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  • R Qidi I-MateS

  • Creality CR-30

  • Anycubic Chiron

  • Elegoo Mars 2 Pro

  • Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer

Product image of R Qidi I-MateS
R Qidi I-MateS

The R QIDI Technology iMates is a fully enclosed 3D printer, offering a 10.24x7.87x7.87-inch printing area. The unit arrives fully assembled and ready to print, so there's no need to take the time to assemble - you can start printing right away. The iMates offers two nozzle sizes to deliver the print filament. The standard 0.4mm nozzle provides a faster print, but the tiny 0.2mm nozzle allows for greater precision and detail in your projects. The user interface is simple and intuitive, with two general print modes.

The normal mode is designed with beginners in mind, with optimized basic settings for most projects. For more experienced users, however, the expert mode allows you to set your own printing parameters to meet the unique needs of your particular project. All Qidi products also include lifetime free access to their slicing software, usable with all of their 3D printers.

Pros

  • Two nozzle sizes for added control

  • Beginner and expert print modes

  • Lifetime software access

Cons

  • Some users report quality issues

Product image of Creality CR-30
Creality CR-30

The Creality Ender 3 is a near-perfect compact and affordable 3D printer for beginners and experienced users alike. The 8.6x8.6x9.8 inch printing area is ideal for small builds like toys, jewelry, decorations, and whatever else you've designed. It can be assembled in about 2 hours, though some users suggest it takes more like 4-5. The hotbed reaches temperature in about five minutes, getting you printing quicker. And if there's ever a power interruption that causes your machine to stop mid-print, the Resume Printing function allows the printer to remember where it was and finish your build once the power is restored.

The Ender 3 is also fully open-source, meaning if you have the programming chops, you can improve the printer however you see fit. This is a perfect starter printer for kids or beginner adults, with the precision and quality of build for more experienced users who just need a more compact unit.

Pros

  • Ease of use

Cons

  • Reports of challenging assembly

  • Beginners reported confusing instructions

Product image of Anycubic Chiron
Anycubic Chiron

If size matters in your 3D printing, then the ANYCUBIC Chiron is the printer for you. With a massive 15.75x15.75x17.72" printable area, this is one of the largest 3D printers in the price range. And there's no reason to sacrifice features or quality for that increase in size. The ANYCUBIC Chiron features a semi-auto leveling system based on 25 leveling inputs to keep your builds precise and accurate.

The resume print function allows the printer to restart where it was in the event of an unexpected stoppage. If you run out of filament mid-build, the unit will automatically pause and alert you so that you can refill and continue, rather than having to start over. If you need to produce large pieces, then the ANYCUBIC Chiron is one of the best options available on Amazon.

Pros

  • Large print area

  • Semi-auto leveling

Cons

  • Users report reliability and quality problems

Product image of Elegoo Mars 2 Pro
Elegoo Mars 2 Pro

The ELEGOO Mars 2 Pro is a resin-based 3D printer with a small footprint and relative price point to match. The print area is 5.1x3.1x6.3 inches, which is fine for a wide variety of projects like toys, jewelry, or crafting parts. The integrated COB UV light source provides more energy-efficient and faster curing of the resin.

This allows for only about 2 seconds per layer to cure. And you don't have to worry about smelly after-effects - this is a fully enclosed 3D printing system with an activated carbon filter to remove any unwanted odors. With 12 supported languages, this is an excellent option for people around the world looking for a quality, easy-to-use printer that doesn't take up a lot of space.

Pros

  • COB UV light for faster curing

  • Activated-carbon filter

  • Supports 12 languages

Cons

  • Small printable area

  • Users report bad LCD screens

Related content

Product image of Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer
Comgrow Creality Ender 3 3D Printer

For more professional or larger output operations, the Creality 3DPrintMill is an excellent option while still maintaining a relatively small desktop footprint. The true brilliance of this machine is the infinite z-axis printing. The device prints onto a moving conveyor belt, so printed materials simply move away from the print nozzle. As long as there is something to catch the printed object at the end of the belt, there's theoretically no end to how long an object you can print.

This is also a fantastic option for large batches of smaller objects - the 3DPrintMill can simply keep printing duplicates until you need it to stop. No need to reset after each one. And there's no need to worry if your filament breaks or runs out - the printer will stop automatically and then restart exactly where it was when the filament has been refilled, or power returns. This is an excellent option for more business-focused applications.

Pros

  • Infinite z-axis printing

  • Filament break monitoring

Cons

  • 45-degree nozzle can create printing challenges

Meet the tester

Jean Levasseur

Jean Levasseur

Contributor

Jean Levasseur became a professional writer over a decade-long career in marketing, public relations, and technical writing. After leaving that career to stay home to care for his twin boys, Jean has continued to write in a variety of freelance roles, as well as teaching academic writing at a local university. When he's not reviewing tools or chasing toddlers around the house, he's also an avid fiction writer and a growing woodworker.

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