Best 3d printers for home use: Best 3D Printers 2022 | Tom’s Hardware

Prusa MK3S+ 3D Printer Review: The Heavyweight Champ Continues to Dominate

Tom’s Hardware Verdict

The Prusa MK3S+ continues to hold its own in a market saturated with low-cost competitors.

  • +

    + PrusaSlicer provides best-in-class model slicing

  • +

    + Flexible build platform sets the standard

  • +

    + Automatic bed leveling

  • +

    + Stealth Mode enables a nearly silent printing experience

Why you can trust Tom’s Hardware
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

There are few 3D printers with as many industry accolades as the Prusa i3 MK3S+, and after spending some time with this printer, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the best 3D printers currently on the market. With a price tag of $999 for an assembled machine or $750 for a DIY kit, the price point of the MK3S+ is towards the high end for an open format consumer 3D printer, but the features of this machine and the ecosystem created by Prusa (they make their own hardware, software, filament, and more) have made the MK3S+ a formidable machine for anyone interested in taking their 3D printing game to the next level.  

The features of the MK3S+ (silent stepper drivers, power-panic, etc.), noteworthy when originally launched, have largely become standard on lower-cost machines and may not seem particularly impressive on a spec sheet. However, clever software implementation and well-written documentation have created a machine that provides a best-in-class printing experience. For instance, the auto-leveling SuperPINDA probe of the MK3S+ maps the build platform for surface distortions, but the printer firmware is capable of storing multiple Z-offsets so you can switch build platforms without having to recalibrate every time.

The MK3S+ is a visually distinct machine; and the Prusa team has kept their black and orange color scheme for their smaller printer, the Prusa Mini+. The bright orange printed parts on the MK3S+ have created instant brand-recognition for the Prusa line of printers, and Prusa has doubled down on this by reinforcing their branding across their machine. In fact, you can find the word ‘Prusa’ printed, engraved, or etched into the MK3S+ in 25 places, 29 if you’re using a spool of their Prusa Polymers Prusament PLA material.  


Swipe to scroll horizontally

Machine Footprint 16.5 x 16.5 x 15 inches (42.0cm x 42.0cm x 38.0cm)
Build Volume 9.84 x 8.3 x 8.3 inches (250mm x 210mm x 210mm)
Material 1.75mm PLA, ABS, ASA, PETG
Extruder Type Direct Drive
Nozzle .4mm
Build Platform Magnetic Heatbed with removable PEI spring steel sheets
Power Supply 240 Watts
Connectivity USB, SD Card
Interface 3.4-inch Mono LCD and click wheel
Filament Run-Out Sensor Yes

Included with Prusa MK3S+ 

The fully assembled Prusa MK3S+ ships with all of the accessories required to make your first print, and also includes enough spare parts to replace almost every fastener on the machine. The fully assembled MK3S+ also includes a bag of Haribo Goldbears, a signature addition from the Prusa team.

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Prusa  MK3S+ includes a full spool of silver PLA material, screwdriver, a metal part scraper, a glue stick (for adhesion), an isopropyl alcohol wipe, lubricant for the linear rails, power and USB cables, a sheet of stickers, a printed handbook, and a diagnostic printout that confirms the functionality of the mechanical and electrical systems. 

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The usefulness of the handbook is hard to overstate. When you’re starting out with your first 3D printer, it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of problems such as loss-of-extrusion, poor layer adhesion, or a clogged extruder. The included handbook is full of detailed photographs, troubleshooting workflows, and solutions to common problems. This is an invaluable resource for beginners, amateurs, and experts alike, and it’s clear to me that Prusa has set the standard for technical documentation.  

Setting up the Prusa MK3S+ 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Prusa MK3S+ ships with a completed print attached to the build platform. This print features a serpentine line with 90 degree angles, curves, and a solid block in the center with the Prusa logo facing upwards. This print serves to confirm that the printer is functional and has been properly assembled and calibrated. I was able to easily remove the print from the build platform by bending the steel sheet and carefully removing it. 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

After powering on, the printer automatically runs through an initial setup process. This process involves calibrating the Z axis by running it all the way to the top of the printer, running the mesh bed leveling process to set the Z offsets, and loading the filament. This entire process only took me a few minutes, and the high level of automation involved means that the only thing I needed to do was insert the filament into the extruder after it had heated up.  

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

You might be surprised to find that the Prusa MK3S+ is based on the RepRap i3 (third iteration) frame, originally released in September of 2012. Despite this nearly decade-old release date, the MK3S+ is full of modern advancements and enough innovative features to still be a top contender in the prosumer 3D printer market. 

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The bright orange color makes the 3D printed parts on the MK3S+ easy to spot. The brackets mounted to the printer are printed in-house by Prusa using their own Prusament PETG filament. These brackets are robust and sturdy, and the uniform appearance between the printed parts give the printer a professional appearance. This version of the MK3S+ shipped with orange printed brackets, but the printer is also available in an all-black variant. A large selling point of the MK3S+ is the open-source nature of the machine, which means the printed parts are all available to download if you want to download, modify, or print them out yourself.  

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The monochrome LCD interface and click-wheel on the MK3S+ is one of the few less-than-impressive features on this machine; it feels dated and the UI navigation can be a little clunky. This stands in contrast with printers like the Anycubic Vyper, a sub-$400 machine that features a bright and responsive color touchscreen that shows detailed print statistics during printing. This monochrome display was industry standard when the original 8-bit i3-style of printers was introduced, but it feels outdated when compared to recent printers with color touchscreens. 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The MK3S+ uses a filament spool holder that mounts directly to the frame of the printer. The T-shaped holder is able to hold two spools simultaneously, which is ideal if you plan on swapping between multiple colors to produce a multicolor 3D print. The direct-drive extruder on the MK3S+ feeds filament straight down into the hot end, so mounting the filament directly above the extruder gives the filament a straight path between the spool and the extruder.  

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

At the heart of the MK3S+ is the 8-bit Einsy RAMBo board, housed in a 3D printed enclosure mounted to the frame of the machine. This board is equipped with Trinamic 2130 silent stepper drivers, user-replaceable fuses, and the cable management is clean and professional.

