If you are in a fix over buying a 3D printer, then you are not alone. With the plethora of choices of 3D printers available, choosing the best one can definitely be a challenging task. Actually no particular 3D printer can be labeled as the best as each of the models available have some pros and cons and only the requirement of the user can determine whether the chosen printer has performed well or not.
There are different types of 3D printers and the choice of the printer would mainly depend on the features and properties that are essential to you. The factors that must be considered before buying metal frame 3D printer include printer technology, printing materials, build volume, speed and resolutions, extruders, heated beds, closed frame, USB and Wi-Fi connectivity etc.
We did the research for you and have compiled a list of the best metal frame 3D printers available. These printers have been reviewed on the basis of the factors mentioned earlier, ease of use and maintenance, features and price. You must check out the list to find the best printer for your requirement.
QIDI TECHNOLOGY 3DP-QDA16-01 Dual Extruder Desktop 3D Printer QIDI TECH I, Fully Metal Frame Structure, Acrylic Covers, with2 Free Filaments, Works with ABS and PLA
Scored 4.5/5.0 – From 181 Customer Reviews
Priced From $679.00
- Fdm technology; dual Extruder; obtained CE,FCC, RoHS certificates; qidi technology is registered trademark by edify technology Inc
- Aviation level aluminum plate its surface is completely flat and will NOT warp during heating process
- Easy to Use software for simple customization of 3D models
- Fully metal external frame much more stronger than PVC plate and wooden frame
- New high heat resistant metal platform supports replace plastic supports
I have been looking for a very long time for a 3D printer and have been going back and forth with all the versions and manufacturers out there. I am very new to 3D printing and this is my first printer purchase so I was looking for minimal build and as much out of the box capabilities as possible while staying under $1000.After much debating, I decided to purchase the QIDI Dual Extruder 3D Printer. It had the features I was looking for based on feedback from friends and the price was in line with what I was thinking. I ordered this on Sept 28th and even though I was given an estimated delivery date of between Oct 26th and Nov 2nd, it showed up today Oct 1st! This unit shipped from China for free and made it to my door in 4 days! I was very excited to see DHL show up at my door.Because of my expected long wait to have it delivered, I emailed the company asking if they could provide me the software download so I could start learning it. Within a few hours, I received an email back from John stating that I should download the MakerBot Replicator software as it is the “recommended” software. I downloaded and installed it and played a while with it and also explored Thingiverse.com to keep myself occupied while waiting.My wait was very short and when I opened the box today, I unpacked a very well packed and protected printer. There were two free spools of filament, one Silver ABS and one Green PLA along with all the required hardware, parts and a small toolkit. I would estimate it took me about 3 hours to complete the build. This was really just final assembly. The only thing that had to really be done first was to switch the power to 115V. You need to remove the bottom plate to do this but it is critical you do this before you power it on so just do it first.After that step, I mounted the dual extruder into it’s “cradle”, mounted the filament holders and filament, and attached the plexi-glass walls, door and top. All in all, it was an easy assembly and the steps were very easy to follow in the directions that are on the included SD card.Once I had it built up, I wanted to test it and like an idiot, I completely forgot that I had already installed the MakerBot software. I installed the Replicator G software and Python and another Windows fix and could not get this to connect to my PC and find a port it could use to communicate. I messed around with this for about an hour before I remembered what John had said. I closed all those programs and opened up the MakerBot software and within 30 seconds, it had connected to my printer! That was it. Maybe the Python helped since I had already installed it as part of the Replicator G install but I am not really sure. All I know is that it worked perfectly using the MakerBot software.I leveled the print platform as instructed and kicked off my first build. A Jeep Grill Keychain. In about 37 minutes it was done and I am very happy with the results. I am now in the process of printing a Hydroponic top for a mason jar and I can let you know how that turns out in the morning (6.5 hour build time).All in all, I am very happy with my purchase and I will update once I have a good week under my belt. I just wanted to share how this worked out for a complete novice on day 1.UPDATE: I have now been using this printer for a few weeks and am still very happy with it. I am learning