Best 3D printers for small businesses on Amazon Business

The very best 3D printers to buy right now on Amazon Business.

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Over the years, I've looked at a lot of 3D printers. They range in price from about a hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. While not all 3D printers are available through Amazon Business (like the very popular Josef Prusa printers from Prusa Research), many great printers are just one click away.

Also: Everything you need to know about 3D printing and its impact on your business

In this article, I've scoured Amazon Business for the top 3D printers you can order right now. Most are available via Prime. I'm starting with the lowest cost printer I recommend, and I'll end up with an incredibly capable (but expensive) printer designed for office and departmental use.

Also: What is Amazon Business and how does it work?

Best 3D printers for small businesses

Note: Some of the items below may be eligible for special discount pricing on Amazon Business if purchased in large quantities.

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Monoprice

Monoprice Select Mini Pro for $199

Don't let anyone tell you that 3D printing needs to be an expensive hobby. You can get started for under $200. In fact, one of the best ways to do that is with the Monoprice Select Mini Pro printer. It has a small 120x120 mm build surface, but it's solid, reliable, comes with a heated bed, and ships fully assembled.

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Creality

Creality Ender 3 for $229.99

Creality has made a name for itself by selling low-cost 3D printers with reasonable build quality. You can get less expensive printers with the same specs from other vendors, but generally speaking, Creality has managed to offer a consistent price/performance level, which is why we're spotlighting three of the company's printers on this list.

This is one of the best-selling 3D printers on Amazon Business. It features a removable build surface plate, can heat to 110 degrees C in just five minutes, and it comes with a 12-month warranty with lifetime technical assistance and 24-hour customer service.

At the low end is Ender 3. You'll need to allocate a few hours to build this printer. It does come with some sub-assemblies already put together, but there is some kit building required. With a 220x220 build surface, there's a heated bed that can improve adhesion. It uses 1.75 mm filament. Like the two CR-10s on this list, there is a very vibrant aftermarket for Ender 3 parts and upgrades.

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Anycubic

ANYCUBIC Photon for $299

Sometimes the side effect of good reviews is stock depletion. That seems to be the case with the ELEGOO Mars SLA printer I spotlighted a few weeks ago. It's now out of stock on Amazon.

SLA is a different 3D printing process that uses light to solidify plastic in a bath of 3D printing material. It's ideal for high-detail small prints, like model trains and jewelry, but it's not scalable in terms of size and solidity like the filament-based printers we're spotlighting in the rest of this guide.

Because the Mars is out of stock at Amazon, we're instead recommending the slightly lower quality ANYCUBIC Photon. It's a good printer, but it's not quite as robust as the Mars. That said, if you want an inexpensive, entry-level SLA printer, the Photon will get the job done.

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Creality

Creality CR-10 Mini for $306.43

There are a few reasons you might want to pick the CR-10 Mini instead of the CR-10 described next. First, the CR-10 Mini is almost a hundred dollars less expensive. It has a smaller build area, 12-inch by 8.7 inches (300 x 220 mm), which can actually be an advantage. Because both CR-10 models are open to the air, it's hard to evenly heat the larger CR-10 bed, and it can take a while.

So, if you don't need to build enormous prints, you may find the CR-10 Mini a better choice, especially since it also can tap into the sizable aftermarket for CR-10 add-ons and goodies.

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Creality

Creality CR-10 for $399

There may be newer printers out. There may be cheaper printers available. Even Creality has introduced new models beyond the CR-10. But the CR-10 is legendary. It was one of the first high-quality, widely adopted, inexpensive 3D printers with a giant 12-inch by 12-inch (300mm) heated bed. It uses 1.75mm filament.

Must read:

More to the point, the aftermarket of parts, add-ons, guides, 3D models, and resources for the CR-10 is huge. If you want to get a very capable printer that you can tweak and hack to your heart's content, this printer is for you. It's one of the workhorses in my Fab Lab, and although you have to hand align it, once you do, this printer is solid, versatile, and inexpensive.