The features made possible by this board (power-panic, live-Z adjust, silent steppers) were all major leaps when originally introduced, but many of these features have made their way down to less expensive FDM 3D printers like the Elegoo Neptune 2. The interface feels sorely in need of an update, and the addition of a color touchscreen and a 32-bit board (such as the one equipped on the Prusa Mini+) would refresh this platform. 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The attention to detail on the Prusa MK3S+ is clear, and a perfect example of this is the wire management across the machine. Current-carrying wires are attached to the extruder module with zip ties that act as a strain-relief to prevent the wires from fatiguing and separating. The wires from the power supply are tucked neatly under the frame of the machine, out of sight and reach from users to prevent accidentally unplugging them during printing.  

What Makes the Prusa MK3S+ Different?  

It can be hard to understand why the Prusa MK3S+ costs so much more than a printer like the Creality Ender 3 Pro, which seems to have similar specs on paper. To understand why this machine is so much more expensive, we need to take a closer look at the individual components of the MK3S+. 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Critical to the success of the MK3S+ is its custom-made Delta 240 Watt power supply, mounted to the frame of the machine. This unit supplies 24V power to the bed with a max current of 10 Amps, which provides fast and reliable heating for printing high temperature materials like PETG and ASA. Less expensive machines typically use lower wattage power supplies, such as the 150W power supply used by the Flashforge Adventurer 3 Lite, which take longer to heat and can have difficulty maintaining a higher temperature.  

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The 24V heated bed is able to reliably hit 100C, which is more than enough to allow high temperature materials like PETG and ASA to adhere to the build platform without delaminating. The magnetic build platform is firmly held in place without any clips or latches and can easily be removed once it cools to room temperature. PETG in particular is easy to remove from the textured surface of the textured spring steel sheet, and the MK3S+ build platform is best-in-class for high-temperature adhesion.  

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The MK3S+ is equipped with a genuine E3D hot end, and it has the holographic sticker to prove it (seriously). E3D manufactures every component in the hot end from the nozzle to the heatbreak which means you are very unlikely to run into the type of manufacturing defects that occasionally pop up on less expensive printers (incorrectly drilled nozzles, degraded PTFE tube liner, etc. ) In addition, this nozzle is rated for a max temperature of 300C (572F), which is easily hot enough to extrude most common thermoplastics and even some higher-temperature engineering-grade materials like Nylon and Polycarbonate.

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The printed parts on the MK3S+ are a perfect example of a company applying its in-depth knowledge of a subject to its product. The printed brackets found on the MK3S+ have been printed in PETG, and the outward-facing textured surface shows the level of quality you can expect from using a textured sheet. 

In addition, I appreciate that Prusa has applied DFAM (Design for Additive Manufacturing) principles to these parts. These DFAM principles include concepts like printing hexagons instead of circles for relief holes, which print without requiring support material, and printing brackets perpendicular to their intended load to create mechanically tough parts.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Prusa MK3S+ comes equipped with a SuperPINDA probe which is used for hands-free leveling of the build platform. The SuperPINDA (which stands for Super Prusa INDuction Autoleveling sensor) operates by detecting the proximity of the probe to the build platform and storing that information in firmware. The MK3S+ isn’t the first printer to use a probe for bed leveling, but the software implementation in PrusaSlicer means that after the printer has been set up, you can print without spending much time thinking about calibration. 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Compared to the manual bed leveling process of a printer like the Creality Ender 3 Pro, the MK3S+ is faster, easier to use, and requires less trial and error. PrusaSlicer includes a “G80” command in the start G-code (the instructions the printer reads when making a part), and this command performs a ‘Mesh Bed Leveling’ which probes the bed in a 3×3 grid to create a mesh surface that is used for calibration. This mesh surface causes the Z-axis motors to undulate over uneven areas while the print head remains perpendicular in the X/Y axis. During my testing, I didn’t need to run a single non-print calibration on the printer after the initial mesh bed leveling. 

Build Platforms on Prusa MK3S+ 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Removing a printed part from the build platform of a 3D printer can be a challenging experience if the printer isn’t calibrated correctly. The Prusa MK3S+ attempts to solve this problem by using a removable build platform that is held in place magnetically and can be flexed to remove parts after the platform has cooled. I’ve tried many different types of build surfaces, and the smooth PEI sheet used by Prusa is by far one of the easiest to print on, remove parts from, and clean.  

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Prusa also offers a textured steel build platform for the MK3S+ that has a gritty surface which can give printed parts a more uniform appearance. In fact, the signature textured look of the printed parts on the MK3S+ come from this build platform. 

Parts printed on a smooth build platform will have a smooth bottom surface, which looks visually distinct from the striations on the sides of the part. By using a textured sheet, I was able to make prints that have a textured appearance on the bottom as well as the sides. This sheet is ideal for printing with PETG; the high print temperature of the material requires a textured surface to stick to, but also needs a surface that it can easily detach from.

Printing on the Prusa MK3S+  

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The sample prints on the included SD card with the Prusa MK3S+ are a refreshing change from the sample parts that are typically included with low-cost 3D printers. The MK3S+ includes 16 pre-sliced parts that have been prepared for PLA with the total print time included in the file name. The sample prints vary in time from 23 minutes (a simple block with the word PRUSA on it) to almost 14 hours (a castle printed at .1mm layer height), and have all been prepared using sensible settings for the machine and highlight various features (variable layer height, multicolor printing, and fine .1mm layer resolution).  

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

One of my favorite sample parts is the planetary gear bearing that prints in a single print. I printed this model using the Prusament Jet Black PLA material, and after removing it from the build platform I was able to easily spin the gear freely. This part really highlights the ability of the MK3S+ to produce parts with functional strength and purpose in addition to parts designed with aesthetics in mind.  

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Another stand-out sample print included with the MK3S+ is the dragon model titled Adalinda the Singing Serpent by Loubie3D. This model takes a little longer to print (about 8 hours), but the final print is another favorite of mine. Because this model was sliced by Prusa for the MK3S+ printer, the sample print comes out with a high level of detail and no unexpected settings that can cause problems (too many exterior shells, no retraction, etc. ) like the sample prints included with other FDM 3D printers. 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Printing with PrusaSlicer on the Prusa MK3S+ 

(Image credit: Prusa)

Prusa has developed its own in-house slicer for the Prusa MK3S+, called PrusaSlicer. PrusaSlicer is a fork of the confusing-to-pronounce Slic3r app, which is also a free and open-source app. Prusa has invested a considerable amount of time and effort in PrusaSlicer, and this has translated into one of the most powerful 3D printing slicer apps available for desktop 3D printers on the market. 

