Jun 7, 2018

15 Best Professional 3D Printers of 2018

Running a business and looking for a professional 3D printer? Let’s help you. Check out our 2018 buyer's guide to the 15 best FDM, SLA, and SLS 3D printers of 2018.

Once upon a time, back when additive manufacturing technology was still considered to be a new frontier, professional 3D printers were typically restrained to gigantic bulky machines that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. As of late, we’ve seen the consumer market become flooded with extremely cheap desktop 3D printers. To a lesser extent, the same trend has been taking place on the professional market.

For small businesses and prosumers looking to purchase a professional 3D printer, there are more options available than ever before. Better yet, there’s a wide range of affordable and highly capable options out there. This influx of cheap 3D printers has created a divide between consumers and professionals, and it can be a challenge sifting through the market to find a machine that fits your professional needs.

Gone are the days when industrial-grade 3D printers would fill up an entire room. Now, there are plenty of professional 3D printers that are less costly and desktop-sized, and those are the machines we will focus on in the following list. As the 3D printing industry continues to transform itself, it’s important to know which companies are developing groundbreaking hardware that can be used exclusively for manufacturing purposes.

Whether you want a 3D printer to prototype parts or produce end-use products, knowing what each has to offer will help you settle on the optimal choice.  So, let’s take a look at the best desktop-sized professional 3D printers on market. separated into categories and sorted by price.

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15 Best Professional 3D Printers of 2018

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Best Professional FDM 3D Printers

Professional 3D Printer Original Prusa i3 MK3

  • 3D Printer Original Prusa i3 MK3
  • Technology FDM
  • Build Volume (mm) 250 x 210 x 210
  • Materials PLA, ABS, PET, HIPS, PP, etc
  • Market Price (USD) $1,208

What makes this a professional 3D printer? Despite being the darling 3D printer of the maker community, the capabilities and features that the Prusa i3 MK3 offers allows it to transcend the consumer and hobbyist market. We originally teetered around with the idea of whether this machine should be labeled as a professional 3D printer or not, but ultimately, it’s just as proficient as some of the others that made it onto this list.

Considered the compact size of this 3D printer, the Prusa i3 MK3 provides a generous build volume of 250 x 210 x 210mm. It’s able to print with a range of industrial-grade materials, including PP, Nylon, carbon-fiber enhanced filaments, Polycarbonate and many others. While some 3D printer manufacturers have shifted their focus from the consumer market to the professional field, Josef Prusa and his team have managed to stray both lines, manufacturing a 3D printer that is affordable, easy to use and able to produce functional prototypes and parts.

Common applications for this professional 3D printer? Functional prototyping, jigs and fixtures, cases and housings, engineering parts, medical, automotive, aerospace, electronics, multi-color figurines, etc.

Where to buy it?

The Best 3D Printer

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Original Prusa i3 MK3

The Original Prusa i3 MK3 our pick for the "Best 3D Printer of Summer 2018". Apart from its excellent performance, the kit version is easy to assemble thanks to its extremely detailed instructions.

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Professional 3D Printer LulzBot Taz 6

  • 3D Printer LulzBot Taz 6
  • Technology FDM
  • Build Volume (mm) 280 x 280 x 250
  • Materials ABS, PLA, PETG, Nylon, Polycarbonate, etc
  • Market Price (USD) $2,500

What makes this a professional 3D printer? The LulzBot Taz 6 is a classic example of reliability within the desktop 3D printing sector. Priced at $2,500, this large-format 3D printer isn’t geared towards makers on a budget. Instead, the Aleph Objects’ developed the LulzBot Taz 6 for prosumers, designers, engineers and small businesses.

Read the review: 2018 Lulzbot TAZ 6 Review - Best Workhorse 3D Printer

The Colorado-based 3D printer manufacturer manages to fuse the versatility of an open source platform with intuitive operations, making it easy for professionals to utilize to its full potential. Equipped with a 280 x 280 x 250 mm build area, users are able to prototype and produce parts in all shapes and sizes. Aleph Objects also sells additional tool heads to make the printer more compatible with advanced materials. Therefore, aside from the typical PLA, ABS and PETG, the Taz 6 can also print with professional-grade filaments like Nylon, polycarbonate, PCTPE and more.

Common applications for this professional 3D printer? Functional prototyping, jigs and fixtures, cases and housings, engineering assemblies, medical, automotive, aerospace, electronics, figurines, etc.

Where to buy it?

