousand pounds.
"Honestly, I expect to pay £50-100 for a "homebrew" one of these (i.e. the price range of a half-decent commercial inkjet, or some large homebrew lego project), and £300-500 for a full commercial-quality one."
May I be the first, on behalf of the rest of the world, to apologize for things not yet being what you expect. The nerve of those manufacturers.....
"Until then, I don't see what market they serve."
Evidently not... though i'm left to wonder to whom this reflects more on.
Re: Lack of faith
So after about 10 or 20 iterations of this we will be down to the nanobot level? All hail our nanobot overlords!
Wot no Ultimaker?
Pity that the best hobbiest 3d printer isn't listed.... The Ultimaker (www.ultimaker.com). I print on mine at 0.08mm layer height and have gone down as low as 0.04.... I've compared directly with prints from most of the printers on this list and the Ultimaker blows them all away. As a plywood contraption it doesn't look as good as some of these,but it excels where it counts.
Also, I just have to toss in my 2p on the Replicator.... Makerbot are going the way of Apple... they had a great hacker community but now they've evolved into a corporate environment and have close-sourced everything and are moving towards a closed non hacker-friendly eco-system. They've taken work done by the community and have built proprietary work on it without giving anything back.