How much would you pay for a 3D printer? Granted, when we started a decent printer might run over $1,000 but the cost has come way down. Unless of yourse, you go pro. We were disappointed that this [All3DP] post didn’t include prices, but we noticed a trend: if your 3D printer has stairs, it is probably a big purchase. According to the tag line on the post, the printers are all north of $500,000.
Expensive printers usually have unique technology, higher degrees of automation, large capacity or some combination of that, and a few other factors. At least two of the printers mentioned had stairs to reach the top parts of the machine. And the Black Buffalo — a cement printer — uses a gantry that looks like it is part of a light show at a concert. It is scalable, but apparently can go up to three stories tall!
Size isn’t always the biggest factor, but it helps. The ExOne S-Max Pro has a 1,260 liter build volume (see the video below). On the other hand, the Optomec LENS 860 looks large, but not that large. It does, however, create large titanium parts, so there is that. For wow factor, the SLM Solutions NXG XII 600 has a total of 12 lasers. Each laser carries 1,000 watts.
We put a few videos below. Check out the high-resolution print head on the Black Buffalo. Just kidding, we have printers almost as large as the orifice of that thing.
We’ve seen some pretty big printers before. Of course, some printers don’t have to be big to make really big prints.