Big and Reliable

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LulzBot TAZ 6

The LulzBot TAZ 6 is our pick for the "Best Workhorse 3D Printer of Summer 2018". It's a very good choice for small businesses, it offers a build volume of 280x280x250 mm, it is fully open source, and last but not least, it's extremely reliable.

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Professional 3D Printer Zortrax M300

  • 3D Printer Zortrax M300
  • Technology FDM
  • Build Volume (mm) 300 x 300 x 300
  • Materials Z-HIPS, Z-PETG, Z-GLASS, Z-ESD, Z-PLA Pro, Z-ASA Pro
  • Market Price (USD) $2,990

What makes this a professional 3D printer? Based in Poland, the 3D printer manufacturer Zortrax has a history of manufacturing FDM machines that are easy to use and come with a full ecosystem. The Zortrax M300 is the company’s largest 3D printer, boasting a 300 x 300 x 300mm build volume and a layer resolution of 90 to 290 microns.

Zortrax provides more than just a 3D printer to customers, it attempts to cover every aspect of the process, from software to materials. This complete ecosystem is helpful for prosumers and small businesses, as it makes prototyping and production more intuitive. In the past, some people have been turned off by the manufacturer’s proprietary system, which limited material options to Z-HIPS, Z-GLASS, Z-PETG, Z-ESD, Z-ASA Pro, Z-PLA Pro. However, the Zortrax M300 is now compatible with third-party materials as well, making this professional 3D printer a more open-ended system.

Common applications for this professional 3D printer? Functional prototyping, jigs and fixtures, cases and housings, engineering assemblies, medical, automotive, aerospace, electronics, figurines, etc.

Where to buy it?

Best Large Format 3D Printer

Zortrax M300

The Zortrax M300 combines a generous build volume with consistent, reliable operation. The perforated heated bed and enclosed chamber is especially suited for printing with ABS materials.

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Professional 3D Printer Raise3D N2 Plus

Best Professional 3D Printer - Raise3D N2 Plus
  • 3D Printer Raise3D N2 Plus
  • Technology FDM
  • Build Volume (mm) 305 x 305 x 610
  • Materials PLA, ABS, PETG, Nylon, Carbon Fiber, TPU/TPE, Metal Composites
  • Market Price (USD) $3,699

What makes this a professional 3D printer? The Raise3D N2 Plus is incredibly large professional 3D printer that is hard to miss. Most people might look at this machine and focus on the 305 x 305 x 610mm print area, but it’s this printer’s ability to handle the little things that makes it so special. In fact, the N2 Plus has an impressive maximum Z-layer resolution of 10 microns. With connectivity accessible through WiFi, LAN, USB, and SD Card, there are plenty of ways to prepare and monitor your 3D prints.

As for material compatibility, the N2 Plus can virtually print with any FDM 3D printing material, including metal composites, PC-ABS, conductive materials, Nylon, Polyester and many more. For $3,899, professionals and small businesses can adopt this accessible and large-scale 3D printer into their prototyping and production workflow.

Common applications of this professional 3D printer? Functional prototyping, jigs and fixtures, cases and housings, engineering assemblies, medical, automotive, aerospace, electronics, figurines, etc.

Where to buy it? 

Large Format

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Raise3D N2 Plus

The Raise3D N2 Plus is our pick for the "Best Large Format 3D Printer of Summer 2018". It has a gigantic build volume of 12" x 12" x 24", plus a 7" full-color touchscreen, an enclosure, and a hotend capable of reaching 300 degrees centigrade.

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Professional 3D Printer Ultimaker S5

  • 3D Printer Ultimaker S5
  • Technology FDM
  • Build Volume (mm) 330 x 240 x 300
  • Materials PLA, ABS, PETG, PVA, HIPS, etc
  • Market Price (USD) $5,995

What makes this a professional 3D printer?  Originally touted as the open source 3D printing pioneers, the Dutch 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker has slowly shifted from its early makeshift machines to top of the line professional 3D printers. Coming off the recent release of the Ultimaker 3, the company has already unveiled the Ultimaker S5 3D printer, a larger-scale model with new features that is ideal for the small business setting.

Not only does the Ultimaker S5 provide professional-grade print quality, it’s also extremely intuitive regardless of the user’s experience level. With a 330 x 240 x 300mm build volume, dual extrusion capabilities and an enhanced user interface, the Ultimaker S5 looks to become the premier professional 3D printer for designers, engineers and small-to-medium sized businesses. On top of that, Ultimaker recently announced a slew of new partnerships with a number of leading chemical companies to start producing more industrial-grade materials.