things that have made my life easier and my prints much better. I had one small issue with the fan on the left extruder not running and reached out to QIDI in China. Within a few hours, Audrey contacted me via email and then called my cell. Within a few minutes, she was able to figure it out with her engineer and gave me the fix for it the next day. They also shipped me out the replacement part right away. I got it via DHL the day after. I am very happy with that level of support considering this had to travel halfway around the globe.Here are a few observations/suggestions:1. Don’t leave prints on your print bed over night! This might be common sense to most but I am new and did not realize how much harder it is to take this off after everything cools.2. Using Rafts is pretty normal but I did not know that the supports were that important. Many items that have a span of some sort requires at least a minimal amount of support to make sure it does not deform.3. A small file set is great for cleaning up rafts and supports on your finished product as is an Exato knife.4. ABS and PLA seem to print with about the same quality from this machine – I have not really seen a difference. I have used the two free spools that come with this unit and Hatchbox filament with great success.5. Placing your finished item in a ziploc bag with some acetone (not touching) creates a great smooth and shiny finish (takes a couple hours).6. I had to cut down the guide tubes about 2.5 inches to make sure they did not rub on the plexi-glass dome cover.7. www.thingiverse.com is an awesome website!
FlashForge 3d Printer Creator Pro, Metal Frame Structure, Acrylic Covers, Optimized Build Platform, Dual Extruder W/2 Spools, Works with ABS and PLA
Scored 4.6/5.0 – From 678 Customer Reviews
Priced From $899.00
After spending untold thousands on developing prototypes, my wife coming close to divorcing me, and a lineup of ideas and projects, I was looking for a more cost effective way to bring my ideas to life. I did a significant amount of research on 3d printing, but not an exhaustive search, as my main goal was finding something I could afford, but that had the ability to actually bring my crazy ideas to life. As I type this, one of those ideas is being built. I’ve posted some quick photos and a video to show the progress. So far it has been printing for about 3 hours and is coming along quite nicely. There is one minor issue that is a result of a learning curve in terms of settings, as I’ve learned that addressing things like plastic curling from the bed, stringy prints, etc., have more to do with material and environment, than anything related to the machine itself. I have to say that it took me a few tries to get to the point of printing the concept in the photos and video, and there are still some more settings I need to work out, but the product has been superb thus far.But let me start with my general experience with FlashForge, Tang and his team.First of all, I originally order the first version of this Creator. http://www.amazon.com/FlashForge-Printer-Extruder-Compatible-Volume/dp/B008CM2TCU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid;=1394165975&sr;=8-1&keywords;=flashforge Luckily, I ordered it late on a Friday night, and the very next day FlashForge released the Creator X. I canceled my original order with Amazon, thought about it for a day, then ordered the Creator X as a “Pre-Order” item, because the printer was just posted and was stated to be shipping in March, this was February 11th, 2014. I was ok with the dates, because I was still designing some of my ideas and knew it would take a few weeks to get things right. Well, on February 13th, I got a notification that the Creator X had shipped. I was shocked (and worried my wife would find out before I had the chance to explain what I had purchased…a whole other story.) The printer arrived by Thursday of that week. It came directly from China, had all the “Paperwork” attached and it was quite impressive. It took me a couple of days to explain to my wife what I had done and get clearance to unpack it in my basement. (Just an aside, guys that are married, make sure the first thing you print is for her.) I finally got it unboxed and started to put it together.At this point, I started to get worried, because I ran into a few issues that seemed perplexing. Before I get into these, I have to say, the other product reviews talked in detail about Tang, his responsiveness, how helpful he is, etc. and I 100% concur with that feedback. Though there were issues, a couple of them immediate show stoppers, Tang responded almost immediately, mostly within 20 minutes, but no more than a couple of hours (time difference being an obvious factor.) The five star rating has more to do with Tang’s customer service, and less to do with the quality of the device, not because it is low quality, but because it is my first 3d printer and I have nothing to compare it with. But, I will post some additional pictures once I have some of my ideas printed out.Regarding the packaging, it was very well packed, no damage, and