I wanted to ask the community some advise, basically which 3d printer to get.

I wanted to ask the community some advise, basically which 3d printer to get. I’ve done loads of research but i’m getting sick of ‘Top 20’ to buy websites as im guessing number 1 is the best affiliate link most of the time. I’m not a engineer and don’t have hours to spare with tinkering and spend most of my time in the software end. I really want to utilise this technology in my work, customising toys ect, but the XYZ JR was such a failed heap of expensive s*it, I’ve shied away from them…

top ones i’ve picked so far is the
BCN3D top of my price range but looks like it has good pedigree, is the dual nozzle as good as it says it is!

Flashforge creator pro, looks good but still a Chinese build (but everyone says its good!)

Ultimaker 2 good and bad reviews, is a wing nut better than a screw fix…I dont know!.

If I’d have the money (I don’t) and wouldn’t want to tinker a lot with it (which I like), I’d opt for BCN3D.

The BCN3D looks really good IMO, if you don’t need dual color/nozzle Ultimaker 2 is very good.

Not to forget the genuine Prusa i3 Mk.2

It’s your choice whether you buy as a kit or fully assembled. Also this machine is the first (only?) RepRap style printer supported natively by the Windows 10 3D printing application (if that’s of significance to you). The fully assembled version carries a CE mark.

The BCN3D Sigma is a fine machine and, yes, the dual extrusion works well. It is open source and BCN3D are evolving the design continually. You might want to add updates as they appear.


Sounds like you might want to look at a 3D printing system rather than a 3D printer. Systems are normally closed source, forcing you to use their software and filament, but allowing the manufacturer more control at getting things dialed in.

The best system I am aware of is the Zortrax (?). Joel from 3D Printing Nerd has a nice YouTube review of it and I believe is is less than the Ultimaker.

@Nathan_Walkner good point, I missed that. However, I hardly think of the 3D Printing Nerd as a shill. Yes, he was given the printer (at least temporarily) for review, but who is going to buy a 2k dollar printer to do a review?

@Nathan_Walkner Agree, I wouldn’t either. I would go with the Ultimaker or possibly the Flashforge (2 if I could get it for the same price as the Ultimaker).

But @Danny said he wanted something for printing, not tinkering with. And the Zortrax seems to be a good printer for that purpose.

Thanks for your replies i appreciate it, BCN3D does look really good and i like the fact it has come from a university, but i guess a machine is only as good as the sum of its parts. I will have to get my poker face on for my wife (‘seriously it didn’t cost that much’) and knock out some extra shifts at work. I like the duel model system they have adding PVA filament for complicated prints as this is the area i will be 90% working in.

Printrbot (shameless plug) is my company and your plea for help resonates. I’ve gone deep down the 3D printing hole and I, too, know a lot of people don’t want to fiddle with their machine or become a slicer-settings-Jedi. I don’t. I just want to print. Too few printers, including our existing models, have a seamless experience for users who just want to print.

Our new Simple v2 is about this very problem. It is, likely, shipping in August, but it will deliver the best equipment, is open to any filament, and remove a lot of the pain of the existing learning curve via any browser (cloud app) that slices for you and delivers the file via wifi to the printer. A touch screen is on the printer for easy setup, calibration and printing.

There are good printers out there, but the current state of affairs is that printing is hard. No matter what you buy right now is easy. And you should look at the software that comes with or is required by the printer you are thinking about purchasing. I don’t love any of it, but until we launch our new stuff, you might check out Cura. It works with most open / open source printers. That’s a big piece of the puzzle.

And dual head printing is too hard and will add to your troubles. If you do get a dual head unit- don’t try it until you master printing w one.

I hear you. no one is there yet. We are taking a huge step forward though. I respect ultimaker and Lulzbot but larger build volumes are all they have offered in their releases. Arguably, that increases potential problems- larger prints bring new challenges. You gotta do better than that if you are going to be accused of innovating and raising the bar of user experience and ease of use. And, then there are the prices.

Honestly, we’ve had an original UltiMaker at our hackerspace which is a hodge-podge of random users who don’t know what the hell they’re doing. The machine still lives, and has largely never had many problems. Dual nozzle is really a pain in the ass, and I’d suggest avoiding it if at all possible. If you need PVA supported prints, fine.

The Printrbots are awesome as well, though I’ve never owned one personally (just helped lots of people with theirs, usually the result of them “upgrading” their machine, while not understanding what it is they were upgrading, or why) - I just haven’t had the inclination to buy a ready-to-use 3D printer. While they never met the criteria for simplicity on the software side, I know that they are working on that for their next generation, which Brook mentioned in one of his replies earlier. It’s worth the gamble (in my opinion) to dive into their ecosystem if you have the time to wait.

You have the two I would suggest right on your list. For someone who wants to spend very little time tinkering, either the Ultimaker 2 or BCN3D Sigma would be the best. It really just simply comes down to speed (Ultimaker) vs dual color/material (Sigma) and what you need most. They both are very highly regarded by 3D printing communities and both offer nearly plug and play experiences with extreme reliability and enclosed build areas.

I have a Printrbot Simple Metal (original not v2) and I absolutely love it but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to those who don’t want to spend a lot of time tinkering. Not that the machine requires it, but I have had the most fun improving my printer and tinkering with it to see what it can do.

@Adam_Steinmark ​ I would describe the BCN3D Sigma as semi-enclosed. The front and top are open.


@Danny I was seriously considering the BCN3D for a long time, in fact I got as far as half-completing the order online before going away for a rethink.

In the end I bought a Flashforge Creator Pro and so far I’ve been more than happy. It can produce excellent quality prints, is a neat unit and offers dual extrusion but it’s half the price of the BCN3D. If there were any “better” parts of the BCN, you’d have to seriously ask if they were worth doubling the purchase cost.

@Jon_Gritton How reliable would you say your Flashforge is? I was considering the Sigma for one of my projects but your testimony has me considering a Flashforge.

@Nathan_Walkner ​ I’m familiar with all that and I used a Replicator 2X for a year and a half. I just want to know from a users first hand experience if the Flashforge is reliable because our Rep 2X surely was not

Don’t forget build volume. The Sigma has a much larger build volume than the FFCP.

Also you’re comparing a typically Chinese quality machine with one using quality components and manufacturing techniques. That is why the Sigma is the price it is!

@Adam_Steinmark it’s hard to give a definitive answer because I have nothing to compare it to. I’d need to have something of a similar price sat next to the FF and doing the same prints to make any fair comparison.

All I can say is I’ve had no prints fail that haven’t been either my fault (poor model) or the fault of settings in Simplify3D (such as retraction length). Send it a good model, get the settings right, and it prints as you want every time.

I’ve had some difficulty removing some models from the blue bed cover it ships with, so I’m going to replace with glass, but in fairness sticking problems of one sort or another are a “feature” of 3D printing itself, not the individual machine.

As @Neil_Darlow has said, the build volume is smaller than the BCN, but then that’s only an issue if you’re going to print things that large. The platform for the FF isn’t tiny, and again, if you’re going to double the price of your purchase, you really need to be sure you need to print larger than that.