Common applications for this professional 3D printer? Functional prototyping, jigs and fixtures, cases and housings, engineering assemblies, medical, automotive, aerospace, electronics, figurines, etc.

Where to buy it?

Ultimaker S5 3D Printer

The Ultimaker S5 3D printer is a dual-extrusion machine with over 2.5 times the build volume of the Ultimaker 3, making it the largest printer in the Ultimaker family. It also includes a self-leveling heated print bed with exchangeable surfaces, a 4.7” touchscreen interface, improved filament extrusion, and a filament runout sensor.

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Professional 3D Printer Markforged Mark 2

  • 3D Printer Markforged Mark 2
  • Technology FDM
  • Build Volume (mm) 320 x 132 x 154
  • Materials Nylon, Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass, Kevlar, etc
  • Market Price (USD) $13,499

What makes this a professional 3D printer? A professional 3D printer in every sense of the word, the Markforged Mark 2 is a desktop-sized machine with industrial-grade capabilities. The 3D printer manufacturer has carved out its own market niche with continuous carbon fiber reinforcement printing and high reliability. The Mark 2 is engineered to produce plastic objects that are reinforced with composite fibers, which adds extremely high strength, stiffness and durability.

Using Markforged’s Onyx material, users can fuse the filament with carbon fiber, kevlar and fiberglass into prototypes and end-use parts. The company has even developed its own software to optimize production and make it more accessible for all. At $13,500, the Mark 2 is a professional 3D printer that is specially designed for engineering applications and small businesses.

Common applications for this professional 3D printer? Functional prototypes and end-use parts that require high strength, durability and stiffness. Automotive, aerospace, electronics, consumer goods, etc.

Where to buy it?

Markforged Mark 2

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Professional 3D Printer Roboze One +400

  • 3D Printer Roboze One +400
  • Technology FDM
  • Build Volume (mm) 200 x 200 x 200
  • Materials PEEK, Carbon PA, Ultem, TPE, etc
  • Market Price (USD) $10,000 - 50,000

What makes this a professional 3D printer? Similarly to the Markforged Mark 2, the Roboze One+400 is another desktop 3D printer that has industrial abilities. This Italian-manufactured 3D printer has an extruder that can reach a temperature of over 400°C, enabling production with engineering-grade plastics like PEEK, Ultem AM9085F and CarbonPA.

The Roboze One+400 utilizes a beltless system for X and Y axis movement, which is comprised of helical stainless steel racks and pinions that create ease of motion and high positioning accuracy. It has a 200 x 200 x 200mm build area and a 25 micron layer resolution, but the selling point here is definitely the material compatibility. In order to get a price quote on this professional 3D printer, you’ll have to contact the Roboze team directly.

Common applications for this professional 3D printer? Functional prototypes and end-use parts with advanced materials. Oil, automotive, motorsport, plastic manufacturing, etc.

Where to buy it?

Roboze One +400

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Professional 3D Printer Rize One

  • 3D Printer Rize One
  • Technology FDM/Material Jetting
  • Build Volume (mm) 300 x 200 x 150
  • Materials Rizium One, Release One, Marking Ink,
  • Market Price (USD) $26,000

What makes this a professional 3D printer? Of all the FDM 3D printers on this list, the Rize One is the only option that combines this technology with material jetting. The company uses a patented Augmented Polymer Deposition (APD) process, enabling multi-material printing without the need for much post processing and use of recyclable materials. This special technology involves the simultaneous extrusion of thermoplastics and jetting functional inks, allowing users to change the material properties of the thermoplastic at the voxel level.

This machine uses Release One ink makes it easy to integrate and remove support structures, while the marking ink is used to add text and details that other FDM 3D printers are incapable of achieving. The Rize One 3D printer creates parts with high isotropic strength, stronger than even polycarbonate and carbon fiber-reinforced parts in the Z-axis. These 3D printed parts are water and chemical resistant, and also have a high HDT. The price for this professional 3D printer is quoted at around $26,000.

Common applications for this professional 3D printer? Functional prototypes and end-use parts that offers the strength of injection molded parts. Engineering assemblies, medical, automotive, aerospace, electronics, figurines, components with serial numbers, text or description.

Where to buy it?

Rize One

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Professional 3D Printer Delta WASP 4070 INDUSTRIAL

  • 3D Printer Delta WASP 4070 INDUSTRIAL
  • Technology FDM (Delta)
  • Build Volume (mm) Ø400 x h700
  • Materials ASA, PLA, ABS, Flex, TPU, Nylon, PMMA, etc

What makes this a professional 3D printer? The Italian 3D printer manufacturer WASP specializes in Delta-style 3D printers, which generally provides better print speed and build size than the more commonly used Cartesian machines. Based off of one of their more popular models, WASP has created the professional-grade Delta WASP 4070 INDUSTRIAL. The new and improved Delta 3D printer is fully produced from metal, and includes a heated and enclosed build area at forced ventilation.