the unpacking instructions were spot on. Once I got it unpacked, I started to run into some issues. So here are the problems I initially ran into:1. As I was following the instructions, there were some inconsistencies with the parts and the explanation of the parts. For example, in one section, it states to use the two shortest silver screws, well, there were only two silver screws and they were different lengths. In addition, when I went to use the included Allen Wrenches, the size I needed for these silver screws was not included. It appeared there were two of the same size accidentally included. I brought this two Tang’s attention and he assured me that he would address it with his quality control team (I 100% guarantee he did.) This wasn’t a huge deal as I have plenty of Allen wrench tools. The size of the screws was not significantly different and they worked for attaching the print head to the trays, so no big deal.2. The second, more significant issue I ran into was when I turned the machine on and it started to go through its startup routine and seemed to want to go through the top of the machine. I immediately turned the machine off, then back on, same thing. Not being familiar with 3d printers, I emailed Tang with some photos of everything I could think of and within 20 minutes he emailed me back with a video of what was most likely happening and how to resolve the issue. And he was exactly right, easy fix, no damage to the device. The issue, as I came to realize, was due to the unpacking process. When I was unpacking the Creator and the various boxes, I accidentally, though understandably (due to the way it is packed) pulled a sensor out of place, and pushing it back in place resolved the problem. Ok, on to printing.3. I printed some samples out and they came out surprisingly well. I initially used the left extruder and it worked great. I tried to use the right extruder and it was not extruding at all. I pushed, pulled, jimmy’d the filament…no go. I switched plastic types, changed temps, zero. Finally sent Tang an email and again, almost immediate response with a video on what to look for and how to fix it. Problem was some left over filament in the filament gear feed (not sure the correct term). The video was detailed, took a few things apart, cleaned out the blockage, put things back together and it worked fantastically.The rest of the things I’ve been wrestling with are software and settings related. You do any search for 3d printer troubleshooting and you will very quickly learn that tinkering is the name of the game with this toy. And it is exactly spot on. I’ve come across a great thread from a guy who has spent many hours of his time and provided valuable insight to save you many hours of your time. Definitely worth a read if you are deciding to get a Flashforge. Though it is for the older model, it was 100% relevant to the Creator X: […]Ok, so I am still learning, experimenting, testing, etc and it has been a blast to learn about the machine, understand how it works, take it apart, and put it back together. It is honestly the best way to become familiar and really understand how the world of 3d printing currently works.So the machine is great, once you get any initial troubleshooting things out of the way and begin how to use it. But I really want to emphasize the company on this one. And this is where I get a bit philosophical. If Tang’s dedication to his product, his company, his pride in what he has brought to the market place was absent when I received this product, at the first sign of trouble I would have packed it back up and told him to send me a return label. But there was a valuable lesson I learned, that I think more American’s could take note of. That is, a realization that when you work hard, are honest (oh this reminds me of something else with my experience), stand by your product, don’t expect people to just accept what you put out, and have no sense of entitlement to someone’s business, you develop a true sense of what it takes to make people satisfied with your product or service. Tang has this down to a T, a big FAT T. I am inspired by his entrepreneurial spirit, it just makes me want to design and print, and work, and tweak, and develop and never give up on my own dreams. So thank you Tang, not for the product you’ve given this market place, but for the example you’ve shown me, and clearly, countless others based on reviews. I will continue to post my experience as print more and more with the Creator X. Thank you again.Oh, and I mentioned earlier about honesty…this blew my mind. So when the Creator X was first posted, the cost was 1399.00. I purchased it at that price. The day the product shipped, February 13th, I guess Tang decided to lower the price to 1299. I got an email stating that I was getting a refund of 100. I wasn’t expecting it, I had already mutually agreed to the 1399 price, and it was such a pleasant surprise to experience this type of honesty. Hard to come by these days. Thanks again Tang, I wish you great success in your business and look forward to continuing to work with you.
