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I work in a biological laboratory where we have been using the FABtotum personal fabricator for several months now. The machine is good, however not flawless, and has set us back from doing experiments.

I have overcome many common 3D printing issues, which I find necessary to do when becoming proficient in this technique. However the printer has also had its own personal mechanical and software issues.

Our lab is seeking a printer that is more reliable, can produce parts relatively quick, good resolution, and it is nice if it has multiple modes (i.e FDM, SLA, and even 3D scanning is nice). This is what we figured we were getting with the FABtotum, but as I mentioned it has produced setbacks.

Now I would love to tinker with the printer and modify it to my needs, but unfortunately our lab is strapped for time, however we have funding for a higher quality printer if there is one.

Can you anyone recommend a printer fitting these needs in these budget categories?:

  • 3000 USD

  • 5000 USD

  • 8000 USD or more

I know price doesn't equate quality, but I am saying that we are willing to pay more if that is where the quality lies.

For example, I have come across the Form 2, Ultimaker, and BCN3D sigma printers which seem quite nice. Any opinions are very appreciated.

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    $\begingroup$ This question is asking for people's opinion which is great and believe there are many people here that have them (opinions). Stack Exchange has however, chosen that it doesn't want to be the place to ask those types of questions. Maybe is it because it is intended to be a resources for answers and when a question is opinion-based, there can really be no right answer. For more info on this, look at meta.stackexchange.com/questions/201994/… $\endgroup$ – markshancock May 11 '17 at 19:23
  • $\begingroup$ Well thanks for that. In my case it is a matter of setting back biological science or the forum could help accelerate it. This is why it is a shame that I cannot get this sort of opinion from an experienced base of people on stack exchange. $\endgroup$ – theguy0 May 13 '17 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ In that case, where should I ask this type of question? $\endgroup$ – theguy0 May 13 '17 at 10:53
  • $\begingroup$ I hear your frustration, and your are not the first. It seems this exchange seems a bit more lenient on those rules; so, maybe you will get the info you are looking for. For me personally, I have a kit printer - the opposite of what your are looking for. At work we have a Stratasys Polyjet. $\endgroup$ – markshancock May 13 '17 at 16:44
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    $\begingroup$ You could specify your requirements in a post at 3dprintboard.com They are always quick with advice. $\endgroup$ – Davo May 15 '17 at 11:09
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At work we have a Stratasys Polyjet. It prints using UV cured gel; so, it is kind of a cross between FDM and SLA. I have not used it personally, it is mostly used byt the ME group. The parts I have seen that it produces are VERY good and it support different materials and even multiple materials. They have a lot of different product levels so they can support different price points. The only complaint I have heard is the material cost.

It can print some amazing stuffenter image description here

Here is a nice video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMMJnn_gHWw

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I have only tried 2 different printers. I started with an Up plus printer and it was good to get started. After a few years you really want more control. I did a lot of research and ended up buying the Extrabot. It is based on the ultimaker however the guy that puts them together upgrades the motors and a few other parts to really make them work with multiple filament.

You have control over all the settings so using exotic filaments is a viable option.

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