WASP has two versions of this 3D printer; the standard model with Spitfire Red Extruder with Spitfire LT Cartridge (0.7 mm diameter steel nozzle), and the advanced model with a ZEN Dual Extruder with 2 ZEN LT Cartridges with 0.4 mm diameter steel nozzle. This enables the use of more technical materials, making this one of the most intriguing Delta-style professional 3D printers on the market.

Common applications for this professional 3D printer? Functional prototyping, jigs and fixtures, cases and housings, engineering assemblies, medical, automotive, aerospace, electronics, figurines, etc.

Where to buy it? 

Delta WASP 4070 INDUSTRIAL

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Best Professional SLA/DLP 3D Printers

Professional 3D Printer Formlabs Form 2

  • 3D Printer Formlabs Form 2
  • Technology SLA
  • Build Volume (mm) 145 × 145 × 175
  • Materials General Purpose Resin, Rigid Resin, Flexible, etc
  • Market Price (USD) $3,350

What makes this a professional 3D printer? Considered by many to be the champion of desktop SLA 3D printing, the Form 2 from Formlabs has positioned itself as one of the most popular professional 3D printers on the market. The resin-based process allows for higher resolution and more precise prints than FDM, offering a layer thickness of between 25 and 100 microns. Despite the petite 145 x 145  x 175mm, the Formlabs Form 2 remains a stellar option for both professionals and makers alike.

Read the review: Formlabs Form 2 Review: Best SLA 3D Printer of Summer 2018

Not only does the Form 2 provide impeccable print quality, it’s also extremely intuitive with features like an advanced peeling mechanism, heated tank, touchscreen display, wireless controls and an automated resin system. The Massachusetts-based manufacturer also develops speciality resins that aim for specific industries, which helps prosumers and small businesses find the perfect medium for prototyping and end-use production. Priced at $3,379, the Form 2 will give your business industrial-grade print quality at a relatively low cost.

Common applications for this professional 3D printer? Dental, figurines, jewelry, experimental product development, engineering assemblies, etc.

Where to buy it?

The Best SLA 3D Printer

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Formlabs Form 2

The Formlabs Form 2 is our pick for the "Best SLA/DLP 3D Printer of Summer 2018". It delivers high-resolution prints with stunning detail. There's a growing ecosystem of specialized resins for specific tasks, and it’s relatively easy to use.

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Professional 3D Printer SprintRay MoonRay S

  • 3D Printer SprintRay MoonRay S
  • Technology DLP
  • Build Volume (mm) 127 x 81 x 203
  • Materials Standard Resins, Speciality Resins
  • Market Price (USD) $3,999

What makes this a professional 3D printer? The SprintRay MoonRay S is another valuable option for professionals and small businesses looking to insert SLA or DLP 3D printing into their workflow. With a minimum layer thickness of 20 microns and a 130 x 80 x 200mm build volume, this resin-based 3D printer is tailored for those working in the dental industry. In fact, the company has its very own materials for dentistry, providing resins for surgical guides and dental models.

Outside of this medical field, the SprintRay 3D printer is also perfect for producing functional parts and prototypes. Though it’s not as popular as the Form 2, this machine seems to be just as capable in numerous ways.

Common applications for this professional 3D printer? Dental, figurines, jewelry, experimental product development, engineering assemblies, etc.

Where to buy it?

SprintRay MoonRay S

The MoonRay S is a desktop DLP 3D printer capable of printing large parts while maintaining precise detail. It's equipped with an ultra-durable resin tank, which maximizes uptime with minimal maintenance. Quality and speed makes the MoonRay S ideal 3D for business and educational settings.

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Professional 3D Printer DWS XFAB

  • 3D Printer DWS XFAB
  • Technology SLA
  • Build Volume (mm) Ø 180×180
  • Materials Standard Resin, Speciality Resins
  • Market Price (USD) $8,599

What makes this a professional 3D printer? Dubbed by DWS as the “first high-end” 3D printer at a consumer price, the XFAB is another SLA machine that is capable of producing high-quality parts. This professional 3D printer is also intuitive, featuring a quick material change mechanism that uses intelligent cartridges and requires no handling of resin. It has a Ø 180×180 mm build area and minimum feature size of 250 microns.