(Image credit: Prusa)

The current version of PrusaSlicer (2.3.3) includes profiles for printers by Prusa, Creality, Lulzbot, and more, and also includes a library of material profiles. In addition to these profiles, PrusaSlicer also includes multiple print setting profiles, which range from ultra-high detail at 0.05mm layer height to a draft mode which offers .3mm layers fast print speed at the expense of reduced quality.  

Slicing Models in PrusaSlicer for the Prusa MK3S+ 

(Image credit: Prusa)

PrusaSlicer is a feature-rich program with a simplified interface that is accessible to beginners, experts, and everyone in between. I’ve spent a lot of time in the PrusaSlicer settings, and I appreciate how much work Prusa has put into making almost every parameter of the printing process addressable without creating an overwhelming interface.

The settings are broken down into three primary categories: Print Settings, Filament Settings, and Printer Settings. Print Settings generally focuses on the speed / quality of the print, Filament Settings is used to determine temperature and extrusion parameters, and Printer Settings is used for global parameters and determining start / stop instructions.  

(Image credit: Prusa)

The primary interface offers three settings: Simple, Advanced, and Expert. Simple offers a stripped-down experience with only a few parameters able to be adjusted, while Advanced and Expert allow you to adjust the print on a more granular level.  

PrusaSlicer Quality Settings for the Prusa MK3S+ / PLA 

(Image credit: Prusa)

Swipe to scroll horizontally

Material Prusa Basic PLA, Silver
Layer Height 0.20 mm
Infill Percentage 15%, Gyroid
Print Speed 45mm/second
Extruder Temperature 215 degrees Celsius (419 degrees Fahrenheit)
Heated Bed Temp 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit)
Print Time 1 Hour, 34 Minutes

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

There are few prints that are better at testing out a printer than the 3DBenchy, so I used the included spool of silver Prusa PLA to print this model out using the default . 2mm Quality PrusaSlicer settings. I was impressed with the overall quality of the Benchy, and even with a highly-reflective material like a silver PLA which can highlight defects from uneven layers, the layers looked even and consistent throughout.  

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Benchy boat model is designed to highlight various features of a printer (such as the ability to print steep overhangs, small features, etc.), and a quick examination of the model shows that the MK3S+ performed very well and didn’t have any of the common defects typically seen on this model. 

PrusaSlicer Spiral Vase Settings for the Prusa MK3S+ / PLA 

(Image credit: Prusa)

Swipe to scroll horizontally

Material Prusament PLA, Galaxy Purple
Layer Height 0.20mm
Infill Percentage 0%
Print Speed 60mm/second
Extruder Temperature 215 degrees Celsius (419 degrees Fahrenheit)
Heated Bed Temp 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit)
Print Time 3 Hours, 9 Minutes

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Slicing a model using the ‘Spiral Vase’ mode in PrusaSlicer will automatically create a model that is composed of a single continuously rising helical contour, which allows models to be printed a fraction of the time it would normally take to print using multiple layers. This mode is ideal for printing objects like vases or enclosures that only require a single contour as opposed to multiple contours and an infill structure. I printed the Curved Honeycomb Vase by eggnot to highlight this printing mode.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Prusament Galaxy Purple is a favorite color of mine due to the glitter additive in the filament. This additive creates layer lines that are evenly blended and have a textured appearance. Combining this material with the Spiral Vase mode produces parts that look almost conventionally manufactured, with layer lines that are difficult to see. This model printed in just over 3 hours in Spiral Vase mode, as opposed to over 13 hours if it had been printed using conventional settings.

PrusaSlicer Speed Settings for the Prusa MK3S+ / PETG 

(Image credit: Prusa)

Swipe to scroll horizontally

Material Prusament PETG, Chalky Blue
Layer Height 0. 2mm
Infill Percentage 15%, Grid
Print Speed 60mm/second
Extruder Temperature 250 degrees Celsius (482 degrees Fahrenheit)
Heated Bed Temp 90 degrees Celsius (194 degrees Fahrenheit)
Print Time 4 Hours, 5 Minutes

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

PETG is a material that offers increased mechanical toughness, heat resistance, and flexibility when compared with parts printed with PLA. Prusa has taken advantage of these material properties by printing many of the components on the MK3S+ with PETG, which creates a rigid part that is able to withstand mechanical stress. PETG is also notoriously difficult to print with due to the high level of stringing that can occur when printing multiple parts simultaneously, but I didn’t have any issues when printing with the Prusament PETG material on the MK3S+.  

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

I used the default settings in PrusaSlicer to print the clamp model provided by Prusa that was designed specifically for PETG. This model features a functional thread, a flexible ball-and-socket joint, and can be tensioned without snapping the body of the clamp. The part printed in multiple pieces without stringing, and I was able to easily assemble it and verify functionality without damaging the clamp. If printed in a more brittle material (like PLA), I would expect the clamp to crack at a transition point on the body, but the PETG was able to hold tension without deforming or breaking.  

PrusaSlicer 3MF Import for the Prusa MK3S+ / PLA 

(Image credit: Prusa)

Swipe to scroll horizontally

Material Prusa Basic PLA, Silver
Layer Height 0. 20mm
Infill Percentage 15%, Grid
Print Speed 60mm/second
Extruder Temperature 215 degrees Celsius (419 degrees Fahrenheit)
Heated Bed Temp 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit)
Print Time 2 Hours, 17 Minutes

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

PrusaPrinters (the online file repository created and maintained by Prusa) offers the unique ability to share 3D printable files that have been pre-sliced and prepared for the MK3S+ with detailed print statistics available from the site. A perfect example of this is the Bag Clip by Andrei; a cam-driven bag clip that highlights the type of design freedom offered by a 3D printer. 

