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Last updated: January 23, 2021
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As an architect, you need to be at the top of your game, mainly because of the architecture industry’s competitive nature. 3D printers are not only effective but also save you a lot of time when creating and designing. Having the best 3D printer for architects makes it easy to display your models and showcase your ideas to your potential investors or clients.
Even before you start working as an architect, 3D printer will come handy while studying, it will help you understand 3D modeling and its creating process. The quality scale model can leave them quite impressed, giving you a better chance over your competitors. Selecting the right 3D printer for an architect can be a daunting task, especially because not all top-rated options are as good as they claim to be. Fortunately, we have looked at the top 3D printer for architects based on the build volume, filaments, guarantee, and dimensions to help you get the right product for your needs.
The FlashForge Creator Pro is among the most reliable and robust 3D printers in the market today. One of the things that makes it a perfect machine for architectural tasks is its excellent stability.
Moreover, the heavy-duty and durable aluminum plate stays flat even under excessive heat. With a printing volume of 5.9 x 5.8 x 8.9 inches, you can use this printer to design and print even the largest tasks.
It has an adjustable layer resolution of 0.1 to 0.4 mm, so you can easily adjust the resolution setting depending on the material you are printing. You can also adjust the printer to the preferred speed thanks to the 10-100 printing speed setting.
Then, the dual extruder makes the machine more flexible by allowing you to print multiple filaments and colors simultaneously. Despite the high performance and quality build, the FlashForge Creator Pro is easy to use.
Another impressive feature is the open-source software for constantly modifying the software. It also allows you to print multiple filaments. Lastly, the enclosed chamber design helps to block external temperature resulting in a more accurate result.
What we liked: From the full manufacturer warranty to the high-quality build, the FlashForge Creator Pro is a must-have for any serious architect. It supports multiple materials and is a safe option.
What could be better: The installation process could have been easier to make it ideal, even for beginners.
Another reliable and highly-rated 3d printer for architects is the MakerGear M2. The well-built machine features a solid steel frame, making it ideal for designing and printing complex architectural models.
Furthermore, the rust-proof black powder finish makes it long-lasting and ensures it looks as good as new even after using it for long. The printer comes pre-assembled, so you can get to work soon after you receive your package.
This might not be the best option for beginners, primarily because of its complex design. Nevertheless, for experienced architects, this will be an excellent option. You might also like the versatile nature of this device.
It is compatible with a wide range of software, making it more convenient by providing multiple printing options. Then there are the connectivity options to various PC, micro-SD card, and USB connection options.
Unlike our previous model, this one features a single extruder but can still perform most printing tasks. That said, if you’d like to print multiple filaments at the same time, you can always get a dual extruder.
What we liked: If you are looking for a durable, stable, and professional 3D printer for an architect, you should consider picking the MakerGear M2. The quality construction and high precision rails help you to achieve quality and accurate prints.
What could be better: The manufacturer could have included an LCD screen for easier printing from the USB or SD disk.
For any architect who is serious about unique and accurate models, it’s hard to go wrong with the Creality Ender 3 Pro. The reliable machine features an ample power supply, which protects the printer from sudden power surges.
Moreover, you will enjoy a convenient and faster printing process due to the fast heat mechanism. It heats up within five minutes, meaning you will spend less time waiting and more time working on your model.
Besides that, Creality Ender 3 Pro is designed to print a wide range of materials. Like any other top-rated 3D printer for architects, this model will resume printing in case of a power outage. So, you won’t need to worry about starting all over again or losing your work.
Some of the items included in the package are a screwdriver, nozzles, cable ties, and pliers, among others. Although it comes pre-assembled, putting the machine together should be pretty straightforward due to the necessary tools and instructions.
The stability of the entire structure and groove is another excellent aspect of this machine. You can expect exceptionally accurate and quality prints from this 3D printer.
What we liked: The Creality Ender 3 Pro is one of the most affordable 3D printers for architects in the market today. It comes at a budget-friendly price without compromising on quality.
What could be better: The nozzle could have been firmer to prevent constant readjustment and bed leveling issues.
If you are searching for a high-duty 3D printer for architects, then we highly recommend the QIDI TECH X-max. The machine is designed for printing large models with exceptional quality and accuracy.
With a massive build volume of 11.8 x 9.8 x 11. 8 inches and smart design this model can comfortably print models of up to 1360 cubic inches. We also like the two extruders that allow you to print more than one material and color at once.
