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Everything you need to start printing. Includes the Form 2 printer, Resin Tank and Wiper, Build Platform, Finish Kit, PreForm Software, and a 1 L Cartridge of Resin. The Form 2 comes with a one-year warranty.

Form Wash automates the print washing process for consistent, thorough, no-mess cleaning.

Form Cure precisely combines temperature and 405 nm light to post-cure parts for peak performance. Available now for pre-order.

Clear Resin polishes to near optical transparency, making it ideal for working with light or showcasing internal features. Supports print resolutions: 100, 50, and 25 microns.

White Resin captures smooth surfaces and details, making it great for presentation-ready pieces or as a base for painted prints. Supports print resolutions: 100 and 50 microns.

Grey Resin is perfect for general purpose prototyping and design, excellent for capturing small details. Supports print resolutions: 100, 50, and 25 microns.

Black Resin is formulated for models with very small features and intricate details. Supports print resolutions: 100, 50 and 25 microns.

Tough Resin simulates ABS. Less brittle than our Standard resins, this material is great for rugged prototypes and assemblies. Supports print resolutions: 100 and 50 microns.

Durable Resin simulates Polypropylene, ideal for parts that require a ductile plastic that can flex. Requires UV post-cure. Supports print resolutions: 100 and 50 microns.

Flexible Resin simulates an 80A durometer rubber, and makes parts that can bend and compress. Requires UV post-cure. Supports print resolutions: 100 and 50 microns.

High Temp Resin has an HDT of 289 ºC @ 0.45MPa, ideal for static applications that will undergo higher temperatures. Requires UV post-cure. Supports print resolutions: 100, 50, and 25 microns.

Castable Resin burns out cleanly with no ash or residue, capturing your high-resolution prints through investment casting. Requires UV post-cure. Supports print resolutions: 100, 50, and 25 microns.

Dental SG is a Class 1 biocompatible resin (EN-ISO 10993-1:2009/AC:2010, USP Class VI) designed to directly print surgical and pilot drill guides. Requires UV post-cure. Follow Instructions for Use.

Dental Model Resin is a high performance material for crown and bridge models with removable dies. Use with 25 micron print settings for maximum accuracy.

Dental LT Clear Resin is a Class IIa biocompatible resin with high fracture and wear resistance that is ideal for splints, retainers, and other direct-printed orthodontic devices.

The Resin Tank blocks light and is made from shatter-resistant polycarbonate. It comes with a reusable lid and wiper, making it easy to stack tanks and store resin outside of the machine.

Resin Tank LT is suited for long term use and rigorous, high volume printing, with a much longer lifetime, more accurate printer detection, anti-spill geometry, and easier wiper release for streamlined workflows.

A spare Build Platform can speed up your workflow, whether youre changing resins or starting a new print while you remove your part.

The finishing tray and accessories package helps keep your workspace clean and organized while putting the finishing touches on your masterpiece.

Grey Resin 1 L (GPGR04)Clear Resin 1 L (GPCL04)White Resin 1 L (GPWH02)Black Resin 1 L (GPBK02)

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One standard tank lasts for about 2 L of our resin. With a separate tank for each individual resin color, switching materials is as easy as sliding in a new tank.

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The Ultimate Guide to Stereolithography (SLA) 3D Printing

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With Formlabs Pro Service Plan, our award-winning 3D printers now come paired with customized training and priority support. Tailored for professionals, the premier support service is designed to meet the needs of the business and deliver rapid response to critical issues. Let our team of experts help yours.

Learn in the ins and outs of desktop 3D printing with a training session customized to you. Schedule a 30-minute video chat with a Pro Service Engineer, and become an expert in no time.

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Youre our priority in email support. Shoot us an email, and a Pro Service Engineer will respond within half a business day.

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Buy 3D Printers

Here at .uk we keep our eyes peeled for all the latest developments in the fast-moving world of 3D printing. Our selection of UK 3D printers is constantly updated with the very latest models available.

Unless youre planning to download all your 3D print models, youll need 3D printing software, which allows you to deign, refine and print your very own creations.

Getting hold of a 3D printer is only the start of the 3D printing adventure. Next youll need some designs to print. But if you dont want to make your own, what can you do?

