Comparing 4 Large Scale 3D Printers / 2018
Hey guys, I’ve been working on a list. I would like to get a large-scale 3D printer bigger than what I currently have right now. I’ve been doing a lot of research online and I’ve kind of nailed it down to four large-scale 3D printers that I think would work really well for me.
I’ve been going through and creating the pros and cons on them, and I’ll share with you my findings because I’d be really interested to find out what you guys think. Hey guys, my name is Paul, and welcome to Where Nerdy is Cool, and today, we’re gonna be talking about the four large-scale 3D printers that I’ve been researching.
Some of these have been around for a little while. Some of these are newer. What I’ll do is I’ll go through my list, I’ll tell you why I like it, my concerns, and of course where you can get it.
So, the first printer I’m gonna cover is the CR-10 S-5, and it’s got the five there because it’s 500 by 500 by 500, which is millimeters. So, for those of us in the States, that’s 19.6 inches on the X, Y, and the Z. And that makes for a huge printer.
Now, the CR-10s have a really good reputation because they’ve been inexpensive and, largely, they print extremely well. As far as troubleshooting them, well, so far so good. The one I have, outside of being banged up in shipping from coming from China, it’s done very, very well.
And for the price, it’s really hard to knock. Now, having said that, some of the problems with the CR-10s have been their glass bed. I know for the CR-10, the CR-10 S, the S4, and the S5, some posters have mentioned they’ve had a great deal of difficulty leveling that bed.
Now, you can get different glass. There’s auto bed leveling devices available. The EZABL comes to mind, so there is some stuff out there that can alleviate that issue. A recent review by the Mighty Jabba here on YouTube, he gave it a largely positive review. He did mention it was a little bit more complicated to sort out, but he did get some really, really good prints out of it.
So, that review, to me, came off as largely positive. Now as to where to get one, you can get them from GearBest, or I’ve seen them elsewhere as well, too. It looks like the price for those guys are $1,059. I’ve seen a couple reviews that have affiliate links, so sometimes the prices are a little bit cheaper than that.
And again, that just is the printer as is. Now, if you want to get it from someone in the United States, for example, Tiny Machines, what they do is they open them up, they test them, they inspect them, and they make sure they work and then they send them out. It’s a bit more money, but you’re getting something that, well, quite frankly, you know it’s gonna work. It’s been tested.
So, if you have any kind of issues with Chinese products having kind of iffy quality assurance standards, well, that might be worth the money for you. Now, the other thing, too, is if you go through a reseller like Tiny Machines, there’s some upgrades you can get as well, too.
So, what you can do on that is you can get the better bed heater. You can get the Swiss Micro Hot End and you can get the Hot End silicone cover. And it’s a little bit of extra money, but you’re looking at, when I looked at their website earlier today, I want to say it was about $1,450 for that package.
So, still, when you consider the size of the printer, what it can do, it’s probably one of the bigger printers on our list here, the fact that you can get something like that for less than $1,500, that’s pretty impressive.
Number two on my list is the gCreate gMax 1.5 XT+. That’s a lot to spit out (laughs). This printer is huge. It can print 16 by 16 by 21 inches.
It’s a very finished-looking machine. If you look at the pictures here, it’s very solid-looking. It comes with E3D extruders, and if you want to have the dual extruder option, they can install two E3D extruders.
The one thing that kind of threw me off is this comes with an acrylic bed. And if you want to have the heated bed, that’s an add-on, and that includes a four-millimeter glass plus the large bed heater. The other thing that’s really cool about this printer is it comes with a BLTouch sensor installed, so bed leveling’s a cinch. That’s taken care of for you. My concerns with a printer this big is (laughs) putting it together. Fortunately, it looks like from the videos I’ve seen it’s not a terribly hard process.
The next step, of course, is you have to put the heated bed in there and get the glass on and then you’re off and running. The cost of this printer, it’s the second-most expensive printer on my list going on right now. The base price is $2,995, and once you add the heated bed upgrade, you’re looking at $3,400, plus the shipping. It looks like it’s a really solid printer.
I mean, the thing is huge. And on paper, it looks really impressive. It’s got some really great specs, again, the E3D Hot Ends. As to where you can get them, you can get them direct from gCreate.
They’re located in Brooklyn, New York. It looks like they have a lead time of one to three business days. Like I said, that’s pretty darn quick, especially when you compare, for example, if you were gonna buy from GearBest, you’re looking at probably a couple weeks, depending on how the sales run.
So, this one definitely has my interest piqued because it seems to have all the things we’re looking for, auto bed leveling, a very aggressive bed heater, rugged design, and everything else.
