Which 3D printer should I buy?

I’m writing a grant for funding to update our VEX microprocessors, et al, and I’d like to include a 3D printer. I know that printed parts can not be used in high school competition.

Can anyone recommend a 3D printer which they’ve used with success to print VEX ‘hardware’, one that can stand up to heavy student use? And, nylon or ABS?


How much are you willing to spend? Also do you want it to be ready to go when you get it or would you be willing to get a DIY printer that you have to build?

Flashforge Dreamer

The Creator Pro also made by FlashForge is a nice printer too and for $200 less

I’m very happy with my Ultimaker 2, good community behind it and a solid machine the 2+ would be a great machine. I’ve also got the chance to use the MarkOne and I have to say it’s a really solid printer all around. I’ve also heard and seen good things out of the Taz.

There are two we like. First is the MendelMax 3 by Maker’s Tool Works. It’s great DIY project. They ship you all the parts and you build it yourself. It’s a little cheaper than some of the others and works with most filaments even specialized ones.
The other one we like is the Taz 6 by Lutzbot. It’s a great 3d printer.

The Lulzbot TAZ 5 has been a really good fit for team BLRS, so I would personally advocate for that as a good option. The TAZ 6 appears to have a number of really solid looking upgrades from the TAZ 5, but I have no experience with that version outside of seeing a few examples of prints from a TAZ 6 belonging to a coworker of mine. Either way, Lulzbot and the TAZ series are great printers and I have been happy with the purchase.

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+1 for lulzbots. Their mini is also good if you don’t want to spend as much and don’t need big parts.

If you’re willing to do some tinkering yourself (with software and slicing, not mechanically), the Robo3D R1 is a pretty good budget model. Very capable for a sub-$1000 machine, and a big build volume.

I would recommend the MakerBot Replicator 2x. Our school has 4 of these and we finds them very useful to print vex parts. Especially spacers and gears.

This is not legal for competition in the high school level competition.

I go to the same school as @Anirudh1961 and am a Junior (he’s a freshman) and would like to clarify before anybody gets misinformed, we have never used any of our 3D printers to print VEX parts and so we cannot say that

I would also like to point out from experience that the MakerBot Replicator 2x has not been the most reliable 3D printer as it jams frequently and takes a long time to print. We have recently acquired a LulzBot Mini which has met our expectations and has been very reliable in the past month since we got it. However, unlike the MakerBot Replicator 2x, the LulzBot Mini lacks a casing to protect the print so you would have to be more careful around it.

I’m also not going to support the 2x, have not had good experience with it working nicely consistently. The only maker bot I would recommend is the Replicator 5th Gen which only prints PLA

I’ve had a Wanhao Duplicator i3 v2, a Makerbot x2, and a Ultimaker, and I have got to say the Ultimaker is amazing. But, if you aren’t looking at spending that much, try the Duplicator, I think they are coming out with a new one any time soon.