The legendary sci-fi author Arthur C Clarke once observed that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. With its ability to create useful objects from powdered plastic or ceramics, 3D printing certainly appears magical, but what about the costs?

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There are severalthings to consider when it comes to 3d printing. From which printer to buy, which materials to use and how to design something.

There are numerous printers available starting from around 350 and rising to over 1000. If you are a newcomer to the world of 3d printing then a basic home 3d printer will probably be enough to enjoy some simple 3d printing.

There are 2 types of common material used for printing. ABS is a petroleum based plastic that is very robust but can give off toxic fumes when it is being used. PLA by contrast is a bio degradable printing material made from corn starch which is enviromentally friendly. It has a lower melting point and is less robust

The most important thing to consider when 3d printing is staying safe. Certain elements of the printer can reach very high temperatures and ABS plactic can give off toxic fumes so should be used in a well ventilated area. Take care when using 3d printers and never let small children near them when in use.

The final thing to consider is designing your 3d objects. Sometimes small errors in your computer design can give the printer problems which can end up with your finished product not looking the way you intended. Modelling on a computer can take a lot of practise and for anyone in a hurry to get started there a re websites that offer ready built designs. If you want to design your own be suire that all edges join up completely, in other words the object should be water tight. Equally make sure that your object does not have any internal edges or curves. This can be hard to spot but will certainly cause problems for the printer. There are programs which can help you check for internal geometry.

In general 3d printing is amazing and very fun but there are manythings to consider when 3d printing at home. Experiment and you will become an expert in no time.

How will 3d printing change online shopping.

3d printing of next revolution multi-material fabricated parts

Has the price of 3d printing come down?

Are there many jobs being created in the 3D industry?

How to 3D print beautiful jewellery

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10 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A 3D Printer

So you have decided to buy yourself a 3D printer after hearing about theamazing things it can build. You want to get started on printing models of your own a custom phone case, cosplay materials, figurines, musical instruments the possibilities are endless. Hold your horses, there are afew things you need to know before diving into the world of 3D printing

There are a lot of3D printers on the markettoday that have varying specifications, which in turn cater to different demands. On top of that, there aretechnicalities about 3D printingthat you really should look into. To help you decide on which printer to make your first, we have complied a list of10 things you need to know before you buy a 3D printer.

Recommended Reading:10 Affordable 3D Printers You Can Get Right Now

3D printing is a broad term that covers the technologies required for producing physical materials. The one you probably heard of in the media and the most popular among hobbyists is the one that usesFused Deposition Modeling (FDM).

FDM is an additive process, where a model is created byheating and extruding plastic, pieced togetherlayer by layer. Most of the 3D printers referred in this post works on FDM, as they are more widely available and easy to find.

There are 2 other types of 3D printing available:StereolithographyandSelective Laser Sintering (SLS). They are much more expensive compared to FDM.

Stereolithography also uses the additive process but instead of extruding plastics, theprocessutilizes anultraviolet light beam to harden a model from a pool of photosensitive liquid. This allows for a higher quality printout.

SLS is similar to stereolithography, except that the process involves lasers and powders instead of UV light beams and liquid. A laser is used to melt thepowder, creating a layer of the printed material. This allows some models to print metal objects, which is not possible in the other two processes.

The 3D printing community is one made of creators and makers, so it makes sense that many people would like to try their hand inbuilding a 3D printer on their own. There arebuilding instructions and 3D printer kits available onlineif you decide to go with this route.

Building your own printer can becheaper than buying onebut if you dont have the time, you could always buy a pre-assembled printer. Your final decision will depend on whether you are interested in tinkering with the technology, or just want to start printing right away.

One of the main factors that can help turn 3D printers mainstream is their market price. Pricesdepend mainly on the quality of the output. In general, the higher-quality ones tend to go above $1000; professional printers can even go above $2000, e.g. the MakerBot series. But if you are just dipping your toes in 3D printing, you can start with simple models that gofor as low as $100.

With rising popularity and heavy competition, the prices of printers will only go down while the quality improves. Note that these printers do not come with the materials you require to print your products. You will need toseparately acquire the materialsas different products may require different materials.

The two materials required for 3D printing are Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) and Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS). Both are thermoplastics that will becomesoft and malleable when heated, frozen when cooled. They are sold as 1kg (2.2lbs) spools of filament, priced in the $30 range.

