Are you a producer looking to make large prints or a 3D print hobbyist in search of a large 3D printer suitable for the type of print production you have in mind?
With the wide range of 3D printers available in the market presently, selecting the right 3D printer might get a bit confusing.
This is why this review focuses on the top 5 large format 3D printers under $500 to look out for whenever you want to make your next large format 3D printer purchase.
This review entails the specifications, features, pros, cons as well as users’ reviews of each 3D printer on the list.
Let’s get started.
The FlashForge Adventurer 3 3D Printer is an FDM/FFF 3D printer manufactured by FlashForge. The FlashForge Adventure 3 3D Printer is the first series produced by FlashForge among Creator 3, GUIDER IIS, Max 3D printers and Explorer.
Sold at $441, it is regarded as one of the most affordable large format 3D printers in the market. It is light weight and equipped with a user-friendly system for all users. It has a Megapixel camera, cloud-based printing abilities and a removable extruder structure.
An enclosed Frame: The FlashForge Adventure 3 3D Printer provides an enclosed frame for users that enable you to take charge of your printing environment effectively.
A Compact design: The FlashForge Adventurer 3 3D Printer is sizable, which makes it fit into a small space.
Easy-to-use slicer: The FlashForge Adventure 3 3D Printer comes with its slicer to provide ease and convenience to users.
Easily Detached and upgraded Nozzle: The FlashForge Adventurer 3 3D Printer comes with an easily detached nozzle which makes it easier to remove for cleaning and repair. It also comes with a nozzle that has a heating wire. This nozzle lets you regulate the temperature of filaments during the printing process.
Filament sensor: The FlashForge Adventurer 3 3D Printer comes with a filament sensor that alerts you when you are running out of filaments so you can add more filaments before they get exhausted. This ensures you are never caught unaware while printing.
2.8-inch Touch Screen: The 2.8-inch touch screen sends alerts and signals during printing process. It is also quite responsive and easy to navigate through.
Heated and removable bed: The FlashForge Adventurer 3 3D Printer is equipped with a heated and removable bed which makes it easier to remove prints once completed.
Below are some of the experiences users had while using the FlashForge Adventurer 3 3D Printer:
Phillip Malone on Amazon reviewed that he loves his FlashForge Adventurer 3 3D printer because it prints fast.
‘’I’ve done my first 3 prints and I’m loving this printer. It was tricky to setup the networking and attach the printer to Polar Cloud, but once it was done, it’s really fun to print.
I design the parts online with OnShape, set up the print with FlashPrint, and then watch it run using the internal camera through Polar Cloud. All without leaving my desk.
The first prints have been fast and sharp. I’ve used some pretty expensive uPrint machines and the FlashForge Adventurer 3 is wonderful by comparison’’
Davis on Amazon reviewed that he loves his printer because it prints PLA without complications, has a readable touch screen and set up and running can be done under thirty minutes.
‘’I bought this printer a few weeks ago with very little expectation from it because of its size limitations.
Boy was I surprised. This printer was ready to go straight out of the box. I plugged it in turned it on fed the filament and away it went. I had my first print running under 30 minutes.
The only issue I have with this machine is that it doesn’t hold the standard 1kg spools of filament. They are just a bit too large for the holder area. ( It’s an enclosed assembly. )
It prints PLA and PLA+ without breaking a sweat although I haven’t tried ABS yet.
The touch screen LCD isn’t real big but it’s big enough to read and works very well.
I have only had one failed print and that was operator error.
I would definitely recommend this machine to any beginner that wants to get into 3D printing but doesn’t feel comfortable with coding and modding their own open-air printer’’
Lane on Amazon reviewed that printing with FlashForge Adventurer is quick and perfect.