This model has been uploaded as a .3MF file that contains all of the information required to print, such as slicer settings, nozzle and bed temperature, and custom support structures (visibile in the screenshot above. ) 3MF is an increasingly popular alternative to the STL file, which doesn’t contain much information aside from the raw geometry of a model.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

This part printed flawlessly on the first try, and the provided .3MF (or .gcode) allows a user to send this file to anyone else with the same printer and material and feel confident that the part will be indistinguishable in appearance and performance. I’ve always thought of a 3D printer as the replicator from the Michael Crichton novel Timeline, which is able to produce identical objects at various locations by converting them into digital information. However, the success of a part is frequently beholden to the settings selected by a user for fabrication, so the ability to share the fabrication plans is one step closer to being able to send a physical product as a form of digital data.  

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

At a price-point of $999 for an assembled printer (or $749 for a kit), the Prusa MK3S+ is a machine that doesn’t compromise on user experience and is absolutely one of the best 3D printers currently on the market. The MK3S+ has a professional and neat appearance, but the 8-bit monochrome LCD user interface might be a challenge for some users to get past, given the steep price. Interface aside, the prosumer features of the MK3S+ make it a stand-out machine for anyone who is looking for a reliable machine to produce functional parts without worrying about spending a lot of time tinkering.

If you are looking for a less expensive machine outside of the Prusa ecosystem, the Elegoo Neptune 2 (currently on Amazon for $180) offers similar printing size and features (with the notable exception of automatic bed leveling) at a fraction of the price but without the same level of robust support and documentation provided by the MK3S+ or any of the name-brand components like the E3D hotend. If you want the Prusa experience but are looking to spend a little less money, the Prusa Mini+ (available from Prusa for $399 assembled, $349 for a kit) is an excellent place to start. 

Andrew Sink first used a 3D printer in 2012, and has been enthusiastically involved in the 3D printing industry ever since. Having printed everything from a scan of his own brain to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, he continues to dive ever more deeply into the endless applications of additive technology. He is always working on new experiments, designs, and reviews and sharing his results on Tom’s Hardware, YouTube, and more.

Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro Review: All the Bells and Whistles

Tom’s Hardware Verdict

Creality took its most popular budget 3D printer and decked it out with all the upgrades, saving you time, and even a little money.

  • +

    Quality prints

  • +

    Easy assembly

  • +

    Auto bed leveling

  • +

    Direct drive

  • +

    Touch Screen

Why you can trust Tom’s Hardware
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Today’s best Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro deals




Reduced Price




$428. 99


Show More Deals

The Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro is quite a mouthful, but it’s also quite a printer. Shortly after announcing the deluxe Ender 3 S1, Creality inexplicably added even more features to their trusty workhorse and dubbed it the “pro” version. 

None of these new features will make you throw your S1 in the garbage, but they are enticing if you’re stepping up from an Ender 3 Pro or V2 model. Ready to compete with the best 3D printers on the market, the Ender 3 S1 Pro comes with Creality’s first all metal hotend, a PEI flex plate, a touch screen, an improved spool holder and a built-in light kit.

That’s on top of core improvements already introduced in the S1 version, such as a direct drive, dual Z axis, auto bed leveling, and a slot for a full sized SD card. 

Retailing at $479 on Creality’s website , this printer is a far cry from its budget minded roots. It’s still $360 cheaper Prusa MK3S+ kit, but nearly twice the price of basic Ender 3s still on the market. Those bargain basement Enders are still popular because they are so easily upgraded. Nearly everything that comes on an Ender 3 S1 Pro can be added to a classic Ender 3, if you’re willing to spend at least $350 in parts and add them to the old printer yourself (which is a hassle and costs more if you don’t already own an Ender 3).

  • Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro at Amazon for $399

Specifications: Ender 3 S1 Pro

Swipe to scroll horizontally

Machine Footprint 6490 x 455 x 625 mm (19.2 x 18 x 24.5 inches)
Build Volume 220 x 220 x 270 mm (8.5 x 8.5 x 10.5 inches)
Extruder Type Direct Drive
Nozzle . 4mm (Interchangeable)
Filament Runout Sensor Yes
Bed Leveling CR Touch
Connectivity SD card, Type-C USB
Interface Color Touch Screen

Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro: Included in the box

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Ender 3 S1 Pro comes with everything you need to get your printer set up. You get tools to build and maintain the printer, side cutters, a metal scraper, a nozzle cleaner, a spare nozzle, an extra Z limit switch, and a full sized SD card with a USB adapter. There’s also a small sample of white PLA to print your first model.

The SD card has two short videos, one on assembling the printer, and another on how to level it. You also get a PDF copy of the manual, a copy of Creality Slicer 4.8.0 and models in both pre-sliced .gcode and .stl format.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Ender 3 S1 Pro is quite a bit flashier than the old Ender 3s, but only slightly different from the previous S1.

The Ender 3 S1 Pro has a modern look, with an all-in-one design, smooth metal frame and flat cables. It has Creality’s newest direct drive, the all metal Sprite, which not only improves performance, but does away with the need for a Bowden tube.

The direct drive is an all metal, dual gear unit that works beautifully. It’s a little industrial looking compared to the rest of the machine, but the lack of plastic housing serves to cut down on weight. It’s a titanium heat break allows it to heat up to a toasty 300 degrees. This allows us to print more materials, but more important, cuts down on nasty clogs from burnt PTFE tubes.

The Creality Sprite extruder is shipped unmounted and attaches with a few easy to reach screws. It’s meant to be simple to remove, so you can swap it with a laser kit , purchased separately. We’ll be reviewing the laser at a later date.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

I’m still not loving the awkward front-mounted parts cooling fan, which makes it hard to watch your first layer go down. The machine also comes with a run out sensor mounted near the spool holder and power loss recovery.

Like the S1, the Ender 3 S1 Pro has a CR Touch for auto bed leveling, but kept the bed’s flexible springs and knobs. Should the CR Touch fail completely, or you just hate easy bed leveling, Creality included a Z limit switch you could add to convert it back to manual.

A final intriguing addition is a dual Z axis upgrade, something normally reserved for larger printers. The two lead screws are kept in sync with a belt for added security. The extra Z axis ensures smoother prints by giving the X gantry more support.

