3D printing can be real fun if you know how to handle the complexities of 3D printing but one of the things that keep even the hardcore enthusiast away from the technology is the small printing size of most 3D printers. I know that there are many large bed 3D printers available, however they all sell at a premium which deters people from buying them.
When we think of large printers one name that comes up in the mind is the Big Rep 3D printer which has an awesome printing bed size of X 1005 Y 1005 Z 1005 mm. Getting a BigRep can set you back by a few thousand dollars and if you are budget buyer it’s certainly a no go. But did you know there are many alternatives that you could buy for at a very affordable price? Those are the options we are here to explore today. So let us evaluate them individually for you.
Note that all the 3D printers we evaluate today are in the form of 3D printer kits and would need some DIY skills to assemble and work with. We have ranked these 3D printer kits in a descending order based on their build platform size.
FOLGER TECH FT-5 LARGE SCALE 3D PRINTER KIT
This is a monster of a 3D printer which weighs as much as 44 lbs or around 20 kgs, but just like a truck engine cannot be fit on a car chassis similarly this large bed printer needs all this weight to negate the heavy vibrations it creates while 3D printing.
The printer has a huge printer bed with a build area of 300 x 300 x 400 mm which is the largest build volume in all the printers on our list today. A heavy duty 360W 12V system CE rated power supply give this printer nonstop power source which is required to heat up the 12V Heated Bed plate, the extruders and also run some heavy duty 17.5 KG stepper motors.
The printer’s chassis is made from melamine, an engineered wooden core with a laminated skin on both sides. It’s resistant to warping due to heat, delaminating and cracking. The extruder works on x1 Direct Drive Extruder with Injection moulded Parts which can heat up to 240 degrees and work with most commercially available variants of plastic like ABS/PLA/Wood/HIPS/PETG.
This also one of the few 3D printers out there which comes with high precision due to the X/Y linear rail system which is far better than normal chrome rods as they give better stability. The company is said to be working on a CNC add-on for this print which could be available in some time hence the company has opted for linear rail as they are said to be better at handling the forces on it. The company also claims a print speed of up to 150 mm/sec, which is made possible because of the six 5.0kg/cm motors.
All this great combination of material and an easy to assemble form factor makes it one of the best large bed DIY 3D printers in the market. On the downside the printer does not come with any free filaments and some freebies that other manufacturers provide, so be ready to shell out some extra cash.
The FOLGER TECH FT-5 LARGE SCALE 3D PRINTER KIT is available for just $527 along with free shipping to most states in America making it a sure shot holiday season purchase this year.
HE 3D K280 – MEGA DELTA 3D PRINTER KIT
This 3D printer has a huge bed size of 280 x 280 x 600 mm and can print using ABS/PLA/Flexible PLA/WOOD/HIPS and even Nylon. The printer features an all metal E3D extruder which can be fitted with nozzles of different sizes like 0.5, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2 and 0.1 mm which are given as extras when you buy this printer. These add-ons allow you to get prints which are as thin as 0.05 mm to as thick as 4 mm. One of the best features of this delta kit is the free auto levelling probe which is supplied as a standard package; this probe eases the user from calibrating the bed plate manually every time you print.
The exterior chassis, which is vital in getting the right calibration and good prints, is made using imported aluminium and steel which are laser cut for high precision. Synchronous belt wheel / 16 teeth, belt GT2 are used to move the arms of the 3D printer, club that with a 400 watt power supply and you get a 3D printer that can work for hours without failing.
The printer kit comes with a lot of other extras like SD card, assembly tools, high temperature tape, and 2 kg of test filament. All this extras and the 3D printer kit is selling for $599 USD and if you are intrigued by the way a delta printer works this is the best bet for you.
HE 3D EI3-TRICOLOR DIY 3D PRINTER KIT TRIPLE EXTRUDER
Here is yet another printer from the manufacturer HE 3D, and with this printer they want to spoil you with the sheer options that you get. With this printer you get the option to print with three different filaments at the same time. On the down side of having three extruders is that the actual print size is reduced a bit as they also take up some space.
The printer has a decently big bed size of 200 x 280 x 200 mm it can print at lightning speed of 150mm/sec with prints as fine as 50 microns. The three extruders are all metal E3D Bowden long distance extruder clubbed with heated bed allows this printer to print with ABS/PLA/ PETG, Wood, PVA and even flexible filaments if you use their Pro Metal Extruder.
The company has realised that calibrating three extruders and the bed plate can be a real task at hand, hence have added auto bed levelling probe along with platform height detection as standard fittings. The video supplied along with the printer is very descriptive and we found it very helpful.
He 3D also gives extra nozzles with the diameter 0.5, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2 and 0.1 mm and other things like free filaments, assembly tools, 8GB USB card and software to run the printer.
You could get this TRIPLE EXTRUDER 3d printer for as little as $460 – this is not just a 3D printer it’s a festival of colours!
TEVO 3D – BLACK WIDOW AUTO LEVELLING / LASER ENGRAVING 3D PRINTER KIT
The printer has a build volume of a massive 375 (X) x 250 (Y) x 300 (Z) mm and can print with most commercially available variants of filaments. The printer has a one-of-its-kind 5:1 gear-drive feed stepper motor for additional torque which allows for a continuous filament flow. We put this to test on a unit we had and it worked like a charm. The all-metal extruder and the direct drive feed system is efficient enough to work with even flexible filaments without any change which is absolutely brilliant.
The printer’s chassis is all metal using aircraft-grade aluminium which is powder coated and gives the printer a classy look. Tevo 3D uses V-grove wheels with German made ball bearings which reduces friction and makes a great impact on the final finish of the 3D printed parts.
The printer comes with a few paid add-ons like ANTCLABS BLTouch Auto level sensor which costs $50 extra but we would strongly recommend it as it works very well. The printer can also be fitted with a laser engraver they call it TEVO BW Laser Engraver Kit and it can set you back by another $150.
We really liked the separate electronics box which has decent ventilation and keeps electronics board cool even when you are running the printer for a long time. The printer sells for $499 without the add-ons. We highly recommend this printer for its build quality and high finesse.
FLYINGBEAR P902 – METAL FRAME LARGE 3D PRINTER KIT
Last but not the least on our list is this 3D printer from FLYINGBEAR. It’s a no-frill 3D printer that performs on par with the industry’s best names. The printer is capable of printing large objects thanks to its 220 x 220 x 280 mm build volume.
The printer comes with a 250W power supply that gives juice to a heated bed plate, double fan design full aluminium extruder and all the other electronics. The printer can print with PLA/ABS and exotic filaments like wood with no issues. The three fan cooling system above the printing nozzles work as an efficient temperature control system and can avoid issues like warping.
FLYINGBEAR has added a dedicated cooling system for the main board which allows the 3D printer to work for long hours without a break down. It’s also super silent when working and the company’s claim of faster that MakerBot was proved in our test.
The chassis is made out of high grade aluminium and has used high precision injected moulded parts. The printer’s assembly is super simple as most of the parts come pre assembled. You also get extras like one spool of filament, extra 0.3mm nozzle; 8GB SD card, tool set to assemble the printer and a small shovel help you remove the printed parts from the bed. All this for a price of just $318 is just unimaginable.
We hope this list is useful for you, do share your views and opinions with us and if you have purchased any of the printers from the list, let our viewers know about your experience with the printer. Discuss in the Large Format 3D Printers forum at 3DPB.com.