Various technologies do not stand still, they are constantly evolving. This article proposes to consider the evolution of industrial 3D printers today, which are the most expensive in the world and why.

Why is it

3D printers are unique in terms of the variety of different 3D printing methods, materials used and their scope. You can spend as little as $100 to get a reliable 3D printer to make a huge variety of parts from affordable plastic material. On the other hand, you can spend over a million dollars to buy a 3D printer to 3D print parts with large and complex construction geometries. They can be used in the aerospace industry, the production of space satellites or miniature biocompatible devices for medical purposes. The most expensive 3D printers on the market today use 1 to 12 powerful lasers to fuse metal powder, sinter polymer materials, or polymerize resin, and 3D printing from a given 3D model occurs by applying the powder layer by layer, which is a process additive manufacturing.

It can be noted that the size of a 3D printer does not determine how expensive a 3D printer will be. Today, the price often depends on advanced patented technologies and features that allow a 3D printer to produce fast and high-quality 3D-printed parts without requiring special technical knowledge from the operator.

Specs of high budget 3d printers

Printer ModelPrice (USD)ResolutionSpeedPrint QualityObject Size
EOS P 810$2,500,0005-50 microns1 cm/hrExcellent700 x 380 x 580 mm
Stratasys J750$350,00014 microns18 mm/hrExcellent490 x 390 x 200 mm
3D Systems ProX 950$250,00016 microns26 mm/hrExcellent1500 x 750 x 550 mm
HP Jet Fusion 580$145,0001200 x 1200 dpi28 mm/hrExcellent380 x 284 x 380 mm
Formlabs Form 3L$10,00025-300 microns150 mm/hrExcellent335 x 200 x 300 mm
Ultimaker S5$6,00020-600 microns24 mm/hrExcellent330 x 240 x 300 mm
Raise3D Pro2 Plus$4,99910-300 microns150 mm/hrExcellent305 x 305 x 605 mm
Zortrax M300 Plus$3,490140-300 microns24 mm/hrExcellent300 x 300 x 300 mm
FlashForge Creator Pro 2$89950-400 microns100 mm/hrGood200 x 148 x 150 mm
Creality Ender 3 V2$299100-400 microns80 mm/hrGood220 x 220 x 250 mm
high budget 3d printers

Some of the most expensive printers are not even for sale. Carbon 3D’s 3D printers are available for rent only, which allows them to be used by many users. Price starts from 25000$ per year. Others use their 3D printers on a project-by-project basis, such as the Vulcan construction printer from homebuilder Icon 3.

Stargate, the world’s largest metal 3D printer built by Relativity Space to 3D print rockets, is not for sale, but if it was, it would definitely make our list. Many of the most exciting technologies in 3D printing can only be used for custom 3D printing, not for purchase. (Source: Relativity Space)

Let’s look at the criteria that affect the cost of a modern industrial 3D printer.

Features of 3D printers that affect their price:

  • The uniqueness of the technology when creating
  • How automated are processes in a 3D printer
  • Working chamber dimensions
  • Functions to ensure quality control
  • Own software
  • Numerous controls and adjustments
  • Controlled environment inside the working chamber (use of inert gas, the possibility of heating / cooling the working platform)

Let’s break down these features

Features that drive price increases for 3D printers include software tuned to a particular printer technology, real-time 3D printing control systems, and anything that automates processes that are sometimes done manually on cheaper systems (layer leveling). , subsequent post-processing or screening of the powder) or processes requiring knowledge of metallurgy or polymers.

Production technology that requires a vacuum chamber in a 3D printer, filling the working chamber with an inert gas, or printers that are certified for use in clean rooms and have these characteristics are significantly reflected in the final price of this equipment.

The materials that are used in the 3D printing process also significantly affect the final cost of a 3D printer. Many 3D printers only work with proprietary materials that have been developed by the manufacturer for that 3D printer. They can be metal powder, special resins filled with carbon fiber particles, and unique polymer powders. At this point in time, it is possible to 3D print anything from pure gold to advanced engineering plastics on 3D printers, even in the harsh environment of space.