‘The FlashForge Adventurer 3 shipped on time and was ready to go right out of the box. I was printing very quickly. There could be better instructions for the FlashPrint software but, YouTube is full of helpful videos. The first print, the little test cube printed perfectly. I did notice excessive stringing between objects if there are several objects on the build platform. This could be fixed by FlashForge tweaking the retraction settings in the slicer. I haven’t been able to find a way to change those settings as of yet. i haven’t used any filament except PLA so far. For a ready to go printer, I believe it’s a good buy’’
From the reviews, it can be concluded that apart from the inability of the FlashForge Adventure 3 3D Printer to contain large print rolls and its difficulty to comprehend manual, the FlashForge Adventure 3 3D Printer is a great choice for large format printing. It offers high functionality and a great user experience. If you are looking into getting a large format printer that offers high functionality and a great user experience, then FlashForge Adventure 3 3D Printer is a great pick for you.
The Original Prusa i3 MK3S is an improved model of the MK3S produced by Prusa Research Company. Prusa research constantly improves on their products based on feedback from their community and the Original Prusa i3 MK3S is no exception.
Removable Heat Bed: The original Prusa i3 MK3S has a magnetic heat bed that has a replaceable alloy spring steel sheet with a PEI surface. It consists of two types of sheets, the Smooth Pei sheet which is a default setting and textured powder coated PEI. This makes the heat bed easy to remove once printing is done.
New Filament Sensor: The MK35 filament was selective as it did not work well with some filaments. However, this upgraded model comes with a new filament sensor that uses an optical sensor which is enhanced by a simple mechanical server that accommodates a wide range of filaments.
Power Panic: Original Prusa i3 MK3S helps you to fully recover all your prints whenever there is a power outage. During a power outage, it temporarily shuts down the heat bed and extruder heating and restores their activities immediately the printer is powered on. This ensures that your prints are safe and intact whenever power outage occurs.
Bondtech Extruder: The Original Prusa i3 MK3S has been upgraded with a Bondtech drive gear which holds the filaments at both sides to prevent them from falling and also increase push. This makes the printer more reliable as you can be certain that the prints won’t fall off during printing.
Trinamic 2130 and Noctua Fan: The Trinamic 2130 and Noctua fan ensures that the printer is silent during printing when it is in the stealth mode and normal mode.
Auto bed Leveling: Original Prusa i3 MK3S helps you level your print bed automatically and saves you the stress of having to adjust the bed to the right position whenever you want to print.
Automatic filament loading: The automatic filament loading helps you suck the filament into the machine and saves you the stress of loading.
Below are users’ experiences with Original Prusa
Facunda Molina on Amazon considered Original Prusa i3 MK3S as a good upgrade.
‘I am upgrading an old printer and this is a good upgrade, like to make this similar to an Prusa MKS. Had to make some modifications and everything is great’.
Trung on Amazon reviewed that his Original Prusa i3 Mk3S worked greatly
‘Works great came with extras like u-bolt and some beatings. Used for my mk3 clone worked great! Would buy again for another build’.
Original Prusa i3 MK3S is a great choice for you if you are looking for a large format 3D printer you can rely on for good quality prints. Its upgraded features have made it one of the top large format 3D printer as it offers ease, convenience, and quality. It is sturdy and built to last so you can be certain to use it for a long period of time.
The Creality Ender 5 3D printer produces large quality prints for most 3D print hobbyist and for those who like to print at home by themselves. It has a print area of 220 x 220 x 300 millimeter. It can produce print models that are 8.6-inch-wide, 1.8 inches tall, with a Z depth of 8.6 inches.
Patricks on Amazon reviewed Creality Ender 5 3D printer as “fun’’
‘It’s been a few weeks and I am hooked now. My family is hooked; co-workers too. The quality I am getting from my prints is amazing and it is a lot of fun. 3D printing is no longer just a curiosity for me. This will probably be a lifelong hobby now thanks to my Ender 5. I highly recommend this printer’’
Johnjoe84 on Amazon considers the build volume of Creality Ender 5 as large.
This is my second Creality machine, I purchased an ender 3 prior through Comgrow. I ordered my Ender 5 through Comgrow because I could tell from my ender 3 that they have great quality control on their parts. I was able to set each machine up quickly and enjoy printing without any real hassle…. The build volume is generous as well, I’ve printed the max height of 300mm no problem.
