Looking for the best 3D printer for schools? You’ll love the Dremel DigiLab 3D45 3D printer. Find out why this versatile is a must-have workhorse for both a workshop and school setting.
If you want to buy a 3D printer to be used in a classroom or professional setting, there are various things you need to look for in the machine. For example, you want a quality printer that is both accessible and reliable.
The Dremel DigiLab 3D45 is one such printer.
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
This 3D printer is easy to use, dependable, affordable and safe for use in a classroom or workshop. In this Dremel DigiLab 3d45 review, we look at the features, specs, performance and what to expect in terms of quality of print of the machine.
Let’s get started.
Dremel DigiLab 3D45 Specs
|Printing Technology||Fused Deposition Modeling|
|Extruder||All-Metal Hot End/Direct Drive/Single Extruder|
|Build Volume||10 x 6 x 6.7in (402 cubic inches)|
|Z-Layer Resolution||50-300 microns|
|Operating Interface||5″ full-color IPS touchscreen|
|Build Platform Leveling||Semi-automated leveling|
|Materials||Nylon, Eco-ABS, PLA, PETG|
|Max. Extruder Temperature||280°C|
|Max. Build Platform Temperature||100°C|
|Software Bundle||Dremel DigiLab 3D Slicer (Cura), Dremel Print Cloud (3DPrinterOS)|
|File Types||STL, OBJ|
|Input Rating||100-240V, 47-60Hz, 0.85-2.3Amps|
Weight and Dimension
|Dimensions||20.25 x 16 x 15.9in|
Dremel DigiLab 3D45 Review: Features
The Dremel DigiLab 3D45 is one of the best 3D printers for schools, and for good reasons. This printer can tackle more advanced materials that require high printing temperatures (think about EcoABS, polycarbonate, and Nylon). In fact, it is one of the best ABS printers on the market.
The 3D printer comes with a heated bed and a removable build platform. The total build volume of the machine is 10 x 6 x 6.7 inches.
Coming to bed leveling, the printer does not have a fully automatic or require full manual bed leveling. Instead, the leveling is semi-automatic and is accomplished using a simple two-point system.
During the leveling process, the printer indicates on the 4.5-inch color IPS touchscreen how much each knob should be turned in to even out the print area. Moving to precision, this printer can print models with a 50-micron resolution.
The Dremel DigiLab 3D45 has a high-temperature extruder and features a full enclosure. The enclosure helps to ensure that the temperature in the printing chamber stays evenly to prevent the print models from getting spoiled.
While the printer is enclosed, you can still observe and adjust the printing process thanks to the transparent door and lid. These two can also be opened during a print job for any tinkering.
When using the filament made by Dremel, the printer’s RFID reader will automatically recognize it and adjust the settings accordingly. Therefore, in a school setting, you won’t have to customize the printer a lot before starting your first prints.
The Dremel DigiLab 3D45 also has a 720p camera. You can use the camera to monitor and control multiple machines remotely. Apart from this, you can create time-lapse videos with the captured footage.
If you’d like to watch the printing process, you can do so through the Dremel Print Cloud (a cloud-based slicer). The camera works just fine, although there seems to be some amount of lag, which may sometimes stop the real-time streaming.
The Dremel DigiLab 3D45 3D printer is UL certified and features Bosch sensor technology. Therefore, you can be sure it is safe for use both in workshops and classrooms. To eliminate toxic gases emitted during the printing process, the printer is installed with carbon filters.
We love how easy it is to network and stack multiple Dremel DigiLab 3D printers together to create an efficient print farm. This is why this printer is our top choice for schools and workshops. After connecting multiple printers together, you can control them from one place.
The connection can be made through Ethernet or Wi-Fi. For offline printing, you can connect the printers through USB.
The DigiLab 3D45 is a plug-and-play printer that takes just a few steps to assemble. In about 20 minutes, you will be up and running, ready for your first test print.
The printer is intuitive and easy to use, especially if you will be using the proprietary filament. However, there are a few downsides you should be aware of.
Continue reading to find out the downsides of the printer.
Amplifying Advanced Materials
The Dremel DigiLab 3D45 can print a wide range of flexible materials, including Nylon and Eco-ABS.
For our test, we printed the 3DBenchy model to see how the printer will handle the difficult design and geometry features. To start off, we loaded the proprietary EcoABS filament into the spool holder compartment that is on the side of the printer.
Loading the filament is easy. The spool snaps right into place and gets into the top of the print chamber, where a guide clip keeps it in place as it’s fed into the extruder. The RFID on the printer recognized the Eco-ABS filament and automatically initiated the recommended print settings.
The 3DBenchy came out nicely. The design was flawless and the print was smooth. We did not notice any layering issues.
After the 3DBenchy, we printer other test models that came on the SD card that is shipped together with the printer. The first model we tested was the towering Mechanic Girl. Here is how the print came out using Eco-ABS filament:
The Mechanic Girl 3D model features a girl standing on a gear holding a wrench, with a ton of tools around her feet. This model has many angles and overhangs. Therefore, it is quite difficult to get printed. However, we were pleasantly surprised at how the Dremel DigiLab 3D45 printed it. The model came out nearly perfect and we did not even have to use support structures.