It looks really promising. Number three on my list is the Raise3D N2 Plus. This thing is huge. It prints 12 inches by 12 inches by 24 inches and is among the biggest on my list here. The other thing that’s really nice about this one is it’s enclosed.
So you have a cover on the top, so that does a really good job keeping the heat in. And because it has that door and everything is all covered up, if you have pets, you don’t have to worry about them getting in there because everything is sealed up.
The other cool thing, as you can see in the pictures here, is it’s got that touchscreen on the front. A couple of my friends have this printer, actually, and they’ve had pretty good luck with it. I haven’t heard a lot of really terrible horror stories with it.
Among the concerns I’ve had with it has been a couple of the reviews that I have read is there are two things with this printer that kind of pique my interest here. The print volume, of course, is great, but the problems I’ve heard about has been the bed leveling.
Now, it comes all pre-leveled and all set to go, but if you have to adjust that, from what I’ve seen, from people like Maker’s Muse and 3D Printing Nerd, it’s not a very good time leveling that guy. And the other problem is that if you go with the dual extruder model, I’ve heard a lot of stories where that second extruder can knock over what you’re printing. Some people have mentioned that what they do is they remove that second nozzle completely if they’re not going to use it.
The other thing about the Raise3D N2 Plus is that it’s the most expensive printer on my list. With dual extruders, it’s $3,899. If you go with single extruders, it’s $200 cheaper at $3,699. Now, for a printer that has difficulty with leveling the bed, if it goes out of whack, and the fact that that second nozzle is problematic, knocking things over for folks, that makes me very wary.
I feel a printer in that price range, despite having the touchscreen and the enclosure being real pluses for me, I would think a printer at that price level would have all the bells and whistles, much like the gCreate does, although it does have the heated bed. But the auto bed leveling would be a really nice feature. Now, this printer’s been out for well over a year, maybe even two years by now.
Part of me, I keep on looking at it and I keep on checking the social media, waiting to see if they’ve upgraded to a newer model, same size, but maybe some additional features is what I’m waiting for. And that’s what’s held me back from taking any action on this printer because I know my luck.
If I bought this printer, next week, they would announce the brand new version that has auto bed leveling and all these additional bells and whistles that will drive me crazy that I didn’t wait longer. That’s my one hangup on this printer.
Number four, the LulzBot TAZ 6. The LulzBot printers have a really solid reputation, and I haven’t seen any negative reviews on them. The only problem I have with the TAZ 6, with the other printers, is that this one is a little bit smaller. Its bed size in millimeters is 280 by 280 by 250.
That translates to 11 inches by 11 inches by 9.8. So, it’s the smallest printer of the roundup here. On the pro side, though, it has a lot of active development going on for it. They have a lot of different tool heads available. They have a dual extruder tool head. They have what’s called the MOARstruder, which has a large nozzle and a large heater. So, if you need to print large and fast, this thing can really crank out the filament.
The printer also has auto bed leveling. It also wipes the nozzle and cleans the nozzle before it starts to print. The heated bed also has a PEI surface, so these things are all huge wins. And the price on this printer is $2,500. It’s not the least expensive printer in the mix here, but for what it offers, it’s got the auto bed leveling, it’s got the heated bed, it’s got PEI. The only con on this thing is the bed size.
And as I mentioned, the bed size is my biggest concern because, as you can see in the background, I have done a lot of BB-8 printing, and stuff like the BB-8 dome, the few additional pieces, and some other projects I’m working on that I don’t think would fit on this bed very well, and if it did fit, it would just barely fit. Volume-wise, I have a problem with this printer.
As to where to get it, you can buy them directly from LulzBot, although there’s a lot of retailers that sell these. My favorite retailer is printedsolid.com. If you’re interested in getting one, check those guys out. So that right there is my top four list of large-scale printers that have really piqued my interest and intrigued me. Now, I don’t have the ability, I don’t have the connections, I don’t do a lot of 3D-printer reviews,
so I don’t really have the ability to email these manufacturers and say, “Hey, could you send me one? “I would love to try one out. “Or if you want to make a donation “to the BatCave, I’m cool with that, too.” Fut, for right now, I’m just doing a lot of research and trying to figure out what I think would work best for the projects I’m doing. Right now, the big one has been of course BB-8.
So, if you own one of these printers, or you know someone that does, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below. So that’s my video for today. Please consider subscribing to us. You don’t want to miss any of my cool videos. Over here on the right is the icon to do so. I thank you guys for watching, and remember, this is where nerdy is cool.