Scored 3.9/5.0 – From 10 Customer Reviews
Priced From $299.00
Like any budget 3-d printers, this one is not a open the box and start printing device. However I love it. I have bought 2 fancy 3 grand printers in the past and they were awful. Neither ever worked well or reliably. At 1/10 the price, I put this one together in 8 hrs and after another 4 hours of tuning i was printing beautiful parts. The main advantage of this printer is the use of extruded aluminum and v rollers. The extrusions are extremely stiff compared to linear shafting and the rollers are much smoother than linear bushings. This makes for good printing and virtually zero binding.There were some problems with the driver circuit board however. The printer would start printing and then randomly reset. At one point it turned of and would not turn on. I found that one of capacitors had a bad solder joint but I was able to fix it fast. Some might complain about this, but at this price, these types of things are expected. Also, the thermoplastic print bed they provide works-ish but it is flexible and doesn’t provide a flat print surface. A piece of flat glass cut to the print bed dimensions cost me 3 dollars at the hardware store. The thumb screws for leveling the plate are little annoying to get to, you have to reach around the driver board for one of them. These are very minor issues for me though.I have been printing for about a month now, making parts for work (mostly to show off in the office) and toys for the neighbors. After such terrible experiences in the past I was so relieved to buy a printer that works. I am giving this a 5 stars despite to the capacitor issue as these things are expected at this price point. I love this thing
BIBO 3D Printer Metal Frame Dual Extruder Laser Engraving WIFI Touch Screen Cut Printing Time In Half Filament Detect Demountable Glass Bed
Scored 5.0/5.0 – From 3 Customer Reviews
Priced From $999.00
I had previously built a diy prusa printer and had a lot of fun doing it, after much tweaking and fiddling around I thought I had pretty good parts till I took a chance and ordered this. this is amazing for the price and what it can do. I am totally happy with this printer.update 10/6/2016 I had a small problem with a ducted fan cover and within a day had a copy of the stl file to remake it, customer service is very responsive. I made the part in the picture as my first test of dual extruders. I am still very happy with my purchase of this.update 10/15/2016- had some minor issues and contacted bibo support, answers came thru within hours. added picture is my first laser project. this is a 4×4 size coaster. not the best image to do but a fast way to test.
BIBO 3D Printer Cut Printing Time In Half Metal Frame Dual Extruder Touch Screen Filament Detect Demountable Glass Bed
Scored 5.0/5.0 – From 4 Customer Reviews
Priced From $777.00
First off, I have been watching 3D printers for a long time! I knew BIBO from their advertisement for BIBO2 touch laser X. There is already one laser engraver in my warehouse. After checking the product details and reviews of BIBO2 touch laser X, I found BIBO2 touch X was the right model for me. Cutting the wifi and laser engraving function, and the price is reasonable. With good reviews from their stores and youtube, i made the decision to buy BIBO2 touch X.I could not have been happier with the printing result. After printing the test gcode from BIBO, i got a cuboid and a house model with very smooth surface. This robust frame in 6 mm thick aluminum composite panel gives a very stable and good printing quality. It is amazing to print two same objects at the same time by BIBO2 touch X, saved a lot of time for me.My advice to BIBO is that the front nozzle cooling fan shroud should be improved. It was broken when I pulled it hard by mistake. They said that they had improved it to be a metal one instead of plastic. A new one will be sent to me. Above all, it is worthy to buy and i am very happy with this purchase.
Scored 4.5/5.0 – From 24 Customer Reviews
Priced From $419.00
I bought this kit a couple of months ago and wanted to play around with it before writing a review. The kit comes with an SD card that has assembly videos. The videos turned out to be almost everything I needed to get the printer completed. I did have to contact customer service and was very pleased with the depth and speed of their replies.The quality of the parts are very good and this leads to a quality printer. I am fairly mechanical with a machining/quality background and had no issues with the physical assembly. The electronics were well described and no soldering was required. This is basically plug and play with a few strip and screw terminals. Nothing very difficult.The end result is an actual 3D printer that prints very well. I had read that some folks had trouble leveling the bed but I found it straight forward and fairly easy. I used PLA at the recommended setting and had a successful first print.My favorite feature is that the printer is stand alone. I can use whatever computer that I want and just save the resulting Gcode to the SD card and I am ready to go. I use FreeCad to make the model and CURE (included and recommended) to generate the Gcode. My first print ran for 7 hours without issue and resulted in exactly what I wanted at a very nice quality. On parts that require less resolution the printer is quick and accurate.The end result is that I have recommended this to the people that I know without any hesitation. This is a great printer from a responsive company with very good customer service.