There are 3D printers that can 3D print multiple materials in one job, and there are multi-color 3D printers that are also in the higher price segment.

The 3D printer manufacturers discussed below are reluctant to publish exact prices for their products. This is due not only to competition, but also to the fact that 3D printers have a basic package, as well as a package with additional options according to customer requirements. That said, with that in mind, below is a look at some of the most expensive 3D printers available today – all costing over half a million US dollars – and what they provide.

E-Plus3D EP-M450H

The Chinese company E-Plus3D produces industrial metal 3D printers with a large build chamber for additive manufacturing for various industries in the country. These 3D printers are used in the aerospace, automotive, electronics, and engineering industries to produce not only large-sized parts such as heavy-duty molds, but also mass-produced parts.

The EP-M450H Metal 3D Printer is the company’s largest 3D printer with a 456 x 456 x 1,080 mm build chamber, producing 99.9% density metal parts from a wide range of materials at a speed of 55 cm³ per hour.

XJet Carmel 1400C

The Israeli company XJet has developed a unique technology for 3D printing ceramics. NanoParticle Jetting (NPJ) technology produces metal and ceramic parts with a high level of detail, smooth surface roughness and geometric accuracy. The high cost of this 3D printer is not only due to the technology itself, patented materials that make this printer a serious investment, but also to the advanced automation of the 3D printer itself, which makes it easy to use.

The Carmel 1400C is equipped with one of the largest 1,400 cm² work platform in the industry, allowing you to produce multiple ceramic parts at the same time.

Price starts from 649000$.

SLM Solutions NXG Xll 600

The German company SLM Solutions is one of the leaders in the field of metal 3D printing 3D printers with a wide range of printers, but its NXG Xll 600, according to the company, is a revolution in industrial additive manufacturing. The NXG XII 600 was designed for high-volume additive manufacturing and features the industry’s first 12 1,000W lasers with a 600x600x600 build chamber. Lasers provide high build speed up to 1000 cm3/h and productivity unavailable to other machines.

In addition to lasers, the NXG Xll 600 has all the benefits that SLM Solutions customers have been asking for over the years, including automatic start-up, laser focusing, closed powder feed and material sieving, and other latest developments.

Price starts from 600000$.

UpNano NanoOne Bio

UpNano, an Austrian company, has developed a two-photon 3D printer using hydrogel-based bioink that allows direct printing of 3D structures containing living cells, both at the meso- and microscale. The NanoOne Bio printer is based on the NanoOne line of laser printers capable of creating structures of 12 orders. The new hydrogel is the only commercially available resin that allows live cells to be embedded directly from culture plates into 3D printed structures for biological applications.

UpNano claims that the combination of X Hydrobio INX U200 and NanoOne Bio opens up new possibilities in biomedical research and development, both in industry and academia, allowing pharmaceutical companies and research institutes to create cell models that mimic natural growth conditions in the human body.

Price upon request (but it is expensive)

Black Buffalo 3D

Black Buffalo 3D, an American company based in South Korea, officially unveiled its Nexcon 1G earlier this year, which is a 3D printer for building houses and other large concrete objects. The printer can create a 92.9 square meter structure in less than 20 hours. It uses Black Buffalo’s patented cementitious material, the company calls it ink, that can be dyed to a chosen color and is also customizable to 3D print locally according to the temperature, humidity and altitude conditions of the area.

The Nexcon 1G is a modular 3D construction printer that can be extended along the X, Y and Z axes to scale up (or down) a project up to three stories high. The uniqueness of the 1G printer is that users can reposition the base rails and move the printer to a new printable area without having to remove the X or Z axis.

Price starts from 400000$

Helen 3d editor

Helen’s passion is 3D Technology. She always loved hi-tech but 3D Reality was something that she never thought of before. She attended the first course on 3D printing technology and she was immediately fascinated by it.

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