Spotlight

Buying Guide Education: The best 3D printer for your school

By Site editors - Update: 17 July 2019 -

3D printers are an outcome for both primary and secondary school education when it comes to education in science and technology. Students get in touch with engineering, design and material knowledge, and it’s fun too. But what is important to take into consideration when buying a 3D printer?

Questions and answers
Schools who want to introduce their students to modern technology like 3D printing often encounter difficult questions. But fortunately there are many places where you can get good advice and clear answers. Like us!

Important questions that each school must ask before proceeding to purchase a suitable 3D printer:

  • What is the price / quality ratio? Does the printer fit within budget?
  • Is the printer well constructed? Can it whit-stand intensive use for a while?
  • What materials can be printed? Do you need proprietary filaments from the supplier (often more expensive)?
  • What resolution of printing (in micron) is needed? Often you don’t need the best out there.
  • What software is included? Is it user-friendly enough for the target audience?
  • Is the 3D printer lockable and so safe for enthusiastic hands?
  • Can the printer print 'stand alone' (without a computer connected)?

Based on this we came to the following recommendations:

Quick Menu

Primary schools & smaller budget

If there is a limited budget, as is usually the case with all the educational institutions, there is currently one brand that clearly high in the ranking: XYZprinting. The 3D printer of this manufacturer are of good quality, low-priced, easy-to-use, and often uses a so-called open filament system, which also allows you to use (often cheaper) materials from third parties.

icon: UP3D BOX+ (Tiertime) - for sale low as: 1,999.-

UP3D BOX+ (Tiertime)

WiZE 3D

$ 1,999.-

icon: FlashForge Finder - for sale low as: 399.-

FlashForge Finder

Multiple vendors

$ 399.-

icon: XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0w Wifi - for sale low as: 185.99

XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0w Wifi

Multiple vendors

$ 185.99

icon: XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro 3-in-1 - for sale low as: 299.-

XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro 3-in-1

Multiple vendors

$ 299.-

icon: Ultimaker 2+ - for sale low as: 2,099.-

Ultimaker 2+

Multiple vendors

$ 2,099.-

UP3D BOX+ (Tiertime)

icon: UP3D BOX+ (Tiertime) - for sale low as: 1,999.-
WiZE 3D
The UP BOX+ 3D printer is an extended version of UP BOX. Since the launch of the UP BOX, UP3D has been carefully listening to their customers’ feedback, and made changes to meet the customers’ need.
Printing technology: Melted Extrusion Modeling?MEM?
Layer Resolution: 100
Filament systeem: Open
Number of extruders: 1 (Single Extruder)
Software included: UP Studio

FlashForge Finder

Easiest to use. Safe.
Printing technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
Layer Resolution: 100
Filament systeem: Open
Number of extruders: 1 (Single Extruder)
Software included: FlashPrint

XYZprinting da Vinci Jr. 1.0w Wifi

Connect from Anywhere in Your Home Network Now upgraded with WiFi connectivity, the da Vinci Jr. 1.0w allows anyone to wirelessly send 3D files from their Windows and Mac computers to their 3D printer from anywhere in their local area network.
Printing technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
Layer Resolution: 100 / 0.1
Filament systeem: Open
Print speed: 100
Number of extruders: 1 (Single Extruder)
Software included: XYZware

XYZprinting da Vinci 1.0 Pro 3-in-1

It is a busy year for XYZprinting; the company has introduced seven new 3D printers in 2016 and the below discussed da Vinci 1.0 Pro 3-in-1 is one of them. The new 3-in-1 is the successor to the highly successful Da Vinci 1.0 Pro and is actually technically largely identical.
Printing technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
Layer Resolution: 100-400 / 0.1-0.4
Filament systeem: Open
Number of extruders: 1 (Single Extruder)
Software included: XYZware Pro

