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Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing

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Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing

MAKE’s guide to 3D printing explains what it is and how to get started, and features a buyers guide, showcasing 15 of the most popular printers on the market, to help prospective buyers make smart choices.

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  • Calin Brabandt

    This issue is quite comprehensive. The Buyer’s Guide actually contains the most comprehensive review of consumer / hobby 3D printers that I’ve ever seen! Good work!

    However, The 4-5/5 score for Ultimaker “Print Quality” is unexpectedly low (I think a “5” is in order and consistent with the “5” for “Accuracy”), but perhaps 4-5 score is due to a problem with the reviewers. Sometimes reviewers expect “magic” or “mind reading” products to replace intelligent user interaction:

    “The snake and owl came out great, but the torture test had lots of stringing, mainly due to Cura’s default settings not having retraction turned on.”

    There are advantageous and disadvantageous to using retraction. That’s the nature of settings; you can’t have them both (all) ways in the same universe at the same time!

  • Erich

    It would have been better if the machines were used by pro-users to really compair the best the printers can output, compairing default settings isn’t much of a comparison but helps a bit in choosing which printer I would buy.

    It would have been nice to have big pictures of the torture test print, they only have a tiny picture of each in the summery and the clear ones are very hard to see.

  • steve

    Im crying FOUL here…..I’ve got a bit of a problem with the midrange standouts – (and i’ve only concentrated the midgrange 3d printers because thats my area of intrest in a purchase)

    According to the test results, the MAKERGEAR M2 equals or out scores the TYPE A SERIES 1 in all areas but reliability (for which there is no explinationas to why it got a 1 point reduction in that area in the review) the overall scores of the M2 are higher then the A1

    . …. this is either and obvious mistake in stating the standouts. or clear bias.,

    Notably, all the price point class winners happen to all be sold at makershed where as the point leader in class is not sold my makershed. This makes it seem more like bias for things makershed sells.

    There are ovbious drawbacks in flexability on the A1,
    its inability to print abs because it has no heated bed, calling it “optimised for PLA” nice way to discribe a missing feature. honestly sounds more like ther marketing department wrote that.

    the A1 also is lacking an sd slot, but again seemed not to play into a final recomedation

    The A1’s lack fo documentation on the website were M2 has documentation of the website, but they scored the same for documentation. thats another odd observation.

    i know i am concsentrating on a comparison to the M2 which to my eyes seems to be the best in class according to the reviews and the scoring, but the drawbacks of the A1 seem to have been glossed over, glorified as features, or down right ignored.

    The review also has no reall easy way to compare the printers side by side, showing sores on one page, ore ven totaling of the scores would have been helpful. Seems also practily, there should ahve been a catagory for veratility.

    a table of scores, and featrue comparisons would have been ideal.

    I have to commend this effort for having enough information to then research and do a final decision. my problem is with the conclusions not matching the scoring and some of the biased writing.


    • Erich

      There is bias as each tester has experience in 3D printers, any scores would be effected by what printers they have used or own. It’s also not clear if the score came from a single tester or a group averaged out (but a lack of decimal point hints at only one tester).

    • Tony

      One thing that should be noted was that the M2 was reviewed by its owner because MAKE couldn’t get their hands on a machine for testing. People tend to view things they already own more favorably and this bias will come out in a review. Personally, I think it more likely that the M2 review is biased than the A1 based purely on the review process.

      • http://none steve

        I’m not sure how you can say that.
        lets take a practical look at the advantages each has over the other
        type a series 1 chasses is made of plywood wood and the m2 stainless steel, a1 has no heated bed, limiting its abilities in printing abs, m2 can has a heated bed and can print both pla and abs well. a1 can print down to 100 microns and the m2 can print to 20 microns. a1 doesn’t have documentation of their website – web site is sparse, m2 does have docs. a1 can not print without a pc, m2 can as it has an sd card slot. a1 print volume 729 cu in. and the m2 640 cu in, a1 build speed is 80mm/s and m2 is 150mm/s., price at the time of writing was within 100 dollars of each other fully assembled.
        m2 out classes the a1 in all respects except for total print volume and then only slightly. maybe i missed something. if so point it out. print quality speaks for itself, and with tweaking i am sure both printers could do better.
        now I am no m2 fan boy. I actually own a makerbot replicator dual extruder at the moment which I am perfectly happy with. but lets call a spade a spade ok. shame on the editors not to point these things out properly.

    • Donal Grogan
      • JC

        404 Not found. The requested URL /botsquare.htm was not found on this server.

  • James Norris

    Our wifi printer that isn’t working, and I need to find a new one. Thanks for sharing this.

  • krenza

    looks really nice! I actually made a little hypercube sculpture up for print over at

    I never thought possible though at a 3D printer ever would print ceramics! got some REALLY nice appetizer spoons at

  • Bill

    It would be so much better if you put prices next to the descriptions.

  • dorothy

    I really can’t wait for an updated guide on 3D printing like this in the next couple of years, It’ll be nice to look at an issue like this once a year and see the differences and advances. Kinda like when you look back at specs and prices for a PC in the last 10-20 years and see we were paying A LOT more for A LOT less.

  • Dental medicine cad/ Cam and the prices for evry single object ,such as ; 3Dprinting, Microsoft , Scannars, etc;

    I can,t wait for an updated guide on on 3D printing has to do with medical – Dental lab,s

  • carteles

    3D printers are the future, technology moves very quickly, in a short time we will have 3d printers to fabricate objects and even food.

  • mari

    in the future we will do everything with this type of printers, from objects up to food.excellent post,thanks for sharing.

    • prestamos rapidos

      not is what will be the future, but everything happens by doing more comfortable life to people, thanks to technology

  • Megan

    why would people be buying the stuff in 3D for ?

  • Replic8-3d printers

    Check http://www.replic8-3d-printers for an affordable open source 3d printer. Single extruder model £699 and dual £999.99. Both come with free filament and accessories. Free shipping in the uk.

  • Jenn
  • envelope printing

    The article shows how the printing would be done in future.Every printing industry sooner or later would acquire this technique. The work done by this gives awesome look to the material which is printed.
    envelope printing

  • coches hibridos

    Amazing is science which advances, until recently the 3d printing was science fiction, and now it is already reality

  • wasa
    • ajsh


  • Ezu

    comprehensive list with 3D printer, very well

  • Gos
  • Micklelark

    Amazing blog…..also have the world’s latest technology that is 3d printer…. I am trying to buy it urgently,, and get lot of data about it… i found some info about 3d printer at 3d printer feature

  • Calin Dragos George

    this is a very impressive guide to build 3D model for printing. For more models but this time for robots could be found here



  • Cortes de pelo

    3d printers works nice, good article, thanks so much

  • LXMaker

    The 3D printer also untold success or failure, but it is the future trend of development, have great potential for development. Making something, it is far better than the traditional manufacturing process. But there needs to be further development of new features, the types of making things more diversity, further improve the price.

  • Alex-3D

    I am French and I am passionate about growing for 3d printer that is an extraordinary technology. I’m glad the 3D Printshow come this year in Paris !

  • LXMaker

    The applications of 3D printing becoming more widely.When this technique has just been launched,it can only be applied to manufacturing or medical sector.And now as the technology matures, the applications has expanded to aerospace, military,arts and other fields.It seems that 3D printing does have a good space for development.Interested in 3D print can log onto the view details.

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