WER Mostfun 3d Printer, Metal Frame Structure, Acrylic Covers, Optimized Build Platform,h-type Single Drive , Works with TPU and PLA
Scored 4.2/5.0 – From 10 Customer Reviews
Priced From $645.00
This MOSTFUN 3D printer is the first 3D printer I purchased. The followings are all my deep feelings about this brilliant item.I love DIY very much which it teaches to feel the fun of manage life.Everything beautiful should be shared among friend, so I decide to order 1 item which can prepare some lovely gifts for those who I love. I did a full preration before the purchase of the MOSTFUN 3D printer. Compared with other printer in Amazon, the Mostfun looks much more unique.The outlook very special and unique. Several times later, I made up mine mind to buy this for it’s high technology and stability.The MOSTFUN 3D Printer was sent to my address by FBA, its totally surprised me when I opened the package, the packing is so carefully,every part of the machine is in good condition, that is, the seller really cares about the buyer’s feeling. The software is the the SD card, this 3D printer has software of Cura and Repetier-Host, I haved learn the instruction for about half an hour, then I have a clear idea of how to use it..I have the print platform leveled as advised and kicked off my first build. A Jeep Grill Keychain. In about 37 minutes it was done and I so excited about it. Now, I am in the process of printing a Hydroponic top for a mason jar and I will inform what turns out in the morning (6.5 hour build time).Now, I have used it for a couple weeks.Still ,my family and I likes it very much. Some special built gift has been distributed to my friends, they all visit my house to view how a lovely rabbit or cat was built.DIY with this Mostfun 3D printer from Wercan has messaged me that,share is easy and happy.That’s really worthy. I have had a little issue with the fan on the right extruder not running and reached out to Mostfun in China. Within a few hours,Jacky reached me via email and then called my mobilel. Within a few minutes,he was able to figure it out with her engineer and gave me the fix for it the next day. They also shipped me out the replacement part right away. I got it via DHL the day after. I am so satisfied with the customer service.
JGAURORA 3d Printer Desktop FDM 3d Printers Metal Frame Professional High Resolution Stable Working 3d Printing Machine,Large LCD Display Big Printing Size Popular in Industry and Education
Scored 4.8/5.0 – From 8 Customer Reviews
Priced From $899.00
I did a lot of checking, calculating and thinking recently .In my profession I am an engineer, so I understand how this metal frame (especially with the CNC laser cutting body you guys gave it) can add a lot of strength to the printer and thus probably improve the printers repeatability a lot. As an engineer the choice is obvious: if you get a tool you should get a propper one and as a technician I want to use the 3D printer to create prototypes and took the opportunity to show my clients.am satisfied with the printing result.you can see in the picture.JGAURORA Z-603S do a good job .
