All three 3D printers are capable of creating a multitude of 3D objects out of plastic. They are “fused deposition modeling” systems, meaning that the printers melt plastic filament into fine thread and deposit this thread layer by layer according to a 3D digital model tool path. Files can be sent to the printer via USB or the attached desktop computer.
Each printer has its own difficulty level, with the Makerbot being the most approachable for those wanting to explore 3D printing technology without having background experience in 3D printing. Patrons who are new to 3D printing may enjoy the plug-n-play nature of the Makerbot, since it offers a simple approach to the process of printing with PLA filament. Since many of its functions are automated and less prone to user error, it is the most reliable printer in terms of overall print success.
Best Printer for Beginners
If you are new to 3D printing, we recommend starting with the Makerbot, which is our most beginner-friendly printer.
The Ultimaker 2+ and Lulzbot Taz 5 will be of interest to patrons who wish to print using higher resolution settings than offered by the Makerbot, or those who would simply like access to a wider range of filament choices. The Ultimaker may be viewed as an in-between printer, which retains many of the simplified and automated elements of the Makerbot, while offering a more robust set of options for hands-on control over the process.