Lets take a look at the good and bad of both materials.

PLA is a type of plastic that is derived from corn starch, excellent for beginners to start dabbling with. Also great for creating small, simple household items. Other characteristics include:

Biodegradable and environmentally sound

Cools quickly, which prevents problems with model warping

Available in both solid and translucent colors, gives printed objects a glossy look

: Its low melting point may cause models to deform under high heat

: It is difficult to work with if you require joints and interlocking parts

ABS is a petroleum-based plastic that is a popular choice because of itsstrength and flexibility think Lego bricks (which can be made using 3D printers, if you didnt know).

Its flexibility makes creating interlocking pieces easier to create and work with.

It also has a higher melting point, so your creations will be less likely to deform under high heat.

: It takes longer to cool compared to PLA; models are

: It emits fumes during printing (more on this below).

You need to knowwhich material is suitable for your final product. From there you can choosewhich type of printer you should buy. It is important to know that not all printers can accept both materials some will work with only either one type.

When it comes to filament size 1.75mm or 3mm in diameter it doesnt factor much into the end quality. More popular printer brands go with 1.75mm so it is recommended that you start with that.

When it comes to 3D printing, there are a few safety issues to take note.

The most important thing to remember is thatyou are working with heated plastics. Extruders, plastics and in some printers, the print bed itself can get very hot and can cause bad burns if you are not careful. Some printers have no enclosure around the print area; practice extra caution with these printers.

It is important to keep your 3D printer in an well-ventilated room. During the printing process, expect fumes to be emitted, particularly when you use ABS plastics. These fumes are reported to be ratheroverwhelmingalthough there is little to no research that states the impact they have on general health. Still, it is best to take the necessary precautions, particularly if you will be using 3D printers a lot.

3D printers can be use to create many types of household items, including kitchenware. Both ABS and PLA are generally food safe but if there are additives added in, thoseadditives may not be. Another major concern is that products created with FDM-type 3D printers haveporous surfaces on which bacteria can collect in. You cancoat the object to make it saferto use but it is best to limit the usage of 3D printed kitchenware.

To produce high quality 3D printed products, you need to take note of two things: print resolution and print speed.

Print resolution refers to thelevel of detail the printer can get, measured in microns the smaller it is, the higher level of detail in the objects you can create. Print speed measureshow fast the printer can move its extruder the higher the print speed, the faster it will print. Note that other features may affect the print speed, such as the acceleration and deceleration of the printer, which helps prevent the printer from shaking.

In the end though, the best way to gauge the quality of a printer is tolook at its output. You can look at photos, available online, of the final output of 3D printers before buying.

When it comes to getting a 3D model, there are two routes: you cancreate it yourselfordownload a pre-made model blueprintfrom the Internet. If you intend to create your own model, there are a variety of software, both free and commercial, that will help you bring your creation into the real world. If you like, you can evenlearn 3D modeling.

Learning to model in a computer is a difficult task that will take time and effort to truly get used to. Fortunately, for those who are short on time, there arewebsites that provide 3D modelsof many different items, made by enthusiasts from all over. A quickgoogle searchcan probably yield you the item that youre looking for.

The STL file (STereoLithography) is the standard file format that you will use to print your 3D model into a physical object. The file can be generated using most CAD programs so if you are building your own 3D models, chances are the software you are using can output one.

Basically inside an STL file is the information needed to produce a 3D model. The model itself is broken down to a series of triangles and a list of their XYZ coordinates is used by the printer to create the physical object, layer by layer.

Once you have an STL file of the model you want to print, you will have to put them through aslicing software. What slicing does is that it tells your printer how to print your model. It provides instructions on the number of layers needed, the starting position of the printer and the parts of the model that should be solid or hollow.

There are a number of software to help you with this although some software come with the printer. A good example would be MakerBots MakerWare.

The great thing about a new tech trend is that there is almost always an online community devoted to it. It is no different with 3D printers. Check online for a community of people who own a particular brand, to get more insight and answers to questions you may have about the ins and outs of that printer.

If the community is small or worse, nonexistent, the lack of users shouldraise a red flag about that particular brand. All you need to make a sound investment is to read up more about that brand and its competitors so you know what you are getting into.

