By Max Parker
CEL RoboX 3D Printer
Having nearly tripled the $100,000 Kickstarter target it was set, the RoboX is looking like it could be the newest big player in the 3D printer market. It's all about simplicity here, just plug the device into your PC or Mac, connect it to your home WiFi network, find something to print (or create your own with the Auto Maker app) and you're ready to go. It uses Fused Filament Fabrication to layer up and build your structure, plus it cleverly knows what type of filament you're using and automatically alters all the necessary settings.
Price: £849 | CEL
MakerBot Replicator Mini
The compact addition to Makerbot's ever growing line of domestic 3D printers features one touch printing and is specially optimised for speed. A free downloadable app for iPad even allows you to create designs on the go, or choose from the large library of pre-made items if you're not feeling overly creative.
Pegasus Touch Printer
Another darling of the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, this printer features laser based stereolithography tech for the ultimate precision and output quality. The built-in touchscreen ditches the need for other peripherals and gives instant access to the 3D app store. Thanks to those high quality lasers, it's quick too, more in line with much higher priced items than normal commercial 3D printers.
Price: $2,750 | Pegasus
Solidoodle 3rd Gen
Coming in at under a grand, the third generation Solidoodle is a good choice if you don't want to take out another mortgage for a 3D printer. It can create plastic parts at 8 x 8 x 8 inches, uses a Heated Build Platform and boasts an industrial look with clear sides for gazing upon your masterpieces.
Price: $799 | Solidoodle
Maker’s Tool Works MendelMax 2 Standard Kit
Oozing a load of industrial charm, this printer looks far more like a product for professionals than the Cubify Cube. Lots of areas are customisable, like the print bed colour, plate colour and hot end – oh and if you want it cheaper, you'll have to build it yourself. While the whole package is pretty compact, it does in fact have one of the largest print areas of any similarly classed 3D printer.
Price: $1,595 | Maker's Tool Works
Picking up awards for being the 'easiest to use' and 'most reliable' 3D printer the Cube requires only a simple set-up before you can really get started. It's all wireless thanks to WiFi and it can print in two materials – strong ABS plastic and PLA, plus it has been certified for use by children, making it great for the home.
The high end model from the 3D Systems range, the CubeX can produce prints up to 1,030 cubic inches which is about the same size as a basketball. There's three printing modes and the option to use PLA or ABS plastics while users can expect an impressive resolution of up to 125 microns.
Aimed at more miniature 3D models the pint-sized printer uses plastic filament to output designs up to 5-inches in cubed dimensions. 3D software is compatible with PC and Mac and weighing in at less than 11lbs is portable enough to take it on your travels.
Price: $1,599 | Afinia
MakerBot Replicator 2
The fourth generation machine with a 100-micro resolution to generate smoother surfaces and 410 cubic inch build which means you can make those models big and small and with a durable steel frame it should take care of all of your high speed 3D printing needs.
ChocCreator Vers 1
If you prefer tucking into your 3D models, this chocolate making machine will melt the sweet stuff instead of plastic or metal building models layer by layer. Simply load the design into the website or accompanying software and the choc building can commence.
Price: £2,499 | reprapcentral.com
The sleek, Kickstarter-funded printer which is currently suffering legal issues over patent infringements the desktop-friendly printer uses a method called stereolithography which means it can produce models with a high resolution than its 3D printing competitors.
Price: $3,299 | Formlabs