Marilyn knows how to present the dullest topic in an interesting and easy-to-read way. When she’s not teaching English Literature at a local school or writing for our site, Marylin loves to knit and bake for her two grandchildren.
Julie owns a shop specializing in sewing equipment and accessories. No wonder she knows everything when it comes to technical specifications of practically anything we review. In her free time, Julie loves quilting and scrapbooking.
Last updated: August 09, 2021
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3D printers and their associated printing technologies are all the rage. They’re not only being used in industry but in home offices around the globe as well. By switching to 3D printing, fewer components need to be outsourced for manufacturing, simplifying the entire industrial process. As technology has evolved, so has the design system behind the original 3D process. Core XY 3D printers are revolutionizing the market with their speed, flexibility, and various cost benefits.
Our review today centers around 4 of the best Core XY 3D printers, providing you with a variety of outstanding options. We’ve also included a useful buyer’s guide to accentuate the features you should take into consideration when you shortlist your choices. Printing speed, printing materials, and technologies, as well as printing size, will all help you identify the right printer for all your 3D printing requirements!
This particular model offers stable, silent, and high-speed operation. Not only does it have a hotbed platform leveling, but it also has a distinctive linear guide. A smoother print surface means there’s less noise. A double fan ensures there’s instant cooling of the workpiece. With a BMG two-wheel extruder, you’re guaranteed a more uniform and accurate discharge. A 3.5” touch screen supports multi-language interface operation.
A brilliant feature is the Core XY kinematics which allows it to print faster than other models. A faster print causes much fewer vibrations during printing. So, you’ll have a considerable artifact reduction such as ghosting and ringing. Improved accuracy is virtually guaranteed at higher speeds.
What makes it stand out?
A feature we found impressive is the break detection and power off continuous printing. It automatically detects the feeding condition and creates an automatic pause after the material is cut off. The printer can also resume any printing from as far back as a year. Not only does this save time, but it reduces waste too.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
We found it somewhat disappointing that this model isn’t designed for commercial purposes. Upon closer inspection, it appears that some parts will easily overheat, which in turn will cause extensive damage to the machine.
The Ender 6 is an industrial 3D printer that features high precision printing and exceptionally high performance. It has superiority in thermal conductivity and heat resistance. The carborundum glass platform not only heats up faster, but the prints also adhere better. Your printed object will have extra smoothness right from the first layer.
A plus point is that this model is the upgraded version of the Ender 3 pro or v2. It achieves a printing speed of up to 150mm with a precision of 0.1mm. This is courtesy of the stable Core XY structure featuring the newer high-quality components. A definite way to make the printer excellent for larger print volume as well as continuous print!
Why is it special?
Since we don’t like to struggle with our technology, we especially enjoyed the hassle-free assembly and maintenance that goes along with this model. Set up was quick and simple, and our favorite new feature on the upgraded version has to be the redesigned acrylic glass covers on the sides. These glass sides guarantee more constant temperatures in the print chamber, which in turn improve the print quality!
What are the flaws?
While we like the upgraded glass covers, we wonder if them being colored is the best idea. Colored panels make it somewhat harder to see the actual products during the printing process. Would it matter if the acrylic glass panels were clear? Something else that was slightly troublesome was the fan noise, but apparently, it’s common for most Creality printers. So it seems there’s no getting around that!
The Creativity Core XY Structure Elf 3D printer works on a precision dual Z-axis, which results in greater printing stability. It easily maintains exceptional printing quality. ELF also supports multiple filaments, including TPU, along with ABS and PLA. A filament detector will automatically pause the machine when the filament runs out. An alarm sounds to let you know that additional material needs to be added. So, there’ll be no waste of material or time. Exclusive ultra-quiet stepper drivers reduce the noise levels and allow for faster print speeds.
The ELF is commonly referred to as the best Core XY 3D printer kit because it’s equipped with a dual Y motor axis and a convenient down-shift Z-axis. This results in a significantly smoother move. It’s, therefore, easier to print more elaborate and extensive pieces. An added feature is that it can resume prints after an unexpected power outage. Not having to restart the project saves time and prevents resource wastage.
What do we love it for?
The power supply on this model is hidden under the flatbed to ensure the users’ safety. A useful feature since the temperature can easily go up to 100℃ within a mere 3 minutes, which makes it at least 25% faster than other printers.
