There is a growing market for large-format 3D printers aimed at consumers and small businesses.
That’s because a large format 3D printer is ideal for exploring product development stages with rapid prototyping without having to invest in a full-scale industrial additive manufacturing solution. Whether you’re a maker looking to take on big projects or a small business looking for a sizable professional 3D printer, there’s a large-format 3D printer out there that will suit your production needs.
See Also: 16 Best 3D Printers of Fall 2018
In the following list, we’ll share the best of both worlds with you, showcasing everything from consumer 3D printers under $1,000 to professional-grade machines up to $10,000. If you are not sure about buying a large format 3D printer, then we recommend you skip ahead to Factors to Consider Before Buying a Large Format 3D Printer for your Business.
Otherwise, you can scroll on to our comparison table of the best large 3D printers. They are sorted by price.
Finally, a budget large-format 3D printer that isn’t a clone or iteration of the Creality Cr-10! The Tronxy X5S has a build volume of 330 x 330 x 400mm. It has an open and minimalistic box-like design, with a double Z-axis that adds stability to the printing process. This 3D printer comes in the kit form, so you’ll have to spend a few hours putting it together.
Learn more: Tronxy X5S 3D Printer: Review the Facts Here!
There have been some concerns about the electronics and heat management on this printer, but at around $300, it’s no surprise that this large-format 3D printer kit is a fixer-upper.
The JGAurora A5 is another large-format 3D printer that has situated itself in the budget segment of the market. It has a 305 x 305 x 320 mm build volume and some unique features, such as power recovery mode and filament run-out detection. Not too shabby for a 3D printer in the $300 range.
This 3D printer has a black diamond glass heated platform, which is comparable to popular Anycubic Ultrabase, helping large prints stick to the bed. Like so many other cheap 3D printers, there are certainly some flaws within the JGAurora A5 (such as electronics issues and concerns about the accuracy of the Z-axis homing), but it’s still worth looking at if you want an intuitive and feature-rich large-format 3D printer at a low price.
The Creality CR-10 has emerged as the staple budget 3D printer for makers that want a large build volume without breaking the bank. The design has since been expanded upon and mimicked by other 3D printer manufacturers, but the original version deserves a spot on our list of large-format 3D printers.
Priced at under $400, the Creality CR-10 3D printer offers 300 x 300 x 400mm build volume, which is pretty enormous for such a cheap desktop machine. The manufacturer has even developed new iterations that are even bigger, but we’ll get into those further down the list.
Aside from the sizable build volume, the Creality CR-10 also has a removable glass bed, a simple and easy-to-assemble design, an intuitive control scheme and a massive community of users. If you’re looking for an affordable large-format 3D printer that is widely respected by the 3D printing community, the Creality CR-10 might be exactly what you’re looking for.
The downside of the Creality CR-10 is the awkward arrangement of its components. While a heated bed is certainly essential for a large format 3D printer, the open-face design means your print jobs will be susceptible to changes in ambient temperature. In short, it probably isn’t suitable to print with more demanding filaments like ABS.
An upgrade over the original Folger Tech FT-5, the new R2 version is a large format 3D printer kit that has a generous build volume of 300 x 300 x 400mm. Despite being priced at under $500, this 3D printer has a solid aluminum frame, linear rails on the X and Y axis and dual Y motors. The heated aluminum build surface makes this 3D printer compatible with a range of materials, including PLA and ABS. All in all, the Folger Tech FT-5 R2 is ideal for makers and prosumers that want to build their own large-format 3D printer.
Is the 300 x 300 x 400mm build volume of the Creality CR-10 just not quite big enough for your printing needs? You can always opt for the Creality CR-10 S4 instead. This enhanced large-format 3D printer offers a 400 x 400 x 400mm print area, giving users more room to work on the X and Y-axis.