The Creality Ender 5 printer is a great printer for its price. If you are a 3D hobbyist on you are about to embark on DIY projects, you should consider purchasing this printer. Also, if you are looking to explore a wide range of filaments, you should consider this printer as it has the ability to print different filaments without hitch.
Flyingbear ghost has a print size of 230mm along X axis and 230mm along Y axis and 210mm along Z axis. This allows it to produce print models which are about 9 inches wide, 8.25 inches tall and 9 inches of depth.
If you are looking into taking up a larger print production, then this printer is for you. It has a large print volume and has the ability to print different large filaments. It also offers convenience as it is easy to assemble.
Artillary Sidewinder X1 has a built volume of 300 x 300 x 400 which enables you to print models that are 11.81 inches wide, 15.75 inches tall with 11.81 inches of depth.
Extruder: The sidewinder X1 is equipped with direct drive Titan Aero extruder and a Volcano hot end that helps boost its overall performance.
Aluminum Open Frame: This enhances its durability so it can last longer.
Ribbon Cables: The ribbon cables are in place of untidy wires which gives it a clean and more tidy look.
Responsive Colored Touch Screen: This LCD display let you input instructions in to your printer seamlessly.
Amazon customer finds Artillary Sidewinder X1 3D printer
‘This Artillery is so whisper quiet that I literally set it to print a 2hr job, closed my eyes and fell asleep sitting right next to it (It was evening after work). I’m not sure how they made it so quiet but that’s a big thing for me’’
‘’DragonStyne on Amazon reviewed that he has not had any difficulties with his Artillary Sidewinder X1 3D printer
This is a fabulous printer. I haven’t had any issues with it.
The only things I have done with it was to put aluminum tape around the outside edge of the bed on the bottom to dress up the bed. The other was to modify Marlin to allow micro-stepping, which is easy because the manufacture made the firmware open-source.
This printer (Sidewinder X1) heats up incredibly fast. I don’t know what size heating element it has and I have really not timed it. I set it to preheat and within a few minutes it’s already ready to go. I can understand why the bed would heat up so fast (It’s mains voltage, in my case 120VAC) but, the nozzle heats up extremely fast as well. It’s also, very quiet and looks cool when you print in the dark.
I’ve used this printer for a couple of months now and, I’m extremely happy with it’’
Toddl on Amazon reviewed he found set up quick, printing fast and quiet.
‘This is my first 3d printer and was holding out for an affordable printer with a direct drive extruder because I primarily print in TPU.
I was saving for the Prusa mk3s, but the sidewinder showed up, received fantastic reviews and came in at 1/2 the price.
Assembly was simple and quick, it prints very fast, is extremely quiet (it’s in our bedroom and printing all night doesn’t wake us up at all) and very pleased with the quality of the print’’.
The Artillary Sidewinder X1 should be your pick if you looking into printing good quality large prints at a low noise rate. Artillary Sidewinder X1 prints at a very quiet rate and produces fine and detailed prints.
There are certain things you should look out for when buying a large format 3D printer. They include:
When purchasing a large format 3D printer, one essential thing you must look out for is its volume. Ensure that the printer you are purchasing as enough print volume to print the objects you have in mind.
Self- leveling Bed
When it comes to printing large 3D, you must consider the self-leveling bed. Purchasing a 3D printer without an auto leveling bed would be a lot of hard work and it might also have a negative effect on the outcome of your prints. Therefore, when purchasing a large format 3D printer, ensure that the printer as an auto- leveling bed to get a seamless experience when printing.
A large format 3D printer should come with connectivity options such as wi-fi, USB cable to enable a better printing experience.
Purchasing a large format 3D printer should not equate to breaking your bank, there are many large format 3D printers that are below $500 with a great printing experience such as the ones listed above.
Print Quality, Precision and Accuracy
These three qualities are essential if you want the best from your prints. Ensure that the 3D printer provides a good print quality and high precision and accuracy before making your purchase.
This review has evaluated top five large format printers below $500. Each printer has its unique features that make it stand out from the rest. However, these printers can be counted on to produce great quality large print with minimal challenges based on their unique features and reviews from users, it can be deduced that any of these printers produces quality large prints with minimal challenges.