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Best 3D Printers For Schools – Roborefuge

Computers and printers are in schools everywhere. Schools are now implementing more tablets in today’s education system. Courses for 3D modeling and printing courses will become more mainstream in the future soon.

The next step is for 3D printers to populate schools. Finding the best 3D printer for schools is a tough task. There are many options, and there are multiple factors you need to consider.

Finding the best one though will make the difference between students loving the subject, or boredom. It could also mean the difference between potential hazards and safety.

Quick Comparison: Best 3D Printers For Schools

Robo 3D C2 (Best Overall)

Dremel DigiLab 3D40 (Most Compatible For Schools)

Ultimaker 2+ 3D Printer (Most Durable)

FlashForge Finder 3D Printer (Best For Beginners)

Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer (Most Affordable)

Table of Contents

What To Look For In A 3D Printer?

The 4 most important factors when searching for a 3d printer are set up, affordability, durability, and printing quality.

If you’re buying for a school, assume most of the people who are using it are beginners. It’s important that the 3d printer you get is easy to set up. Having a difficult set up can demoralize beginners.

The second factor is to look for affordable printers. Schools usually look for the best deals, and this includes scientific equipment. No wonder why all of the lab equipment I was using broke down and smelled funky. 

You also want to make sure the printer is durable. Making sure the printer lasts for years ensures a lot of students can experience how a 3d printer works. Finally, you need to make sure the printing quality is solid. What’s the point of getting a printer if it doesn’t do what you want it to?

What To Look For In A 3D Printer?

The 4 most important factors when searching for a 3d printer are set up, affordability, durability, and printing quality.

If you’re buying for a school, assume most of the people who are using it are beginners. It’s important that the 3d printer you get is easy to set up. Having a difficult set up can demoralize beginners.

The second factor is to look for affordable printers. Schools usually look for the best deals, and this includes scientific equipment. No wonder why all of the lab equipment I was using broke down and smelled funky.

You also want to make sure the printer is durable. Making sure the printer lasts for years ensures a lot of students can experience how a 3d printer works. Finally, you need to make sure the printing quality is solid. What’s the point of getting a printer if it doesn’t do what you want it to?

Why Do Schools Need 3D Printers?

3d printers are in some schools already. It’s just a matter of time until they’re everywhere. Some people believe they aren’t necessary. The truth is, some people thought the computer wasn’t necessary, until it was.

The same will be said for 3d printers. 3d printers are necessary for education because there will be jobs in the future looking for people who know how to use one.

3d printers are also great for encouraging creativity. Students can bring their ideas into reality with a 3d printer. Imagine a student working on a physical project. They’re missing one component, and can’t find the right object to complete it. They can just draw it up and have the printer create it for them.

You might think these printers are only applicable for engineering students, but that’s not the truth. They can apply to all subjects that need tools. If a student doesn’t have a ruler, they can just print one out. It’s up to their imagination.

Looking Into The Future

Teaching kids about the 3d printer now will ensure more innovation moving forward. We have more leverage with this kind of technology because we can do more with less. 

Those same students can also take new innovative ideas and turn it into something tangible. Most households in the future will have one and one reason is because of the schools that taught them in the first place.

Students of the present will see the value in 3d printers and get one for their household.

What Is The Best 3D Printer For Schools?

Robo 3D C2

Set Up

Affordability

Durability

Print Quality

4.5/5
4/5
4.5/5
4.5/5

The Robo 3D C2 is the best overall option because it has all the features we’re looking for. It’s affordable, durable, and easy to set up with great print quality. It’s different compared to the Robo 3D R1 in terms of functionality, and design. 

The C2 is easy to use from the start. It’s mostly plug and play with a little manual work. Once you receive your package, plug it in, and put filament into the feeder tube and printhead.

It gets a little trickier when you have to place a piece of paper between the printhead and print bed. This part is so the printer knows where the print bed is. 

Although the set up is easy, this part could be automated like other printers have done. This is what happens with budget-friendly printers. You’re going to have some tradeoffs. If you want this part automated, you’re going to have to look into other printers. Besides that, the print process is easy. All the printer needs is the file from the slicer to receive the outline.

This printer is designed for durability. Its design is compact and the printing bed is insulated from the outside unlike other printers. It’s also lightweight which makes it easy to transport. A bigger printer would be more vulnerable to damage. 

After all those factors is the printing quality. This printer wouldn’t be number 1 if it couldn’t print right. A good test of printing quality is to design something that has a lot of contours. This lets you see how precise the printer is.

Overall, this printer checks all the boxes and is our number 1 pick for 3d printers for schools.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy set up
  • Budget-friendly
  • Durable
  • Excellent print quality
  • Slow printing
  • Limited to PLA
  • No automatic print-bed leveling

Dremel DigiLab 3D40

Set up

Affordability

Durability

Print Quality

4/5
3/5
4.5/5
4.5/5

This printer doesn’t fit the affordability checkbox as well as the other printers. But, there’s a reason for that. A couple of those reasons is it does everything else well and it also includes a curriculum for teachers.