What were we disappointed with?
Unfortunately, this unit seems a little complex to build and can present a challenge to beginners. The instructions provided are more of an overview of the components that should be included in the package. The illustrations are small, and a more detailed instruction list will go a considerable way toward making assembly easier. A beginner will require more than just a rudimentary coverage of the parts to get this machine assembled. Perhaps this is something the manufacturer should review?
The Core XY is ideally suited to experienced enthusiasts who have some skill in printer assembly. By using a Titan extruder, it can easily print a wider choice of consumables. Its 30P integrated cable wiring is not only simple but also convenient with its streamlined appearance. A 24Vpower supply heats the hotbed faster and keeps the temperature marginally more stable. If you’re looking for ultra-high precision and amazing stability, this is the printer for you!
This model comes as the range upgrades to the comparatively smaller X5. The frame is sturdier, providing a welcome change for units in this price category. The Core XY configuration does well at ensuring the Y and X-axis don’t move unnecessarily, which provides a more accurate and faster print.
What are our favorite features?
We found the significant volume print surface quite impressive for a model in this price range. Very few competitors can produce a model with a similar build area with such a comparative costing factor.
What could be better?
A big downside to the printer is that it might be somewhat underpowered. This results in delicate prints not having the anticipated quality. Also, it seems the copper traces on the printer bed don't heat up enough, which could possibly contribute to the flaws in the printing process.
Things to Consider
Opting for the quality of a Core XY printer is one thing. But selecting the right one for the job takes a considerable amount of research. Unlike the average Inkjet printer, one is not like the other. For the most part, the intended use will be the deciding factor in determining which features are more important than others.
Before you decide on a printer best suited to your printing and creating needs, it’s crucial to know how the Core XY technology differs from the original Cartesian 3D system. Read our Features section to determine what specifications you should consider when shortlisting your potential purchasing options.
What’s a Core XY 3D Printer?
Originally, 3D printers were created using Cartesian designs. This type of design used individual motors for each axis on the motor. Essentially, the X and Y axis would be used as the nozzle, and the print bed would move along on the Z-axis.
In 2013 a new system was designed by MIT. On this new system, the belts move together in different planes. A change of movement drastically reduces the twisting impact while printing. Since the X and Y motors are kept in one place, the overall weight of the components on the printer is marginally reduced as well. The new design was called the Core XY 3D printer.
When you pull on the Core XY’s belt, it moves the tool head to a 45-degree angle. This is different from the original 3D printer in that the Cartesian system moves at either zero or ninety degrees. The Core XY has many functional advantages and is generally a better type of 3D printer.
Features to Consider Before You Buy a Core XY 3D Printer
Most people choose Core XY 3D printers for their accuracy, quality, and precision printing. However, there are several other features that should be reviewed before making the final buying decision. Let’s have a look at a few of the more significant features.
It might surprise you to know that a smaller print area often proves to be more reliable. The reason for this is quite simple. On the lower-end printers, it becomes easier to maintain better tolerances over a smaller area.
Once again, it depends on what you intend to print and how much experience you already have. For beginners, it might be better to start small. In fact, it might be better to focus on the quality of the printer rather than its size.
A few of the more advanced printing technologies to consider include the following:
FDM: Fused deposition modeling is primarily a method of additive manufacturing. Layers are fused together in a consistent pattern to create the desired object.
SLA: Stereolithography is the oldest form of 3D printing. SLA printers use mirrors to point a laser beam across a vat of resin. This process then cures and solidifies a cross-section of an object in the printer’s build area. The object is built layer by layer.
DLP: Digital light processing is remarkably similar to SLA. The key difference is that the light is projected onto the resin by an LED screen or a UV light source.
One of the most important features to consider is the medium on which you’re going to print. Don’t assume that the printer you’ve shortlisted is compatible with all types of material.
Be clear on what you want to use the printer for and what you intend to print. Ideally, you want a printer with a long compatibility list because this opens up possibilities for future projects.
The Creality Ender 6 3D Printer, for instance, can primarily only print on PLA. Whereas the X5SA PRO 3D Printer can print on a whole host of materials, including:
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
High Impact Polystyrene Sheet
If you’re looking for faster print speeds without sacrificing the quality of the printed objects, then investing in a Core XY is definitely the way to go! Quite simply, this is achieved by having fewer moving components.