Aside from the increase in build volume, the S4 doesn’t differ much in comparison to the original Creality CR-10. Using the same design, the Creality CR-10 S4 is easy to assemble and features XYZ aluminum V-slot bearings and precision rollers which provide high positioning accuracy, which creates a smoother printing experience.
Similarly to the Creality CR-10, this model will also likely struggle with engineering-grade materials like ABS, making this printer best-suited for those who do a majority of their printing with PLA or other easy-to-print materials.
Since its release in summer 2016, the Creality CR-10 has created something of a stir in the 3D printing community. As we explain in our review, the excitement surrounding this large-format 3D printer is entirely justified.
If you want to go even bigger, the CR-10 S5, which has a 500 ✕ 500 ✕ 500mm build volume, is a viable option when it comes to large-format 3D printers.
For those with smaller pockets and less ambitious requirements, Creality offers the CR-10 S4 with a build volume of either 400 x 400 x 400 mm or the CR-10S with a build volume of 300 ✕ 300 ✕ 400 mm. Ironically, even the smallest model dwarfs many other 3D printers in its price category.
The SeeMeCNC Rostock Max V3 is another large-format 3D printer that’s available in DIY kit form, but for a little extra cash, you can also find it pre-assembled and ready to print out of the box. Noteworthy features of this Delta-style unit is the RAMBo by UltiMachine electronics, one of the best available 3D printer controllers, and the SeeMeCNC HE280 hotend, which is capable of printing in strong industrial grade materials like Nylon. These high-end components, combined with the massive vertical build volume, makes it a great large format 3D printer for industrial projects and prototyping.
A newer SeeMeCNC Rostock Max V3.2 is available for $600 or so more, but for a sub-$1000 printer, the V3 is a robust choice.
The CraftBot XL positions itself as an indispensable tool for engineers and others makers who require a substantial build volume. Taking the CraftBot Plus as the foundation — which is a pretty sound decision, seeing as that is a renowned plug and play machine — the designers of this large-format 3D printer have enlarged the build plate, increased its heating capacity, and improved bearings for more silent and precise operation.
The da Vinci Super is an enclosed large volume 3D printer from XYZprinting and represents their first foray into the professional 3D printing market for engineering and small business. In addition to the large capacity, the company boasts that their machine can handle multiple types of filament — including ABS, PLA, TPE, Tough PLA, and PETG — and is also compatible with third-party filaments. There are also hardware improvements addressing safety and functionality, such as power failure recovery feature and a safety door that pauses printing when opened. Above all else, you can rest assured that the da Vinci Super is a large format 3D printer that will be extremely competitive on price.
Large Format 3D Printer Review: Lulzbot TAZ 6 Review - Best Workhorse 3D Printer of Fall 2018
The LulzBot Taz 6 is the best large format 3D printer of 2017 and our best value pick. Why? For a myriad of good reasons; the pioneering open source credentials of US company Aleph Objects; the frankly excellent supporting documentation; and the trust engendered by consistent and reliable operation.
In our recent review, we hit a couple of snags with the latest version of Cura LulzBot Edition for slicing. This is a bit annoying, but there are more slicer software options available. More promising is the ecosystem of accessories to expand the capability of the Taz 6. These include the Flexystruder for printing with flexible materials, a dual extruder print-head, and a modular print bed system.
The Zortrax M300 is a super-sized version of the proven and popular Zortrax M200. It was released in response to customer requests for a large format 3D printer that would enable printing models in one piece without the need to split and then assemble it. As with the M200, files are transferred from the computer to the printer via SD cards.
The perforated, heated build platform on this large-format 3D printer is the essential feature that allows you to print ABS filament reliably and with ease. Materials are provided on massive 2kg spools, with indicators to see how much filament is left.
Another upgrade that has immediate effects on the quality of the prints; the M300 ships with side covers that help maintain a constant temperature. This mitigates warping that can occur when there are sudden changes of temperature in the workspace.
If you need a large format 3D printer that works out of the box with minimal setup, and which produces reliable and consistent results, then the Zortrax M300 would make a great large format 3D printer for your small business.