Ultimaker 2+

The Dutch Ultimaker 2+ is the successor of the popular Ultimaker 2. The Ultimaker 2+ is equipped with a heatable printbed, supports PLA and ABS, can print up to a resolution of 20 micron and prints at a speed of 24 mm3/s.
Printing technology: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Layer Resolution: 20-600 / 0,02-0,6
Filament systeem: Open
Print speed: 8 - 24
Number of extruders: 1 (Single Extruder)
Software included: Cura - supplier (freeware)


Secondary education and more budget

Is there more budget available for this type of investment, as is usually the case in secondary education, academic education and universities, then other 3D printers are more suitable. The possibilities and (print) quality are higher, but of course the price is higher. Opportunities are:

icon: MakerBot Replicator Mini+ - for sale low as: 1,299.-

MakerBot Replicator Mini+

Multiple vendors

$ 1,299.-

icon: MakerBot Replicator+ - for sale low as: 2,499.99

MakerBot Replicator+

Multiple vendors

$ 2,499.99

icon: Ultimaker 3 - for sale low as: 2,795.-

Ultimaker 3

Multiple vendors

$ 2,795.-

icon: Ultimaker 2+ - for sale low as: 2,099.-

Ultimaker 2+

Multiple vendors

$ 2,099.-

MakerBot Replicator Mini+

The new MakerBot Replicator Mini+ is the simpler and especially smaller version of the Replicator+, the newest work horse of MakerBot. With a compacter format of 11.7 x 13.7 x 15 inches versus 20.8 x 17.3 x 16.1 (295 x 349 x 381 mm versus 528 x 441 x 410 mm), a smaller maximum build volume 4 x 5 x 5 inches versus 11.6 x 5 x 5 inches (101 x 126 x 126 mm versus 295 x 195 x 165 mm) and the lack of an ethernet connection, the mini is especially directed towards classrooms and education in general as well as for the workplace.
Printing technology: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Layer Resolution: 100 / 0.1
Filament systeem: Closed
Number of extruders: 1 (Single Extruder)
Software included:

MakerBot Replicator+

The new MakerBot Replicator+, already the sixth generation of 3D printers of the company, has been designed and tested for high reliability and fast printing. But also in the area of the number of useful adjustment possibilities and ease-of-use no corners have been cut.
Printing technology: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Layer Resolution: 100 / 0.1
Filament systeem: Closed
Number of extruders: 1 (Single Extruder)
Software included:

Ultimaker 3

The new Ultimaker 3 is on all fronts an improvement over its forerunner, but the most important advantage is surely the addition of a second printhead. With it the device can print with two materials at the same time.
Printing technology: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Layer Resolution: 20-200 / 0.02-0.2
Filament systeem: Open
Print speed: 30-300
Number of extruders: 2 (Dual Extruder)
Software included: Cura

Ultimaker 2+

The Dutch Ultimaker 2+ is the successor of the popular Ultimaker 2. The Ultimaker 2+ is equipped with a heatable printbed, supports PLA and ABS, can print up to a resolution of 20 micron and prints at a speed of 24 mm3/s.
Printing technology: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Layer Resolution: 20-600 / 0,02-0,6
Filament systeem: Open
Print speed: 8 - 24
Number of extruders: 1 (Single Extruder)
Software included: Cura - supplier (freeware)

icon: Ultimaker Filament PLA - for sale low as: 49.95

Ultimaker Filament PLA

MatterHackers

$ 49.95

icon: XYZprinting ABS Filament da Vinci - for sale low as: 19.99

XYZprinting ABS Filament da Vinci

Multiple vendors

$ 19.99

icon: Ultimaker Filament ABS - for sale low as: 49.95

Ultimaker Filament ABS

MatterHackers

$ 49.95

You can save considerably on filaments

Many shops all offer exactly the same filaments. Why would you pay more? Every day we check and update the prices and stock of many types and brands. Some examples are listed below.

See and compare all filaments in price and stock here: Price Comparison Filaments

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