What 3D Printer Should You Buy?

What 3D printers does the 3D Printing Professor suggest? What hardware and prices impressed him enough that they merit a recommendation? What 3D printer should you buy?

1. Monoprice Select Mini V2 $220 http://amzn.to/2BnTdrV
2. ANet A8 $129.99 with coupon:A8KIDA https://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_343643.html?lkid=10972970
3. CR-10 $340 with coupon: *11CR10US* https://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_778981.html?lkid=10972970 (Tornado is no longer recommended)
4. Prusa i3 kit $600 https://shop.prusa3d.com/en/17-3d-printers
5. Raise N2+ $3900 http://amzn.to/2AW4eDd

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All music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License


Bondy says:

Just for interest 3D printer of the future. : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00H-hXufpQE

Christopher Porter says:

I spent a lot of time looking at printers before deciding on the cr10s, I narrowed my choices to the cr10s, flash forge creator pro and the peopoly moai. I build scale models so the detail of so a printing appeals to me but I didn’t want to make such a large investment for my first printer, the flash forge is a dual extruder so pva support material also sounded great but probably not something I wanted to learn while learning this new technology. But the cr10s was on sale on Amazon for black friday at a reasonable price, large print volume and promised easy assembly, my only complaint would be the warped glass they sent but after some time tinkering I’ve managed to fix that

nateman10 says:

3:38 Just decide that for your first project you will be creating a conduit box with a simple lockable lid to mount onto that circuit board. Boom, no longer an issue and allows you to choose the color and come up with a first project. Lemons into lemonade….

Siana Gearz says:

I am exactly the target audience for Anet A8, as i have an engineering mindset and education and i’m almost more curious about building and maintaining a printer, and although i had lots of things in mind i’d print and am printing, the printing per se was almost of secondary importance. But i chose a different similar printer, the Geeetech i3 Pro W. Reasons for choice:

1. Better mainboard – replaceable StepSticks, configurable stepping, decent enough layout, 5 stepper support, two socketed fuses, decent cooling, larger processor, genuine [their claim – i haven’t verified yet] FTDI USB to serial IC instead of the CH340G. I had one experience with CH340G that left me a bit suspicious of it. I would have preferred SiLabs IC though as when you get fakes, they’re less problematic than a fake FTDI or a genuine CH340G. Firmware is preset to a swift 250k for serial communication and there have been no communication issues at all.
2. Better human interface – full size SD card goes into the display module, rotary encoder control. I think microSD are not suitable for such bulky device that is likely to be placed in your workshop area among tools and parts.
3. Open source – the company publishes the official firmware sources on the forum.
4. Better material selection – sheet steel gantry parts rather than badly 3D printed ones, melamine plywood frame that you can just drill into or lop off a piece and don’t have to worry about it cracking.
5. Super attractive price, it was the second cheapest kit i could get (including import duty, which was already paid by the manufacturer), and it was delivered in 3 days in Europe. Purchase direct from the manufacturer over eBay, support seems responsive. Much cheaper than Tronxy P802 or Anet A8 over here too.

Reasons for choice against potentially even cheaper CTC printer – an extruder that works out of the box and tensions filament properly, more program space on the processor, boards with higher probability of high-quality/genuine components.

There are drawbacks compared to potentially other kits:
1. Setup out of the box overextruded quite a bit. The encoder is not set up very well, it’s usable but glitchy, will need to fiddle with firmware. Acceleration values are OK. Motor currents were dialed way down, it certainly needs just a pinch more.
2. No part cooling – make your own. It’s OK, i have fans, lots of fans. 40mm ones, 80mm ones, 90mm ones, you name it. I took off the the PCB cooling fan and made it into the part cooling fan, and i put an 80mm fan to cool the PCB, and chose a different 40mm fan as an extruder cooler. Additionally i glued a 90mm fan onto the PSU to cool it. Incidentally, the original PCB cooling fan is incredibly loud and unpleasant in its original position due to badly designed baffle, but as a part cooling fan, it can be fine.
3. Wonky threaded rods, that absolutely will horribly imprint themselves onto the prints unless you do something about it.
4. Some plywood parts need quite a bit of filing.
5. The frame is a bit too narrow to make effective use of the bed area – some fiddling helps. Z motors could have sat lower. But hey it’s just plywood.
6. A little facepalm from the support team that i have alluded to on Twitter, and i think they’ll do better next time. Nothing entirely catastrophic.
7. It came with one defective part – the LCD controller had a few pixels loose. I have sourced another one locally in the interim, as tethered printing and control was grating on me, and i killed the original one when trying to find the fault and repair it, but the manufacturer promised to ship a replacement.