The bulk of many other 3D printers consist of a moving gantry with stepper motors that need to move around during the printing process. This type of movement causes vibrations which lead to issues with the printing of high-quality models.
On the other hand, a Core XY has stationary stepper motors. As a result, the print bed itself can only move vertically. The only component that moves with any substantial speed is the actual tool head.
This causes fewer vibrations which in turn minimizes the chances of poor-quality prints. The Creality Ender 6 3D Printer is a perfect example of a 3D printer with faster printer speed, which is essential to provide you with the quality prints you require.
The majority of 3D printers have touchscreens these days. The only true difference is their interaction and display. Some might be extremely basic, while others have more advanced features with more complex interfaces.
Here it would depend on what you’re going to use the printer for as and who will be using it. If you’re adding the printer to a classroom setting, it’s got a printer with a universal interface.
Screens aren’t a crucial factor to the functioning of a 3D printer, but they facilitate running multiple printers, each on their own SD card. This frees up processing power on your computer.
What the printer is made of will determine how sturdy it stands on the surface you have designated for it. You want a printer that won’t fall apart when you switch it on.
The Creality Ender 6 3D Printer on our review list is made up of a sturdy metal frame with acrylic glass covers on the sides. The Carborundum glass bed in the center forms the perfect surface to construct your printed object.
The noise level of a 3D printer is a huge consideration, especially if you’re using it in a classroom or office environment. It’s important to note that no 3D printer is completely silent. However, some units are considerably quieter than others.
If you’re going to be using your printer in an area where the noise level should be considered, it’s important to check this feature before making your final decision.
Some ideas to help you reduce your printer noise include the following:
Ensure the printer stands on a solid surface
Place a yoga mat or small carpet under the printer
Use a piece of garage rubber mat to absorb the vibrations
Place your printer on a concrete paver
One user even suggested placing the printer in a huge box and reported a noise reduction of up to 50%! Another alternative would be to slow your printer speed down at night to avoid bugging any cranky neighbors. It’s important to check the noise levels advertised for each of the models you’ve shortlisted.
The Usongshine Two Trees 3D Printer Sapphire PRO model has a smoother surface which allows for less noise. A definite option to consider if the thundering sounds of your printer will be annoying you or the people around you.
Generally, assembly depends on the printer. But users have confirmed assembly of Core XY is more difficult compared to other printers. This is largely a result of the frame having to be perfectly square. If the frame isn’t aligned correctly, there will be complications with the printing. Some Core XY printers do come fully assembled, but they can be more costly. Ideally, you should put a 3D printer in a workshop, home office, garage, or basement. All that’s needed is four square feet of space and a reliable shelf. You should consider putting a rubber matt under the printer. This will help dampen the noise some printers make.
3D printers need regular maintenance. Components such as the nozzle or heat break need to be lubricated and replaced after several hours of use. The easiest way to clean your 3D printer is by using a sponge. Use the sponge to wipe the dust from the filament. It’s the ideal way to prevent the extruder from getting clogged. A few drops of common mineral oil on the sponge will ensure the filament gets lubricated and prevents the extruder motor from experiencing strain. Always be sure to follow the cleaning and maintenance instructions on the original packaging.
The best material to use for beginners is PLA (Polylactic Acid) without additives. PLA is a 3D printing material that’s safe to use. Plastic injection molding is a material commonly used to make packaging. This type of material is perfect for beginners to use on a 3D project that won’t have too much heat exposure. It’s important to be aware that not all materials are compatible with all printers. Check the list of materials that can be used with your shortlisted option.
We trust that our extensive review of the four best Core XY 3D printer options has given you the necessary insight into choosing the right printer for your 3D requirements. If you’re still on the fence about which option to choose, let’s recap our three favorites.
Our second-best option, the Creality Ender 6 3D Printer, rated at 9.3, and our premium pick impressed us because of its ability to produce a larger print volume. The fact that it’s so easy to set up is a huge plus.
And lastly, the Creativity Core XY Structure Elf 3D Printer, which is our best variety printer and rated at 9.2, is a great option because of the ability to print elaborate and extensive pieces. The feature that allows it to resume work exactly where it left off is super handy as well!
Ensuring you have the correct 3D printer will go a long way with printing exactly what you need. By investing in the best Core XY 3D printer, you’ll not only get the latest 3D printing technology, but you’ll also get more precise prints!