If you are a 3D printer enthusiast, an open source printer is a solid choice. Modifying hardware gives you the freedom never to be held hostage by a manufacturer’s whims. The best Open Source 3D Printer is also emphasizes constant improvement through open source.
Easy to use, easy to modify is the best attribute of an open source 3D printer.
You can reach out to us if you need help figuring that out. Let’s go over the definition of open source, and its advantages, before diving into the specs of a 3D printer.
What Is Open Source?
Source code for a piece of software is traditionally made available freely by software developers. Anyone can edit and redistribute the software after gaining access to the source code, whether they are professionals and hobbyists alike.
By creating the first open source 3D printer with low cost and self-replication, RepRap has created the first 3D printer as well as all the intellectual property behind it.
Open Source Vs. Closed Source
3D printers require an open source approach because collaboration permits faster technological advancement. Users can build DIY 3D printer kits from scratch, though they may have to change the design as they go. The 3D printer hardware is continuously improved and tinkered with by hobbyists and professionals alike.
You’ll always be in charge of your own data with open source technology. The original manufacturer doesn’t have to shut their doors for your machine to continue printing. A component can be replaced if it becomes worn out or broken because it is open source.
When it comes to closed-source hardware, any modifications or copies will void any warranty, and by doing so you will violate intellectual property rights, which are illegal.
Best Open Source 3D Printer Designs At A Glance
The value of an open source 3D printer cannot be overstated. It can be built, torn down, modified according to your needs, and all without infringing on any intellectual property rights. It has countless possibilities, too!
The following is a detailed analysis of our six favorites. Each printer is reviewed with an overview of how easy it is to use, the quality of prints, and who it is best for.
1. Creality Ender 3 V2 (Best Overall)
You can’t go wrong with the Creality Ender 3 V2, a 3D printer that combines affordability, high quality and beginner-friendliness. Although it comes pre-assembled, you will have to take some technical steps to get it running. You can print as well as much more expensive machines with this machine.
In contrast to its predecessor, the Ender 3 Pro, the Ender 3 V2 features screw-drive tensioners that are easy to adjust accurately. Additionally, the interface is much stronger than that of Ender 3 pro. The console’s seamless interface is better for beginners, making V2 a better choice.
A silent motherboard was also developed for the Ender 3 V2. The printer is quiet during printing, so you’ll be able to do other things while it works. A glossy, smooth surface is provided with the glass bed. Glass beds are prone to print ringing as a result of their heavier weight (the wavy pattern generated when a printer bed vibrates).
This machine features its own tool drawer, which allows you to easily store tools like tweezers or Allen wrenches with it. A few tools close at hand can be immensely helpful if you’re new to 3D printing.
It’s the huge community around Creality’s machines that is perhaps the most valuable aspect of the Ender 3 V2. If you’re not mechanically inclined, they may not be the easiest to assemble, but thanks to their extraordinarily large support network, you can easily find assembly help.
- It’s a great deal at the price
- Large community of support
- Easy-to-use printer for beginners
- Motherboards Without Sound
- Assembles with some technical expertise
- Print ringing could result from a heavy glass bed
2. Prusa I3 MK3S+ (Premium Choice)
Prusa i3 MK3S+’s print quality is excellent without a lot of fuss. Though it can be a bit expensive, this 3D printer is a solid choice if you are a beginner or do not want to modify the printer too much. There are two types of DIY kits available: DIY kits and fully assembled kits.
This Prusa i3 MK3S+ will always produce high-quality, error-free prints, no matter how you put it together. Despite the use of flexible materials, Prusa designed the extruder in this model to sit closer to the x-axis, offering less resonance and better prints.
Due to its open frame, you shouldn’t leave it unattended near children or pets. Keeping the machine clear of materials that might ignite or melt is also important. The extruder has no cover, so it will get really hot when used.
In this case, Prusa designed this printer to automatically turn off upon completion. There are very few 3D printers that have this feature.
The community behind Prusa is also somewhat unique. Prusa offers 24/7 customer service as well as simple-to-use software for this printer. You can find unofficial support groups on social media platforms like Facebook and elsewhere if the professionals don’t have an answer.
- An easy-to-use setup and easy-to-use interface
- The default settings produce excellent print quality
- Exceptional support for manufacturers and communities
- Children and pets should not be around an open frame design
- Interface is mediocre
3. Monoprice Mini Delta (Best Budget)
In our discussion of printers thus far, we have examined cartesian style devices, meaning they run in the Cartesian plane, or along the X, Y, and Z axes. A delta-style 3D printer runs in the opposite direction. A triangle-shaped extruder is supported by three triangle-shaped arms attached to three vertical posts. Extruder can be moved in every direction by the arms while printing.