I chose Renkforce clear PETG (30€/1kg) as my first filament and i’m reasonably happy with it – i mean yeah it oozes quite a bit and you won’t be printing fine details with it, nor can you push it too quickly, but parts come out very strong in every direction and no warpage or shrinking.

I also had a bed sensor lined up but for now decided against it. Instead, the board will receive two SilentStepSticks and one of the drivers that came with the board will be moved to drive the second Z motor separately. Finally, there will be a second Z endstop for the other motor. The reason is that the printer actually stays level except for the Z motor that is further away from the Z endstop drifting up or down by itself. Luckily, the board allows for any such mods, though they are not necessarily trivial for someone who is not versed with tracing out complex boards. The A8 one has extremely few I/O points.

GeoDroidJohn says:

Pls staahp dooin such good content. I ned da vews

Reza Ismaili says:

Thanks for this fine video Joe. 🙂

Yury Khalevitsky says:

What can you say about FlyingBear 905/905X? It has much better stiffness compared to Prusa-like schemes, and way better one when compared to Monoprice Select Mini V2 with dangling hotend. I expect it to print with less wobbling. It also has full metal chassis, and it costs around Tevo Tornado or less.
N.B. I’m not an expert in 3D printers at all, and do not own one yet.

SpotterSky says:

Hi Professor
What about the Wanhao i3 plus 3Dprinter, would you recommend this one?
Thanks for your amazing videos, I enjoy them ….Thanks 🙂

David Light says:

LOVE the video and more importantly the approach. Speaking from the heart and teaching is the real value of your channel
Dr Dave

james o'connell says:

hello 3D Printing Professor
what about the wanhao duplicator 4s do you think they are worth a look at

April Phister says:

I must have been unlucky because my first printer was the Monoprice Mini and in less than a month it was malfunctioning and I couldn’t get a hold of any one at the company for help with it. Ended up returning it. I now have an Anet A8. So far so good. One minor fix with a printable part and it is running just fine.

Nuker 9000 says:

Help William Osman

Jason M says:

Love the recommendations. I owned the Monoprice Select Mini V2 and highly recommend it as a start in 3D printing as well (it’s what I started on). I just sold it to buy the Anet A8, so I was happy to see that it was choice 2 on your list!

Theulic Johnson says:

Thank you very much for this video

A Skewed View 3D says:

We love our tevo tornado after tweaking voltage on stepper motors & installing tl smoothers

Mark G says:

For a good starter printer, I’d recommend the Creality Ender 2, larger build volume than the Monoprice Mini, same quality as a CR-10, and it can be had for $160-$220 depending on where you get it.
It is a kit, so you need to put it together, but it’s not that bad, videos say you can put it together in 20 minutes, my son and I did it in a couple hours while eating dinner. (it’s his printer, I ordered one for myself now that should be here any day as my daily go to printer)

weltraumkuh says:

the CR-10 product line up is much better than the one of Prusa in any aspect with exception of multi color. Also CR- 10 community is much better.

wordreet says:

Interesting to see a Tevo in your list.
I say that because I’m pretty disappointed in my Tarantula. T nuts and bolts with no quality control, a frame that really isn’t right for running plastic V slot wheels, because it has no V slot. I received one good belt and one that was too short and the hot end heater simply doesn’t heat at all. I just hope my experience is not the usual.

