Finding the best dual extruder 3d printers is hard. I’m here to help you narrow your search. It might take time, but the reward makes it worth it.
A high-quality dual extruder printer lets you get a lot more done than a regular one which is why it’s worth it to do research. Let’s look in-depth so you can find one suitable for you.
For those in a rush, I picked the ULTIMAKER S5 as the top dual extruder 3d printer.
Quick Look: Dual Extruder 3D Printers
FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro
BIBO 3D Printer
BCN3D Sigma R19
Table of Contents
What Is A dual Extruder Printer?
A dual extruder printer lets you combine different material and colors together.
Most 3d printers only have one extruder. An extruder is the component which takes in filament, and melts it so it will go through the nozzle. Adding a second extruder lets you get more filament in there.
Is Dual Extrusion For You?
I would recommend a dual extruder printer to people who have experience with a regular 3d printer. There are 2 reasons why.
The first reason is they can get expensive. If you’re someone who is in the 3d printer game for the long haul, I would recommend going with a 3d printer kit like Reprap Prusa I3, or something similar.
This lets you build a 3d printer from “scratch”, and you’ll familiarize yourself with everything. The second reason is you get more out of them when you know what filaments to work with. You can also get more creative with prints.
A beginner can get most prints done with a regular 3d printer. That being said, if you’re really gung-ho about it, there’s still advantages to getting one regardless of your experience level.
Advantages With Dual Extrusion
Dual extruders have multiple advantages. One of them is they let you separate filament. One reason you would want to separate filament is for support filament.
Support filament is filament that helps complete a print. Dual extruder printers support PVA filaments which dissolve once water is on it.
This support filament enables higher quality prints. Support filament is not there for the final print, but it helps the models throughout the process.
Another benefit is being able to use multiple prints. Multiple colors means you don’t need to keep changing filaments to use another color. It also lets you use different filament material without changing anything.
Essentially, dual extruder 3d printers let you speed up the printing process.
Disadvantages With Dual Extrusion
The disadvantages for dual extrusion printing is mostly monetary. You will be paying a lot more by going with a dual extruder printer than a regular one.
It’s not only the printer though. You’re spending 2x for filament. Instead of buying one filament, you will be buying 2 filaments which adds up.
There’s also more maintenance. Instead of cleaning one extruder, you have two. You also have to worry about another extruder not working properly.
Any machine that requires more components requires more power. A big dual extrusion printer can cause some voltage issues. It’s important to keep it on its own outlet.
What I'm Looking For In A Dual Extruder Printer?
The 4 things I’m reviewing for each printer are:
1. Print quality
There’s nothing new I’m reviewing for dual extruder printers. I’m excluding affordability from the reviews because all of these printers can’t be bought on a budget.
These 4 should be enough to help you make a decision on what the right printer is for you.
I love the printing experience with this printer. A great feature is the way it manages filament. All you have to do to change filament is lift the handle and put the filament in.
The printing process itself is amazing. The interface is easy to use, and the whole process is fast. You can print with speed, or change things up, and print for precision.
The ULTIMAKER S5 lets you use up to six filaments for printing. Regular printers average 2, PLA and ABS.
Its efficiency also shows up for filament switching. You don’t have to manually switch material, the printer does it for you. The ULTIMAKER also has a touchscreen display that’s easy to navigate.
The engineers made the display easy for first-time 3d printers users to use.
A huge advantage is the software. Cura, which is the software, is fully compatible with the printer. I mean, Ultimaker maintains the software so it only makes sense.
There’s a lot of unique features for the software. The first is it has a queue for multiple print jobs similar to a paper printer.
The second feature is it lets you know when the print will finish like a microwave. These features also apply to mobile users. Overall, the latest versions of the software make it easy to fix settings and use the printer with the software.
Printing is made easy with the software and reliability of this printer. Benchmark tests like “3DBenchy” came out great as one expects.
What makes the prints great is the precision. You have the option of going from 0.1mm or 0.2mm in layer height.
One word I think of when I look at this printer is sleek. The white colors with an open area interior really reminds me of a stage for an upcoming presentation.
Its design is also built for convenience. You can remove the glass bed for easy cleaning in case filament gets stuck.
I saw a lot of dual extruder printers, but I don’t think there’s a 3d printer on the market that can match this one.
I had a lot of good things to say about this printer, but there is 1 thing that bothers me. This printer is a lot of money. I’ll let you check the price on your own because I don’t want to scare you.
- Filament management
- Can use a variety of filaments
- Interface is easy to use
- Printing speed options
- Very expensive
The first thing about this printer that caught my attention was the bed leveling. It turns out, you can only manually level the bed, something I’m not a fan of.
Thankfully, that’s the only feature I didn’t like. The Qidi Tech X-Pro contains a feature which cools the filament. Print cooling, which it’s called, happens due to a turbofan.
Other features worth mentioning are its heat resistant platform, and aluminum plate. The aluminum plate has aviation level which makes the surface evenly flat. This makes sure the surface doesn’t mess the prints up.
Its resistant metal platform helps with durability too. Taking those prints off might prove harder than you thought.
Both the plate and overall build are made from aluminum. Combining the aluminum build along with its full enclosure ensures durability. The whole design also helps the turbofan cool your prints from all angles.
Qidi’s software is proprietary software similar to the ULTIMAKER. This is good because it ensures compatibility, and great support.
