As you might have already heard, we have just released the 2015 3D Printer Guide highlighting the best 18 printers as voted by the community. The guide is based on 2279 reviews on 235 different 3D printer models, which really shows the full power of our global community. 1623 years of combined 3D Printing experience - wow, how impressive is that!

(Drumroll) And the winners in the 5 main categories and the scores they received based on your votes are:

Enthusiast: Makergear M2 (9.0), FlashForge Creator Pro (8.7), Ultimaker 2 (8.6), Witbox (8.6), Lulzbot Taz 4 (8.5)

Plug-n-Play: Zortrax M200 (8.9), BEETHEFIRST (8.9), UP Plus 2 (8.8)

Kit/ DIY: Rostock MAX (9.0), Mendel90 (8.9), Kossel (8.8), Ultimaker Original+ (8.8)

Budget: Printrbot Simple Metal (8.6), Sharebot KIWI (8.6), FlashForge Creator (8.4), UP! mini (8.3)

Resin: Form 1+ (8.4), B9Creator (8.1)

So what do you guys think about the finalists? Any surprises? Any particular model left out of the race? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this.


@Cinter @obelix @rioprintocom @Matterthings @Los_Hacedores @Philipbee @Jan-Willem_1 what do you guys think?

Look at how many people own Ultimakers, either the kit or version 2. That’s a figure that is more important than any other. It tells you how credible the reviews are, simply becuase the sample is statisticially more significant. This figure should have been displayed on the fron page next to the rating.

If a printer with 21 respondents can rank higher than one with 142, you need to ask just how accurate are your results going to be.

This makes this whole printer guide less than even remotely accurate, and in fact more likely to distort reality than provide a useful guide.


Great - spent 30 minutes on a review of the I3 Berlin and the thing even doesn’t show up in the list, eventho it’s a very reliable and price worth piece of engineering… Are we somewhat biased to the U.S. american market? Slightly sucks, but yeah - USA is great, hm? This increasing americanzation starts to piss me off…

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Makes really interesting reading! Glad to see my little Up! Mini made it into the Budget category although I’m not sure I’d agree with the classification and I’m pretty sure it can be bought for around $500 nowadays. I’m sure that this printer guide will be very influential in the future but I hope it doesn’t influence manufacturers’ design decisions too much. Would be good to see a subdivision for Delta-type designs as that was the main influence on my most recent purchase. I just wanted a Delta! :smiley:

Another useful addition to the Buyers’ guide would be a section for up-and-coming products that simply don’t have the profile to make the cut. I bought a Deltatrix, which is an awesome printer for the money but at this stage I wouldn’t expect it to make one of the main categories. Now you’re in the area of Market Analysis, you have to be careful not to create self-fulfilling prophesies. :slight_smile:


Hey Pot8oSh3D,

Fair points, I especially like the upcoming printers idea. Indeed we have to be careful with self-fulfilling prophesies, but I’m confident the community will keep us balanced. :slight_smile:

Hi HerrRauB,

You actually submitted your review the day before it was released, so we didn’t have time to add it. Now I’ve added it, it’s listed under Prusa i3.

There are quite a few European made printers among the Best printers.

Hi Danilius,

This is why we had a limit of at least 10 reviews to be included in the guide. Actually all printers in the Enthusiast category had at least 15 reviews. If the limit was lower, we’d exclude many of the new printers and we’d be disproportionately favoring big companies and printers that are the most frequent on 3D Hubs.

We did some tests for standard deviation and even though both Ultimakers have more than a 100 reviews, their SD is not necessarily lower than that of printers with let’s say 20 reviews.

In that case, they may as well just order printers by number of reviews and leave it at that. I don’t think JD Power make any allowance for the number of responses in their car owner satisfaction survey. Must say, I was expecting Ultimaker 2 to be the top Enthusiast grade printer but hey. Maybe Ultimaker are pricing it out of the market.

In that case, they may as well just order printers by number of reviews and leave it at that. I don’t think JD Power make any allowance for the number of responses in their car owner satisfaction survey. Must say, I was expecting Ultimaker 2 to be the top Enthusiast grade printer but hey. Maybe Ultimaker are pricing it out of the market.

Well, there are several issues (some of them which are of course beyond your control), and basic statistics do not really cover these issues. However, I re-read my post and it came across as a very grumpy one. I really do not like grumpy posts, so allow me to apologise for that right now. The printer guide is immensely useful as a central repository of reviews, and I should have been more congratulatory over the publishing this significant piece of research. Kudos and thanks for that. So, please do not take the rest of my post as a criticism, it merely explains my thinking to add a couple more refinements to this significant and important survey.

Now, of course you created a minimal sample size, and that’s important.

But a sample of 20 is not as significant as a sample of 140. You can bandy around the maths every which way you want, but basically you are looking at footfall here: if more people buy printer X, does it mean it’s good? Well, that depends on the situation surrounding it. If, for example, Makerbot came to the show before Ultimaker, and the latter overtook Makerbot on 3dhubs, then that is a very, very significant fact that outweighs the numbers themselves, even if they only have an edge of 10 printers (I’m not trying to sell Ultimakers, I’m trying to get the best printers to the forefront, and hopefully have the truly awful ones slated.)