The New York City startup gCreate knows all about large format 3D printers, and its most telling example is the skyscraper-like gMax 1.5 XT+. With a 406 x 406 x 533mm build volume and a sturdy frame, this machine is ideal for hobbyists, prosumers and small businesses that want to produce objects that are enormous in size and exceptional in quality. Other features include a 16-point mesh auto bed leveling and an E3D v6 all-metal hot end. The Black Anodized 80/20 aluminum frame provides impeccable durability and sturdiness and includes carbon-fiber laced 3D printed components.
The Modix Big 60 offers accessibility, affordability and a large build volume, making it a great option for professionals who want a giant print area without spending too much. The 610 x 610 x 610mm build volume is its most noticeable feature, but that’s not all this large-format 3D printer has to offer.
It has an E3D high flow Volcano heating block, fully automatic bed leveling, dual zone silicon heater for the print bed, a PEI print surface, a filament run-out sensor, and 10mm Polyurethane timing belts with steel cores. The company also offers optional upgrades like dual extrusion, Wifi compatibility, an enclosed frame, and various nozzle sizes.
All of these features, along with a massive build volume, will only cost you around $3,500. While this 3D printer might seem expensive compared to some of the budget options on our list, the Modix Big 60 offers a lot of bang for your buck.
The Raise3D N2 Plus features a whopping build volume of 300 x 300 x 600 mm. This and a fully enclosed design comprised of a sturdy aluminum metal frame and plastic casing make the N2 Plus a winningly competent printer for temperature sensitive materials prone to warping without careful temperature management. The fully enclosed nature of the machine also makes it relatively safe from prying hands –an ideal fit for schools and businesses. This same model of large format 3D printer is also available with dual extruders.
It’s worth noting that the N2 Plus has been replaced by the newer Pro2 Plus, though some resellers still stock it.
The BCN3D Sigmax belongs to a select group in the large format 3D printer category; it boasts an independent dual extrusion (IDEX) system.
The benefits of an IDEX are quite significant. Not only can you use both heads to print a single object in two materials (especially handy for providing dissolvable support for objects with complex geometry), but you can use both heads to print separate objects simultaneously, which should cut your small batch production times in half. This comes in especially handy with a horizontal Y-axis that’s 420mm wide.
Important to note, however, is that the supporting slicer software here is a fork of Cura. To get the full experience with this large-format 3D printer, you’ll be relying heavily on software which has been tweaked and developed in-house by BCN3D and doesn’t always keep step with the universal version of Cura.
BCN3D recently unveiled an updated version of the Sigmax, the Sigmax R19. Boasting improved and optimized mechanical parts from renowned brands E3D and Bondtech, it presents a slight evolution over an already impressive machine.
The Fusion3 F410 combines everything a professional is looking for in a large format 3D printer. It has a 355x355x315mm build volume and a fully enclosed print chamber, providing stability to its high-temperature printing environment. You’ll also find three interchangeable print heads, which can be quickly swapped depending on the print quality you need. The Fusion F410 is also capable of reaching a print speed of up to 250 mm/s and a layer resolution as low as 20 microns.
Not only is the Fusion3 F410 a great option for small business, but it’s also designed for the classroom as well. The enclosed design and optional air filter make it safe to keep around the educational environment, and the easy-to-use nature makes it an accessible 3D printer for students. There’s also an optional rolling cart that makes the machine portable and situated for storage.
Recognized as one of the pioneers in open source 3D printing, Ultimaker has slowly shifted its focus towards the professional market over the years. The most recent 3D printer to come from the Dutch 3D printer manufacturer is the Ultimaker S5.
With a 330 x 240 x 300mm build volume, this machine has a larger print area than all other Ultimaker 3D printers. The Ultimaker S5 also offers dual extrusion capabilities, an improved feeder system with a filament flow sensor and an advanced touchscreen display that makes the printer easy to use and control.
