Markforged vs Ultimaker vs Formlabs
Introduction Why compare Markforged, Ultimaker and Formlabs? Each of these are suited to very different applications and this blog outlines which printers are best suited to which application; whilst also comparing build volumes, resolution and cost. Markforged Overview Markforged has …
Why compare Markforged, Ultimaker and Formlabs? Each of these are suited to very different applications and this blog outlines which printers are best suited to which application; whilst also comparing build volumes, resolution and cost.
Markforged has a series of printers ranging from desktop machines to industrial machines. All Markforged printers can print in Onyx, a nylon based filament with carbon fibre particles, and white nylon. The top of the range desktop machine, the Mark Two and the top of the range industrial machine X7 can print using a range of continuous fibres such as carbon, glassfibre, high temperature glassfibre and Kevlar to reinforce the parts to make them as strong as aluminum. The industrial X7 machine can also print with a material called Onyx FR which is a flame retardant material.
Markforged printers are commonly used for high accuracy end use parts. Using carbon fibre reinforced parts instead of aluminium cuts down on machining costs and lead times whilst being lighter than aluminium.
Advantages: High strength, high accuracy
Maximum Build Volume: 330 x 270 x 200mm
Minimum layer resolution: 50μm
XY Resolution: 125μm
Open source: No
Price: £4,000 – £52,500
Ultimakers are an established brand in a diverse 3D printing market. They are great all-round easy to use printers that can print a wide range of materials. The latest releases are the S3 and the S5 which both have duel head extruders with the S5 being the bigger of the two models with a larger build volume. With the S5 model you can also add an Air Manager and Material Station to make it a fully enclosed unit with HEPA filters to clear away any fumes and also can store up to 6 filaments in a temperature controlled environment with automatic loading to ensure that your machine keeps printing if a filament spool runs out.
Ultimakers are open source lending to the ability to use a huge range of materials including: PLA, Tough PLA, ABS, Nylon, CPE, CPE+, PC, PP, TPU 95A and PVA
Advantages: Easy to use, wide range of materials
Maximum Build Volume: 330 x 240 x 300mm
Minimum layer resolution: 60μm
XY Resolution: 100μm
Open source: Yes
Price: £3,400 – £8,500
Formlabs printers use a different type of 3D printing technology compared with Markforged and Ulitmaker referred to as SLA. This type of technology leads itself to very high resolutions with Formlabs printers boasting 25μm layer height to achieve great surface finish. Formlabs printers also have a wide range of materials for different uses ranging from durable resins to castable wax resins.
Formlabs machines come in a few different models the Form 3, Form 3L and Form 3B. All models use the same technology and can print highly detailed parts. The Form 3L is a large format version of the Form 3 which has a considerably larger build volume. The Form 3B is a dental specific model that can print with various materials designed specifically for the dental industry such as anatomical models and surgical guides.
Advantages: Great surface finish, wide range of materials
Maximum Build Volume: 300 x 335 x 200mm
Minimum layer resolution: 25μm
XY Resolution: 25μm
Open source: No
Price: £2,900 – £8,000