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Where Can I Buy

The more you learn about 3D printers the more intriguing they seem, and the more you want to know where to buy one for home use. Its probably no surprise, but you arent going to be able to buy a 3D printer at your local Best Buy or office supply store for a long time. Currently, there are only three ways to buy 3D printers.

If you are in the market for your business or for commercial purposes, buying a 3D printer is still something of an involved process. Because of the large cost on this scale, most of the companies that build 3-D printers will work with you directly, identifying whattypes of 3D printeryou need. Installation, assembly, and training can also be somewhat involved when getting your 3D printer to work, as you learn how your new equipment can transform manufacturing techniques.

If you want to know where to buy a 3D printer, check out theAfinia 3D Printer H-Series, perhaps the best value 3D printer for sale right now. The UP! Mini 3D Desktop Printer comes already assembled, so youll be able to start 3D printing much faster with this printer than you would with most 3D printers out there.

Therefore, if you wanting to buy the best 3D printer, your relationship with the manufacturing company is critical. Start by investigating your options, looking at all of thetop 3D printer brandsin the field. Look for a source that will provide customized solutions and extensive customer services as you search for the right printer for your needs.

Its no surprise that the best place to buy a cheap 3D printer is through the internet. A little bit of searching will take you to countless sites offering hobbyist kits and various inexpensive options. Most of the kits will ship unassembled, and you will need to be self-taught to put them together.

This is where a hobbyist club can become very helpful. If you live near a large city, a group of hobbyists or some type of 3D printing club may already exist. If not, try subscribing to one of the many message boards or hobbyists web-sites. This will give you the chance to learn helpful tips from more experienced users and may even lead to find someone nearby who is also interested in the field.

One of the more exciting options for obtaining a 3D printer is to get one printed off for you. Even from the early days of 3D printing, one of the goals has been to produce a self replicating 3D Printerable to print off copies of more itself. Once this goal could be achieved, hobbyists have theorized, 3D printing will spread exponentially, as more people obtain printers in order to print more printers for other people. Recently, one company finally produced a $500 printer that can manufacture most of its own parts. For now, some of the key components must still be purchased directly from the company, but this may also change with time. If this eventually comes true, you may be able to buy a printer for little more than the cost of the materials. At this point, 3D printing will have become more than a noveltyit will be a3D printing manufacturing revolution.

The most important question to ask about buying a 3D printer is not where, but when. A number of 3D printer models are now available, and the internet makes these companies accessible from anywhere. Change over time is much harder to predict. If 3D printing really has reached a tipping point, the cost may drop very quickly in the next few years. At the same time, the sophistication and capabilities of the printers will go up. So is it time to buy now, or will it pay to wait just a little longer? The answer is how anxious you are to become part of the 3D printing revolution.

NextContinue reading about3D Printed Jewelry: It Will be Our Frugal Secret

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Ready to bring your three-dimensional creations to life? Heres everything you need to know to choose the right 3D printer.

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3D printersare here. Theyre hip. In fact theyre cool as all get-out. You know you want one. But its important to know how 3D printers differ from one another, in order to choose the right model for you. 3D printer models come in a variety of styles, and may be optimized for a particular audience or kind of printing. Preparing to take the plunge? Read on.

Tied into the question of what you want to print is a more fundamental question: Why do you want to print in 3D? Are you a consumer who wants to print toys and/or household items? A trendsetter who enjoys showing the latest gadgetry to your friends? Are you an educator seeking to install a 3D printer in a classroom, library, or community center? A hobbyist or DIYer who likes to experiment with new technologies? A designer, engineer, or architect who needs to create prototypes or models of new products, parts, or structures? An artist who seeks to explore the creative potential of working with melted plastic? Or a manufacturer, looking to print plastic items in relatively short runs?

Your optimal 3D printer depends on your planned use for it. Consumers and schools will want a model thats easy to set up and use, doesnt require much maintenance, and has reasonably good print quality. Hobbyists and artists may want special features, like the ability to print objects with more than one color, or to use multiple filament types. Designers and other professionals will want very high resolution. Shops involved in short-run manufacturing will want a large build area to print multiple objects at once. Individuals or businesses that want to show off the wonders of 3D printing to friends or clients will want a handsome, yet reliable machine.