If you have any problems with the software, you can just call them and they’re more likely to answer your question since they’re the owners.
You probably won’t have to worry about calling them though. Qidi Print (software) is easy to use. Qidi makes it easy to use by providing customization, and auto-slice function.
The quality of the prints are great. I always look at precision and detail when a final model is complete and this printer does well, especially with benchmark tests.
- Print cooling
- Heat resistant platform
- Aviation level plate
- Aluminum build
- Manual bed leveling
FlashForge 3D Printer Creator Pro
One of my favorite printers on this list. And, the reason for that is because I’ve reviewed this printer in my post detailing which printers are best built for miniatures.
The FlashForge is another printer with an enclosure design. This protects the prints from temperature changes, and the printer’s interior from damage.
Similar to QIDI’s printer, you can also take out the build plate for cleaning. All you have to do is open the front and take it out.
Staying with the similarities, the build plate is similar to QIDI’s in that it’s completely flat. This ensures there’s no warping during heating.
One thing I wish it had was auto-bed leveling. Manually leveling the bed isn’t something I want to do.
Another part of the design worth mentioning is the metal frame. A frame like this keeps the printer from deteriorating. Just don’t throw it out the window and you’ll be fine.
The plethora of different material this printer can handle is a lot. It can work with ABS, PLA, elastic PVA (resin), wood, and more.
Being able to use many different filaments with a dual extruder printer gives a lot of options. A downside to this printer is its software. It doesn’t own its own proprietary software which comes with problems.
One problem is you have to download other software. Some of that software like ReplicatorG is outdated. Another problem is the customer support team can’t support you at its best.
Finally, compatibility can be another issue. If the software and hardware aren’t in sync, how can the printer work correctly?
I like the print quality of the FlashForge. It’s not as precise as the top 2 printers in this review, but it does well on the benchmark tests.
Some things I noticed with some of the benchmark tests was the misalignment. You could tell some models weren’t perfectly aligned the way they were intended to.
This printer does good overall though. Take a look at this printer if you’re looking for a reliable quality printer.
- Filament variety
- Durable frame
- Enclosure design
- Able to remove build plate
- Reliable 3d printer quality
- Bed leveling
- Doesn’t have proprietary software
BIBO 3D Printer
There are cool features on the BIBO. The first one worth mentioning is the laser engraving. This feature works on material like wood-like material.
There’s also dual cooling fans. There are 2 nozzle cooling fans cooling the model from all sides. You can adjust the fan settings using the touch screen.
The final feature I like is the power. It stops printing if there is no filament left, and resumes where it left off if its power gets cut off.
The BIBO 3d printer’s design is made of an all-metal aluminum frame. The cover is removable making it easy to clean the inside.
BIBO also made the glass plate removable for easy access. This design makes it easy for material to reach high temps making it compatible with different filaments.
Some of those filaments include PLA, ABS, PVA, and more.
Other things worth mentioning are cons. This printer is originally from China so it travels a long distance before it gets to you (assuming you’re far away). This causes chipped parts, and some parts not working.
There’s also the bed leveling which I’ve mentioned a few times already. Then there’s the software. I’m not a big fan of a 3d printer using different software.
With this printer, you can use Cura, Makerware, and more. Although the ones listed are reputable, I would rather a printer company own their own software for compatibility between hardware and software.
The key is finding the best software that works for you. This printer can print quality models, especially with the laser application. Try this printer out if you’re interested in finding a more affordable dual extruder printer.
- Laser engraving
- Dual cooling fans
- Resume printing
- Removable plate
- Filament variety
- Parts might not come at 100%
- Bed leveling
BCN3D Sigma R19
Out of all the printers, this one has the most unique design in my opinion. The chromatic colors make it look 20 years in the future.
There’s a cool feature on this printer called “Duplication Mode” which means both heads can do 2 different things while working at the same time. Think of it as having a clone.
It also has what’s called “mirror mode” which means the printer can print the same part simultaneously.
Both features are possible thanks to their “IDEX Technology”.
This tech delivers an “independent double extrusion system”. It gives 2 heads the ability to work independently.
The Sigma R19 eliminates filament residue by moving one nozzle out the way while the other one is working. Not only does this help with cleaning, it makes sure each model comes out as clean as possible.
This printer can print soluble support material and regular material with precision. You can also mix up the size of the prints you do because it has a large printing bed.
A downside of a high quality printer is it’s loud. The whole system requires a lot of power to work, and this is one of the results.
At least the printer has an easy-to-download software. Sigma uses a modified version of Cura which can be installed by an SD card.
- Duplication mode
- Mirror mode
- Reliable print quality
- Easy-to-use software
- Very expensive
The Best Dual Extruder 3D Printer
The ULTIMAKER S5 is the winner of this post.
It’s my winner because it hits on the 4 categories I was looking for when it comes to dual extruder printers. Let’s look at print quality first.
The print quality of the S5 is top-notch and reliable. Their models are done with precision, and it shows with the benchmark results.
The S5’s software along with its features make it easy on the user. The compatibility is there, and the features make printing easy.
An example of those features is the filament switching. Not having to manually switch filaments makes printing more efficient and easy.
In addition, this printer is cool to look at. It has a sleek design with a large printing area. Not only does this help with large models, it makes it easy to take out and clean.
This is my choice for the best dual extruder 3d printer.