It also supports a wide range of materials, including PLA, carbon fiber, PETG, PC, ABS, TPU, and nylon. As you can see, the QIDI TECH X-max is ideal for multiple printing tasks. Then there is the air filter, which minimizes the chances of odor and harmful objects from the machine’s materials.
With this 3D printing machine, you can expect smooth and precise finishes and smaller layers, especially on tasks with minute details. Moreover, the 5-inch touch screen makes it easy to adjust the printer’s settings, while the multiple connectivity options allow you to connect your printer to other devices.
Moreover, this model comes pre-assembled, so you won’t have to deal with the tedious work of setting it up. You can start working on your model after receiving your package. Lastly, the quiet operation of the printer means you can enjoy a silent printing session.
What we liked: The QIDI TECH X-max performs exceptionally well when building volume, print quality, and versatility. It also comes with a wide range of connectivity options, and the color touchscreen allows smooth operation.
What could be better: The user manual could have been more detailed to make the operation process much easier, especially for beginners.
If you are looking for something functional yet fun enough to make you enjoy the complex printing task, the Dremel Digilab 3D20 is for you. This is another model that comes pre-installed for convenience.
The large LCD screen makes it easy to customize the machine’s setting. Moreover, the enclosed design of the 3D printer makes the printing process much smoother since the temperature will remain stable.
Unlike most models, this 3D printer uses a non-toxic and recyclable PLA filament making it a safe option for you and the environment. This filament also supports a stable printing process leading to a high-quality model.
We also need to mention the cloud-based software that makes printing a bit easier by guiding you through the entire process. Since 3D20 has undergone serious quality testing, you can depend on it for high-quality and reliable printing services.
Whether you are a professional architect or a beginner who wants to get into the world of architecture, this will be an excellent option thanks to the simple design. The customer service is also amazing.
What we liked: The Dremel Digilab 3D20 is easy to operate, durable, supports stable printing, and uses a safe filament. It also comes pre-assembled and has a full-color touchscreen for easy setting adjustment.
What could be better: The build plate could have been a bit larger for easy printing of larger models without breaking them into pieces.
The ANYCUBIC Chiron is one of the best beginner 3D printers for architects. Featuring a build size of 15. 7 x 15.5 x 15. 7 inches, this printing machine is ideal for anyone who wants a large printer at an affordable price.
So, it will be great for anyone who wants to work on those large architectural models. It features a single extruder that allows a wide range of filaments, including TPU, PLA, and HIPS.
Moreover, the printer is attached firmly to the build plate, ensuring the material stays secure to the print bed. This feature is impressive in that it makes it easy to remove prints from the device.
ANYCUBIC Chiron comes pre-assembled but putting it together should be easy especially because of the included tools and instructions. You can easily adjust the setting of the machine thanks to the TFT touch screen.
What we liked: The ANYCUBIC Chiron is arguably one of the largest 3D printers making it ideal for big architectural projects. Despite its large size, it is easy to use and comes at an affordable price.
What could be better: The manufacturer could have used an automatic leveling bed for a better and smoother printing process.
Things to Сonsider
Selecting the right printer can be challenging, especially with multiple options one can choose. This section of the article gives you more information to help you choose the best 3D printer for architects.
Tips and tricks for architectural 3D printing
Level the bed
In order to achieve good quality prints, you must ensure that the printer bed remains level. Failing to keep the bed level will lead to bad adhesions and ultimately inaccurate and rough prints. You can either use a folded A4 paper or credit card to level your printer bed.
Check nozzle temperature
It’s worth noting that the temperature of the printer’s nozzle will affect its performance and appearance. For example, if the nozzle gets too hot, you might find strings of materials in some parts of the machine. If you are printing tall models, you might want to add a cube on the built plate to give the hot nozzle some time to cool off.
Use multiple build plates.
The texture of your print depends on the type of build plate you decide to use. A material like glass will provide a smooth surface, while glue will give you a matte finish. Using too much glue can make it difficult to assess your printer. So, use a different build plate and see what really works for you.
Be careful with filaments.
When filaments like nylon, ABS, and other flexible options absorb moisture, it can lead to some issues. Wet filaments can pop due to expansion and come out via the nozzle. The worst thing about this is that you may end up having rough prints. To avoid this, you can store filaments in plastic bins or dry them for a few hours before use.
As 3D printing technology gets more popular, printer manufacturing companies are also increasing. Top 3D printing manufacturers have set a high standard when it comes to quality 3D printers for architects. The type of brand has a considerable influence on the performance of a 3D printer. Here we have looked at the best brands that have stood out from the rest.
