Looking for the best 3D printer for mechanical parts? Read our guide for the top machines handpicked by our experienced engineering team.
Today, FDM 3D printing has found active application in the field of industrial production. The most common materials, ABS and PLA, are well suited for prototyping and demos. Any modern 3D printer can print with these materials.
However, when it comes to creating functional products designed for workloads, then printing such models will require engineering plastics. The plastics are different because they have higher physical, chemical and thermal loads.
Best 3D Printers for Mechanical Parts
To work with engineering plastics, professional 3D printers are required. In this guide, we’ll look at the best 3D printer for mechanical parts.
1. Raise3D Printers
Raise3D Pro2 Series
The Raise3D Pro2 series is represented by two models: Pro2 and Pro2 Plus. The only significant difference between the two models is the construction area. The Pro2 has a build area of 305 x 305 x 300mm, while the Pro2 Plus has a build volume of 305 x 305 x 605 mm.
A prerequisite for printing with engineering plastics is the ability to work in high temperature conditions.
The Raise3D Pro2 series printers feature a closed body with a removable dome, a heated table that reaches up to 110°C and a dual extruder with operating temperatures up to 300°C. These features allow the printing of plastics such as nylon, carbon, polystyrene, polycarbonate, structural polyamide, among others.
The Pro2 and Pro2 Plus twin extruders allow you to create complex-shaped engineering models using soluble PVA and HIPS supports.
The Raise3D Pro2 series of printers are equipped with HEPA filters that protect not only from polymer microparticles, but also from the fumes of toxic plastics. Therefore, Pro2 and Pro2 Plus are suitable for work not only in the production room, but also at home, in the office and in educational institutions.
The Pro2 and Pro2 Plus 3D printers are equipped with cameras that transmit video both to IdeaMaker’s proprietary slicer and to the RaiseCloud cloud service. You can use IdeaMaker when you want to monitor printing from a neighboring room, and RaiseCloud when you need to monitor the printing process from personal computers and mobile devices.
When printing with engineering plastics, visual control is critical. This is because engineering plastics are several times more expensive than PLA and ABS. Therefore, a mistake (especially with large-scale printing) can be very costly.
Raise3D E2 Series
The Raise3D E2 series has much in common with Pro2. Similar features between the two 3D printer series include: a closed case, high temperature conditions 110/300°C , HEPA filters, and video cameras.
The construction area of the E2 is smaller at 330 x 240 x 240mm. However, the printer has some useful upgrades. These include a built-in BLTouch for auto-calibration, a removable flexible table cover, and a video assistant for setting up a printer.
However, the main difference between the E2 series is the two independent extruders of the IDEX system. With the system, you cannot only print one model with two plastics, but also duplicate and mirror your prints.
The duplicating feature divides the printer construction area into two halves, and each extruder prints on its own half of the table. Therefore, two models can be printed at the same time.
With the mirror mode, the second model is reflected in the YZ plane. You can use this mode to create symmetrical parts.
E2CF is a modified E2 designed for printing with carbon fiber reinforced nylon (PA-CF).
PA-CF has a high tensile strength and high toughness. Therefore, it can be made into strong, lightweight and durable parts.
The E2CF has a heavy duty feeder that is optimized for high workloads with reinforced plastics. The printer also has wear-resistant nozzles for consistent PA-CF printing.
This 3D printer for mechanical parts comes with self-contained drying boxes designed to solve the problem of high moisture absorption of the material. The boxes have installation fasteners on the printer body, which minimizes moisture absorption during printing.
2. PICASO3D printers
PICASO3D Designer X Series
The main feature of the Designer X series is the presence of four hundred heating blocks. The printers can heat up to 410°C. Therefore, they can print all engineering plastics available on the market, including PEEK.
Designer X also has a number of unique features. These include:
- A built-in encoder of the Flow Control system. This allows you to monitor several types of possible printing faults at once.
- A removable glass plate for easy separation of the model.
- A print head cleaning mode
- Ability to dry the filament spool on the table
- Night mode printing with slow speed , among others
Designer X Pro differs from Designer X in that it has a reinforced XY axis gantry, which uses steel rails instead of cylindrical shafts. The Pro also has a JetSwitch rotary-type dual extruder. In JetSwitch technology, the inactive nozzle is not only retracted to the side at a safe distance, but also hides in the housing nest. This protects the model from drops and plastic threads of the inactive nozzle.
PICASO3D Designer XL Series
The Designer XL series of printers is the continuation of the Designer X series in a large print form factor. Both models also use 400 heater blocks and are split into single-extruder (Designer XL) and dual-extruder (Designer XL Pro) versions.
The Designer X and Designer XL series are integrated into an ecosystem based on the proprietary Polygon X slicer. The slicer allows you to remotely manage an industrial park of printers.
3. Flash Forge Printers
FlashForge does not have separate series of professional printers. Instead, the model range evolve into different series. Below are the Flashforge 3D printer models that can print engineering plastics.
Flashforge Guider IIs
Guider IIs comes with a closed housing with a removable dome, an extruder with working temperatures up to 300°C, and a table that supports heating up to 120°C. The printer construction area is 280 x 250 x 300mm.
Guider IIs also meet modern safety standards. For example, the blown cooler has a HEPA filter installed.
Like the Raise3D printers, the Guider IIs have an HD camera that allows you to visually control printing via the FlashCloud cloud service.
Flashforge Creator 3
Flashforge Creator 3 is a professional printer with two IDEX extruders. The unit works in the same temperature conditions as Guider IIs, and has a build area of 300 x 250 x 200 mm.
Like the Raise3D E2, the Creator 3 prints in three modes: mirror, duplicate, and dual nozzle printing of the same model.
The Creator 3 also has a HEPA filter and an HD camera for remote print control.
FLASHFORGE GUIDER IIS REVIEW | PRICE
The above are the best 3D printers for mechanical parts.