The Ultimaker S5 is ideal for professionals and small businesses. While the $5,995 price tag might seem a bit high for a desktop machine, the advanced features, sizable build volume, and ease of use make it a great option for those who want a no-nonsense 3D printer that just works.
Raise3D specializes in making professional-grade large-format 3D printers that are quite affordable, so it’s no surprise that the manufacturer has earned another badge in our “Best 3D Printers” awards. This time, Raise3D gets the nod for the Pro 2 Plus, our pick for the “Best Large Format 3D Printer of Fall 2018.
Touting a hefty build volume of 305x305x605, the Pro 2 Plus gives users a lot of room to work on the Z-axis. It also features dual extrusion as standard, letting users experiment with mixing materials and filament colors. It’s equipped with a full-color touchscreen, emergency print recovery, a filament run-out sensor, and an enhanced motherboard. The Raise3D Pro2 Plus also includes a swappable magnetic build plate, a built-in camera, a HEPA-filter exhaust fan, and other unique features.
The Airwolf EVO doesn’t like to describe itself as a large format 3D printer. Instead, it would rather you approached with pious reverence and whispered the term “Additive Manufacturing Center,” or AMC if you must use abbreviations.
Pfft, whatever. If the Airwolf EVO looks like a large format 3D printer and smells like a large format 3D printer, then you can be pretty damn sure it’s a large format 3D printer. Away with your excitable marketing!
Aside from that bum note, the feature set does plenty to speak for itself. In addition to the plus-size build volume, the EVO has an enclosed, temperature controlled chamber and auto-leveling and calibration. It also has an air-purifying system to handle those nasty toxic particles; a power-failure recovery system; and a filament run out detection widget.
The BigRep Studio is not even the biggest large-format 3D printer offered by this Berlin Startup, but for most use cases it’s probably plenty big enough. With a print volume of 500mm x 1000mm x 500mm, the Studio retains the meter-wide printing capability on the horizontal axis, but scales back on the X and Z axes to a more manageable 500mm. The benefit of this redesign, according to the company, is higher precision and faster printing.
This large-format 3D printer is available in both a single and dual extruder configuration, has a power-failure backup feature, and the hotend is capable of working with the most demanding materials on the market. Also of note is how it’s been optimized for operation with Simplify3D, a market-leading paid solution in software slicing (though it also plays nice with Cura and Slic3r).
First, you should determine whether you need a large format 3D printer for your small business at all. Using a 3D printer is not as straightforward as working with a 2D printer. When you set up a print, you need to deal with leveling build plates and other factors most consumers never considered before. In some cases, an online 3D printing service might be better.
Assess your needs with the following criteria:
The answers to these questions determine what kind of large format 3D printer you should buy.
If time is of the essence, there are other factors to consider. FDM is known to be a relatively slow process. The printing speed increases when you set out to print off human-scale objects like furniture. There are ways to tweak the length of time it takes to finish a printing job, like increasing the layer-height or decreasing the infill. However, these modifications will have immediate effects on the quality of the finished part.
The 3D printing technologies FDM and SLA use only the material needed for the actual print (PLUS supports). Other technologies, like SLS, use the entire print bed of powder regardless of the size of printed goods. For this reason, 3D printing services automatically arrange the content of build tray to save the precious powder that cannot be reused without some effort.
In this article, we cover large format FDM 3D printers. Mostly they are used to 3D print thermoplastics like ABS or PLA, and this includes exotic filaments (wood and metal). Some large format 3D printers like the Delta Wasp 3MT can also print materials that are suitable for extrusion like ceramics.
Enlisting the help of an online 3D printing service has the additional advantage that your 3D files are processed by trained professionals who can print them off to perfection. Training your staff to operate a new, large format 3D printer will cost time and money; you might end up producing scrap before the prints are good enough for your small business.
License: The text of "20 Best Large 3D Printers of Fall 2018" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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