Ten 3D printers for this year's modellers
The shape of things to come
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