3D Hubs' 2015 3D Printer Guide: the Buyer Guide to End All Guides?

That’s a bold question and, while the answer is “probably not”, it does get at the extensiveness of 3D Hubs 2015 3D Printer Guide.  Unlike other 3D printer guides, like Make’s “Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing”, 3D Hubs’ report is not limited to the 3D Hubs staff testing out printers individually.  It’s a massive survey performed with the 2,279 verified 3D Printer owners on their massive distributed 3D printing network.  3D Hubs puts it this way, “Their collective 1623 years of 3D Printing experience coupled with 317,000 prints completed on 235 different 3D Printer models, makes this the most comprehensive guide available.”

3dhubs 3D printer buyers-guide-hero

3D Hubs CEO and co­founder, Bram de Zwart, explains why they’ve spent so many months working on the guide, “A thorough and reliable 3D Printing Guide written by actual 3D Printer owners was a missing resource for would be owners. We’re making this relevant information freely accessible to everyone who is considering to buy a 3D printer.” Co­founder and Head of Product, Brian Garret, adds, “Did we run test prints? Sure we did, together with our community about 317,000 of them.”

The report rates the top printers in five categories – Enthusiast Printers, Plug-n-Play Printers, Kit/DIY Printers, Budget Printers, and Resin Printers – using such characteristics as “print quality, ease-of-use, build quality, reliability, failure rate, customer service, community, running expenses, openness, software and value.” The guide narrowed the countless printers in the world down to 18 different models, ensuring that only printers with more than 10 reviews would be incorporated into the guide. The guide also includes the 58 printers (that had more than 5 reviews) that didn’t make it to the top of their given categories.

Best_Enthusiast 3D Printer Makergear_M2_3D_HubsAs with all guides, this one would take too long to give a complete run down of every item listed.  To keep things brief, I’ll highlight a few interesting takeaways from the guide. First of all, though the Ultimaker 2 may have won the 3D printer shoot out for Make, it ranked 3rd as an Enthusiast 3D printer from 3D Hubs’ community, behind the FlashForge Creator Pro (#2) and the Makergear M2 (#1). The M2 was seen as reliable and relatively easy to use, recommended by 100% of those who owned it.

Other highlights from the guide include: the Zortrax M200 as the highest rated Plug-n-Play printer, the Rostock MAX from SeeMeCNC as the top Kit, and the Printrbot Simple Metal at the number one budget printer. Only two resin printers had sufficient reviews to make the list, the Form 1+ and the B9Creator, with the Form 1+ taking first.

3D printed Marvin_3D_Hubs_Form1+ 3
Test prints from a Form 1+ 3D printer.

This just scratches the surface of the report. As you look through all of the printers reviewed in the guide, you can click on every one to see an in-depth look at how it performed, see examples prints, and read specific reviews from users. Plenty of stuff to read over this weekend, so visit 3D Hubs to see the full guide and have fun!