With over ten years of experience, this company is known for producing high-quality 3D printers and 3D printing services. FlashForge is among the most popular manufacturing company for 3D printers, with the FlashForge Creator Pro being one of their best products. The machine features a solid build and other amazing features, ensuring accurate and reliable printing results.
This company was established in 1934. It is mostly known for producing high-quality and reliable 3D printers like the Dremel Digilab 3D20. Any 3D printed manufactured by Dremel will provide an excellent resolution and works with a wide range of filaments. The filaments used in Dremel machines are PLA, ASA, HIPS, and or any other high-temperature material.
This is a Chinese company that produces high-end 3D printers for architects. It produces a wide variety of printing machines that can be used for multiple applications. Most of the companies’ models come pre-assembled and feature a fully enclosed design for convenience and protection.
Features to consider while buying the best 3D printer for architects
Buying a 3D printer is not an investment that can be taken lightly, and a lot of research and thought will need to go into the process. There are some factors you need to consider when looking for the best printer for architects. Let’s take a look.
The best 3D printers for architects don’t necessarily have to be too expensive, though professional machines that print large volumes might require you to dig deeper into your pocket. Such printing machines come at around $3,000 or more.
However, you can still find quality and reliable printers going for $1000 or even lower. Then, other beginner-friendly options come at around $300.
While there is a wide range of things to consider when buying a 3D printer, none of them is as important as the build volume. Build size is simply the maximum size a printer can print at a single time.
3D printers with a large build volume can print large models and are ideal for large projects, while small ones will print small models. As such, if your architectural projects include large government buildings or tall apartments, then it’s better to go for the ANYCUBIC Chiron because of the large volume
3D printers for architects are used for showcasing a virtual model to be used during construction. Only exceptional and good quality models will impress investors, clients, and other stakeholders.
Therefore, you should give the models the best look possible as they will affect your final work. You can only achieve this if you have a quality printing device. And what determines the quality of a 3D printer for architects is the build finish and layer resolution. A printer like the Dremel Digilab 3D20 with a smaller layer resolution will provide better results.
You also need to know which type of materials are compatible with your 3D printer. We recommend going for a 3D printer that can print multiple filaments for convenience and versatility.
Some printers are only compatible with the filaments manufactured by them, but others allow you to print any material available in the market. With a 3d printer like the QIDI TECH X-max can print any material you like.
Architecture is a complex easy field that involves many tasks, so you might need a fast 3D printer to fasten the printing process and carry on with other tasks. The printing speed of a machine is vital for both large and small projects.
3D printing is not a simple process; it includes intricate designing tasks like model designing and printing. The last thing you want is to use a printer that requires hours and hours to complete a single model. That said, you should not compromise on quality for speed.
Another key aspect to keep in mind while looking for a great 3D printer for architectural tasks is the product guarantee. A printer that comes with a good guarantee gives you the confidence to purchase because you are assured that the manufacturer will have our back if there is a fault with your printer. Warranties vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some printers like they come with a Creality Ender 3 Pro 18-month limited warranty.
Today, most 3D printers for architects come with the right software on download or a disk. Some 3D printers might require you only to use the manufacturer’s software or require you to change a design into a particular format. On the other hand, other printers will print on any software.
Another vital thing you need to consider is Wi-Fi compatibility. It makes it easy to share files from your phone or PC to the 3D printer. Wi-Fi connectivity also allows you to access and save your designs online.
If you are a beginner, it’s best to get a budget-friendly option and get a professional model later. A machine like the ANYCUBIC Chiron is ideal for beginners since it is easy to use, comes at an affordable price but still delivers an amazing performance.
Having a heavy-duty 3D printer is an added advantage, especially if you are working on complex architectural structures. A good example is the QIDI TECH X-max, which is designed to handle even the most complex models.
No, most printers do not have a way of informing you if they are functioning correctly or not. So, you need to keep checking the progress of your work. That said, you should avoid putting your finger or hand in the device while it’s printing.
Our first pick is the FlashForge Creator Pro, which is a high-end 3D printer. The machine has a dual extruder that allows you to print more than filament and color at once. With its large size, you can use the machine for printing even large models.
Our second pick is the MakerGear M2, which is a professional 3D printer for architects. From the solid construction and black powder finish to the multiple connectivity options you cannot, you can expect quality and smooth printing results from this machine.
Our third pick is the Creality Ender 3 Pro, which comes with all the necessary tools for easy assembly. Despite the budget-friendly price, this is one of the best 3D printer for architects out there. The fast-heating mechanism ensures you enjoy a quick printing process.