The Eco-ABS print turned out incredible. The only issue we noticed is that the model was slightly discolored in some areas. However, come to think of it, the discoloration made the model even more aesthetically appealing.
When you look at the test print, you’ll realize all the details were well captured, including the model’s waving hair to her shoelaces.
Next on our list was the Lion bust. This model came out nicely and we could see intricate details such as the facial features as well as the hair (check the image below). The lion’s mane almost seems as if it’s wavering in the wind. You cannot easily get such details from other 3D printers. This is just another proof that the Dremel DigiLab 3D45 is one of the best 3D printers for capturing intricate details.
We then decided to try printing Nylon filament. In our test, the Dremel DigiLab struggled to print Nylon than it did Eco-ABS.
Starting our Nylon filament test print was a circular bracket that is included by the manufacturer for test prints.
Comparing Nylon filament to Eco-ABS, it is clear that the former is harder to print than the latter. To begin, we struggled to get the first layer of the model to stick to the bed. To solve this problem, we increase the bed temperature and the model was able to print.
In some areas, the quality of the Nylon model was decent. However, the layers seemed to struggle to stick together. For example, when we initially tried to remove the print, it broke into two pieces. On the same note, we realized that the surface layer seemed to peel away from the rest of the model.
After trying various ways to get the Nylon filament to print properly, we discovered that external moisture was probably impacting it. Moisture affects Nylon filament more than it does PLA or ABS materials.
The bottom line is, we struggled to print Nylon filament due to layering issues. As a result, we opted to continue our tests with Eco-ABS filament.
But what about third-party filaments; how does the Dremel DigiLab 3D45 handle them?
Printing 3rd Party Filaments with Dremel DigiLab 3D45
The manufacturer recommends using its own filament with the Dremel DigiLab 3D45. However, the printer can also handle 3rd party filaments. How does it perform?
The first thing we noticed is that there was a noticeable difference in quality when we compared the models printed with the Eco-ABS filament and those printed with third-party filaments.
We began our test with 3rd party filaments by printing the Fillamentum Extrafill PLA. The Dremel spools are sized to fit into the side compartment for the 3D printer. Therefore, for 3rd party spools, you will need to rig them outside the printer before feeding them into the extruder system.
To solve this problem, the TUSH filament spool holder. However, any other external spool filament holder will also work.
After loading the filament, we dialed the proper settings and started printing the 3Dbenchy. Initially, the Benchy’s quality seemed to be at par with what we got with the Eco-ABS. However, halfway through the printing, the Dremel 3D printer started under extruding. In fact, the printer even stopped printing at some point.
The result was a Benchy that wasn’t clean. The model was missing layers in various areas. Just to be sure, we checked whether the extruder was clogged and confirmed that it wasn’t. Even after printing multiple times, the Benchy did not just come out as clean as it did when we printed with the Eco-ABS filament.
From our tests, the Dremel DigiLab 34D45 is an excellent printer, but only if you are using the Eco-ABS filament. When you use 3rd party filaments, the quality of the models drops. Therefore, you are going to be buying this machine, we’d recommend you stick with the manufacturer-recommended Eco-ABS for the best results.
From browsing the manufacturer’s catalogue, we’ve seen that they currently have a wide range of filaments, including 11 colors of Nylon, PETG and PLA. There are also two colors of Eco-ABS. The spool prices range from $30 to $40.
Dremel Educational Ecosystem
The Dremel DigiLab 3D45 printer comes with a robust educational ecosystem. The system comprises of a curriculum for students of all ages, from elementary school to university level. Various lessons are provided in the curriculum, including biotechnology and mathematics. Thingiverse, and other resources that offer free educational projects and lessons, are also included in the ecosystem.
Dremel has tools that are designed for educators. The tools include various projects on STEM-based subjects as well as ready-to-use lesson plans. These resources make the printer perfect for the classroom setting.
The printer itself is also perfect for schools. To begin, setting it up and get started with printing is easy. The reliable printer I easy to use, that even younger students can follow along. There is also a comprehensive manual with instructions on how to level the bed, load filaments and print.
In a nutshell, the Dremel DigiLab 3D45 is the best 3D printer for schools. With it, you can monitor and control the printing process, ensuring that n time or resources are wasted.
Safety is another area where the printer stands out. Its transparent door and lid make it easy for you to look at the printing action, while keeping the heat insider. There is also a carbon filter to keeps toxic odors out of the classroom or workshop.
Dremel DigiLab 3D45 Review: Conclusion
The Dremel DigiLab 3D45 3D printer is easy to set up and use. The printer produces quality prints when using Dremel filaments. This unit is also reliable, safe and an all-round great performer for use in schools or the workshop.
However, the printer does not work great with third-party filament. In particular, we noticed that the print quality from third-party filaments is not as great as that of models printed using Dremel filaments. Moreover, the printer tends to struggle with advanced materials, such as Nylon.
Finally, while the closed system ensures that the printer is safe and reliable, it also limits creativity.
Should You Buy the Dremel DigiLab 3D45 3D Printer?
We found the DigiLab 3D45 to be an excellent 3D printer. If you will mainly be using Dremel filaments when printing, this is a terrific machine to have. We love how safe and reliable it is.
However, when you move from Dremel materials and try printing with materials from other providers, the quality of the models produce reduces significantly.
SEE PRICE ON AMAZON