For this buying guide, we will focus on 3D printers in the sub-$4,000 range, targeted at consumers, hobbyists, schools, product designers, and other professionals, such as engineers and architects. The vast majority of printers in this range build 3D objects out of successive layers of molten plastic, a technique known as fused filament fabrication (FFF). It is also frequently called Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), although that term is trademarked by Stratasys, Inc. A few use stereolithographythe first 3D printing technique to be developedin which lasers trace a pattern on a photosensitive liquid resin, hardening the resin to form the object.

How Large Are the Objects You Want to Print?

Make sure that a 3D printers build area is large enough for the kind of objects that you intend to print with it. The build area is the size, in three dimensions, of the largest object that can be printed with a given printer (at least in theoryit may be somewhat less if the build platform is not exactly level, for example). Typical 3D printers have build areas ranging from about 6 to 9 inches square, but they can be anything from a few inches up to more than two feet on a side, and they are not necessarily square. In our reviews, we give the build area in inches, in height, width, and depth (HWD).

What Materials Do You Want to Print With?

The vast majority of lower-priced 3D printers use the FFF technique, in which plastic filament, available in spools, is melted and extruded, and then solidifies to form the object. The two most common types of filament by far are acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA). Each has slightly different properties. For example, ABS melts at a higher temperature than PLA and is more flexible, but emits fumes when melted that many users find unpleasant, and needs a heated print bed. PLA prints look smooth, but tend to be on the brittle side.

Other materials used in FFF printing include, but are not limited to, high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), wood-, bronze-, and copper-filled filaments, UV-luminescent filaments, nylon, Tritan polyester, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), polyethylene terephthalate (PETT), polycarbonate, conductive PLA and ABS, plasticized copolyamide thermoplastic elastomer (PCTPE), and PC-ABS. They each have different melt points, so use of these exotic filaments is limited to those printers with software that lets users control the extruder temperature.

Filament comes in two diameters1.85mm and 3mmwith most models using the smaller-diameter filament. Filament is sold in spools, generally 1kg (2.2 pounds), and sells for between $20 and $50 per kg for ABS and PLA. Although many 3D printers will accept generic spools, some companies 3D printers use proprietary spools or cartridges. Make sure that the filament is the right diameter for your printer, and that whatever spool you use is of a size that is compatible with your printer, though in many cases you can buy or make (even 3D print) a spool holder that will fit different-size spools.

Stereolithography printers eschew filament in favor of photosensitive (UV-curable) liquid resin, which is sold in bottles. Stereolithography is capable of very high-resolution prints. There is a limited color palette available: mainly clear, white, gray, black, and gold. Working with liquid resin and isopropyl alcohol, which is used in the finishing process for stereolithography prints, can be messy.

The importance of the build platform (the surface on which you are printing) may not be apparent to 3D printing newbies, but it can prove critical in practice. A good platform will let an object adhere to it while printing, but allow for easy removal when the printing is done. The most common configuration is a heated glass platform covered with blue painters tape or a similar surface. Objects stick to the tape reasonably well, and are easy to remove when completed. Heating the platform can prevent the bottom corners of objects from curling upward, which is a common issue when printing with ABS.

With some build platforms, one applies glue (from a glue stick) to the surface for the object to adhere to. This is workable, as long as the object can easily be removed after printing. (In some cases, you have to soak both platform and object in warm water for the object to come lose.)

A few 3D printers use a sheet of perforated board with tiny holes that fill with hot plastic during printing. The trouble with this method is that although it will hold an object solidly in place during printing, the object may not easily come lose afterwards. Using a thumbtack or awl to push the plugs of hardened plastic out of the perforations to free the object and/or clean the board is a time-consuming process, and can damage the board.

If the build platform becomes tilted, it can impede printing, particularly of larger objects. Most 3D printers offer instructions on how to level the build platform, or let you run a calibration routine in which the extruder moves to different points on the platform to ensure that the points are all at the same height. A few printers automatically level the build platform.

Setting the extruder at the proper height above the build platform when commencing a print job is also important. Such Z-axis calibration is usually performed manually, by lowering the extruder until its so close to the build platform that a sheet of paper placed between extruder and platform can move horizontally with slight resistance. A few printers automatically perform this calibration.