I was most excited to see my favorite upgrade – a PEI coated steel flex plate. The PC coated plate on the S1 was both too sticky and too floppy, and damaged a few vase mode prints.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

If you’ve used any Creality machine in the past, the new touch screen will throw you for a loop. The layout is completely different from all the old versions with a complex text menu that, honestly, doesn’t make a lot of sense in places. For example, the automatic preheat buttons are hidden under “manual” and bed leveling is stashed under settings.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Assembling the Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro is mostly pre-assembled and comes together with a handful of neatly labeled bolts and screws. Creality learned from the S1 and made the paper manual much larger. If you find video easier to follow, you can watch a good assembly video on the included SD card.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

I installed the gantry first. It fits into slots on the base unit and is held in place with 2 screws and 2 bolts on each side. Then I fitted the hotend assembly onto the X gantry with four screws. The control screen bolts to the side with 3 screws and the spool holder snaps into place on the top.

Wiring is very simple as everything is already attached to the frame and only needs to be plugged in.

Last, flip the power supply switch to match your main household electric, which is 115V in the U.S. Creality placed a giant sticker to make sure you don’t overlook the hidden switch.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Leveling the Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Ender 3 S1 Pro comes with a CR Touch installed, Creality’s version of the popular BL Touch. It physically taps the build surface with a metal probe and works with both metal or glass surfaces.

To level the printer for the first time, select Level from the settings menu. Click Start and the printer will immediately go into its leveling routine without preheating and tap 16 points around the bed.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Now go back to the previous menu and click “Auto Level” to set the Z offset by sliding a piece of paper under the nozzle. Move the Z offset up or down until the nozzle just scrapes the paper. The printer I tested did not need to adjust the Z, it was perfect the first time.

If the CR Touch is unable to level the bed, you will need to do a manual level. Directions for this are in the manual.

Loading Filament on the Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro is the first Ender to include a filament loading routine in the control panel. This is located under Ready → In/Out. Click the nozzle icon, enter a number of millimeters you’d like to advance. 20 is a good place to start. If the nozzle is not hot, the Ender 3 S1 Pro will automatically warm up to 200 degrees, then advance the filament.

To unload material, just reverse the process.

Preparing Files / Software for Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Ender 3 S1 Pro comes with a copy of Creality Slicer 4.8.0, which is simply an older version of Cura with Creality branding and every printer its ever made pre-loaded. PrusaSlicer is another popular alternative that’s also free and some consider easier to use.

The latest version of Cura (5.0) doesn’t have a profile for the Ender 3 S1 Pro, but you can use the profile for the Ender 3 Pro and adjust the build height to 270. PrusaSlicer has a profile for the Ender 3 S1, which has the same build size.

Printing on the Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro

The Creality Ender 3 S1 Pro printed wonderfully right out of the box. My first print was a pre-sliced Cat from the SD card – which was also the test print supplied with the S1. I turned out exactly the same, including the same little stray bit of filament on the mouth. This is printed using the sample filament.

Model supplied by S1 (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

I like to test bed adhesion with a print in place model, like a flexi toy. This dolphin from Flexi Factory fit the bill and printed very cleanly. I did a manual color swap just to use up some final scraps of PLA. This is printed in Inland Turquoise PLA and Matterhackers Pro Series Blue PLA. This took 3 hours and 55 minutes at a . 2mm layer height and 60mms speed.

Model by Flexi Factory (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

I wanted to test TPU in an interesting way, so I ran this really cool coaster set from Trilobyte3D. It won a contest on for, you guessed it, coasters! This is a three part print, with the leaves printed in TPU laying flat, then the stem and pot printing separately without supports. The leaves are made from Matterhackers Translucent Green TPU and come off the stem to place under your drink. The stem is Emerald City Green Silk from Polyalchemy Elixir and the pot is Protopasta Recycled PLA in Still Colorful 11. Everything was printed individually at a standard .2mm layer height, and the whole project took 19 hours and 45 minutes of printing time.

Model by Trilobyte3D (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

I’ve been looking for practical prints, and found it with this credit card cutlery model from jq910. I used Keene Village Edge Glow Glass PETG. It’s only a nine layers thick, but still quite sturdy. This printed in 36 minutes with a .2mm layer height and 60 mms speed.

Model by jq910 (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

To see just how big I can print with an Ender 3 S1 Pro, I took this Twisted Cloud Vase by PressPrint and expanded it 200% until it filled the bed. Then I ran it in Blue/Purple Evyone Matte Dual-Color PLA . It’s a vase mode print, so it only took 7 hours and 36 minutes at a .2mm layer height and 60 mms speed. 

Model by PressPrint (Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The Ender 3 S1 Pro is a fantastic printer and a refreshing change of pace from its bare-bones beginnings. It’s easy to assemble and the CR Touch leveling system worked perfectly without a need to make any adjustments. The new PEI coated flex plate is great and all the little upgrades from light kit to all metal hotend make this printer feel like a complete consumer grade product. This isn’t a science project to stick out in the shed, it’s a real piece of hardware to sit proudly on your desk.

Retailing at $479, the S1 Pro has everything you need in a 3D printer, and more features than a lot of the competition. However, if you want the deluxe Ender experience and don’t need an all metal hotend, you can save a few bucks by getting the Ender 3 S1. Another feature packed printer we like is the Anycubic Kobra, priced at $319, it’s an Editor’s Choice and our pick for Best Printer for Beginners.

Denise Bertacchi is a Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering 3D printing.

Which 3D printer to choose for home and hobby use

A few years ago, 3D printers were bulky industrial machines, but now 3D printing is becoming more accessible for home use. When buying their first printer, many are disappointed. This may be due to the unsatisfactory quality of the resulting models or the complex setup and maintenance of the 3D printer.

In the reviews that are found on the Internet, printers are often shown after a lot of upgrades or a long selection of settings for printing. This is not at all the result that a beginner who first got acquainted with 3D printing will get.

In order not to be disappointed, before buying, you need to understand which model is suitable for your tasks. First of all, it is worth deciding what the printer will be used for. What is the main property that finished products should have? What is more important, the physical properties of the model or the ideal surface and detail? Not only the model depends on this, but also the technology by which the 3D printer will work.

Which technology to choose? FDM or LCD?

If you need to make a small detailed figurine with a perfectly smooth surface, you should pay attention to models that work on LCD technology (LCD works on a principle similar to DLP — Digital Light Processing or “digital light processing”).

LCD prints using a photopolymer resin that cures under UV light. This makes it possible to produce without deformation, even small and thin products that cannot be manufactured using FDM technology.