Purchasing this bad boy will net you lesson plans that are available on their website. Their lessons range from kindergarten through high school. It’s all about learning how to operate a 3D printer and applying it to the real world.

The ease of use makes it easy for students to get acclimated to the printer. There are more steps to getting started compared to the Robo 3D C2 though. You have to adjust the height of the printer as well, but not everything is manual.

You can also connect to the cloud to bring your files over to the printer. Then it requires some updates which don’t take long. 

The whole set up process is worth it because the print quality is great. The finished products don’t have leftover remnants and the attention to detail is solid. 

The 3D40 has a sleek design. Its enclosure protects both the printer and students from hurting themselves. The printing area is surrounded by panels from the harmful areas. And, both the top and front covers are clear so you can see through them. In addition, the enclosure mitigates warping and cracking.

Pros

Cons

  • School curriculum
  • Easy-to-use software
  • Fast printing
  • Smooth print quality
  • Cloud compatiblity
  • Only uses 1 type of filament
  • Print material prices
  • Overall price

Ultimaker 2+ 3D Printer

Set Up

Affordability

Durability

Print Quality

4.5/5
3/5
4/5
4.5/5

The Ultimaker 2+ is feature-rich. One of the best parts of the Ultimaker 2+ is the set up process. When you open the box you should see foam around the components which make sure they don’t move around during travel.

After you take it out the box, all it takes is following the step-by-step instructions on the interface and fixing the printer bed for use. When you take it out the box you’ll notice the settings are already fixed. The whole process should only take 10-15 minutes to start printing.

This printer allows you to print with different filaments. This makes it so you can create different products, and you don’t have to worry about finding one filament for the printer. 

More importantly, the printing quality of the Ultimaker is top-notch. Although it’s not as affordable as the other printers, you get precision printing with this. You’ll be able to print complicated shapes. This includes human sculptures and more. 

The printing area is surrounded by an enclosure and a heated print bed. The top of the printer has clear glass and print head. 

Its design aligns with the company’s values of open-source. Ultimaker has made the documents to their hardware and software available to the public, so, if you want to modify something you don’t like, then you have the tools to make something happen.

Pros

Cons

  • Durable 
  • Low noise levels
  • Able to use multiple filaments
  • Open-source hardware & software
  • High resolution printing
  • Smells bad when printing ABS
  • Printing from SD cards
  • Risk burning with open frame

FlashForge Finder 3D Printer

Set Up

Affordability

Durability

Print Quality

4/5
4.5/5
4/5
3.5/5

FlashForge is a quality printer that’s affordable. It also protects users from burning themselves by covering nozzles and other components inside the printer. In addition, most, if not all the wires are covered. This ensures proper functionality for the printer as any shortage in wires will mess with the printer’s operating system.

The printing quality is solid and one reason why is the software. It’s easy to use and offers features that make it easy to design. The finished product of your printing depends on what you’re printing. A complex design won’t net you a smooth print. 

FlashForge is relatively easy to set up. It’s not complicated compared to other 3d printers on the market. Once you take it out of the box, you’ll notice it comes fully assembled. To place filament, just place it into the chamber which is located on the rear. 

You also have to download the software. You do that by either downloading from the site or installing from the USB drive. This would be the final step though as you have to level the build plate first.

For schools looking for their first printer, this is a great option. It is reliable, affordable, with an easy set up and useful features.

This option is beginner friendly which makes it a compelling option for schools.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordability
  • Quiet printer
  • Easy-to-use software
  • Easy set up
  • Durable
  • Small build
  • No automatic bed leveling
  • Limited documentation
  • Can only print PLA

Monoprice Select Mini 3D Printer

Set Up

Affordability

Durability

Print Quality

4.5/5
4.5/5
3.5/5
3.5/5

Monoprice makes great 3d printers and this one is no exception. From the start, you can see it’s affordable.

One thing that separates it from other printers on this list is its lack of enclosure. This is both good and bad. It’s good because it makes it easier to hack and customize yourself. The bad is its hazardous for people around it as they can hurt themselves. It also makes the printer vulnerable to damage. 

Setting this budget-friendly printer up is easy. It won’t take you longer than 20-30 minutes. The interface is easy to navigate and this is where you customize everything towards your liking. 

Once you set up you can test out the print quality. Trying out detailed designs won’t give you perfect results though. You’ll notice blotches and zits here and there. The quality also depends on what size you print at. There are noticeable differences in quality between 100 and 200 microns.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordability
  • Connectivity
  • Durable
  • Hackable
  • Works with standard filaments
  • Unprotected build plate
  • Hotend can get too hot
  • Calibration needed
  • Noisy printing
  • Small print bed

Investing In The Future

Our Number 1 Pick Goes To The Robo 3D C2. It’s The Perfect Combination Between Set Up, Affordability, Durability, And Print Quality.

It’s affordability to quality ratio is better than any other printer on this list. The set up takes some manual work, but it won’t take you more than 30-40 minutes to set up. The main part is leveling the printer. 

None of this would matter if the print quality sucked. Thankfully, it doesn’t. The Robo 3D C2 blends layers together well and is able to work on difficult designs without blotching it.

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