>> Read More Reviews On JGAURORA 3d Printer Desktop FDM 3d Printers Metal Frame Professional High Resolution Stable Working 3d Printing Machine,Large LCD Display Big Printing Size Popular in Industry and Education Here <<
Ecubmaker FANTASY Pro 3d Printer, metal frame, dual extruder with large 3d print size 260x180x200mm,support ABS and PLA filament
Scored 4.0/5.0 – From 2 Customer Reviews
Priced From $1,499.00
After doing research, for about week, I read a couple articles on this 3d printer. Quickly it became the one, that I kept going back to. What made me choose this printer, was the large print size 260x180x200mm and its resolution @ .05mm, enclosed with heated bed is best in class.Are there cheaper 3d printers with close to the same stats, yes, but most of them have a lower resolution, .1 or 2 or are open bed. They also need modification. There are 1 or 2, dont need modded that are a little less or more costly, but neither have the supported resolution or print size.I couldn’t find many reviews on this 3d printer but I just couldn’t find anything to beat it.So I bit the bullet and placed the order, took a little over a week to get to me, though this was during the time of the warehouse fire in hong kong, which probably caused a delay.Once I got it didnt take long to get it assembled, it did take a good while to get the build deck leveled. The trick is the 3 points that the adjustments are under, use a piece of copy/printer paper on the deck, before you start, adjust until you can feel a slight tug when you wiggle the paper itll be a little loose in the other points, if done right. Then run the flatness test, the top right corner is supposed to be have a gap. Rinse repeat until the test has smooth even lines.A few days later a a minor issue with a clog, but with top notch help from support, we got it fixed, I expected to have to tinker a bit, learned alot, and couldn’t be happier.Now the best part the prints, its not simple. You do have to think about, the best way to print each object. It’s well worth the effort. Start simple the test files on the sd card. Then step up as you get better. So far the best slicer I found is Matter Control for this printer. Ive tried cura, a repeitier host, which were good but just didnt click for me. Now I printed Elephants with moving legs and a max print size lamp shade. Custom designed a lamp shade support and it printed out great. There is something amazing about modeling something in a CAD program, I used 123d design, and a couple hours later holding that object in your hand, and it works.This printer won’t do everything for you, but if you put in the work, what it produces is amazing.
Coocheer Upgraded 3.5 LCD Screen High Accuracy Desktop 3D Printer I3 Metal Frame Modularize DIY Kit Self-assembly 8.6×10.5×9.0″ Printing Size with 8GB SD card US PLUG
Scored 5.0/5.0 – From 1 Customer Reviews
Priced From $289.99
Worked fairly well out of box. Obviously, printing your own upgrades becomes a must – but honestly, that is with most 3D printers on market. For the price, most of the parts are good quality. Some simple suggestions for those trying to get it started:1. If you’re having problems with Z axis locking/backlash where it won’t raise above a certain point, use some of the included zip ties to pull the threaded rods in alignment with smooth rods.2. Be careful with the heat bed. For PLA temps it works fine, but I was never able to get the temp to 100C for ABS. Something I think worth investing into would be a solid state relay (DC to DC) and just wiring the heat bed right up to the power supply.Some other comments. The printer table must be level!!!The power supply is pretty good – using a load test, I was able to pull 20A at 12V (well, dropped to 11.8 or so). I’d suggest printing a fan mount as it heats up pretty well. Also, a fan for the control board is probably a good idea as well. The control board itself is OK. The steppers drivers are not terribly quiet, and changing the firmware isn’t the simplest thing to do but certainly doable after some googling.One of the things I like about this kit is in the event you decide to continue 3D printing and want a better printer, you now have a set of 8mm rods, 5 stepper motors, several LM8LUU bearings, and a control board w/3.5” LCD. Building something like an ultimaker clone then becomes very easy – your bill of materials is some aluminum extrusions for the frame, some roller bearings, and possibly some different diameter linear rods, and a bunch of M3x10mm screws and M3 nuts. Everything else you can just print. The biggest draw back with this particular printer is the prusa “”moving bed”” solution is prone to a lot of inaccuracies, especially with an acrylic frame that bends and warps with heat/time. Many of the artifacts you will get once you fine tune the printer stem from the chassis wobbling and the resonant frequencies that effect the Z axis.
3D printing has become the way of printing now as it has enabled creation of 3D objects which until now was not possible. Printing was limited to two-dimensional only. You can now create 3D objects using a 3D printer. However, you must choose a printer that satisfies your requirement.
We hope that you found our review of the best metal frame 3D printer informative and it helped you pick the best one for your usage. We would love to have your opinion on this. Which 3D printer you chose and why? What has been your experience of using it? Do write to us using the comments section below. Your opinions and suggestions will help other readers as well.