Resin model

Now on sale there are many photopolymer resins with different properties. A few years ago the choice was not great. Basically, finished products were not strong enough for use in functional models. Now engineering resins have begun to appear on sale. Products from them are not inferior in strength to models made using FDM technology from ABS or even nylon.

If it is necessary to produce large products with different properties, or the tasks will be very diverse, then the choice is with FDM technology. But it is important to understand that finished products will not have a perfectly smooth surface. Of course, you can polish the model, but this is additional time and labor costs.

FDM technology builds a model using molten plastic filament, which is fed from the print head. The print head (extruder) “grows” the model layer by layer on the printing table.

FDM Models

FDM technology became widespread much earlier than DLP. Thanks to this, a wide variety of 3D printers and consumables for them has appeared. You can find many decorative plastics that mimic various materials, or engineering plastics for making functional models or mock-ups.

Choosing an LCD printer

Photopolymer printers work on one of 3 technologies — DLP, LCD or SLA.

As home printers, devices based on LCD technology are usually used due to their availability and low price.

Printer design

SLA technology appeared the very first among photopolymer printers. With the help of a point-focused beam, the desired areas of the resin are gradually illuminated. This is repeated layer by layer.

How SLA 9 works0018

Since the surface of the model is perfectly smooth, SLA has become used in the jewelry and dental industries.



DLP technology appeared later than SLA, but it is very similar to it. The main difference is that the light source is not a focused beam, but a projector. This made it possible to illuminate the entire layer at once, which significantly accelerated the production of models. The quality of the surface was slightly inferior to SLA, but modern DLP printers, in terms of the quality of models, are almost as good as SLA technology.

How DLP works


  • Faster production of models due to the illumination of the entire layer

  • Consumables are slightly cheaper than SLA

  • High surface quality (although may be inferior to SLA)


LCD technology is the youngest of all. The DLP principle is taken as a basis, but an LCD display is used as a matrix or illumination pattern. LEDs are used as a source of UV light in LCD technology. Thanks to inexpensive components, we managed to get a simple, but high-quality and affordable photopolymer printer.

How the LCD printer works


  • small cost

  • Cheap parts


  • Low accuracy compared to SLA and DLP (for jewelers and dentists, the quality of LSD prints may not be enough, although more and more accurate models appear with the development of technology)

  • Possible stray light

  • The quality of models may decrease at the edges of the printable area (this can be corrected programmatically)

Resins that are used as a consumable for photopolymer printing can smell strongly and unpleasantly during operation. Try to use the printer in a well-ventilated area, or choose a printer with a sealed cabinet and filter.

When choosing an LCD printer, pay special attention to the rigidity and positioning accuracy of the platform along the Z axis. If there are poor quality guides along the Z axis or even a slight play, then the surface quality of the finished model may turn out to be sloppy or the model will turn out to be unevenly striped.

Rating of the best LCD 3D printers for home

Anycubic Photon Mono

This is an LCD printer with a matrix that allows you to increase the speed and accuracy of printing. Anycubic Photon Mono will be a good helper for hobbyists and modellers.

Anycubic Photon Mono SE

Anycubic Photon Mono SE has an unusual parallel light source. This minimizes distortion at the edges of the printable area. You can effectively use the entire working area of ​​the machine and produce many small models at a time.

Phrozen Sonic Mini 4K

Model with high resolution LCD display and large print area. The monochrome display transmits UV rays better and allows you to print much faster than similar devices with a conventional display. The manufacturer claims a screen life of more than 2000 hours. Phrozen Sonic mini 4k is suitable for almost any task.

Wanhao GR1

Wanhao GR1 has high precision and large print area (140x78x200mm). The manufacturer tried to reduce distortion at the edges of the display, this allows you to make the most of the entire work area. High precision and large print area make Wanhao GR1 not only for hobby use, but also for production.

Anycubic Photon Zero

Small and very budgetary LCD device. Its resolution and small working area (total 97x54x150 mm) is enough for printing small miniatures, figurines or small engineering models. Anycubic Photon Zero is a good choice for beginners who want to get into photopolymer printing without spending a lot of money.

Choosing an FDM printer

If you plan to produce large and diverse functional models or experiment, a 3D printer that prints using FDM technology is an excellent choice.

First, decide on the size of the printable area and the properties that the finished model should have. After all, some materials require a closed chamber or good airflow to work.

Some printer models can be “upgraded” in the future. For example, if necessary, purchase spare parts for a closed case, put a nozzle of a different diameter, or change the thermal barrier to an all-metal one. But not all manufacturers provide for the possibility of such upgrades.

Printer design

Despite the same principle of operation, there are several different mechanics, which have their pros and cons.

Kinematics “Prusa” (Prusa)

Perhaps the most popular kinematics among home FDM devices. Mainly due to its simplicity and low cost. The main feature is the table that moves along the Y axis, while the extruder moves along the rest of the axes. Because of this, such kinematics was nicknamed “dragstol”.

Prusa kinematics



  • Slow print speeds. A massive table with a model is forced to constantly move along the Y axis, because of this, print quality will be worse at high speeds.

  • Some models have design flaws (for example, insufficient frame rigidity), they can be fixed, but for this you have to be a little inventor. Or find a ready-made solution on the Internet.

This category also includes 3D printers with console kinematics. The same prusa, only halved. Because of this, the frame is less rigid, but the printer itself is more compact.

Kinematics Ultimaker

The extruder moves along the X-Y axes, and the table only along the Z axis. All motors are trying to be fixed on the body to lighten the weight of moving mechanisms, thanks to which it is possible to achieve high print quality at high speeds.

Ultimaker kinematic diagram



H-BOT or Core-XY

These are 2 similar but more complex kinematics — the table moves only along the Z axis, and the extruder along the X-Y. But to move the extruder, 1 or 2 long belts and 2 stepper motors work in concert.

Example Core-XY kinematics


  • High print quality

  • High print speeds without loss of quality.

  • Can be easily closed completely


MakerBot Kinematics

Similar to Ultimaker kinematics, but one of the motors is located on the Y or X axis carriage.




Deltas do not have the usual XYZ axes. There are 3 columns in the deltas, along which the carriages move, and the position of the extruder in space is calculated using a complex formula. The table is usually statically fixed to the body.

