Best 3D Printers 2024 – Bring Your Ideas To Life

As a product designer who regularly uses 3D printers, I’ve had the chance to test out numerous models over the years. High quality 3D printers are an invaluable tool for transforming your ideas into physical reality. From prototypes to scale models to unique art pieces, the possibilities are endless when you have the right printer.

After evaluating a wide range of desktop 3D printers for factors like print quality, reliability, build volume and price, I’ve narrowed it down to the top 5 models available across beginner, intermediate and professional needs.

Anycubic Photon Mono X – Best Budget Resin 3D Printer

If you’re new to resin 3D printing, the Anycubic Photon Mono X offers tremendous value with its large build volume and precise details starting under $600. While it requires more post-processing clean up than filament printers, you’ll be amazed by the intricate prints it can achieve.

Anycubic Photon Mono X

Anycubic Photon Mono X

Best Budget Resin 3D Printer

  • Resin-based UV photocuring printing
  • 8.9” tall, 5.5” diameter build area
  • Matrix UV LED light source
  • Layer resolution down to 0.01mm
  • Print speed up to 60mm/hour


  • Incredible detail quality for the price
  • Very large print size capacity
  • Fast print speeds for resin printing
  • Good selection of community support
  • Easy set up out of the box


  • Resin tanks requires frequent replacing
  • Resin materials more hazardous
  • Prints require extensive post-processing
  • Lower availability of bio-resins

Creality Ender 5 Pro – Best Under $1,000 FDM Printer

The Creality Ender 5 Pro takes the best features of the popular Ender 3 series to the next level for under $1,000. With a cubed aluminum frame, heated build plate, and MeanWell power supply, it delivers outstanding print quality in a reliable package. If you’re looking for your first serious FDM printer, this fits the bill.

Creality Ender 5 Pro

creality 3d printer

Best Under $1,000 FDM Printer

  • Heated aluminum build platform
  • Precision cube aluminum frame
  • CR-Touch automatic bed leveling
  • Resumes prints after power loss
  • MeanWell power supply for stability


  • Sturdy metal frame prevents wobbling
  • Heated bed provides excellent adhesion
  • Ability to resume failed prints is handy
  • Great value for under $1,000
  • Large community support base


  • No enclosure – ABS prints may warp
  • Bed leveling can still be tricky
  • Takes patience tuning for perfect quality
  • Smaller build volume than higher tiers

Ultimaker S5 – Best Pro Desktop FDM Printer

Dutch brand Ultimaker sets the standard for professional-grade desktop FDM printing with their S5 model. Dual extrusion, a heated print core, network connectivity and materials like PVA and Nylon showcase why the steep price tag still makes it an attractive investment for business use.

Ultimaker S5

ultimaker s5 printer

Best Pro Desktop FDM Printer

  • Dual extrusion with soluble support material
  • 6.9” x 5.9” x 5.9” build volume capacity
  • Heated print core for advanced materials
  • Open filament system works with any supplier
  • Touch screen interface & Wifi monitoring


  • Enclosed system prevents ABS warping
  • Water-soluble support structures
  • Can print advanced filaments like Nylon
  • Excellent technical support services
  • Leading professional desktop model


  • Extremely expensive, even for businesses
  • Smaller build height than cheaper options
  • No controls for external enclosures

Bambu Lab X1 Carbon – Fast Professional-Grade System

If you’re involved in industrial design and need ultra-fast print times, extremely detailed prototypes, and a compact footprint, the X1 Carbon from Bambu Lab checks all the boxes as the first professional-grade beltless system. At over $3,700, it represents a major investment but delivers unmatched speed and precision.

Bambu Lab X1 Carbon

bambu lab x1

Fast Professional-Grade System

  • Breakthrough linear drive system
  • Up to 400mm/s print speeds
  • 100-3200 CPI Adjustable resolution
  • Interchangeable nozzles
  • Starts at under 7 minutes from cold boot


  • Blazing fast print speeds
  • Flawless surface quality
  • Tiny details down to 32 microns
  • Easy nozzle changes for more flexibility


  • Extremely expensive, even for prosumers
  • Small build volume capacity
  • Very limited material selection currently
  • Must use Bambu Lab ecosystem

FlashForge Adventurer 4 – Reliable Dual Extruder Option

Offering auto bed leveling, removable plates, HEPA/Activated carbon filtering and steady dual extrusion at roughly $900, the reliable FlashForge Adventurer 4 is a great option for schools and makerspaces needing an easy-to-use enclosed system. While it lacks some bells and whistles, it focuses on quality and safe multi-user functionality out of the box.

FlashForge Adventurer 4

flashforge adventure

Reliable Dual Extruder Option

  • Fully enclosed dual nozzle system
  • HEPA and Activated Carbon filtration
  • Automatic bed leveling sensor
  • Removable warped plate
  • Touchscreen controls


  • Enclosure minimizes warping
  • Filters make classroom use safer
  • Great tech support and documentation
  • Sturdy metal body and quality components
  • Affordable for schools/small businesses


  • Smaller 5.9” build volume capacity
  • Ventilation fan noise
  • No integrated camera for remote monitoring
  • Calibration still required out of box

As you can see, whether you’re a hobbyist wanting to try 3D printing for the first time or a professional designer needing fast prototypes, there’s a perfect printer available at nearly any budget. Make sure to think about print quality, speed, build size, filament flexibility and safety considerations as you choose the right model to bring your creativity to life. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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