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Which 3D printer do I choose?

Choosing a 3D printer can seem difficult and maybe even intimidating at first. It is important to understand the design limitations of each printer in considering which one would suit your project best. Other things to consider are what type of final look are you going for, how you are going to finish the part and how it is being presented. 

uPrint Plus

  • Type of printing = FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling). 
  • Material = ABS plastic
  • material properties = machinable, durable plastic
  • Color = White or Black

  • Cost =
    • Model = $6.00 per cubic inch
    • Support = $6.00 per cubic inch

  • Resolution = 0.01 in. or 0.013 in.
  • Minimum effective wall thickness = Slightly Smaller than 1/8 of an inch, 0.11811".
  • Maximum Print Volume = 8 in. x 8 in. x 6 in.

  • Befits = Best option for load bearing prints, for printing prototypes for real world testing.
  • Finishing = Models can be sanded, drilled, cut, melted, painted, air-brushed, and etc.

Example from www.stratasys.com


  • Type of printing = Powder printing or CJP (Color Jet Printing).
  • Material = Cemented mineral powder
  • Material Properties = dense, somewhat brittle, plaster-like
  • Color = White , or any color that you can print in CMYK. A .VRML file needs to be submitted apposed to a .STL in order to print in color.

  • Cost =
    • $6.00 per cubic inch

  • Resolution = 0.0034 – 0.004 in.
  • Minimum effective wall thickness = 1/8 in. (minimum) open shells suggested
  • Maximum Print Volume = 8 in. x 10 in. x 8 in.

  • Benefits =Very good for printing large objects, molds and forms, architectural miniatures with the density of stone, prints high quality and full-color models. Extremely useful for quick, finished prototypes that need to be shown with little to no finishing.

Example print from zPrint website.

Example from our lab.

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