By far the most important publication that helped the maker movement explode is Make: Magazine. Not only did they help popularize the movement thanks to their print publication started all the way back in 2005, and their successful web-based version, they also launched the Maker Faire events that laid the groundwork for creating local maker events all over the world, and popularized 3D printing expos and conventions. For several years now they have published their Ultimate Guide to Desktop Fabrication, where the staff test and rate the year’s most popular 3D printers, CNC mills and resin printers, putting them through their paces.
For their 2016 guide, Make:’s team of testers and makers brought together the top performing 3D printers in five individual classes, the best CNC mills in three classes and their top two resin printers.
Once again Aleph Objects finds themselves being honored by Make: by taking home the “Best Overall” award for the LulzBot TAZ 5, as well as the “Outstanding Open Source” award. According to Make: editors, the TAZ 5 was selected Best Overall because the latest iteration of the TAZ is an example of LulzBot’s ongoing “commitment to excellent engineering.” TAZ 5 was selected as Outstanding Open Source because LulzBot continues “holding true to its open source roots.”
“The LulzBot TAZ 5 is a workhorse desktop 3D printer that respects user freedom and is the choice of makers around the world. We are proud to see the LulzBot TAZ 5 thrive in Make: Magazine’s respected, rigorous, and independent evaluation,” said Harris Kenny, Vice President of Marketing for Aleph Objects.
The LulzBot TAZ line of 3D printers is not a stranger to industry awards, already having picked up several not to mention previous kudos from Make: Magazine. Founded in 2011, LulzBot 3D printers are part of Aleph Objects, Inc., a Free Software, Libre Innovation, and Open Source Hardware company headquartered in Loveland, Colorado. LulzBot recently released their LulzBot Mini 3D printer last year, which packs most of the quality and printing power of the TAZ into a smaller and more portable package.
In addition to LulzBot, Make: Magazine singled out SeeMeCNC‘s Rostock MAX v2 3D printer as “Best Value” for their latest guide. The digital fabrication team named the Rostock MAX v2 for this particular award because, they said, “Its large print volume combined with the cost savings of a kit makes this machine a sure bet.”
“We are really honored to receive this award from Make. Everyone at SeeMeCNC works very hard to build and ship the best DIY 3D printer that anyone can buy. This brings it home for our team that all their hard work and effort means a lot, especially to the makers out there wanting to build their next dream project, whatever that may be,” SeeMeCNC said.
SeeMeCNC was founded in 2011, seeking to bring affordable 3D printers to homes, schools, and offices, by Steve Wygant and co-founder John Olafson. More than 3,000 users around the world contribute to the SeeMeCNC online user forms to bring the maker community together, sharing ideas and projects. SeeMeCNC is based in Goshen, Indiana.
The team that Make: assembled to evaluate this year’s group of 3D printers and CNC mills consists of 16 well known experts in the digital fabrication field, led by Matt Stultz, Make:’s digital fabrication editor. They subjected the machines to rigorous testing and side-by-side comparisons of each model of printer’s attributes, quality, and ease of use. The entire list of 3D printers that were tested, as well as the winners in all of the other categories, will be announced when the buyers guide hits the shelves on November 26th.
“The world of 3D printing has changed dramatically since 2012, when we first started this annual roundup devoted to showcasing the best machines in the industry. The rapid evolution of the technology over the past three years has completely changed the landscape for 3D tools. Price has come down, product features such as auto bed-leveling are de rigueur, and the footprint has become smaller, especially for CNC mills. Now people from home hobbyists to entrepreneurs can use these tools for fun projects or for prototyping the next great invention,” said executive editor for Make: Magazine Mike Senese.
What are your thoughts on Make’s picks? Let us know in the Make: Magazine 2016 Buyers Guide forum thread on 3DPB.com.