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Best 3d Printer for a classroom

Top Four 3D Printers for the Classroom

What to Look for when finding a 3d printer for a classroom

This is something that can’t be answered by anyone but the user. What determines the “best” is governed by many different variables. Chief among these variables for most classroom teachers would be durability, quality of print, safety and, of course, how much it costs. 

Safety and price tend to be the most important issues for the school board. However, buying these machines for any classroom is an investment. 

With this in mind, what follows is our shortlist of the best 3D printers for classrooms. Each machine has its own set goodies and they vary in price (listed here from least expensive to most expensive).

Flashforge Finder (approx. $349)

3d printer for a classroom

Why It’s Great for Schools:

  • Easy to use
  • Virtually plug and play
  • Affordable

As an introductory 3D printer, the Flashforge Finder does almost everything you need it to. It arrives fully assembled, the only thing holding you back will be bed leveling, a process all its own, and an essential component for it to work properly. Also, a great teachable moment.

The Finder is a reliable, self-contained machine and a great 3d printer for a classroom. We like it for the classroom because of its enclosed design. This helps to ensure safety in the classroom. Its ventilation system helps to keep students safe from fumes and the walls protect curious hands. With WiFi connectivity there’s not much you can’t do with this bad boy – a rarity for printers of the same price. 

Pros

  • Clean design
  • Easy to use
  • Clear touchscreen
  • Removable build plate makes it easier to take out prints
  • Quiet
  • Reliable
  • Handy overhead light and good visibility of prints

Cons

  • Very small build volume
  • Bed not heated (sometimes causes warping)
  • No automatic bed leveling
  • Filament cartridge is too small for most non-Flashforge spools
  • Only prints PLA (can also handle PETG to some extent, but only for small parts)
  • Support structures are impossible to fully remove
View best price on Amazon

Phrozen Sonic Mini (approx. $399)

3d printer for a classroom

What We Like About It:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Faster than the rest

The Sonic Mini by Phrozen is really something special.It ticks a lot of boxes for a 3d printer for a classroo. By blending the ease-of-use of budget MSLA 3D printers we’ve come to expect with insane affordability, the Sonic Mini is an excellent choice for anyone looking to do some small-scale, high-quality resin printing. The Sonic Mini goes even further. It reliably cures layers much faster than other similar models and does so in style with its flashy red tank.

While Mini is in the name, we’d point out that most classroom builds are not typically very large and its affordability lends to the possibility that each student could have their own workstation. 

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Faster than the rest

CONS

  • Smaller than average build volume
  • Slight resolution hit
  • Obscured USB input
View best price on Amazon

Dremel Digilab 3D45 (approx. $1,900)

3d printer for a classroom

What Makes It So Special?

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Excellent print quality when using proprietary materials
  • Designed to enhance safety and reliability

Dremel is a friendly brand name that most of us grew-up hearing. It’s a huge brand when it comes to 3d printer, lasers and small craft tools so if you’re looking for a 3d printer for a classroom, this one will definitely be a hit. It’s reliability as a brand precedes which will undoubtedly help when pitching this purchase to any administrators. The Dremel 3D45 is a machine best used for specific classroom projects that involve larger builds and more advanced students. 

This beast packs a classroom-friendly HEPA filter and closed print chamber, to keep those little hands safe. The Dremel 3D45 also  boasts impressive connectivity and extra bells-and-whistles like a print monitoring camera and a large, easy-to-navigate touchscreen.

The 3D45 undoubtedly offers superior performance with a number of quality-of-life benefits – as long as you stick to Dremel’s proprietary materials. Dremel also offers a virtual library of resources for educators, including training and lesson plans incorporating 3D printing. All that, and it can handle trickier filaments such as nylon out of the box.

PROS

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Excellent print quality when using proprietary materials
  • Designed to enhance safety and reliability
  • Comprehensive 3D printing ecosystem tailored for education

CONS

  • Reduced print quality when third-party filament is introduced
  • Tends to struggle with more advanced materials like Nylon
  • Closed system ensures safety and reliability, but limits creativity
View best price on Amazon

Ultimaker S5

3d printer for a classroom

What We Love About It:

  • Extremely easy to set up and use
  • Exceptional print quality through hot-swappable print cores
  • Well-developed networking capability

As with the Dremel 3D45, this is a behemoth of a machine. And, it packs an even bigger price tag. However, as it is produced by Ultimaker, the developers of the open-source Cura slicing software, its major selling point is that the S5 interfaces with Cura software seamlessly. Sporting deep connectivity with print monitoring, remote connection, live viewing and print job assignment to networked printers, it is the cleanest integration and UI between printer and software out there.

Combined with its highly capable dual extrusion system which compatible with a selection of easily swappable print cores for different materials, the Ultimaker S5 is truly a professional printing solution which will be a great 3d printer for a classroom. Again, its enclosed structure makes it an incredibly safe machine to use that requires very little monitoring allowing the teacher to take their eyes away from students. It’s top-of-the-line ventilation system keeps particulates out of the air and is in line with most school safety guidelines. Granted, this may be overkill for the average public school classroom, but if you can sneak it in the budget, we highly recommend this one. 

PROS

  • Extremely easy to use and setup
  • Exceptional print quality
  • Large build volume
  • Multi-material capabilities are excellent
  • Intuitive touchscreen interface that walks you through every step of the process
  • Start print and monitor remotely via Cura
  • Perfect for professionals and small business

CONS

  • An expensive 3D printer
  • Relatively slow print time (depending on layer height)
  • Camera feed sometimes freezes
  • More difficulties with certain materials
View best price on Amazon

Hope you got a better understanding of what to choose when it comes to finding the best 3d printer for a classroom.

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