I've made a few 3D prints at school on what I assume are very low-end 3D printers, but they seem cheap, flimsy, and pretty ugly. How much better quality can I expect from professional-level 3D printers (those commonly used by online printing services)?

  • $\begingroup$ This depends too strongly on the technology, as they can be either much stronger (nylon) or much flimsier (sandstone/zcorp). "Cheap" and "ugly" are too subjective, and we don't know what printers your school uses. If they're really that cheap, flimsy and ugly perhaps the people at your school don't know what they're doing? $\endgroup$ Jan 12 '16 at 20:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Also, cost isn't correlated with quality. We replaced a $2000 printer that was a horrid mess with DIY ~$500 prints (kit, but the manufacturer "donated" to us assembly labor as we are a school). Print quality was far better after, without a huge timeframe between the old and new printers. $\endgroup$
    – nanofarad
    Jan 12 '16 at 20:38

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