Got some money in the budget for a new 3D printer. Wanted to hear which models people recommend. Was looking at the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle if anyone has experience with this one specifically!
I’ve used the Ultimaker S5 and it was pretty good.
It’s a lot easier to setup and get going than other printers. Maintenance was pretty minimal and it comes with built in instructions. I used it to print some minimal parts like plate holders, deck grids, Hamilton parts and lots of custom racks and holders for non-automation friendly components (tubes, etc…). It also does have online/cloud capabilities which is great if you have multiple lab sites and want to standardize what’s being printed across sites. Furthermore it does have a camera so you can track progress.
If you want to tinker with a 3D printer, this printer is not for you. This is more of a plug and play option which worked for us because we needed people of any background to be able to run this printer and not just a few experts.
If you are talking a few thousand and FDM I would go with the Prusa MK3S+. It has a lot of features that help with a first time experience such as auto bed leveling and isn’t too crazy on the pricing. If you are mechanically inclined you can usually find used MK3S+ and MK2.5 on Ebay at a discount. They usually require a bit more attention to startup.
If you are interested in SLA printers I would check out Form Labs. SLA prints tend to be a bit more fragile depending on material but have their uses. Form Labs printers are a bit on the expensive side however there are usually some available on Ebay for a decent price. I prefer the Form 2 as it does most of what anyone would need. I don’t have any direct experience with their newer systems but mostly seem to be the same technology in newer packaging. If you go this route don’t spend money on their finishing equipment. IE UV curer and wash tank. Companies like Anycubic have comparable items at a massively discounted price.
If you are talking about higher end FDM systems which are pretty much turnkey I would have a look at the Stratasys line of printers. They are expensive both in the systems and the consumables but they are very low learning curve and insanely reliable. As with the other two you can usually find a good deal on them on the third party market but your mileage may vary.
I’ve been using Markforged’s Onyx Pro and really like it. It only has 1 material type + 1 reinforcement fiber. But parts are very strong, come out looking great, and it’s almost completely turn-key.
Has anyone here used an Ankermake before?
The Prusa Mk3s+ is kinda the go to for entry level enthusiasts. It’s perfect for an automation lab setting. It’s got a lot of support and all the parts are easily available. The price level is perfect for a lab as well. However, I hear the new kid on the block with the best all-around features and ease of use are the Bambu printers. For slightly more money than the Prusa Mk3s+, the Bambu Lab X1 has a better build quality and a full enclosure which is very handy for those larger prints that tend to curl on the edges if you don’t have temp controlled environment.
I’d actually be curious to find out what’s the most common. I know of one large lab that was stacked with the Ultimakers because of their support I guess.
very well said. strongly agree
Bambu seemingly knocked it out of the park with the P1P and X1C. I have a Mk3s at home and am thinking about grabbing one. The P1P is $100 off right now to boot if the enclosure / other features of the X1C aren’t important for you.
No dual extrusion capabilities though. Maybe someday.
Also in the same boat…I don’t need it…I don’t need it…I don’t need it…But I really really want it.
I am quite happy with our Raise3D Pro2. It is has a bit bigger build bed than the Ultimaker (I think) and it comes by default with two extruders which opens up some nice options.
We have been running it for more than year now more or less continually printing and it has required close to zero maintenance.
Another vote for Prusa MK3. I’ve printed countless parts for our systems without issue. We are upgrading to an XL if it ever ships. Long story short: if you want it to “just work” then get a Prusa.
I started off with an Ultimaker 2/2+ back in the day and it was rock solid. That reliability and form factor helped sell it to lab leaders who weren’t as into the “continuous improvements” that I would have done to other bare-bones printers.
Nowadays the Prusa or Bambu options are what I would recommend for a lab setting.
x2 on Prusa and Bambu. both are great. The Prusa ‘kits’ are kind of a project. the pre-built ones are good to go out of the box
many tips if you need them… a solid one would be to pick afilament that works and dont change it. materials have different melt points and can gum things up quickly if you are not sure what you are doing