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Flashforge

FlashForge Creator Pro for $799

The FlashForge Creator Pro has been around for a number of years now, for good reason. At $799, this printer packs a lot of punch. First, it's a dual-filament printer, which means you can print two colors (more valuable than you might think, at first), and you can also use one print head to print the plastic and another to print dissolvable supports, allowing you to make prints that would otherwise fight gravity due to the challenges inherent in flowing layers of molten plastic.

It also has a heated bed and an enclosed build area, allowing for prints of 225 mm x 145 mm (about 9x6 inches). It prints 1.75 mm filament.

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Aleph Objects, Inc.

LulzBot Mini 2 for $1,485

Next on my recommended list is the LulzBot Mini 2. I have one sitting about 10 feet away from me right now in the Fab Lab, and it's a tank. I've been printing on this (and it's older brother, the LulzBot Mini) pretty much non-stop for months now.

Of the printers available on Amazon Business, there is one brand that stands out for bulletproof build quality, and that's LulzBot. These are not the prettiest printers, nor are they the most feature-rich, but they are the most rock-solid reliable.

For a printer with a relatively small (160 mm x 160 mm x 180 mm) build area, it's priced relatively high, at $1,485. Most other printers with such a small build area are about a fifth the price. But the difference is that those printers are meant as entry-level printers, while this machine is a total workhorse.

Even though its build volume is small, I've probably printed more prints on the LulzBot Mini and Mini 2 than I have on any other printer. I've never had a problem. Ever.

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Dremel

Dremel Digilab 3D45 for $1,799

The Dremel 3D45 has a 10x6 inch (255x155) heated build platform, so it's a bit smaller than some of the other printers we've shown. On the other hand, what we really like about this printer is that it's fully enclosed. That means you can keep the model warm as you're printing, which is particularly important if you're printing in ABS.

In addition to the full enclosure, this printer comes with a filter and fan, as well as an exhaust port, so if you don't want to breathe in the nasty ABS fumes, you can actually exhaust them out of your printing area. This is a feature we've rarely seen, even on much more high-end devices.

One downside of the printer is that it's semi-locked to Dremel proprietary filament. There's a filament access port that only fits the Dremel filaments. Fortunately, you can use other filaments, but you'll need to print a filament holder (these are our favorites) and feed the filament in through the door of the filament holding area. It works, but it's not as elegant as the proprietary filament solution.

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Aleph Objects, Inc.

LulzBot TAZ 6 for $2,475

If you want solid workhorse quality, the $2,475 big brother of the LulzBot Mini is the TAZ 6, a larger printer with a 280 mm x 280 mm x 250 mm build volume. While I haven't used the TAZ 6, I have used the LulzBot Mini and Mini 2 (mentioned earlier on this list). This one uses 2.85 or 3.00 mm filament, and with good bed nozzle heating, you can feed it just about any filament you want.

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Ultimaker

Ultimaker S5 for $5,995

I reviewed the S5 back in May, and my findings still stand: this is the best 3D printer I've ever used. At $6,000, it's also the most expensive. Let's be clear. This is not really a printer designed for hobbyists. This is a printer for busy design and engineering professionals and organizations who need reliable, large prints with little or no hassle making them happen.

It has a large 300 x 300 mm build area, and a heated, self-leveling bed that trams at a dozen points on the bed. It's mostly enclosed, supports dual filaments, has snap-out extruders that allow you to customize flow and materials, and has the easiest filament loading mechanism of any printer I've used.

If you know what you need, and you know you're willing to spend $6,000 to have those needs met, this is probably the printer for you. Otherwise, there are nine other excellent choices presented on this list.

Which 3D printer intrigues you the most? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclosure: ZDNet may earn a commission from some of the products featured on this page.


You can follow my day-to-day project updates on social media. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DavidGewirtz, on Instagram at Instagram.com/DavidGewirtz, and on YouTube at YouTube.com/DavidGewirtzTV.