A good Delta-style machine at a fair price, the Monoprice Mini Delta is a great choice. For those who are new to 3D printing but have some technical background, it is ideal. With its versatility and simplicity, this is a great entry-level 3D printer.
This is a typical delta printer, which is much faster than its cartesian counterpart. In the Monoprice Mini Delta, this small build area magnifies the downside of a delta-style printer.
Monoprice Mini has extremely limited build space for a delta-style printer, and that’s even more true when using it as a 3D printer. Moreover, its thin build sheet surface can lead to finished prints sticking to it and ripping them off; however, this is easily fixed with a little 3D printer tape.
This is a great machine to enter into the world of 3D printing, so long as you don’t seek to maximize its printing capacity. Is small enough to carry on the go and works right out of the box! Printing can be done anywhere as long as you have an electrical outlet.
- Affordably priced
- Faster printing with the delta-style design
- Almost anywhere is possible to store and carry the compact size
- There is not much room for building
- Build sheets with thin surfaces
4. Voron (Best For DIY-Fans)
The Voron 3D printer is a great choice for anyone who enjoys building machines and wants a high-speed, high-efficiency printer. In total, Voron offers three different 3D printer models: versions 0, 1, and 2. Unlike other cartesian-style 3D printers, they all use CoreXY motion systems.
Several advantages come with CoreXY motion systems. By moving the belts in different planes, the unwanted twisting is reduced, and the X and Y motors can be held stationary, which reduces the weight of the machine’s running parts.
Despite their size and speed, they are of excellent quality. Their build speed is higher than that of other 3D printer designs. It includes a stationary printbed that prevents your print from being damaged by vibrations. From a user-health standpoint, we also appreciate the fact that they have HEPA filters.
Nevertheless, Voron doesn’t have great features for beginners (for more information, see our article here) or for those who aren’t willing to tinker with their printer. Models must be purchased as DIY kits, and printing extra components is cost-prohibitive. Additionally, the machine will be affected if your pieces contain any inaccuracies.
- This fast and efficient system uses CoreXY Motion
- Eliminates vibrations thanks to a stationary print bed
- The design includes a HEPA filter
- The game is not suitable for beginners
- Costs increase when more parts are printed
5. Anet A8 Plus (Best Value Alternative)
DIY kits and partially assembled models of the Anet A8 Plus are available. The out-of-the-box experience isn’t the best, but it’s affordable and easy to assemble, modify, and use for someone with moderate skills.
The minimalist design and the expansive build area make it attractive to look at. Anet A8 printers are flexible enough to print at different sizes. Their dimensional accuracy is also excellent. Their only limitation is that they cannot print super-fine details.
You can add plenty of functionality to the Anet A8 based on its price point, and it comes with a lot of upgrades. Even though it produces average prints, it is a worthy investment.
- The price is very reasonable
- Building space is ample
- Design with a minimalist aesthetic
- Assembling and modifying requires skill
- Printing details were poor
6. Prusa SL1 (Best Resin Open Source)
In order to make 3D prints, the Prusa SL1 uses liquid resin rather than filament. Prusa sticks to its overarching goal, even when there are pros and cons. Prusa SL1 is exactly the kind of 3D printer they want to create: affordable and easy to use.
Prusa SL1 can be purchased as a kit or preassembled. With the pre-assembled version, it’s easy to set up right out of the box, and if you opt for the DIY version, it comes with excellent instructions. Even beginners can easily set it up.
Details are handled easily by this printer, and its resin compatibility is excellent. The first few layers are crucial with resin printers. Your print would be a bust if they aren’t set correctly.
The first few layers of resin printers can be raised by pausing the printing. SL1 doesn’t let you raise the bed to check your position, and you cannot pause things.
Printers that use resin also emit unpleasant fumes. You simply can’t avoid that since you’re working with materials like these, but at least the SL1 has a carbon filter to block odors.
- The setup is minimal
- Design that is appealing and clean
- Resins supported by 3rd parties
- The bed has small prints.
- Raising the bed during printing is not possible
In this list, the Ender 3 V2 would be the printer we would choose if we had to choose one. We find it to be the most reliable and easy to use. If you want to print with resin, the Prusa models are also great, especially the SL1.
It is therefore the best Open Source 3D Printers you plan to use most frequently that is the most suitable open source model. The Voron models are machines that can be built from scratch by the user and modified to his or her heart’s content. In the opinion of those who prefer to use the printer right away, the best 3D printer is one that works right out of the box.
Open source technology benefits you either way. This means that you can easily modify and update your printer.