Then you have something like the Lulzbot Taz 4 which has not been around for very long. It has come below the Witbox, which really makes you wonder, since the Wibox does not have a heated platform whereas the Taz 4 does, it’s noise level is higher than the Taz 4, it is not open-source and in fact it has a host of issues with it.

Now, of course judging between these two printers is subjective, since what I need from a printer is going to be different than someone else, which will explain this apparent anomaly. Also, somone with a Form 1 will be far more appreciative of fine quality printing than someone owning a Makerbot.

The point is, though, that most of the results made me scratch my head.

So, what I’m advocating is for two things:

1) Show the response numbers on the front page of the listing. This way people can look at them and say: “well, printer X has only 21 responses, but it ticks all the boxes for me and is very new, therefore it makes sense few people own one. I will take the risk.”

Or they could say: “Why would I buy a printer that has only been tried by 21 people when I can get one that has over 100 people using it? Surely that technology will be more mature.” (Of course, this is simply not true either, since there is a very famous brand shipping printers that are essentially very expensive land-fill.)

2) Publish the raw figures. What’s important about open-source is that the information is made available. Never mind how poorly someone might interpret it. That’s their problem.

I hope this has not come across as too grumpy. If it has, re-read the start of this post and imagine me in a hot-tub with a cool beer, smiling and waving. You will only be able to imagine that, since I do not own a hot tub, don’t like beer and and if I’m waving it’s because I need help to find my glasses.


Right, in a sense all reviews are subjective. Not all printer owners have experience with multiple machines and one might have different expectations of let’s say print quality, whether it’s a $4000 or a $500 printer. Also, there are many printers that can only prints with 1 material but they still ended up among the best… they must be pretty good at that:)

1) That’s a great idea, we were thinking about it as well. We’ll add it soon!

2) When we did the survey, we didn’t ask explicitly for permission to post individual results with Hub names. It’s debatable, but we thought that people would be more willing to share their honest opinion if they can remain anonymous. So posting individual reviews on printers, with the average of the ratings beside it is the most detailed view we can give for now.

It didn’t come across as grumpy, we’re open to any suggestions! It is a community based guide, this is what makes it so special. And all the beer and tortilla chips that was consumed while working on it:)

Oh! One thing that just occurred to me. Can’t think why as it’s really rather important.

The 18 top printers from the 5 categories can in no way be described as the 18 best printers of 2015. For a start, it’s only just 2015 so, more correctly, these are the top printers of 2014. But they’re actually NOT. Is the best micro mini city car one of the best cars in the World? Don’t think so, whatever way you spin it. The best are the BEST. The highest quality, the most precise, the most reliable. When one sees the top printer in one category rated lower than the lowest in another, you really have to change the headline. Might I suggest “The 3DHubs printer ranking”?

OK. That’s two things. So sue me. :smiley:


“This makes this whole printer guide less than even remotely accurate, and in fact more likely to distort reality than provide a useful guide.”

I disagree. Define “remotely accurate”. To what context are we referring? The guide provides value in that we can discover a trend among printer users, in addition to other categorical evidence. For example: of the Makergear M2 printer’s 21 users that reported, the ratings were higher, overall than those of the 142 Ultimaker 2 users. This tells me that the 21 Makergear users really like their printer, and that some of the Ultimaker users found it less likeable. Granted we would ideally like to see the same number of surveys completed for each printer, that would not necessarily make the results more meaningful. Surveys, like people, are inaccurate and highly subjective. This guide is not meant to be anything more than a guide, IMO. With that in mind it does a fine job.

I also disagree that the 142 Ultimaker user’s ratings are more important. Statistically more significant? Maybe.

I can agree that the sample size matters, but to brand the “whole” guide as “less than even remotely accurate” is disingenuous at best, and in-accurate nonetheless. There are so many variables and lack of controls in surveys like this, and agree that is a single reason for considering higher counts more “accurate”. Yes, we have to keep that in mind when using the results, but it certainly reflects some value for those looking to purchase their first printer.

In addition the guide shows photographs of prints for the same model across printers. This is highly informative and empirical evidence of print quality, which is one of the rated criteria. It is a good report and I, for one, have already made a decision on my next printer using the results.

Much better comment. I hope my reply to your first comment isn’t off-putting as well. I can agree with your position here.

Interesting top. I also found a very useful top of 2015 printers here:

Yeah, but where does the filament go?! :-/

We are a 3D manufacturing company building some very high printers…

care to visit us at

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We are the manufacturer of 3D printers.

One of our products is ‘Giant NX500’ multifunction can print all the material that is available for the FDM technology and it can do the CNC milling and the engraving laser. it’s not done! Also the ‘Giant NX500’ can do the vacuum forming in 20*20 cm with home vacuum cleaner.

Pls visit us at

We are just as like as you… we sell 3D printers in Capital of Iran,Tehran

our company name is Xprinter3D… maby you heard about that!

also you can caontact us if you want in