How Do You Want to Connect to Your 3D Printer?

With most 3D printers, you initiate the printing from a computer over a USB connection. Some printers add their own internal memory, which is an advantage because they can keep a print job in memory and continue printing even if the USB cable is disconnected or the computer is shut down. A few offer wireless connectivity, generally a direct, peer-to-peer link rather than Wi-Fi. A downside of wireless is that it can take much longer to transfer the files than it would over a USB connection.

Many 3D printers have SD card slots from which you can load and print 3D object files using the printers controls and display, while a few have ports for USB thumb drives. The advantage of printing from either of these media is that you can print independently from a computer. The downside is that they add an extra step, in transferring the files to your card. Usually wireless, SD-card, or USB thumb-drive connectivity is offered in addition to USB cable, although a few models offer one or more of those options instead of a USB link to your computer.

Do You Want an Open or Closed Frame?

Closed-frame 3D printers have an enclosed structure with a door, walls, and a lid, while open-frame models lack these. The advantages of an open-frame model are that it provides easy visibility of a print job in progress, and easy access to the print bed and extruder. A closed-frame model is safer, keeping kids and pets (and adults) from accidentally touching the hot extruder. It provides for quieter operation, reducing fan noise. And it can reduce possible odor from printing with ABS, which can exude what some users describe as a burnt-plastic smell.

Do You Want to Print Objects in Two (or More) Colors?

Some 3D printers with multiple extruders can print objects in two or more colors. Most are dual-extruder models, with each extruder being fed a different color of filament. One caveat is they can only print multicolored objects from files that have been designed for multicolor printing, with a separate file for each color, so the areas of different colors fit together like (3-dimensional) jigsaw puzzle pieces.

What Software Do You Need for 3D Printing?

Todays 3D printers come with software on a disk or as a download. Its Windows compatible, and in many cases can work with OS X and Linux as well. Not long ago, 3D printing software consisted of several parts, including a printing program that controls the motion of the extruder, a healing program to optimize the file to be printed, a slicer to prepare the layers to be printed at the proper resolution, and the Python programming language. These components were derived from the RepRap open-source tradition that spurred the development of low-cost 3D printers, but today 3D printer manufacturers have integrated them into seamless, and for the most part user-friendly, packages. Some 3D printers allow you to use separate component programs if you prefer.

A 3D printer extrudes (deposits) successive thin layers of molten plastic in accordance with instructions coded in the file for the object being printed. For 3D printing, resolution equals layer height. Resolution is measured in microns, with a micron being .001 mm, and the lower the number, the higher the resolution. Thats because the thinner each layer is, the more layers are needed to print any given object, and the finer the detail that can be captured.

Nearly all 3D printers being sold today can print at a resolution of 200 micronswhich should produce decent-quality printsor better, and many can print at 100 microns, which generally delivers good-quality prints. A few can print at higher resolutions still, as fine as 20 microns, but you may have to go beyond the preset resolutions and into custom settings to enable resolutions finer than 100 microns.

Higher resolution comes at a price, as youll pay a premium for printers with resolutions higher than 100 microns. Another downside of increasing the resolution is that it can add to print times. Halving the resolution will roughly double the time it takes to print a given object. But for professionals who require the highest quality in the objects they print, the extra time will be worth it.

Check out our guide tohow 3D printers work, as well as ourtop picksin the category. And be sure to check out our gallery ofsimple and practical 3D printer objects.

As Analyst for printers, scanners, and projectors, Tony Hoffman tests and reviews these products and provides news coverage for these categories. Tony has worked at PC Magazine since 2004, first as a Staff Editor, then as Reviews Editor, and more recently as Managing Editor for the printers, scanners, and projectors team. In addition to editing, Tony has written articles on digital photography and reviews of digital cameras, PCs, and iPhone apps Prior to joining the PCMag team, Tony worked for 17 years in magazine and journal…More

The tiny AAXA HD Pico Projector has a respectable resolution and good image quality, yet its low bri…More

The Epson Expression ET-2750 EcoTank All-in-One Supertank Printer has a basic feature set, but can s…More

The Brother MFC-J775DW is a low-priced inkjet with very inexpensive running costs and a basic featur…More

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