Alfredo Antonio Martinez says:

Hi Professor, nice video! I am with you, my first 3d printer was the MP Select Mini, and was the best choice, and there is a fantastic a facebook group where company members give you the best support ever, also, I bought the V2, and all the upgrades was taken from this community in facebook, It is a really ready out of the box to print experience, I am from Argentina, imagine that I bougth one from CA, the box travel from CA, to TN, from TN to FL, and finally, from FL to Buenos Aires, I get out the box, put to print, and came PERFECT all, supporting the heavy travel, no so much companies and 3d printer model can presume about this, another good boy in the ring now it is the ender 2, I am waiting for receive one from Aliexpress, when I have it, I will do it a review and provide you my impressions.

Jason Westmas says:

your Tornado should have come 90% assembled. . .odd indeed.

BreaknMake says:

Get the tevo tornado!

Deneteus says:

LOL You shoulda got a CR10S rather than the CR-10. It comes with the filament sensor and dual Z screws. You only need to buy the autobed leveling kit from https://www.th3dstudio.com/ and upgrade the firmware. They will help you install it as well.

Scott Thompson says:

Have you checked out the Cel Robox ? I do love mine ! Many thanks , Scott ……

brian whittle says:

Don’t buy the Anet A8 if you are not technically minded but if you do there is a very active facebook group that will answer your question (that’s been asked by a hundred people before) mostly in a helpful way.

Paul Cumber says:

I have the every first monoprice select mp 3d printer

Michael Weibel says:

“PP3DP UPplus2” and “Ultimaker 2+” here, verry happy with both, but more so with the Ultimaker 2+. I can throw any material, nozzle and model/supports at it, it delivers. I create cosplay props and mechanical/design prototypes with it.

regmigrant says:


Matthew Carrell says:

a lot of fiddlin with that prusa…

kkuenzel56 says:

I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Cetus in your list.

Matthew Knapp says:

Have you ever used an sla printer?

Logan Turner says:

I recommend the Anycubic i3 Mega as a good all around printer. At $300, it is a solid machine with good features to get you started in 3d printing. I’ve had mine nearly 4 months and it prints everything I throw at it like a dream. I would honestly say it’s better than the cr10 for the money (except if you need a slightly larger build area).

Can Dogancan says:

A8 discount code is obsolete!

Cece Fischer says:

Thanks for the help. I got interested in 3D printers a while ago, (you may recognise me. XD) But my Dad actually wants to get one, so I’m looking around on amazon in the price range, but I didn’t know where to start, so I’m shuffling around in the 3D printing channels I’m subscribed to to give me ideas on what to look for. 🙂

Matthew Cotterell says:

What about a flashforge based machine.. Solid work horses…just asking. how can you recommend printers with no experience with them? I have both a cr10 and a tevo tornado..the cr10 wins hand down build quality and reliability..yes the tornado comes better equipped but the cr10 comes almost built… Hand downs though my flashforge creator pro is my go to work horse… They all have different pros and cons… Love your vids though…

JustDatGuy says:

I used to have a Robo3D R1+ and have nothing good to say about. I just replaced it with a tevo tornado and I’ve had no problems with it so far and it prints much better out of box after I put it together which only took 30 minutes.

Kent Campbell says:

The Tevo Tornado has been as low as $309 in the past. $446 is too much.

9&45 RC says:

NVbots printers are top notch

Samsuraja says:

And also have the Select Mini, and its a great printer. If you print som minor stabilizing mods you get amazing results down to 0.04 layer height.

Maciej Gubała says:

wrong link to Prusa. duplicated with N2+

Samsuraja says:

If you want a 3D printer that is cheap and looks cool, get the Anycubic Kossel. Its a delta style printer and their newest version has powerfull heated bed and automatic leveling. Comes with both linear and pulley variat for 150-200 USD.

GeoDroidJohn says:

I think you have the most genuine content. Thank you for informing people

Paulo Silva says:

Geeetech pro b? my choice

David Sylvester says:

For Tinkerers with a moderate budget, you can’t beat the Folgertech Ft-5. I’ve built 2 with various different upgrades. It’s probably one of the most flexible platforms out there.

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