Desktop 3D printers

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MarkForged Mark One

We’ve been itching to get our hands on one of these for a year or more now, but whenever Markforged brings its fibre-reinforced part-building miracle to the UK, somebody else buys it! The MarkForged printer combines filament extrusion with some magic to allow you to lay in a variety of fibres (carbon, kevlar and so on) to build ultra-stiff components.

Formlabs Form 2

We’ve had one of these in the workshop for a month and they’ll have to pry it from of our cold, dead hands to get it back again.

The Form 1+ was a solid machine, but this take desktop SLA to the next level with a heated build chamber (useful in colder climates), a new build process and auto-loading of materials. Considering the price hasn’t gone up much, this is a bargain.

Sinterit Lisa

The size of a large CAD workstation, the Lisa promises to bring laser sintering to the desktop during 2016 for around $7,000.


Printing in Nylon PA12, parts should be tough and offer good chemical and water resistance. Further to this, the company is working closely with suppliers on a wider range of materials.

Zortrax Inventure

With the success of its M200 FDM printer, Zortrax made an impressive statement. Its second offering looks to boost reliability and increase performance with an enclosed build chamber, filament cartridges and watersoluble support.

The Poland-based company hopes to go public in 2016, and the success of an IPO may rely on the Inventure living up to its $3,000 price tag.

Envisiontec Micro Plus

Envisiontec has been doing some interesting things at the production and desktop end of the spectrum of late.

The Micro Plus machines are brand new and bring some of the company’s DLP-based stereolithography knowledge to the desktop. One of the benefits is that you have access to a wide range of materials for engineering purposes, as well as for medical, dental and casting uses.

Nexa 3D NX1

While we’re all waiting for the Carbon3D machine to launch next year and finally make ‘rapid prototyping’ rapid, Italian outfit Nexa has just launched on Kickstarter, promising similar build speeds in a desktop unit. Kickstarter is a gamble, but we’re tempted to shell out the $1,495 and see what happens.

SLA on the desktop can be a messy business, but this is exciting.

Current and future machines for the modern workshop