For many makers, bigger 3D printers are just better. If you want to build a full-coverage Mandalorian mask, a 12” vase, or even just a bigger version of that cool model you saw on Thingiverse, only a large 3D printer will suffice. The good news is that there are plenty of great, BIG 3D printers out there for every budget and experience level. Below are our choices for the best large-scale 3D printers available today, ordered by size.
Tips for Using a Large 3D Printer
Before we get into our top picks, it’s important you know what you’re getting into. Here aresome tips if this is your first big 3D printer:
- The bigger the build volume, the bigger the machine. Large 3D printers take up a lot of desk space. Consider a large printer’s actual dimensions and plan a space for it before it arrives.
- Heating a large print bed takes a lot of energy and proper insulation. Be sure to purchase your printer from a reputable brand to avoid uneven heat distribution, shortages, or worse.
- Large models use a ton of plastic! This may seem obvious, but be sure to avoid rookie mistakes like 85% infill on a 12”x8” model. Order extra filament and consider its cost before making a ton of huge models.
The Best Large-Scale 3D Printers
Now that you know what to expect when it comes to owning a big 3D printer, here are our top picks in order from smallest to largest.
QIDI TECH X-MAX (11.8″ x 9.8″ x 11.8″)
Although the QIDI X-MAX is the smallest printer on this list, it’s the largest printer in QIDI’s own line. With a build volume measuring 11.8” x 9.8” x 11.8”, the X-MAX offers just under a cubic foot of print area.
What is lacks in size compared to other large 3D printers, the X-MAX makes up for polish, finish, and overall user experience. To start, his printer is built like a tank with a sturdy, fully-enclosed frame. This helps when printing with more exotic and temperature-sensitive filaments, which the X-MAX is fully equipped to do! The X-MAX offers exhaustive compatibility with both common and exotic filaments and even includes two different extruders to use depending on which filament you choose.
Other key features include 5-inch color touch screen, removable and flexible build plate, WiFi, USB and SD connectivity, and exceptional customer support. Read more about this printer in our QIDI X-MAX review or check it out for yourself here.
Monoprice Delta PRO 3D Printer (10.6″ x 11.8″)
Delta 3D printers are rare, but large ones are even rarer. Monoprice help fill this void with their Delta PRO, a much, much larger version of their popular MP Delta Mini.
Delta printers are known for their fast print speeds and quiet operation and the Delta PRO is no exception. These are great features to have when you’re working with large models. Printing at 100mm/s+ on the Delta PRO could save you days in print time versus Cartesian models which usually print around 50-70mm/s. Incredibly, the Delta PRO prints at high speeds without losing accuracy or quality, and this printer is specced to print at resolutions up to 50-microns.
Users also like the Delta PRO’s large glass print bed, its wide filament compatibility, and robust construction. Connectivity options, customer support, and the included KISSlicer software all leave something to be desired, but this printer is still worth a look if you want both large volume and fast print speeds. Read our full Delta PRO review for more info or see the printer for yourself here.
Artillery Sidewinder X1 (11.81″ x 11.81″ x 15.75″)
Some may be surprised not to see the CR-10 in this spot. While the Artillery Sidewinder X1 may be a tiny bit smaller than the CR-10, it instead offers users a sleeker exterior, branded extruder and hotend, tighter precision, and better overall build quality. Some still swear by the CR-10, but the Sidewinder X1 is quickly becoming a favorite among experienced makers. Considering how close they are in price, we recommend the Sidewinder X1 over the CR-10 at this time.
A crowd-favorite feature of this printer is the awesome direct drive setup that makes printing with flexible filaments a breeze. Users also appreciate the tidy cable management and fast plate heating. This is a major issue with some large 3D printers, but the Artillery Sidewinder X1’s build plate reaches temp quickly and provides even heat distribution.
Affordable and packed full of features, the Sidewinder X1 is some of the best bang for your buck when shopping for a large 3D printer. Read more about it here or check the price here.
Creality CR-10 MAX (17.7″ x 17.7″ x 18.5″)
Want to print really, really, really big models? The Creality CR-10 Max is here to fulfill your every 3D printing dream. With an absolutely massive build volume measuring 17.7″ x 17.7″ x 18.5″, this printer will test the abilities of any 3D printing enthusiast. Printing models this large isn’t always easy, but it is always satisfying when things turn out well.
Unlike most of Creality’s printers, which are priced for a budget market, the CR-10 Max costs about $1,099. This is a serious investment for serious makers. Rest assured, however, that Creality makes this printer worth the price.
The simple yet solid design helps eliminate vibrations and provides excellent support for all axis while printing. The CR-10 Max also offers fully automatic bed leveling, which is a huge relief with a print bed this large. Speaking of which, this printer comes with a textures build plate cover with awesome adhesion that ensures your models stick to the bed even during extra-long prints. The company even designed this printer with two PSU so that the heated print bed has plenty of power for heating quickly and staying hot for the duration of the print.
There’s a lot more to this printer, so read our CR-10 Max review or check it out for yourself here.