Delta printer example



Nuances of choosing an FDM 3D printer

In addition to kinematics, when choosing a printer, it is important to take into account some design features.

One or two extruders?

Two extruders can be used for dual color printing, but most commonly the second extruder is used for solvent support printing. If you need to print complex parts with internal cavities, then you should choose a dual extruder printer.

Closed or open printer?

Printing of functional models and parts uses plastic, which usually requires a closed chamber. If you plan to print functional prototypes or various models, you should look at printers with a closed chamber.

Bowden or direct?

There are 2 types of material supply to the print head of the printer — bowden and direct.

In a bowden, the feed mechanism motor is located on the printer body. This allows you to reduce the weight of the extruder and print at higher speeds without losing quality. But because of the long tube, printing with very soft plastics can be problematic.

Bowden feed pattern

In direct feeding, the motor and feed mechanism are located on the extruder. This increases the weight of the print head, but allows you to print with any kind of plastics.

Direct feeding scheme

Heated table or not?

The heating of the table improves the adhesion of the first layer of the model. And engineering plastics cannot be printed without a heated table.

Many manufacturers add useful additional features. They do not affect the quality of the print, but save time and nerves. The most useful additional functions are the filament presence sensor and remembering the print location after a power outage.

Filament sensor.

It will automatically pause printing if the plastic runs out. When there is a little plastic left on the spool, this feature will allow you not to stand over the guard printer until the old spool runs out in order to have time to push in a new bar “on the go”.

Power outage protection.

Remembering where to print when the power goes out can save you a lot of nerves when printing large models. You won’t have to worry that after a power outage, you will have to run the model again for many hours or cut and reprint a piece of the model. It is especially disappointing to throw away a complex underprinted model with supports due to a one-minute outage.

There are also many extras. features that make using the printer more comfortable. For example, automatic calibration, touch screen, Wi-Fi and others.

Rating of the best FDM 3D printers for home

Anycubic Mega Zero 2.0

Inexpensive model with Pryusha kinematics. Good for getting started with 3D printing without a big investment. Despite the low cost, Anycubic Mega Zero 2.0 has a heated table and a resume function after a power outage. Thanks to direct feed, printing with soft materials should not be difficult.

Creality3D Ender 3 Pro

A very popular device due to its low price. But despite this, the Ender 3 Pro has a heated table and a decent print area. Can be sold assembled or as a DIY kit.

Flash Forge Finder

Small home appliance intended for children or educational institutions. The Finder doesn’t have a heated table, but it does have a calibration assistant, a Wi-Fi module, and other extras that make getting to know it a lot easier. All moving and heated elements are hidden as much as possible in the case so that the child cannot get burned.

Wanhao Duplicator 6 Plus

Wanhao Duplicator 6 Plus was based on Ultimaker kinematics, but instead of bowden feed, they made direct. Because of this, it will not be possible to print super fast, without quality loss, but there will be no problems with printing with soft types of plastics. There are 2 trim levels — with a closed case and without.

Flashforge Dreamer

The Dreamer is a closed body dual extruder printer with MakerBot kinematics. Thanks to this, he can cope with printing models of any complexity. Using a second extruder for soluble support, models with complex geometries can be produced. A good choice for engineers and those who like to experiment with different materials.

FlyingBear Ghost 5

Most commonly sold as a kit (assembly kit). Assembly usually does not cause any great difficulties, even for people far from electronics or mechanics. Flying Bear is equipped with a filament sensor, a function to resume printing after a power outage and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Flying Bear makes a great first printer for the novice user who is ready to build their own printer.


In order for the printer not to become a useless toy, you should clearly understand what it is for.

For a fan of miniatures or detailed figurines, a photopolymer printer is a good choice. A small work area is more than offset by the detail that cannot be obtained using other technologies.

For an engineer or a fan of experiments, an FDM machine with a closed chamber and two extruders is well suited. This will allow you not to limit yourself in the choice of plastics and comfortably experiment with any materials.

For a beginner who has not yet decided whether he needs 3D printing, you can opt for inexpensive machines with slick kinematics. Due to their great popularity, you can find a lot of upgrades and reviews on them. In the future, it will be possible to modify the printer for specific tasks or change it to a more suitable model.

For a child, safety is paramount. As the first children’s printer, models without a heated bed are suitable, in which the main emphasis is on printing with safe PLA plastic. Or models in which all moving and heating mechanisms are hidden in the case.

A 3D printer is a handy tool, and whether it brings joy or frustration depends on the user.

top 10 rating according to the KP version

A 3D printer opens up incredible opportunities for a person. The first prototype of such a device was born back in 1984. The idea of ​​​​the invention belongs to the American Charles Hull, he received a patent for it only two years after development. The printer was a rather massive industrial installation and, despite many inaccuracies and shortcomings in operation, the technology was used.

Hal co-founded 3dsystems, a leader in industrial 3D printers. However, this material is not dedicated to these large machines. 3D printing is becoming more and more part of everyday life. Thus, the technology is used to create unique toys, various models, figurines, packaging, clothes, shoes and jewelry. For these purposes, it is not at all necessary to purchase a large-sized printer. You can get by with a small device. It has a compact size, and its technology is completely identical to the industrial one. Heated plastic is fed through the nozzle (spout) of the device, which is laid out on the surface in accordance with the drawing specified in the program. And if earlier such a device was a luxury that only a few can afford, today a 3D printer is available to everyone.

Top-10 rating according to KP

1. Creality3D Ender 3

Creality3D Ender 3. Photo:

Our rating opens with a model from the world’s largest manufacturer of 3D printers. The Ender 3 features an elegant and thoughtful design, excellent print quality and a wide build area. Manufacturers have provided a good arrangement of wires that do not get confused during operation. The small control unit of the device is located to the right of the work surface. The gadget prints perfectly with various types of plastic. In particular, we are talking about varieties of ABS, PLA, TPU and PETG. The scope of this printer is quite wide. It can be used to produce minifigures, do artistic modeling, and make small prototypes of parts and functional elements. 9

Working space depth 220 mm Features heated table, display, active cooling, no -change, Micro SD Press speed (extruder speed)


Number of extruders 1

Pros and cons

Ability to use different types of plastics, high quality parts, reliable design

A small display that displays only basic information


FlashForge Adventurer 3

FlashForge Adventurer 3. Photo:

The model from the Chinese developer FlashForge took the second position in our rating. The device is equipped with a Wi-Fi receiver, a removable heated pad for printing. In addition, manufacturers have provided a built-in webcam, a closed case and a color touch-screen display. The latter, although it does not support the Russian language, is intuitively understandable. The ergonomics of the device is provided by the filament sensor: if the printer runs out of plastic, it automatically goes into standby mode and does not idle.

