With the rapid emergence of 3D printing in modern day society, different versions and brands of 3D printers are being introduced to the market.

3D printing has become affordable enough for beginners that are simply looking to pick up a new hobby and make fun creations. Makers and hobbyists typically purchase small 3D printers, but there is also a growing market for large 3D printers that are capable of creating massive, life-sized creations.

Today, we will be discussing large-format 3D printers, the benefits of them, how they work, and how they could potentially revolutionize small businesses!

Continue reading to see if a large format 3d printer is for you or maybe for your business!

What Is A Large Format 3D Printer?

Large format 3D printers are becoming increasingly more popular. Build volume is one of the most important criteria that many people look for when they are purchasing a 3D printer.

3D printing gives people the opportunity to explore products that might have seemed impossible due to manufacturing complexity. Large format 3D printing allows you to push those boundaries even further.

Whether you will be 3D printing for professional purposes or hobby purposes, size matters no matter what! The ability to 3D print large scale objects has become a key feature for many applications.

Luckily, many 3D printer brands have caught on to the market demand for larger format 3D printing, and they are now more available and affordable than ever! Sure, large format 3D printers cost more than a smaller 3D printers, but if you approach it as an investment, it is well worth it! This approach is especially useful for businesses.

When you are shopping for a large format 3D printer, consider the following criteria to help you make the best selection:

  • Desktop 3D printer that uses FFF technology
  • Build volume greater than 0.45 m³
  • Extrusion 3D printing technology
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    Price under $6,000 that is available on the market
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    X, Y, Z axis superior to 197 mm

Below is an example of a large format 3D printer. Check it out!

large 3d printer

How Does It Work?

As previously mentioned, large format 3D printers are good choices for hobbyists, but they are extremely useful in business environments, because they offer nearly 8 times the max build volume for single prints, allowing you to print much larger creations. However, If your 3D printing needs do not entail huge creations, it might be a better idea for you to purchase a cheaper and smaller 3D printer.

If this is applicable to you, we encourage you to check out our top 10 best 3D printers under $500!

If a large format 3D printer is for you, check out our top 10 large 3D printers!

There is more to making the decision about buying a 3D printer than the size of your print jobs, though. You also want to think about the practicality of it.

Consider how often you have 3D printing needs. If you will use it only every once in a while, then it may not be worth the investment. You might be better off using a service for your printing needs.

However, if you know you will use it on a regular basis or feel it will become an essential part of your business operations, then buying a printer makes sense. In addition, if you already use a service and the costs are getting high, it might be time to buy your own printer.

It is also important to think about employee training. Will you need to do extensive training so employees will know how to use the printer? If your employees already know how to use it, then this can save you money and reduce the overall investment, making it more feasible to buy your own printer.

Why Should Businesses Use It?

Businesses all over the world are beginning to use large format 3D printers. According to Sara Davis of Forbes  in her article  "How 3D Printing Is Transforming Business,"  She quoted that the question isn’t, “What can you 3D print?” Instead, you should be asking, “What you can’t 3D print?” 

Her rhetorical take on large format 3D printing legitimizes the idea that 3D printing has the capability to take the business world by storm!

Just like any other 3D printer, it might not be as easy to use as you initially thought. If you don't mind troubleshooting errors and learning along the way, you can't go wrong! You will get the hang of it in no time at all!

In the future, large format 3D printers could potentially allow people to focus on building products exactly the way you want, rather than purchasing products that are manufactured and assembled by others.

If you've ever received a product that did not meet your expectations, then you probably understand. It could potentially eliminate the gap between ideas and products. The possibilities are truly endless with large format 3D printing, which is why it has made its way into countless current-day industries.

As technology continues to advance the capabilities of 3D printing, we will continue to see more practical, efficient, and cost-effective solutions for developing our everyday products.

It realistic to believe that we will also begin to see the use of new materials such as plastics, ceramics, and metals. 3D printing in business could change the way that businesses allocate the time that they spend making products, marketing products, and transforming their brands.

Check out several examples below...

In the example below, a retail store uses eye-catching and vibrant 3D printed displays to catch the eyes of passing customers. Retail stores can use 3D printing to their advantage by adding a pleasant touch to the environment of their store.

eye-catching and vibrant 3D printed displays

Source: EclipseCorp

In the example below, a hardware tool business 3D printed an oversized prototype of a new product. It is a quick and easy way to get people to notice your products!

oversized drill

Source: EclipseCorp

In the example below, a sneaker company 3D printed a massive prototype of a new sneaker that they were offering! They put it to great use at an event or exhibition. Once again, it is a great way to get people to notice your products.

an oversized shoe

Source: EclipseCorp

3D printing is also very common in the following industries:

  • Food Industry
  • Technology Industry
  • Aerospace Industry
  • Architecture Industry
  • Automotive Industry
  • Commercial Products
  • Consumer Goods Industry
  • Defense Industry
  • Dental Industry
  • Education Industry
  • Medical Industry
  • Mold Industry

You probably get the picture by now. 3D printing can be used in almost every industry, and large format 3D printing brings it up another notch!

Pros & Cons

Below, we have curated a list of what we believe to be the pros and cons of large format 3D printing. Check it out...

PROS:

  • Large build size compared to many other 3D printers
  • Endless printing possibilities
  • Cost effective for large parts
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    Simple casting patterns and molds without additional tools and effort

CONS:

  • Expensive initial purchase
  • Longer production lead times compared to smaller printers - but larger creations take longer
  • Not as durable as SLS or FDM

Price

When you are shopping for a large format 3D printer of your own, we recommend that you do some research and figure out what extent of 3D printing you will do.

If you are looking for a massive, industrial sized large format 3D printer, you could potentially spend tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is much more than any hobbyist would need, of course, but also more than most small business need as well.

We recommend lowering your price range quite a bit, which is good news for you! You can find a quality large format 3D printer between $1,000 and $6,000. Keep in mind, however, that the more expensive 3D printers will provide you more capabilities and better quality.

Below, we have listed six quality large format 3D printers that we recommend...

LulzBot TAZ 6 3D Printer

 

Raise3D N2 Plus 3D Printer

FORMBOT T-Rex 2 Large Format 3D Printer

CraftBot XL 3D Printer

SeeMeCNC Rostock MAX v3 DIY Kit

 

3D Platform Workbench 200

These can all be purchased on Amazon. For more information on each of these large format 3D printers, check out our top 10 large 3D printers!

Conclusion

So there you have it! There are affordable large format 3D printers that are perfect for hobbyists and small businesses, and expensive large format 3D printers that are perfect for large businesses!

Whatever your needs, there is a large format 3D printer out there for you.

3D printing is here to stay, and the 3D printing community can't wait to see where it takes us in the future!

We hope this article was informative and helped you out! Thanks for reading, and we wish you the best of luck in your future 3D printing endeavors.

Also, please feel free to leave a comment below! We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on large format 3D printers.

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