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3 desktop 3D printers for clutter-free designers

Interested in getting into 3D printing? Then first you'll want to read our article 5 great 3D printers designers can afford (opens in new tab). But if you're primarily after something that will fit onto your desk, then the good news is, you don't have have to compromise on quality.

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These three printers represent the latest evolution in high performance desktop 3D printing tech. Versatile and efficient, they all boast great features that ensure consistent, high-quality 3D prints...

01. Form 1+ (opens in new tab)


A solidly made, attractive bit of gear that looks great on the desk
  • Price: $3,299/€2,799

Form 1+ is a stylish piece of kit that's been getting a lot of love recently. An SLA 3D printer, featuring a laser using liquid plastic resin as its ink, one of this nifty little machine's biggest strengths is the quality and detail of prints it outputs.

It's capable of printing layers just 25 microns thick: that's a quarter of a human hair!

02. Makerbot Replicator (opens in new tab)


The Replicator from Makerbot is app- and WiFi-enabled
  • Price: £1,999 (excl VAT)

Makerbot's Replicator, is a fast, easy and affordable way to create professional-quality models. This printer is app-and cloud-enabled, with Wi-Fi connectivity ensuring an efficient and seamless workflow.

Now the fifth generation of this machine, Replicator is as popular as ever.

03. Ultimaker 2 (opens in new tab)

Ultimaker 2

The Ultimaker 2 is simple to use, even for beginners
  • Price: $2,500

The Ultimaker 2 is well built with an easy-to-use interface. It creates stunning prints quickly. For beginners, the 3D printer is simple to use and can produce large, high-quality prints.

For the more advanced user, the printer and Cura software it uses are both open source and ready for creative ambitions to be explored.

Words: Jason Wires

Jason is the owner of Jason Wires Productions (opens in new tab), a prototyping studio that prints molds and casts, that are then painted for the toy, video game, TV and film industries. The company uses 3D printers to a professional, industry standard.

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