Despite the rather wide functionality, this model is hardly suitable for an experienced printer or a small production due to the small area of ​​​​the working space, high price

3. FlyingBear Ghost 5

FlyingBear Ghost 5. Photo: from FlyingBear is ideal for semi-professional use. Uniform supply of filament (plastic) provides good opportunities for creating three-dimensional figures with a fairly high resolution. High productivity is achieved thanks to the transparent Dual Drive extruder with BMG double drive. The gadget has a body closed on three sides. Its walls are made of heat-resistant non-toxic ABS plastic. This protection prevents the accumulation of dust on the working parts of the device, which greatly facilitates the maintenance of the printer. The device is controlled using a 3.5-inch color TFT display. X, Y 0.01 mm Positioning accuracy Z 0.002 mm

Pros and cons

Short power cord, inaccuracies in the Russian-language menu, weak airflow system.

4. Anet N4

Anet N4. Photo:

The budget model from the Chinese manufacturer Anet N4 is equipped with all the necessary functions for a small household production. The base of the device is made of cast aluminum alloy. The weight of the gadget does not exceed 9kg. A transparent tinted hood protects the work surface from external sources of ultraviolet radiation. It can be removed to remove the finished product and clean the printer. Also, manufacturers have provided a removable resin bath and a working platform, which greatly facilitates the use of the device.

Key Features
Print Technology LCD
Applications Home/DIY Professional 30 mm/h
Pros and cons

Ability to use photopolymer resins from any manufacturer, high polymer curing speed

Small work surface, slightly inferior to competitors in some parameters

Photon Scu0bic4 Anycubic4 Anycu043 5. S. Photo:

In the middle of our rating is the Anycubic Photon S model. It is equipped with an advanced optical system and a large working camera. The device has a matrix light source that provides a uniform luminous flux over the entire plane of the desktop. This allows a very high curing speed of the layers to be achieved. In addition, the printer has an original function that allows you to simultaneously print eight identical models. According to the developers, the target audience for this device are orthodontists and jewelers. Most parts of the device are made of plastic. This factor significantly reduces the weight of the device and makes it convenient to transport.

Pros and cons

Low price, easy and convenient to use

Lack of protection for the work surface, poor quality of spare parts

8. Wanhao Duplicator i3 Mini

Duplicator Mini i3. Photo:

Miniature 3D printer does not look like other devices. However, this feature does not affect its technical characteristics. The plastic spool is located on the right side of the bracket. Wanhao branded coating is pasted over the table. There is no platform heating, so it is recommended to use PLA plastic for printing. The manufacturer clearly states in the manual that the printer is designed to work only with PLA material and nothing else. The body of the gadget is made of sheet steel. The memory card slot and all printer control elements — a monochrome liquid crystal display, a universal knob-button and a Reset micro-button — are placed on the front panel of the printer. Positioning accuracy Z 0.004 mm


Good price

LOOD WITTURE and Protection of the working surface, high probability of problems with a working peasant

9. Arntiller.

Artillery Genius. Photo:

The base of the device consists of an aluminum case, in which all the electronics are hidden. An aluminum portal is also attached to it. The latter is also a guide for the moving parts of the printer. At the top of the portal is a plastic jumper to which the spool holder and filament sensor are attached. As for the control screen, its functionality is seriously curtailed. However, it is sufficient for simple tasks, but it is impossible to configure the printer. 1

Pros and cons

Spacious work surface, robust housing

Little functionality for a rather high price, no work surface protection, few functions on the control screen.

10. Tianfour Sparkmaker

Tianfour Sparkmaker. Photo:

This model is ideal for beginners, as it does not require additional settings at all before starting work. Externally, the printer has the shape of a cylinder with a height of 27.5 cm and a diameter of 17 cm. The realistic contours and smooth curves of the figures are ensured by LCD technology. The printer works with any photopolymer resins for 3D printing with a flash length of 405nm.

How to choose a 3D printer

Choosing a 3D printer is not such a difficult task as it might seem at first glance. Despite the relentless interest in 3D printing and the incredible number of devices on the market, the basic requirements for models remain unchanged. Komsomolskaya Pravda turned to Svyatoslav Vulf, a blogger and host of a YouTube channel about modern technologies and experiments, for help in this matter. He regularly monitors new products on the 3D technology market and tests them at home.

Product size

Initially, you should decide what size of products you expect to receive in the end. The required area of ​​​​the working surface depends on this. Note that the price of the device also depends on the size of the latter. For work at home, there will be enough indicators: 200 × 250 × 200 (WxHxD).


Today, there are several technologies for printing on a 3D printer. They differ significantly from each other. Let’s consider some of them.

SLA-technology — works on the basis of liquid photopolymer, which under the influence of laser light changes its physical properties and hardens. It allows you to create figurines with the highest precision of microforms.

DLP technology is an alternative SLA method. However, instead of laser systems, LED projectors are used here, which significantly reduce the cost of 3D printers. When using this technology, the future prototype is formed layer by layer.

The FDM method is ideal when prototypes are required that will be actively used, not just sitting on a shelf. Here, high-strength industrial plastics will be used for production. Please note that there are other technologies, but they are very similar to the above.


Before buying a printer, you should also pay attention to what materials it works with, as they have significant differences from each other. For example, ABS can take many different polymeric forms. This is a very durable plastic. It is easily sanded and processed. PLA plastic is considered more environmentally friendly. It is made from agricultural products — corn, potatoes, beets and others. In its original form, it is transparent and can be colored. PLA is just as strong but tougher than ABS. The ductility and heat resistance of SBS make it the material of choice in engineering and mechanical applications.

Noise level and drivers

An important factor when choosing a 3D printer are drivers — device engines (not to be confused with software).