The manufacturer has also developed a vast material range that targets various industrial sectors. Resin materials include acrylate resin, ABS-like, polypropylene-like, rigid opaque, transparent, rubber-like, nanoceramic and wax-like for casting investments.

Common applications for this professional 3D printer? Dental, figurines, jewelry, experimental product development, engineering assemblies, etc.

Where to buy it?

DWS XFAB

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Best Professional SLS 3D Printers

Professional 3D Printer Sintratec Kit

  • 3D Printer Sintratec Kit
  • Technology SLS
  • Build Volume (mm) 110 x 110 x 110
  • Materials PA12
  • Market Price (USD) $7,060

What makes this a professional 3D printer? If you’re an engineer or designer feeling a bit ambitious, and want to acquire a professional 3D printer at a low price, the Sintratec Kit is another SLS 3D printer to look at. At €4,999, this kit provides a maximum print volume of 110 x 110 x 110 mm and high resolution. However, the catch here is that you’ll need to put this 3D printer together on your own, a process that the company claims can take up to four days.

For those who don’t mind paying for a more complete machine, Sintratec also has the fully assembled Sintratec S1, which is much more expensive but also has a larger build area and enhanced components. To get an exact price for the more advanced version, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer for a quote.

Common applications for this professional 3D printer? Functional prototypes, model building, industrial design, mechanical engineering, university labs, spare part production.

Where to buy it?

Desktop SLS 3D Printer

Sintratec S1

This benchtop SLS 3D printer is suitable for producing functional prototypes.

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Professional 3D Printer Sinterit Lisa

  • 3D Printer Sinterit Lisa
  • Technology SLS
  • Build Volume (mm) 110 x 160 x 250
  • Materials Nylon PA12, PA11, Flexa, TPU
  • Market Price (USD) $9,405

What makes this a professional 3D printer? The Polish 3D printer manufacturer Sinterit is one of the first to fit the power of selective laser sintering (SLS) technology into a desktop-sized package. The Sinterit Lisa, which is the company’s flagship printer, is an affordable and high quality machine for small businesses, engineers and designers to get acquainted with SLS. The Sinterit Lisa is essentially a plug-n-play SLS machine, effectively simplifying a complex process. The printer itself is priced at $6,990, while the full package, which includes a powder sieve and sandblasting station, costs $9,405.

Read the review: Sinterit Lisa Review: Hands-on with the Desktop SLS 3D Printer

Sinterit recently unveiled the new and improved Sinterit Lisa 2, which has a  diagonal build volume of 316 mm and a built-in nitrogen chamber, helping to expand the number of powder materials that can be used. The new SLS 3D printer is available for pre-order, while the Sinterit Lisa is currently available.

Common applications for this professional 3D printer? Functional prototypes, model building, industrial design, mechanical engineering, university labs, spare part production, end-use parts, automotive, flexible components, aerospace, etc.

Where to buy it?

Affordable SLS 3D Printer

Sinterit Lisa

The Sinterit Lisa is a desktop SLS 3D printer that is both extremely affordable and easy to use. This industrial-grade, compact Polish powerhouse is capable of 3D printing functional prototypes and end-use parts. 

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Professional 3D Printer Formlabs Fuse 1

  • 3D Printer Formlabs Fuse 1
  • Technology SLS
  • Build Volume (mm) 165 x 165 x 320
  • Materials Nylon 12
  • Market Price (USD) $9,999

What makes this a professional 3D printer? Although the Formlabs Fuse 1 SLS 3D printer has not yet been shipped to customers, we’re expecting great things from this professional-grade machine. Aiming to bring the “industrial power of selective laser sintering on your benchtop”, the Massachusetts 3D printer manufacturer is looking to conquer the SLS market just as they did with the Form 2 and SLA 3D printing.

Learn more: Formlabs Fuse 1 3D Printer: Review the Facts Here!

The complete system will include the Fuse 1 3D printer, a spare build chamber, post-processing station, and a load of Nylon 12. Formlabs is currently offering reservations for the highly anticipated SLS machine, which requires a $1,000. Once this professional 3D printer is ready for customers, the total price for the Fuse 1 and build chamber will be $9,999.

Common applications for this professional 3D printer? Functional prototypes, model building, industrial design, mechanical engineering, university labs, spare part production, etc.

Where to buy it?

Get Excited

Formlabs Fuse 1

A new standard in industrial 3D printing, the Fuse 1 brings SLS 3D printing technology to the workshop, enabling you to print parts in strong and flexible nylon.

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License: The text of "15 Best Professional 3D Printers of 2018" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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